(2012-2013) Co-Directors, Lauren Goshinski & Quinn Leonowicz
partner: East Liberty Development Inc.
In the winter of 2012, while scouting festival sites, ELDI presented VIA with a pretty wild opportunity - take over an abandoned social club in the heart of East Liberty for a year, fix it up, and show the area one hell of a program. We did just that.
With the help of dozens of volunteers we completely gutted and transformed 6119 into a treehouse for experimental music, film, performance, live visuals, vogue balls, fundraisers, and more. In over a little more than a year we hosted over 75 events, featuring everyone from RuPaul's Drag Race stars Jinx Monsoon, Sharon Needles, and Alaska Thvnderfvck to new media darlings Jacob Ciocci, Ryder Ripps, and Jeremy Bailey, club nights, hardcore shows, vogue balls, experimental film, student performances, and more.
Artifacts (flyers, IDs, membership records) removed from this club during renovations shed a light on a important part of Pittsburgh's LGBTQ history. Meticulously archived and exhibited by Harrison Apple for his 2012 BFA Thesis Exhibition at Carnegie Mellon, 6119 served as a jumping off point for what is now the Pittsburgh Queer History Project. PQHP is becoming an extensive queer archaeology of the area from 1940s-present, which received a 2013 Pittsburgh Foundation Grant. Harrison continues his research as a PhD student at Arizona State University in 2015.