June 5, 2018
SF Arts Commission Galleries & Qcc present
Queers Artists Map the Places that Formed Them
SFACG, 7:30pm
FREE Event

Exhibition: Culture Catalyst:  Celebrating the Art and Legacy of 50 years of the Neighborhood Arts Program (NAP)

Being queer can make someone both an insider and outsider to their homeland(s). Through poetry, performance, and video, five artists explore their complex and contradictory relationships to the neighborhoods, cities, and landscapes of their past.  Together we will learn of the queer experiences in the American South and Southwest, Connecticut, The Bay Area, and Pakistan.  The works exist at the intersection of place, gender, sexuality, race, religion, and class.  Together, the artists uncover how places inspire, console, amuse, scare, and confound us, even as they shape us.  Artists include Audacious IAM, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Storm Miguel Florez, Dawn Rudd, and Natalia Vigil with your host & mc, Jaime Cortez.

The production happens in the midst of the exhibition PowerNAP:  Celebrating the Art and Legacy of 50 years of the Neighborhood Arts Program (NAP) on view through June 9, 2018.



Zulfikar Ali Bhutto//Faluda Islam\\ is an artist, performer, zombie drag queen and curator of mixed Pakistani and Lebanese descent. His work explores complex identity politics formed by centuries of colonialism and exacerbated by contemporary international politics. Bhutto explores the politics of queerness, its intersections with Islam and how it exists in a constant liminal and non-aligned space.  Bhutto is currently an artist in residence at SAFEHouse for the Arts, curatorial resident at SOMArts Cultural Center and is a fall artist in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts. Bhutto is currently based in the Bay Area from where he received his MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in the summer of 2016. Today he works as a teaching artist, community arts facilitator and part time unicorn in San Francisco.

Jaime Cortez is a Northern California artist and writer based in Northern California.  He has performed and exhibited  at the National Queer Arts Festival and across the Bay Area at venues that include the Berkeley Art Museum, Oakland Museum of California, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Galería de la Raza.  His writing has appeared in over 15 anthologies and books.  Later in 2018, his work will appear in the literary Journal Freeman’s.  He is currently working on the story that will be the basis for a feature film centered in the Clarion Alley Mural Project in San Francisco’s Mission District.  His art can be seen at

StormMiguel Florez is a Xicanx trans filmmaker, actor, and singer-songwriter from the SF Bay Area via Albuquerque, New Mexico. His Southwest desert roots are deep and are a muse for his art and have currently become an inspiration for his upcoming film, The Whistle. The Whistle is a documentary film that will tell the story of a secret code shared among young dykes in 1970s and 80s Albuquerque as a means of self-­identification and finding community.

Audaciously IAM: Writer, poet, educator and activist Audacious IAM was recently named Greater Bay Area Teacher of the Year by Youth Speaks (2016), nominated for an Oakland Innovative Artist Award (2017 – 2015), a 2016 National Queer Arts Festival of San Francisco Grant recipient, named Best Literary Works of the Year (2010) and is also a founding member of the Spoken Word Collective Pr3ssPlay Poets. Audacious is the creator and chief-editor of the anthology, Blues Arrival: Stories of the Queer Black South & Migration.

Her art is exhibited through words on the page, performance and film in the attempt to transform, dissect and explore the intersection of blackness, queer identity, fragility and being a woman in America and beyond. As a queer black female artist, she has given and hopes to continue to provide her community with a platform for dialogue, social change and transformation through artistic creation.

Her work has been published by Cooweescoowee Literary Journal (Coming Spring 2018)Black Napkin Press (2017),  For (2016) and The Womanist Journal at Mills College (2012).

Audacious IAM was born and raised in Ruleville, Mississippi and now resides in Oakland, California. She holds her BA Degree from Rust College and MFA Degree from Mills College.

Dawn Rudd: Inspired by emotion, rhythm, nature and ritual; contemporary abstract painter, photographer and poet Dawn Rudd creates with passion and vitality creating work that both engages and transfixes her audience. Born in Connecticut, nurtured by a family of musicians, activists, writers, artists and educators, Dawn studied at UMASS/Amherst and Parsons The New School for Design in New York City before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. Although best known as an abstract expressionist painter and collagist, Dawn is a published writer and former editor who writes with urgency and intensity. Both subtle and profound, this prolific artists’ body of work is alive, complex and arresting.

Natalia Vigil is a queer Xicana writer, multimedia curator, and big sister  of  six , born and raised in San Francisco. She is the proud co-founder of Still Here San Francisco ,  a performance and community dialogue centering the experiences of  queer and trans people raised in the city and a 2016 Lambda Literary Fellow.   Her work has appeared in numerous publications and shows . She first heard her  call to write about  vulnerability and identity  in the  first grade when she wrote her poem “You Make Me Glitter Up.”