Author Archives: Chloe Lin

  1. Co-creation and Reflection: Why does Art Matter to us?

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    On December 9th & 16th, The LP hosted its annual Create Change Institute (CCI)—a two-day virtual workshop for artists, activists, administrators, organizers, and cultural workers to learn about how to meaningfully collaborate with communities on shared creative projects addressing social issues, using a racial justice lens.

    Through the lens of The LP’s pedagogy and values, participants explored different ways to foster connections among artists, art administrators, and cultural workers committed to making art, building community, and creating change. 

    Beyond offering a rich and informative curriculum, CCI was also a space for co-creation and reflection. As CCI came to a close, each participant created a personal response to the question Why does art matter to you? Using the personal statements, the group collectively wrote a poem as a meditation on why art matters to us, and we are excited to share the poem with you all:

    Art connects me through place and space
    It is a universal and sacred component. 
    It has given me the ability to express and connect
    To share experiences with many

    Art is MY expression of being

    It centers 
    My imagination.
    My possibility.
    My freedom.
    My magic.
    My grounding.
    My transcendence.
    My collective joy & love.

    It is MY deepest expression of love 

    It fuels my need explore many ways of noticing the world around me

    It unlocks my agency to achieve well-being goals
    Art expresses the sparkle I hide
    Yet it gives tools to imagine liberation
    Cultivating connections and reckoning with history.

    Art is a hand and a cry

    Art is central to my daily experience
    Connecting with love, spirit and souls
    Expanding my understanding of what’s possible
    Art frees me, connects  me,  inspires me and heals my community

    It is my Mindful Action Movement that provides colorful Community Engagement
    It encourages 
    My self awareness, 
    My self esteem, 
    My dialogue,
    My sensibility, 

    Our own creativity helps connect communities. 
    Art is a beautiful liberated teacher. 
    It shares universal truths, language,emotions. understanding
    Creating art connects me to others

    It is where I continuously find
    WE

    -2022 CCI Participants

    We are grateful for our 2022 CCI participant’s fruitful and vulnerable shares as we explored tough conversations and personal experiences that have shaped our passion to intentionally create change as a collective. We hope this experience allowed attendees to feel confident in their ability to be a change agent in our own community and to cultivate a personal practice of abundance!

    Interested in attending Create Change Institute 2023? Sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop about future dates. 

  2. Meet Alexander Huaylinos, Programs Associate

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    Alex joined The LP team as our Programs Associate in December 2022. Get to know more about him!

    In what neighborhood do you live?

    Elmhurst, Queens!

    How did you first become connected to The LP, or hear about The LP?

    I first heard about The LP during a discussion with my book club. We were reading the book Museums as Agents of Change: A Guide to Becoming a Changemaker. (Non-)Coincidentally, the last chapter of the book was named after and focused on The LP’s foundational value: Propelled by Love. What I read rocked my world and made me an instant fan of The LP!

    So, what attracted you to The LP? How does working here relate to your professional goals?

    I’m absolutely in love with how The LP manifests its intimately crafted values and principles! This is the only arts organization I know of which embraces community at every level of its practice. Working at The LP is a chance to both serve communities of color and co-create a thriving present where art is a catalyst for collective care, locally and globally.

    Do you have your own creative practice? If so, tell us more!

    Honestly, I’m more of a serial hobbyist than an artist. I’ve dabbled in everything from playing the saxophone to singing, sword dancing, creative coding, poetry, and photography. Lately, I’ve been thinking about studying either salsa dancing or ceramics as my next artistic foray. Making art is how I like to experience and share joy!

    Can you tell us about an artist or project that has inspired you?

    Recently, I’ve found inspiration through the works of Kent Monkman and Xaviera Simmons. In the summer, I had a chance to view History is Painted by The Victors at the Denver Museum of Art—a painting which reverses the artistic gaze by having Monkman’s alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle look at a European person in a critique of historical perspective. Closer to home, I also just viewed Xaviera Simmons’ newest exhibit at the Queens Museum, Crisis Makes a Book Club. The exhibit is a powerful meditation on how the construction of empire and institutional oppression are, amongst many other factors, maintained by false gestures for liberation. How much longer can we stare blankly at history and read the literature of the oppressed without genuine action? Each of these artists inspire me to ask questions, listen, reflect, and move with intention.

    What is your favorite… film? …album? …food?

    It’s hard to say! I have a rotating list of favorites that change frequently. Here’s my current top three for each category. Films: The Mark of Zorro (1940), Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) Albums: Freedom Is Free (2017) by Chicano Batman, 85 to Africa (2019) by Jidenna, Ita (2021) by Bobby Sanchez Food: Lomo Saltado, Pancit Palabok, Nasi Bungkus

    Where do you do your laundry?

    At the 24 hour laundromat two blocks away from my apartment.

    In your opinion, why does art matter?

    Art is alive. It is an act of drawing upon inspiration to infuse life with energy, a materialization of personal, collective, and cosmic imagination. The arts matter because art exists at the nexus of daily life. Whether we’re talking about the creation of a master painting or someone singing karaoke on a Friday night, the arts allow us to connect better with ourselves and each other.

    What LP value do you most related to and why?

    Most definitely, the value of writing our own histories. History is power and serves as a repository for the knowledge, cultures, and imaginations of a people. Our ability to shape the present begins with agency rooted in knowledge of how we came to be and the futures we hope to embody. As a person of color, I’ve often had to navigate around silences and omissions woven into the stories of my communities. I view our collective capacity to remember and speak out as an essential step toward liberation and social change.

    Alexander “Alex” Huaylinos is an arts administrator, cultural worker, scholar, and educator. He is a passionate advocate for paid internships, radical education, and multivocal narratives in museums and the arts at large. Prior to The LP, Alex worked in the Marketing, Communications, and Advocacy department at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts while providing critical support to the institution’s Internships and Venue Sales teams. He holds a B.A. in Anthropological Archaeology from CUNY with complementary training in Ecology and Data Analysis. Outside of work, Alex enjoys volunteering for community projects, reading BIPOC authored literature, museum hopping, and playing pool.

  3. Meet Morgan Fletcher, Interim Director of External Affairs

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    Morgan joined The LP team as our Interim Director of External Affairs in September 2022. Get to know more about her!

    In what neighborhood do you live?

    Madison Heights, Virginia (previously Harlem, NY and originally from Bed-Stuy)

    How did you first become connected to The LP, or hear about The LP?

    I was introduced to The LP by friends—initially by Robin Cembalest, and then by another friend-turned-colleague Ben Millstein.

    So, what attracted you to The LP? How does working here relate to your professional goals?

    I was attracted to The LP’s unique positioning within the social justice world—everything from its hyper-local focus to its intersection of the arts and SJ. I’m originally from Bed-Stuy and have always been engaged in both performing and visual arts. Professionally, I’ve focused my career on strategic communications with a racial and gender justice lens, so I’m so excited to bring my skills to The LP and learn from the team here!

    Do you have your own creative practice? If so, tell us more!

    I’m a writer (short stories, essays and a forever-in-process novel) and classically trained opera singer. I grew up performing (theater, show choir, a cappella, etc.) but now mostly relegate that to a karaoke night with friends. Currently I’m applying all my visual art-loving skills (and it seems budget!) to decorating my first home.

    Can you tell us about an artist or project that has inspired you?

    I’m inspired by the patience, consistency, vision and faith with which several actors have navigated their careers: Sandra Oh, Noma Dumezweni, T’Nia Miller. I love to watch them on screen. As for a visual artist, I am also deeply inspired by the talent, confidence and vision of Uzo Njoku whose career has evolved so excitingly in just a few years! And from a politics and arts crossover perspective, I was also inspired by the 2016 billboard campaign from For Freedom, the artist activist group co-founded in 2016 by Hank Willis Thomas, Eric Gottesman Michelle Woo and Wyatt Gallery. For similar reasons, I’ve loved seeing the mural work of Tatyana Fazlalizadeh throughout NYC.

    What is your favorite… film? …album? …food?

    Film: Hereditary (I’m a big horror fan) // Album: Regina Carter’s Paganini – After a Dream // Food: My mom’s pound cake!

    Where do you do your laundry?

    At home

    In your opinion, why does art matter?*

    Art, in all of its forms, is our opportunity to connect with and deepen our relationship with ourselves and each other. It is a forum to experiment, to challenge, to demand visibility, to call in and out, to dazzle and to escape. Art matters because numbers and measurable metrics cannot adequately capture what it is to be human or to witness humanity. It’s expansive, and it’s for everyone!

    What LP value do you most related to and why?*

    Absolutely to practice abundance. Living under capitalism, many (most) systems are designed to keep us yearning for That Thing Just Beyond Our Grasp. As a new homeowner, this is particularly treacherous as I actually do need a lot of things (having moved from a tiny Harlem apartment I just don’t own enough furniture to fill all my rooms!). But I love the practice of an abundance mindset because it reminds me to focus on how we have – I have – everything I need and more, or whatever I need is within an easy reach. It’s empowering and exciting to see that as a central value of an organization that is working so intentionally within a community.

    Morgan Fletcher (she/her) is a communications professional, facilitator, and strategist with over a decade of experience. She is the founder of Fletcher Ventures, a boutique consulting firm serving organizations in developing narrative-changing digital content and building high-performing communications teams. Previously, Morgan founded and led Girls for Gender Equity’s Storytelling and Marketing team which lead messaging and campaigns that centered Black girls and gender expansive youth of color with an an anti-oppression, anti-carceral, and Black feminist approach. Morgan received a Bachelor’s of Arts from Columbia University’s Columbia College.