Arts advocate Ted Berger, artists Ademola Olugebefola, Joan Snitzer, and Nitza Tufiño, and curators Molly Garfinkel and Jodi Waynberg join poet Bob Holman for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Holman.
In this talk
Arts Advocate Ted Berger is Executive Director Emeritus of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) where he began in 1973 as the country’s first statewide Artists-in-Schools Coordinator, becoming Executive Director in 1980 until retiring in 2005. Ted has helped to create many national and local initiatives, including ArtsConnection, Studio in a School, the NYC CETA Artists Project, the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression, NYCreates, among others. Ted is a Trustee Emeritus of the Joan Mitchell Foundation where he also served as Treasurer and was involved in the development of the Joan Mitchell Center. He consults and serves on numerous boards and committees such as CUE Art Foundation, New Yorkers for Culture and Arts (NY4CA), among others.
Serving as Co-Director of City Lore and the Director of City Lore’s Place Matters program, Molly Garfinkel leads initiatives related to cultural resource management, historic preservation, public history, exhibition curation, public education, and traditional arts presentation. Her research explores Western and non-Western building traditions, theories of cultural landscapes, cultural policy, and histories of urbanism and city planning. Molly has published articles in the University of Oregon’s CultureWork broadside, Voices, The Journal of New York Folklore, University of Pennsylvania’s LA+ Design Journal, and the Journal of American Folklore. She holds a BA in Art History from Wesleyan University and an MA in Architectural History from the University of Virginia.
Artist Ademola Olugebefola’s versatility spans theatre scenic design, printmaking, murals, illustrations, and sculpture. An educator, lecturer, businessman, and renowned Harlem cultural activist, Olugebefola has an established legacy as one of the most respected visual arts founding fathers of both the Black Arts Movement and the Afro-Futurism Movement. In the late 1970s, he was a member of the Cultural Council Foundation’s CETA Artists Project. Olugebefola is one of the founding members of the New York City-based Weusi Artist Collective, as well as of the Dwyer Cultural Center in Harlem. He represents the NY Metro Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolence in the NGO/ DPI at the United Nations.
Artist Nitza Tufiño was born in Mexico City, and upon receiving her BFA in 1970 she decided to settle in Manhattan. In 1973 she created her first public mural for the façade of then community-based El Museo del Barrio. In the early 1980s she returned to school and obtained an M.S. in Urban Affairs from Hunter College with the support of a fellowship from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Tufiño’s commitment to public art led her to be recognized as El Taller Boricua’s first female artist in 1970, and has been involved with El Taller since that time. Nitza is also a proud member of “El Consejo Grafico”, a national coalition of Latino printmaking workshops and individual printmakers.
Artist and professor Joan Snitzer is the Director of the Visual Arts Program in the Department of Art History at Barnard College and has held this position since 2001. Her studio work is focused on painting as a method of visual communication and democratization of social and personal beliefs. She has worked in a number of organizations that provide support for women and underrepresented visual artists. Snitzer has been affiliated with A.I.R Gallery, the oldest artist-run women’s exhibition space in the US, since 1974. Snitzer founded and directed the “Artist in the Marketplace” (AIM) program, which is now in its 41st year at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, to provide professional development opportunities to emerging artists residing in the New York metropolitan area.
Jodi Waynberg is the Executive Director of Artists Alliance Inc, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the careers of emerging and underrepresented artists and curators through residencies, exhibitions, and commissioned projects. Waynberg has also served as a visiting critic and juror at Residency Unlimited, Wassaic Project, Hunter College MFA Program, AHL Foundation, NARS Foundation, ArtSlant, and Wave Hill Winter Workspace. Waynberg began her career in San Francisco as the Associate Curator at the Contemporary Jewish Museum.
An American poet and poetry activist, Bob Holman is equal parts spoken word performer, professor, impresario, activist, proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club, filmmaker and host of Language Matters (2015 Documentary of the Year, Berkeley Film Festival), and beyond. From slam to hip-hop, from performance to spoken word, he’s been a central figure in redefining poetry as it exists on, off, and beyond the page. Author of 17 poetry collections, he was described by Henry Louis Gates Jr. in The New Yorker as “the postmodern promoter who has done more to bring poetry to cafes and bars than anyone since Ferlinghetti.” Bob is a contributor of the Brooklyn Rail. His two recent books, The UnSpoken and Life Poem (both YBK/Bowery Books, 2019), were written fifty years apart.