A Conversation for Community
IThou & Rush Arts
ABOUT THE PROJECT
In New York City, as in many rapidly growing urban centers, our communities are divided, there is a lot of talk about, and reactions to “Gentrification”. This often shows up in the world as conversations of blame, hatred, shame and entitlement. If no action is taken these in-group conversations will continue to create a future of separation, reinforced resignation, and lack of accountability.
To interrupt this, The Exchange brings community members who may or may not be speaking with each other together to share their experience of gentrification. The conversation itself creates an expanded idea of community. At this open forum different communities come together and explored our relationship to gentrification and its impact on you, them, and us, transforming the conversation around gentrification from one of blame, hatred and entitlement, to one of community and inclusion.
The artists who are a part of this project participate in these conversations and have created new work based on their experiences that will be exhibited at Rush Arts in Chelsea, opening December 15th.
PHASE ONE: The Exchange
for the past 6 months we have been hosting a series of community conversations during which new neighborhood residents, generational residents and anyone in between have an open space to speak about their experiences. Our artists participate in this conversation. This is their inspiration, and they have created new work based on the new conversations caused during these events.
PHASE TWO: The Exhibition
December 15th – 18th 2016 Rush Arts in Chelsea will host an exhibition of the works the artists have created. This show will create a space for conversation and engagement around this topic. The exhibit will also be accompanied by programming each night in the gallery, that is inspired by the conversations at the exchanges, and the interests and needs of the communities.
The Exchange 1.0
On June 5th 2016 we hosted our first Exchange in Clinton Hill, at the Corridor Gallery.
We spoke about how we define gentrification, and how it defines us; we shared our experiences of racism, separation, being a "gentrifier" (knowingly and unknowingly) and being “gentrified”. We also spoke about history and the erasing and melding of cultures, our responsibilities, the responsibilities of others and how to respond as one community.
Listen to an audio recording of The Exchange 1.0
The Precursor, and inspiration for EXCHANGE at Rush Arts has been the Exchange Conversations , an open forum where our communities come together and explore our relationship to gentrification and its impact on you, them and us. The conversation is lead by the group, and joined by the artists participating in a subsequent exhibition at Rush Arts.
The Exchange 2.0
On October 2nd 2016 we hosted our second Exchange in Bushwick, at the Owl Juice Pub.
Displacement, race and gentrification, who is to blame and what is gained by shaming and blaming? Can we separate race and economics in America? who is fighting, who has a voice, who has the power? Are we doing enough? Who is allowed to participate and how? and what does the future look like for any of us? These are some of the topics we explore in our second exchange, in Bushwick.
Listen to an audio recording of The Exchange 2.0
The Exchange 3.0
On November 3rd 2016 we hosted our third Exchange in Crown Heights, at Breukelen Brasserie.
At our third exchange we came together and discussed whether gentrification is good or bad for our communities, what responsibility new residents have, and how can we contribute to our communities and each other. We explored topics of individualism and community, personal responsibility, and alternative ways to protect our communities and invest in our communities.
Listen to an audio recording of The Exchange 3.0
For the Next Exchange
enter your email to get information about our events, and the next exchange
PHASE THREE: Sharing Our Experience
What would it look like if developers worked with, and created spaces that met the needs of the communities they developed in?
Working with community groups we will establish what this looks like, and in the Summer of 2017, we will engage with real estate developers who are working with the community, and meeting their needs; to host our artists works in, around, and on their properties as public art. This gives this group an opportunity to positively engage in the conversation, and exemplify those that act responsibly, and stand in solidarity with the communities that are impacted by their presence.