Pioneering artists and activists from across the nation will discuss the future of arts and culture as tools for social justice in “the Age of Ferguson,” Saturday, November 7, 2015. This daylong gathering, entitled “The Art of Justice: Articulating an Ethos and Aesthetic of the Movement,” is sponsored by the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), The NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Art & Public Policy with support from the Tisch Institute of Performing Arts, and Columbia University. It will be held at New York University’s Hemmerdinger Hall (Silver Building, 33 Washington Place) from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The conference is free and open to the public.

In the Age of Ferguson, technology has provided the evidence to stimulate a new political consciousness through its ability to document social and political conditions in real time. Central to this process have been movements, such as Black Lives Matter, that seamlessly marry aesthetics and politics. New digital tools provide the space for large-scale movements that reach across ethnic, racial, and social lines in service of social and political justice. The Art of Justice intends to materialize the practices and implement of social justice examining the role of culture, art and cultural workers in the process.

AJASS members and Grandassa Models pose in front of some of the circulars from their multitude of productions up to 1968, the year that this was taken. Artists and photographers, they designed and wrote their own magaziknes, books and brochures.Young Lords Party Rally for Bobby Seale, New York 21 and Rafael Viera (March 1969) Black and White Photograph Photograph by: Hiram Maristany 8 x 10 Hiram Maristany Collection

The event will present the ideas of early Black, Nuyorican, Native American, Asian and Progressive Euro American arts movements that were essential to the social and political struggles emerging from the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Themes include how various populations struggle for the right to civil and social justice, the art that services those movements and how it overlaps, and the examination and celebration of historic activists. “To unite our movements at this time is critical to assuring that cultural equity and social justice is at the nexus of all our movements,” said Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, Founder and President of CCCADI.

Artist/activists who will facilitate the discussions include:

  • Felipe Luciano, Co-founder of the Young Lords Party
  • Jack Tchen, Co-Founder of the Chinese in America Museum
  • Schola Lynch, award-winning filmmaker and director of Free Angela and All Political Prisoners
  • Woody King, Jr., renowned director and founder of the New Federal Theater
  • Diane Fraher, Founder of Amerinda Inc.
  • Charles Rice Gonzalez, Executive Director of BAAD, Inc.
  • Randy Weston, renowned jazz pianist and composer, will close the evening with a performance

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The Art of Justice is: the first in the series of three discussions designed to join the voices of artist/organizers from the movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s with contemporary cultural workers, to provide an understanding of past actions and a blueprint for continuing work. All events are sponsored by The NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Art & Public Policy with support from the Tisch Institute of Performing Arts, New York University; the Institute of African American Affairs, New York University; and Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University. Visit www.cccadi.org for more information about future events.

About the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI): The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) values, connects, and advocates for the traditions, history, culture, and advancement of the African Diaspora. Through the dual tenants of arts and advocacy, CCCADI aims to create a paradigm shift within the global community toward cultural equity and social justice via new standards, policies, and language. The Center has been, and will remain, an accessible community resource, and a “first voice” institution, which produces culturally grounded, purpose-driven, and activist-oriented works, while simultaneously serving as a beacon of motivation and inspiration for many.

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