This initiative brings together an interdisciplinary community of creative entrepreneurs, artists, curators, and cultural institutions from across the African diaspora to explore what it means to create immersive digital or hybrid (physical + digital) spaces as an innovative way to engage audiences online and showcase cultural assets developed on the blockchain. Housed on more than 30 parcels of virtual land acquired by ONE / OFF within the Cryptovoxels metaverse, a virtual world powered by the Ethereum blockchain,  this Black Arts + Culture Ecosystem provides the space necessary for residents to play, risk, fail, learn, and grow in the emerging cryptomedia field. 

Engaging in a six-month program that runs biannually from March through August and September through February, residents participate in cryptovoxels training sessions; community project review sessions; peer-to-peer learning; and critical discourse about  best practices and emerging trends in the cryptomedia space. A biannual Black Futures Fest and other community events offer residents opportunities to present their work in the metaverse to the public so the cultural and economic knowledge they generate is accessible to the next generation. 

ONE / OFF has created the first virtual Black Arts District on the blockchain dedicated to supporting innovation, experimentation, collective learning, and creative entrepreneurship with cryptomedia. 

The Black Arts District

  Overview  

  Our Vision  

As stated in the 2016 academic essay “Black Placemaking: Celebration, Play, and Poetry”, Black placemaking refers to the ways that Black people create sites of endurance, belonging, and resistance through social interaction. Drawing inspiration from sovereign Black communities, ONE / OFF sees the Black Arts District as an opportunity to leverage blockchain and cryptomedia to create an intentional intervention against the systemically racist practices of traditional and digital redlining by using culturally-specific virtual placemaking as a conduit for economic empowerment.

ONE / OFF Presents:

The Black Arts District’s Genesis Cohort

 

  • Adama Delphine Fawundu 

  • Ameer "Sirsu" Suhayb Carter 

  • Ben Harriott

  • Black Scranton Project

  • ​​Craig Blackmoore 

  • David J. Butler 

  • Fisk University Galleries 

  • Frewuhn 

  • Harrison First 

  • JOMEGA

  • ​​Lady PheOnix 

  • Micah Johnson

  • Tiona Nekkia Mcclodden

Does Your Project’s Impact Align with the Black Arts District?

 

We’re interested in admitting applicants who can demonstrate how their work in our community will strengthen economies, build  engagement and resilience, or improve quality of life through art + culture. Before submitting your application for the ONE / OFF  Black Arts District Initiative please consider the following questions to assess project impact alignment.

 

Your project should meet at least one of these criteria to be eligible for the program:

 

  • Does your project incorporate a skill-based training program or opportunities for art + culture workforce development? 

  • Are you exploring how the evolving relationships between the built environment and digital technologies can create meaningful experiences for people in public spaces through fixed means – like mobile and personal devices, including computers, smartphones and wearable products?

  • Are you exploring new ways to disrupt practices in the traditional Art World using NFTs and cryptomedia?

  • Are you planning to showcase a new body of work or looking for ways to promote and share that work with the intention of generating primary and secondary market sales?

  • Does your project incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion through engagement across the African diaspora? 

  • Does your project involve creative entrepreneurship, or launching a minority owned business?

Interested in Supporting the Black Arts District?

We at ONE / OFF are excited to have you here to view, bear witness, and verify for the immutable record that a burgeoning Black Arts + Culture ecosystem exists on the blockchain. To generate the revenue needed to grow this initiative we’ve created 125 Founding / Collector memberships for those interested in the sustainable development of this community as the Cryptomedia movement continues to grow.

 

Each membership is memorialized as a unique non-fungible token (NFT) that records this important moment of time and will identify the collectors who committed to helping the Black Arts District succeed. Additionally, Founding / Collectors will be invited to early exhibition previews,  private Art talks, and to join our Black Art Discord channel for opportunities to engage directly with residents and receive updates on events added to the community calendar. 

ONE / OFF is committed to ensuring Black Arts + Cultural Institutions have the awareness and resources necessary to take advantage of the unique opportunity cryptomedia presents to create jobs for the next generation of Arts Workers and encourage creative entrepreneurship on the blockchain. Becoming a Founding / Collectors is a way to document your early commitment to supporting this vision.

A Special Thanks to Our Existing

Founding Collectors:

Cuy Sheffield - Head of Crypto, Visa

Meltem Demirors - Chief Strategy Officer, Coinshares

Ollen Douglass - Managing Director, Motley Fool Ventures

If you want to learn more and see how you can get involved, click here: