July 2019

Our four-year-old essay Vogue Is Not For Youand a transcribed conversation between ourselves, Pony Zion, Pato Hebert, and Robert Sember in conjunction with it—have both been published on ArtsEverywhere. It was such an honor to get to sit down with other artists and educators we deeply admire, have real talk, and see our own values around teaching voguing both challenged and affirmed. Please take some time to read the interview!

This is our first week of site visits with Engage Chicago students in the Community Organizing concentration. We’ll visit with Chicago Freedom School this Wednesday, where we’ll be learning about adultism and transformative justice, and will be traveling to American Friends Service Committee and Asian Americans Advancing Justice later in the month. Stay tuned for more!

In terms of our own facilitation, we’ll be returning on July 11th to Brighton Park Neighborhood Council to teach an Intro to the School-to-Prison Pipeline workshop. We just led the same workshop in May at BPNC’s Annual Youth Summit for middle-school-age students from across the southwest side. This time around we’ll be working with youth from BPNC’s Youth Organizing Fellowship. We’re also leading a Pod Mapping workshop for the Towards an Accountable Chicago training series on July 16th, and will close out the month with a Queer & Trans Resistance to Policing workshop on July 24th for Pilsen Alliance’s Youth Summer Institute, an organization of families and neighbors fighting gentrification and displacement in the Pilsen community. We told y’all it was busy season!

Lastly, in an effort to include more left-leaning voices, the curatorial team of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial has commissioned Paris-based magazine The Funambulist to publish analysis of Chicago’s cultural and political landscape from the perspective of local activists and organizers. This joint publication will include a revamping of our piece on #NoCopAcademy recently issued in the Chicago Reader, incorporating more details about the campaign itself, and our path to becoming part of it. The publication, and more details related to it, will be released in September 2019, in conjunction with the Biennial.

BH

April 2019

In a break from the usual, we’re beginning the month with a video shoot! We’ll be making a (tiny) cameo in Tasha’s music video for Take Care/New Place. Tasha has been one of our co-strugglers for years, and we’re honored to celebrate her by being a small part of this new piece, alongside some other Black women and femmes from Chicago who we’ve long admired and respected. Keep an eye out for the video drop!

We also appeared in a promo for The Coalition to End Money Bond. The coalition is calling for the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices to open a public hearing, and is also hosting a People’s Convening on Money Bond in Springfield this July. Sign their petition, and support their work!

On Friday, April 12th we’ll be leading an hourlong Intro to Voguing workshop for students at Highland Park High School as part of the FOCUS on the Arts Festival. Prioritizing trans and queer students of color, this workshop will briefly ground students in the history of vogue as a form of creative rebellion, then make space for each participant to create and share their own phrase of movement. Passing on the practice of resistance is a key part of our own artistic process, and we’re excited to join forces with these dedicated students.

ArtsEverywhere, an online publication of the Musagetes Foundation, is republishing Vogue Is Not For You, an essay we wrote in 2015. To elaborate on how some of our teaching practices have shifted since we first wrote the piece, we’ll be sitting down with icon Pony Zion at the New School in NY on April 19th to discuss the history of vogue, our individual philosophies as instructors, and the distinctions between exchange, appropriation, and commodification. We’ll share the full article and interview here once they’re published.

BH