The Catalyst Commissions is an initiative by Landecker Fellow and Humanity in Action Senior Fellow Sharon M. Chin. It aims to catalyze civic participation and democracy via the power of art. It awards grants to artists who use art to engage and empower communities in New York City. In April of 2021, The Catalyst Commissions announced its awardees.
On two days in May and June of 2021, one of the awarded projects was held: Jackson Heights Open Streets – Democracy in Action. Under Helen Quinn and Ondine Crispin, Dovecote Collective presented a “silk screen blitz” on the streets of Jackson Heights to empower voters to envision their ideal neighborhood and to elect representatives who deliver.
Over 200 Queens residents of all ages joined the events of free screen-printing on t-shirts and tote bags, with designs representing the residents’ voices and ideas for the community. These are truly powerful: from access to affordable housing to ending white supremacy. Having these messages visible on t-shirts and tote bags will hopefully encourage more NYC residents to vote in the local June primaries.
For more details about the project, follow this link.
The Comic was supported by Sharon’s initiative The Catalyst Commissions and its partners, including: Queens Council on the Arts; Think! Chinatown; The Creative Sanctum; Alfred Landecker Foundation; and Humanity in Action.
Sharon is one of thirty Landecker Democracy Fellows. This fellowship, a collaboration between the Alfred Landecker Foundation and Humanity in Action, was created to strengthen a new generation of leaders whose approaches to political and social challenges can become catalysts for democratic placemaking and community building. Read more about the fellowship here.