We’re The Bruce High Quality Foundation, an anonymous art collective based in Brooklyn, NY. For over a decade, we’ve been producing works of art, musicals, films, public interventions, and massive group exhibitions.
In 2009, we started a tuition-free, artist-run school called the Bruce High Quality Foundation University (BHQFU). With student debt on the rise and art education consistently being defunded, creating accessible and sustainable spaces where artists can learn from one another and grow in their work is at the core of our mission.
We believe that free arts education should be a right, not a privilege.
Over 7,000 miles away, in Zambia, there’s another school that shares this mission. Completed in January 2015 by the 14+ Foundation, the Chipakata Children’s Academy provides tuition-free, arts-based learning to over 200 students, ranging in age from preschool to the 7th grade.
For this project, our schools are teaming up! Over the next six months, hundreds of artists in our community will use this portable etching press to create original copper plate prints.
Then, with your help, we’ll take the press on an incredible journey from our home in New York to its new, permanent home at the Chipakata School in Zambia. The press will anchor a new printmaking studio program, which will provide the students with the skills, tools, and equipment to create original works of art for years to come.
Prints created by the participating artists and the Chipakata students will be exhibited together in both New York and Zambia next year, showcasing the enormous community this project has fostered.
When we travel with the press to Zambia, we’ll bring along the engraved copper plates used to create the prints. The plates will be installed at the Chipakata school, on an exterior wall facing the mountains, forming a unique, collaborative mural that will develop a natural patina over time.
This is the just the first step in forging a meaningful and lasting connection between our two schools. Our long-term goal is to establish a teaching exchange program where US-based artists can live in Zambia as artists-in-residence, leading courses and workshops at the Chipakata school, and further cementing a meaningful collaboration between artists on different sides of the Atlantic.
College-aged students should not need to accrue massive debt to experience arts-based learning, and primary students should enjoy the benefit of exploring creativity throughout their entire education. Both BHQFU and the Chipakata school have seen firsthand the impact of arts education in our communities and we are invested in continuing to provide this invaluable resource.
BHQFU is a learning experiment where artists work together to manifest creative, productive, resistant, useless, and demanding interactions between art and the world. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, BHQFU was founded in 2009 by Brooklyn-based, anonymous art collective The Bruce High Quality Foundation. It has grown from a small office space in TriBeCa to a year-round free education program and public exhibitions series with hundreds of students annually at our headquarters in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. We also offer cost-free studio residencies to artists, giving them the time, space, and support to realize their work without going into debt.
The Bruce High Quality Foundation have been recognized for their work by the New York Times, Art in America, the Wall Street Journal, Artforum, Purple, VICE, and have exhibited their work nationally and internationally for over a decade. In 2013, the Brooklyn Museum held a massive retrospective of the collective’s projects.
Over the next year, we’re producing editions of prints created by US-based artists as a future sustainable fundraising model to keep generating support for both the Chipakata school and BHQFU long after this Kickstarter completes. These prints will be part of the New York and Zambia exhibitions next year! For the future of the project, we've got some amazing people confirmed, including:
We’re reaching out to the Kickstarter community because we know, firsthand, the incredible things that can be done when working collectively toward a common goal. We know that Kickstarter provides a one-of-a-kind platform to spread the word about this initiative and get supportive people involved right from the start. BHQFU's success has always been the direct result of a community of students, teachers, and visiting artists who come together to change the world, one class at a time. With an audience as large as Kickstarter's, this is an incredible opportunity for us to get the word out about both BHQFU and the Chipakata Academy far and wide. We invite you to join us in this journey towards reshaping how art is taught and learned, and who gets to participate!
With your support, we’ll take the press to Zambia and build a new studio program for the students. Over the course of two weeks, BHQFU will train students and faculty at the Chipakata school in various printmaking methods. Any additional funds raised beyond our initial goal will go directly to furthering the partnership and building out a teaching exchange program at the Chipakata school.
This campaign is endorsed by an independent jury selected by Art Basel. Check out their curated page to learn about other great cultural projects.
Risks and challenges
Our most significant challenge is ensuring that we have the time and resources to truly engage with the students at Chipakata, to construct a solid printmaking studio program, and to get to know the local community.
To do this, we require strong seed funding that will enable us to make this first step something monumental in the service of our ongoing collaboration. That’s why we’re asking you to get involved! We’ve generated a significant amount of energy between BHQFU and the Chipakata students already, and are eager to move to action.
Both organizations are brimming with excitement about this collaboration, and we know that enacting the program soon will bring the best possible results! But we also recognize the logistical challenges involved in real community engagement and the building of relationships, so we are making sure to keep a realistic perspective that allows the project’s full timeline to remain somewhat flexible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)