New York, NY —The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today an initiative that provides support and partnerships for artists working and living in communities across New York City's five boroughs. The initiative's leading component is the Civic Practice Partnership, a collaborative residency program for New York artists committed to social change. The inaugural artists are choreographer and performance artist Rashida Bumbray and multimedia visual artist Miguel Luciano. They will partner with The Met to develop and implement vital, ambitious collaborations between the Museum and their geographic communities: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and East Harlem, respectively.
An additional component of the initiative, the Civic Practice Seminar, will engage a group of individuals who work in cultural fields—including visual artists, musicians, and writers, all of whom are socially mindful in their practice—in a five-month experiential learning program. Selected through an open application process, they will receive a stipend for their participation in the program, which includes working closely with lead artists Bumbray and Luciano and Met staff to fine-tune their skills in areas such as community engagement, social practice, and reciprocal relationship building. For the application details, visit the Museum's website.
"Both the Civic Practice Partnership and Seminar programs engage with artists and individuals who think creatively, critically, and beyond the traditional boundaries of their artistic practice. This initiative is part of our ongoing efforts to deepen The Met's engagement with communities throughout New York City," said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met.
This initiative is made possible by The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust and is part of their unprecedented $6 million City-Wide program
launched in 2017 to support 21 cultural institutions in collective action. New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and The Metropolitan Museum of Art serve as the anchor organizations.
"The Met not only serves as a space for creativity and inspiration, it also has a deep commitment to generate new and meaningful connections directly in our New York City ecosystem of neighborhoods," said Sandra Jackson-Dumont, the Museum's Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chairman of Education. "We're excited to begin this incredibly important work in partnership with two artists invested in reciprocal community practice to create relevant new art and forge lasting partnerships with the East Harlem and Bed-Stuy communities."
The two artists selected to kick off the Civic Practice Partnership, Rashida Bumbray and Miguel Luciano, will spend a year researching and collaborating with the Museum as well as in their communities.
Rashida Bumbray will focus on a collaboration within her neighborhood of Bed-Stuy, where she has lived for nine years. "This partnership offers a time to think deeply about context and site specificity," said Bumbray. "We know that objects hold the memories of the context in which they were made and made functional. How can I consider the functionality of the objects in The Met collection in connection with neighborhoods around the city-specifically Bed-Stuy?"
Miguel Luciano has been working with communities and institutions in East Harlem for nearly 17 years. Through this partnership, he will explore the historic connections between the East Harlem community and the Museum. "The most promising aspect of this opportunity is the focus on neighborhoods and communities as centers of cultural production," said Luciano. "I'm currently developing work that focuses on the activist history of the Puerto Rican community in East Harlem and interested in exploring the role that art and culture have played in social movements during times of crisis, from the post-civil rights era to the post-hurricane Maria present."
Rashida Bumbray is a curator, a choreographer, and the Senior Program Manager at the Open Society Foundations, where she leads the Arts Exchange, its global arts for social justice initiative. She was guest curator of Creative Time's public art exhibition Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn in 2014. From 2006 to 2011, Bumbray was Associate Curator at The Kitchen. She organized a number of critically acclaimed projects and commissions, including works by Leslie Hewitt, Simone Leigh, Adam Pendleton, Mai Thu Perret, Derrick Adams, Sanford Biggers, Kalup Linzy, Mendi & Keith Obadike, Alicia Hall-Moran, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Marc Cary, and Guillermo E. Brown, and dance works by Kyle Abraham, Camille A. Brown, and Jason Samuels Smith. Her choreographic work Run Mary Run was on The New York Times' list of Best Concerts for 2012 and was most recently performed as part of Jason Moran and Alicia Hall Moran's BLEED at the 2012 Whitney Biennial. Bumbray is a recipient of the Harlem Stage Fund for New Work and was nominated for a Bessie: NY Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer for her work Little Red Rooster in a Red House. Bumbray earned her BA in African American studies and theater and dance from Oberlin College and her MA in Africana studies, with a focus on contemporary art and performance studies, from New York University.
Miguel Luciano is a multimedia visual artist whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at the Mercosul Biennial, Brazil; El Museo Nacional de Bella Artes de la Habana, Cuba; La Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris; El Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City; the San Juan Poly-Graphic Triennial, Puerto Rico, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award Grant and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Award, and he was a fellow of the smARTpower Program, an international, community-based art initiative of the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. His work is featured in the permanent collections of The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, El Museo del Barrio, the Newark Museum, and the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. Luciano is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts and Yale University School of Art. Appointed by Mayor Bill De Blasio, he serves on the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Cultural Plan of New York City. He received his MFA from the University of Florida.
Dedicated to making art accessible to everyone, regardless of background, ability, age, or experience, The Met's Education Department is central to the Museum's mission and currently presents over 32,000 educational events and programs throughout the year. These programs include workshops, art-making experiences, specialized tours, fellowships supporting leading scholarship and research, high school and college internships that promote career accessibility and diversity, K-12 educator programs that train teachers to integrate art into core curricula across disciplines, and school tours and programs that spark deep learning and lifelong relationships with and through art.
About The Met
The Met presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in three iconic sites in New York City— The Met Fifth Avenue
, The Met Breuer
, and The Met Cloisters
. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online.
Since it was founded in 1870, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum's galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.
About the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust
Established in 1966 by a bequest from the estate of chemist and industrialist William R. Kenan, Jr., the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, focuses on awarding grants in the areas of K-12 education, higher education, whole community health, arts and culture, and historic preservation.