The backbone of The Yellow House Project is the story of my entrepreneurial great-grandmother, Ida Sue Brown, and her queer son, Billy Brown (who was murdered in Cleveland OH in 1982 because of how he dressed). Shortly after his murder my great grandmother died (it is said of a broken heart). She left a beautiful large yellow house to the family where she also housed her successful beauty parlor in Erie, PA. Our family lost the house many years ago. It was condemned and bulldozed. Today a green field is all that remains- as if the house never existed.
The Yellow House Project is an attempt to re-imagine and re-build my family’s home in hopes of honoring the legacies of both my great uncle and my great-grandmother, and ultimately all the LGBTQI legacies we have inherited. How do we heal from intergenerational wounds of poverty, racism and homophobia?
Photo © Kurt Loeffler / Loefflerphoto.com
CURATOR Sheena Johnson identifies as a radical black queer cultural worker. She is the Artistic Director of Sheena Johnson/REBEL HOME DANCE (SJRH), a project that promotes collective liberation through inquiry-based performance. Honoring the infinite knowledge of our bodies, SJRH utilizes our embodied histories as the site of departure for their work and collaborates with artists and communities to incite courage, imagination and change. Since moving to Oakland in 2006, Sheena has presented solo, duet and ensemble dance-theatre work at various venues across the Bay Area including the Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD), The Garage, Red Poppy Art House, UC Berkeley’s Empowering Women of Color Conference, CUAV’s Safety Fest, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Temescal Arts Center, CounterPULSE and Dance Mission. Sheena has been commissioned to produce work for the Black Choreographers Festival and the Women on the Way Festival. Sheena has her MFA in Dance emphasis choreography from Mills College. Learn more about YHP collaborating artists at sheenajohnsonrebelhome.blogspot.com
Dancers : Atasiea/Kenneth L. Ferguson, Sheena Johnson