What is Held Here (working title)- conceived by Matthew Cumbie and co-directed with multimedia artist Jessica Hale- combines dance, film, photography, and spoken word to celebrate the brilliance and resilience of LGBTQ+ life in Washington, DC. Aspects of LGBTQ+ life are central to the community fabric of the DC-region: our Congressional Cemetery is believed to be the only cemetery in the world with an LGBTQ section; over time, countless individuals (like Walt Whitman, Alain Locke, and the Furies) have called DC home and left significant marks on US arts and culture; and, through local and national movements and experiences that have played out here, DC has helped shaped LGBTQ+ life across the country. At a time when DC is losing LGBTQ+-specific spaces at an alarming rate, What is Held Here gathers local LGBTQ+ leaders, history holders, and knowledge keepers to document queer lives and experiences in the district and to create a dance film of intergenerational duets. Stay tuned to learn more!
Photo by Ben Carver, featuring Shula Strassfeld and Andy Torres in Dance Exchange’s New Hampshire Ave: This Is a Place to…, directed by Cassie Meador