A 2020 Census Project Opens at Museum of Art and History

The Lancaster Museum of Art & History (MOAH) and the Lancaster Museum and Public Art Foundation (LMPAF) invite the public to its newest exhibition #CountMeIn, A 2020 Census Project.The exhibition is the culmination of a year-long series of arts-driven community engagement events and conversations facilitated by a team of artists whose goal is to increase participation in the 2020 Census in and around downtown Lancaster and The BLVD Cultural District. Lead Artist Robin Rosenthal, documentary filmmaker and creative place-keeper, led the team of artists-in-residence, which includes Jane Szabo, fine art photographer; Edwin Vasquez, multi-media artist; Nuri Amanatullah, muralist; and the artist collective, Art In Residence, which consists of artists Nathaniel Ancheta, David Edward Martin, and Janice Ngan.

Rosenthal, along with her team of artists, developed and led various art workshops, community gatherings and artist interactions, including portrait photography sessions, a screen-printing workshop, interviews, and creative place-making activities. The activations took place at several community hubs such as the Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley, the Cedar Center for the Arts, the Housing Corporation of America, Sacred Heart Church, and the Antelope Valley Senior Center. At each of these events, the artists engaged with residents and patrons, raising awareness and building trust, encouraging them to participate in the 2020 Census through arts and dialog. This work allows participants to be seen and heard. The message is clear: they matter and they deserve to be counted.

Artworks in the #CountMeInexhibition at MOAH stem from collaborative efforts between the artists-in-residence and members of the community, featuring a two-story mural by Nuri Amanatullah, crocheted Polaroid-embedded afghans created by needle-crafters at the Antelope Valley Senior Center and three Housing Corporation of America locations; nearly 70 portraits photographed by fine art photographer, Jane Szabo, highlighting community members, business owners, youth and young adults, neighbors and friends. Also included are interviews by Edwin Vasquez and a solo-exhibition by Clovis Blackwell.In addition, special exhibitions As a Day, a Decade,an immersive aural/visual installation created by Art In Residence members Nathanial Ancheta, Dave Edward Martin, and Janice Ngan; and First People, First Communities, curated by Dr. Bruce Love, take a look back at the changing landscape of downtown and the Native American communities which first populated the Antelope Valley. In the museum’s South Gallery,Collaborate and Create, a collection of 20 collaborative artworks by 40 artists emphasizing the benefit of networking and community, will also be on display.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic,#CountMeIn,A 2020 Census Project, is now available to experience virtually on the museum’s website and Facebook page. For more information, including exclusive images and blog posts, please visit lancastermoah.org/count-me-in or the museum’s Facebook page at facebook.com/lancastermoah. Want to get involved? Use the hashtags #countmein, #wecountav, and #lancastermoah on social media and tell us why it is important that your communities are counted in the 2020 Census. #CountMeIn, A 2020 Census Project is made possible by the California Arts Council and the California Community Foundation.

MOAH is dedicated to strengthening awareness, enhancing accessibility, and igniting the appreciation of art, history, and culture in the Antelope Valley through dynamic exhibitions, innovative educational programs, creative community engagement, and a vibrant collection that celebrates the richness of the region. MOAH is located at 665 W. Lancaster Blvd. and is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with extended hours on Thursday until 8 p.m. For more information,including additional tour dates,visit www.lancastermoah.org/ or call (661) 723-6250.