During the week of NFT.NYC, Samsung 837 held an event called “Digital Diaspora.” And this event put the spotlight on some of the most well-known Black artists in the NFT space.
After the fourth annual NFT.NYC conference, people had a chance to reflect on a week filled with artistic inspiration, community building, and developer innovation in the NFT space.
Digital Diaspora: A day to remember
The Digital Diaspora event on June 19 was a follow-up to last year’s successful debut. And it included an exhibition, a panel discussion, and a fundraiser. These activities were aimed at highlighting the voices and creative talents of artists of color in the NFT space.
The well-known skyscraper photographer DrifterShoots and the young rising-star artist Diana Sinclair worked together on the event, sponsored by MetaMask and Samsung. The event held at the Samsung 837 hub in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District on Father’s Day and Juneteenth.
Faith Love, who is the Community Manager at MetaMask, was in charge of the event. Diana Sinclair, Emonee LaRussa, Andre O’Shea, Elise Swopes, Cory Van Lew, and DrifterShoots all spoke on the panel.
How the Digital economy promotes Black history
The 19th of June, also known as Juneteenth, is one of the most important cultural days in the United States. It marks the day in 1865 when the last slaves in Galveston, Texas, were freed.
Today, Juneteenth is a federal holiday that reminds us of the terrible things that happened in the past. It’s also a chance to talk more about cultural diversity and representation in society. As well as to celebrate the achievements of people of color.
The Digital Diaspora was a celebration of Black culture. The word “diaspora” refers to the movement and displacement of people of the same culture or origins around the world. According to the website, the goal was to raise awareness of racism and inequality. It also highlights the beauty of the art born from these ever-present struggles.
The Digital Diaspora is an art show that honors Black culture and the people who make it. It gives a voice to the unheard and also a stage to the unknown. The show achieves this by showcasing and celebrating the chosen artists. Furthermore, by giving money to the chosen charity, we work toward a future that truly welcomes Black art in its truest form.
Crypto has a place in the story of African Americans.
Andre O’Shea spoke eloquently about Black representation in the NFT space. He told the audience that he thinks progress is like an infinite symbol. When one circle, representing an artist’s career or creative contribution, comes to an end. The next circle starts the cycle again for the next generation.
“Now that I’m an artist in the Web3 space, I see how validated we are as digital artists because it gives us this platform. But also talking about the new chances it gives us is a lot like what Diane is doing right now: making more spaces for us, making bigger spaces for us, and paving the way for us to get there.”
To O’Shea the difference between Web3 and its predecessor is that it is possible to add new opportunities and lift up new creators and voices.
Emma Larussa and Jumpstart Designers
Emonee LaRussa, a motion graphics artist who has won two Emmys and started the nonprofit Jumpstart Designers, used her time on the panel to announce that she will be curating an event on Nov. 5 at the SuperChief Gallery in Los Angeles.
She also talked about her ideas behind Jumpstart Designers and how the educational program is helping young people from underserved communities. The focus of this effort is to teach them Adobe Creative Cloud and access to the computers they need.
“I’ve wanted to do this since I was a child. I didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up, and as a digital artist, I realized that not having access made me realize how much my dreams depended on money.”
“So, I wanted to change what would happen to digital art in the future. So that is our motto: to change the future of digital art. Because we really think that if we bring these kids on, you’ll see new experiences and stories that you’ve never seen before, and they won’t be limited in what they can make.”
In 2021, LaRussa, helped six new artists to make their own NFT artworks and auction them. She donated all of the $38,742 raised to low-income children who want to learn more about computers and animation.