ITHACA, N.Y. — The inaugural Qinfolk Festival will take place on Oct. 5, 2019, in Downtown Ithaca. Qinfolk is a film, art and mental health festival dedicated to centering and uplifting the creative expression and experiences of queer and trans people in color (QTPOC). Festival activities include a short-film festival, pop – up art exhibitions, workshops and the closing keynote event #qinfolkconversations Live! Qinfolk is the first festival of its kind in the region, purposefully including mental health as a key component of the festival experience. Tickets are available now, full details are listed on the festival’s website: www.qinfolk.com.
The Qinfolk Festival features the work of over two dozen QTPOC artists and filmmakers locally, nationally and globally. Qinfolk is actively creating spaces of representation for queer and trans people of color.
The Qinfolk Short- Film Festival will screen an exclusive extended trailer of the I Identify as Me film, directed by Tina Colleen and Monick Monell. The I Identify as Me documentary celebrates queer + trans people of color who are masculine-presenting/gender fluid women or gender-nonconforming people. Festival attendees will also have the chance to participate in a Q&A with the I Identify as Me directors. The festival also includes a live reading of It Begins with the Body by acclaimed Toronto-based author and illustrator, Hana Shafi (aka Frizz Kid). Shafi is also facilitating the Art & Consent Workshop at the festival. According to Shafi, positive representation for queer and trans people of color matters because “when you see people like you in positive narratives…it helps you envision a future for yourself beyond trauma and tragedy”.
The keynote event and celebration #qinfolkconversations Live! closes out the Qinfolk Festival. The keynote features a live musical piece by Ithaca-born and Philadelphia based musician Honey Chile along with the Ithaca debut of Letters II Mama; a piece challenging the taboo nature of mental health conversations within the black community by celebrated dancer, choreographer and poet, Amanda Lee.
Qinfolk’s local collaborators include Buffalo Street Books, the Tompkins Center for History and Culture, the Tompkins County Visitors Bureau, the Tompkins Trust Company, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, the Ithaca College LGBT Center, Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes and others. Local sponsors include Gimme! Coffee, Emmy’s Organics and the Greenstar Food Cooperative. Other sponsors include Play Out Apparel, OurBus and HotBox Mobile Sauna.
The Qinfolk Festival is made possible with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by the Community Arts Partnership in Ithaca. The project is also made possible in part by grants from the Tompkins County Tourism Program and the Presidential Seed Grant from Ithaca College.
All photos courtesy of Rochelle Brock.