FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Hosted by Artist and Educator Meg Foley, Queer Parent Convening Offers Community-Building Session for Queer and Trans Parents
EAST LIBERTY, PA—Kelly Strayhorn Theater is proud to present Meg Foley’s Queer Parent Convening at 3:00pm on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at KST’s Alloy Studios, 5530 Penn Avenue.
Conceptualized by Meg Foley, a queer dance artist, educator, and parent who creates performances and somatic-based events, the Queer Parent Convening is a community session for queer and trans parents to explore questions of gender and sex in family building. This event is part of Foley’s multiformat performance project, Blood Baby. KST Presents is a commissioning partner on Blood Baby, which received a National Performance Network Creation Fund Award in June 2021.
Foley developed the Queer Parent Convening with a team of trauma-informed, queer- and trans-inclusive birthworkers and community organizers. In addition to facilitated discussion led by Foley, attendees will learn somatic and improvisational practices to help them process parenting experiences. Children are welcome to attend, and childcare will be provided to ensure caregivers can engage fully.
Through Blood Baby, Foley explores and embraces the experience of parenting queerly through choreography, sculpture, and drag. Developed through a collaboration of artists, Blood Baby takes shape through a series of public events, including intimate dance performances, environmental experiences, participatory community workshops, and more.
“I have begun to think of Blood Baby as a universe,” says Foley. “The project is a collection of performance and body-based explorations around and within the idea of queer and trans parenting, with the idea that these experiences are distinctly embodied by the parent or caregiver in question and that that experience is situated in a larger timeline of creation, specifically the earth’s creation and geological progress. The Queer Parent Convenings are a series of creative reflection and fellowship gatherings to share communal knowledge and care and build collective insight and connection.”
The Queer Parent Convening is part of an ongoing relationship between Foley and KST: in 2021, Foley joined Michele Steinwald for Identity as Prism & Genderful Family Building, a virtual conversation hosted by KST. Through 2022 and into 2023, Foley will host and perform elements of Blood Baby around the United States, culminating in a full presentation of Blood Baby in 2023. Kelly Strayhorn Theater will host Blood Baby as part of its Fall 2023 season, and the performance will also tour venues including Velocity Dance Center (Seattle), Painted Bride (Philadelphia), Kinsey Institute (Bloomington, IN), CounterPulse (San Francisco), and others.
KST’s 2021–22 season, Welcome Home, explores the liberation and redefinition of “home” for Black and queer people and communities. Throughout the season, KST has hosted events anchored in creative experimentation, community dialogue, and collective action to advance the liberation of Black and queer people. As a site of community building and resistance, KST defines itself as a home for artists and a space of care for historically resilient people.
Tickets for the Queer Parent Convening are available on a sliding scale, from $0 to $20 per attendee, and can be reserved at kelly-strayhorn.org or purchased at the door.
For full season details, COVID policy updates, and tickets, go to kelly-strayhorn.org.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Meg Foley is a Philadelphia-based performer, choreographer, and director of various dance- and performance-based actions that explore the materiality of dance and physical identity as form. For the past nine years Foley has been researching improvisational practices and embodiment frames that engage with meaning-making through practiced attention, danced affirmation, expansion, and relationality and a concern for the action of decision and engagement as form.
Foley’s work has been presented by the Philadelphia FringeArts Festival, Vox Populi Gallery, Moore College of Art & Design, Pilot+Projects, Bowerbird, Thirdbird, and Icebox Project Space, throughout the U.S., and in Canada, Germany, and Poland. Foley’s research has been supported by grants from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Independence Foundation, and the Polish Cultural Institute and through residencies with Art Stations Foundation and Dancemakers Centre for Creation. Foley sometimes teaches at University of the Arts and is creative co-director of The Whole Shebang, an interdisciplinary arts space and studio in South Philadelphia that hosts workshops and classes and provides studio rental to artists at affordable rates.
ABOUT KELLY STRAYHORN THEATER
Kelly Strayhorn Theater is a non-profit community performing arts center in East Liberty, advancing live art through strategic vision and community collaboration with two venues running along Penn Avenue. KST’s Alloy Studios is a cultural hub in the heart of East Liberty, and the historic Kelly Strayhorn Theater is located in the thriving business district. More than 20 years after its founding, KST continues to use its broad reach to impact the contemporary arts and the community. KST’s mission is to be a home for creative experimentation, community dialogue, and collective action rooted in the liberation of Black and queer people. Welcome Home!