Saturday, May 1 through December 31, 2021

BECAUSE OF THIS is an exhibition + performance series that reclaims space and centers the work of local and regional contemporary artists of the African Diaspora, while purposefully building a multidisciplinary, intergenerational peer network for Black, Indigenous, and artists of color in the Midwest region. Charlotte Street Foundation will serve as a central hub for a variety of quarterly components of the series, which will include: quarterly featured visual art, performances, podcast, critique series, panels, and community bike rides.

On view from May 1 through July 1 is an outdoor exhibition featuring sculptural works by Pamela Conyers-Hinson, a photo installation by Desiree Morales, a building mural by Kat Wiese, and a print installation by Michael Toombs. Visitors are encouraged to view these works on their own time at Charlotte Street’s new location (3333 Wyoming St.).

Participating artists: Michael Toombs, Dwight Edward Brown Jr., Tonina Saputo, Kat Wiese, Desiree Morales, Pamela Conyers-Hinson. 



BECAUSE OF THIS is a year-long exhibition + performance series that celebrates contemporary Black artistic life through the healing and transformative works of Midwest artists of the African Diaspora. Because of This is an ambitious undertaking in community building, spearheaded by curator Mary Lawson (Omaha, NE) whose selection of over thirty virtual and outdoor programs include visual art, performances, audio archive, critique series, panel discussions, and community bike rides.

Performances and public programming for this series will be divided into four parts. For Quarters 1 + 2, public programming will be accessed virtually, and outdoor installations including a sculpture walk, light work, sound art, murals and window vinyl, will be visible to the passerby at Charlotte Street Foundation’s new art campus and headquarters (3333 Wyoming St., KCMO). For Quarters 3 + 4,  public programming and performances will take place in real space and be limited to small, outdoor gatherings. Virtual platforms will be used as a contingency plan for these series components.



Strange Fruit Femmes, a BIPOC femme community organization co-founded by curator Mary Lawson and multidisciplinary artist Glyneisha Johnson (Kansas City, MO), will be producing public programming including a podcast and crit series, titled : Here We Are. We Are Here. and Soulful Safespace Sunday’s. Strange Fruit Femmes is an artist collective that centers the works of Black, Brown, and Indigneous femmes living in the Midwest.

Urban Planner and Placemaker, Emmanuel Cook Jr. will promote local community engagement through a community bike ride series: Just Ride. He will be co-leading this effort with a KC Urban Planner/Developer in the latter half of the year. These rides are rooted in the ideas of community + mobility justice, meaning the right to live in and move through public space without the fear of violence, harm, or oppression.