AMPLIFY LGBTQ Voices in Western Pennsylvania
Organized by: Sue Kerr
November 29, 2016
UPDATE as of November 2016: We have published 175 Q&A's and collected about 190 so far. We are moving to a new fiscal sponsor in January 2017 - Persad Center, a LGBTQ organization that also serves Western Pennsylvania. Our allies at Most Wanted Fine Art (and Bloomfield Garfield Corporation) will move forward with us in new roles on our Advisory Group.
We appreciate your help as we continue to illustrate that storytelling is solidarity.
Throughout 2015, I invited LGBTQ neighbors to share their stories and lived experiences via a blog survey - I call the project #AMPLIFY. In seven months, we published more than 90 Q&A's from neighbors with ties to 16 out of 26 counties in Western Pennsylvania. This is a community art project as part of my artistic residency with Most Wanted Fine Art gallery in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Our plan is to continue collecting responses and create multiple mechanisms to distribute the responses - the blog, zines and perhaps video.
I'm asking you to invest in my project with a donation that will help me continue to build that trust and create this blog archive. I'm asking you to invest in blogging. Take the bold leap with me in 2016 and beyond to say that blogging still matters. And be excited that the longest running LGBTQ blog in Pennsylvania is entering its second decade with a bold new project.
To reach new people, we have to stretch ourselves and spend even more time in the community. This means more time on the road, more events and meetings and gatherings. It means some new equipment and less time at home to work on fundraising.
The funds raised will be used to pay for the community engagement strategies - mileage, meals, lodging, event fees, etc - to reach out to the next 100 people in the counties furthest from Pittsburgh. We need to head up north to Elk and McKean counties and meet people in their informal gathering spots. We need to spend time in Johnstown and visit the gay owned restaurant in Centre County. We'll also be returning to Erie Pride (perhaps 2x) and heading up to Youngstown to meet with folks from the Lawrence/Mercer region.
A trip to Erie (2 nights, 300 miles roundtrip, a few meals) will cost about $450 ($162 mileage, $200 hotel, $90 for food) We have to travel there twice. We also need to visit McKean County and then swing south to Somerset and Cambria.
We is primarily me, Sue Kerr MSW. Social worker by trade, blogger by design. I'm working with Nina and Jason Sauer at Most Wanted Fine Art. They have 24 artists in this residency project meaning I collaborate with a heck of a lot of talented folks who support this effort. That includes a team of queer artists who will convert the content into a four-issue zine series. We'll also video the creation and distribution of the zines to document how the amplification is received by the larger community. We have some cool posters designed by the other artists. A lot of good talented people are investing their skills to amplify these stories.
To clarify, this project has been self-funded since we began. We've applied for several grants and recieved in-kind support from MWFA. We hope you will join us by investing in the voices of your LGBTQ neighbors in Western Pennsylvania.
No rewards or incentives, no trinkets, doodads or such things. Just blog posts.