Black Gotham Experience
featuring Kamau Ware and Rodney Leon
As Above So Below
June 16, 19, 24, and 26 at 4:30-6:30 pm
Tour begins at African Burial Ground National Monument
At the intersection of African Burial Ground Way (formerly Elk Street) and Duane Street
290 Broadway, New York, NY
As Above So Below is a collaborative project that reveals connections between sacred and historic spaces of the African Diaspora in Lower Manhattan. The project will have special emphasis on the African Burial Ground Commons and Historic District featuring the African Burial Ground Memorial, Black Lives Matter Plaza and the Triumph of the Human Spirit Monument. Throughout the Festival and through a series of walking tours and podcasts by Kamau Ware and Rodney Leon, As Above So Below will create an interactive multidisciplinary set of experiences to engage, inspire and educate the public about the impact of the African Diaspora on the establishment and development of New York City.
Black Gotham Experience (BGX) creates spaces to reimagine the African Diaspora through experiences rooted in art, education, and community. By bringing people together to share and create the stories that have been missing from history, we highlight how the past is present in our lives. We heal and draw power from these collective experiences at the intersection of aesthetics and scholarship. BGX has been commissioned to create original works by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, BRIC Media, the Mile Long Opera, New York City Public Design Commission, Open House New York and the World Trade Center Oculus.
Kamau Ware is an award-winning visual artist and storyteller based in New York City. Kamau creates new narratives about the African Diaspora’s history through photography, films, exhibitions and events. He founded the Black Gotham Experience (BGX) in 2010 to illustrate the impact of the African Diaspora through art and walking tours that ask participants to embody historic figures through imagination and empathy.
Rodney Leon, founder and principal of Rodney Leon Architects PLLC has an architectural background as a designer on a diversity of building types including housing, churches and transportation projects in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Leon is the designer of the African Burial Ground Memorial in New York City which is the only National Monument in the United States dedicated to the contributions of people of African descent.