The Black School Project – Shani Peters & Joseph A. Cuillier – Spring 2022 Lecture Recording


Conversation : The Black School Project

The Black School (TBS) is an experimental art school educating Black/PoC students and allies in radical Black politics through workshops, a design firm, and festival. Based on our commitment to community building and our core principles of Black love, wellness, and self-determination, The Black School’s mission is to extend the legacy of art in Black radical histories through innovative, multi-generational workshops/programs and our student-staffed art and design studio (TBS: Design Studio). All of these approaches emphasize experiential learning, social justice, and human-centered methodologies.

In October 2021, TBS closed on an 8,000 sq ft of land on which to build The Black Schoolhouse. The Black Schoolhouse/Community Center will create a home base for all these programs, allowing TBS to expand our work and deepen its roots through long term community relationships and engagements.

Since 2016, they have served over 500 students, facilitated over 125 workshops/classes, produced three Black Love Fests with approx. 3,000 attendees, trained and employed 25 design apprentices, partnered with over 60 organizations, and collaborated with over 50 professional artists.



Shani Peters

Shani Peters is a multidisciplinary artist based in New Orleans, LA. She holds a bachelor’s from Michigan State University and a Master of Fine Arts from the City College of New York. Peters has presented work in the US and abroad at the New Museum, NY; The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NY; Seoul Art Space Geumcheon, South Korea; The National Gallery of Zimbabwe; and Bauhaus-Building Dessau, Germany. Selected residencies include Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, MI; The Laundromat Project, NY; and Project Row Houses, TX. Her work has been supported by Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Rema Hort Mann Foundation, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Peters was a faculty member at The City College of NY, Pratt Institute, and Parsons School of Design before shifting her teaching focus to The Black School which she co-directs with Joseph Cuillier.


Joseph Cuillier

Joseph Cuillier is a multidisciplinary artist who examines language, space, abstraction, and Black radical pedagogies through social practice, installation, textile, and design. His practice at the intersections of education, visual art, and design centers on deconstructing histories to build counter narratives. Currently based in New Orleans, LA, Cuillier received a master’s from Pratt Institute and previously held faculty positions at Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute in New York City. Cuillier’s work has been exhibited, collected, and presented internationally at the New Museum, NY; The Museum of Modern Art Library, NY; Bauhaus-Building Dessau, Germany; The Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY; Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, NY; The Rubelle and Norman Schafler Gallery, Pratt Institute, NY; among others. Cuillier has been an artist-in-residence/fellow at Sweet Water Foundation, IL via the Chicago Architecture Biennial, IdeasCity New Orleans, LA; Spillways Antenna.Works, LA; the New Museum, NY; The Laundromat Project, NY; and A Blade of Grass, NY. Cuillier is the co-director of The Black School and Black Love Fest with Shani Peters.