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The LP at Gracie Mansion

Report from the Change Makers in the Arts Panel at Gracie Mansion

On March 31st, 2015, Program Director Petrushka Bazin Larsen and alumni artists LaTasha N. Diggs and Shani Peters attended a panel at Gracie Mansion on Change Makers in the Arts Panel, moderated by Thelma Golden, Director of The Studio Museum and hosted by First Lady Chirlane McCray Tuesday, March 31.


The panel featured established women who are creating change in performing arts and arts administration, including journalist Maria Hinojosa, TV producer Courtney Kemp Agboh, Alvin Ailey dancer and instructor Hope Boykin, and Roberta Uno, Director of Arts in a Changing America. The questions centered around the women’s trajectory to becoming change makers, and lessons learned on their journey. Below are some brief reflections from Petrushka, LaTasha, and Shani on the panel.


Shani Peters

A First Lady in a Mudcloth Jacket is a beautiful thing. A powder blue room full of richly hued brown people is also a beautiful thing. Strong women make miracles with their strength. They perfect the art of harnessing and sustaining it in their own lives, AND actively work to share it with others. I left feeling strong and grateful.


Petrushka Bazin Larsen

I too felt grateful for the “way making” that has happened on behalf of women of color by women of color. I also felt grateful to be in a room with so many people that I love and admire.


LaTasha N. Diggs

The bus ride there said it all: you are going to experience something your mother had not. What a blessing it was to be granted this. A room full of women, young and old with layers of wisdom, a room full of women engaged and sharing their lessons with each other. And there, the First Lady in mud cloth. I felt stronger leaving there. I felt myself breathing. I felt a purpose.


We’d love to hear your thoughts! What does “way making” look like to you? We’d love to hear more stories about sharing lessons learned along the journey of becoming a change maker in the arts.


Leave a comment on our Facebook page, or tag us on Twitter, and let’s continue the conversation:







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