The Laundromat Project is excited to announce the 2023 cohort of artists and cultural producers selected as participants in our Create Change Artist Development Program! These creators of color will collaborate with communities across New York City to develop and implement projects that deepen trust, build relationships, and leverage the power of creativity for positive social change.
This year’s Create Change Artists-in-Residence and Fellows have a remarkable depth to the type of work they are doing in communities across New York City and in our anchor neighborhood of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. They remind us that the creativity that sustains communities is built in connection to our histories, our cultures, and to each other, and that it is incredibly important for our art to reflect and capture that.
Faculty for our 18th annual Create Change Artist Development Program includes Ebony Noelle Golden (Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative), Shawnee Benton Gibson (Spirit of a Woman), Urban Bush Women, Kamau Ware (Black Gotham Experience), and Laundromat Project staff, among others.
The LP continues to invest in and support creative cultural producers who are making a positive impact across our city. This year we have awarded between $1,000 and $25,000 each to support the development of their participatory and community-attuned creative projects, as well as provided a network of mentors and peer-support to help advance their creative, community-based work.
Each year we’re increasingly impressed by the breadth of the people and projects that become a part of The LP’s community. Read on to meet them and learn more about their projects!
Meet the seven 2023 Create Change Artists-in-Residence and their four projects.
SHANNA SABIO, AISHA SHILLINGFORD, GENEL AMBROSE & FAITH ROBINSON
The Black Utopia Project: Community. Connection. Change.
The Black Utopia Project provides opportunities for rest, reflection, and replenishment to Black femme-identifying residents who have been cultivating their visions of cultural and economic power amongst Black Brooklynites.
PEDRO JUAN CRUZ CRUZ
Translocal Exchanges in Roosevelt Avenue
Translocal Exchanges in Roosevelt Avenue is a wayfinding installation that speaks to the sense of belonging in the immigrant enclaves of Central Queens. The project will take place in the multiple pockets of neighborhood plazas and underutilized lots owned by DOT and NYC Parks but used as small parks and areas of rest.
JOSEPH (SOLARIS) CAPEHART
Not in my House: A Multidimensional Attack on Gentrification in Bed-Stuy
A free course for residents of Bed-Stuy (natives and transplants) who wish to immerse themselves in the rich Black history of the neighborhood–further inspiring and equipping residents to protect that history from the rampant gentrification that seeks to commodify and erase it.
KIRA JOY WILLIAMS
Home is in the Stories
An artistic archive comprising portraits and oral histories of Black people that live in Bed-Stuy. In interviews, participants will discuss their experiences of home, while being photographed at and within the community. The goal is to record and memorialize the ways Black people have created different conceptions of home despite being forced into a diasporic existence as a result of the Atlantic slave trade and despite being, in the years since, consistently, systematically unwelcomed in America. In this living archive, historically underrepresented people are amplified and empowered to choose how their record is kept.
Meet the 2023 Create Change Fellows.
Painting, community organizing, education | Mott Haven, Bronx
Filmmaking, writing, education, community organizing | Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Painting, writing, education | Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Visual art, research, landscape architecture, urban design | Kensington, Brooklyn
DAEQUAN ALEXANDER COLLIER
Filmmaking | Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Mix-media, abstract design, illustration, zine-making | Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Visual art, education | Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Photography | Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Visual art | Bronx
Social practice, narrative arts | Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Writing, community organizing | Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
STEVEN ANTHONY JOHNSON II
Interpretative archive, writing | Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
As individuals these artists are each contributing to the preservation of our community stories in the most creative ways. Collectively, they are resisting the erasure that so often comes with gentrification and other adverse efforts that mar the fabric of communities of color. They remind us that the art we produce and observe is the basis for public memory and for advocacy efforts that move the dial forward, which is ever more important in a rapidly-changing city such as New York.
Stay up to date on their work with The Laundromat Project by following us on Instagram.
The 2023 Create Change program cohort was selected by the 2023 Artist & Community Council: Lizania Cruz, Participatory Artist and Designer & 2017-2019 LP Create Change Artist-in-Residence; Solana Chehtman, Director of Artist Programs, Joan Mitchell Foundation; and Dina Wright Joseph, Dancer & Dance Educator.
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 18 years, The LP has supported over 200 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 Andy Warhol Foundation; The Bay & Paul Foundations; ; Artha Foundation; Ford Foundation; Jerome Foundation; Materials for the Arts; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; The Muriel Pollia Foundation; The New York Community Trust Van Lier Fellowship Program; the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts; and Robert Sterling Clark Foundation. The Create Change Fellowship is supported in part by our Catalyst Circle members—become a Catalyst here.