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Community, Displacement, and The Arts: 400 Years to the Future

NoMAA presents a day of professional development & networking for the creative and civic minded.
Keynote Speaker: Manuela Arciniegas
Curated and produced in collaboration with Kaisha S. Johnson of Women of Color in the Arts

Artmaking station sponsored by Blick Art Materials

Admission is by donation. Suggested – $35 in advance – $45 at the door. Lunch provided.
RSVP on Eventbrite

As we mark the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arriving to the shores of Jamestown, Virginia, as a nation, we finally have begun to face this centuries-long legacy of inequality. Despite an imbalance in power and systemic and structural barriers, the arts have kept our communities thriving. But as artists and cultural producers are displaced by high rents and gentrification, what does this mean for our ever-evolving communities? What role does the arts have in helping to dismantle structural inequities and sustain community? How can and how does the arts galvanize the power of the people to affect change? This full day symposium featuring a keynote, panel discussions, breakout sessions, and art will begin to grapple with these questions while providing participants an opportunity to connect, vision, and build for the next 400 years.

We define technical assistance as the transmission of knowledge, experience, and expertise to tackle problems, big and small, within the arts sector and the world. We believe that robust conversations, sharing and learning with peers, and deep, critical conversations begin to give us the tools we need in order to work collaboratively, think proactively, and build our shed of practical instruments to sharpen our intellectual hardware for the future.

Existence and Resistance: Black Women Propelling The Arts + Community Forward

400 years of oppression have led to the systemic inequities we see today – from unequal distribution of wealth trickling down to inadequate resources for our cultural institutions to the appropriation of our land and cultural products for economic gain. While these injustices have certainly contributed to the destabilization of communities, building and maintaining creative capital have been key to helping historically disenfranchised communities survive. Black women, in particular, have always been at the center of this movement of (re)stabilizing communities, taking the lead as artists, activists, cultural workers, and organizers. Hear how Black women of the Diaspora are continuing to propel the arts field forward and helping our communities to not only survive, but, to thrive.

– Tasha Douge, artist, activist, and cultural producer
– Karen D Taylor, founder, While We Are Still Here: Preserving Harlem’s History
– Melody Capote, executive director, Caribbean Cultural Center (CCCADI)
– Sarita Covington, co-founder, ACRE (Artists Creating Real Equity)

In the Face of Gentrification: Displacement and Its Impact on the Arts

While the arts and artists have often been exploited for the sake of gentrification, history has shown us that the arts have been integral in helping to amplify social issues and mobilize communities. So the arts have also been a catalyst and critical component in the struggle against gentrification and, effectively, displacement – its prominent byproduct as experienced by many historically disenfranchised communities. It is clear that gentrification disproportionately affects artists and cultural creators but in what ways has displacement affected the arts sector? And what can artists and cultural institutions do to authentically help empower communities, mitigate the effects of displacement in the face of gentrification, and build for the future?

– Nadema Agard, visual artist + director of Red Earth Studio Consulting Productions
– Sita Frederick, performing artist + director of Community Engagement at Lincoln Center Education
– Yin Kong, director, ThinkChinatown
– Elena Martinez, co-director, Bronx Music Heritage Center

The event is finished.


Dec 07 2019
Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center


Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center
530 W 166th St New York, NY 10032

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