Building HueSpaces is a series that centers the creation of museums and other arts enclaves founded and led by Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latine, and all People of Color. Created through a partnership between Museum Hue and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) NY Cultural Facilities Committee, this four-part series highlights topics such as assessing capital needs for your organization, capital fundraising, building your capital project team, accessibility as a foundation for your project, and more. Designed to provide greater insight into how these spaces were acquired and their capital projects developed, it demonstrates the critical need for greater racial equity and representation within NYC’s built environment and arts landscape. Through case studies of select NYC-based arts entities, this series will provide a step-by-step toolkit to support other arts entities founded and led by arts and cultural leaders of color who are seeking guidance on how to attain a brick-and-mortar of their own.
Building HueSpaces stems from the research findings and recommendation in the HueArts NYC Brown Paper report led by Museum Hue, which highlights a greater need in investing in place as a long-term strategy for Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latine, and all People of Color arts stability and thrivability.
All Building HueSpaces events will have live captioning and transcripts available with the release of the recording.
This series is made possible due to generous funding from the Ford Foundation.
So you want to build an arts space for your non-profit? Great — now how do you even begin? In this initial session of Building HueSpaces, we explored how to start a capital project. We covered determining what is needed in terms of building a new structure, renting and renovating an existing building, or considering other alternatives for your organization’s needs. During this session, you learned to identify what information you will need to have on hand to begin this work, how to assess what kind of a space you need, how to write a scope of work for your project, and how to begin looking for funding for this work. Attendees heard from architects, Latoya Nelson Kamdang and Nandini Bagchee, as well as David Dean, arts administrator, and Pres Adams, Senior Community Investment Officer for LISC NY.
David Dean has over 40 years of experience as an arts administrator, strategic planner, and non-profit fundraiser. He was the Executive Director of Printed Matter for five years and has worked for a range of other organizations in both the United Kingdom — where he was born and educated — and the United States, including Queens Museum of Art, Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, The French-American Foundation, The English National Opera, and The National Trust. His current and recent clients include City Lore, Poster House New York, the Center for Italian Modern Art, the Association for Cultural Equity, The Hispanic Society, The Camargo Foundation, Flushing Town Hall, Young New Yorkers, and the Bronx Documentary Center. David has had a key role on fundraising for and implementation of a range of capital projects, including at Queens Museum where he had a leadership role in the museum’s expansion. He is a graduate of Goldsmiths, University of London.
Latoya Nelson Kamdang
Latoya Nelson Kamdang is a Registered Architect and Interior Designer, a U.S. Fulbright Senior Scholar, and a 2022 Crain’s New York Business Notable Women in Construction, Design, & Architecture. Her experience spans architecture, planning, exhibit design, interior design, and design strategy. Latoya has been working simultaneously as a Visiting Associate Professor at Pratt Institute for over ten years. She educates students on interdisciplinary design approaches. She has a research focus on participatory design processes, impacts of displacement on authentic communities, passive sustainable technologies, and indigenous architecture. Latoya earned a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design as well as a Certificate in Real Estate Design & Development from the Wharton School of Business. She also has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Interior Architecture from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Marketing from Georgetown University. She currently is on the board of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, The New York State Board of Architecture, The First 500, the ACE Mentor Program of Greater NY, the Van Alen Institute, and the Billie Holiday Theatre. She is also an Urban Design Forum Fellow and Fulbright Ambassador.
Nandini Bagchee is the principal of Bagchee Architects and Associate Professor at the Spitzer School of Architecture (CCNY, CUNY). Her research focuses on activism in architecture and the ways in which ground up collaborative building practices provide an alternative medium for the creation of public space. Nandini is the author of a book on the history and impact of activist-run spaces in New York City entitled, Counter Institution: Activist Estates of the Lower East Side (Fordham University Press, 2018). Nandini’s design work and writing has been published in the New York Times, Interiors Now, Urban Omnibus and the Journal of Architectural Education. She is the recipient of grants from the New York State Council of the Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Graham Foundation. Her research-based architectural work involves long-term engagement with community land trusts in the South Bronx, Long Island City, East New York and Edgemere in New York and Cooperation Jackson is Mississippi.
Pres Adams is responsible for developing and managing relationships with local economic development partners including community-based organizations and mission-driven developers, financial institutions and local/state agencies in order to grow LISC NYC’s pipeline of small businesses and real estate projects that foster inclusive economic development. Joining LISC in 2022, Pres has over 10 years of experience in economic development, real estate, and nonprofit management. He most recently served as Director of Space Planning with Communitas America, Inc., where he developed plans to open an incubator space for social entrepreneurs in Harlem and provided direct technical assistance to small businesses and startups. Previously, Pres was a Co-Founder of Impact Hub Baltimore, where he oversaw the fundraising, buildout, and operations of an incubator space for social entrepreneurs and minority owned businesses. He went on to work as Global Partnerships Lead for the global Impact Hub network, where he led on real estate expansion strategy in the US and Canada and worked with a variety of philanthropic, government, and corporate partners. Pres also has a range of prior experience in real estate including anchor institution strategy, mixed-use development, leasing, and property management. Pres has a BA in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters in Real Estate from Johns Hopkins University.
Laurie Cumbo was appointed as the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of New York by Mayor Eric Adams in March 2022.
Laurie Angela Cumbo previously served as majority leader in the New York City Council and represented the City Council’s 35th district for eight years. She wrote over forty laws and resolutions in that role, including creating the first-ever Mayor’s Office to End Gun Violence and the Mayor’s Office of Victim Services. Cumbo focused her career on institution building and worked diligently throughout her tenure in the City Council to secure permanent cultural homes for the Noel Pointer Foundation, Ifetayo Cultural Arts Center, the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, African Voices Magazine, Creative Outlet Dance Company, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), 651 Arts, the Brooklyn Music School, The Brooklyn Pride Center and Digital Girl.
Prior to her time in the City Council, Cumbo founded MoCADA in Brooklyn and previously worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the High Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. At MoCADA, Cumbo was instrumental in expanding the museum to a newly renovated space at the James E. Davis 80 Arts Building in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and pushed to build a multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art museum into its new home in the BAM South Building in partnership with BAM, The Brooklyn Public Library, and 651 Arts.
Cumbo is a lifelong Brooklynite. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Spelman College and a Master of Arts degree in Visual Arts Administration from New York University.
New York State Council on the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
LSIC Community Capital
After considering how to start a capital project, it’s time to build a roadmap of successful and actionable next steps. Session 2 of the Building HueSpaces workshop series, co-hosted by The Clemente, covered how to assemble the right team, create a reasonable and realistic timeline with specific project milestones, the process of acquiring a city-owned building, and expectations of having a city-owned-building. Moderated by Museum Hue and AIA, owner’s reps, an attorney, architects, and The Clemente shared their experiences on these topics.
ANNYA RAMÍREZ-JIMÉNEZ, AIA
ANNYA RAMÍREZ-JIMÉNEZ, AIA is a Director at MARVEL. She is passionate about equity and focuses on building cities that serve all residents. Primarily focusing on leading civic projects and affordable housing, Annya oversees the architecture practice collaboration between MARVEL offices located in San Juan, Richmond & New York City. Currently working on the Bronx Museum of the Arts renovation, Annya serves on various boards of not-for-profit organizations including The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, The Sato Project, and as treasurer of the board of The Clemente Center. She also serves on the AIANY Honors Committee. Originally from Puerto Rico and with New York City as her home base, Annya received a Bachelor’s in Environmental Design from the University of Puerto Rico School of Architecture and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University.
LIBERTAD O. GUERRA
LIBERTAD O. GUERRA is an anthropologist, curator, and cultural organizer/producer with vast arts management experience specializing in the startup phase and strategic turnaround of community-based cultural organizations with an intersectional approach. She has led the creation of incubation NYC spaces and collectives of Latinx/ POC cultural production, organizing, education, and environmental justice activism. Her academic research/symposia have focused on Puerto Rican, Latinx, and NYC’s social-artistic movements and aesthetic politics of place in im/migrant urban settings.
Several of her exhibitions have been featured in Artnet’s best exhibitions of the year and listed by the New York Times list of 10 Galleries to Visit Now on the Lower East Side. In 2020 she became the Executive Director of The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Education Center in downtown Manhattan which has seen exponential growth since 2020 and was awarded the Mellon’s Foundation grant for New Director’s Vision, as well as other community, arts, and public humanities recognitions and awards.
Guerra is a co-founder of the South Bronx Unite environmental justice coalition, serves as a member of the Mott Haven / Port Morris Community Land Stewards board, and most recently co-founded the LxNY/ Latinx Arts Consortium of New York network of 30 plus arts organizations, and Shape of Cities to Come Institute certificate and peers program in partnership with the Urban Ecologies department of the New School for Social Research. She holds a certificate from the DeVos Institute Global Arts Management Fellowship (2019—22), an M.A. from Université Laval, Quèbec, and a second M.A. from New York University.
RON INNOCENT, PRINCIPAL, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT, has been a key member of Denham Wolf’s project management team since 2007. Drawing upon his extensive background in facilities planning, design, and construction, Ron brings a sophisticated understanding of all aspects of the project management process to the firm and its clients.
As Managing Director of Project Management, Ron leads the Project Management team’s key initiatives, pilots new business development efforts, and provides guidance to the firm’s Project Managers. His leadership and commitment to seamless delivery of quality services allow him to advance the team’s expertise in implementing major construction projects.
Ron’s expertise and commitment to community-driven projects exemplify his work with Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI). On behalf of CCCADI, he successfully implemented the acquisition and redevelopment of a former city firehouse into an interdisciplinary cultural center. The expansion involved managing the acquisition of City-owned property, gaining public approvals for the redevelopment plan, funding from public and private sources, and achieving LEED Gold certification. Located in East Harlem on 125th Street, the firehouse is both a City and National landmark.
Ron implemented the same level of management excellence for Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, where the organization opened the Diane L. Max Health Center. This new 14,000-square-foot community healthcare center in Long Island City is PPGNY’s first facility in Queens and will be utilized as a prototype for PPGNY’s other health centers around the five boroughs. Ron’s project portfolio also includes the Brownsville Multiservice Family Health Center, and the Chinese American Planning Council.
Prior to joining Denham Wolf, Ron served as Project Manager for Partners Healthcare at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston, Massachusetts. Ron is an active board member of Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy.
Building HueSpaces Session 3: Designing with Care at El Barrio’s Artspace highlighted Artspace Projects, America’s Leading Nonprofit Real Estate Developer for the Arts, and how HI-ARTS’ move to Artspace has helped the organization and includes how Urban Design Forum confronts issues relating to New York City’s built environment. Panelists discussed the process of creating physical spaces, ADA accessibility, and how best to serve our local communities.
Rolinda Ramos has over two decades of extensive experience in the property management industry overseeing all facets of affordable housing in low-income communities, including developing programs and comprehensive support services for vulnerable populations.
Rolinda joined Artspace Projects in 2014 at the inception of El Barrio’s Artspace PS 109, an affordable housing project with 100% artist preference. As director of Operations and Programs, Rolinda manages the day-to-day operations and works with resident artists, community members, and cultural partners to implement the artistic vision and purpose of Artspace Projects.
Prior endeavors consist of working for the YWCA of Brooklyn, where she served a tenure of ten years as Housing Director serving a population of 214 single women, including women with histories of homelessness, incarceration, mental illness, and in recovery, and for the Violence Intervention Program where she served as Housing and Program Director at a transitional housing program for survivors of domestic violence. While at the Violence Intervention Program, Rolinda was recognized for spearheading an agency-wide initiative to implement trauma-informed services, an approach that recognizes and acknowledges trauma and its prevalence, alongside awareness and sensitivity to its dynamics.
Rolinda’s passion for the arts and creative pursuits includes training with the New York Writers Coalition, for whom she facilitated creative writing workshops at a residential substance abuse program, and collaborating with independent artists and arts institutions in the organizing of arts and cultural events for underserved communities.
Aaron L. McKinney
Born on Cherokee Land (Greenville, SC) and presently residing on the Land of the Lenape people (Brooklyn, NY), Aaron L. McKinney is an Arts Administrator and Producer. Grounded in two decades of experience in the performing arts field, McKinney brings his wealth of knowledge, experience, and value-centered expertise as a collaborative innovator and producer as evidenced by positions at world-renowned institutions such as the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Sankofa.org, 651 ARTS, Center Theatre Group and currently as Executive Director of Hi-ARTS.
Aaron obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance from Florida A&M University and Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Management from the prestigious California Institute of the Arts. Outside of Hi-ARTS, McKinney is the Chief Strategist/Founder of The A.L.M. Way, a performing arts & management consulting practice. McKinney’s professional leadership in performing arts and producing purposely centers the dialogue that has always existed between the arts and social justice activism, highlighting how the intersection of these worlds serves as a vessel for addressing some of our most pressing social issues.
Daniel McPhee is Executive Director of the Urban Design Forum, an independent membership organization confronting defining issues in New York City’s built environment. Under his leadership, the Forum has created new programs to support diverse and emerging leaders in design and development, such as the Forefront Fellowship and New City Critics. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he co-founded the Neighborhoods Now initiative to support New York City community organizations, small businesses, and cultural organizations to safely reopen and navigate evolving public health regulations. He is a graduate of Vassar College and a member of the Sterling Network NYC.
Symposium: The Legacy of Black Communities Built and Sustained
On Thursday, May 11th, the Museum Hue community gathered at the historic Weeksville, for a free day-long Building HueSpaces convening, on the Legacy of Black Communities Built and Sustained. This celebratory convening focused on the sustainability of arts and cultural organizations and the continued growth of our communities. Weeksville Heritage Center serves as the gathering site and as an incredible and withstanding example of how an arts and cultural organization can preserve and sustain the legacy of a community.
Speakers throughout the day highlighted vast efforts in preserving Black communities across New York’s five boroughs. Attendees learned, networked, and sparked creativity while being in a community with peers.
As a native Brooklynite, grassroots organizer and activist, Zulmilena Then works in various capacities to preserve her home community. As the Preservation Manager for Weeksville Heritage Center she ensures the integrity and long-term preservation of the Historic Hunterfly Road Houses, the only remaining domestic structures of 19th-century Weeksville. In 2015, she formed Preserving East New York (PENY), an organization focused on celebrating and elevating the voices of the predominantly Black and Brown East New York community to make a real social and political change to protect the neighborhood through historic preservation.
Shelley Worrell is a cultural entrepreneur born in NYC and raised between Brooklyn & the Caribbean, she created caribBeing, spearheaded the designation and development of Little Caribbean, and is the head of Caribbean Partnerships for the US Department of Commerce. Her multi-platform & cross-cultural activations have been featured by Black Enterprise, NBC, and Hyperallergic; and she has been personally profiled in The New York Times and Good Morning America.
Jennifer A. Scott
Jennifer A. Scott is an anthropologist, curator, public historian, and museum expert with over 25 years of exploring connections between arts, history, place, and social justice.In 2022, The National Urban League appointed Jennifer as the founding Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Urban Civil Rights Museum (UCRM) expected to open in Harlem, in 2025. UCRM will be New York’s first museum dedicated to civil rights — and one of the first in the nation to focus on the history of civil rights in the North. The new Museum represents a historic opportunity to build a premier cultural and historical institution that will concentrate on the exploration of those narratives specific to the history of the Black freedom struggle that expanded dramatically in the aftermath of the Great Migration of Blacks northward in urban environments across America.
Joy Bailey-Bryant is President of Lord Cultural Resources, a global arts and culture consulting practice. She is a certified interpretive planner and specialist in municipal strategy around culture. She has led Lord’s teams for planning remarkable projects such as the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center, Albany Civil Rights Institute in Albany, Georgia
Adrienne is the co-founder of Envoie Projects, and before founding Envoie Projects she served as Director of Capital Projects and Government Relations for The Public Theater in New York City, managing a $42 million renovation to a landmark building, which remained operational during four years of construction. Adrienne excels at strategic oversight and planning for complex capital projects, with a particular passion for and expertise in projects for cultural, mission-driven and not-for-profit clients. She builds and directs large teams and is adept at navigating capital projects of all types and sizes through regulatory review and approvals processes to completion on time and on budget.
Adrienne is a member of both WX New York Women Executives in Real Estate and the Owner’s Representative Project Manager Alliance, serves on the Ambassador Council for Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW), and was a Beverly Willis Foundation Emerging Leader.
Kim Yao, FAIA, is Principal of Architecture Research Office (ARO), a New York City firm united by their collaborative process, commitment to accountable action, and social and environmental responsibility. ARO’s diverse body of work has earned the firm over a hundred design awards including the 2020 National AIA Architecture Firm Award. Kim is a lecturer at MIT and has taught at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the School of Constructed Environments, Parsons the New School for Design, and Barnard College (2001-2011).. Kim was awarded the AIA New York (AIANY) Medal of Honor and the Beverly Willis Foundation Mentorship Award. She was President of AIANY in 2020 and serves on the Board of the Center for Architecture.
Ayesha Williams is the executive director of The Laundromat Project (The LP), a New York City community-based arts organization dedicated to making sustained investments in growing a community of multiracial, multigenerational, and multidisciplinary artists and neighbors committed to societal change. She is an arts professional with almost two decades of experience working with visual artists, presenting programs, and generating funding for commercial galleries and nonprofit institutions. Prior to The LP, she managed Visual Arts at Lincoln Center and served as the Director of Kent Gallery, New York.
As the Executive Director of Lewis Latimer House Museum (LLHM), Ran Yanworks to engage diverse audiences through inclusive programs rooted in African American inventor and humanist Lewis H. Latimer’s legacy. In the first three years of her tenure as ED, Ran more than doubled the museum’s attendance and budget. She builds partnerships with community stakeholders in Flushing, Queens and various organizations across New York City. Ran is passionate about
arts as a public good as well as racial and gender equities.
Bobby Digi is a social entrepreneur, community organizer, and educator who has dedicated his life to empowering underserved communities worldwide. As a social entrepreneur, community organizer, and educator, his efforts have made him a valuable member of the community, and his unwavering dedication to empowering and nurturing communities worldwide is a beacon of hope for those seeking to effect positive change.
Bobby is the founder and executive director of Canvas Institute of the art culture and civic engagement, the first and only multidisciplinary space on Staten Island.
Everardo Jefferson is principal and founder of the award-winning architecture firm Caples Jefferson Architects PC. He has over 40 years of design, management and construction experience. His work focuses on design issues that engage many levels of culture, and has been featured in journals and garnered awards and exhibitions nationally and internationally. In 2015, he served as a Louis I. Kahn visiting assistant professor at Yale School of Architecture. His firm focuses on design for the public, with an emphasis on cultural, educational and diplomatic projects. The firm was awarded the 2017 AIA NY President’s Award, multiple AIA design awards, a 2006 NYC DDC Design and Construction Excellence Award and a 2006 Art Commission award. Projects by his firm include the Queens Theater in the Park expansion and reconstruction, the Louis Armstrong House Museum’s new Education Center in Corona, and a new facility for exhibition and performance space for the Weeksville Heritage Center in Crown Heights.
Commissioner Jefferson served as a Louis I. Kahn visiting assistant professor at Yale School of Architecture in 2015, and he has lectured on design at Yale, Harvard, MIT, Oxford Brookes, and the Savannah College of Art and Design. He currently serves on the board of the Neighborhood Charter Schools, and has served on the boards of the Family Justice Center and AIA New York, as chair of the Oculus Committee and Chapter Board Director.
He holds a BA in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and a Master of Architecture from Yale University, and lives in Manhattan.
Kenyatta (she/her) is an urban planner and strategist interested in neighborhood resource distribution and heritage conservation. She is the Co-Managing Director of BlackSpace and a founding member. She works with organizations to deepen their understandings of spatial narratives with curated conversations and to develop projects centered in racial justice. As an economic development practitioner, she developed strategies, engagement plans, and commercial corridor focused programming for multiple city-led neighborhood plans in New York City. Additionally, she advised and managed multiple commercial revitalization grants for nonprofits focused on low-to-moderate income commercial corridors across New York City. Kenyatta earned her BA in Afro-American Studies and Political Science from UCLA. She holds a Master degree in City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she researched the power of narratives within historic preservation.
Elizabeth J Kennedy founded EKLA PLLC in 1994. A registered landscape architect and working principal, she is an expert in green infrastructure, landscape restoration, designing for resilience and cultural sites development and management.
Under her direction, EKLA PLLC has received awards for excellence in design, preservation and sustainable site design from the Public Design Commission, New York Landmarks Conservancy, Preservation League of New York State, US EPA and the Mayors Office of Sustainability, the National Organization of Minority Architects, NY AIA, and Long Island AIA. She has received notable awards for her contribution to landscape architecture and professional development from the Association of Minority Entrepreneurs of New York, the NAACP’s New York Chapter and NYC’s Department of Small Business Services.
Ms. Kennedy’s construction knowledge stems from hands-on experience. Between 1993 and 1994, she profitably managed the development of 77 new affordable housing units under NYC Partnership’s Housing Program, for which she implemented cost tracking and estimating procedures, prepared bids and supervised trade labor performing sitework. Before working in housing development, she managed several landscape construction crews and supervised large tree installations and specimen materials transplanting. She has since written specifications for the protection and restoration of heritage trees and living landmarks listed on the National Register of Historic Places.