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Ballroom Has Something To Say: An Ode To Black Gay / Queer Men

June 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

$10.00 – $15.00

Tickets

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GA Ballroom Has Something To Say
$ 15.00
Student/Senior Ballroom Has Something To Say
$ 10.00

THE ARTS OF HOUSE BALLROOM
BALLROOM HAS SOMETHING TO SAY: AN ODE TO BLACK GAY / QUEER MEN
Friday, June 21, 2024 7-9PM
$15 General Admission / $10 Student/Senior

What is performance and how does it open up spaces for freedom? Join us for Icon Michael Roberson’s newest production that presents an intergenerational history of the Black LGBTQ+ house ballroom community, beyond Madonna’s vogue, Paris is Burning, Pose, and Legendary. Weaving together Black art forms of oratory, vogue & performance, poetry & song, this production presents an ode to the Black gay / queer man, his perseverance, his strength, and his resilience in the face of struggle and catastrophe. Featuring Icon Michael Roberson, Icon Pony Zion, Legendary Khaos Lanvin, Ka’don Miyake Mugler, Le’Rone Bennett 007, Rev. Ken Alston Jr., Brad Walrond, and Ricky Tucker.

This program is Co-organized by ArtsWestchester, Bethany Arts Community, The LOFT: LGBTQ+ Center, and the Ossining Juneteenth Council

This program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature

Ballroom Has Something to Say is part of ArtsWestchester’s Westchester Roots program series, presented by Montefiore Einstein

The Arts of House Ballroom Series is made possible in part through the Mid Atlantic Folk and Traditional Arts – Community Projects program of Mid Atlantic Arts with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

MICHAEL ROBERSON, MDIV, STM
Michael Roberson is a public health practitioner, advocate, activist, artist, curator and leader within the House Ballroom community. He is the founder of three major Houses—Blahnik, Maasai, and Garcon—and is Father to hundreds of children in the community. Roberson works as Adjunct Professor at The New School and Union Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses on Ballroom history and Vogue’ology, a pedagogy that places Ballroom’s performance traditions within a politics of emancipation. He is also founder of The Federation of Ballroom Houses and co-creator of the National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Group and Black Gay Research Group, organizations focused on tackling health disparities within Black/Latino LGBTQ+ and Ballroom communities. Roberson has curated countless programs on House Ballroom culture and history. He is an international art and politics consultant and a member of the international sound art collective entitled “Ultra-red.” He also works as an Adjunct Professor at The New School University/Lang College NYC, and Union Theological Seminary NYC. 

ICON PONY ZION
Harlem, New York born and raised Devon Webster also known as Pony Zion has dedicated his life to dance and performance. Pony’s outsized gift has grown him into a much sought after international creative director and celebrity choreographer working with artists like Fergie, Chaka Khan, Mariah Carey, Ashanti, Lil Mo, Shaggy, and countless others. Known for his mastery and innovation in the art of vogue performance, Pony is an Icon in the House Ballroom community and was placed in the Ballroom Hall of Fame in 2023. He is the creator of Vogue Evolution the first choreographed professional LGBTQ+ dance group built around vogue and performance, which is known globally for is appearance on Fox’s America’s Best Dance Crew. Pony’s visionary work with marginalized communities led him to create Vogue Theory –a leadership development and HIV prevention intervention bisecting the discourses of public health, social justice, and self-empowerment. Pony continues the work of building the Iconic house of Zion which he founded in New York City in 2007 and has since spread to São Paulo, Brazil, becoming Brazil’s original and historic Ballroom house. 

LEGENDARY KHAOS LANVIN
Detroit native and graduate of Specs Howard School of Media Arts, Ka’Juan D. Hill joined Detroit’s Ballroom scene in 2009 at age 16. As a youth he attended the Affirmations Detroit LGBTQ+ Community Center where he was introduced to vogue performance and recruited by the House of Escada. Khaos joined the house of Mizrahi in 2010 where he started competing in balls around the country and making himself a nationally known name. He moved to NYC in 2021, and is now a member of the House of Xclusive Lanvin. Hill is also a nationally recognized activist, social entrepreneur and media broadcasting personality/ influencer. He is currently the host of his personally branded podcast and internet show, “KhaosTalks.” KhaosTalks has leveraged his work in media broadcasting to advance his public health profession. His passion is in giving a platform to those who feel voiceless and overlooked and creating space for their stories. 

RICKY TUCKER is a writer, educator, and culture critic based in NYC. His work explores the imprints of art and memory on narrative, and the absurdity of most fleeting moments. He currently teaches a range of nonfiction writing courses at The New School and Pratt Institute, and has written for the Paris Review, the Tenth Magazine, LitHub, and Public Seminar, among others. He has been featured in Vogue, EuroNews, the Independent, LA Review of Books, BITCH Magazine, and more; a recurring guest on Queer History 101 w/ Eric Cervini, and had segments on WNYC’s All of it w/ Alison Stewart, and NPR’s 1A, et al. Tucker is an avid live reader, regularly performing for reading series including the Moth Grand SLAM, Brooklyn Book Festival, and Sister Spit. His L.A. Times best-selling debut And the Category Is…Inside New York’s Vogue, House and Ballroom Community (Beacon Press, 2022) was a finalist for the 2023 LAMBDA Literary Award for LGBTQ+ Nonfiction.

REV KEN ALSTON, JR is a teacher, performer, and minister of the Gospel. Each of these roles intersect to showcase his God-given talents and gifts. Ken is a native of the Bronx, NY and was educated in the New York City Public School System. A public servant from an early age, Ken understands the importance and responsibility of giving back to his community through teaching. He currently serves as the Lead Music Teacher at Community Roots Middle School in Fort Greene. He dedicated his time as an after-school teacher at Brooklyn Friends; worked with PopFitKids as a counselor and music instructor; taught music for Vacation Bible School at St. Mark Holy Church, and has led various workshops on worship and arts ministry. Equally important to Ken’s life has been his ability to entertain audiences as an accomplished and world-recognized vocal performer. At Morgan State University, he earned his B.A. in Music, specializing in classical, secular and sacred works. Among his list of numerous performing accolades, Ken sang for The 1619 Project at Riverside Church with Dr. William Barber, II; served as the Music Director and played Jimmy Early in Dreamgirls; performed at the National Lying in honor of Rosa Parks in the National Rotunda in Washington, D.C.; and was featured on an episode of the popular HBO series “The Wire.” Additionally, he has performed with the Czech Philharmonic, the Charleston Symphony, Darin Atwater’s Soulful Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Opera Company of Philadelphia. 

Details

Date:
June 21
Time:
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Cost:
$10.00 – $15.00
Event Categories:
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Organizer

Bethany Arts Community
Phone
914 944-4278
Email
info@bethanyarts.org
View Organizer Website

Venue

Bethany Arts Community
40 Somerstown Rd.
Ossining, NY 10562 United States
+ Google Map
Phone
914-944-4278
View Venue Website

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