We are LEGACY, a Black queer production collective founded by Arewa Basit, Ashton Muñiz, Garrett Allen, and Kyle Carrero Lopez. We collectivized in response to deep-seated under-appreciation, undervaluing, and underfunding of Black queer art. We focus on uplifting Black queer voices and experiences by: creating space for artistic endeavors, providing equitable compensation for time and work, and fostering fellowship and opportunity for our present and future communities.
As artists, we dedicate ourselves to creating well-crafted works that shift culture and offer historically excluded perspectives. In the past, like so many Black queer artists before us, we've had to accomplish our creative visions with little to no resources outside of ambition and drive. Black queer communities have long driven the arts on a global scale, and we aim to ensure that full creative autonomy becomes and remains central to our collective histories.
Thus, we have collectivized as LEGACY, a production company focused on providing resources to artists systemically excluded from—and exploited by—media and the arts.
Over the past 2 years, we’ve had the honor of working on various projects and initiatives with some truly incredible collaborators, and none of this would have been possible without the support of our communities of friends, family, and patrons. As we continue to work toward our mission and amplify our stories through artistry and innovation, we kindly ask that you help us reach our goal.
Since the summer of 2020, when we founded this organization, we’ve had the honor of uplifting Black queer artists (both in and outside of New York) by collaborating on a myriad of projects and endeavors. LEGACY has partnered with numerous arts organizations, including SoMad, Ars Nova (as 2022 Vision Residents), BOFFO, and Dixon Place in the production and presentation of our work. Through our residencies and developing relationships with these organizations, we have learned the importance of our advocacy for ourselves and our community at every step of our journey. Navigating a world so invested in imbalanced, exclusionary practices is difficult, but we embrace the challenge of doing so as a component of dismantling white supremacy and anti-Blackness. In June of 2022, LEGACY was invited to the Xchange for Change conference held at Snapchat Headquarters. There, we had the honor of presenting to and alongside young leaders and corporate allies about our mission, projects, and goals. We’ve created concerts, music videos, performance art, theater pieces, cabarets, talkbacks, and more helmed by our collective. This summer, we released The Black Beginning, a multidisciplinary series of video projects featuring twelve New York-based Black queer artists. The series can be found on our YouTube and our website.
In addition to The Black Beginning videos from each contributing artist, we’re excited to share an interview series titled The Black Beginning Breakdown, which highlights the process and practice of each artist from the series. We’re planning to produce a live film screening for and with our communities to share these interviews and the rest of the series. Furthermore, we are working to expand our team of core collaborators. Staying true to our mission, we are dedicated to fair and ethical pay and ensuring a sustainable work practice for all members and artists involved in LEGACY. The work of the founding members has continually gone unpaid, and we are hoping to extend these practices of care to ourselves as we have done for all of the Black queer artists in our projects thus far. As we grow, we are exploring fiscal sponsorship options that will enable us to access nonprofit and other sources of funding we cannot yet access. We will be extending our microgrant series and other funding opportunities to Black queer artists in need, partnering with other like-minded organizations, and building an infrastructure that supports our community in ways that our society has failed. Our work is rooted in liberation, image, access, and care, and we are making these dreams a reality for all of the artists we work with on each project.
To continue our work we have set out to meet a goal of $60,000. Donations expand the possibilities of LEGACY’s labor, most crucially by enabling us to pay competitive wages to all of our artistic collaborators. From video editors, set designers, stylists, prop masters, and so on, our network is entirely Black and queer. We’re proud to be a small part of national and global movements pushing forward equitable forms of compensation for artists and groups on the margins.
We’re grateful for your continued support of our collective at this time. Donations of any amount aid us in pursuing our mission and goals. We invite you to share this GoFundMe with your networks and continue to uplift Black queer artistry around you. Thank you so much for your time and support.
Peace & Love,