The Metropolitan Museum of Art Presents Conversation With Rashida Bumbray and Toshi Reagon

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today three new Civic Practice Partnership Artists in Residence: Jon Gray, of the artistic and culinary collective Ghetto Gastro in the Bronx; Mei Lum, of the W.O.W. Project, a community-organizing and arts space in Manhattan’s Chinatown; and musician and composer Toshi Reagon, of Crown Heights. The Museum has also extended the residencies of the Civic Practice Partnership’s two inaugural artists: choreographer and performance artist Rashida Bumbray, working in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and multimedia visual artist Miguel Luciano, working in East Harlem.

Max Hollein, Director of The Met, commented: “The Civic Practice Partnership is a vital part of the Museum’s commitment to support current artistic practices and to foster and deepen connections within communities across the City. I’m thrilled to welcome Jon Gray, Mei Lum, and Toshi Reagon to the program-and to continue our collaboration with Miguel Luciano and Rashida Bumbray-and look forward to experiencing their immensely creative and boundary-pushing work.”

Launched in 2017, The Met’s Civic Practice Partnership is a collaborative residency program for artists who are socially minded in their practice and will implement creative projects in their own neighborhoods across New York City. These dynamic artists will develop their ambitious projects over the next two years while also participating in Met programs.

Since being named Civic Practice Partnership Artists in Residence in 2018, Rashida Bumbray and Miguel Luciano have conducted research and critically examined the Museum’s collection and also collaborated with curators, conservators, and educators in departments across The Met. In 2019, Bumbray choreographed and performed a new piece, Braiding and Singing a Point, based on the ring shout, tap dancing, and other African American dance and song traditions, which she performed with collaborators in The Met’s Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas galleries, where their work lent vibrant cultural context to the objects on display. Working with The Met’s curatorial staff and Imaging Department, Luciano created a 3D-scanned model of a Zemí figure in The Met collection with the intention of using it in community-based programming in East Harlem, where it will find cultural resonance with the Puerto Rican community that shares its Taíno (Indigenous Caribbean) ancestry. Additional programming for all five artists will be announced throughout their residencies.

This initiative is made possible by The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust and was launched as part of their unprecedented commitment to the collective action of 21 cultural organizations. The Met and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts serve as anchor institutions for the group, which continues to work and think together as the Collaborative for Creative Practice and Social Justice.

Miguel Lucianois a multimedia visual artist whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including in exhibitions at the Mercosul Biennial, Brazil; La Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris; El Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City; the San Juan Poly-Graphic Triennial, Puerto Rico; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award Grant and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Award, and he was a fellow of the smARTpower Program, an international, community-based art initiative of the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. His work is featured in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, El Museo del Barrio, the Newark Museum, and the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. Luciano is a faculty member of the School of Visual Arts and Yale University School of Art. He received his MFA from the University of Florida.

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