ArtsWestchester Honors Haifa Bint-Kadi and The LOFT for Advancing Equity & Social Justice

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (February 22, 2023) – ArtsWestchester announced that it will recognize one artist and one organization with an Advancing Equity Award this spring. The Advancing Equity Award is a cornerstone program in ArtsWestchester’s commitment to social justice and recognizes a nonprofit organization and artist for their leadership in advancing social justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility through and in the arts.

Haifa Bint-Kadi of Yonkers has been selected as the 2023 Advancing Equity artist recipientand The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center of White Plains has been selected as the winner of the Advancing Equity Organization Award. To support Bint-Kadi’s ongoing work and commitment to service, the artist award comes with a $5,000 prize. The Advancing Equity Organization Award comes with a $25,000 recognition prize.

Janet T. Langsam, CEO of ArtsWestchester explains, “ArtsWestchester seeks to amplify the diverse voices of our multi-cultural and multi-ethnic communities through the arts. The Advancing Equity Award recognizes those organizations and artists who have been leaders in creating systemic change towards a more just, diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible society. Their work in Westchester can serve as a model and inspiration for all.”   

More About the 2023 Advancing Equity Award Winners:

Haifa Bint-Kadi holds an M.F.A. from Istituto d’Arte per il mosaico in Ravenna, Italy and has been designing and fabricating public art mosaics since 1993. Haifa’s most recent commission is from the Children’s Museum of Manhattan to design and create an installation for their 2014 Muslim Cultures exhibit. She explains, “I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my Arab heritage has influenced the construction of my identity and often in relation to the concept of Other…My work explores issues of gender equality, identity, cultural scrutiny and socio-political scenarios that construct representations of the Other.  I intensely examine how image language can resist and also create representations while transcending boundaries and oversimplified understandings of what it means to be “western” vs “eastern.” I do this by constructing alternatives to typical Middle Eastern iconography.” In addition to Bint-Kadi’s outstanding body of work, much of which is in public spaces, Haifa has been a mentor to many emerging artists. As a curator, she has worked tirelessly to create safe spaces and professional development opportunities for artists from backgrounds historically underrepresented in arts institutions. 

The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center is a non-profit institution that provides a range of services for the LGBTQ+ Community in Westchester County, NY, and the Lower Hudson Valley Region. The LOFT offers both in-person, virtual, and hybrid services, support groups, social activities, arts and culture programming, and special events, including Westchester Pride and the Hudson Valley TransForum.  Motivated by the core values of respect, inclusivity, opportunity and integrity, The LOFT is committed to providing a safe space in which everyone is respected, supported and valued and to creating an inclusive and affirming environment which reflects our diverse identities. Their mission also includes being a forceful advocate for justice and positive change for all LGBTQ+ people, broadening knowledge about and for LGBTQ+ community, and celebrating the past, present and future of LGBTQ+ culture and contributions to society.

The Advancing Equity Awards will be presented at ArtsWestchester’s April 19th Arts Award Luncheon. Everyone is welcome. Tickets are available online.

About ArtsWestchester

For more than 50 years, ArtsWestchester has been the community’s connection to the arts. Founded in 1965, it is the largest private not-for-profit arts council in New York State. Its mission is to create an equitable, inclusive, vibrant and sustainable Westchester County in which the arts are integral to and integrated into every facet of life. ArtsWestchester provides programs and services that enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County. ArtsWestchester helps fund concerts, exhibitions and plays through grants; brings artists into schools and community centers; advocates for the arts; and builds audiences through diverse marketing initiatives. In 1998, ArtsWestchester purchased the nine-story neo-classical bank building at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue which has since been transformed into a multi-use resource for artists, cultural organizations and the community. A two-story gallery is located on the first floor of ArtsWestchester’s historic building on Mamaroneck Avenue.