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An introductory project exhibition began on Feb 2, 2024, at the BAM Harvey Theatre Rudin Gallery and will be up until June 30.

LGBTQ+ NYC Artists Archive Project - 1st Draft


This exhibition recognizes LGBTQ+ downtown NYC artists who continue to flourish while having had an indelible impact on New York City’s culture over the past 40+ years. Five Lesbian Brothers, Ain Gordon, Ishmael Houston-Jones, John Kelly, Richard Move, Lola Pashalinski, and Carmelita Tropicana, form this introductory look at a generation that blossomed during a period that could be regarded as the last gasp of physical bohemia–a rich and highly influential era–which later coincided with the AIDS pandemic diminishing the generation’s collective voices.

The LGBTQ+ NYC Artists Archive Project, led by the Pick Up Performance Co., project co-directors Linda S. Chapman and Alyce Dissette, is a response to the challenges of preservation that have plagued avant-garde artists. Too often, the caretaking of these legacies is left, by default, to logistically and economically ill-equipped friends and family with devastating results, erasing vital contributions. This exhibition celebrates and acknowledges these LGBTQ+ artists beginning their archiving journey.

The project is currently entering Phase One in 2024. Creating an archive inventory for each project artist

  • Working with the project co-directors and project archivists to select an archivist for each artist to generate to access the state of their individual archive materials, such as a number of videos and formats, photographs in various original forms, and a wide range of papers, etc. to generate a detailed inventory of their archive materials.

Phase Two, Implementation

  • The work of physically archiving each artist's materials.

  • Develop viable partnerships with permanent repositories where these artists’ archives may be placed.

  • In addition, and key to public access to these materials, explore online platforms and prototypes for each of these artist’s archives

Budgets for each artist’s archive will be developed, as well as implementation costs for the entire project. Business models will be identified to sustain the platforms.

As important, the research and methods of these pilot projects for queer elders will be shared with the field to be examples for all artists considering how to preserve and make accessible their legacies.

Project Administrators, Pick Up Performance Co.

Start-up funding has been provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs,

and the New York State Council on the Arts. 

We are grateful to BAM for the introductory exhibit launching the project publicly.

Project collaborators, Youth Arts New York - Sandra Parker Archival Fellowship  

For more information contact project co-directors Linda Chapman and Alyce Dissette

We more than welcome partnership and support from everyone.

Donations of any size will make a difference!

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