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The Artists Making Castro Camera Queer AF

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Devlin Shand
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Devlin Shand, Fadi Salah and Erika Pappas, founders of Queer AF.

This week’s episode was recorded at 575 Castro St in San Francisco. To a generation of San Franciscans, this was Harvey’s place. Harvey Milk, the late gay rights leader and politician lived upstairs and ran a camera shop in the storefront below. In the years since Milk’s assasination this store has continued to be a gay pilgrimage site for LGBTQIA folks. The Human Rights Campaign occupied the space for 16 years, and the Trevor Project had a call center here but all of that stopped last April when HRC moved out.

The shop sat empty, save for a display on the history of the rainbow flag, for a year. If you’ve walked by this spot recently you may have noticed that things are starting to spring back to life at 575 Castro. Something new is moving into Harvey’s old camera shop, something queer.

Devlin Shand, Fadi Salah and Erika Pappas created Queer Arts Featured in hopes of serving the queer arts community in the San Francisco Bay Area, a community Shand said is underserved, “We have currently 22 or 23 different vendors — all queer local artists — many of whom have never had their stuff in a brick and mortar space.”

Queer AF hopes to attract queer artists with an 80/20 split of profits from art sales, versus the standard 60/40. Shand says, “The foundational ethos of it really is to give space to queer people who have not had it historically, or emerging artists, disenfranchised artists, and artists who are underrepresented.”

Join Queer AF for their grand opening on Friday June 10, 2022 at 575 Castro St. More information at QueerArtsFeatured.com.

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The Executive Producer of Out In The Bay is Eric Jansen. This edition of Out in the Bay was produced by Christopher Beale and Sallie Tomato.

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Christopher J. Beale is an independent radio host, producer, and journalist living in San Francisco.
Eric Jansen is a long-time broadcaster and print journalist. A former news anchor, producer and reporter at KQED FM, San Francisco; KLIV AM, San Jose; and Minnesota Public Radio, Eric's award-winning reports have been heard on many NPR programs and PRI's Marketplace. His print work has been in The Mercury News, The Business Journal, and LGBTQ magazines Genre and The Advocate, among other publications. He co-produced the June 2007 PBS documentary Why We Sing!, about LGBTQ choruses and their role in the civil rights fight.