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Artists Lizania Cruz, Shannon Finnegan, Alicia Grullon, and Betty Yu were commissioned to work with local service providers and businesses to engage in storytelling workshops, interviews, and conversations with local residents and workers. As you walk through Northern Chelsea, you’ll find moments of these interactions and neighborhood histories on street signs; signage produced and installed by the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program and Sign Shop.
After six months of engagement with partners including Hudson Guild, The Center, Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York, National Domestic Worker Alliance, Esposito Meat Market, GMHC, Fountain House Gallery, and the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, each artist created a series of street signs to make the historical and social landscape of long-time residents visible to the broader public.
These works add historical context and contemporary voices to inform the narrative of our changing urban landscape. Each artist worked with a different population: senior residents, LGBTQ+ populations, neighbors with disabilities, garment workers, and union laborers.
Disabled artist Shannon Finnegan spoke with people with disabilities and those who live with mental illnesses about creating community on the West Side of Manhattan. She connected with the Center for Independent Living in New York, Fountain House, and Heidi Latsky Dance.
Alicia Grullon worked with the senior programs at Hudson Guild and Penn South to untangle political issues around development, displacement, culture, housing, and long-standing communities. Grullon talked to long-time residents of Chelsea who have experienced all of the neighborhood changes.
Betty Yu looked to capture the labor stories of everyday people—past and present; union and non-union; informal and formal; nonprofit workers; immigrant, undocumented, and US born. Yu hosted a story circle with union organizers and members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.
In/With Chelsea is presented in partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation’s Art Program.
Major support for High Line Programs is provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston. High Line Programs and accessibility are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson.