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The Other Side of Wall Street

Date: 09/09/2020

Time: 12:00pm
Where: ADNY x LMHQ, Virtual,

LMHQ, the Alliance for Downtown New York and Black Gotham Experience kick started the fall with a little-known NYC history lesson! 
The Other Side of Wall Street started in 1643 with the beginning of a small town known as Land of the Blacks in the Dutch colony of New Netherland. By 1655, the Land of the Blacks was over twice the size of SoHo today and it continued to exist after the English took the island from the Dutch, making it the first free Black community in New York. In this webinar, Black Gotham Experience artist/historian Kamau Ware explained how this community started and how it continued to exist into the 18th century. 
This event was the first in a series of collaborative events hosted by the Alliance for Downtown New York and LMHQ. Since 1995, the Alliance for Downtown New York has been working to enhance the quality of life in Lower Manhattan by providing workers, residents, and visitors with a clean, safe, and dynamic neighborhood.
That’s why in 2015 the Downtown Alliance opened LMHQ. At the center of inspiration and action, with 800+ creative companies flocking below Chambers Street, the oldest neighborhood is being completely redefined.  Lower Manhattan is a natural location for LMHQ – serving as the central meeting place for this dynamic community to come together to collaborate, meet, brainstorm, and learn new skills.
Black Gotham Experience
Established in 2010 by artist/historian Kamau Ware, Black Gotham Experience creates media at the intersection of scholarship and aesthetics that illustrates the impact of the African Diaspora missing from collective consciousness as well as the public square. We reimagine the spaces directly impacted by the African Diaspora as human stories explored through interactive walks, talks, events, and art. The heart of these experiences are five core stories that revisit Manhattan in 1623 and move forward through three centuries: Other Side of Wall Street, Sarah’s Fire, Caesar’s Rebellion, Citizen Hope, and State of Mirrors. 
About Our Speaker
Kamau Ware is a multidimensional creative blending complementary yet disparate disciplines as an Artist/Historian. Ware retells and expands history with scholarship and visual storytelling to fuse creativity and learning into one experience. He is best known for his flagship storytelling project, Black Gotham Experience (BGX), which creates media at the intersection of scholarship and aesthetics that illustrates the impact of the African Diaspora missing from collective consciousness as well as the public square.
Ware was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA where he enjoyed art classes at the Carnegie Museum of Art in middle school and took photography classes at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in high school. He went to the historically Black college North Carolina A&T State University then returned to Pittsburgh for graduate school and founded an artist collective called BridgeSpotters. The collective’s layering of art forms around a theme established Kamau as a pioneer in the early 2000s Pittsburgh art scene. In 2004, Ware opened an art gallery called Urban Space in downtown Pittsburgh and was acknowledged by Pittsburgh Magazine as one of
the 40 Under 40 people improving the city.
In 2006, Ware moved to New York City and activated his photographic and curatorial skills to build a Brooklyn-based photography studio called Kamau Studios LLC that employed a visual storytelling approach to projects called “storystyle”. In 2008, Ware had a life changing experience when he was working part-time as an educator at a museum in the Lower East Side while building his clientele. After giving a tour of 19th century New York European immigrants, a middle school girl asked him, “Where were the Black people?” Compelled by what was a profound yet innocent question about missing the Black history in the origin story of New York City, Ware developed an artistic historical project called Black Gotham that would make this unknown history more accessible as an experience.
As the Founder & Lead Creative of Black Gotham Experience, Ware has established an expanding array of creative public interventions that highlight Black history in New York City which includes interactive walks in Lower Manhattan, salon-styled events called Nerdy Thursdays, a developing series of photography-based graphic novels, exhibitions, and talks. 

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