New York, NY (June 2, 2021)—Museum Hue, The Laundromat Project, and Hester Street, three People of Color-led and centered organizations in NYC, have announced their collaboration on a comprehensive online platform for New York City arts entities. Through a user-friendly map, searchable online directory, and field report, HueArts NYC will aggregate information on arts entities created by and centering Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and all People of Color (POC). To be released in December 2021, HueArts NYC will amplify impact and increase support for these performing and presenting arts entities. Starting today, the website huearts.nyc shares information about the project and allows the public to nominate entities for inclusion.
Lead organizing partners Museum Hue, The Laundromat Project, and Hester Street seek to create a dynamic, data-driven online resource spotlighting POC founded and focused arts entities of all scales and sizes throughout NYC—including nonprofit, fiscally sponsored, and for profit groups. HueArts NYC will provide city agencies, policy makers, philanthropists, peer organizations, arts and culture enthusiasts, and the general public with robust information about these arts entities.
“New York’s cultural organizations of color are essential to the communities they serve, and to our city’s cultural vitality as a whole,” said NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Gonzalo Casals. “With the launch of HueArts NYC, we’re excited to support a project that will foster a deeper understanding of these organizations, and of what they need to thrive and grow. Culture makes for healthy, vibrant neighborhoods, and communities of color have been devastated not only this past year by the pandemic, but for generations through racism and disinvestment. HueArts will help chart the path forward for how culture can continue to be a pillar of our collaborative work towards a fairer, more equitable city.”
“We are thrilled to be bringing this much-needed resource to the field,” said Stephanie Johnson-Cunningham, Creative Director of Museum Hue. “The lack of comprehensive data on our city’s Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color arts entities has only perpetuated disparities in funding and representation. These arts entities place people and community-care at the center of their practice, creating meaningful connections between their constituencies’ experiences and their offerings. They provide the framework and thought leadership needed today more than ever.”
The project defines People of Color arts entities as those that fulfill the following three criteria: founded and led by Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and other People of Color; located within New York City; and presenting, performing, or producing arts entities whose missions are to provide consistent public-facing arts programming and events.
“As a POC-centered arts organization, The Laundromat Project is proud to be contributing to the creation of HueArts NYC, which will enable greater visibility and self-determination for POC spaces and the artists, creatives, and community members we support in manifesting new futures—for us, by us,” said Kemi Ilesanmi, Executive Director at The Laundromat Project.
“HueArts NYC will use the power of data to celebrate and make visible our city’s rich POC arts and culture landscape. Hester Street is excited to contribute to a project that will increase support for POC arts entities that are critical to NYC’s vibrant city life,” said Nisha Baliga, Co-Executive Director at Hester Street.
Data to create HueArts NYC are being collected through a number of means. The public is invited to recommend arts entities for inclusion beginning June 2, 2021 on huearts.nyc. Throughout the summer and fall, organizing partners will also hold curated focus groups, conduct research, survey POC arts leaders and activists, and convene the HueArts NYC Advisory Committee to inform the production of the project. To date, the organizing partners have met with a total of 23 NYC arts leaders as part of a research process to develop the framework for the platform. Current Advisory Committee members include: Amy Andrieux, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts; Mahen Bonetti, African Film Festival, Inc.; Andrew Clarke, Braata Productions; Amir ElSaffar, Rivers of Sound Orchestra; Diane Fraher, American Indian Artists Inc.; Lisa Gold, Asian American Arts Alliance; Libertad O. Guerra, The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center; Lorna Harris, Visionary GPS; Jerron Herman, Kinetic Light; Jordyn Jay, Black Trans Femmes in the Arts; Sade Lythcott, National Black Theatre; Kyoung Park, Kyoung’s Pacific Beat; and Charles Rice-Gonzalez, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!).
“This project makes visible the true and wide ranging scale of artistic production for which New York City has long been recognized. We are grateful to all the partners and Advisory Committee members—and indeed, to the organizations themselves—for providing this research and making the information available to the public,” said Emil Kang, program director for Arts and Culture at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
ABOUT THE PARTNERS
Museum Hue is dedicated to amplifying Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color in the arts and cultural field by providing tools and resources as well as building networks. In January 2020, Museum Hue launched The Hue Museums, a national map & directory of museums created by and centering Black, Indigenous, and People of Color across the United States. Museum Hue will maintain the HueArts NYC platform after its launch in December 2021.
HueArts NYC project leads: Stephanie Johnson-Cunningham, Iman Childs
The Laundromat Project is a Black-rooted, POC-centered arts organization that advances artists and neighbors as change agents in their communities by directly supporting their artmaking, community building, and leadership development. The LP produces public art experiences throughout all 5 NYC boroughs. In 2017, The LP participated in the creation of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs’ CreateNYC Cultural Plan as an engagement partner. Executive Director Kemi Ilesanmi currently serves as chair of New York City’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission.
HueArts NYC project leads: Kemi Ilesanmi, Ayesha Williams, Emma Colón, Erica Rawles
Hester Street (HST) brings to the partnership a POC-led team with deep knowledge and expertise in GIS mapping, community engagement design, and data visualization, and led the planning of NYC’s first ever CreateNYC Cultural Plan and the city’s Complete Count Campaign for the 2020 Census. HST is a national urban planning, design and development nonprofit that works to ensure communities, neighborhoods and cities are shaped by the people who live in them, especially for those historically left out. They offer planning, design, and community development technical assistance to community-based organizations, government, and other agencies.
HueArts NYC project leads: Nisha Baliga, Lillian Cho, Sadra Shahab, Didier Lucceus
House of Cakes is a POC-led communications and design studio in Brooklyn, NY with a focus on social justice projects with organizations such as Make the Road, Center for Popular Democracy, Worker Institute, and Times Up. HOC led the design and worked with Hester Street on CreateNYC and HPD’s fair housing plan, Where We Live.
HueArtsNYC project leads: Karen Oh, E. James Ford
HueArts NYC is made possible by support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Ford Foundation, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.