Paul Mpagi Sepuya the Los Angeles-based photographer whose work has been featured at the latest Whitney Biennal among other standout exhibitions. The artist is known for his work that puts a spotlight on queer intimacy and the gay community. Sepuya is now doing his part to help rescue a longstanding LGBTQ+ bar, Akbar, in Silver Lake which has been around since 1994. The establishment started a GoFundMe page called Artists for Akbar with a $250,000 USD target to help pay staff alongside other expenses through 2021.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Akbar had to shutter its doors alongside “hundreds of queer businesses are closing,” said the bar on a GoFundMe page. “How many of those queer businesses will be reborn as queer when the pandemic is over? Community matters, safe space matters.”
Sepuya has launched an open edition print featuring a work called Drop Scene Study (0X5A1118) that is available until January 21. Interested purchases can make a donation of $250 USD or more to Akbar’s GoFundMe and then send the receipt to email@example.com. Shipment of the prints will commence in February. The fundraiser has currently raised over $5,000 USD for the bar, as per Artnet. “The spirit of this print edition is that of a gift to say thank you to donors, to encourage giving, and, for me, as a way to give back to the community that has formed through Akbar,” Sepuya said in a statement
Akbar’s owners, Alexander and Craig, the owners, will also be giving 20 percent of the funds raised to the TransLatin@ Coalition — a nonprofit that provides support for transgender, gender-nonconforming, and intersex immigrant women.