Dear Flea Community,
The week of July 10th, a targeted act of homophobia took place when a person unfamiliar with The Flea smashed the screens on the front of our building after threatening a staff member to take them down. This individual explicitly expressed homophobic views and attempted to destroy content that celebrated the diverse expressions of love and identity within our artistic community which were displayed as part of our fundraising campaign titled ”Support the Hub. Fund the culture.”
While we are deeply saddened and disturbed by this act of violence and hatred, we are not deterred. As anti-queer sentiments continue to be bolstered, it is imperative that our home on Thomas Street remain a place where staff can collaborate, where artists can experiment boldly, and audiences can see themselves reflected and celebrated in our work. Since the incident, a police report has been filed and there is currently an open investigation. We are also connecting with local community outreach organizations to ensure a path forward in line with our values. Additionally, the staff and board are collectively working together to address this specific situation, everyone’s individual needs, safety protocol & training, and our responsibility to our community.
Although this incident has been deeply upsetting, it has only reinforced our resolve to support and invest in experimental art by Black, brown, and queer artists. Our mission remains clear: to create a culture where artists and audiences can commune, express themselves freely, and live in their truth without fear. We will always continue to provide space, financial support, producing partnerships, and other resources to help these artists develop and share their vision with our beloved community.
We know that while we do our best to cultivate a safe space for our community, rising vitriol towards the LGBTQIA+ community continues to fuel targeted violence and hate crimes carried out by hateful individuals, even at our front door. In the coming days, we will be sharing a compiled list of resources with our staff, artists, and audiences to use as needed.
In the strength of community,
The Flea Staff
The Flea was refounded in 2021 with the mission to support and invest in experimental art by Black, brown, and queer artists. The Flea provides space, financial support, producing partnership, and other resources so that they may develop and share their vision in community with audiences.
We work to create a culture where Black, brown and queer artists and their audiences can commune, create art on their own terms and live in their full expression and cultural truths. We will support work that is not strictly defined by traditional designations like “off-off-Broadway” or “theater”. While we are a NYC based company, we encourage artists to be unbound by geography or physical buildings. We also create opportunities for audiences to deepen their knowledge, practice and interest in experimental art by Black, brown and queer artists