A message of thanks from Shey Rivera
Dear AS220 Universe,
As my time as AS220’s Artistic Director comes to a close, it opens space for a beautiful moment of reflection.
These past eight years have been transformative in many ways. I’ve enjoyed every second of it, from the challenges, to the celebrations; the growing pains, difficult decisions, collective successes, amazing people, and beautiful experiences. Everything that comes with being part of an ever-evolving community of socially-conscious artists doing transformative work: in youth education, urban development, fabrication, creative entrepreneurship, and so much more. I leave feeling grateful and blessed knowing that we all have the power to impact our surroundings, that we can have a meaningful impact on other people’s lives, and that our communities can return that love with great generosity. That is radical. It is healing. It is the antidote to the many oppressive systems we experience day to day.
AS220 is truly an inspiring and beautiful place that continues to do radical work. It is a place that nurtures people as creative professionals, artists, and community leaders. This place – where I gravitated to all the way from Puerto Rico – I have called my second home for the past eight years. And I’m proud to have been a part of creating and co-leading work that centers community voices, especially those of artists of color, queer artists, and young people.
I’m proud of what I’ve contributed to AS220 alongside the many people that work hard to make this place successful every day. Proud to have built upon the foundation of trust and generosity set by AS220 founder and dear friend Umberto “Bert” Crenca, his brilliant wife and artist Susan Clausen, and the many other artists that have been a part of AS220 over the years. A big thank you to Bert for passing on to me a practice of leadership that comes from a place of integrity, truth, and humanity. My life has, and continues to become, richer every day thanks to AS220.
This is not a goodbye, of course! I’ll continue to support and be a part of AS220 as an artist. I’m excited for Shauna Duffy to step into her new role as Executive Director, with AS220’s new and highly skilled leadership team: Anjel Newmann, Ruth Harvey, and Marina Balko, who will continue to drive AS220’s vision alongside our dedicated staff and community members.
Let’s continue to celebrate AS220 as a generative space for future generations. Please join me in supporting AS220’s new and re-energized leadership team in continuing to realize AS220’s commitment to equity, access and the creative potential of the many people who step foot in this transformative space!