Justin Allen is a writer and performer from Northern Virginia. He has written for Mosaic Literary Magazine, Lambda Literary, ARTS.BLACK, and the Leslie-Lohman Museum's journal The Archive, among others. His work has been recognized by the Vera List Center for Arts and Politics, and he has read at the Whitney, Poetry Project, and Artists Space. In 2016 he presented at the International James Baldwin Conference at the American University of Paris.
Allen worked with Mentor Che Gossett on composing a collection of poems and developing a language that continues his sci-fi about a U.S. after Reparations.
Eames Armstrong (Curatorial Practice)
Eames Armstrong (they/she) is an artist and curator who works with noise, interdisciplinary experimental performance, and queer theory. Eames received a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2010 and an MFA from the George Washington University in 2016. They're currently based in Brooklyn and work out of a studio at Silent Barn, but maintain a long-distance relationship with the Washington, D.C. area.
Armstrong worked with Mentor Margaret Ewing to curate the QAM Annual Exhibition as well as developing a project "Grimoire" that considers performance scores alongside texts for spell casting.
David Antonio Cruz (Visual Art)
Cruz received a BFA in painting at Pratt Institute (1998) and a MFA from Yale University (2009). He attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and completed the AIM Program at the Bronx Museum in 2006. Recent residencies include the LMCC Workspace and Project For Empty Space’s Social Impact Residency. Notable group exhibitions include El Museo del Barrio, BRIC, Performa 13, and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. In 2013, Cruz was awarded fellowships with The Franklin Furnace Fund Award and The Urban Artist Initiative Award. Recent press includes The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, WhiteHot Magazine, W Magazine, Bomb Magazine, and El Centro Journal.
Cruz worked with Mentor Neil Goldberg to develop and expand on a series of drawings and an operatic-like performance based on ethnographic photographs and the Black Diaries by the British consul and Irish Nationalist, Roger Casement.
Marco DaSilva (Visual Art)
Marco DaSilva is a native New Yorker whose symbol-based paintings explore hybridity through the intersections of his Brazilian American, queer identity and manic experience. He has exhibited work at Apostrophe NYC, Heath Gallery and the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art. He is also a NYFA Artist as Entrepreneur Fellow. He lives and creates work at his studio in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Marco has a BFA in Painting and Drawing from SUNY New Paltz.
DaSilva worked with Mentor Liz Collins to work on a sculptural series which explores the manic experience through the notions of dreams of grandeur, opulence and excess across different socioeconomic perspectives.
Federica Gianni (Film)
Federica Gianni (1986, Rome) is an Italian filmmaker based in New York. She has made short films in the US and in Europe. Her work explores the different expressions of contemporary masculinity, and focuses on the struggle between belonging and otherness. The short film "The Friend from Tel Aviv" screened in major LGBT film festivals in the US and internationally, and won the DGA Award for "Best Student Film" in the women's category. Her latest short film "Primo" won the Adrienne Shelly Foundation Award for "Best Female Director" at the 30th Columbia University Film Festival.
Federica worked with Mentor Rose Troche to continue developing her first feature film "To the Moon On the Wings of a Pig" set in Rome. Set in a Pasolinian beach town in the outskirts of Rome, "To the Moon on the Wings of a Pig" is a queer coming of age story about first love, family and addiction.
Lucas Habte (Film)
Lucas Habte is an Ethiopian-American filmmaker living in New York City. He began making documentaries at Harvard University, in the Sensory Ethnography Lab with Lucien Castaing-Taylor. In the summer of 2010, he made a short documentary in Stockholm, "Harena," about a teenage Eritrean asylum seeker’s first two months living with her new Swedish host family. In 2011, Habte received the George Peabody Gardner Traveling Fellowship to work as a video and radio facilitator with Aboriginal people in the remote communities of the Australian outback. In 2014, he was awarded the Mortimer Hays-Brandeis Traveling Fellowship to Ethiopia. In Addis Ababa, he taught film in the Addis Ababa University School of Fine Arts’ MFA program and shot his first feature documentary, Shadow of His Wings. He is a 2017 Film Independent, TFI Network, and IFP Fellow.
Habte worked with Mentor Frédéric Tcheng to realize Shadow of His Wings, a documentary feature about Habte’s love story with a young man in Addis Ababa before and after he flees homophobic threats to become France’s first LGBT refugee from Ethiopia. Meanwhile, hoping for reconciliation, my estranged father returns to Ethiopia after 45 years of exile.
Lamya Haq (Literature)
Lamya H is a queer Muslim writer living in New York City. Her work has appeared in Salon, VICE, Vox, Black Girl Dangerous, Autostraddle, and others. She was a Lambda Literary Fellow in 2015 and an Aspen Words Emerging Writers Fellow in 2016.
H worked with Mentor Naomi Jackson on memoirs on being a queer, brown, Muslim immigrant woman in the United States
Jarrett Key (Performance)
At 14, Jarrett Key was a “scholarship kid” from rural Alabama, attending a predominately white high school in Georgia. At 18, they left the south to attend Brown University. Since moving to New York, Key has been featured in performances, biennales, residencies, publications, exhibitions, and workshops at NYU Tisch, galleries in Brooklyn, Chelsea, LES, Harlem, Boston, Ljubljana and Shanghai. Key’s work is in the collections of the Schomburg Center, MoMa Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Library, among other institutions. The HAIR PAINTING series has been featured at the Studio Museum in Harlem and Harlem Arts Festival in Marcus Garvey Park, as well on television: SLAY TV, and CBS 2 NYC.
Key worked with Mentor, artist David Thomson on a series of performance installations (hair paintings) reimagining the rituals, narratives and legacy of his grandmother, Ruth Mae “Polka Dot” Giles.
Madsen Minax (Film)
Madsen Minax makes films, videos and multi-disciplinary projects inspired by the collective and individual politics of belonging, and considers where fantasy, desire and embodiment interfere. His works have shown at Anthology Film Archives (NYC), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), REDCAT (LA), the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the British Film Institute (UK), the European Media Art Festival (Germany) and numerous film and video festivals around the world. Madsen received an MFA from Northwestern University (2012), a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2005), and has attended residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2014), The Core Program (2012-2014), Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (2015), and the Berlinale DOC Station (2016).
Minax worked with Mentor Kimberly Reed to realize a feature length hybrid documentary film to trace the story of his niece’s unexplained death, his brother-in-law’s false incarceration for her murder, and how his family’s turn to Mormonism poses conflicts for Madsen’s transgender identity.
Zoe Schlacter is an interdisciplinary artist and designer living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Through writing, textile making, and performances of personal style, Schlacter’s work creates a queer intersection of textiles, gender, and intimacy. Schlacter’s work and personal style has been featured in Teen Vogue, BUST Magazine, Vogue Spain, Vogue Taiwan, and Metropolis Magazine, and Schlacter has collaborated with Print All Over Me and the Hong Kong-based brand Candies. In 2016, Schlacter received grant funding for an apparel-based, collaborative research project, which explores the aesthetic possibilities of a femme future. Schlacter received a BFA in Textiles from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2017.
Schlacter worked with Mentor C. Finley to construct a wardrobe for a drag king alter ego character, exploring the potential for a wardrobe to act as an alternative archive of gender and self-expression.