What We Do
The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History is a grassroots organization that transforms spaces into temporary installations dedicated to celebrating the rich, long, and largely unknown histories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. We believe that our community – and especially our youth – deserve to know our history. If you don’t know you have a past, how can you believe you have a future?
In an intellectual climate where even the Smithsonian can be forced to bow to the will of homophobia and remove the work of seminal queer artist David Wojnarowicz, we must create alternative venues for our art and history. By utilizing temporarily empty and/or public spaces, the pop-up format turns economic reality to our favor and expands our reach beyond a single location, while the online presence serves as the connecting thread between physical installations.
The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History has received fiscal sponsorship from MIX, New York City’s Experimental Queer Film Festival. Through them, we are able to receive tax-exempt donations.
We are also a community partner of Riot Grrrl Ink, the largest queer label in the world. With their invaluable support, we are able to reach new audiences, and bring our vision of community-created queer history shows around the country (and some day, the world!). If you’re not familiar with RGI’s incredible roster of artists, musicians, writers, and activists, take a moment to check out their website. We are honored to join the ranks of The Indigo Girls, Stacyann Chin, Michelle Tea, and the many other fantastic groups they represent.
Development Director: Graham Bridgeman - Graham Bridgeman is a development and communications professional whose experiences in the non-profit sector informs a multifaceted approach to grassroots organizing and fundraising. In addition to his work with the Pop-Up Museum, he is involved with several community organizations, including Queers for Economic Justice and Middle Collegiate Church, where he serves on the Communications Team as well as co-leading the Young Adults ministry. In 2009, he also helped organize the first New York Social Change Camp, leading a session on Social Media Pushback that asked participants to think about the intersection of privilege and Web 2.0, as well as developing strategies to utilize social media tools for social justice initiatives.
Founding Director: Hugh Ryan – Hugh Ryan is a writer and organizer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Advocate, Tin House, The Daily Beast, and many other locations. He is the author of nine YA novels. He is the former Manager of the Cornell University Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center, and also worked as an educator at The Harvey Milk School. For his work with the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, he received a 2008 Puffin Foundation grant.
Board of Advisors
Nayland Blake – Nayland Blake is an artist, writer and educator. Born in New York Hospital in 1960, he currently resides in Brooklyn. His work is represented by Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, Fred, London and Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco. His work is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, The Studio Museum of Harlem, LA MoCa, The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the DeYoung Museum, among others. He has exhibited through out the United States and Europe. As a writer his work has appeared in Interview Magazine, Artforum, Out, and OutLook. He is the author of numerous catalog essays. In 1994 he co-curated with Lawrence Rinder the exhibition In a Different Light, the first major museum exhibition to examine the impact of queer artists on contemporary art. He is currently employed as the Chair of the ICP/Bard Masters program in Advanced Photographic Studies at the International Center of Photography.
Anna Conlan – London-born now Brooklyn-based, Anna Conlan is an exhibitions organizer and cultural historian who’s research engages queer/feminist histories of art and exhibition practices. With an MA in Feminism and the Visual Arts from University of Leeds, UK and an MA in Museum Anthropology from Columbia University, NY, she recently published part of her thesis on Queer Museology in Gender, Sexuality, and Museums: A Routledge Reader, 2010. Anna has worked in international art exhibition organizing at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and The Museum for African Art, NY, and more recently as assistant curator, at CUNY’s James Gallery. She’s a co-producer of the original femme pin-up calendar I Heart Brooklyn Girls and is currently pursuing an Art History PhD at CUNY Graduate Center.
Rachel Mattson – Rachel Mattson is a historian, a teacher educator, a writer, and an occasional puppeteer. She works as an Assistant Professor at SUNY New Paltz, where she teaches courses in U.S. history, memory and performance, critical pedagogies, and gender and sexuality. She is the author of numerous publications, including History as Art, Art as History: Contemporary Art and Social Studies Education (Routledge 2009, cowritten with Dipti Desai and Jessica Hamlin), “Anti-Homophobia Education: Predicaments and Possibilities” (Perspectives on History: The Newsmagazine of the American Historical Association, 2010), and “Theater of the Assessed: Drama-Based Pedagogies in the History Classroom” (Radical History Review 2008), among other titles. She is currently completing a book, based on her dissertation, entitled I Was a Hindu in a Past Life: Performing Race and Citizenship in the Twentieth Century U.S. She is a member of the Aftselkohis Ladies Auxiliary Home for the Aged, a political performance and archival collective, and serves on the board of Circus Amok.
Jay Michaelson – Jay Michaelson is a writer, scholar, and activist. In December 2009, he was named to the “Forward 50″ list of the 50 most influential Jews in America. His books include Everything is God (2009), Another Word for Sky: Poems (2007), and God in Your Body: Kabbalah, Mindfulness, and Embodied Spiritual Practice (2006). He has written over 200 articles, and is a columnist for Tikkun, The Forward, and Reality Sandwich magazines. In addition to his writing, Jay is the executive director of Nehirim, a national nonprofit organization which builds community for GLBT Jews, partners, and allies. Jay holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, is completing a Ph.D. in religious studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and has held teaching positions at Boston University Law School, City College of New York, and Yale University. In 2008-09, Jay spent five months on silent meditation retreat, mostly in Nepal.
John Cameron Mitchell – John directed, wrote and starred in the film Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001), for which he received the Best Director and Audience Awards at the Sundance Film Festival. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actor. He was executive producer of Jonathan Caouette’s autobiographical documentary Tarnation (2004). His improv-based film Shortbus was released in 2006. His film adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rabbit Hole starring Nicole Kidman (Oscar nomination for Best Actress) opened this year. He is producing The Ruined Cast, an animated feature directed by graphic novelist Dash Shaw.