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New York City’s history lives in its buildings. Far from passive fixtures, these architectural spaces act as precipitators of cultural exchange, which present endless opportunities for storytelling and transformation. From meeting halls to performance theaters, buildings act as vital points of intersection for the communities that inhabit them, carrying the soul of the neighborhood within their walls.

This year, Open House New York and ARTNOIR are collaborating to present ARTNOIR: City of Cultural Exchange. Ten locations throughout New York City will illustrate how the built environment serves as a catalyst for cultural exchange. Tours will help visitors understand how architectural form and function can reveal certain truths about the sociological climate from which these buildings were born. ARTNOIR and OHNY seek to uncover various narratives that reflect on the relationship between identity and place.

Sites include the Black Lady Theatre, a pillar in the Bedford Stuyvesant community that served as a think tank in the 1980s to fight civil rights inequalities, which will open its doors to the public for the first time in more than twenty years with a celebration of the Black woman and her authentic beauty; Marjorie Eliot’s Parlor Jazz, which will host two free and open-to-the-public parlor jazz performances that honor the legacy of African American music that bridge cultures and communities; and the Lewis H. Latimer House Museum, which will host tours during OHNY Weekend about the house’s bilingual approaches and other innovative strategies to cross-cultural conversations.

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ARTNOIR: City of Cultural Exchange Sites

Andrew Freedman Home
Morrisania, Bronx

The Black Lady Theatre – Slave II
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Lewis H. Latimer House Museum
Flushing, Queens

Louis Armstrong House Museum
Corona, Queens

Lower East Side Tenement Museum
Lower East Side, Manhattan

Marjorie Eliot’s Parlor Jazz
Sugar Hill/Washington Heights, Manhattan

Museum of Art and Origins
Sugar Hill/Washington Heights, Manhattan

Queens Museum
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

The Studio Museum in Harlem
Harlem, Manhattan

United Palace
Washington Heights, Manhattan

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Most ARTNOIR: City of Cultural Exchange sites are Open Access and may be visited free-of-charge on a drop-in basis. Full tour descriptions and information about how to visit these sites will be available on October 5.

ARTNOIR is a global collective of culturalists who design experiences aimed at engaging this generations dynamic and diverse creative class. The group offers an alternative perspective to the traditional arts narrative, supports the freedom of artistic expression for all, and provides a platform for bold acts of creativity and storytelling. To learn more and join the movement, visit artnoir.co

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Images: United Palace courtesy of the site; Louis Armstrong House Museum courtesy of the site; Andrew Freedman Home courtesy of the site; Queens Museum by David Sundberg, ESTO; Tenement Museum courtesy of the site; Lewis H. Latimer House Museum by Joel Holub.