At the Intersection of Arts, Culture & Social Progress: Manushka Magloire

We recently interviewed Brooklyn-based Future Maker Manushka Magloire, a culture producer who works with brands and organizations to set how they engage with the world. She shared the latest on her work, purpose and the vision for the future.

 


 

You say you’re a culture producer by trade and it’s a way of life for you. Can you elaborate?

“It’s how do you build community. How do you harness the energy of the zeitgeist moments going on around you—the beats, pulse of events, places, people—things that propel us forward as a society. Whether it’s pop culture moments, actual events, branding, music, arts—it’s such a wide swath. And how you harness that energy into something tangible that moves people.”

The Mighty Shed: I know you’re shaping the future and doing cultural work of significance in New York City. What’s been significant to you in terms of shaping the future, whether that be in NYC or other places you have done work?

“The moment of clicking was when I started off at Lincoln Center. I used to work for the New York Philharmonic. I’m a classically trained pianist; I don’t play that much anymore. But I’ve always had a love for that. And I realized that if I actually pursued what I’ve cared about and wanted to do, it really didn’t matter who else was around or what was thought about it.

When you’re programmed that way and you start to realize that your output can be based on things you care about, are super passionate about, you can realize spaces and bridges for yourself and create them for other people. I was so enamored with getting more brown people to come to Lincoln Center for the Philharmonic.

Also, I spent several years working for Afropunk…taking that festival around the world. Afropunk shaped my lens and how I feel about culture—specifically Black culture—how it manifests, exists, and is consumed.  I went to one of the very first Afropunks and thought ‘what are these people doing here??’ Black kids painting, on BMXs—and they were skateboarding. I wasn’t used to seeing that; I was only used to seeing white kids do these things. I just didn’t think about us taking up the space in that way. It completely reshaped how I thought about me, my contributions, the potential for my legacy, and what I wanted to do out in the world.

In LA, I launched an initiative with a brand marrying fine arts and visual arts, with and within local marginalized communities. How do you create equity and close the gap in what we define as art, and who has access to it? It’s a mural program in historically black neighborhoods, but it’s black femme visual artists / fine artists using murals and different neighborhoods as gallery spaces. The work has been a catalyst for conversation, for harnessing community, sparking different ideas—especially when people are exposed to new elements and perspectives. For some people, it can change the way they view who they are and what they have the ability to do.

There’s this magic of feeling the kinetic energy shared and watching cultural impact manifest in real time…that crystalizing of a new perspective.”