Death: Sajda Musawwir Ladner is dead, Pioneer of Staten Island art and culture

Staten Island art and culture pioneer Sajda Musawwir Ladner dies at 80

Sajda Musawwir Ladner, an acclaimed community leader and pioneer in Staten Island art and culture, has a history of more than 50 years and died Wednesday. She is 80 years old.

Ms. Ladner is one of the founding members of Universal Temple of the Arts (UTA), a pioneering non-profit organization founded in 1967 to support and showcase artists of color. She later served as the organization’s art director and executive.

Sajda Musawwir Ladner, far left, had an outreach event to discuss etiquette courses offered by Universal Art Hall. (Derek Alves / Staten Island Advance)

He directs UTA’s arts activities (musical performances, Staten Island Jazz Festival, poetry) and community work, which is also at the core of non-profit organizations, especially youth outreach activities.

Ms. Ladner was born in Harlem, grew up in West Brighton and later lived in Tompkinsville.

Congresswoman Debi Ross posted on Facebook after Ms. Radner’s death that she had graduated from Curtis High School two years ago at the age of 16.

“At that time she started singing in a quartet called ‘Lovettes’. Her musical director was my aunt Elaine Billups,” Ross wrote. “Sajda is deeply committed to the community and she sees art as a tool to realize potential and express happiness.”

Ms. Ladner is also a professional dancer and costume designer, and an art teacher.

Her work at UTA over the years has received honors including community committee 1 honors, numerous elected officials, honors from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Athena Award from the Federation of American Organizations. Staten Island women.

In 2009, when asked how the various groups on Staten Island could improve their relationships, Ms. Ladner said, “Part of UTA’s mission is to cultivate brotherly love through arts, culture, and cultural programs. Education”. UTA serves the general manager. Population; however, young people, especially the underserved, the underprivileged, or whatever term is politically correct today, are our target demographic. When studying art, be it music, dance, painting, sculpture, writing, etc., words such as harmony, love, balance, passion, diversity, color, relationship and truth will emerge. “

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