Aesthetics of Doing: Community Organizing

A conversation about community organizing in socially engaged art, with 2015 ABOG Fellow Sol Aramendi, CEO and Founder of Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative Ebony Noelle Golden, and artist Elizabeth Hamby, moderated by Prerana Reddy, Director of Public Programs & Community Engagement at the Queens Museum.

The practice of socially engaged art has much in common with community organizing. Indeed, relationship building is at the crux of most projects’ success. How is it productively done? Is there a way to do it successfully without committing years to a single place or group? Where and how can art and community come together in a way that makes for excellent art and meaningful community benefit? Join us for a conversation where we’ll explore these questions together and think on effective practices for the future.

Dark Treasure Installation at NLE LIC Clocktower by Claudia Prado_OPT

Sol Aramendi is an artist, educator, and 2015 ABOG Fellow for Socially Engaged Art. A vocal agent for social change, she founded Project Luz, a nomadic physical and conceptual space for immigrant communities to learn, create, and communicate, allowing for the greatest agency and collaborative opportunity for all of the participants. She holds an MFA in Social Practice from Queens College, an Arte Util Residency at Immigrant Movement International, a fellowship from the Smithsonian Latino Museum Studies and has just completed a CORO Immigrant Civic Leadership program from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Ebony Noelle Golden, MFA, MA

Creativity is conjuring, is root work, is making a way out of no way, is the practice of radical expressiveness that incites, inspires, and instigates, liberation, NOW! Ebony Noelle Golden, native Houstonian and Harlem resident, is a performance artist, public practitioner, and strategist who works at the intersection of art, culture and education with individuals and organizations seeking to initiate community-powered creative strategy, performance, and liberatory learning experiences for progressive social change. Learn more:


Elizabeth Hamby works between the studio, the classroom, and the city. Since 2010, she has worked with students, printmakers, and the New York City Housing Authority on a project called Alphabet City. This work has been exhibited at Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education in the Bronx, and led to a workshop and mural with the New York City Housing Authority. Hamby is also a member of Meta Local Collaborative, a Bronx-based collective. Meta Local develops site-specific, participatory works that refer to the complexity of our community in the South Bronx.

prerana bw headshot

Prerana Reddy has been the Director of Public Programs & Community Engagement for the Queens Museum since 2005. She organizes screening, talks, festivals, and performances, a third of which are developed in collaboration with diverse local community organizations and cultural producers. She is also in charge of the museum’s community engagement initiatives that combine arts and culture with social development goals in nearby neighborhoods predominately comprised of new immigrants. These includes the museum’s offsite immigrant arts & education center, Immigrant Movement International – Corona, and the design and ongoing programming of Corona Plaza.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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Aesthetics of Doing is a series of panel discussions that bring together artists, scholars, administrators and other members of the art community for discussions that critically address socially engaged art as it is practiced and defined.

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