Amsterdam Collective: Casa de Cultura is an ever-evolving social engagement project based in Harlem, NYC. Inspired by the cultural houses (casas de cultura) of Brazil, Amsterdam Collective is focused on building a platform for interdisciplinary artists, creatives, educators, and facilitators, while centering environmental education, social justice, and the healing arts. Amsterdam Collective began on October 24th, 2019, by revitalizing a vacant storefront on 139th & Amsterdam Ave into a thriving creative space for collaborative social practice, inviting the neighborhood and their extended communities (city and worldwide) to witness, celebrate, learn, and heal together. This form of artistic activism was founded with the mission of creating sanctuary in uptown NYC, by and for Harlem.
From October 2019-March 2020, Amsterdam Collective hosted over 50 events including workshops for self defense, art making, dance classes, performances, ceremonies, skill shares, mindfulness education, community building, mutual aid fundraising, artisan markets and local school visits. In those 5 months over 30 intergenerational and multimedia artists exhibited their multimedia creations.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020, Amsterdam Collective has redirected its community activities onto their virtual directory, where many of their facilitators and artists continue to share their work. In the physical store-front space of Amsterdam Collective, lovingly planted seeds have grown, with the intention of reviving a sense of rebirth through the grief that came with the pandemic. Amsterdam Collective will continue to curate community events and exhibitions as soon as possible, and until then continues to web weave virtually through their shared platform and membership with Urban Creators.