Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore to Host Queer Jewish Arts Festival June 1-13

The Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Baltimore will host its first Queer Jewish Arts Festival. The festival will celebrate LGBTQIA+ stories and experiences through film, theater, music, literature, and dance. 

The Queer Jewish Arts Festival will run from June 1-13 and highlight the work of both local and national Jewish artists. Events will be hosted virtually and outdoors at the JCC’s Gordon Outdoors, a drive-in entertainment venue on the JCC’s Owings Mills campus. 

Queer Jewish Arts Festival logo featuring a Star of David superimposed on a Rainbow Pride Flag

This post is sponsored by the Queer Jewish Arts Festival.

We could not be more excited to host a festival that explores queer Jewish content across genres. The Queer Jewish Arts Festival is the perfect example of how arts and activism intersect.

— Sara Shalva, Chief Arts Officer of the JCC of Greater Baltimore

Festival Lineup

Aside from the outdoor screening of Indecent, all other Queer Jewish Arts Festival events will be presented virtually. Live-captioning for events is available through Maryland Relay Service.

Tuesday, June 1, 8 p.m. at the Gordon Outdoors

Indecent

A screening of a filmed production of the Tony-award winning play Indecent, a play about love, passion, and censorship as it really happened. Inspired by the true events surrounding the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance, Paula Vogel’s Indecent charts the history of an incendiary drama and the path of the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it.


Thursday, June 3, 7:30 p.m.

Indecent Panel Discussion and Scene Reading of God of Vengeance by Iron Crow Theater

Queer Theory Professors, Dr. Helen Lewis and Dr. Natka Bianchini will discuss Indecent, a filmed production of the Tony Award-winning play inspired by the true events surrounding the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s play, God of Vengeance. Iron Crow Theater will perform a reading of a section of God of Vengeance.


Monday, June 7, 7:30 p.m.

Dance and Identity: An Intersectional Presentation and Panel

An evening exploring the creative expression and intersectional identity with premier dancers and choreographers from around the country.


Tuesday, June 8, 7:30 p.m.

Shaping Worlds with Words: Two Emerging Queer Jewish Writers in Conversation

Rachel Sharona Lewis and Mónica Gomery come together for a conversation about writing at the intersection of Judaism and queerness. The authors will reflect together on the creative process, their latest projects, and the shared themes that run between their work. 


Thursday, June 10, 7:30 p.m.

Éléonore Weill, Zoe Aquaand Ira Khonen Temple from Tsibele

A virtual performance with Tsibele, a new-traditional klezmer band based in Brooklyn, New York. Their repertoire comes from Moldovan/Bessarabian music and the music of Jewish migrants from Europe to America as well as original songs. They see klezmer as a subversive music form and are activist-oriented in their performance platforms. 


Sunday, June 13, 7:30 p.m.

Name Game: Premiere of a Zoom Play

A cross-country (Oakland and NYC) performance collaboration between veteran performance artists/writers Sara Felder and Yehuda Hyman on naming, Jewish identity, re-inventing/claiming yourself, and how to do that dance in the Zoom box. Commissioned by LABA: A Global Laboratory for Jewish Culture.


We look forward to hosting a safe festival where people can come together and showcase their pride and experience the work of these amazing artists. COVID-19 has been extremely challenging for artists. We are thrilled to provide a new outlet where they can share their work with the community.

— Barak Hermann, CEO of the JCC Greater Baltimore

Pride Passes are available with access to all events for $36 for JCC members and $40 non-JCC members.

Sponsors of the Queer Jewish Arts Festival include JPride, the Iron Crow Theater, Lifebridge Health, and the Maryland State Arts Council. 

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