Furthering Equitable Representation in the Arts
Friday, November 6, 2020 at 11:00 am
With Heather Gring, Bryan Lee, and Zainab Saleh / Frontline Arts Buffalo
Arts organizations rooted in frontline communities are at the forefront of the fight for socio-economic, environmental, and racial justice. Yet why are these arts organizations historically underfunded, and forced to exist in situations of precarity? Frontline Arts Buffalo was formed in 2018 to document and advocate for the needs of frontline arts organizations. Join us to learn about how Frontline Arts Buffalo has re-centered the needs of frontline arts organizations through discourse, documentation, and advocacy.
Heather Gring joined the Board of Locust St. Art in late 2016. In her role as the Archivist at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, she conducted interview s with LSA founders Molly Bethel and Olga Lownie, and became deeply inspired by Locust Street Art. For the past 60 years, Molly and Olga’s passion to provide free, quality arts education has been a reality in Buffalo’s Fruit Belt neighborhood. Heather is honored to support this vital arts organization, now under the leadership of Rae Noworwya. In her work with FAB, Heather brings a focus on preserving the lasting impact of frontline artists and arts organizations within the communities of Buffalo.
Cheng Yang “Bryan” Lee is the curator at El Museo, a contemporary arts organization that focuses on underserved artists and communities in Buffalo and Western New York. Originally from Malaysia, he is a graduate of the University at Buffalo.
Zainab Saleh holds a Masters degree in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester. Before joining PPG as the Program Coordinator, Zainab worked at Open Buffalo as a Data Specialist to develop innovative methods of capturing data for grassroots issue campaigns and leadership development initiatives. Zainab’s interests include finding creative ways that technology might support nonprofits and their work. A former film and art history educator, she is actively involved in the fight for equal opportunity and representation for artists of color and those from frontline communities.
Maria Ta is the Program Director at Ujima Company, Inc. She graduated from Canisius College in 2016 with a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science. Maria has always been interested in justice work and prior to her time at Ujima served as an Americorps VISTA member at Journey’s End Refugee Services. She is looking forward to a long career of using the arts as a vehicle for change. She carries with her the words of her late and great mentor Lorna C. Hill “put love and justice in front of it”.