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project leader
Sue K
4105 Penn Avenue
(Pennsylvania - statewide)
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the project

Ampersand Consulting has invited local political blogger Sue Kerr of Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents as their first artist-in-residence, focusing on political blogging. 

Kerr has created a multi-year project exploring the values of progressives who are either holding political office or running for political office throughout the Commonwealth. Based on data from a previous artistic project, #AMPLIFY, she has identified support for LGBTQ non-discrimination as a defining issue for progressives. Participants will be asked to affirm their support for municipal, statewide, and federal nondiscrimination legislative. Kerr is creating her signature Q&A format that will give each participant an opportunity to lay out their own progressive agendas, on issues they prioritize. 

To highlight the project, Kerr will be recreating her infamous 1991 internship photo with then-Pennsylvanian-Congressman Rick Santorum, standing near a majestic view of the nation's Capitol building. Working with a graphic designer, Kerr will take photos and edit the image to include a backdrop of similar relevance to the participants office - the State Capitol in Harrisburg, a local courthouse, a school district building, or whatever might be relevant..The photos will be paired with the Q&A and published on Kerr's blog, After the project wraps up, Kerr will work with Ampersand staff to produce an exhibition of each participants information mounted on a campaign mailer.

Data from the project will literally map Pennsylvania's progressive candidates and elected officials, providing a look at the intersection of support for LGBTQ nondiscrimination with other progressives issues. 

the steps

  1. Create a series of promotional Q&A's and photos with progressive participants from Pittsburgh and surrounding regions who are likely allies in this effort. Publish approximately 5,000 campaign mailers to use to explain and promote the project. (May 2020)
  2. Attend events throughout the Commonwealth and schedule time for a photograph (June 2020 - August 2021)
  3. Send Q&A to participants via email, work with graphic designer to modify the photos, publish results as they are finalized in a traditional blog post (June 2020-August 2021)
  4. Prepare the campaign mailers for the photo exhibition (September 2021)
  5. Hold the exhibit at Carnegie Stage (October 2021)

why we're doing it

Through my very first artistic residency project, AMPLIFY, I learned that the single issue shared by over 320 LGBTQ residents of Western Pennsylvania is the need for statewide nondiscrimination protections. We know that the political will to pass this legislation statewide is not quite where it needs to be so we must continue to advocate for local ordinances as well as state and federal level reform. 

Identifying local allies who couple a sense of fairness and equal treatment with other progressive values is a strategic way to identify new municipalities to introduce these ordinances as well as educate other elected officials on the value of the legislation as part of our shared progressive identity. 

The photo from my intership with Rick Santorum in 1991 always garners attention. Who would imagine the 30 years later both he and I would both still be part of the political conversation, albeit on different scales? Leveraging that little bit of photographic fame into a series of 50-100 contemporary elected officials with a vested interest in my own progressive values seems too intriguing to pass up as a tool for this particular purpose. 

Moreover, the residency will give me the opportunity to strengthen my familiarity with electoral and campaign politics by working closely with staff on both elections and issue campaigns. 



Graphic Designer Photos $5,000.00

Layout of Mailers 2500

printing mailers 3000

Travel - Lodging 4000

Travel - Mileage 6,000.00

Travel - Food 2500

Project Exhibition 1000

Artist Stipend 15,000

Website Admin & Updates 5000

Printing 4500

Postage 1500


ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $1,547
TOTAL TO RAISE = $51,582



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