– by Wendy Morley –
When times become difficult, when the world around us becomes unfamiliar and frightening, that is when artists become most inspired. In the case of the NASTY WOMEN Exhibition and STAY NASTY series of programs, which ran at Knockdown Center in Maspeth, NYC. Nearly 600 artists participated, submitting work to be sold in support of Planned Parenthood.
Knockdown Center welcomed over 4,600 people through its doors throughout the Exhibition, selling every submitted artwork and raising a total of $42,325 for Planned Parenthood. Artworks were priced at $100 or less to encourage first-time collectors and seasoned patrons of the arts alike to purchase work.
NASTY WOMEN Exhibition co-organizers Jessamyn Fiore and Roxanne Jackson said of the tremendous effort and success of the exhibition, “We were thrilled by the overwhelming response of women artists, who were spurred to action and joined us in this protest of the threats to women’s rights by the incoming administration. This exhibition is an action of solidarity and presence, a statement of resistance.”
Building upon its history and mission as a multi-disciplinary space for collaboration, Knockdown
Center presented STAY NASTY alongside the exhibition, a four-day program comprising installation, screenings, performances, workshops, comedy, music and more, inviting artists and activists across disciplines to support organizations working toward reproductive justice and community health initiatives.
Evening programs could be experienced through a $20 all-access pass that allowed visitors to explore Knockdown Center’s 50,000 square foot space throughout the evening for multiple music shows and events, with 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales benefiting Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, the New York Immigration Coalition, Girls for Gender Equity, and SisterSong. An additional $8,020 was raised to support these organizations, making the grand total of proceeds from the fundraiser $50,345.
Knockdown Center Co-Director Michael Merck said, “Knockdown Center is thrilled and honored to have partnered with the NASTY WOMEN organizers to amplify the voices of hundreds of women artists, musicians, performers, activists and organizers for this cause. NASTY WOMEN Exhibition and the STAY NASTY four-day series of programs serve as an example of how art can provide a platform for resistance and social change. The event depended upon the organizing power, experience, and knowledge of artists and activists who have been on the ground in the struggle for human rights long before the election, and who will continue to fight against discrimination and the ongoing battle for women’s autonomy.”