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BOFFO believes in art and design as a vehicle of change—a way to improve and enhance the quality of life of our communities and of individuals. BOFFO believes in enabling the greatest creative talent of our time to become powerful forces in shaping social, industry, and community landscapes.

Community Change

Instigating community development with art and design as critical, leading forces.

BOFFO is always on the move, identifying communities in need, figuring out ways artists and designers can lead the planning and execution of strategies that spur economic growth, increase diversity, improve and strengthen infrastructure, and create a sense of place that is more interesting, active, and engaged. In 2009, our first project transformed a 15,000 sq ft. vacant printing press, formerly owned by the Jehovah’s Witness in Brooklyn. We brought together over 150 artists and designers
to showcase work. We gave 15 artists free work space. We attracted over 2000 visitors in 2 months through diverse public programming. In 2012 we founded our Fire Island Residency. Now in our eighth year, we have transformed the community by bringing artists that continue to spend time and make artwork together, artwork that is being displayed across the globe. Each year we produce 60+ public programs on Fire Island, attracting visitors from around the world. Now Fire Island is considered one of the premier summer art destination, new businesses are opening, more diverse people are visiting, and residents are spending more time together.

Social Change

Art is fundamental to the collective understanding of who we are, what we believe, and how we engage with each other and our surroundings.

Artists inspire, provoke, mobilize, and expand the imagination in critical ways, leading change that yields profound social consequences. Artists expose and help resolve issues of social justice. Art is an illustrative and journalistic tool that humanizes and actualizes issues. Art inspires us to action. From lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer rights, to race, environment, class, ethics, economy, and immigration, art gives a language
to the emotions, grievances, and fears of many who may not have another way to voice or express their feelings.

For seven years our Fire Island Residency has asked artists to investigate and present work that confronts LGBTQ issues sparking a dialog with over 100,000 seasonal visitors. Through our 2014 initiative, Heart Like, Yoko Ono presented five simple dots on Instagram, each asking people to spread the dot over the center of the page and imagine world peace, equality, and more. Over 30,000 people “liked” her work, sharing their stories and inspiring words in response.

Industry Change

Giving artists & designers opportunities to explore unchartered territories through experimental commissions that push creative practice forward

With all of our commissions we are looking to push the boundaries of thought and practice, how to lead in innovation, explore the new, noteworthy, and cutting-edge, while allowing artists and designers to think, challenge, question, and expand, their modes of expression. Our Building Fashion initiative has won two American Institute of Architects awards for this kind of exploration. At our Show House, we presented what we called a “cutting-edge” experiment in living. Through immersive environments, we challenged the way people considered contemporary domestic life. Our Heart Like program was the first commissioned series by an arts organization to promote the exploration of artists using social media with transformative affects on how we, understand, approach, interact, and are affected by images, video, and text in this semi-public space. We encourage experimentation with new technologies and modes of expression.