Danny Tisdale, a native of Watts, CA, is an internationally recognized visual artist; an educator; political and community activist. He received his M.F.A. study at Otis/Parsons School of Design, and his BA from California Polytechnic University, where he was honored in 2004-2055 as Distinguished Alumnus of the Year and in 2014 awarded the Game Changer Award by the NAACP.
After graduating from Otis Parsons School of Design, Danny drove to New York City in his 1963 Chevy to work in “the art capital of the world.” In 1985 he started working at Interview Magazine as Advertising Production Director, then Paper and Details Magazines.
As an artist, Tisdale’s exhibits, photography and performance work has been shown in over 100 galleries and museums around the world. These institutions include: the prestigious Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the New Museum of Contemporary Art; Institute of Contemporary Photography; the International Center for Photography (ICP); the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; the California African American Art Museum in Los Angeles, CA; the Jewish Museum in San Francisco, CA and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN. He has also mounted exhibitions in Canada, Russia, various locations in Europe, Egypt, Israel and South Africa.
Tisdale’s work has earned him awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA); Franklin Furnace Performance Art; Creative Time; and prominent fellowships from the White House Millennium Arts Council; the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Gordon Matta-Trust; and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. His work is among the permanent collections of Gracie Mansion Fine Arts in New York City; the Norton Foundation in Los Angeles; the McArthur Foundation in Chicago; the Norton Foundation and the California Museum of African American Art.
As an educator, Tisdale has distinguished himself as an educator who emphasizes the need for young people to discover and nurture their creative talents and to use their artistic statement to address concerns about their community and its future. Tisdale draws from his own experiences of using art to confront and address social, economic and political issues to encourage young people to learn through the creative process, how to become involved in working within their communities to foster positive social, economic and political change.
Mr. Tisdale has also extended his activism through art into the community, earning recognition as a respected community advocate. In 1995, he was elected New York State Committee Member to the 70th Assembly District. In that role, he lobbied elected officials, worked with government agencies, community organizations to address constituent concerns. During the same period, he served as an active member of Manhattan’s Community Board #10 in New York City, and held numerous sub-committee seats to include: Arts & Culture, Economic Development and Empowerment Zone, Land Use, and Education. He was also appointed to Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger’s Youth Committee. In 1996, he hosted a Arts Commentary show on radio station WBAI in New York City, and later transitioned from artist with a social commentary to political activist, developing policy recommendations that would address community needs. Tisdale’s hard work and commitment to the upper Manhattan community was recognized when his supporters encouraged him to run for New York City Council in the 9th Council district in 1997.
Danny Tisdale’s community work also includes extensive consultation as a Board Member with the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD); the National College Art Association (CAA); the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA); Independent Publishers Association (IPA); Creative America; and Creative Time. He has also served as a commentator on the issue of censorship before a U.S. Senate Sub Committee Hearing for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
He has also worked with government, community leaders and unions across the nation to create the National Visual Artists Guild (NVAG), a guild for visual art professionals. Tisdale has successfully conducted an intensive organization strategy training for the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute. He participated in the PBS American history television series Colonial House, where he says, “I fell in love with the ideals of my country, and sacrifices my ancestors made for me to be here.” In spring of 2003, he created Harlem World Magazine, Inc., a Harlem media-based company that markets and distributes Harlem contact where customer are who want to live and experience Harlem. We are segmented into three business segments: print, online and events.
Tisdale is a resident of the world.