Past: Past: Raise Your Voice with Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya

When: Wednesday, March 30, 2022, 6:30pm

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Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya headshot and Carmelyn P. Malalis headshot
Courtesy of Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya and Carmelyn P. Malalis

Join us for the opening celebration for Raise Your Voice, artist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya's new installation. Phingbodhipakkiya will join Carmelyn P. Malalis, former NYC Commissioner of Human Rights, and MCNY's Puffin Foundation Curator of Social Activism, Sarah Seidman, for a talk about the intersection between public art and human rights -- and the resilience of the city's Asian American and Pacific Islander communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Enjoy a short performance by Sugar Vendil and Janelle Lawrence from their new BĀS project.  Reception to follow.

Raise Your Voice is a new installation that invites audiences to engage with their own powers of advocacy in the Museum's ongoing exhibition Activist New Yorkcelebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022. Phingbodhipakkiya developed her visual series "I Still Believe in Our City" (2020) as an artist-in-residence with the NYC Commission on Human Rights in order to address the rise in anti-Asian harassment and violence during the COVID-19 crisis. The series and subsequent projects appeared in public transit and other public spaces to reclaim space, resist stereotypes, and celebrate longstanding AAPI contributions to New York City past and present.

BĀS is a Black and Asian bridging project conceived by Sugar Vendil and Janelle Lawrence which seeks to address racial tensions and foster mutual understanding, empathy, and healing through active listening and storytelling.

About the Speakers:
Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and activist based in Brooklyn, NY. Her explorations of feminism, science, and community have reclaimed space in museums, galleries, protests, rallies, subway corridors, as well as on two TED conferences. Prior to becoming a full-time artist, Phingbodhipakkiya studied neuroscience at Columbia and worked at an Alzheimer’s research lab. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Guardian, and on the cover of TIME magazine. In 2020-2021, she was artist-in-residence with the NYC Commission on Human Rights and her work has been acquired into the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum & the Library of Congress.

Carmelyn P. Malalis stepped down from her role as Chair and Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights in October 2021. Ms. Malalis was appointed to head the Commission, the City agency tasked with combating discrimination in New York City, by Mayor Bill de Blasio in November 2014 following more than a decade in private practice as an advocate for employees' rights in the workplace. Under her leadership, the Commission almost tripled in size to a staff speaking over 30 languages and the New York City Human Rights Law was amended over 20 times to protect more New Yorkers from discrimination and harassment. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Malalis was a partner at Outten & Golden LLP where she co-founded and co-chaired its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Workplace Rights Practice Group. Commissioner Malalis earned her J.D. from the Northeastern University School of Law and received a B.A. in Women's Studies from Yale University.

Dr. Sarah Seidman is the Puffin Foundation Curator of Social Activism at the Museum of the City of New York. She curates the ongoing exhibition Activist New York, which explores nearly 400 years of activist histories in New York City. She has also curated the exhibitions Beyond Suffrage: A Century of New York Women in Politics, and co-curated PRIDE: Photographs of Stonewall and Beyond by Fred W. McDarrah and King in New York. Dr. Seidman holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Brown University. Her writing has appeared in Radical History Review, the Journal of Transnational American Studies, and The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture, among other places.

About the Performers:
Janelle Lawrence is an Afro-Latinx interdisciplinary artist that investigates the depth of strength with stories that explore the complex layers of perspective. They have had their musicals presented at various Theaters such as Club Cumming, Joe’s Pub, Seattle Public Theatre, The REACH at The Kennedy Center, and Legoland NY. They have been residents of the 92nd St Y Musical Theatre Development Lab: Collective, Greenhouse Residency SPACE on Ryder Farm and Barn Arts Hamilton Project Resident. They are a Juilliard School Evening Division alumni, and a 2020 Recipient of NBT's Soul Series Lab - Playwriting Micro-Development Session.

Sugar Vendil is a composer, pianist, choreographer, and interdisciplinary artist based in Lenapehoking, known as Brooklyn. She started her artistic life as a classical pianist, and after spending nearly a decade searching for her own voice, her practice evolved into performances that integrate sound, movement, and unconventional approaches to the piano. She writes and performs her own solo music for piano and electronics and has a keyboard/synth duo, Vanity Project, with composer Trevor Gureckis. Vendil is a proud second-generation Filipinx American. 

Event Logistics (subject to change based on NYC regulations):

  • Please contact us at or 917.492.3395 with any questions or ticketing issues.
  • Programs and dates may be subject to change. The Museum of the City of New York reserves the right to refuse admission to latecomers. Program tickets do not include Museum Admission unless otherwise noted.



Activist New York and its associated programs are made possible by The Puffin Foundation, Ltd. 

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