NYFA to Present “Demystifying NFTs”

NYFA to Present “Demystifying NFTs”
Image Detail: Vicki Da Silva, Chimney Corner 2, 2010

Two-part workshop series and award program made free for artists, performers, writers, and cultural workers.

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), in partnership with artist and technologist Laura Ó Reilly, is pleased to present Demystifying NFTs: Learn How to Create Eco-Responsible NFTs, a two-part workshop series and award program designed for beginners in the crypto space and anyone curious about minting NFTs on eco-conscious blockchains. The first live online workshop will take place on Saturday, June 25 at 10:00 AM EDT, with additional learning opportunities offered through December 31. Workshops will be made free to cultural workers and artists working across disciplines through the generous support of Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Ó Reilly, an alumna of The New Museum’s creative tech incubator NEW INC, developed and will lead the program. In addition to being offered in a live online workshop setting, content will also be offered in a learn at your own pace format for people who wish to learn at their own pace and schedule. For more information, visit nyfa.org.

Demystifying NFTs aims to expand the conversation around NFTs in a meaningful way, making the topic less intimidating for newcomers and opening up new revenue possibilities for artists of all disciplines. It will provide members of the creative community with the tools and knowledge to understand NFTs, as well as how to approach and learn about them through an environmentally-responsible lens, aiming to make NFTs more accessible, ethical, and democratic. Attendees of the Demystifying NFTs workshops will learn the basics of what NFTs are, including the vocabulary that defines everything from decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) to Web 3, as well as some of the more technical aspects of how to set up a wallet and how to mint an eco-responsible NFT.

The program is an expansion of a NYFA online learning initiative that launched in 2019, and is presented by NYFA in partnership with Ó Reilly’s new Technology Gap initiative. It builds on the nonprofit service organization’s more than 50-year history of providing individual artists and arts professionals with the tools and resources they need to define their own career success. Through this partnership, NYFA seeks to engage cultural workers and artists working across disciplines including visual arts, music, performance, film, and writing, to expand the conversation around NFTs.

Demystifying NFTs will also be offered at charge to members of the general public who don’t qualify for free access but would like to learn more about NFTs in an accessible format. To see if you qualify, please visit NYFA’s website. Upon successful completion of both workshops, NYC-based artists and cultural workers will be eligible to apply for the Demystifying NFT Award, further details forthcoming.

About the program, NYFA Executive Director Michael Royce states: “While NFTs have disrupted the art world, in good and ‘wait and see’ ways, many still cannot explain how this technology functions, nonetheless know how to participate in it as creatives. NFTs are further complicated by the fact that blockchains have become increasingly known for their negative environmental impact–making many hesitant to enter the space. NYFA wants to support the decision making and creative intelligence around this exploration. For this reason, we are thrilled to partner with Laura Ó Reilly to present an accessible, environmentally conscious alternative to creating and stewarding NFTs.”

Said Ó Reilly: “Don’t believe the hype about NFTs. Decide for yourself after you understand what they are. Demystifying NFT’s is meant to help participants EXHALE, lifting the existential dread of feeling left behind that can make us shut down our mind to new concepts. It’s crucial we educate ourselves, slow down, and consider the implications of how new technologies impact all life forms on planet earth. We collectively get to decide what web3 is, as it’s being created in real-time around us. To truly make these new technologies decentralized and equitable, there needs to be understanding. Knowledge is power, and this is what we’re hoping to impart through this program.”  

Demystifying NFTs is a joint program between NYFA Learning, NYFA Grants, and Laura Ó Reilly’s Technology Gap initiative. NYFA Learning provides artists, creators, students, and arts administrators with tools, strategies, and advice for building sustainable careers. Each year, NYFA Grants provides over $3 million in cash grants to individuals pursuing artistic excellence in all forms.

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Amy Aronoff
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