This month a couple of us at Making Worlds took a leap from idea to action. After a year of community discussions about the possibility of creating an “art commons”, we decided to start a few pilot programs in various neighborhoods in NYC and see how it goes. First stop Jackson Heights!
Jackson Heights presents a very interesting area for starting the project. There is no doubt that there is a vibrant art community here of poets, filmmakers, artists, dancers, and musicians from all over the world, but aside from bars and cafés like Espresso 77 there are very few places for artist to gather and exhibit work. There are however several art collectives like Hibridos and ArtFacting that have begun to organize and utilize all types of spaces for artist to show their work. The question of space is not a priority for a decentralized artCommons, but it has come up in our meetings with artists, some of them would like to put more emphasis on the artCommons as something to which social events and exhibitions can be built around. The social aspect of the artCommons is indeed on our minds, but first thing’s first, we need to build the artCommons with a strong community to support it.