Undeniable Influence: Gay Men in the Arts
Thursday, January 11 | Doors at 6:00 p.m. | Panel 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. | Tour to follow
Join us for a fascinating conversation among peers during the final weeks of Lee Alexander McQueen & Ann Ray: Rendez-Vous. Inspired by the life and art of Lee Alexander McQueen as well as Sergio Hudson, the subject of Sergio Hudson: Focused on the Fit, the CMA brings together a panel of creative professionals from the Midlands for a discussion celebrating the voices and impacts of gay men in the arts and exploring what it is about the gay male experience that places them at the forefront of expression in the arts and other creative professions.
After an introduction from host and CMA trustee Joseph Bruce, moderator Terrance Henderson and panelists Larry Hembree, Willie Lee Kinard, and Julian Deleon delve into the undeniable influence of gay men throughout history, their present-day impacts on arts and culture, and what it means for future generations of gay, queer, and non-conforming male artists to have out and proud shoulders to stand on. Following the panel, join Joseph Bruce for a tour of Rendez-Vous. This program is the first of two panels this spring focusing on gay men’s impacts on the arts.
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Terrance Henderson is an international award-winning performing artist and creative, master teacher, and equity advisor based here in Columbia. He has been a driving force in the theater and dance communities of South Carolina for many years, raising the bar on achievements in dance, theater, and choreography and forging important conversations through his work. Henderson has been director of the Modern and Contemporary Dance Program at Southeastern School of Ballet for 16 years. He creates original dance/theatre works and performance-based artist residencies through his personal brand TOdanceInc, performs throughout the state as a member of musical groups IndigoSOUL and The Pack, and is a company member and chair of the Equity Task Force at Trustus Theatre. Henderson was the recipient of the 2016 Steve G. Morrison Visionary Award, which honors someone in our community who exhibits the best combination of vision and leadership, applied to arts and history and the entire cultural foundation of the City, and the value they bring to Columbia.
Larry Hembree grew up in Ware Shoals and Greenwood, SC, and has a B.A. in English from Clemson University and an M.F.A. in directing from the University of Georgia. He has performed in over 100 shows, directed over 200 productions, and has held administrative positions with the Arts Center of Kershaw County, Columbia Children’s Theatre, SC Arts Commission, Columbia City Ballet, Nickelodeon Theatre, and Trustus Theatre. This past year he cofounded a new nonprofit, Papa Tank Theatre for Inclusion, celebrating theatre with youth of all abilities. Hembree was named one of the 50 Most Influential People by Columbia Business Monthly and one of the top 25 most powerful people in Columbia twice by Free Times. He received the Community Service Award from SC HIV/Aids Association, the Key to the City of Camden SC, and the Freddie Mullis Corporate Member Award from the SC Gay and Lesbian Business Guild. Over the past few years, he has worked on the birth of many new plays, including both Shock and Blue Camp by D.C. playwrights Jack Hannah and Tim Caggiano, POUF! and Stilt Girl by SC native Lou Clyde, Sharks and Other Lovers by SC and NYC playwright Randall David Cook, and One Life: Dogs the Musical by Camden resident Paddy Bell with music by Dick Goodwin.
Willie Lee Kinard III (he/they) is a poet, designer, educator, and musician forged in Newberry, SC. The author of Orders of Service and winner of the 2022 Alice James Award, he holds an M.F.A. in creative writing – poetry from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.F.A. in graphic design from the University of South Carolina. Kinard is a 2023 Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellow and a fellow of the Watering Hole. Their musings include gospel surrealism, Black romance, and superstition. With written work appearances in Obsidian, Poem-a-Day, Best New Poets 2022, Boston Review, and The Rumpus, he is the winner of Poetry magazine’s 2021 J. Howard & Barbara M.J. Wood Prize and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Kinard is an avid believer in evening thunderstorms and loose-leaf tea. They teach English at the University of South Carolina.
Julian Deleon studied acting at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. From there he became the educational marketing intern at American Place Theatre and worked on several productions with Galli Theatre NY. Upon returning to Columbia, he began work with local theatres. Deleon has performed in several productions around Columbia including Dance Nation at Trustus Theatre, Torch Song at Workshop Theatre, and A Christmas Carol at Columbia Children’s Theatre. He is now the director of social media with Columbia Children’s Theatre and works as a local teaching artist around the state.
Inside, London II, 2000
Manual gelatin silver print
Courtesy of Barrett Barrera Projects