Forum is a public event, open to all, and it operates on a first come, first served basis.

1-54 FORUM 2022-Harlem: Lineage

May 21-22, 2022 | Long Gallery Harlem

We shall not always plant while others reap

This year’s 1-54 Forum takes its inquiry from Harlem Renaissance writer Countee Cullen and his poem From the Dark Tower where he writes, “We shall not always plant while others reap.” Cullen acknowledges a legacy of Black labor that has not always benefited communities directly connected to and impacted by that labor. We will root current ideas and creative production by artists of African descent within a lineage of Black political, cultural, and intellectual engagement that has cultivated a present-day Black cultural renaissance. This exploration situates Harlem’s historical relevance to the interlocking histories of people of African descent, with the spirit of famed Harlem Renaissance salons that offered a cross-pollination of ideas between artists, academics and independent scholars, entertainers, and critics.

Address: Long Gallery Harlem, 2073 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, New York, NY 10027

1-54 Forum Sessions 

Saturday, May 21 | 1 PM

Under the Influence of Édouard Glissant


Martinican poet, novelist, philosopher, and academic, Édouard Glissant (1928-2011), is considered one of the greatest writers and thinkers of his generation. What can the theories and writings of Glissant help us to understand about navigating and preserving cultural complexities? How can they operate in artmaking, criticism, and artists serving spaces? Tiana Webb Evans, art maven, brand strategist, and founder of The Jamaica Art Society, with artist Johanna Mirabel, will consider and reconsider these questions and explore Mirabel’s work in this context. 

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Saturday, May 21 | 4 PM

Textiles and the Global Politic of the Black Arts Movement

A conversation with Harlem-born fiber artist Dindga McCannon and art collector and gallerist Lewis Long will explore the influence of McCannon’s Harlem upbringing, the politics that gave way to the creation of the Weusi Artist Collective and Where We At Black Women Artists Inc., and the enduring use of textiles in artmaking today.

Sunday, May 22 | 2 PM

Archiving, Reclamation, and Authoring Your History

The renaissance of archival resources and collections that center global Black experiences has fostered an appetite for a better understanding of how we define archives and how archival collections can be employed in the cultural arts. Whose narratives do the archives hold and what is missing? Should artists think about the archive as a mode of legacy building? Steven G. Fullwood (Nomadic Archivist Project), ceramicist King Houndekpinkou, Rianna Jade Parker (Brief History of Black British Art), and moderator Folosade Ologundudu are storytellers, archivists, researchers, and artists who will engage these questions and share their journeys to and through archives. 

Sunday, May 22 | 4 PM

Interlocking Histories

Two new exhibitions opening in October 2022 examine the engagement of African and African American artists creating new art in the 1940s through the 60s, that fostered transnational conversations and upended notions of modernity depicted by African artists. Kimberli Gant, PhD, co-curator of Black Orpheus: Jacob Lawrence and the Mbari Club, Perrin Lathrop, PhD, co-curator of African Modernism in America, 1947-1967, and moderator Niama Safia Sandy will discuss the connectivity between their exhibitions, preview some of the featured art, and illuminate this time in art history.

Presented in collaboration with the American Federation of the Arts


1-54 FORUM CURATOR | Novella ford

Novella Ford © Photo Baron Brooks 2017

Novella Ford is a New York-based cultural producer, curator and current Associate Director of Public Programs and Exhibitions at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Her work operates at the intersection of community, scholarship, visual arts, and popular culture, connecting audiences to dynamic voices and global Black perspectives through dialogue, performance, exhibitions and the archives. In more recent years, she has pursued an ongoing interest in the interplay between literature and the visual arts.  She has served as the guest editor of Pen + Brush Gallery’s literary magazine, In Print No., launched a book festival, and currently serves on the board of Cave Canem Foundation, a home for the many voices of Black poetry. She is a graduate of Howard University and NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.