The People

The people behind the blanket…

Danny Tisdale

Mr. Daniel B. Tisdale, a native of Watts, CA, is an internationally recognized visual artist; an educator; political and community activist. He received his M.F.A. study at Otis/Parsons School of Design, and his BA from California Polytechnic University, where he was honored in 2004 as Distinguished Alumnus of the Year

As an artist, Mr. Tisdale’s exhibits, photography and performance work has been shown in over 100 galleries and museums around the world. These institutions include: the prestigious Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the New Museum of Contemporary Art; Institute of Contemporary Photography; the International Center for Photography (ICP); the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; the California African American Art Museum in Los Angeles, CA; the Jewish Museum in San Francisco, CA and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN. He has also mounted exhibitions in Canada, Russia, various locations in Europe, Egypt, Israel and South Africa.

Mr. Tisdale’s work has earned him awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA); Franklin Furnace Performance Art; Creative Time; and prominent fellowships from the White House Millennium Arts Council; the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Gordon Matta-Trust; and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. His work is among the permanent collections of Gracie Mansion Fine Arts in New York City; the Norton Foundation in Los Angeles; the McArthur Foundation in Chicago; the Norton Foundation and the California Museum of African American Art.

As an educator, Mr. Tisdale has distinguished himself as an educator who emphasizes the need for young people to discover and nurture their creative talents and to use their artistic statement to address concerns about their community and its future. Mr. Tisdale draws from his own experiences of using art to confront and address social, economic and political issues to encourage young people to learn through the creative process, how to become involved in working within their communities to foster positive social, economic and political change.

Mr. Tisdale has also extended his activism through art into the community, earning recognition as a respected community advocate. In 1995, he was elected New York State Committee Member to the 70th Assembly District. In that role, he lobbied elected officials, worked with government agencies, community organizations to address constituent concerns. During the same period, he served as an active member of Manhattan’s Community Board #10 in New York City, and held numerous sub-committee seats to include: Arts & Culture, Economic Development and Empowerment Zone, Land Use, and Education. He was also appointed to Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger’s Youth Committee. In 1996, he hosted a Arts Commentary show on radio station WBAI in New York City, and later transitioned from artist with a social commentary to political activist, developing policy recommendations that would address community needs. Mr. Tisdale’s hard work and commitment to the upper Manhattan community was recognized when his supporters encouraged him to run for New York City Council in the 9th Council district in 1997.

Daniel Tisdale’s community work also includes extensive consultation as a Board Member with the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD); the National College Art Association (CAA); the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA); Independent Publishers Association (IPA); Creative America; and Creative Time. He has also served as a commentator on the issue of censorship before a U.S. Senate Sub Committee Hearing for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

He has also worked with government, community leaders and unions across the nation to create the National Visual Artists Guild (NVAG), a guild for visual art professionals. Mr. Tisdale has successfully conducted an intensive organization strategy training for the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute. He participated in the PBS American history television series Colonial House, where he says, “I fell in love with the ideals of my country, and sacrifices my ancestors made for me to be here.” In spring of 2003, he created Harlem World Magazine, Inc., a Harlem media-based company that markets and distributes Harlem contact where customer are who want to live and experience Harlem. We are segmented into three business segments: print, online and events. Recently, Danny started his own art radio show The Danny Tisdale in his conversations with the art community sponsored by Harlem World Magazine.

Mr. Tisdale is a resident of Harlem, New York.

Veronica Holly

Veronica is the Assistant Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME), Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Syracuse University and her M.A. in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is currently a doctoral student in the Organization and LeadershipDepartment at Teachers College. Her research interests include school/community partnerships, positive youth development, parent involvement, and school governance.   Ms. Holly’s professional background bridges New York City’s politics, community and education. She was an Assistant to Governor Mario Cuomo’s Advisory Committee for Black Affairs; and served as a Program Analyst for the New York State Division for Youth. Prior to joining IUME, Ms. Holly served as Research Coordinator for the National Center for Children and Families, at Teachers College, where she coordinated its national child and family policy summer fellowship program for graduate students, entitled “Putting Children First.” She has directed and developed academic enrichment programs for at-risk youth; provided technical assistance and evaluation to community-based organizations; served as manager for a successful District Leader political campaign; and serves as a consultant and proposal writer for education initiatives. She has organized numerous community and charitable events and chaired the New Democratic Club’s Education Committee in Harlem.   Ms. Holly has presented at numerous conferences and events, most notably, Keynote Address for the Robert Bowne Foundation Fellows Annual Luncheon, of which she was a Fellow, and the CEJJESS Institute’s Annual Graduates Awards Ceremony in 2008, and an encore address in 2009. She’s currently on leave from Upper Manhattan Rotary, International. Ms. Holly is an avid tennis player, and a homeowner in Harlem.


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