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Art & Culture

Hauser & Wirth Names The House of AWT Project as Charitable Partner of the Year

  • Culture.org
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  • May 16, 2023
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  • 3 minute read
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Hauser & Wirth Names The House of AWT Project as Charitable Partner of the Year
Key Takeaways
  • Hauser & Wirth gallery has chosen The House of AWT Project as its 2023 Philanthropic Partner of the Year, providing a $10,000 donation to support the organization's mission of empowering at-risk Black and Brown LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults.
  • The House of AWT Project aims to attain nonprofit status and raise funds for initiatives such as the digitization of its 14-year Ovahness Ball archive, which serves as an important platform for the House/Ballroom community on the West Coast.
  • Hauser & Wirth's collaboration with The House of AWT Project demonstrates the gallery's commitment to community involvement and responsible engagement with the communities it serves, building on its history of partnerships with local entities.
  • The Ovahness Ball, initiated by The House of AWT Project founder, Sean/Milan™, in 2006, is a significant event that raises awareness about HIV among men of color. It showcases the thriving ballroom culture on the West Coast, a sphere of imagination and self-expression popularized by TV shows like Pose and Legendary.
  • With the financial support from Hauser & Wirth, The House of AWT Project will continue to uplift and empower vulnerable LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults, ensuring the expansion and preservation of the ballroom scene's legacy and its contributions to the LGBTQIA+ community.

 

The Los Angeles-based Hauser & Wirth gallery has announced The House of AWT Project (Artists Working Together) as its 2023 Philanthropic Partner of the Year.

The partnership entails a $10,000 donation, which will help the organization attain nonprofit status and advance its mission to uplift and empower at-risk Black and Brown LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults.

Once it achieves nonprofit status, The House of AWT Project will be able to raise funds for additional initiatives, including the digitization of its 14-year Ovahness Ball archive, the longest-standing House/Ballroom Ball on the West Coast.

A Commitment to Community Involvement

Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles has a history of joining forces with local entities, such as its ongoing collaboration with California State University, Los Angeles, which began when the gallery opened in 2016.

These alliances embody the gallery’s core values and its dedication to being a responsible member of the communities they serve.

Russell Salmon, the gallery’s director of public programs & events, initially connected with The House of AWT Project founder, Sean/Milan™, during an informal Zoom conversation in 2020. 

The objective was to help the organization attain nonprofit status and raise awareness of their remarkable work throughout LA and beyond.

The partnership entails a $10,000 donation, which will help the organization attain nonprofit status and advance its mission to uplift and empower at-risk Black and Brown LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults.

Ovahness Ball: A Platform for Expression and Awareness

Sean/Milan™, who grew up in Los Angeles in the late 1970s and early 1980s, began voguing in 1992 and initiated the Ovahness Ball in 2006 in conjunction with the nonprofit REACH LA.

The event’s purpose was to raise awareness about the increasing prevalence of HIV among men of color.

Since then, the Ovahness Ball has served as a platform for the House/Ballroom community on the West Coast.

Ballroom Culture: A Flourishing Scene of Creativity and Expression

Ballroom culture, which originated in New York during the 1980s and 1990s, has experienced a resurgence on the West Coast, partly due to the popularity of TV shows like Pose and Legendary.

Los Angeles-based photographer Jason Williams has documented the vibrancy of this subculture in striking portraits that encapsulate the participants’ creativity and personal expression.

The ballroom scene offers an arena for larger-than-life personalities to display their talents in fashion, makeup, and performance.

This dynamic community embodies the fusion of art and advocacy that The House of AWT Project aims to champion.

Envisioning The House of AWT Project’s Future

The financial support from Hauser & Wirth will enable The House of AWT Project to carry on its mission of uplifting and empowering at-risk LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults.

Reflecting on the organization’s prospects, Sean/Milan™ stated, “If anyone would have told me that I would eventually find a way to inspire and educate others like me to leverage their artistic abilities to maintain a healthy and sustainable life, it would’ve been unimaginable.”

With Hauser & Wirth’s backing and The House of AWT Project’s dedication, the ballroom scene’s legacy and its contributions to the LGBTQIA+ community will continue to expand and inspire upcoming generations.

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