In 2007, artist and entrepreneur Jessica Gaynelle Moss founded the Roll Up by transforming a blighted and dilapidated residential living space into a habitable artist residence and creative community hub.
The Roll Up is an ethical, long-term, community redevelopment project that explores possibilities for economic improvement through people, community arts and creative strategies. Through the activation of a national network of artist residencies in vulnerable neighborhoods mired in persistent poverty and concentrated disadvantage, this embedded artist-in-residence program connects artists directly to community through pedagogical collaborations, community dialogues and participatory interventions. By connecting communities and artists as neighbors, the goal is to enhance the overall community well-being, transform people and neighborhoods, and create a space to contribute to social change.
Through six month-to-one year term residencies, invited artists with a track record for excellence and community engagement are provided with a residence, space to produce and exhibit work, a materials budget, meal stipend, transportation and an honorarium. Artists are encouraged to build relationships with community members, to engage them in their creative practice, and to utilize the garage, which functions as the exhibition space, as a site for collaboration.
The 2018 Roll Up resident artist was award-winning international photographer, physician and educator Zun Lee.
The 2019 Roll Up resident is visual artist, educator and freedom fighter $HAN Wallace from East Baltimore, MD.
Initiated in 2018 by artist, writer and entrepreneur Jessica Gaynelle Moss, in partnership with Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC, the ABOVEGROUND RAILROAD Scholarship is a scaffolding artwork that reclaims space, honors ancestors who’ve paved the way, and prepares the next generation of young black female arts administrators with an opportunity to develop a unique skill set, building upon their existing interests, that prepares them with a successful launching pad for a career in the Arts industry.
Initiated by Hilary Burt, Professor of Art History and Arts Leadership + Administration at Queens University, Liz Faison, private collector and Board Member of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, and Jessica Moss, artist, academic scholar and arts educator, The Sphere: Art History Series is a monthly social intended to provide insight into artists, their traditions, techniques and the art movements they are often associated with. Beginning in October 2017, the Sphere: Art History Series has traveled to over 30 unique cultural spaces throughout the city for one-of-a-kind events, hosted by Charlotte’s most creative educators, academics and leaders. These casual and educational mini-courses will focus on the cultural, political and historical context of a specific art movement by an expert in the field.
The Art Admins of Color Network (AACN) is a Chicago-based collective, exchanging programming insights and ideas as Black people working in the arts & humanities. AACN's charter vision is to become a 'go-to' think tank and platform where AACN members are recognized as tastemakers on the cutting edge of innovative cultural production---within the Chicago art world in general but within Chicago's marginalized art world(s), in particular. AACN's mission is to deliver critical presentation insights and initiatives that enlighten and empower artists/ audiences/ critics/ producers/ venues/ donors & funders to seek and support boundary-pushing arts programming.
Led by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Arts Administration graduate students, Jaleesa Wells, Jennie Crichlow and Jessica Moss, The Black Lady Caucus began as a weekly open discussion forum about black women in today’s society. From 'Making Black History' to the Sunday Home Series [SHS], programs generally investigate and contemplate current events and popular culture and focus on issues from media representation to hyper-visibility.
Educated and motivated to expand the boundaries of the box in which black women are continuously placed within, the challenge of the Black Lady Caucus is to actively confront issues that appear to be intangible and yet directly impact each and every one of us. The Black Lady Caucus aims to combine the ideas, creations, and personal experiences of participating members in a critical discourse and to empower that network.