In the world of arts, marginalized experiences and perspectives are often overlooked due to underrepresentation.
To help combat this issue, the University of Georgia’s LGBT Resource Center is hosting a series of events throughout spring 2021 to highlight queer and trans, Black and Indigenous people of color in the arts.
The LGBT Resource Center presents the QTBIPOC Spotlight Series. These events will be held throughout the spring semester and highlight QTBIPOC representation:
We are calling for artists to contribute to our QTBIPOC art gallery. RSVP for all events here: https://t.co/EqzPLQtkSX pic.twitter.com/zm2yZ27XXy
— UGA LGBTRC (@LGBTRCatUGA) December 4, 2020
The QTBIPOC Spotlight Series will consist of nine events across five areas of the arts: visual art, music, film and television, literature and podcasting. The events will vary between workshop and exhibition events, beginning with a music trivia event on Jan. 26.
LGBTRC senior coordinator Erin Hill, one of the planners for the series, said the workshops will involve discussions about prominent queer and trans, Black and Indigenous creators in the arts, as well as issues related to specific artistic fields and resources available to help students get involved with that particular medium.
Exhibition events will vary based on the artistic field, from a book club for literature to a film festival for movies.
The exhibition for visual arts will be an art gallery in the LGBTRC, showcasing work by LGBT students of color. Hill said they are working on a virtual gallery, since only a limited number of people will be able to visit the LGBTRC in person to attend the gallery. Submissions to the gallery, which are open until Jan. 29, can be emailed or delivered in-person to the LGBTRC.
As senior coordinator, Hill is in charge of most of the center’s event planning and is aiming to create more programming that specifically caters to and welcomes people of color. For those who may not have visited or used the LGBTRC’s resources, these individuals may be unsure whether or not the center will be an inclusive place for them, Hill said.
“I saw a need for some more explicitly inclusive programs, especially for queer and trans people of color,” Hill said. “That’s what I’m trying to do for this spring, is to really make sure that queer and trans students of color know that they are welcome here [at the LGBTRC].”
The series is also related to UGA’s larger programs celebrating the 60th anniversary of desegregation at the school. Hill said the LGBTRC was asked to create programs for the anniversary, and they wanted to develop events that would be most helpful for queer and trans students of color.
The QTBIPOC Spotlight Series is not the LGBTRC’s only programming geared toward the intersection of race and LGBT identity. The center also hosts PRISM, a discussion group for LGBT students of color.
The series’ other planner is Ricky Belizaire, a graduate assistant for the LGBTRC who also oversees PRISM. Belizaire said the decision to create a series of events focused on arts came from a desire to highlight the contributions of queer and trans people of color in areas where they have long contributed, yet are often overlooked.
“I think for us it was really important to bring in all of these different areas, not only the music and art scene, but also literature, film and podcasting even, and talk about these different voices that are prevalent and prominent,” Belizaire said.
Both Hill and Belizaire said they hope to host similar events in future years and make a spotlight series for LGBT people of color into a recurring program for the LGBTRC.
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