Celebrating Pride Month, The Loisaida Center Presents ‘June is for Drag’ on the Lower East Side!




Ernesto Linnemann. “Homo-Venus”, Composite photograph, 2020

This June, in solidarity with their LGBTQI+ community members, Acacia Network and its affiliate Loisaida Inc. will present a month-long arts series celebrating Pride Month.

Curated by queer artist Gabriel G Torres, the Loisaida is Proud series kicks off on Thursday, June 8th at 6 PM with an opening reception for the exhibition “We are all born naked, the rest is drag,” showcasing more than 15 years of never-before exhibited work by lens-based artist Ernesto Linnemann. The exhibition will run through Friday, June 23rd.

On Friday, June 23 the Loisaida is Proud series will also feature the inaugural Loisaida Drag-U Community Makeup Workshop, a discussion about the artistic process of becoming a Drag Queen, and an opportunity for participants  Drag show.

The series continues on Saturday, June 24th when artist Gabriel Torres presents their interactive installation Haus of Dust, an immersive journey about substance abuse in the Latine queer community.

Additionally, starting in June and running all summer-long through August, Loisaida is Proud will offer all self-identified “trans-artivists” 10 hours of accessible space to be used for rehearsal or creative purposes. Interested individuals or collectives can sign-up by visiting The Loisaida Center Gift of Space.

“Loisaida Inc. is a proud ally of the LGBTQI+ community and we are thrilled to celebrate and highlight the creativity, activism, and achievements of trans folks and drag performers in our community by welcoming audiences of all kinds to learn, engage, show off, and enjoy,” says Alejandro Epifanio Torres, Executive Director of Loisaida Inc.

“We have seen time and again how the arts are a powerful vehicle for unity, healing, and transformation,” says Lymaris Albors, CEO of Acacia Network, the organization under which Loisaida Inc. operates. “During Pride Month and beyond, Acacia is proud to support initiatives that uplift and celebrate the LGBTQI+ community all throughout New York State, and to partner with our affiliate Loisaida to provide a safe space for creative expression and celebration.”

Schedule At A Glance

EXHIBITION: We are all born naked, the rest is drag                                         Thursday, June 8th – Friday, June 23rd                                                                   Opening Night: Thursday, June 8th, 6:00 PM

The Loisaida Center launches Pride Month with a photo exhibition by Colombian interdisciplinary artist Ernesto Linnemann. The exhibition encompasses more than 20 years of self-portraits by Linneman, a document of their journey as an indigenous Latine artist. In reaction to the current political climate and national attacks on the trans and drag community, The Loisaida Center and Linnemann  invite audiences to reflect on the normalization of diverse identities. The photos depict common representations of drag and transgender peoples in daily life, like any other member of society. Linnemann’s work is an everlasting question, with which they analyze the limited interpretations of eurocentric beauty standards and their repercussions on indigenous trans bodies in our society.

WORKSHOP + PORTRAIT SESSION: Drag-U Community Makeup Workshop     Friday, June 23rd, 3:00 PM

Get beautified with Artist Ernesto Linneman, who will lead a community workshop for people of all ages to learn how to create drag makeup for themselves. An exclusive photo session will follow the makeup tutorial, where Linneman will gift participants with their own portraits in drag.

DRAG TALK: An intergenerational Latine Queer & Queer Ally Gathering           Friday, June 23rd, 6:00 PM

A power duo of Drag Queens, one a queer elder and the other a queer youth, will guide the audience through the personal and artistic processes of becoming a work of art, also known as a Drag Queen. The audience will also be introduced to topics of gender justice, inclusive vocabulary and sparkles of loving kindness. The demonstrative talk will be followed by a Q & A where audience members can engage in an open dialogue with the artists. The event will end in a drag show for the community.

INTERACTIVE INSTALLATION: Haus of Dust                                                             Sunday, June 24th

Artist Gabriel Torres invites audiences to submerge themselves in their journey dealing with substance abuse, immigration and trauma; and how queerness is poignant in their personal healing journey. House of Dust is an interactive installation created with the desire to raise awareness about substance abuse in the Latine queer community. In Haus of Dust, a whimsical and ghostly installation tells the story of 8 souls. A meeting in the world of the abyss, a bar between the living and the dead; where these souls are invited to share their stories before they die of drug overdose.

Artist Bios:

Ernesto Linnemann (they/Them) is a lens based Colombian indigenous artist. Ernesto has documented their journey as a non binary indigenous artist, in a constant search of beauty, within a white world. Ernesto creates and envisions situational landscapes, where they explore their drag and non-binary alter egos, as a constant introspective on their political and social position in the currents of the world. With more than ten years of never exhibited work, Ernesto is excited to present their work at Loisaida.

Gabriel G. Torres is a Colombian American interdisciplinary artist and community catalyst. Gabriel’s work has been presented in NYC, Hong Kong, Colombia and Tel Aviv. During the past years Gabriel has been working on a series of activations and projects to bring awareness about de-stigmatization of substance abuse in the queer community, aiming at creating new pathways to envision healing communally, this work has been featured in SXSW, Latino Theater Co, The Department of Health in NYC, and more. The initiatives started with support by The Laundromat Project, Stonewall Foundation and Loisaida Inc. This year, Gabriel is excited to create space for artists and the community to be part of this conversation with a Lens based exhibition at The Center and Loisaida Inc, a theater festival at The Tank NYC.

About Loisaida Inc.

Since 1978, Loisaida, Inc. offers year-round, accessible arts & culture programming that celebrates and honors the Puerto Rican and Latinx communities that have flourished in the Lower East Side and which have contributed to the rich fabric of our New York City neighborhoods. Through our multi-purpose space, The Loisaida Center, we provide visibility to emerging and established artists of diverse disciplines, promote a vibrant social and community life, and serve as an incubator for self-sustainable initiatives, entrepreneurial efforts, among other projects. We also produce the annual Loisaida Festival, which engages 25,000 participants every year. Loisaida Inc. became an affiliate of Acacia Network –a leading social services organization and the largest Hispanic-led nonprofit in New York State– in 2012.

The Loisaida Center is located at 710 East 9th Street, just east of Avenue C, NYC.

About Acacia Network

Acacia Network is one of the leading human services organizations in New York City and the largest Hispanic-led nonprofit in the State, providing integrated, culturally competent, and trauma-informed programs in the areas of health, housing, social services, economic development, and cultural revitalization to more than 150,000 individuals annually. Our Network comprises more than 100 affiliates and related entities across four boroughs in New York City, Buffalo, Albany, Dunkirk, and Syracuse in New York State, as well as Maryland, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Connecticut, and Puerto Rico.