Marlon Riggs, was a Texas-born African American poet, filmmaker, educator, and gay rights activist. Tongues Untied, which was first released in the summer of 1989, is an artistic visual statement about the queer black male experience and embraces authentic and radical notions of black gay identity and positivity. Ultimately this film gives a voice to communities of gay black men, presenting their cultures and perspectives on the world as they confront racism, homophobia and marginalization. In honor of Marlon Riggs and the 30th anniversary of Tongues Untied, No Longer Silent: A Night of Film in Honor of Marlon Riggs will present the work of a new generation of Black queer filmmakers that will be followed by a discussion about the legacy of Riggs and the new visions of a new generation of filmmakers and activist working for LGBTQ equity.
No Longer Silent: A Night of Film Honoring Marlon Riggs (Fall 2019)
New Sanctuary Project
I was a guest curator for Judson Art Wednesdays at Judson Memorial Church in New York City and worked with media artist Andre Daughtry to premiere his New Sanctuary Project that was followed by a panel. New Sanctuary is a speculative film and photography exhibit that follows the deportation case of a former US green card holder of Guyanese descent named “Ramesh” who is currently fighting his deportation back to Guyana where he is a naturalized citizen. Ramesh was convicted of a crime for which he served his time and was released but which ultimately stripped him of his Green card. As a result of his previous conviction and an escalation of deportations as a result of changes in US immigration policies, Ramesh was detained for a year and a half by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Upon release, Ramesh was ordered to wear an electronic tracking device around his ankle and ordered to report regularly to ICE offices in downtown Manhattan. The film depicts the support of the New Sanctuary Coalition, which is an interfaith coalition of activists who assists impacted individuals under current immigration policies.
You can read a conversation with the artist that was published on Arts.Black here.
Carpetbag Theatre Salon Series
I was curator and event producer for The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc.'s Salon Series. The Salon Series was a five venue series in Knoxville, Tennessee that focused on providing opportunities for local artists while connecting local residents to the assets in their community. I was able to curate 30 local performers from various disciplines as dance, spoken word poetry, theatre, and music at community cultural and environmental organizations in an effort to help them engage underserved audiences in the Knoxville community.