Centered in the art and social justice practice of Jeffrey Cheung and Unity, Unity at the Initiative is designed to give visibility and community to skaters, Queer and Trans Black, Indigenous, People of Color (QTBIPOC), and Asian Americans while challenging mainstream perceptions of each group. In addition to showing new site-specific work by Cheung, Unity at the Initiative will also showcase the work of over 25 Philadelphia-based artists around the themes of racial and queer identity, physical movement, and resistance. Major support for Unity at the Initiative has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
Unity at the Initiative was envisioned as a means to increase representation of Queer and Trans artists of color through exhibitions and in-person skate meetups. In light of the Pandemic and in response to the nation’s reckoning with racial equity, Cheung and Asian Arts Initiative committed to a digital and multi-site outdoor exhibition, and increased the artist fees for the working artists whose other gigs were being cancelled. Unity at the Initiative endeavors to protect continuity for a creative sector whose “2020 troubles” are compounded by under-representation and outright injustices.