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Queer, Ill, & Okay is an experimental performing arts series exploring queer artists relationships with chronic illness.
Queer, Ill, & Okay is an experimental performing arts series exploring queer artists relationships with chronic illness.
123 backers pledged $4,142 to help bring this project to life.

About

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QUEER, ILL, & OKAY

$4,142

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Queer, Ill, & Okay is a experimental and emerging performance series featuring queer artists living with chronic illness and was started shortly after my own HIV diagnosis in 2012. Queer, Ill, & Okay first appeared at Links Hall for Poonie's Cabaret. It was born out of my search for creative works about living with a chronic illness that resonated with my experience. I decided to turn toward my community as I have often done in the past to find understanding. I have worked with a wide array of Chicago's LGBTQIA & Gender Non-Conforming community members and performance artists over the past few years and there the idea found life!

The experiences of queer identified people living with HIV and other forms of chronic illness (Parkinson's disease, Crohn's disease, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Mental Health diagnosis, to name a few) comes with a complex set of issues in navigating the everyday world. How our bodies move through space, how they challenge us, betray us, celebrate us, and how the world outside of our illness relates to us as co-workers, family members, lovers, and community members create a mosaic that is often underrepresented. It is 2014 and we can easily observe significant changes to how illness is visible and how treatments have advanced. Yet, stigma remains. 

Through ballet, drag, spoken word, film, music, poetry, burlesque, puppetry, rap and the ever emerging fields of performance 10 artists take stories from their lives to reveal the intersection of queerness and living with chronic illness. This is a CELEBRATION of the body, mind, spirit and the relationships we form with the world around us. Artist's such as the WHAT'S THE T? writer and former About Face Theatre Education Director, Sara Kerastas, Center on Halsted's Director of Youth Programming and author of Red Dirt Revival, Tim'm West, Neo-Futurist alumni and host of PBS' Quilty, Mary Fons, and Northwestern University's Queergasm Featured Artist Dirty Grits as well as dance artist Christopher Knowlton, national burlesque performer Cruel Valentine and writer Patrick Gill. These artists have created completely original works, never seen before, to share captivating stories of their lives living with different forms of chronic illness. 

The questions and conversations posed by Queer, Ill, & Okay speak directly to the heart of stigma and prevailing issues of oppression that exist in our everyday lives. To support his work, to support these artists, and to engage an active dialogue with our audience confronts these issues and produces a vehicle toward progress.  

Videography/Photography: Kiam Marcelo Junio

Editor: Joe Varisco

Risks and challenges

Queer, Ill, & Okay has survived the obstacles of booking a venue, curating artists, producing documentation and technical support on a '0' budget in the past. It is as resilient a project as the artists involved with its creation. A fundraiser was held in March and donations have already covered a large portion of venue costs. Our greatest challenge is in communicating to our potential donors the importance of funding work of this nature and paying artists for their craft.

An additional fundraiser has been scheduled to ensure reaching our goal, grants have been applied to and organizations around Chicago continue to be involved in fiscal sponsorship conversations.

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Shout out on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr) for your gracious contribution.

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    A personal card mailed to your address with a note from QIO cast members.

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    21 backers
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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    An official limited edition QIO poster from the event signed by cast members for you to swoon endlessly over.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    A DVD of 2014's complete Queer, Ill, & Okay show for you to enjoy in the comfort of your home with friends and family.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Limited Edition SWANTS! Custom handmade sweater pants designed and created by QUEER, ILL, & OKAY artist Christopher Knowlton. Available in a variety of patterns, styles, and fits.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    A DVD of 2014's complete Queer, Ill, & Okay show + behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with cast members.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    A personal video message from a cast member included with your DVD of QIO 2014, behind-the-scenes footage, and an official QIO poster signed by cast members.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    All of the above + an official producer's credit in all documentation of Queer, Ill, & Okay and a private meal with cast members and curator.

    Meal limited to Chicago and outlying suburban areas.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    All of the above + a private performance to be scheduled and shared with your office, in your home, with a group of friends, etc. of select QIO acts.

    Private performance limited to Chicago and outlying suburban areas.

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Funding period

- (30 days)