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This year’s theme—#Resist—for the National Queer Arts Festival seems a natural progression. With the systematic cruelty, hate speech and “fake facts” that are besieging all of our communities, it was time to both withstand and take action: the very definitions of Resist.

Artistic Director, Pamela Peniston, wrote “I asked our artists: How and who do we see and how do we want to be seen? What are our new alliances made of and how will they be constructed? Looking back to our beginnings, what old ideas can be re-examined and what completely new allies, methods, and issues will we explore?”

Twenty-two Creating Queer Community commissioned works made their debut during the 19th annual National Queer Arts festival in 2016 that spanned multiple venues in San Francisco and the East Bay.

Our grantees for this year produced work around the theme of Connections. As LGBTQ+ people, we make connections across many so-called borders of ethnicity, gender, ability, and economic status as well as physical borders across cities, states and countries to assemble a family, to create art, to provoke commentary, to weave social justice issues into our practices, to explore spirituality and to have a hella good time.