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Laundromat Art Galleries to Feature Three New Artists-in-Residence

NEW YORK CITY — An art program that uses local laundromats to showcase the arts in underserved communities has announced three new artists-in-residence for its 2013 season.

The Laundromat Project, a non-profit organization started in 2005, shares locations in three "anchor neighborhoods" — Bedford-Stuyvesant, Hunts Point and Harlem. Each season, the organization chooses socially-conscious artists to showcase through their "Create Change" artist residency program.

This season, neighbors can fold their laundry while viewing the work of artists Aisha Cousins, Art Jones and Shani Peters.

Cousins' work, featured at Marmy's Laundromat on Malcolm X Boulevard and Putnam Avenue in Bed-Stuy, is called "Mapping Soulville." The project will focus on the practice of renaming streets in black neighborhoods to reflect the community's history.

For "Mapping Soulville," Cousins is inviting neighbors to help create a map of Malcolm X Boulevard that will double as a timeline of the late activist's life.

In Hunts Point, Jones' exhibition "Portrait of the Community as a Block" is a series of stories by Hunts Point residents, with audio and video recordings. The stories focus on local stores like corner bodegas, hair salons and take-out restaurants. (A Laundromat Project spokesman said they were still finalizing locations for Hunts Point and Harlem.) 

And in Harlem, Peters's project "The People's Laundromat Theater" is turning a laundromat into an independent theater, giving neighborhood residents a chance to act as film festival judges as they offer a feedback on works from more than 30 artists and media producers. 

There's also a red-carpet inspired closing party, where visitors can get their "celebrity-shine-on," according to the Laundromat Project.

The six-month residency program begins in May and runs through October in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Hunts Point and Harlem. For more information visit LaundromatProject.org.