Half a century ago, on June 29, a tiny gay bar in New York’s City West Village became the hub for LGBTQ activism after a violent boiling point was reached between bar-goers and the neighborhood police who had spent six days harassing them. Today, the Brooklyn Museum debuts an exhibit that pays homage to those activists; Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall is on display through December 8.
“The exhibition draws its title from the rallying words of transgender artist and activist Marsha P. Johnson, underscoring both the precariousness and the vitality of LGBTQ+ communities,” the museum notes in a statement. Johnson was a Black drag queen, sex worker and gay liberation activist, who, along with fellow transgender activist and Stonewall upriser Sylvia Rivera, founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR). Through STAR, the pair opened the groundbreaking STAR House, the first LGBT youth shelter in North America and the first organization in the country to be led by an openly trans woman of color.
Through installation, painting, sculpture, performance and video, the exhibition features works from 22 LGBTQ artists (including Felipe Baeza, David Antonio Cruz, Papi Juice, Elektra KB and Linda LaBeija) who were born after 1969 whose art addresses current political themes and questions how moments like the Stonewall Uprising become history. Learn more about the exhibition here.