BANKING WHILE BLACK is a multimedia interactive physical and virtual art installation created by Paul Rucker.
The project blends art and history to tell stories of the Black Wall Streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Durham, North Carolina and Richmond, Virginia, including stories of Black excellence that blossomed in those communities before they were destroyed. The interactive bank experience is enriched with trivia that explores the systemic racism and the economic and physical violence inflicted on Black Americans in the past and present.
The physical installation re-creates a walkable open-air bank space, complete with teller booths, deposit tables, marble slabs, brass fittings, chandeliers and carved doors from the artist’s personal collection of vintage bank components. Guests can interact with the bank by scanning deposit slips at virtual teller windows to learn stories and trivia.
The physical installation will be located at ASU’s Coca- Cola Sun Deck, a 15,000 square feet of open concept space, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ. Banking While Black will include special events, activities, and learning opportunities for students and the general public.
Banking While Black is commissioned and presented by Arizona State University’s 365 Community Union, a department within ASU Cultural Affairs. Project partners include Arizona PBS, the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, ASU Art Museum and W.P. Carey School of Business and Arizona PBS.