Join us for our opening night Friday, April 21 featuring an Inside Voices: Making Space panel discussion inside Three Keys and a special Enthroned Photo Booth with DeOrin Payme in the Gallery. 

These are the living, breathing queens who resonated with the creative youth in YEP's design studio in the month of October, the year 2016, on the corner of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard and Terpsichore Street. It would be impossible to reflect the full breadth of powerful, influential, magnificent women in New Orleans or to create a comprehensive, fully inclusive list — there are simply too many queens in our city.

Youth Empowerment Project Queens of New Orleans is an exhibition following the calendar project of the same name by Youth Empowerment Project and Ace Hotel. The Queens of New Orleans calendar showcases twelve queens in our community, many of them mothers, caretakers, advocates – roles often minimized in our society. This exhibition celebrates these queens and the hope for a future where women, girls and female-identifying persons have the agency and power to live as freely and as magnificently as they please.

As an evolving exhibition, YEP will activate the traditional gallery space with workshops, gatherings and a hands-on approach to art installation. A local street artist will instruct on the methods and history of wheat pasting as a form of gorilla public art and a new series inspired by Sister Gertrude Morgan and Preservation Hall will include a live guitar performance at the kickoff of Jazz Fest. Keeping with the inclusive spirit of New Orleans, the exhibition will expansively showcase more queens and their inspired lives as the hazy days of summer roll on through. 

YEP Design Works is a youth business of the Youth Empowerment Project’s Work and Learn Center. Creative young people from underserved communities team up with professional design mentors to learn the technical and professional skills required in creative careers by working directly on client projects. We are proud to collaborate with YEP on enriching our community.