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Community Partnerships

Community Partnerships  in Harlem and across New York City reflect the Museum’s commitment to engaging youth and adults beyond the traditional classroom and museum visit and through experiences and interdisciplinary approaches to programs that foster  personal and collective connections through art. The Museum’s Community Partnerships center experimental creative spaces built by and for community members. Partnerships are designed to complement the partner organizations’ mission through with engagement with visual art; Community Partnerships build safe spaces, support existing programs, and cultivate new ideas. Partnership sessions include open dialogue with practicing artists and hands-on art-making projects connected to works of art in the Museum’s permanent collection, exhibitions, inHarlem projects, and in the community. Partnerships are designed to foster inclusive creative spaces and inquiry-driven critical dialogue in support of social justice through centering the work of artists of African descent. They challenge participants to think critically and creatively about their communities.  

The Museum’s Community Partners include organizations that focus on houselessness and housing insecurity, targeted criminalization and reentry from incarceration, health and mental health access, and fostering safe LGBTQ spaces. Each partnership is built in collaboration between the partner organization, the  Museum’s Education staff, and Artist Educators. Partnerships are informed by the diverse creative practices of the  Museum’s innovative group of practicing Artist Educators who facilitate each partnership.

Ongoing Community Partnerships

Ali Forney Drop-In Center

Ali Forney Drop-In Center

Ali Forney Center is an organization that serves LGBTQ houseless youth. Ali Forney’s mission is to protect LGBTQ youth from houselessness and empower them with the tools to live independently. These

Ali Forney Center is an organization that serves LGBTQ houseless youth. Ali Forney’s mission is to protect LGBTQ youth from houselessness and empower them with the tools to live independently. These participant-designed and directed workshops focus on queer artists of African descent, creating and sharing community resources, and building interdisciplinary safe places to gather.


Rikers Island, Columbia University

Rikers Island, Columbia University

In collaboration with The Center for Justice in Education The Heyman Center for Humanities, the Department of Art History and Archeology at Columbia University, and the NYC Department of Corrections,

In collaboration with The Center for Justice in Education The Heyman Center for Humanities, the Department of Art History and Archeology at Columbia University, and the NYC Department of Corrections, The Studio Museum works with several housing facilities on Rikers Island, NYC’s principal jail complex. Over the past four years, we have collaborated with Rose M. Singer Center and Otis Bantum Correctional Center for partnerships focused on creating moments of safety, care, healing, and community building through art.


Hetrick-Martin Institute

Hetrick-Martin Institute

Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) is a community-based organization that serves LGBTQ youth from ages thirteen to twenty-four. HMI is partners with Harvey Milk High School, a District 2 public transfer

Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) is a community-based organization that serves LGBTQ youth from ages thirteen to twenty-four. HMI is partners with Harvey Milk High School, a District 2 public transfer school in the East Village that serves students from 9th through 12th grade who have not met success in other high schools. For six years, the Studio Museum has collaborated with HMI’s open art studio by examining the connections between visual art, performance, and writing.


AHRC Fisher Day Center, Urban Innovations & East

AHRC Fisher Day Center, Urban Innovations & East Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Center

AHRC Fisher Day Center and Urban Innovations are community-based organizations that support the creative and financial independence of Harlem’s young adults and adults with intellectual and

AHRC Fisher Day Center and Urban Innovations are community-based organizations that support the creative and financial independence of Harlem’s young adults and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, helping individuals live self-determined lives. We collaborate at East Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Center, a part of the NYC Department of Health that brings together health care providers and community-based organizations to build drop-in community art workshops.


Fortune Society at Castle Gardens

Fortune Society at Castle Gardens

The Fortune Society is an organization that supports successful re-entry from incarceration and promotes alternatives to incarceration. Castle Gardens is their residence located in Harlem. We work

The Fortune Society is an organization that supports successful re-entry from incarceration and promotes alternatives to incarceration. Castle Gardens is their residence located in Harlem. We work together to transform the community spaces in their residence into art studios and explore art in Harlem.