CREATING QUEER COMMUNITY 2019-01-24T05:45:40+00:00

QCC began operating  “Creating Queer Community” in 2000 by awarding 5 small commissions ranging from $500 to $1500.   Since then, QCC has commissioned approximately 120 LGBT artists to create new works that authentically express our community’s diverse experiences. The vast majority of these commissions have been awarded to culturally-specific and gender-specific individual artists whose work expresses the experiences of queers of color, Lesbians and Transgendered people. The commissioned work has broadened the Queer community’s understanding of the fluid nature of racial and gender identities and has provided many insights into what people of different races, gender identities and ages actually think.

CQC Grantees – 2018

Weighted Acceptance explores the intersectional oppressions faced by People Of Color. This multidisciplinary performance seeks to heal urban communities by deepening the understanding of weights we collectively carry. Weighted Acceptance offers space to heal through movement and spoken word. Performing Visible Resilience is an immersive visual arts exhibition and performance showcase featuring the stories and works of LGBTQ Asian Pacific American artists.
TechnoTihuacan combines live DJing and Video Art remixed into a living, digital mural exploring the intersectional story of Latinx contemporary life. This performance/video exhibition examines border politics, de-colonialism, queer sex, Afro-Latinx visibility, pop culture, trans identity and spirituality. The State of Black Bodies is a poetic interdisciplinary stage production exploring the beauty and audacity of the Black Body. Examining the current state of blackness in America, it creates space for awareness through the lens and voice of the black woman; allowing black girls and women to be/feel empowered.
A special performance celebrating the most influential queer women and women of color in Oakland/SF past, present, and future with vendors Bushmama Africa & T. Christal and performances by LaniGrooves, The Plush One, DJ Nina Sol, and DJ Slum B and pyrography art by Artist & the DJ! Wherever queers go, they carry with them the places that shaped them. Five queer artists explore how homelands inspire, console, amuse, hurt, and shape us. Artists include Audacious IAM, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Storm Miguel Florez, Dawn Rudd, and Natalia Vigil with your host & mc, Jaime Cortez.
Kick Off Party! Come dance with us! In Lak’ech Dance Academy presents the FIRST Queer Latin Dance Festival! This celebration includes two days of Workshops by guest instructors from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles; Choreography Challenges, Show-case Performances, Social Dancing, and a live band from NYC! Memorya weaves voices of elders and emerging artists into narratives of collective strength and wisdom. We look to our past and to future generations as we explore healing within communities of resilience. Kreatibo has used video, movement and multimedia performance to center Queer Filipin@ diaspora since 2003.
A satirical musical written by Tommi Avicolli Mecca and Alison C Wright that reflects the absurd nature of the Bay Area’s housing crisis. Whether you own or rent this show is a must see event! A 45 year old Latinx trans man returns to his birthplace – Albuquerque, New Mexico – in search for the origin of a secret lesbian code he learned when he identified as a teenage dyke in the 80s.​
How do we know our worth as disabled, queer, folks of color? Can we ever realize we are already enough? This performance uses dance, music, poetry, ritual, and magic to explore one woman’s journey to discovering her worth. Black Magic is an interactive interdisciplinary performance that lifts black queer voices to resist anti-Blackness and homophobia and re-imagines new possibilities for the twenty-first century and beyond. Be ready to listen, laugh and sing into the future.
Javi, a shy six-year-old foster child, just wants to go home. But when he meets his two new moms he discovers that home is where you are loved. Puppetry, masks and music tell the story! Great for ages 6 and up. Nana Duffuor and Indigo Mateo lead an ensemble cast in a powerful performance blending film, theater, music, and dance to tell the coming of age story of a queer black child of Ghanaian immigrants, discovering herself (and her dignity) in White America.
How can we decolonize the body with the inner beauty we’ve been seduced away from knowing? An audience-interactive choreopoem, Beautiful Being uses poetry, song, and healing movements to awaken ancestral wisdoms and evoke a future where our bodies are fully liberated. This performance features queer jazz, folk, soul and world music artists. Each one shares—through song—their unique stories of truth, freedom and justice to create an intimate conversation illustrating the struggles and triumphs of queer life.
Time to twirl for the Gods! Join this vibrant street dance ceremony honoring queer ancestors of color and allies. Accompanied by the hottest up and coming queer performing artists in the bay area! This extravagant spectacle includes a community werkshop & presentation with a street dance performance revealing a new Afrofuturistic masquerade suit. “DANCE I SAY” with Dontuntrah! Come galavanting with Foxy Loxy telling his account of the day Henny Penny claimed the sky fell! This 60 minute multidisciplinary production wanders through safe sex, gender, sexuality and cannabis…because truth be told, fables were meant for adults all along!
mouth full of sea is a multimedia exploration of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Using movement, voice and performance, Gabriel Christian and C. Chibueze Crouch mine their personal relationships to this ongoing tragedy and its echoes across the African Diaspora. The Singing Bois present an evening-length concert of queer retro music, performing sounds of the past with a look toward the futures of gender expressions. Through powerhouse vocals, masterful instrumentals, and a healthy dose of sexy swagger, the artists share stories reflecting a range of queer masculinities.

CQC Grantees – 2017

Femme Space is a photo project exploring queer femme identity and reclamation of space. Queer femmes of all genders choose locations and co-conspire with photographer, Amanda Arkansassy Harris to reclaim sites of marginalization, erasure and invisibility through portraiture. Femme Space exists to draw attention to the experiences of queer femmes and amplify our stories in art and media. You Are Enough is a visual arts show that calls forth our strategies of resistance, radical self-love, and breaking the silence in order to shirk off the shame associated with Crazy. This shame demands our very lives as sacrifice, but we have the power, though collective voices, to banish it. Artists name and reclaim our Crazy to become more fully embodied and more recognizable to ourselves and one another.
The Resilience Archives showcase will be a space, filled with the words, works, and histories of LGBTQ AAPIs. The Resilience Archives is an intergenerational collection of personal photos, fliers, and documents from the bay area LGBTQ AAPI community that has been woven into a digital history tour. Filmmaker and performer Mocha Jean Herrup brings a filmmaker’s eye and a queer deconstructive lens to an exhibit of photographs that redefines the frame of Israel / Palestine.
Twenty years after the first National Queer Arts Festival, we look back on where we were when the festival was conceived of in the queer 90s and where we thought we’d be. And then look forward to where we are now and where we might go in our imagined and unexpected trajectories. Why queer country music? Because sometimes you love a culture that doesn’t always love you back. And when everyone came to the first Queer Country West Coast in June of 2015 in all their country finery, we knew we weren’t alone. We do it because we love the music and want to build a community to support queer country musicians. We do it because everybody needs a honky tonk angel to hold them tight. We do it because we believe in country music for all cow people.
During the ‘80s and early ‘90s, Osa de la Riva collected 75+ hours of raw video footage, some at the bedside of my friends dying from AIDS. She did most of the original filming without a budget, using borrowed cameras and donated tape. The subjects’ lives, stories, insights, experiences and opinions might have been erased from the historical record had she not video-interviewed them before they died. These interviews include some of the earliest recorded first-hand statements about the early years of Two-Spirit and LGBT Latino Liberation in California. In this hilarious solo show, which premiered at NQAF in 2016, San Francisco Mime Troupe and Beach Blanket Babylon veteran Rotimi Agbabiaka shape-shifts from character to character and uses monologue, song, dance, and drag to embody, explore, and expose the battles minority artists fight in the exclusive world of mainstream American theatre.
Nigga-Roo is a multidisciplinary Performance based inquiry into Black identity. This Solo work bravely explores and dissects Blackness as an original and necessary social construct. Because Blackness is rooted in Slavery and saturated in Caricature this work fearlessly and intentionally uses Black Face, Spoken Word, Movement and Monologue to disarm and disrupt the world view of what Blackness is. “Born out of the need to take our stories from the margins and into the spotlight,” Kreatibo is a queer Pin@y artist group that was/is “dedicated to the preservation and creation of our collective memory, and uses artistic forums as a means of cultural activism.” On hiatus for twelve years, members of Kreatibo now reassemble to reflect on themes of community, love, diaspora, and home. Using music, movement, words, and images, a Kreatibo group seasoned by age and time reunites to honor the past, celebrate the present, and envision new dreams for the future.
This evening of dance, drag, multimedia and literary art features performers from the Bay Area and beyond including The Brush Arbor Gurlz, Billy “the Poof” Elliot, Charleston Chu, Elena Rose, Brock Cocker, Tyrone Peaches, Ricky T. Smiles, Lance Armstar, Lotta Hollandaise, Natalia Vigil, Open Mike, Savory Sweet, Sugarbush Lane, the One-Night Only reunion of the Transformers and many more. Mirror(ed) – Emerging Artists Take Center Stage. Eric Garcia & Detour Dance, SevanKelee Boult, Nefertiti Asanti and Davia Spain present hot off the press and out of the rehearsal studio new work! Join us for an explosive multi-disciplinary night of new art.
In “Love in the Time of Piñatas,” writer, comedian, and solo performer Baruch Porras Hernandez breaks open his life and lets all the candy fall out. Watch him wrestle with immigrant guilt, then make out with it a little, then transform it into a hilarious show that asks what’s at the end of the Mexican immigrant road? Baruch hopes it’s donuts. Pre-internet, post-disco, a new generation of old school queers share their stories about coming out as young dykes of color outside of big city life. We’ll be rolling back the years to a time when Gay Straight Alliances were not a thing in our towns and when Yahoo and Google were just silly words. Prepare for night of multimedia performance, poetry and provocation set to commemorate and celebrate our young Dyke Codes of communication, the secret language of the queer experience outside of the big city bubble.
Through stories, performance, and multimedia art, queer artists will square off against post-election realities. They’ll draw inspiration, critical lessons, and tactics from past generations of artist-activists who faced down historic challenges. They will interrogate just what the “new normal” is and ask if it really is all that new. They will demonstrate how we can we marshal queer joy, humor, and resilience in spite of the current challenges. Together, they will imagine a queer future that is informed, fierce, inventive, and visionary.

CQC Grantees – 2016

Manifesting Access is an intentionally more accessible (captioned and audio described) collection of short movies that expose truths at the intersection of disability and police terror. From the Sins Invalid Statement Against Police Violence: “Disabled people who are Autistic, who are Deaf, who live with mental health impairments or cognitive impairments, epilepsy or movement disorders, are at highest risk of being assaulted by police, and that is deeply compounded when we are further marginalized by homelessness, transphobia, and white supremacy.” Black Rage//Black Magic is a sometimes comedic, sometimes musical, sometimes somber, always loving collection of skits and scenes that explore the ways rage impacts the Black body, consciousness, spirit, heart, and family — as a result of systemic, interpersonal, and internalized racism — and the magical ways we turn that rage into an (he)Artistic tool for survival, healing, resilience, dignity, love, and creativity.
Muck and Sparkle: The Magic and Pain of Survival, brings forth the art of expanding hearts and the paradox of possibility in a candid array of artwork from LGBTQIA2S youth. The show brings with it the specter of struggle that youth maneuver to (re)claim space and carve out the complexities of their identities. Queer Mixtape: Two of your favorite queer filmmakers – Celeste Chan and Irina Contreras – join forces to create a film mixtape from raw footage found in the GLBT archives. Join them as they present their film and discuss their process.
All Ways Lead to the Mill is a solo exhibition by visual artist Jamil Hellu, investigating the conflicts that emerge at the intersection of Middle-Eastern heritage and queerness. Exploring how we determine relationships to cultural histories and personal narratives, Hellu claims his identity in relation to his Syrian roots and Arab ethnicity. All Ways Lead To The Mill is inspired by a Syrian proverb about how different paths lead to the same destination. His work juxtaposes performative moving and still images to address homophobia and sexuality, creating a contemporary discourse about the implications of cultural lineage. What does it mean to live in the slash of a binary; male/female, gay/straight? FLEXIBLE HORIZONS; the body in transit is a curated group show that defines the end of “normal.” This exhibit explores the intersection of class, race and gender within the body-individual-community—through portraits, performance, experimental films and discussion.
The 5Faces Project is a multi-genre collaborative gallery experience courtesy documentary photographer EPLi and black femme burlesque superstar, The Lady Ms. Vagina Jenkins; Femme Space is a photo project exploring queer femme identity and reclamation of space. Blues Arrival is about to take you on a road trip of southern Black Queer culture, identity and migration. Our stories are what connect us. Blues Arrival gives us the opportunity to take part in the stories of a marginalized community to create awareness and share knowledge about Black Queer culture in the South. Featuring Trey Amos, Dazie Grego, Vernon Keeve III, Valerie Troutt’s MoonCandy Live House Ensemble and more.
Transgender Endowment 1 (TE1) is an audio/visual work-in-progress historical perspective of the political, legal and social environment of the 1960’s that preceded the San Francisco Compton Cafeteria Riots. Changes: Larkin Street Youth Services has been helping youth get off the streets since the 1980’s. The Art department at Larkin has been encouraging artistic inclined youth to use art as a way to express their struggles and aspirations. This exhibition perfectly fits the NQAF theme of Horizons because it gives young Queer artists a voice and perspective of San Francisco’s changing landscape. It’s an exhibition about origins and destinations.
Type/Caste: A queer, black actor dreams of a dazzling career on the American stage but must contend with an industry largely unprepared for applicants who are not white heterosexuals. Using monologue, song, dance and drag Rotimi embodies, explores, and exposes the battles artists fight in the exclusive world of mainstream American theatre. ISO Queer Gods features contemporary queer artists whose work mines historical religious iconography and responds to diverse representations of homosexual, transgender and non-binary content that has been preserved through the mythology of world religion. This project is accompanied by an inclusive artist zine, The Gods Sure Are Queer Volume 2. This exhibition and publication offer the opportunity to look back and examine the preservation (and erasures) of queer representation through artifact and mythology, and to look forward to how these histories might manifest visually and conceptually in contemporary queer experience.
We Are Family: Indigenous life from the experience of one Xican-India family. Screening clips from 25-years of original film, video and moving images from the mujerista artista familia – the D’s: Lola, Osa, Louis, Liz, Tim, Laura, Celia, and Liliana de la Riva. The film company Eagle Bear Productions c/s, has screened works throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe. Re-presenting a unique POV, philosophy and new, yet ancient state-of-being and world-view, we welcome our extended familia to party and re-present with us. Inspired by the Black queer revolutionaries of the #blacklivesmatter movement, Seeds is a tale of survival, mental illness, addiction, and resilience. The intentions behind this project are to expose audience members to the myriad of ways Black, queer people navigate their personal lives and mental health while experiencing oppression and fighting injustices afflicting both the Black and Queer communities.
Discover KUMALICIOUS, celebrating the allure and beauty of Queer bigger men of color inspired by Gay Japanese Manga. The exhibiting artists are inspired by this genre and/or its canon artists including Jiraiya and Gengoroh Tagame. From gachimuchi (“chubby muscle”) to BDSM eroticism, enjoy rare glances at works highlighting underrepresented populations often neglected in mainstream art. Femme Space is a photo project exploring queer femme identity and reclamation of space. Queer femmes of all genders choose locations and co-conspire with photographer, Amanda Arkansassy Harris to reclaim sites of marginalization, erasure and invisibility through portraiture. Femme Space exists to draw attention to the experiences of queer femmes and amplify our stories in art and media. Join us to see portraits exploring femme identity, survival
and resilience! + 5 performances/rituals from the 5Faces of The Lady Ms. Vagina Jenkins all evening long.
Drawing Lineage, Building Legacy is an intergenerational community chamber music project featuring queer and trans of color classical musicians illuminating our shared lineage and creating collective legacy in classical music. The performance will engage audiences in a soundscape of queer past and future through works by queer composers and composers of color. Roots in Resilience Film Festival showcases how people from communities of color in San Francisco claim agency to the places they call home. The festival displays the work of artists, youth, residents and community members who explore intergenerational blessings in their communities. In order to understand blessings, they fearlessly attempt to also recognize struggle. Festival includes experimental, narrative and documentary shorts–all voice the power of rootedness: Our roots.
Queer Brilliance Film Festival (QBFF) is a documentary film festival that will feature 9 short films created by queer and transgender filmmakers of color that celebrate the theme of not simply surviving within their own communities, but thriving. The films will highlight the multiplicity, fierceness, and brilliance of the myriad of experiences within the queer and trans people of color community throughout the country. This is a valuable opportunity to amplify the voices of queer and transgender people of color in their own words. Come watch short documentary films that are sure to inspire, to amaze, and to incite! Pintishkannovt nantahaat katihmi? (What Happened to Little Mouse?), is a multidisciplinary theatrical production exploring Native American and Two-Spirit (LGBT) identity through non-verbal interpretations of Chickasaw myths utilizing traditional masks, pantomime and live music. Local drag performer and Two-Spirit artist, Landa Lakes, takes you on a journey with Little Mouse as she explores the ancient world of Southeastern Tribal origin stories.
Perverts Put Out: San Francisco’s oldest running performance series, an all-gender, all-orientation celebration of lust and love, celebrates a special Pride Week edition, featuring a roster of outstanding perverted performers, hosted by Dr. Carol Queen and Simon Sheppard. The Musical Prostitute: One Day Ahura Mazda (The Wise and Forgetful God of the Zoroastrians) looks over his dominions and flock: he finds something odd! On Earth, Simon, a young man struggling with his mortality, free love vs fear of love, community, and medications, is making a list of all the things he is giving up. A ragtag band of musical transcendentalists has formed, to be the harmonious conduit for the voyage. AND…. Somewhere else Freddie Mercury is in a Coma waiting to die.
A Roof Over My Head is a original musical by Tommi Avicolli Mecca and Alison C Wright that reflects the absurd nature of the SF Bay Area’s housing crisis. Focusing on a the building of neighbors who receive an Ellis Act Notice from their ‘flip happy’ landlord, their story exposes what other tenants have been subjected to: being bullied, pushed out, or burnt out while they fight to keep a roof over their heads. Conjuring Roots: QTPOC mixed heritage artists are bearers of many spiritual traditions and creators of new rituals that embodies their lineages to empower themselves and resist oppression. Many of their ancestors resisted colonization with spiritual practices. What does decolonization and healing look like today and from mixed heritage artists? What portals and possibilities are created when they come together and give voice to the buried stories of both their mythic and ancestral lineages? Come find out at Conjuring Roots and watch artists reveal their stories through dance, music, lyra and poetry.

CQC Grantees – 2015

Two nights of provocative performance by queer and trans artists of color! From the Third World Student strikes to LA Riots to Black Lives Matter movement, we examine spaces of separation and solidarity among communities of color. How do we build solidarity amidst the deadliness of anti-Black racism? How do we carve out space for all of our stories and complexities? Let us build fierce alliances, cracking open artistic freedom and raising up our collective voices! Macho Menos is a Latino queer slang play on the common Spanish phrase “mas o menos” which translates to “more or less”. This slang is used by Gay Latino men to claim their Queerness but to retain their machismo. The Macho Menos exhibition dissects and expands this term in order to examine the larger, complicated connections between queerness and machismo in Latino communities. Since birth Latinos have been taught to think in binary when it comes to gender. We cannot escape the masculine and feminine because the Spanish language is gendered.
The Q-Sides is a photography exhibition that re-imagines queerness within lowrider culture through the re-staged, re-interpreted East Side Story LP album covers, a popular vinyl collection of soul oldies that is a soundtrack to lowrider culture. The photographs on each of the original album covers show a Latino homeboy with his posing with his ride, his lady or with his homies. A LESBIAN’S GUIDE TO SELF CARE! is a comedic, feminist, crystal laden, bath house soaked, astrologically drunken hero-journey. In Kat Marie Yoas’ latest one-woman show, she finds the road to wellness is under construction and bumpy at best. She is a Midwestern working class lady who believes she is clueless and seeks to find herself in the uncharted landscape of San Francisco woo. She travels from seeking psychic dating services to healing grief with a massage to a tarot wielding cabaret singer to the perils of simply being a wild woman in the world.
The de la Riva’s 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 ourselves, our communities and the earth. A screening of sequences of ME, and Mr. MAURI: Turning Poison into Medicine with cast, crew & editor Augie Robles, poetry, lively discussion and feasting! Roots in Resilience is a project that focuses on how people continue to exist here in Bayview Hunter’s Point; this project sees resilience as how people live, how they heal, how they recognize the intergenerational traumas to heal from and the blessings to thrive on. These are the things communities and city planning should be focusing on if we hope to end many cycles of displacement. The project features the stories of young filmmakers of color where they share how they’re still here.
In its third year, Still Here takes an intergenerational leap revisiting the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco 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 Creatures of the Night: Inspired by the life and work of legendary artist and activist Will Munro (1975-2010), Vacant Closet Collective brings you an evening of queer punk film and visual art. The short film program features Will Munro’s 8mm films “You’ll Dance to Anything” and “Rebels Rule”, the artist profile “Will Munro’s Dirty Load”, and Wrik Meads “Filth”.
Y’all Come Back: 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 stories of our migration to and from the U.S. South. Through performance events and a visual art exhibition, we draw attention to catalysts of migration and question the meaning of Home. We also point out our impact on the local communities we leave behind and move to, such as displacement in urban hubs like San Francisco. Body of Work is a multi-media performance show exploring queerness, sexuality, disability, chronic illness, and the question: “How do you have a body?” Seasoned disabled queer cultural workers join forces with emerging disabled queer cultural workers across multiple disciplines. This year’s cast includes queer, trans, and non-binary writers, dancers, film-makers, and performance artists, whose genres and passions span from the pornographic to the academic and back again.
Before Internet dating and hookup apps, The Handkerchief Code was largely used by gay men in the 1970’s to distinguish sexual preferences and fetishes in gay clubs and on the streets of places like San Francisco and New York. In Hanky Code: The Movie, Periwinkle Cinema, San Francisco’s queer experimental film collective brings Queer and Trans* filmmakers across a spectrum of genres, styles, genders, and locations to dissect the code in this epic anthology feature of more than 15 short films! Black Don’t Crack is a musical-theatre production using 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 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 dynamic event features a powerful, performative excerpt of the novel, followed by an engaging talk back that will invite the exploration of issues of Queer African love, sexuality and activism. “Pants, The Musical” romps through a lesbian life from age 3 to 83. She marches with great bravado and spirit, believing herself to be limitless. We’re with her during her loves and losses in this crazy life. Ellie, our protagonist, is played by 7 different actors as she goes through puberty and matures into her senior years
After nine glorious and grueling years of touring, production, visioning the fantastic, and nurturing community, we are writing today to share some huge news. This June, Mangos With Chili will begin a wind down year, and stop operating in June 2016.