Vibrant Statements: LGBTQ+ Multi-Disciplinary Arts Event
Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
"Vibrant Statements” is a multidisciplinary arts event showcasing LGBTQ+ artists in the Kalamazoo area, curated to fulfill my Senior Capstone and Lee Honors College Thesis. The event was held on April 5, 2019 at Wellspring Theater in the Epic Center during the monthly ArtHop event. This event featured live music, spoken-word poetry, dance, and film reflecting themes of community, diversity, and celebration of queer identities.
For this event, I served as both an artistic director and creative artist. As artistic director, I recruited artists, devised a grant proposal, reserved the performance venue, created marketing and event materials, and organized the format and pacing of the event. This role required me to utilize and expand my skills in communication and collaboration with facilities coordinators, artists, and mentors. As a creative artist, I referenced my knowledge of choreography and composition in order to create an improvisation score for eight dancers. I also collaborated with a queer projection designer to project images on the dancers, reflecting a gradual discovery of identity through the formation of a collective community. I provided the designer with images for each section, as well as words, colors, images, and textures submitted by the dancers to generate a projection for each of them.
The main objective of this event was to addresses the need for representation of LGBTQ+ people from marginalized communities in a time where heterosexual, cis-gender men often have the loudest voice in a room. During the artist selection process, I carefully selected a diverse group of queer people to present work at this event. I not only wanted this event to be a platform for queer artists to state their identity and present their work, but also an opportunity to promote their careers. I created a networking table with artist biographies, headshots, and business cards to ignite further connection with the artists.
Reflecting on the curation of "Vibrant Statements", I believe the event successfully achieved the objectives defined at the beginning of the process. Curating this event provided me with practical experience for my career as a creative director and artist. Through the creative challenges highlighted throughout my portfolio, I am able to move forward with new ideas about how to ignite change by addressing crucial socio-political issues and providing positive representation and visibility for LGBTQ+ artists.
Arellano, Michael, "Vibrant Statements: LGBTQ+ Multi-Disciplinary Arts Event" (2019). Honors Theses. 3098.
Honors Thesis-Open Access