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NYC Parks' Department employees explore their Black identity through art and media

The artwork is on display on the third floor at the Arsenal in Central Park.

John Tejada

Feb 6, 2023, 3:42 PM

Updated 503 days ago


To celebrate Black History Month, employees at the NYC Parks' Department are exploring their Black identity through art and media.
The artwork is on display on the third floor at the Arsenal in Central Park. The exhibit, “Heritage: Exploring the Past, Present, and Future in Black Art,” is curated by the NYC Parks' Ebony Society and features work by NYC Parks' employees.
“The planning process was extensive,” detailed Neil Harmon, Chief of Recreation for Staten Island, adding, “What we did was we worked along with arts and antiquities and put out an open call for the artists that was true for NYC parks newsletter and NYC parks intranet… What we did is we looked at the artists' bio and art to see if they match with the theme."
That theme this year is heritage.
“We talked about family, but then we wanted to narrow it down -- family that's a little too broad. So then we narrowed it down to heritage and that speaks to why the Ebony Society is here -- to protect the heritage of African Americans and showcase positive works of art,” said Harmon.
Some of the artwork was made by individuals, while others were made by collective groups. The exhibit includes art from NYC Parks staff who work across the agency, as well as a Parks-led senior quilting group at St. John’s Recreation Center in Brooklyn.
Pieces ranged from futuristic superheroes images to hanging quilts.
Opening night was Feb. 2 and the show runs until March 9th, Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free.

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