Pittsburgh’s People of the Year 2020: Visual Arts | Pittsburgh’s People of the Year | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh’s People of the Year 2020: Visual Arts

BOOM Concepts provided support to local Black creative entrepreneurs, small businesses, and the community

click to enlarge BOOM Concepts’ Thomas Agnew and D.S. Kinsel - CP PHOTO: LAKE LEWIS
CP Photo: Lake Lewis
BOOM Concepts’ Thomas Agnew and D.S. Kinsel
Since opening in 2014, BOOM Concepts has seen its fair share of adversity, from being one of the few Black-owned and run spaces in a historically racist city, to surviving the problematic Penn Avenue reconstruction project that impacted many businesses and arts venues in Garfield. It's no surprise, then, that BOOM co-founders DS Kinsel and J. Thomas Agnew sprang into action during the pandemic, providing support to local Black creative entrepreneurs, small businesses, and the community with everything from fundraising to helping distribute meals to those in need. The arts hub also expanded its reach this year by organizing Black-led mural projects at the Carrie Blast Furnaces in Rankin, facilitating a new exhibition at the City of Asylum in the North Side, and partnering with the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg. In 2021, BOOM foresees rolling out more public art projects, running an artist-in-residence program, and providing the Pittsburgh arts community with business and professional development, and more opportunities for people to create and experiment. “We're always very open with our strategies,” says Kinsel. “We're a DM or a door knock away.”

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