Grant Announcement: Queer Jewish Arts Festival with the JCC Gordon Center

The Queer Jewish Arts Festival will be a celebration of intersectional identity in Baltimore County and beyond. This two-week multidisciplinary event, will include one in-person Covid- safe drive-in screening at the Gordon Outdoors as well as a virtual option for all events. The Festival, presented in partnership with Iron Crow Theater and LABA at the 14th St Y in New York City, will launch with a screening of the Broadway production of Indecent. Later in the week, a panel discussion with a reading of God Of Vengeance produced by Iron Crow Theater will follow. Other events include a panel of Queer Jewish dancers and choreographers who will speak about identity, art, community and creativity, with excerpts from solo pieces demonstrating creative expression through identity exploration. A musical evening focused on Klezmer as a subversive musical form with a band called Tzebele is also part of the lineup. Leading up to the festival, the Gordon Center for Performing Arts developed a series of partnerships with local synagogues who are running LGBTQ film festivals to gain traction in the community and increase the participation with a broader audience. There will be broader outreach to other religious institutions including churches, temples and mosques that are LGBTQ friendly as well as partnerships with organizations that work for Queer outreach and inclusion. Providing space for artists to explore and highlight intersectional identity and the work they create through identity exploration is important and meaningful. At a time when the country is working to heal wounds and recognize various forms of oppression, building community through the arts is more crucial than ever. This festival, which will have a completely virtual option has the following goals: • To elevate and amplify Queer artistic expression and support artists • To bring new audiences to the Virtual J through the Center for Arts and Culture • To partner with local and national organizations to widen the perspectives, provide support and depth of content and structure • To raise additional funds for the operational expenses of the Center for Arts and Culture

About: The Queer Jewish Arts Festival Committee started meeting in August, 2020. More and more members joined over the fall, with a core group of nine volunteers whose experience and expertise include academic Queer theory, theater, musical theater and dance, arts education and government work. The planning and curation of the festival is evolving. In early winter, the planning committee broke into working groups focused on specific artistic disciplines including theater, dance, literature and music. Through the winter, the focus is now on co-creating the events, negotiating with artists, and building organizational partnerships. In early spring, the team will pivot to outreach, engagement, and recruitment. The festival dates are June 1st-14th and will include up to five events.

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