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Artist Talk: Honoring the founding of Toussaint L’Ouverture College

Join us for a conversation with the newest president of Toussaint Louverture College, the only HBCU in the Northeast, founded 150 years ago in Poughkeepsie. Once a failed initiative and footnote in the long history of educational inequities experienced by young Black men and women, Toussaint Louverture College has come to life in the mind of artist Jean-Marc Superville Sovak, who will moderate this speculative discussion.

Jean-Marc Superville Sovak is a multidisciplinary artist and teaching professional whose work is deeply rooted in the community around him. His public works include organizing and officiating a “Burial for White Supremacy” (Unison Arts Center, New Paltz, NY), retracing speculative steps on the Underground Railroad across historic sites in the Hudson Valley (Wilderstein Historic Site, Rhinebeck, NY), and designing memorials to Afro-Dutch pioneers in colonial New Netherlands (Rockland County Art in Public Places). His current practice, “a-Historical Landscapes”, involves altering 19th-century landscape engravings to include images borrowed from contemporaneous Anti-Slavery publications. Jean-Marc has earned a reputation as a Reparative Consultant, guiding institutions in considering how they have historically benefited from the legacy of enslaved labor. His most recent project with Ramapo College of New Jersey titled “Stolen Sugar Makes the Sweetest Books” set the stage for considering how future scholarships could benefit students of Caribbean descent.