The Philadelphia Queer Elders Project
Curated by Anna Pachner and Katie Rauth
Opening Friday, November 1, 2019

The Philadelphia Queer Elders Project

Friday, November 1, 2019 – Sunday, December 16, 2019
Curated by Anna Pachner and Katie Rauth
Presented in The Front Space

The Philadelphia Queer Elders Project, an archival exhibition and series of programming curated by Anna Pachner and Katie Rauth, aims to celebrate elders’ position in the queer community, highlighting threads of second-wave, lesbian-feminist history and how they translate into contemporary queer thought and space. Stemming from a box of lesbian-centered zines from the 1970s through 1990s found on a roadside in Burlington, VT, and Pachner’s archival Instagram account @boxofvintagegayzines that followed, the project presents excerpts of these publications that provide an in-depth look at snapshots of queer lives as told through nationally, regionally and locally circulated writing.

The archival aspect of the exhibition will be supplemented with extensive programming and collaboration with other Philadelphia artists and community organizers in an ongoing series of ancillary events that celebrate queer elders and build intergenerational queer community. Community partners include the John C. Anderson Apartments, writers’ nonprofit Blue Stoop, and West Philadelphia queer community chorus Trust Your Moves.

– Sunday 11/3: PQEP Reception and Celebration on Sunday, 3-6 pm at Vox Populi Gallery- The Philadelphia Queer Elders Projects invites LGBTQA community members to celebrate intergenerational community and find out more about upcoming events included in the scope of the project. Trust Your Moves, a West Philadelphia community chorus, will join us and perform original compositions written and inspired by LGBTQ elders.
– Thursday 11/14: Archival Dive Workshop, 7-9 pm at Vox Populi Gallery- Supported and facilitated by Philadelphia writers’ nonprofit Blue Stoop, the Archival Dive invites audiences to dig into the archival material consisting of mostly lesbian-centered self-published zines from the 1970s-1990s. Attendees will be supported by local queer writers to use the archival material to reflect on queer memoir and will use it as inspiration for reflecting on revolutionary queer histories through a personal lens. Participants will then be invited to submit their writing to the Philadelphia Queer Elders Project publication in an effort to record lost narratives of queer history.
– Thursday 12/19: Reading & Publication Release, 7-9p at Vox Populi Gallery- The Philadelphia Queer Elders Project invites audiences to witness commissioned local queer and trans writers presenting their own narratives and poetry, and celebrate the release of the supporting publication for the exhibition.
– Sundays 11/10, 11/17, 11/24, 12/1, 12/8, 12/15: Intergenerational Community Quilting Bee, 2-5 pm at the John C. Anderson Apartments- In conjunction with master quilters of the John C. Anderson Apartments, an apartment complex for LGBT senior citizens in Center City Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Queer Elders Project invites community members to participate in a series of quilting bees over 6 Sundays. Each week, participants of all skill levels are invited to join in creating a community quilt that celebrates and records the histories of LGBT community, in an effort to forge intergenerational connections within the city’s queer community.

This exhibition and its ancillary programming are part of the City of Philadelphia’s Arts in Action initiative managed by the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.