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Queer in the South | Community Conversations Series
Queer in the South | Community Conversations Series

Thu, Jul 25



Queer in the South | Community Conversations Series

Join the conversation on existence as resistance — politics, policies & social impacts on queer lives.

Time & Location

Jul 25, 2024, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

ArtsXchange, 2148 Newnan St, East Point, GA 30344, USA

About the Event

Queer in the South: Existence as Resistance | 6-8 pm | Thursday, July 25 | FREE!

Explore the contributions of LGBTQ+ artists and organizers. What are their unique challenges and possibilities? What can the contributions of queer artists and organizers offer to the community and world? How does an LGBTQ+ lens can improve accessibility, connection, health services, and other needs?

Moderated by Frankie Mulinix (aka Vandellous), founder of Vibrance: Centre for Voice & Movement; with panelists, Charles Stephens, founder & executive director of the Counter Narrative Project; Dr. Wend Ballew, founder of Reforming Arts and Creative Becoming; and Angela Denise Davis, music educator & creative director of ZAMI NOBLA. 


Charles Stephens is the founder and executive director of & executive director of the Counter Narrative Project. He serves on the Board of Directors for Actor’s Express and Canopy Atlanta. Prior to that, he served on the Alliance Theatre Advisory Board. His writings have appeared in Atlanta Magazine, the AJC, ArtsATL, and Creative Loafing. Past awards and recognitions include: The VOX ATL Hall of Fame, the Georgia State University College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award, Out Georgia’s 100 Most Influential LGBTQ+ Georgians, and he’s an alumnus of Arts Leaders of Metropolitan Atlanta (ALMA). LEARN MORE HERE

Dr. Wend Ballew is the founder and executive director of Reforming Arts and Creative Becoming. They founded Reforming Arts in 2010 as an arts and humanities education program for people incarcerated in women’s prisons in Georgia. In 2013, Reforming Arts launched a theater reentry project. Before founding Reforming Arts, Wend worked as a stage manager and in the construction field, and then as an arts manager and finally a financial advisor. Wend is also a co-founder of the Georgia Coalition of Higher Education in Prison and the Southern Higher Education in Prison Collective. Wend conceived of Creative Becoming which is a queer feminist diffraction of critical pedagogy, applied theatre, and participatory action research through a posthumanist and quantum physics framework. It is a pedagogy, a theatre method, and a research method that opens ourselves up to connection, curiosity, and care that respects and even encourages difference instead of the sameness that humanism instills in us. Wend has a bachelor’s degree in Theatre, a Master of Business Administration, a Master in American Studies, a graduate certificate in Women's Studies, and a PhD in Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methodologies from the University of Georgia.  

In 2018, Wend was named a Woman Making a Mark by Atlanta Magazine and a Woman to Watch by Weight Watchers Magazine. Even though Wend does not identify as a woman, they appreciate these acknowledgements. Wend — the ArtsXchange’s 2019 Ebon Dooley Awards Social Justice Champion —  is non-binary and lives in East Point with their cats, dogs and chickens, as an avid gardener, collector of string instruments, a survivor of childhood poverty, and a survivor of being a child with an incarcerated parent. LEARN MORE HERE

Angela Denise Davis is an arranger/composer and a music educator. She is the founder of Uke Griot, a program that offers ukulele instruction focusing on awakening musical skills, increasing social engagement, and fostering joy in making music. Her musical arrangements are largely focused within the domain of Negro spirituals and blues. In addition, she has a broad interest in using the ukulele as a conduit for meditation and healing. She joined forces with ZAMI NOBLA (National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging) in May 2019 to create and direct a community music program, Uke-In, that welcomes all persons, with targeted outreach to the LGBTQ community. 

She is a level 3 James Hill Ukulele Initiative (JHUI) certified teacher. She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where she earned a B.A. in Art. She also holds a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University Divinity School, and a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from Georgia State University. LEARN MORE HERE

Frankie Mulinix (Vandellous) is a queer, nonbinary, disabled, and neurodivergent performer, emcee, producer, dramaturge, choreographer, director, voice teacher, performance educator, mental health worker, and intimacy choreographer and coordinator. Through these various roles, their work is focused on the body as the site of liberation, the voice as action, the revolutionary capacity of community, and the healing potential of unflinching art. As Vibrance: Centre for Voice and Movement, Frankie supports creatives seeking to work with their physiology to build their skills, develop their  practice, reclaim their autonomy, and learn how presence, pleasure, and play aid in auto-organization to overcome freeze/survival states, trauma, and other barriers to artistic expression. 

Their theatre company Burning Bones Physical Theatre, is dedicated to engaging with the local community and expanding the possibilities of live performance in daring and imaginative ways through butoh dance, Fitzmaurice Voicework®, and Organic Intelligence®. As a solo performer, Frankie creates butoh-, burlesque-, fire-, and text-based work with performer and producer credits spanning Canada, Australia, and the United States. They are the founder of Forbidden Fascinations and artistic associate of Celestial Cabaret. LEARN MORE HERE

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