Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces

Flyer for Spiderwoman Theater's Three Works for Three Nights, 1985. Collection Linda Goode Bryant, New York

JAM at 503 Broadway 373

Flyer for Spiderwoman Theater's Three Works for Three Nights, 1985. Collection Linda Goode Bryant, New York

​​Linda Goode Bryant: The Broadway space was amazing, all that space that we could just be a laboratory in.

JAM volunteer, art historian, and curator, Lowery Stokes Sims: She really became more of a kind of, you know, resource for people, particularly when she moved to Broadway. If you had a good idea, Linda would help you realize it.

JAM volunteer, art historian, and curator, Horace Brockington: The performance part of it started getting heavier and heavier. And it was clear to people that Linda was not going back to traditional painting and sculpture.

Lowery Stokes Sims: There were a group of Black women who were doing more installations and performance and video. I think JAM was a really important venue for these artists because there were not many other places that they could go.

Artist, Kaylynn Sullivan TwoTrees: Because JAM was so alive with other artists, the process of creating and the opportunity to get feedback from other artists was unique. I began to understand that there was a world that I could participate in and grow in.

But I remember conversations about the lease. Keeping this space seemed like it was harder work.

JAM curator and artist, Tony Whitfield: I think, probably, someone else would not have occupied 503 Broadway without paying any rent for as long as Linda did. It was basically, let's keep trying to raise the money.

Linda Goode Bryant: Closing JAM, the Broadway space, was really hard. There were so many things that contributed to me saying, “I think I'm done now,” not the least of which was the market itself. Art was becoming more and more commodified. But it's about being aware of to what extent you are compromising your work, let alone your spirit.

So much of my art is made from the people I'm with and the people I know and how we collaborate to create this thing together. That's really fulfilling.

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