The Lab is a nonprofit experimental art and performance space located in the Mission District of San Francisco.
7:00 pm doors / 7:30pm show
Hecha en México, Norma Liliana Valdez NORMA LILIANA VALDEZ made her way to California in her mother’s pregnant belly. She is an alumna of the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop, the Writing Program at UC Berkeley Extension, and was a 2014 Hedgebrook writer-in-residence. A member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop and a CantoMundo fellow, her work appears in The Rumpus, Huizache, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and the anthology Latinas: Struggles & Protests in 21st Century USA, among others. Her chapbook, Preparing the Body, is forthcoming in fall 2019 from YesYes Books.
SARA BORJAS is a Xicanx pocha and a Fresno poet. Her debut collection of poetry, Heart Like a Window, Mouth Like a Cliff was published by Noemi Press as part of the Akrilica Series in March, 2019. She co-hosts and produces “The Lovesick Poetry Podcast”—a west coast poetry podcast launching in 2019, alongside IRL cousin and award-winning poet, Joseph Rios. Sara is a 2017 CantoMundo Fellow and the recipient of the 2014 Blue Mesa Poetry Prize. Her work can be found in Ploughshares, The Rumpus, Poem-a-Day by The Academy of American Poets, and The Offing, amongst others. She lives in Los Angeles but stays rooted in Fresno. Find her @saraborhaz or at www.saraborjas.com.
MONICA SOK is a Cambodian American poet and the daughter of former refugees. She is the author of Year Zero, winner of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. Her work has been recognized with a "Discovery" / Boston Review Poetry Prize. Other honors include fellowships from Hedgebrook, Elizabeth George Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Kundiman, Jerome Foundation, Montalvo Arts Center, MacDowell Colony, Saltonstall Foundation, and others. Currently, Sok is a 2018-2020 Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and a Poet-in-Residence at Banteay Srei in Oakland. Her debut poetry collection A Nail the Evening Hangs On is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2020. (Photo Credit: Nicholas Nichols).
MK CHAVEZ is the author of Mothermorphosis, and Dear Animal, (Nomadic Press.) Chavez was a recipient of a 2017 Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Award for poetry, and in the same year, her poem The New White House, Finding Myself Among the Ruins was selected by Eileen Myles for the Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Prize. In 2018 Alley Cats Books published her lyric essay, A Brief History of the Selfie as a chapbook. She is or has been a fellow with CantoMundo, Hedgebrook, North Street Collective Resident Program; she is co-founder/curator of the reading series Lyrics & Dirges, co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival. Her most recent publications can be found in bags of coffee from Nomad Coffee and on Academy of American Poets, Poem-A-Day as the featured poem for December 19, 2018.
LETICIA HERNÁNDEZ-LINARES is a poet, interdisciplinary artist, and author of Mucha Muchacha, Too Much Girl. Widely published, she is also the co-editor of The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States. A recipient of four San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist grants, she has lived and made art in the Mission District of San Francisco for over two decades. She is a long time educator and community worker and teaches in the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. Visit her: joinleticia.com
Originally from San Francisco, TONGO EISEN-MARTIN is a poet, movement worker, and educator. His latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again, has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. His book titled, "Someone's Dead Already" was nominated for a California Book Award. His latest book "Heaven Is All Goodbyes" was published by the City Lights Pocket Poets series, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and won a California Book Award and an American Book Award.
Sadie Barnette’s newest installation reimagines her father’s bar – the first black-owned gay bar in San Francisco. From 1990-93 Rodney Barnette operated the New Eagle Creek Saloon, a family-run business which served a multiracial gay community marginalized by the racist profiling practices of San Francisco’s bar scene at that time.
Sadie Barnette’s project will be two-fold: to re-present The New Eagle Creek Saloon as an archival installation via her own vernacular aesthetic, and to host a “bar” and queer social space where everyone is invited to participate in ongoing acts of resistance, celebration, activism, and community building.
Glowing somewhere between a monument and an altar, the glittering bar structure emanates light as if a dream – a daughter’s dreaming about what she considers one of her father’s most loving achievements: creating space for folks to shine. Objects, photographs and a new ‘zine by the artist provide a very alive meditation on the history of the New Eagle Creek Saloon.
Barnette’s installation will be activated at The Lab with a series of free events during May and early June and will culminate as a float in the SF PRIDE Parade on June 30, 2019. As part of The Lab’s artist commissioning program, Barnette will get keys to our space, the login for our website, and the option to revise every aspect of The Lab’s operations.
May 11, 5pm: Opening and Press Preview
Panel talk with Sadie and Rodney Barnette and Stephen Dorsey, Emperor 38 A.N. of San Francisco, with music by DJ Jihaari
May 17, 7pm: Screening
The Black Aesthetic presents a night of film, moving images, and performance to honor the power of black queer nightlife.
June 1, 7pm: Evening of Dance
Rashad Pridgen’s Global Street Dance Masquerade is a site specific dance ceremony. Pridgen says: "Humans have used the masquerade (dance under cloth & adornment) to embody ancestors, angelic beings, spirit animals, earth elements and energies from the unknown for thousands of years. The power of the Global Street Dance Masquerade articulates this otherworldly experience to bring it forward into the 21st century."
June 30, 10:30am: Sadie Barnette’s The New Eagle Creek Saloon gets wheels and goes to Pride!