Filmmaker Ira Sachs and Lily Binns (co-executive director of the Pilobolus Dance Theatre) have recently launched Queer/Art/Mentorship (Q/A/M), a program that supports emerging queer working artists in New York City.
The AIDS epidemic cut a swath of death through an entire generation of artists. Additionally, a legacy of internalized homophobia, trans-phobia and ageism has historically limited intergenerational interactions within the broader queer community.
With no money, and a little help from their friends, Q/A/M is fighting that sense of isolation. Sachs and Binns hope to create a replicable structure for interaction among artists and among queer folk. Q/A/M brings together artists who are early in their careers, working across five disciplines, with established artists for year-long creative and professional support. The fellows will develop and present their projects in New York City at the end of the year.
As Sachs and Binns began to build Q/A/M, they invited many artists that they had already worked with to be mentors.
The inaugural group of mentors for the 2011-2012 program are performers Justin Vivian Bond, John Kelly, and Everett Quinton; visual artists Angela Dufresne, Nicole Eisenman, Louise Fishman, and Deborah Kass; filmmakers Barbara Hammer, Jennie Livingston, and Matt Wolf; Curator Jonathan David Katz; and writers Hilton Als, Sarah Schulman, Pamela Sneed, and Stacy Szymaszek.
Once the mentors were selected, Sachs and Binns sent letters to 75 arts professionals asking them to recommend 3 to 5 potential fellows that Q/A/M would invite to apply as fellows to the program. 215 emerging artists were recommended and 80 of them were invited to submit an application in which they were asked to describe a formative experience with queer culture, give an outline of the project they were currently working on, and to describe what the they hoped to get out of the program. A juried panel evaluated the applications and projects and selected 15 fellows to work with the mentors.
2011-2012 Fellow, Hima B, will be working with Matt Wolf on her film, License to Pimp, which chronicles how three strippers negotiate the sex industry. Jess Barbagallo will be working with Stacy Szymaszek on a poetic essay in response to focused reading and research on loss and unexpected absence. Pilar Gallego will be working with Nicole Eisenman to further develop their genderqueer "Mouth-Head" caricature beyond the drawn image and into film, photography, performance, and installation. Pati Hertling will be working with Hilton Als on an NYC-based salon focused on content and information exchange, loosely based on her previous Berlin-based series Evas Arche und der Feminist.
Darren Jones will be working with Jonathan Katz on creating a New York City time capsule, researching and archiving the already lost and the fast disappearing elements of New York's physical and social skin. SaeEd Jones will be working with Sarah Schulman on a memoir about his experiences as black queer southerner. Xavier Marrades will be working with Barbara Hammer on editing his documentary Trans Time, a psychoanalytically-inspired collage of images of New York City and Spain taken over the last 7 years that accumulate into a picture of artistic and queer self growth. Tommy Pico will be working with Pamela Sneed on his chapbook, It's All Happening, Man, to be released in three different intervals over the course of the mentorship, focusing on the poet's experiences of the intersection between his distinct gay and Native American identities.
Harrison Rivers will be working with John Kelly on a new theater piece based on Marcel Duchamp's marriage and a Rolling Stone article called Bugchasers: The Men Who Long to Be HIV+. Guadalupe Rosales will be working with Louise Fishman on a series of abstract geometric drawings using graphite, charcoal, and spray paint that may evolve into large-scale installations and/or wallpaper. Jacolby Satterwhite will be working with Angela Dufresne on a surrealist, performative documentary using 3D animation, titled Drawing Desire, about creatively collaborating with his mother through her struggle with schizophrenia. Justin Sayre will be working with Everettt Quinton on a play, using a mix of theatrical traditions as well as a musical component, on the last of the Fairy Bars.