The New Church was founded and initiated by Dorthy Ray, a Louisiana native curator, photographer, and mixed media artist— who seeks to challenge viewers to explore the ambiguities of identity, gender, and sexuality as they relate to the Black body. She has participated in the development of programming for Saint Heron, Baton Rouge Gallery and Antenna and assisted in project productions for The New York Times and National Geographic. With a passion for arts education, she has supported the educational efforts of New Orleans Museum of Art by way of Souls Grown Deep Foundation and is a visual arts instructor for both Broadmoor High School and Futures Fund, a program offering training to middle and high school students to prepare them for jobs in the creative workforce. The New Church's initial development has been supported by sculptor and photographer, Ronni Bourgeois
and Graphic Designer + Illustrator, Tyronecia Moore.