By: Tiffanee Thompson
The vision statement here at the BxArts Factory is simple yet profound, “…to become a preeminent Arts Institution in the Bronx, committed to supporting local artists and art projects focused on making art accessible to communities in the Bronx and using art to address social and economic inequities in the Bronx.” Since our inception, the beauty of community and the arts have been what drives forward.
On November 18th, 2017, we organized an amazing event titled “A Sea of Color: Community Floor Artwork” at Tremont Park with a beautiful artistic installation. Members of the BxArts Factory and our supporters came together on a cold and rainy afternoon to install beautiful panels that created a vibrant work of art by the artist Alexis Mendoza. A few days later it was vandalized.
On December 3rd, 2017, we shook off our frustration and marched out to Tremont park again, armed with fearlessness, hope and a positive attitude. We encouraged our supporters and the community to come out again with us to reinstall the beautiful art piece concluding with performances by poets, dancers and other artists to bless this space. The day was filmed briefly by Bronx 12 News so that our borough can get a glimpse of our dedication. On December 5th, we learned that once again, the art had been vandalized.
It’s natural to see this as a frustrating situation with thoughts of stopping or altering the way we put on public events. But this has only shown us how important it is to rally the community to align them with our mission and vision and let everyone know that we are in this together. So how can YOU help? Here are a few tips sprinkled with some words of encouragement for us to come together as a community and protect the arts:
1. PARTICIPATE - The Bronx is booming with creativity! BxArts Factory is just one of many non-profit organizations that are highlighting positive people and events in our community, for the whole family! There are so many ways you can get involved to feel more connected to our organization, the Bronx overall and the interests you or your families’ members may have. Participation can be through financial donations, volunteering on events like the one mention here or supporting us through social media! From our experience, when you have a hand in the improvements in your community, the increased likelihood you will care about what happens to installations like “A Sea of Color.”
2. SPEAK OUT - Having a voice is key to being an artist and we want all Bronxites to speak out on the injustices in our community. The vandalism of Alexis’ beautiful installation, after all the hard work that went into displaying it, really hurt but it also motivated us all to keep moving forward. The BxArts Factory pushed on and took part in a lot more events like Dia de los Muertos at Virgina Park, #WhatsMyArt: Street Gallery Exhibition and our Bronx & Crafts series to name a few. The point is that we keep on using our voices and art to express ourselves! We are invested in the beautification of our amazing borough and you should be too! Let people know that protecting our buildings, streets, businesses and people will only benefit us all!
3. PROTECT THE BRONX - Are you Bx A.F.? We are and want to make sure that our community operates like a unit when it comes to pride and public programming. Our events and programs are open to the public so sticking together and having each other’s back to have fun and spread knowledge is important! We engage so much as a community online via social media but it’s so important to see and feel the artistry of our Bronxites. Protect the Bronx and watch things flourish!
We have to make a negative a positive and keep moving forward for the sake for the arts! #BxArtsFactory
Bringing Art to Every Household.