Queer Emerging Artist Residency (QEAR)

The Queer Emerging Artist Residency (QEAR) is the first residency of its kind in the country. QEAR cultivates the artistic growth of Queer & Trans People of Color (QTPOC) performing artists ages 18-24 through a paid residency at Destiny Arts Center.

Keep posted for application info for Spring 2017 Queer Emerging Artist Residency. Read below for more info about past residencies.


QEAR Summer 2016 PANEL for web
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During the week-long 2016 Summer intensive, facilitated by mentor artist ChE, residents worked through a collaborative process to create performances that include storytelling, movement, and/or theater. These pieces were premiered in an interactive art dinner on SATURDAY AUGUST 13 from 4-6PM at IMPACT HUB bringing together seasoned QTPOC activists and artists to break bread in a multigenerational conversation of decolonizing the arts. Queer Emerging Artists in Residence were able to be featured performers in ChE’s currently unfolding series #DignityInProcess, a nationally touring body of work in response to the Black Lives Matter movement merging ancestral healing, art activism, and intersectional identity evolution within the Queer/Afro-Indigenous community.

The Queer Emerging Artist Residency is specifically designed for LGBTQQIA2-S identified artists of color who are interested in utilizing art and performance as tools for social change. Artists should expect to dig into ancestral ritual, connecting to the powerful lineages that have sourced and sustained QTPOC activism for generations. Exploring the impacts of anti-blackness within our organizing methodologies, QEAR Summer 2016 supports LGBTQQIA2-S artists of color in finding their voice to participate in today’s liberatory movement.

This program is generously supported by the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth (OFCY) LGBTQ Youth Service Program Grant and the San Francisco Foundation

WATCH the process as it unfolded here:

Mentor Teaching Artist

ChE bio photoChE (pronouns: they/them/their) is a Queer Afro-Indigenous artivist working at the intersections of youth leadership development, cultural equity consulting, and socially engaged artmaking. In 2013 ChE launched Breathe-In Liberation, an incubator for Queer and Trans activists-of-color to practice embodied leadership. Through this platform, ChE partnered with Destiny Arts Center and founded the Art Liberation Troupe, a QTPOC youth performance group utilizing dance, street theatre, and youth-led arts activism workshops as tools for social change. A consultant in race/ gender justice and movement integrated curriculum design, ChE has most recently worked with Destiny Arts Center, Healthy Initiatives for Youth, BAYC Our Space, Montclair Dance Athletics, and Alameda Head Start. As a director/choreographer, ChE’s work is robust with gospel soul sounds and movement of the African Diaspora that leave feet stomping and hands clapping—fusing Contemporary Modern, Afro-house, and Congolese dance with multi-generational storytelling and interactive installation. ChE has been an artist in residence with Spirit Garden Productions, Press Street Gallery, Dancing Grounds, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts—where they debuted Black Modern dance as an integrative form of Afro-diasporic healing.

You can follow the process at ChE-Art.life

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Listen to QEAR Winter/Spring 2016 artists in residence Bárbara Ochoa and Jada Bean discuss their experiences as young QTPOC artists and lead you through a queer/Latinx musical tribute to the Orlando tragedy on Pure Pop for Queer Lovers on Radio Valencia!


QEARartists_longThe Emerging Artist Residency is a 3-month paid residency at Destiny Arts Center that cultivates the artistic growth of LGBTQQI2-S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, questioning, intersex, two-spirit) identified performing artists of color ages 18-24. Led by mentor teaching artists, Indira Allegra and India Davis, residents will work through a collaborative process to create solo and group performances that include storytelling, spoken word, movement, and theater. The residency will culminate in a community showcase on April 22nd and 23rd. Residents will be connected to performance opportunities with the Time is Now! Queer Youth Conference as well as the National Queer Arts Festival.

The Queer Emerging Artist Residency is specifically designed for LGBTQQIA2-S identified artists of color who are interested in utilizing art and performance as tools for social change.

This program is generously supported by the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth (OFCY) LGBTQ Youth Service Program Grant and the San Francisco Foundation

Who Should Apply?
Spoken word poets. Hip hop artists. Vocal musicians. Drag queens. Dancers. Theater geeks. Storytellers. If you feel comfortable in front of a crowd and have a story to share, we want to hear it. Prior experience in a performing arts form will be helpful but is not required to apply.

How to Apply
Fill out the Online Application Form
or email the following information to Hannah Klein at hannah@destinyarts.org by Friday Jan. 8 at 5pm:

1. Your name, age, preferred gender pronoun, and contact information (address, phone, email)
2. A brief artist statement including your past performance work and why you are applying to this residency (300 word max)
3. Contact information for two references who know your creative work
4. 3 Performing Art Work Samples (Links or copies of images, audio and video samples are accepted)

Applicants will be contacted by phone before Tues. Jan 12 regarding the status of their application.

Residency Rehearsal Dates
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6:30 – 9pm, at Destiny Arts Center
Jan:  1/14, 1/19, 1/21, 1/26, 1/28
Feb: 2/2, 2/4, 2/9, 2/11, 2/16, 2/18, 2/23, 2/25
March: 3/1, 3/3, 3/8, 3/10, 3/15, 3/17, 3/22, 3/24, 3/29, 3/31
April: 4/5, 4/7, 4/12, 4/14, 4/19, 4/21, 4/26

Show Dates
Friday April 22 & Saturday April 23 at 7pm
(Call time for the show is 12pm on both days)

Resident Stipend
$1,200 
(Residents must be able to attend all rehearsal and show dates in order to receive stipend.
Two excused absences per residency are allowed.)


Mentor Teaching Artists

India Davis photoIndia Davis’ multidisciplinary work is magnanimous. A trained acrobat and aerialist, India combines physical feats with dance to illustrate the breadth of her inspirations. India is a graduate of Antioch College where she received a BA in Theater as well as the New England Center for Circus Arts Pro-Track program where she studied with former Cirque du Soleil and Cirque Eloize performers Elsie and Serenity Smith, Bill Forchion and Aimée Hancock. Also skilled in moving image and writing, India has been a solo and collaborative creator of numerous productions including a one-woman show, a full-length queer musical, and an Afro-futuristic short film about a water spirit’s journey through the desert. She is the co-producer of Topsy Turvy Queer Circus, which was featured as part of the 2013, 2014 and 2015 National Queer Arts Festivals and sold out the Brava Theater in San Francisco every year. She is a founding member, dancer and choreographer of Body Waves, a queer Black acrobatic dance collective located in Oakland. India is currently in a four month residency which will culminate in a solo show incorporating pole, dance and film in January 2016.  India’s visionary work has been seen across the country and abroad and is always guided by themes of multi-dimensionality, spirit, and the link between legacy, timelessness and future manifestation through the body. India lives in Oakland, CA and teaches wildly popular aerial, acrobatic and pole classes, including classes specifically for Queer and Trans People of Color throughout the Bay Area. rubydiamondarts.com

Indira Allegra photo
Indira Allegra
 is a poet and performance artist thinking through craft, generating texts that exist as material documents and time-based works. An artist with an expanded practice, she is a recipient of Queer Cultural Center and Oakland Individual Artist grants has been honored with the Jackson Literary Award, Lambda Literary Fellowship and Windgate Craft Fellowship. The Windgate is awarded to artists who represent the future of contemporary craft as determined by an international panel of curators working with the Center for Craft and Design. Her commissions include works for the de Young Museum, SFJAZZ Poetry Festival, the City of Oakland and the National Queer Arts Festival. Her time-based works have screened at festivals such as MIX NYC, Perlen Hannover LGBT Festival, Outfest Fusion and Bologna Lesbian Film Festival.

Allegra’s writing has been widely anthologized and she has contributed works to Cream City Review, HYSTERIA Magazine, make/shift Magazine, Konch Magazine and Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art and Thought among others. In 2014 she was the Dr. and Mrs. Ella Tag Lecturer at East Carolina University and a Lylle Parker Women of Color Speaker at the University of Oregon. A former artist-in residence at The Banff Centre in Canada, in 2016, she will be an artist in residence at the University of Southern Denmark and at Takt in Berlin. indiraallegra.com

If someone is trying to hurt us, we use our fighting skills, but only if we have to. We use our feet and our words first.

Rosalyn Green
Age 10, Peralta Elementary School (Oakland)