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New Center City Mural Celebrates LGBTQ+ Joy

October 8, 2021

New mural this week by a collaborative group of local LGBTQ+ creatives Nilé Livingston, Nicole Nikolich, Marisa Velázquez-Rivas, and myself (Conrad Benner) celebrates queer joy in Center City! Titled Finding Our Happy, the new mural will be up for one year outside of Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room at 12th and Pine Streets, created with support from Mural Arts Philadelphia.

In a world that for too long has solely centered cisgender heteronormativity, LGBTQ+ people have had to go to extra lengths to discover stories, histories, objects, people, and spaces that can reflect and celebrate our truths. From the entertainment that permeates mass culture to, more often than not, the families we grow up in, queer, trans, and gender nonconforming individuals have had to work to discover the people, spaces, and things that offer us confidence, affirmation, and joy. With Finding Our Happy, we’re celebrating those mundane and monumental discoveries. And we invite you to look closely and see how many references you can find/relate to!

Join us virtually this Wednesday, October 13 (6-7pm, FREE with RSVP) to hear from me and the artists about the mural, its inspiration, and our hopes for future public arts projects centering LGBTQ+ artists, stories, and histories here in Philadelphia: RSVP now here!

See past work from each of these artists by clicking their name: Nilé Livingston, Nicole Nikolich, Marisa Velázquez-Rivas!

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