WRRQ is an intergenerational community of queer and transgender artists and activists who wrrq to transform our culture. We make art together as a form of visual resistance and collective healing, including visual art, music, drag and video. We also take care of each other and our people by organizing community dinners, clothing swaps, vigils, street actions and movement building. Our wrrq together continually evolves as a creative response to community needs.
WRRQ is extremely diverse racially and generationally, a full rainbow of genders, two spirit, disabled, sex workers, immigrants. Some of us have spent time in jail, in homeless shelters, in the streets; some of us grew up wealthy or come from intellectual families. All of us understand that our liberation is interconnected, and wrrq hard to relate to each other across our differences.
Depending on the project, there are 15 to 60 collective members working together at any given time. We've been around since 2013, but are directly connected to legacies that go way farther back, including Sylvia Rivera, MIX NYC, ACT UP, and downtown/underground art legacies.
Our signature program is Arts in the Woods, an annual retreat where our artists work closely with young people who are actively dealing with, or have overcome, homelessness.
- Address the troubling violence against trans women of color; shift dominant culture to create a safer society for all
- Build a stronger network of community support for queer homeless youth; imagine community-sustained solutions rooted in queer interdependence
- Create visibility and authentic, self-determined narratives of Black/POC trans women and gender-nonconforming people in popular culture
- Defend and protect our land and water
- Produce cultural projects in alignment with our values
- Wrrq in alliance with movements organizing for justice and structural change
- Nurture interdependent communities across boundaries of age/race/gender/experience
- Model the change we’d like to see in the world
A Brief Herstory
2017 will be the fifth year of collaboration for many of us, who bonded together during the Arts in the Woods annual retreats which started in summer 2013 and spilled into Sylvia’s Place upon return.
The initial creative chemistry sparked that year, brought to a boil in the queer art cauldron that is the MIX Festival, led to the development of a collectively-imagined feature film, Wild Ponies Dancing, which is currently in post-production.
Over months of weekly family dinners at Sylvia’s Place and countless movie dinners at Quito’s house, a variety of projects with an extended chosen family of artists have emerged which go beyond filmmaking to community-building in the shelter, online activism about trans representation, and art-making partnerships related to community efforts such as the Trans Day of Action or HIV prevention. Not every collective member is involved in every project and our individual work continues freely, yet a shared sensibility runs throughout all the wrrq we collaborate on.
As the years of collaboration pile up and we find ourselves relating more and more as a chosen artistic family, we have begun to formalize our relations, and are currently engaged in a process to establish an accountable collective structure with clearly articulated goals and good oversight. We also are learning to articulate/acknowledge the combined strength of our interconnected projects, which assert a holistic approach to queer filmmaking : telling stories that most powerfully need to be heard, on our own terms, without ignoring our need for sustenance on both personal and structural levels, and lifting up all of our artists in the process.