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Arts & Queers
a collaborative network of queer
artists and small business owners
In November of 2015, I saw a post in a Facebook group asking who in the surrounding queer community had Etsy shops (and the like) from which holiday presents could be purchased. It wasn't long before the comment thread filled up with Excellent talent. It immediately occurred to me that there was no reason all this talent should not get together in a physical space, and soon.
I had noticed an unfortunate trend in my community, of individuals struggling financially.
It occurred to me that many of these folks' conditions were most notably due to a lack of familial support, either emotional or financial. I saw many folks turning to sex work, in hopes of earning income without having to sacrifice their queer identity to conform to a typical workplace standard, and coming up short on rent and food money, despite possessing incredible talent that they simply had not effectively capitalized on- or maybe they just hadn't realized that their talent was just that, real talent, and could benefit them as such.
The same day I saw the post, I wrote an email to a nearby venue called Littlefield I had previously visited for events called Littlefield. They wrote back with a reasonable rental amount for a Sunday afternoon one month from the date, and gave me the information of the company who would provide us tables and chairs. I created an event page, an online vendor application, and within that first day I secured twenty vendors, and with their application fees I paid both our venue and our rental company.
I decided I would do things differently than fairs I had taken part in before. I made my vendor fees less expensive
than typical rates, and I also provided social media marketing advice, photo editing training, and a huge amount of promotion for everyone. We were featured in Go! Magazine, Next Magazine and Timeout NY.
Over the course of 5 months, I threw 4 events- 3 craft fairs, and a music festival. Each event touted over 50 artist and vegan food, a barber on site, photo booth, dog and cat adoptions, tarot card readings, live music and a safe space to celebrate exactly what makes everyone who they are.
A&Q Fairs remain something I am the most proud of.
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