Public Art


MONTH2MONTH was a series of public discussions and performances in private residences initiated by the artists William Powhida and Jennifer Dalton. The project offered the opportunity to engage with issues of class, wealth, and social mobility through curated short-term stays in 'luxury' and 'affordable' housing in NYC. The project, initiated in 2016, featured a series of public events that sparked discussions on the impact of housing policies, gentrification, and income inequality on New Yorkers, by transforming private spaces into social hubs, to share experiences and explore concepts of affordability and stability in the city.
Jennifer Dalton & William Powhida

May, 2016


Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York, NY.

MONTH2MONTH, William Powhida and Jennifer Dalton, May 2016.
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MONTH2MONTH event, "Who Stole the House with The Center for NYC Neighborhoods." Organized by William Powhida and Jennifer Dalton, May 2016

MONTH2MONTH was a public art project in private residences organized by the artists William Powhida and Jennifer Dalton and produced by More Art. Through a lottery initiated in winter of 2016, the public was invited to participate in curated short-term stays in examples of ‘luxury’ and ‘affordable’ housing in NYC. The stays were underscored by a month-long series of public events that provided a platform for discussions about how class, wealth, and social mobility affect people’s ability to live in New York City. Events were open to a limited public audience and examined art’s uncomfortable relationship to real estate development and neighborhood change.

MONTH2MONTH explored New York’s labyrinthine housing policies, that ranged from the inclusion of “affordable” housing units within new luxury developments and the rezoning plans that quickly transformed neighborhoods to the quasi-legality of the “sharing economy” and the rise of “illegal hotels.” This exploration at times took the form of information sharing, but also used unorthodox methods to push discussions into unfamiliar places. MONTH2MONTH opened up private spaces of luxury and affordable housing to discuss the conditions of relative stability and precarity facing New Yorkers. The residents, guests, and participants of MONTH2MONTH gathered together for formal and informal dinners, improvisational sitcoms, karaoke sessions, and other performative events that turned the subject of private housing itself into a social space for sharing experiences and gaining agency as current and future residents of New York City.

The project ultimately asked how class aspiration and income inequality shape the concept of affordability, especially as recent “affordable housing” plans have become tied to luxury development. In collaboration with other artists and activists, Powhida and Dalton organized the interdisciplinary series of events around the pressing issues of gentrification, social mobility, inequality, displacement and the often invisible service economies. Events spanned from the serious, “(Dis)placed in NYC: An Interactive Experience” with artist-activist Betty Yu, to the satirical, “Bubbles and Bubbles,” a night of champagne tasting with finance writer Felix Salmon, in an effort to address the wide range of social contexts housing plays in New York City. Other events included “Dinner with Doormen,” a catered dinner with the city’s gatekeepers, “Start an Investment Portfolio with $50,” with artist-writer Sharon Butler, and many more including an open call for participants to propose events during the project.

Participants included but were not limited to: housing rights advocates, politicians, financial journalists, developers, doormen, artists, critics, activists, local New York residents, and other stakeholders in the future of housing.

Download the press release.

Visit the archive of events.

Jennifer Dalton & William Powhida

Jennifer Dalton and William Powhida make individual artwork as well as work together on an ongoing collaborations that trace their personal and professional relationships to the art world and society. They began working together in 2008 during the financial crisis and their first collaborative project was a set of satirical recession-themed condolence cards, which gave way to a more exhaustive inquiry into the art market system. They developed #Class, a month-long series of discussions, performance and events on the themes of hierarchies, access and power, programmed via an open call at Winkleman Gallery in 2010.

Critic Holland Cotter said “Bottom line: artists are artists’ best friends, and there should be more gatherings like this one,” in his review of the show in the New York Times. They continued the discussion with #Rank at an alternative fair during Miami’s art fair week. They then presented “The Failure Desk” where they hosted anonymous small-scale focus groups at Lu Magnus Projects. Subsequently, they helped form FIPCA, an satirical artist collective inspired by Occupy Wall Street, which produced an all-day variety show “Telethon for the 1%.” Month2Month marks the first collaboration for the artists since 2012.

Jennifer Dalton:
William Powhida:

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MONTH2MONTH event, "Where Are They Now? with Kameelah Janan Rasheed" Organized by William Powhida and Jennifer Dalton, May 2016

Saturday, May 7,  Housewarming Party

A housewarming party in celebration of MONTH2MONTH, and the opportunity to welcome the first residents to their temporary home. No need to bring a gift.  


Sunday, May 8, (Dis)placed in NYC: An Interactive Experience

Together with housing rights actors of change, artist and activist Betty Yu leads an interactive event where participants imagine a more equitable city, shifting the narrative from individual guilt and blame to systemic housing problems based on real estate speculation and profit.


Monday, May 9,  Of Bubbles and Bubbles

Writer Felix Salmon hosts an evening of champagne and the economics of the the New York housing market at MONTH2MONTH’s ‘luxury’ apartment in Gramercy Park. 


Tuesday, May 10, $50 Stock Club

Artist Sharon Butler invites anyone with $50 to invest in a cooperative Stock Club for the 99%. Members will pool information and expertise to select stocks in which to invest their pooled funds; one year later– or upon majority vote–the portfolio will be liquidated and collective gains or losses realized. The public is invited to come learn a little more about the art of investing on a budget.

Saturday, May 14, Gentrifiers Anonymous

Brooklyn Hi-Art Machine (Oasa DuVerney and Mildred Beltre) asks visitors to publicly confess their own sins of gentrification, large or small, in order to explore their complacency and complicity in the citywide struggle for “affordable” housing and the wholesale displacement of low-income New Yorkers.


Sunday, May 15, Is Private Property OK? A Discussion

Does the earth belong to everyone, or only people with significant amounts of money? Is housing a right or a privilege? When we think of corporations or rich people carving up sections of the moon it seems outrageous. Why have we accepted it on our home planet? Co-organizers William Powhida and Jennifer Dalton host an opening discussion about the way private property laws fundamentally structure our society.


Monday, May 16, A Dinner with Housing Policy Experts

Members of the public join experts on public housing policy in New York City for a community dinner in a luxury apartment and a lively, open-ended conversation, intended to bypass some of the usual political posturing of panel discussions or the contentiousness of community board meetings.  The themed dinner service reflects back on the ways dining and culinary traditions reflect and shape ideas of public and private service. Special dinner guests include Neil deMause from the Village Voice, Adeola Enigbokan, artist and housing activist, and Heidi Schmidt, director of Government Relation, Dept. Homeless Services.


Tuesday, May 17, A Dinner with Developers and Real Estate Professionals 

Is displacement inevitable, or is it possible to work together to achieve sustainable and stable communities and include more stakeholders in ownership and property decisions? Special dinner guests include Asher Edelman from Artemus, an art leasing company, and Edelman Arts, Stefani Pace from Space in the City, Arun Sundararajan, professor at NYU, and a New York resident with decades of experience working in banking, finance, and real estate development.


Saturday, May 21, The Rent is Too Damn High So We Took Away Its Weed

A night of experimental improvisational comedy featuring Ana Fabrega, Lorelei Ramirez, Sean J Patrick Carney and Amy Zimmer, skewering New York’s rental market and housing lottery and everyone from well-meaning supers to itinerant hipsters to Donald Trump.


Sunday, May 22, This Should Not Be Considered Financial Advice

Writers Shane Ferro and Jillian Steinhauer offer free, informal financial advisory services;, and while neither may be entirely qualified to give such advice, both have been living successfully in New York City for nearly a decade—a sure sign of something. Participants should come prepared to be honest in confronting the details of how much you make, how much you spend, and how to be your best financial self.


Monday, May 23, A Dinner With Doormen

New York City doormen Ariel Acevedo, Hector Herrera and Toavorus (Clyde) Freeman join guests for a catered dinner to share their stories about mediating the public and private and to discuss privilege, labor, and access from their unique perspective on the ground floor.


Tuesday, May 24, Where Are They Now? 

Artist Kameelah Janan Rasheed leads a discussion group exploring where displaced people go when they are priced out of a neighborhood, what options they may have, and why their post-eviction trajectory is rarely included in discussions of displacement. 


Saturday, May 28, Informed Consent Dual Agency Karaoke 

Artist Seung-Min Lee hosts an open house workshop for real estate agents and their aspiring clients that culminates in a karaoke consciousness raising party.


Sunday, May 29, Civilized People Potluck with Aisha Cousins

Guests are asked to explore the subjective nature of the concept of “civilization” by turning in their forks and (dinner) knives in exchange for cookbooks featuring non-violent eating methods like chopsticks, injera, and fufu. Participants are encouraged to create dinner parties where neighbors discuss how the definition of “civilized” varies from culture to culture, as well as to consider this question: “Is it civilized to ask residents of a community you’re moving into to change because they do things differently from you?” 


Monday, May 30, Who Stole the House with The Center for NYC Neighborhoods

A murder mystery event where the crime centers around the theft of a Brooklyn home by a faceless LLC, using real-life examples from the work of The Center for NYC Neighborhoods, a non-profit that protects and promotes affordable homeownership in the five boroughs. “Who Stole The House?” will engage the audience around the epidemic of homeowner scams by LLCs that target vulnerable residents, and are often centered in hot real estate markets, like Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and East New York.

Tuesday, May 31, Rant Night

Guests are given five minutes to vent, rage, pontificate, and air their grievances about housing and inequality in New York City, closing out MONTH2MONTH with a cathartic evening of public speaking.

Partners and Supporters:

Gramercy Park events generously hosted at the live/work space of David Ling, Architect.