The Lenape Center began in 2009, with a mission to continue Lenapehoking, the Lenape homeland, through Lenape arts and culture. The Lenape, the original peoples of Lenapehoking, come from a region encompassing today's New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and part of Connecticut. Today, the Lenape Center is a non-profit organization based in the ancestral Lenape island of Manhattan and has an impressive history of cultural advocacy and artistic excellence.
Together, Joe Baker, Hadrien Coumans, Curtis Zunigha, and now myself, have a combined total of 184 years of experience in art creation, 128 years of experience in development, 97 years of experience in distribution, and 97 years of experience in exhibition. The Lenape Center has been featured in three New York Times articles (2014, 2015, 2017), Huffington Post (2014), Vogue (2015) and The Village Voice (2017), just to name a few.
The Lenape Center has hosted and welcomed numerous Lenape elders into Lenapehoking since our inception, and often partners with other arts organizations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Lenape Center has initiated high profile public art and culture projects central to the lives of the Lenape, has encouraged and facilitated place-naming & re-naming of Lenapehoking boundaries and places, and has held many convenings and symposia on the Lenape diaspora.
The Lenape Center has quickly become the go-to organization for anything of cultural and artistic importance to the Lenape in New York City. I am proud to join this outstanding organization in the official capacity of co-director, and it is my honor to serve. — Brent Michael Davids