Support Black Lunch Table!
“... (BLT was) such an enlightening, validating, affirming, wonderful experience!”
- Rachel P. on attending BLT in Hudson Valley at Storm King Art Center in 2017.
Happy Winter, lovely People!
Without each of you, Black Lunch Table (BLT) could not exist, for our project, your project, is not simply the sum of its parts, but, documentation of your generosity, trust, tenacity and vulnerability, and it is an action of radical archiving. BLT also asks you to read the world in a slightly different way, to consider another perspective, it’s a prompt to examine the threads of connection we all have, a mirror and magnifying glass on our relationships to each other and the world, holistically. It boldly requests for you to care enough to have a conversation with your neighbor and to let the world witness your voice! We ask that you take a seat at the table.
This year BLT sat with folks in Chicago, New York, Trinidad & Tobago, Nashville, Nigeria, Providence, Houston, Jamaica, Philadelphia, Detroit and Cambridge. We launched the beta version of our searchable archive, blacklunchtable.org, with the first few hours of content. And we published essays in two books (one forthcoming, one released).(1) But we have more than just this year to celebrate with you today…
… We are thrilled to announce that we were officially granted 501c3 non-profit status! To us this means that there is officially a future for the Black Lunch Table, we can scale up and dive deep into our dream for the project. And it also means our strategic plan and impact are beginning to take form.
As we transition from an artist project to a non-profit, our vision and mission won’t waver, but our needs are growing. As a non-profit organization, BLT relies on contributions from foundations, corporations and individual participants like you to continue to correct and fill gaps in our historical records and to make the archive free and accessible.
Your 100% tax-deductible gifts in any amount will help us continue to do the work.
Your contribution will help subsidize our project with at least two new community partners this year in locations we haven’t visited yet. You will help us process and add the hours of conversations we have collected but not yet been able to upload to the BLT searchable archive. With your contribution, students, teachers, artists and curators will grow up with a better understanding of Black artists’ work from all over the world. We have the opportunity to shape history to reflect reality!
In the last three years over 600 people from over 25 places and 3 countries on two continents have contributed their voices and energy to the BLT archive. In the last three years, we’ve hosted 72 Wikipedia events in 6 different countries, where we created 385 new articles and uploaded 727 new images. And we are only getting started. BLT has received encouragement to develop and produce our ideas from our host institutions and through grants from foundations, but none of this could happen without your support, and especially now!
With your donation to BLT Annual Fund, you are not only supporting BLT, you are setting a seat at the table for the hundreds of artists who have (and will have) generously contributed their thoughts, experiences and life lessons to the archive, you are enabling a self authored teaching tool and resource and you are making our historical records more equitable!
“... it is also within the archive that acts of remembering and regeneration occur, where a suture between the past and present is performed, in the indeterminate zone between event and image, document and monument.”
- Okwui Enwezor, Archive Fever, 2007
Thank you for your vision.
Heather + Jina + The BLT Team
An essay by teammates Robyn Hillman-Harrigan and Adriana Burkins about BLT appears in Bridging Communities through Socially Engaged Art, edited by Alice Wexler and Vida Sabbaghi. An essay by teammates Jina Valentine, Eliza Myrie and Heather Hart will appear in the MIT Press book, [email protected], next year!
About Black Lunch Table:
Black Lunch Table(BLT) seeks to mobilize a democratic rewriting of contemporary cultural history by animating discourse around and among the people living it and directly confronts issues of authorship in humanities and sociopolitical discourses. We are currently focused on the production of two roundtable series’--the Artists’ Table and the People’s Table--and a series of Wikipedia workshops. Our roundtable sessions provide both physical space and allotted time for interdisciplinary and intergenerational discussions, bringing together a diversity of community members and fostering candid conversations. We audio master, transcribe, and metadata tag the conversations from the individual tables for inclusion on our dynamic, searchable online archive. And at our Wikipedia events, we train participants to create, update, and improve Wikipedia articles pertaining to the lives and works of black visual artists.