Dear friends, supporters, and colleagues,

The Black Art Incubator (BAI)—a collective run by Taylor Renee Aldridge, Jessica Bell Brown, Kimberly Drew, and Jessica Lynne—was created to serve, address, and connect with peers in the contemporary art world. As BAI, we hope to present a framework, and provide resources for our community. In planning and facilitating nearly 30 free, public programs we’ve invited a list of our field’s top thinkers to host dialogues on four core aspects of the art world: Art & Money, Archives, Office Hours, and Open Crits.

BAI’s conceptual framework has been drafted, re-drafted, and developed over the past year. We’ve worked together as a collective and have been in constant dialogue with artists, our families, and other professionals about the needs of the New York art community.

On Wednesday, July 27, we welcomed Andrew Russeth, the Co-executive Editor of ARTnews, to lead an Open Crit workshop in our space. On Tuesday, July 26 we discovered that some were upset that we invited a white, cis-male critic to participate and were doubtful of our decision to stage the first iteration of the BAI in a space that is operated by white art professionals.

With this in mind, we hope to clarify the intentions of this multivalent project:
This project emerges from a deep-seeded commitment to Blackness. This commitment is constant, innate in all of the work that we do individually and collectively, in and outside of Recess.

To position this in a space like Recess—a space that we believe has some of New York City’s most diverse art programming—is not antithetical of this dedication, but aims to further this advancement of a Black perspective in the contemporary art world.
While this work is rooted in the nexus of Blackness and womanhood, we welcome all audiences and promote opportunities for intergenerational and cross cultural exchange.

The Black Art Incubator at Recess is a space for experimentation, and thus welcomes criticism. Specifically we welcome feedback that is generative and constructive.

On Monday, August 15 at 5:30PM we will host a small potluck to discuss the ethos that informs BAI and address the range of feedback we have received. Please consider joining us for this conversation in person at Recess. We aim to foster a spirit of transparency, generosity, and criticality and look forward to welcoming you into our space.

Thank You,
The BAI Team