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Catalyst Commissions' Awardees



Landecker Democracy Fellow and Humanity in Action Senior Fellow Sharon M. Chin‘s initiative The Catalyst Commissions has announced its awardees.

The Catalyst Commissions is an initiative 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.

From many inspirational proposals, residents of the local communities recently chose five awardees.

The five awarded projects are:

Jackson Heights Open Streets – Democracy in Action: Under Helen Quinn and Ondine Crispin, Dovecote Collective present a silk screen blitz on the streets of Jackson Heights to empower voters to envision their ideal neighborhood and to elect representatives who deliver.

TeenVote NYC: The Dream Unfinished is an activist orchestra using classical music to engage audiences in social justice. Their project is a youth-led campaign where teen classical musicians create digital materials to promote voter turn-out in the 2021 NYC elections.

Comic About White Supremacy in Queens: Kimberly Chan movingly draws a short comic about subtle and blatant white supremacist ideology in the world’s borough. Using a personal lens and images recognizable to Queens residents, she educates and urges action.

Chinatown Yarn Circle: Led by Naomi Lawrence and Tina Lin, Chinatown senior citizens, youth, & civic allies knit and crochet flowers while engaging in civic participation skills building and civic engagement discussions. Over biweekly and monthly yarn circles, both in-person and virtual, we anticipate blooming voices and a powerful community-created visual mural.

Chinatown Icons: Rajiv Fernandez knows that words matter. Over the past year, anti-Asian rhetoric resulted in increased risk for the Asian-American community. Rajiv moves us away from xenophobic language via bilingual posters in Chinese and English to emphasize the value and civic potential of each individual. These posters will be wheatpasted, a visual reminder urging civic action.

The Catalyst Commissions Implementation and Funding Partners include: Queens Council on the Arts; Think! Chinatown; The Creative Sanctum; Alfred Landecker Foundation; and Humanity in Action.

Learn more about the Catalyst Commissions awardees here.

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.