"The future deserves a present where our truths were spoken." - Mangos With Chili artist Alexis Pauline Gumbs, on Audre Lorde
Dear beautiful community,
We are writing you with some really good news: Mangos With Chili, North America's queer and trans people of color cabaret, is going on OUR FIRST TOUR SINCE 2009!
Yep, you heard it right. We are taking 8 artists in a van from Vancouver to New Orleans, telling tales of how queer and trans people of color and Two Spirit love, sex and desire is a force for healing and transformation. We are spinning life saving, world changing stories that people remember forever. We are going back to our roots: to where we first began, when in 2007 we stuck 7 QTPOC performing artists in a 6-seater minivan and took the Northeast by storm.
And we could use a little money. For things like accessible hotel rooms and gas. For per diems and airfare and renting venues. For making sure we are safe and have enough cash to take us from unceded Coast Salish territories, otherwise known as Vancouver, to New Orleans, city of beautiful resistance. We're proud that one of our co-directors and half our tour performers identify as disabled, and making sure we have wheelchair accessible housing and that our venues are accessible comes from both our overall commitment to disability justice and our responsibility to ensure that our tour is accessible to our performers. Booking both takes some cash.
To give you a breakdown:
$3,000 pays for van rental
$1,500 pays for gas for the whole tour
$1,200 is the amount of plane tickets we put on a credit card and need to pay off
$500 pays per diem for the cast and crew for two days
$250 feeds the cast and crew for a day
$100 pays a tech person
$50 is half of one hotel room
$25 feeds one performer for one day
$10 is three gallons of gas
And every single dollar helps.
Why is this so important? Read on.
Who we are: The Mangos With Chili story (the short version)
8 years, 150 artists, 4 tours, 100+ productions, 2 countries plus Aztlan. 44 indigenous territories. One pre-Kickstarter Paypal fundraising campaign when we both literally had $47 in the bank. one pre-GPS 125 mile all night roadtrip through the backroads of northern New Mexico on no gas. One three hour ICE stop and search filled with sexual and racial harassment, one 24 hour straight drive home from Denver to Oakland through the Rockies, 20,000 donated hours, over 125 volunteers, and many many many memorable curtain calls to Prince's "˜Let's Go Crazy' later, we see how our labor has changed the world.
Mangos With Chili is a North American touring, Bay Area based arts incubator committed to showcasing high quality performance of life saving importance by queer and trans artists of color to audiences in the Bay Area and beyond. Our goal is to produce high-quality multi-genre performances reflecting the lives and stories of queer and trans people of color (QTPOC) and speaking out in resistance to the daily struggles around silence, isolation, homophobia and violence that QTPOC face.
Founded in 2006 by Cherry Galette and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, two trailblazing artists with significant performance experience and honors to their names. Mangos With Chili began as an annual touring cabaret of queer and trans people of color performance artists, with the goal of creating a cultural institution that would build the careers and visibility of QTPOC artists. Our tours have performed to sold out houses across North America, wowing audiences in world class theaters, underground performance spaces, bars, and campus halls, with high intensity, breathtaking performance, politics, and storytelling craft, reflecting the lives and stories of queer and trans people of color.
More than a performance incubator, we are also a ritual space for queer and trans communities of color to come together in love, conversation and transformation. Our goal is to present high quality performance art by QTPOC, but so much of our work is also about creating healing and transformative space through performances that are gathering places for QTPOC community.
We've featured at Brown University, (feature for the Black Lavender Experience Theatre Symposium 2011), Oberlin, Swathmore, Amherst, Smith, American University, Georgetown, U.C. Berkeley, Mt. Holyoke, Humboldt State University, UT Austin. We are equally proud of our performances in queer community centers, queer of color bars, living rooms and Indigenous run infoshops. We've received positive media coverage from the SF Bay Guardian, the SF Chronicle, The SF Appeal, Bitch, Feminist Review, Hip Mama, Aorta, and Make/Shift
We started this work in 2006, inspired by second wave queer feminist of color institutions like Kitchen Table Press that had given us life, and had ended. 8 years later, we know so much more than we did about both what a struggle it is to sustain QTPOC arts institutions, and just how important it is.
The 2014 Whipped Tour:
During late January and February 2014, we'll take 8 artists on the road to tour Whipped: QTPOC Recipes for Love, Sex, and Disaster to audiences along the West Coast, Southwest, and Gulf Coast.
Mangos With Chili knows that queer and trans* folks of color do love, sex and total disaster like none other! In this special Valentine's themed production, queer and trans* folks of color will tell their true life stories of love, desire and disaster through music, spoken word, theater, dance, drag, film, and video diaries. Our show will explore the complexities of love, sex and desire- how they are a complicated, rich force for healing and transformation in our communities. Bring a trinket for the altar we'll build to the loves we've lost, known, and are praying for, and come prepared to hear truths you've never heard spoken before but have always needed.
Kay Ulanday Barrett
Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghere
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
For detailed artist bios: http://mangoswithchili.com/
We've always said that capitalism doesn't love us, but our communities do. We are deeply thankful for our beloved community members, who have filled passed hats and Paypals, given us venues, videography and places to sleep, given us hugs and encouragement when we felt like giving up, and been our most consistent source of support.
We know how deeply many people getting this email have benefiting from our work and presence in the world- from the artwork we've made big stages for, to the QTPOC art and cultural communities we've been a part of building together. For all of these reasons, we ask you to support us on this next amazing journey.
Thank you again for your love and your resistance. Let's keep both going together.
In love, lipstick and revolution,
Cherry Galette and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Co-founders and co-directors, Mangos With Chili.
- SFU Women's Centre
- Ray Leota
- Mette Loulou von Kohl
- Thienbao Phi