Eight Emerging LGBTQ+ Artists Selected From Across the Country to Form the Creative & Professional Development Program’s National Cohort
Queer|Art, NYC’s home for the creative and professional development of LGBTQ+ artists, is pleased to announce the new Fellows for the 2024 Queer|Art|Mentorship (QAM) program cycle. The Mentorship program is the cornerstone of Queer|Art’s work, providing a platform of support for LGBTQ+ artists focused on creative issues and long-term sustainability of artistic practice. Now in its 13th year, the organization’s celebrated year-long creative and professional development program supports both remote and in-person participation between early-career and established LGBTQ+ artists from across the country. In doing so, Queer|Art|Mentorship bridges professional and social thresholds that often isolate artists by generation, discipline, and region. The 2024 cohort is made up of Mentors and Fellows participating across six states: New York, Washington, California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Oregon.
The eight Fellows accepted for the 2024 Queer|Art|Mentorship program cycle, and the Mentors with whom they will be working are:
Oscar Diaz with Mentor, Demian DinéYazhi ́ (Visual Art)
Christopher Paul Jordan with Mentor, Avram Finkelstein (Visual Art)
Kelindah bee Schuster with Mentor, Kate Bornstein (Literature)
Grace Byron with Mentor, Jackie Ess (Literature)
Katherine Bahena-Benitez with Mentor, Eva Yaa Asantewaa (Performance)
X. Lee with Mentor, M. Lamar (Performance)
Shuli Huang with Mentor, Ira Sachs (Film)
Hazel Katz with Mentor, Stephen Winter (Film)
For the last decade, Queer|Art|Mentorship has nurtured the creative and professional development of over 179 artists and propelled the careers of a new generation of creators. Alumni of the program include: Raja Feather Kelly, Ryan J. Haddad, Saeed Jones, Jeanne Vaccaro, Geo Wyeth, April Freely, Tourmaline, Sasha Wortzel, Jess Barbagallo, Morgan Bassichis, Camillo Godoy, Monstah Black, Yve Laris Cohen, Troy Michie, Angelo Madsen Minax, Tommy Pico, Justin Sayre, Eva Reign, Jacolby Satterwhite, Guadalupe Rosales, and Hugh Ryan, among many others. Details about the projects each Fellow will be working on are provided below.
About the 2024 Queer|Art|Mentorship Fellows and Their Projects
Oscar Diaz (they/them) is a queer & trans non-binary artist from the borderlands of Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California. They will be working with Mentor Demian DinéYazhi ́on a series of public multimedia installations that illuminate queer and trans modes of resistance as an expanded basis for worldmaking centered in collective care, joy, and intimacy.
Christopher Paul Jordan (he/him) is a painter and public artist from Tacoma, Washington. With Mentor Avram Finkelstein, he will be working on a series of “removal paintings” based on displacement and de-indoctrination, born out of his childhood fear of his family’s sudden rapture.
Kelindah bee Schuster (t[he]y/them) is a drag artist known as Theydy Bedbug, a spoken-word poet, an educator, and a producer. They will work with Mentor Kate Bornstein as they combine campy drag, grotesque burlesque and narrative poetry into an interdisciplinary one-bug show, harnessing Big Dad Energy to unpack daddy issues, excavate memories of violation, and reclaim transmasculine reproductivity.
Grace Byron (she/her) is a writer from the Midwest based in Queens. She will be mentored by Jackie Ess as she writes her debut novel entitled Herculine, which recounts a trans woman’s experience of being drawn into a demonic cult that preys upon conversion therapy survivors.
Katherine Bahena-Benitez (they/them) is a Queer Mexican Indigenous actor, poet, playwright, director and model. Mentored by Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Bahena-Benitez will work on a solo performance piece revealing the truths of what it means to be raised in the catholic church as a gay Indigenous person; a story of activism told through movement and spoken word.
X. Lee (he/him) is an experimental sound art performer/composer with roots in scratch turntablism, jungle, techno, noise and electro-acoustic contemporary composition. With Mentor M. Lamar, he will develop a theatrical post-opera work, exploring the capabilities of the human voice and technologies.
Shuli Huang (he/him) is a writer-director and cinematographer, born in Wenzhou, China. Under Ira Sachs’ mentorship, Huang will develop Hope This Film Finds You Well, a personal fiction feature about a son’s journey accepting his mother’s refusal within a Chinese family anchored in traditional values.
Hazel Katz (she/her) is a Los Angeles-based video artist and filmmaker. She will be creating a feature length narrative screenplay about a political/personal conflict between two friends during a labor strike at their LGBTQ+ healthcare nonprofit, with the help of Mentor Stephen Winter.
For more information about Queer|Art|Mentorship and our new cohort of Fellows and Mentors, visit our website at: www.queer-art.org/mentorship.
Queer|Art|Mentorship (QAM) was launched in 2011 to establish an intergenerational and interdisciplinary network of support and shared knowledge for LGBTQ+ artists. Now entering its twelfth year, QAM has graduated 122 Fellows, with 71 Mentors, producing a diverse and vibrant community of filmmakers, authors, performers, visual artists, and curators. The program’s enduring success is in the many creative and professional relationships it has nurtured, which continue to propel the careers of a new generation of artists. Every Fall, QAM welcomes 8-12 new Fellows in Film, Literature, Performance, and Visual Art. Throughout their year together, Fellows work closely with their Mentors and cohort to develop new creative projects and advance their professional development. Artists supported through QAM have gone on to present their work at such prestigious venues as The Whitney Museum, New Museum, Queens Museum, Bronx Museum of Art, The Studio Museum of Harlem, The Venice Biennale, Hammer Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art – San Diego, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, BAM Cinematheque, The Public Theater, The Kitchen, Performance Space New York (PS122), Abrons Arts Center, Danspace, and White Columns, and have received residencies and fellowships from Jerome Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Guggenheim Foundation, and Yaddo, among others.
Lead support is provided by Blundstone, 21c Museum Hotels, and The Robert Gore Rifkind Foundation. Additional programmatic support is provided by the Claire and Theodore Morse Foundation, Cowles Charitable Trust, The Knickerbocker, Marta Heflin Foundation, and Max.
Queer|Art receives support from the Willem de Kooning Foundation, the Marian Goodman Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, and Teiger Foundation through Coalition of Small Arts New York City (CoSA NYC).
The work of New York QAM Fellows and Mentors is supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the New York City Council.
QAM Work-in-Progress presentations are supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Queer|Art connects and empowers LGBTQ+ artists across generations and creative disciplines. Founded in 2009, we are an artist-led and community-centered organization—united by shared values of collective care, creative resilience, and the preservation and advancement of queer legacies and queer futures.
The devastating loss of a generation of artists to the ongoing AIDS pandemic has created a profound longing for cross-generational connections, mentorship, and community. Queer|Art serves as a ballast against this loss, seeking to highlight and address a continuing fundamental lack of both economic and institutional support for our community.
Ongoing programmatic initiatives include: our annual cornerstone program, the year-long Queer|Art|Mentorship; our long-running Queer|Art|Film series, sponsored by HBO at the IFC Center; and a wide array of awards, grants, and offerings that provide direct support to LGBTQ+ artists.