Our New Home
The LP Moves to Bed-Stuy
The LP is marking our 15th anniversary with a new home in Bed-Stuy! A dream since our very beginnings as an organization, the new space, located at 1476 Fulton Street, will serve as a community arts hub while also housing our administrative operations. Read the full press release for more information below, and sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when the space is open! We can’t wait to make art, build community, and create change with you.
Learn more about our future home by tuning in to our virtual open house.
- The Nonprofit That Puts Art Inside Laundromats (And Wherever Else People Are), Next City
- The Laundromat Project is Moving to Brooklyn for Its 15th Anniversary, Hyperallergic
- Dispatches: Remaining Connected | Conversation with The Laundromat Project, Urban Omnibus
- Community Arts Organization ‘The Laundromat Project’ Moves to Bed-Stuy, BK Reader
What We're Up To
The process of identifying a single anchor neighborhood for The LP, and finding the right space to call our home, took time and consideration. Through collaboration of our board, alumni artists, local community partners, and other diverse stakeholders, we have developed a cohesive plan for deepening our roots in the neighborhood and amplifying the rich arts and culture ecosystem of Bed-Stuy. Learn more about our plans for community engagement, neighborhood conversations, and The LP’s history in Bed-Stuy.
Acknowledging Land and History
As we join the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Central Brooklyn, The Laundromat Project respectfully acknowledges that we are on the occupied and unceded lands of the Canarsie, who are part of the Munsee Lenape. We recognize them as the original stewards of this land and pay respects to their elders past, present, and future.
The Laundromat Project leads from a place of love, intentionality, and accountability. As we make a new permanent home in Bed-Stuy, we aim to honor and advance its long and rich history as a Black diasporic neighborhood. As a proudly Black-rooted organization, we embrace the weight of this legacy.
We acknowledge the long-time gentrification and displacement happening within Bed-Stuy and the persistent injustices faced around police accountability, food and health access, and education inequities, to name a few. The LP has adopted a critical stance of deep listening to better build trust and feedback loops with our communities, prioritizing impact over intent. We understand that our vision is stronger and our destination is closer when we move with community front and center.
As an arts organization, we believe that art, creativity, and culture play an essential role in bringing people together to share stories and change perspectives while also nurturing spaces for joy, liberation, and celebration.
- Centering, amplifying, and supporting the Black, especially, and POC communities of Bed Stuy, from residents and families to small businesses and organizations
- Practicing community care by engaging Bed-Stuy folks where they already are and creating a welcoming space for the community
- Foregrounding Bed-Stuy arts and culture that will help fight systemic injustices and build new visions of joy — in collaboration with those who were doing this work long before us
As we make our home in Bed Stuy, we want to hear from you. You are the experts of your own community, and we are honored and humbled to listen to you. What do you love the most about your community? How can an arts organization like ours be good neighbors to you? What do you want for Bed-Stuy? Feel free to respond via this survey.
We strongly believe that abundance is already within our communities. We know that we are many, we are more than enough, and that our communities encompass everything we need to work towards an equitable future. This is where we begin to shape our future together.
How We Got Here
Since our founder Risë Wilson first envisioned The LP in 1999, we’ve held a dream of operating our own public community art space, and had the opportunity to lay the groundwork for this practice at the Kelly Street Collaborative in the South Bronx from 2014–2019. Our new home in Bed-Stuy wouldn’t be possible without the lessons we learned working in partnership at Kelly Street—learn more about KSC here.
Our journey as an organization to our first long-term home has been one of creativity, abundance, and resilience. Explore The LP’s history and evolution below.
The LP is incorporated by Risë Wilson and the founding board, including Alea Woodlee and Dawn Strickland. The LP receives its first funding via the Echoing Green Fellowship and a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council. Risë’s goal is to eventually purchase and operate a real laundromat that will host arts programming
- The first public LP art program, a fabric mural workshop, takes place at the Stuyvesant Heights Senior Center in Bed-Stuy, facilitated by Risë
The board expands and is joined by present-day ED Kemi Ilesanmi. Rudy Shepherd, Shinique Smith, and Miriam Neptune become The LP’s first Create Change Artists-in-Residence, staging projects in existing laundromats throughout NYC
- Projects culminate with an installation at Skylight Gallery at the Bed-Stuy Restoration Community Development Corporation
Image: Artist-in-Residence Rudy Shepherd’s project, Drawing Cart, stationed outside a laundromat, invited neighbors to stop and draw while they waited for their laundry.
The Financial Crisis hits, making the purchase of a laundromat ever more difficult. The board suspends the Create Change program for one year to recalibrate.
Image: Installing a mural at the Laundry Room laundromat on 116th Street, a community partner of The LP and site of Artist-in-Residence projects.
The Create Change program returns, with projects taking place in laundromats in Bed-Stuy and Harlem. The LP also launches its Community Arts Education program in Harlem, a series of artmaking workshops at laundromats. Petrushka Bazin Larsen is hired as The LP’s first staff member, becoming an early and integral part of The LP’s programming.
Image: program image for 2009 Artist-in-Residence Tracee Worley’s project The Dirty Laundry Line, a telephone hotline advertised in laundromats that allowed callers to anonymously “air out” their dirty laundry or listen in to messages left by others.
The LP officially becomes a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
After 5 years offering the Create Change residency, The LP adds a fellowship program for artists looking to develop or deepen their community engagement practice. Kemi Ilesanmi joins The LP as the first full-time and paid Executive Director. Risë Wilson becomes Board Chair.
Image: Kemi Ilesanmi at The Point CDC, Hunts Point, South Bronx.
The LP completes its first full strategic plan with Yancey Consulting, and identifies three “anchor neighborhoods” for sustained programmatic focus: Bed-Stuy, Harlem, and Hunts Point/Longwood. The inaugural Field Day—a daylong activation of Create Change artist projects—takes place across the three neighborhoods, happening annually through 2017.
Image: Flyer for 2013 Field Day Festival in Bed-Stuy, Harlem, and Hunts Point. Designed by Nontsi Mutiti.
The LP collaborates with Kelly Street Garden, Banana Kelly, and Workforce Housing to transform a two-bedroom apartment in the Hunts Point/Longwood neighborhood of the Bronx into a community art space: the Kelly Street Collaborative, or KSC.
Image: 2017 Hunts Point/Longwood Create Change Artist-in-Residence Tijay Mohammed leads a story circle and gathering within his installation ‘Ubuntu’/I Am Because We Are at the Kelly Street Collaborative.
The LP launches a new strategic vision to carry it forward through at least 2022. With great care and community engagement, The LP bids farewell to its Kelly Street space while setting intentions to bring its programmatic and administrative operations under the same roof. The organization holds multiple community listening sessions to determine where our new home should be.
Image: LP staff, board, and community celebrate the launch of The LP’s strategic vision.
The LP finds a perfect space in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, signing a 10-year lease the same week that the COVID-19 pandemic shuts down New York City! While the move can’t happen exactly as planned, The LP is able to begin its community engagement process and share the news.
Image: The LP’s new space on Fulton Street (far right). Artwork by Community Engagement Manager Cievel Xicohtencatl.
Share Your Ideas
We want to hear from you about your hopes, dreams, and visions for a creative community hub in Bed-Stuy! Drop a note in our Virtual Comment Box.
Bed-Stuy Create and Connect Fund
Working on a community-engaged creative project in Bed-Stuy? Apply for support from our Bed-Stuy Create & Connect Fund. Applications are due May 16.