Queer & Trans Artists of Color Vol 2

A celebration of queer and trans black and brown genius...building on the groundbreaking first volume, Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives, Nia King is back with a second archive of interviews from her podcast We Want the Airwaves. She maintains her signature frankness as an interviewer while seeking advice on surviving capitalism from creative folks who often find their labor devalued.

In this collection of interviews, Nia discusses biphobia in gay men's communities with Juba Kalamka, helping border-crossers find water in the desert with Micha Cardenas, trying to preserve Indigenous languages through painting with Grace Rosario Perkins, revolutionary monster stories with Elena Rose, using textiles to protest police violence with Indira Allegra, trying to respectfully reclaim one's own culture with Amir Rabiyah, taking on punk racism with Mimi Thi Nguyen, the imminent trans women of color world takeover with Lexi Adsit, queer life in WWII Japanese American incarceration camps with Tina Takemoto, hip-hop and Black Nationalism with Ajuan Mance, making music in exile with Martin Sorrondeguy, issue-based versus identity-based organizing with Trish Salah, ten years of curating and touring with the QTPOC arts organization Mangos With Chili with Cherry Galettte, raising awareness about gentrification through games with Mattie Brice, self-publishing versus working with a small press with Vivek Shreya, and the colonial nature of journalism school with Kiley May. The conversation continues. Bear witness to QTPOC brilliance.

Included in the evening will be performances by: 

Ryka Aoki is the author of Seasonal Velocities, He Mele a Hilo (A Hilo Song) and Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul. She has been honored by the California State Senate for her “extraordinary commitment to free speech and artistic expression, as well as the visibility and well-being of Transgender people. Ryka was the inaugural performer for the first ever Transgender Stage at San Francisco Pride, and has performed in venues including the San Francisco Pride Main Stage, the Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival, the National Queer Arts Festival, and Ladyfest South. Ryka also appears in the recent documentaries “Diagnosing Difference” and “Riot Acts.” She has MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University and is the recipient of a University Award from the Academy of American Poets. She is a professor of English at Santa Monica College.

Winner of the People Before Profits Poetry Prize, Meliza Bañales aka Missy Fuego is the author of Say It With Your Whole Mouth (Poems) and the Xicana-Punk-Rock-Coming-of-Age novel Life Is Wonderful, People Are Terrific which was a 2016 Lambda Literary Award Finalist. She was a fixture in the San Francisco Bay Area spoken-word and slam communities from 1996-2010, where she became the first Xicana to win a poetry slam championship in 2002. She is a Visiting Professor of Literature and Counter-Culture at UC San Diego and the feature film of her novel is currently in pre-production in Los Angeles.

Nadia Ann Abou-Karr is an artist, writer and practitioner of holistic healing arts. She has been self publishing her own zines since middle school, with the most recent being THE ICONOCLAST Revolutionary Love series which highlights the complexities and confusion that arise from loving in the 5th dimension. Ultimately she always come back to the realization that self love is the best kind, and she uses all of her creative production to create an optimal climate for free love.

Kim Tillman is an LA-based singer/songwriter, lead singer of the band Tragic Gadget and half of the music duo Kim Tillman & Silent Films. Her songs have been featured in film and television including American Girl: Saige Paints the Sky, the 2014 documentary feature Off the Floor, on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta and the ABC Family series Switched at Birth. Armed with a honey-velvet voice and precise, evocative lyrics, she aims simply to move you.

Praise for Queer & Trans Artists of Color Vol 2

“Nia King’s essential project is about demystifying the artist’s life, and centering expression at the heart of radically diverse QTPOC lives. This second volume of artists’ voices is full of heart and wisdom, struggle and triumph. Another must-read for anyone dedicated to living creatively.” —Jeff Chang, author of Who We Be and We Gon’ Be Alright

“With all the talk in the entertainment industry about a lack of diverse voices in our media, Nia King does the big work that is necessary to rescue the entertainment industry from itself. She is going out there to highlight these voices, not because they are diverse, but because they are absolutely necessary.” —W. Kamau Bell, host of United Shades of America

Queer and Trans Artists of Color, Volume 2 continues to amplify beautiful voices that need to be heard. Refreshingly honest and illuminating, these interviews combine to form a powerful statement on the journey of the artist, and the person behind the art, towards creating a world where we can all thrive as our true selves.” —Mat Johnson, author of Loving Day and Pym

“Nia King once again provides a vital space where LGBTQ artists of color can share their unique experiences working in their creative fields. This volume, like its predecessor, will be a must-read for years to come.” —Hari Kondabolu, writer and comedian

“This book shines a spotlight on QTPOC artists, activists and self-proclaimed weirdos, a group who rarely receive such attention. Through fluid and compelling conversations with King, readers learn about the creative processes, identities, organizing, and politics that inform their art. This is a beautiful archive as well as a rich source of information for creative people seeking inspiration.” —Farzana Doctor, author of All Inclusive and Six Metres of Pavement

“In this new volume Nia King continues the invaluable work of amplifying the voices and interrogating the ideas of a new generation of joyous, committed creators. If you want to know who is shaping the culture of the next century, this is a book you must have: a book brimming with honesty, intelligence and heart.” —Nayland Blake, artist and professor

“This book is a revolutionary literary gesture, providing both practical information to artists and also doing the work of expanding the archive. I love the way that King brings interviews to the page, disseminating artists’ knowledge while also creating a window into their language and lives. The honesty of the unscripted conversations feels both intimate and subversive.”—Virgie Tovar, author of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion

Nia King is a queer Black, Lebanese, Hungarian, and Jewish artist and activist from Canton, Massachusetts living in Oakland, California. She is the author of Queer & Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives and the host and producer of We Want the Airwaves podcast. Her writing and comics have been published in Colorlines, East Bay Express and Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory. She has spoken about her work at schools and conferences such as Stanford University, Swarthmore College, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Facing Race, the Allied Media Conference, and the National Association for Ethnic Studies Conference. You can find more of her work at artactivistnia.com and contact her at NiaKing@zoho.com.

Photo by Elliot Owen

Elena Rose, a Filipina-Ashkenazi trans lesbian mestiza, rode stories out of rural Oregon and hasn’t stopped telling since. As an ordained minister, writer, and organizer, she has been published in magazines including Aorta and Make/shift, co-founded the Speak! Radical Women of Color Media Collective, co-curated the acclaimed National Queer Arts Festival show Girl Talk: A Trans and Cis Women’s Dialogue, works as a nationally-recognized interfaith educator on justice issues, and serves on the boards of the Solar Cross Temple and the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples. She can be contacted at takingsteps@gmail.comand on Twitter @burnlittlelight.

Photo by EP Li

Event date: 
Thursday, November 3, 2016 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027