The Buzz


WHAT: School's OUT: The Naming Project is a New York-based collective of lesbian, bisexual and gay youth who create video, web and performance projects. Through annual workshops, School's OUT members learn to become thinking producers and capable technicians working in new, narrative genres -- video, spoken word, movement, rap and now web work.

WHEN: By time you read this, our web-site should be on-line. You can learn about current and upcoming projects there. As a group, we date back to a June-1993-workshop organized by Mary Ellen Strom, Barbara Bickart and Bridget Hughes at The Hangar, an artist-in-residence facility in New Hampshire. Since then we have performed our work at numerous New York-venues including Dance Theater Workshop, the Mix Festival, Dixon Place, and DCTV, as well as in Houston, Texas at DiverseWorks and in Manchester, England at the It's Queer Up North Festival. At every location, we lead writing and video workshops and invite local queer youth to produce video and performance works. Look for School's OUT in Miami, January 1997.

WHY: School's OUT goal is to help each member identify his or her individual voice. We employ new genres to ask what it means to mediate ourselves (individually and as a group) as young lesbians and gay men and as artists. Excited by the opportunity offered by the Web for circumventing the often-negative stereotypes of queer youth perpetuated by the media, School's OUT member, Andie Montoya, suggested we author our own web site.

Our web site is a location for lesbian and gay youth everywhere to gain access to information about topics such as safe sex and queer identities. Living in New York, we're fortunate to have access to a variety of youth services such as the Lesbian & Gay Community Services Center's Youth Enrichment Services Program. The School's OUT site creates an opportunity for our peers in more remote places to gain access to information and most importantly to connect with the expressions and experiences other queer youth through our work.

WHO: School's OUT has five members currently. We are Prudence Browne, a native of Trinidad, who will be going to the Chicago Art Institute to study film and video in the Fall. Browne is former co-ordinator of the Women's Space at Project Reach, a youth advocacy and counseling agency. Diana Casillas is currently pursuing her interests in writing, video and music while she works as a tattoo artist and as an interior finisher. Andie Montoya is a Colombian born, bisexual, gay-identified person. Jason Newland is a graduate of Seward Park High School. He has attended the New York State School of the Arts at Stoneybrook summer workshop conducted by Circle Rep. Newland is a participant of the Gay Men's Health Crisis youth project.Saide Rodriguez is currently attending City-As-School High School. She is involved with the Gay Men's Health Crisis House of Latex project which supplies the New York City ball scene and clubs with condoms and safe sex education. Our web advisor is Carol Stakenas.