Hook Arts Media

Break This House

Channeling Nzinga

March 28th | Black Gotham Experience | 6pm-9pm

Join us Thursday March 28th for Channeling Nzinga: a celebration of the Divine Feminine. Queen Nzinga of Angola is a prominent figure in our Other Side of Wall Street Walk, that honors this woman who is considered the greatest recorded warrior queen. We are channeling her strong Divine Feminine Energy and her Warrior Spirit in honor of Women’s History month. That energy will be channeled with a conversation of women artists and creatives who manifest that same spirit through their work and for their people.

Janelle Naomi hosts a conversation with:

  • Janae Sumter | Artist | @janaesumter
  • Kadiatou Coulibaly | Cosplayer + Creative | @kadiii_batamochii
  • Kstarhair | Hair Care Guru |  @salonhairapymalden
  • M’shari | Artist | @uniquelywiredm   
  • Nay Marie | Publisher + Writer | @tajimagazine
  • Sabrina (Bri) Labossierre | Creative Strategist Organizer | @bri_bossy

nerd ball

Wednesday, June 27th | 7pm – 11pm

Thank you for supporting our inaugural Black Gotham Experience Nerd Ball honoring social advocate, Saada Ahmed and architect, Rodney Leon. The dress code was geek chick and in addition to the impressive style the evening featured a history-inspired dinner, libations, music, and an after party.

There were more than a few people who were not able to attend the dinner because tickets sold out early but want to contribute to our work celebrating the impact of the African Diaspora on New York City. There is a donation below the picture gallery if you are able to support our fundraising efforts. This link will stay on this page until July 7th. Thank you!

(L) Architect Rodney Leon (R) Social Advocate Saada Ahmed

(c) Erika Kapin Photography

Dinner | 7-9pm | honoring Saada Ahmed and Rodney Leon

After Party | 9-11pm | music by dj frei speech

This year has already been amazing as we reflect on 2017 which included a large-scale public art display in the Financial District, the launch of our studio space in the Seaport District and speaking engagements across the country. With your support we will continue to build in 2018 with a new strategic focus on the intersection between art and history. Your support will help push our trajectory forward as our impact reaches New Yorkers from 3rd grade students to retired professionals. We have exciting new plans we will share at the Nerd Ball on the additional programming we have in the works to celebrate the impact of the African Diaspora on New York City.

Nerd Ball Chairpersons |  Antonio Martinez & Jason Rosario



The inaugural Black Gotham Experience Nerd Ball honored two important creative figures in contemporary New York City – Saada Ahmed and Rodney Leon.

Honoree – Social Advocate, Saada Ahmed

Saada image (Kamau Ware/photography x William Ellis/illustration)

Saada Ahmed is a social advocate who is the co-founder of Everyday People that hosts day parties that celebrate community, music, activism, and wellness. She also created a platform to propel discussion, essays, and poetry called Brothers & Sisters. Saada Ahmed is of Somalian descent.

Honoree- Architect, Rodney Leon

Rodney image (c) Kamau Ware 2018

Rodney Leon is the founder and principal of Rodney Leon Architects PLLC. He is the architect of the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan, which is a National Monument. He is also the designer of the “Ark of Return”, the permanent memorial to the victims of the Transatlantic Slave Trade at the UN. Rodney Leon is of Haitian descent and lives in Brooklyn.

In honoring these two designers of spaces with Experience Awards, we celebrate the continuing impact of the African Diaspora on New York City.



Check back on July 6th for more images. Thanks to our amazing photographer, Erika Kapin.




Black Gotham Salon Series

The Black Gotham Salon Series

The Black Gotham Salon Series are gatherings held to raise funds, gain friends, and discuss the ideas behind the Black Gotham Experience in an intimate setting. Each salon is hosted by a champion of the Black Gotham Experience and features a behind the scenes view into the project by the founder and lead creative, Kamau Ware. The host selects a theme or topic and an aspect of the project they wish to highlight.


Salons are held at our Work/Space residency in the Seaport District.

192 Front Street | New York, New York 10038

Seaport District between Fulton Street and John Street; right next to the Broadway Tickets store. Train Access: A, C, 2, 3, 4, 5, J, or Z to Fulton Street.

Our firs salon event will be on Tuesday May 23rd 7pm-9pm and hosted by Advisory Board Member, Paula Greif. Tickets can be purchased below.



More on Salons

Salons started in Italy in the 16th century and began to flourish in the 17th and 18th century, particularly in France. The basis of a salon is an intimate place of equality where everyone can develop their intellect among participants gathered in a large room of the host, known as the salon. Most salon hosts have been hosted by prominent women who channeled these gatherings as an informal university and a space to share literary works in male dominated societies.



Black Gotham Experience is presented by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council as part of the River To River Festival 2017. River To River, a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council public engagement initiative, inspires residents, workers, and visitors in Lower Manhattan, by connecting them to artists, new ideas, and perspectives, and other art-lovers to demonstrate the role that artists play in creating vibrant, sustainable communities.
The Black Gotham Experience residency was made possible with special support provided by The Howard Hughes Corporation.


Saturday February 4th, MAKE HISTORY with the Black Gotham Experience (BGX) at the Brooklyn Museum in the Beaux-Arts Court from 6-9pm for #TargetFirstSaturdays.

The design team for the forthcoming Black Gotham Experience graphic novel, Other Side of Wall Street, including Kamau Ware, Adrian Franks, Clifford Washington and William Ellis will convert event attendees into graphical art and displaying them in the museum LIVE! The designers will create an interactive design performance that weaves an engaging visual narrative.

DJs Jah Medicine and GoodWill of Pure Magic will curate the soundscape and audible art, spinning an upbeat soundtrack appropriate for the occasion.



feature photograph © Kay Hickman 2017