Mangos With Chili, the Bay Area based arts organization committed to showcasing multi-genre performances which reflect the lives, daily struggles, and stories of QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color), in conjunction with the 16th Annual National Queer Arts Festival and in partnership with the Queer Cultural Center, proudly presents F R E E: Queer and Trans People of Color and Two Spirit Visions of Freedom.  F R E E will be an evening of discussion and reflection nurtured through a series of collaborative performances by a diverse lineup of queer entertainers, that will both honor the ancestors and shed light on the transformative journeys to come.  The festivities are set to commence at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at the African American Art & Culture Complex (AAACC) in San Francisco, CA and tickets are being priced on a sliding scale of $12 – $20.

In a personal correspondence with ELIXHER, co-founder of Mangos with Chili, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha had this to say about the epic event:

The idea of F R E E is exciting and important for me to share to the queer and trans people of color community because, well, our lives are all about freedom and searching for it, but sometimes, we don’t have enough access to the dreams of those who have come before us of what liberation and freedom could look like for queers of color. We need to not lose our elders words- which is why bringing in the work of Stonewall veteran and TGJIP founder Miss Major, who struggles for the freedom of trans people in prison, Qwo Li Driskill’s video of the interviews he did with Cherokee Two Spirit Elders and Adrienne Maree Brown’s video about Octavia Butler are gonna be so important and amazing. And we also need room in the middle of struggling to survive to dream something bigger, lusher, deeper- which is where everyone else also comes in. Come check it out!

The evening will feature breathtaking work by Qwo-Li Driskill and Natro, Cherry Galette, Juba Kalamka and Joshua Merchant, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Fabian Romero and Micha Cardenas, Manish Vaidya, and Anna Martine Whitehead,  with video art by Adrienne Maree Brown, Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Julia Roxanne Wallace, and Vanessa Huang.

Tickets are available at and the Facebook event page is available here. The official press release for the multi-medium evening of time travel and invoked fore-sight can be viewed below.




Mangos With Chili & the 2013 National Queer Arts Festival proudly present

F R E E: Queer and Trans People of Color and Two Spirit Visions of Freedom

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
7:30 PM doors, 7:45 show
$20-12, no one turned away for lack of funds
The African American Arts and Culture Complex
762 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA
Advance tickets available here:

Featuring collaborative performances by:







Video art by





with a sneak preview of the new film MAJOR!, introduced by MISS MAJOR GRIFFIN-GRACY

Art for sale by TEXTA QUEEN and INES IXIERDA

Community QTPOC freedom altar held by MARCELO FELIPE GARZA MONTALVO

Just how free can we get? How do we get there? FREE explores the ways queer, trans people of color have fought for justice on our own terms throughout history. We’ll time travel, visiting with ancestors and future descendants to explore our freedom dreams. Come to a ritual space of conversation and transformation to imagine our beautiful futures. Come prepared for a night of performance of witness, transformation and healing.

Access info:

* Wheelchair accessible venue and bathrooms.
* Gender neutral bathrooms.
* Fragrance free seating available.
* All ages; mature content
* .9 miles from Civic Center BART, on bus lines 5 and 21
* Dedicated parking lot adjacent to building with 6 disabled spots
* ASL interpreted
* Videos will be captioned
* Livestreamed (details TBA)

We acknowledge that this performance takes place on unceded and occupied Ohlone land. Our work is grounded on this land, sits firmly in the reality of ongoing processes of colonization and erasure, and is inspired and informed by the resistance of indigenous people here and across Turtle Island and colonized people decolonizing ourselves everywhere.

This event is happening in the Fillmore, an African-American community facing ongoing processes of gentrification and displacement. Please be respectful of the folks who live and work in the neighborhood, and the spirit of resistance that lives here.

About Mangos With Chili

Mangos With Chili is a North American touring, Bay Area based arts incubator committed to showcasing high quality performance of life saving importance by queer and trans artists of color to audiences in the Bay Area and beyond. Our goal is to produce multi-genre performances reflecting the lives and stories of queer and trans people of color (QTPOC) and speaking out in resistance to the daily struggles around silence, isolation, homophobia and violence that QTPOC face. Mangos With Chili’s multi-genre productions present work in the disciplines of dance, theater, vaudeville, hip-hop, circus arts, music, spoken word and film.

More than a performance incubator, we are also a ritual space for queer and trans communities of color to come together in love, conversation and transformation. Our goal is to present high quality performance art by QTPOC, but so much of our work is also about creating healing and transformative space through performances that are gathering places for community.

Mangos With Chili was founded in 2006 by Cherry Galette and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, two trailblazing artists with significant performance experience and honors to their names. Mangos With Chili began as an annual touring cabaret of queer and trans people of color performance artists, with the goal of creating a cultural institution that would build the careers and visibility of QTPOC artists. Since inception, Mangos With Chili has developed the work of over 125 queer artists of color, produced four national tours and created an annual season of Bay Area programming consisting of 3-4 productions that run for several consecutive nights for Bay Area audiences. In 2013 we remain North America’s only traveling QTPOC cabaret, and have a strong legacy of work on which we continue to build.

Mangos With Chili has featured at world class theaters, underground performance spaces, universities such as Brown, Oberlin, Swathmore, Amherst, Smith, Reed, American University, Georgetown, Berkeley, Mt. Holyoke, Humboldt State University, UT Austin, and many, many more. We have received positive media coverage from the SF Bay Guardian, the SF Chronicle, The SF Appeal, Bitch, Feminist Review, Hip Mama, Aorta, and Make/Shift magazines, and weeklies and alternative press across North America.



“Mangos with Chili is a grassroots miracle.”- Bitch magazine.


“My favorite thing about it is that it never feels cliché. There are so many queer narratives that I’ve seen 800 times in mainstream media, and Mangos never feels like it has anything to do with that.”

“When I go to a Mangos show, all parts of myself are held, and that’s a rare state for us as queer people of color. There’s so many parts of myself that I think I close off every day depending on what space I’m in, but when I go to a Mangos show I have this opportunity to be fully held.”

“To see my people, it’s like, ‘Oh, here you are! I’ve been looking all over for you. Why didn’t you tell me sooner I could just come here and see you? Good to see everyone!’ It was a relief.”


Mangos With Chili is a fiscally sponsored project of CounterPulse, and is generously supported by our grassroots family of supporters.


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