Messages to Go
by Hatuey Ramos-Fermín
a project of FABnyc and Downtown Art

FABnyc and Downtown Art present Hatuey Ramos-Fermín’s Messages to Go, an art project that produced, designed, and distributed a series of reusable shopping bags based on conversations and interviews with local small business owners including the owners of Rossy’s Bakery and Coffee Shop, Dual Specialty, and La Sirena Mexican Folk Art, as well as with small business advocates including Cooper Square Committee Director of Planning and Development Abigail Ellman; CB3 Economic Development Committee member Meghan Joye; and NYC Council Member for District 2, Carlina Rivera.  

The design of each bag features quotes by the small business owner and advocates along with a graphic, designed by Ramos-Fermin, of either the owners’ storefronts or recently vacated ones. Bags were distributed to each store and were available at Rossy’s, Dual Specialty, and La Sirena, amplifying both their businesses and their stories. All bags were also available in the lobby of Downtown Art.

Through a series of events hosted at Rossy’s and Downtown Art, FABnyc continues to support the voices of small business owners and advocates fighting against small business displacement in the Lower East Side and across the city. 

Messages to Go was first created in collaboration with Artists Alliance and Cuchifritos Gallery at the Essex Street Market.  

Hatuey Ramos-Fermín (pronounced: Ahtway Rahmos Fairmean) is a Dominican born, Puerto Rico raised, and New York City based artist. He has developed projects and exhibitions in traditional spaces including galleries and museums as well as non-traditional art venues such as a security guard training school, community centers, churches, restaurants and laundromats. Additionally, Hatuey has curated roundtable discussions, film screenings, potlucks and podcasts. He has worked at organizations such as the Puerto Rico Public Broadcasting Corporation, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Center for Urban Pedagogy, Hostos Community College, among others. Hatuey is co-founder of meta local collaborative, Boogie Down Rides, and is currently the Director of Programs at The Laundromat Project.

Special project support was provided by the Rubin Foundation and New York City Small Business Services.