Junior High opened as a non-profit 501(c)(3) community and arts space in June 2016. Since then, we have hosted hundreds of events, performances, and workshops prioritizing marginalized voices. Our space, publication, podcast, and other ventures function on principles of collective organizing, radical empathy, and anti-oppression. Junior High exists in support of artists who are made marginalized by systemic cis-heteropatriarchy and white supremacy.
Throughout the past four years, Junior High has become a staple in the Los Angeles arts and activism communities.
Junior High was forced to close on March 12, 2020 in response to COVID-19. As the majority of our income is from in-house donations and ticketed events, we have had no way to secure rent throughout the pandemic. Four months later, venues are still not permitted to open, and even if we had the green light — we don't believe it's safe.
With no other choice outside of accruing insurmountable debt, we had to vacate our space. Now, we are navigating the legal ramifications of breaking our lease and the loss of our $4,500 security deposit. But Junior High WILL reopen when it's safe to do so. With your help, Junior High will use funds to prioritize the initiatives detailed below. Further transparency on our spending is (and always has and always will) be available here.
To all who can donate, share, and support — thank you.
We have been peeking at several spaces in Eagle Rock and Glassell Park, and are anticipating an early January 2021 reopening. This is subject to change should the pandemic worsen. Without knowing the finer details — we do know that our new space will be bigger and better. We will be able to accommodate more guests, host larger and more collaborative events, and remain safe and accessible to all.
After learning from other Black activists and the BLM movement, we have made a conscious decision to utilize community-based safety measures upon reopening. Meaning — Junior High will never call the police unless all other options are completely exhausted. Our staff will be trained on deescalation, unconscious bias, and safe use of Narcan. We believe these are the best practices for serving our community and commiting to anti-racism in all aspects of operation.
Junior High’s goals have never been monetary. For four years we have run exclusively through volunteer labor. However, we believe it’s time to start paying living wages to the team who make Junior High possible. With your funds, we will begin paying our two full-time and two part-time staff members. Our staff demographics by race and gender are 50% BIPOC/50% white and 25% trans nonbinary/75% cis female.
When Junior High reopens, we want to bolster our programming schedule. At our Hollywood Boulevard space, we were open 2-4 times a week. When we reopen — we intend to have programming nightly. This will give us a chance to showcase even more voices, artistic endeavors, and narratives while also giving our community a safe and inclusive space to spend their time. We want Los Angeles to know we are here, we are queer, and we are always open when they need us.
Questions, concerns, collaborations? Email us at email@example.com :)