At 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 5, downtown Ithaca will host Ithaca’s inaugural Qinfolk Short Film Festival, celebrating art, short films and mental health through exhibitions and workshops created by recognized artists, facilitators and social, political and cultural activists of the queer and transgender people of color (QTPOC) community.
“Festival planning and grant writing isn’t something I do professionally or anything like that,” said Candace Edwards ’09, executive director and founder of Qinfolk. “But I saw a need for queer and trans people of color, and I felt like Ithaca would be a great place to host [such an event].”
Edwards saw what her hometown of New York City had available to QTPOC and what Ithaca lacked, yet she felt the small city could serve as a perfect venue for celebrating representation, creativity, and community. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in politics from Ithaca College, Edwards returned home to New York for five years before coming back to Ithaca, where she has lived for five years. She now works as a systems and accreditations specialist in IC’s School of Business.
“One day I was driving [to New York] and I thought, why do I have to drive so far for a party [or event] that is so integral and important to the QTPOC community, when it seems like something that should be so easy to find where I live?” said Edwards. “Ithaca is my home now, and I know I’m not the only queer person of color here. I know students might have QTPOC spaces on campus as well, but as a community member, it may be harder to find those spaces, and that is what really sparked the idea [of Qinfolk].”