The Artist-Developer: Art-Centered Developments in Three Neighborhoods of Color

Location: Online

Speaker(s): Aisha Densmore-Bey

Across the country, organizations centered around arts, led by resident African American artists, have reinforced communities, strengthened social bonds, and preserved culture in historically African-American neighborhoods. Aisha Densmore-Bey, a Meyer Dissertation Fellow who received her Doctorate in Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2023, will discuss her dissertation, which examined work done by:

  • Mark Bradford, co-founder of Art + Practice, a non-profit based in South Los Angeles’ Leimert Park neighborhood that works with social service providers to support transition-age foster youth, and children experiencing displacement. The organization also provides Angelenos with free access to museum-curated contemporary art;
  • Theaster Gates, founder and leader of the Rebuild Foundation, an artist-led, community-based platform for art, cultural development, and neighborhood transformation on the South Side of Chicago; and
  • Rick Lowe, co-founder of Project Row Houses, an arts and cultural community organization located in Houston’s Historic Third Ward, one of the city’s oldest African-American neighborhoods that uses engagement, art, and direct action to empower people and enrich communities.

Watch the video:

Photo by Peter Molick, courtesy of Project Row Houses

Aerial view of row houses with city skyline behind them