Our first Fellow is Vivian Stein (they/them), an activist and teacher. They served as archival researcher for the 2020 and 2021 Queer Liberation March livestreams and co-produced a series of panels on queer and trans issues in collaboration with the Bureau of General Services – Queer Division. Since 2016, they have been teaching English to speakers of other languages at the New York Public Library. They previously taught at the International Rescue Committee’s Refugee Youth Summer Academy and the Arab American Association of New York. From 2019 – 2021, they co-helmed the writing program and lending library at Art & Acceptance, a weekly art and community program for LGBTQ young adults at St Luke in the Fields. They currently work with Rise and Resist and Drag Story Hour Defenders.
Youth Arts President Linda Chapman will be mentoring Vivian, who is working on the collection of legendary performer Lola Pashalinski, founding member of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, a queer, downtown NYC company originating in the 1960s. With writer/director Charles Ludlam, Lola created 17 roles in 13 years, including her memorable performance in BLUEBEARD. She received two Obie awards for her Ridiculous work, in CORN and THE RING GOTT FARBLONJIT. Since leaving the Ridiculous in 1980, Lola worked extensively Off-Broadway and regionally in theatrical productions directed by Lee Breuer, Richard Foreman, JoAnne Akalaitis, Les Waters, Anne Bogart, David Gordon, Neil Bartlett, and Martin Worman, among others. With her life-partner Linda Chapman, she wrote and performed GERTRUDE AND ALICE: A Likeness to Loving, receiving her third Obie in 2000. Lola made her Broadway debut in FORTUNE’S FOOL with the late Alan Bates and appeared in many films and television programs, including EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE directed by Stephen Daldry.
This initiative is a collaborative effort with Pick Up Performance Co. Pick Up Performance Co. (PUPC) is in the process of starting Phase 1 of a multi-year initiative to archive & disseminate the careers of 11 NY-based LGBTQ artists who collectively mark seminal chapters in the last 35+ years of our city’s alternative dance/performance scene. In collaboration with the artists timing is crucial as these artists crest into later life & their materials risk deterioration/loss; potentially obscuring a thriving community on the margin of mainstream recognition. The artists are: Five Lesbian Brothers, Ain Gordon, John Kelly, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Richard Move, Lola Pashalinski, & Carmelita Tropicana. Phase 1 includes extensive professional archival assessment of each artist’s materials and public events in 2023/24 Season at the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts, PUPC Soho Studio, & La Mama.