Brooklyn (January 22, 2021) –– The Laundromat Project is thrilled to announce the 2021 cohort of diverse creative practitioners selected to participate in our 16th annual Create Change artist development program, as well as the inaugural recipient of our Radical Imagination Fellowship. This year’s Create Change cohort will collaborate with New York City communities of color to develop, deepen, and enact social change through community-based projects. 2021 Create Change programming will incorporate educational, theory-based workshops on cultural organizing and community-building strategy, alongside creative engagement processes.
The LP has commissioned three projects by six Create Change Artists-in-Residence. Working collectively as DreamSeed Collective, artists Malanya Graham, Maliika Nia-Imani, and Blaise Sparda will create the DreamSeed Oracle Tarot Deck to celebrate the resilience of BIPOC queer communities. Rochelle Jamila Wilbun and Ogemdi Ude will develop the postpartum dance workshop series AfroPeach, and artist Gabriel G. Torres will facilitate Haus of Dust, a substance use harm reduction project. Each artist or collective will collaborate with a unique community in NYC and an array of local partners to develop their creative projects, which address themes of community wellness, healing, and recovery. Each residency project will receive $20,000 in funding.
Create Change Fellows will develop and practice strategies for making community-engaged art over a rigorous six month period. Fellows will work on proposals to amplify local cultural resources in NYC communities that center the voices and histories of long term residents, small business owners, youth, activists, cultural institutions, and artists. For the first time in 2021, Create Change Fellows will receive stipends for their participation in the program. Create Change faculty includes Ebony Noelle Golden (Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative), Urban Bush Women, and Piper Anderson (Create Forward), among others.
“We’re honored to support this cohort of artists and creative thinkers who are actively invested in the healing, wellness, and abundance of POC communities. It is through their ambitious proposals and eagerness to engage in cultural organizing that we are reminded of the power of art and creativity to effect social change,” said Kemi Ilesanmi, Executive Director of The Laundromat Project.
In addition to the 2021 Create Change cohort, The LP has invited storyteller, artist, and scholar Piper Anderson to be our inaugural Radical Imagination Fellow, a year-long post supported by The David Rockefeller Fund. The fellowship role is designed to engage our staff, board, and artist community around new ideas and perspectives each year. Ms. Anderson will deepen organizational understandings around timely issues of abolition, healing justice, public memory, and the Black radical imagination. Using diverse strategies such as reading groups, writings, public events, and public art, Anderson will lead The LP in examining our own structures and programming through these lenses.
“I’m thrilled to be exploring strategies for increased critical thinking, liberation, and healing justice with The Laundromat Project,” said Anderson. “I look forward to the opportunity to collectively engage a radical imagination to support The LP and our shared communities in all the many ways possible.”
THE LAUNDROMAT PROJECT 2021 CREATE CHANGE COHORT
MALANYA GRAHAM, MALIIKA NIA-IMANI, and BLAISE SPARDA
DreamSeed Oracle Deck
Virtual; New York City-wide
DreamSeed Collective will create The DreamSeed Oracle tarot deck, inspired by the artists’ Black and POC queer ancestors and holistic wellness practices. The artists will host virtual conversations on tarot’s relevance to generational, collective healing and lead workshops on design, self-portraiture, and sacred adornment to inform the creation of the deck.
GABRIEL G. TORRES
Haus of Dust
Lower East Side
Gabriel G. Torres and collaborators will facilitate Haus of Dust, a three-pronged project to support and educate Queer Latinx communities struggling with substance use in the Lower East Side. Working alongside social workers, neuroscientists, and queer community leaders, Haus of Dust will encompass an online interactive game for anxiety and stress relief, a garden installation with community programming, and an immersive theatrical experience.
Rochelle Jamila Wilbun and Ogemdi Ude will create AfroPeach, a series of online and eventual in-person dance workshops for Black postpartum people in Brooklyn. The project will uniquely blend movement healing practices and birth work to provide holistic care for Black people after pregnancy and birth.
Samer ‘Ridikkuluz’ Akroush
Ayling Zulema Dominguez
Timothy Prolific Edwaujonte
Manuel Molina Martagon
Iram Sadaf Padder
Kimberly Frances Serrano Tate
The cohort was selected by the 2021 Artist & Community Council: Salome Asega, Director of Partnerships, POWRPLNT; Rakia Seaborn, Senior Manager of Engagement, Cumbe Center for African and Diaspora Dance; and Jessica Sucher, Associate Director of Community Engagement, BRIC.
ABOUT CREATE CHANGE
Established in 2006, The LP’s flagship Create Change Residency program has evolved into a leading artist development model that builds and nourishes creative community leaders. Through the residency, The LP supports three innovative socially engaged creative endeavors across NYC annually. Create Change resident artists develop community-responsive projects that make use of the unique social space of their location.
In 2011, in response to participant feedback, The LP established the Create Change Fellowship to train artists who are newer to a socially engaged creative practice. Each year, the Fellowship provides a select group of diverse creative practitioners with 120+ hours of a combination of workshops (theory) and arts-based community engagement processes (practice), aimed to help them develop, deepen, and enact a community engaged creative practice.
Over the past 15 years, The LP has supported 165+ artists. Alumni of the program include: Tomie Arai, Raul Ayala, Chloë Bass, LaTasha Diggs, Fernanda Espinosa, Rachel Falcone, Sukjong Hong, Rasu Jilani, Shani Peters, Michael Premo, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Betty Yu. The LP aims to foster and support creative community leaders who are empowered by, committed to, and fully conversant in community-attuned art practices.
The Create Change program is made possible in part by The Bay & Paul Foundations, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation; Ford Foundation; Jerome Foundation; Lambent Foundation, Lily Auchincloss Foundation; Robert Sterling Clark Foundation; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts; and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Create Change Fellowship is supported in part by our Catalyst Circle members—become a Catalyst here.