Reading Queer Awarded $70,000 Knight Arts Challenge Grant Miami

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awards Reading Queer a 2016 Knight Arts Challenge Miami (KACM) grant, a community-wide initiative funding the best ideas for the arts in South Florida. This is the second KACM grant awarded to Reading Queer since 2013.

“The KACM grant will strengthen Reading Queer and its mission to foster and promote queer literary culture in South Florida by expanding the annual RQ Literary Festival, which is the first and only queer centric literary festival of its kind in the region, with a series of main stage performances, writing workshops and literary installations,” said Neil de la Flor, Executive Director of Reading Queer. “With the aim of advancing the careers of emerging and established queer-identified writers, Reading Queer will also expand the RQ Writing Academy and collaborate with The Betsy Hotel-South Beach to launch the week-long RQ Writers in Residence program.”

With rapidly changing conceptions of gender and sexuality and a historical moment defined by racialized forms of violence against various marginalized groups of queer-identified people, Reading Queer empowers and provides a safe space for aspiring, emerging and established queer writers to create and share their work with the community. Reading Queer serves as both respite and resource to amplify queer voices and effect change.

We need your financial support to continue our work in the community. The Knight Foundation will match it dollar for dollar up to $70,000.

Donate now: readingqueer.org/donate.


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation: Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org/.

Out of darkness, light: Queer film series launches with ‘Before Night Falls’

For KnightBlog, I wrote about the old independent film center Alliance Cinema (South Beach), my first encounter with Javier Bardem and its connection to Queer Screens: LGBTQ Film Series, a new film series co-presented by Reading Queer and O Cinema. It was a difficult, but formative period of my life. The Alliance Cinema made coming out in the early 1990s and the horrors of the AIDS epidemic palpable. It was the first time I felt I had a community, that I fit in, that I mattered even though I was always the one kind of hiding in a dark corner.

Here’s an excerpt from the article: “In the 1990s, the Alliance Cinema was the pulse of South Beach–a center for independent film culture and, most importantly for me, a safe space for a burgeoning queer community. It’s where I met Javier Bardem….

In that dark, single-screen, six-row theater, I felt safe watching films that revealed the multitudes of being and becoming queer, with my community sitting next to me. It would pull me out of darkness more than once.”

Read more > here.


Before_Night_Falls_poster-1Raised in the Oriente Province of Cuba in the 1940s, Arenas began his life-long love of the sea and water. Leaving home as a young adolescent, he moves to Havana where he finds himself swept up in the revolutionary spirit and joins a circle of writers and artists. His first novel, “Singing from the Well,” is published in Cuba, but as Castro’s oppressive regime gathers force, Arenas’ homosexuality and political writing make him a target. After being falsely accused of molestation, Arenas is arrested and imprisoned at El Morro. Eventually released from prison after dehumanizing treatment, Arenas flees Cuba in the 1980 Mariel Harbor boatlift. After moving to New York with his friend Lazaro Gomez Carilles, Arenas’ hopes for a new life are destroyed by AIDS, and he dies in 1993, at the age of 45.

Fundraiser for victims of Pulse attack

Reading Queer in collaboration with O Cinema, Pridelines, Aqua Foundation, Miami Jewish Film Festival and the MIFO LGBT Film Festival present the academy awarding winning film MILK in honor of the victims of the Orlando attack. 100% of all funds collected will be donated directly to the Equality Florida fund.

Buy tickets > here http://www.o-cinema.org/event/milk/ 

Thursday, June 23rd @ 8pm at O Cinema Miami Beach.