National Queer Arts Festival 2015
(download PDF – NQAF 2015 Press Release)
(download Photos from our FLICKR Site – https://www.flickr.com/photos/queerculturalcenter/
! For Immediate Release: Theater/Arts
! Contact: Manish Vaidya, Director of Community Engagement
! 415-570-1071 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Queer Cultural Center Presents
18th Annual National Queer Arts Festival
Nationʼs longest-running queer arts fest explores connections, crosses Bay
May 29-June 29, 2015
May 26, 2015, San Francisco – “Itʼs about connection,” muses Pam Peniston. The Artistic
Director of the nationʼs longest- running queer arts festival, now in its eighteenth year,
continues, “Queers are constantly forging new ways to connect across so-called borders. So
this year, our artists explore the connections we make individually and collectively; we
investigate what holds us together—when so many forces try to break us apart.”
The Festival gives audiences 40+ opportunities to witness powerful responses to the call for
connection. Events include the nationʼs first-ever all trans women of color comedy show; a twoday
mini-festival about solidarity in communities of color, from the Third World Student strikes to
the Black Lives Matter movement; a new twist on a wildly popular queer activist circus; a show
featuring queer artists from the US South; and a revisiting of SF through the lens of SFʼs queer
elders who are still here, surviving the AIDS epidemic. This year also marks the first National
Queer Arts Festival show to take place in Oakland, in addition to the many San Francisco
“You gotta check out our visual art show, GLITTER BOMB,” Peniston says. Visual art is a
highlight of the Festival. Queer Cultural Center runs the Webʼs largest gallery of queer art,
spanning 15,000 pages, and uses those relationships (connections, if you will) to bring some of
the worldʼs edgiest queer art to San Francisco. “This year, we got tons of submissions from all
over the world,” says Peniston. “Glitter Bomb asks, ʻHow do queer artists and activists make
political alliances calling for change when our bodies and our lives are becoming even more
policed? How do we make alliances that blow up the idea of queerness and include our voices
in the struggles for worker justice, anti-racist movements, gender justice…? Youʼll be floored by
what the artists came up with. Itʼs just gorgeous.”
“The Bay is a queer, artsy, creative place,” says Peniston. “The ways we make family, explore
spirituality, make art, make love…,” she laughs. “We have a hella good time.” View the full
schedule and purchase tickets at https://qcc2.org/nqaf-2015/
QUEER REBELS FEST, May 29-30, African American Art & Culture Complex, 7pm.
Provocative performance by queer and trans artists of color. From the Third World Student
Strikes to LA Riots to Black Lives Matter movement, artists examine spaces of separation and
solidarity among communities of color, cracking open artistic freedom and raising up their
GLITTER BOMB visual art exhibition, June 4-27, SOMArts Gallery. Opening reception June 4,
6:30pm-9pm, Artist/curator walk-through June 20, 12pm.
Join the Queer Cultural Center for the official opening party of the National Queer Arts Festival.
Dress in your finest/freakiest/most fabulous outfit and come meet Festival artists and surprise
guests! Glitter Bomb explores how queers bond, connect, and create alternative models for
social interaction and political transformation. The visual artists look to past models of queer
social connection and dream new ways of connecting that reflect the urgency of social justice
Macho Menos visual art exhibition. June 1-17, LGBT Center. Opening reception June 3, 6pm.
Artists work with, against, or around gendered expectations of their respective Latino cultures.
Their artwork investigates their relationship with “machismo” through photography, painting,
video, sculpture, textiles, performance and multimedia.
The Q-Sides photo exhibit, June 5-July 3, Galería de la Raza. Opening reception June 5, 6pm;
closing party and artist talk July 3, 7pm. FREE.
Vero Majano, Brown Amy (aka Amy Martinez) and Kari Orvik re-imagine queerness within lowrider
culture through the re-staged, re-interpreted East Side Story LP album covers, volumes
1-12. Co-presented by Galería de la Raza.
Majesty Ablaze, June 5 at 8pm, June 6 at 2pm and 8pm (2pm show is child-friendly, other
shows have adult themes), Brava Theater.
The new show by Topsy-Turvy Queer Circus sparks the imagination with adrenaline-inducing
performances that meld stories of vulnerability and strength. Queen chanteuse Honey
Mahogany and an all-star cast of local and nationally renowned circus and movement artists will
entice you into a world of gravity-defying visual splendor. Co-presented by Brava Theater.
A Lesbianʼs Guide to Self Care, June 5-6 at 8pm, June 7 at 7pm, Counterpulse.
A comedic, feminist, crystal laden, bath house soaked, astrologically drunken hero-journey. In
Kat Marie Yoasʼ latest one-woman show, she finds the road to wellness is under construction
and bumpy at best!
Agents of Creative Change, June 7, 4pm, Instituto Familiar de la Raza.
Osa Hidalgo de la Riva and Lola de la Riva convene superstar Agents of Creative Change,
artists/activists/educators & you, for a multimedia event weaving together issues from their film
—Queer Latina/o identity, health/wellness and dis-ease (from “Gay cancer” to the modern
epidemic of cancer in communities of color)—to discuss strategies for healing.
Brouhaha: Trans Women of Color Comedy Storytelling, June 9, 7pm & 9pm, Oakland Asian
After sold-out runs last year, Peacock Rebellionʼs Brouhaha shifts from stand-up comedy to
storytelling…all trans women of color, all comedy, all for social justice. Check out the debut of
the first all trans women of color comedy show in the US!
Roots in Resilience, June 10, 5:30pm, San Francisco Public Library-Bayview Branch.
Join us for an evening of short films featuring Bayview high scholars and intergenerational
dialogue with long-time community activists about displacement, segregation, racism and place
in Bayview Hunterʼs Point. The films hope to generate discussion and reveal the resilience of
people through their sense of home in the midst of market-driven redevelopment. Co-presented
with Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center and Bayview Opera House.
Still Here, June 10-11, 7pm, SF LGBT Center.
In its third year, Still Here takes an intergenerational leap revisiting the AIDS epidemic in SF
through the lens of elders surviving on the front lines who join young people raised with the
crisis as the backdrop to their childhoods.
No Tears for the Creatures of the Night, June 12, 7:30pm, Center for Sex and Culture.
Vacant Closet Collective presents multimedia exhibits of queerness in punk from its inception to
present day. Featuring short films and art of Toronto icon Will Munro, Kevin Heggeʼs “She Said
Boom: The Story of Fifth Column,” and punk photographers Martin Sorrondeguy (Limp Wrist)
and Don Pyle (Trouble in the Camera Club).
Yʼall Come Back: Stories of Queer Southern Migration, June 13, 3pm & 7pm, visual art
reception at 5pm, SF LGBT Center. Exhibition June 1-July 17.
Think the South is only about Republicans, sweet tea and fried food? Well, bless your heart.
Experience the real queer Dirty South as artists explore our identities and migration to and from
the U.S. South. Artists draw attention to why we migrate and gentrification in our chosen homes.
Body of Work, June 16, 7:30pm, SF LGBT Center.
A multi-media performance show exploring queerness, sexuality, disability, and chronic illness.
Seasoned and emerging disabled queer cultural workers across multiple disciplines join forces
to answer the question “How do you have a body?” The result? Like nothing youʼve ever
Hanky Code: The Movie, June 17, 7:30pm, Center for Sex and Culture.
Queer and trans filmmakers across a spectrum of genres and styles dissect the hanky code in
this epic anthology feature of short films with each filmmaker telling a story of a different color/
fetish of the code. Co-presented with Periwinkle Cinema.
Black Donʼt Crack, June 18, 7:30pm, African American Art and Culture Complex.
Congregation of Liberationʼs debut show is a musical-theatre production that uses humor,
drama, and interdisciplinary performance to investigate the revolutionary—and sometimes
painful—ways Queer Black Artists work together to heal themselves and their communities of
internalized oppression and trauma.
For Sizakele: A Performative Excerpt, June 21, 5pm, African American Art and Culture
For Sizakele is a soul-stirring, lyrically beautiful novel that addresses queer African gender,
transcontinental identity, inter-partner violence and how we love as the ultimate illuminator of
who we are. This event features a power, performative excerpt of the novel and a talk back.
Pants, The Musical, June 23-24, 7:30pm, African American Art and Culture Complex.
A Graceland Girls project, Pants romps through a lesbianʼs life from age 3 to 83.
She marches with great bravado and spirit, through her loves and losses in this crazy life, believing herself to be limitless. Hilarious songs, live band, suitable for all ages.
All that You Touch You Change: Mangos With Chiliʼs Final Bow, June 25, 7:30pm, African
American Art and Culture Complex.
For 9 years, Mangos With Chili has dreamed liberatory art into life. Emerging from a shared
dream, actualized by hustle, and fueled by the enthusiasm of queers everywhere, Mangos
ushered in an era of queer and trans people of color –centered art. As North Americaʼs longestrunning
queer and trans people of color cabaret organization says goodbye, join us for an
evening of performance celebrating some of Mangosʼ best work.
Artists are available for interviews. Pictures available at https://qcc2.org/nqaf-2015/