In Pursuit of Freedom NOW!

Image: Quimetta Perle.

In Pursuit of Freedom NOW!
Thursday, June 14, 2018
ICI Curatorial Hub

401 Broadway, Suite 1620
FREE and open to the public


Monica Montgomery-Nyathi, curator of In Pursuit of Freedom NOW!, a pop-up public history exhibition amplifying the roots and wings of activism, will be in conversation with artists Lavett Ballard and Quimetta Perle. The exhibition is on view May 25–July 28, 2018 at Weeksville Heritage Center.

Weeksville’s accompanying gallery exhibition Forward Ever! Sacred Ground & Sovereign Space, highlights creative resilience and meaning making that is part and parcel of intentional black community. The themes of emancipation, entrepreneurship, and empowerment are interwoven throughout Weeksville’s 180-year history, and In Pursuit of Freedom NOW! strives to connect our radical past to our revolutionary future.

Monica Montgomery-Nyathi curates at the intersection of social justice and inspired action. Both shows are an artistic response to current movements growing across the country and the foundation of righteous resistance.


This event is free and open to the public. To attend, please RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with FREEDOM in the subject line.


This event is accessible to people with mobility disabilities. Please contact ICI for additional accessibility needs.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

June 14, 2018

ICI Curatorial Hub
401 Broadway, Suite 1620
New York, NY 10013


Monica O. Montgomery

Monica O. Montgomery is an arts and culture innovator using creativity and narrative as a means of bridging the gap between people and movements. As an independent curator, arts consultant and keynote speaker, she uses her platforms to build power and be in service to society. She is co-founder and strategic director of Museum Hue, a multicultural force advocating for people of color in arts, culture and museums. She working internationally to facilitate diversity, equity & inclusion initiatives with clients throughout Europe, Africa and North America. Additionally, Monica is the founding director of Museum of Impact, a mobile social justice museum, having curated 35+ exhibits and festivals at the intersection of art, activism, society. She ​holds a Bachelors of Arts in Broadcast Communication from Temple University and a Masters of Arts in Corporate Communication from LaSalle University. She is a graduate professor teaching in Museum Studies programs, at Harvard University, Pratt Institute, Johns Hopkins University and NYU and guest lecturing at Columbia University, American University, University of Pennsylvania, and dozens more. Monica holds leadership advisory positions in the American Alliance of Museums, Museums As Sites of Social Action, Emerging Leaders in New York Arts and other grassroots collectives. She is a dynamic force for change, ​recently delivering a TedX talk entitled ‘How To Be an Upstander’ challenging everyone to stand up, speak up and act up for social good.

Lavett Ballard

Lavett Ballard is an artist, art historian, curator, and author. She holds a dual Bachelor’s in Studio Art and Art History with a minor in Museum Studies from Rutgers University. And she is a recent graduate with her MFA in Studio Art from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries, public and private institutions nationwide. She’s a regional finalist for both New York & Philadelphia for the Bombay Artisan Emerging Artist competition. Ballard has had the honor of having her art included in literary, film, theater productions. Lavett Ballard looks at her art as a diverse visual narrative of people of African descent within a historical folk context. Her newest body of work, uses formal elements of paint, charcoal, oil pastel, and collage, deconstructed, and layered on reclaimed large and small aged wood fences. The use of fences is a symbolic reference to how fences keep people in and out, just as racial and gender identities can do the same socially.

Quimetta Perle

Quimetta Perle was born in Washington, DC in 1954 to an artist and a poet. Perle received her MFA in Computer Arts from the School of Visual Arts and her BFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Her work encompasses a wide range of media from mixed and multimedia pieces to wearable video necklaces to artist’s books. She has had 12 solo shows in galleries, nonprofit spaces and universities, including Lesley University, Cambridge, MA; Polytechnic University, Brooklyn; Soho 20, NYC and WARM Gallery and Glen Hanson Gallery in Minneapolis. In 2013, her historic work from the 1970’s was featured in “The House We Built,” a national show of feminist art over the last 40 years at the University of Minnesota. She has been in numerous group shows in galleries and museums over the last 35 years, including Bullet Space, Exit Art and Art in General in Manhattan, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, the Bronx Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Minnesota Museum. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, Perle was a member of WARM Gallery, a women’s cooperative in Minneapolis. Perle taught at Pratt Institute in the Digital Design and Foundation Departments from 1998-2005. Her poems have been published in Jewish Currents and Moment Magazine, and in the anthology, “The American Dream.” She oversees an arts workshop program for people with mental disabilities and the HAI Art Studio for artists with mental illness through Healing Arts Initiative in Long Island City, NY.

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