Awardees Selected for Artist Alisha Wormsley’s 

There Are Black People in the Future Artwork-in-Residence

11 artists and teachers will explore the relevance of Wormsley’s text in their communities

Pittsburgh, PA…April X, 2019… Artist Alisha Wormsley and the Office of Public Art (OPA) are pleased to announce the 11 awardees selected to engage the Pittsburgh community in dialogue about the meaning and intentions of Wormsley’s There Are Black People in the Future artwork. Selected through an open call process announced on January 10, 2019, these awardees will help envision the next manifestation of There Are Black People in the Future, an ongoing body of work that Wormsley began developing in 2012. Each of the following awardees will receive an honorarium as well as support from Wormsley, collaborating artist Jon Rubin, and OPA to implement their submitted project proposals in the neighborhoods of East Liberty, Bloomfield, Garfield, Larimer, and/or Homewood: 

  • Thomas James Agnew, Navigating as a Black Creative in Pittsburgh

  • Ether, The Afrofuture Has Arrived

  • Anqwenique Kinsel, JUST SING! A Vocal Intensive with Anqwenique

  • D.S. Kinsel, Totems, Shrines and Sacraments

  • Amos Levy, There Are Black Teens in the Future: Afro Sci-Fi Storytelling at YMCA Lighthouse

  • Lucas Mickens, blackMAN

  • Onika Reigns, The Black Dream Escape

  • Felicia Savage Friedman, I Am Beautiful! I Am Strong! Raja Yoga: Relevant and Radical Racial Conversations Swathed in Love

  • Ayana Toukam, Journey of a Mystic (working title)

  • Woodrow Winchester III, Art+Engineering: Towards the Humanistic Technologist

  • Brett Wormsley, There Are Black People in the Future: Creative Expression Contest

For more information about the projects and awardees, please visit:

Wormsley and Rubin proposed this artwork-in-residence initiative in response to community outcry over the removal of Wormsley’s text, There Are Black People in the Future, from The Last Billboard project in East Liberty in spring 2018. The initiative will unfold over the course of 2019 and explore how artists and residents can collectively catalyze conversations that promote positive change in social and civic spaces. The initiative will include public workshops and community conversations to engage the Pittsburgh community in dialogue about the work’s meaning and intentions. Ultimately, this residency will support the community in a process that will help decide if the text, There Are Black People in the Future, should have a temporary or ongoing presence in the East End. OPA is supporting the residency, including providing project management and staff support.  The artwork-in-residence is generously being funded by The Heinz Endowments. 

For more information, please visit:


About Alisha B. Wormsley

Alisha B. Wormsley is an interdisciplinary artist and cultural producer. Her work is about collective memory and the synchronicity of time, specifically through the stories of women of color. Wormsley’s work has been honored and supported by a number of awards and grants including: The People are the Light; afronaut(a) film and performance series, Homewood Artist Residency (winner of the Mayor’s Award for Public Art); the Children of NAN video art series; and There Are Black People in the Future body of work. These projects and works have been exhibited widely, including at the Andy Warhol Museum, the Octavia Butler conference at Spelman University, Carnegie Museum of Art, Johannesburg, South Africa, HTMlles in Montreal, Project Row House, the Houston Art League, Rush Art Gallery in New York, and the Charles Wright Museum in Detroit. Wormsley is the winner of the 2018 Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award for Emerging Artists. 

About Jon Rubin

Jon Rubin is an interdisciplinary artist who creates interventions in public life that re-imagine individual, group, and institutional behavior. His projects include starting a radio station in an abandoned neighborhood that only plays the sound of an extinct bird, running a barter-based nomadic art school, operating a restaurant that produces a live video talk show with its customers, and co-directing another that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. Rubin is an Associate Professor and Graduate Director in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University. 

About the Office of Public Art 

Office of Public Art (OPA) is the leading agent and advocate for public art in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Founded in 2005, OPA is located at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and works with communities and artists throughout the region by providing public art education, commissions, project management, artist selection, and artist residencies in the public realm.  OPA collaborates with individuals and organizations in both the public and private sector. For more information, visit: