In celebration of Pride Month, join the Fulbright Program for a conversation with Sasha Velour, winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season 9) and 2009 Fulbright U.S. Student to Russia. Sasha will discuss her Fulbright experience, share the behind-the-scenes influences that have shaped her celebrated career, and address the important contributions the LGBTQIA+ community has made on art, culture, and history in the United States and abroad.
Sasha's work has been featured on NPR, in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Vogue, Billboard, and Variety, and her most recent critically acclaimed show, Smoke and Mirrors, has been hailed by Forbes as a "a spellbinding tour de force."
Christian Flores will join Sasha in conversation and ask her your questions! Christian is a 2019 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Brazil, where he worked on Projeta Memoria LGBT — Bagé to tell the stories of Bagé’s LGBTQIA+ community.
This event is free and open to the public but space is limited. Please register now to reserve your seat.
Sasha Velour is a genderfluid drag queen, theatre and television producer, and winner of RuPaul's Drag Race (Season 9). Since her debut on the international stage in 2017, Velour has bewitched sold-out crowds on five continents. Her internationally renowned solo theatrical work, Smoke & Mirrors, has toured The United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, selling out theaters in New York, LA, Auckland, Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco, London, and more. The show will return to Europe for a 34-city tour in early 2022. Last year, Velour adapted her long-running drag review NightGowns into a docu-series that she Executive Produced for Quibi. NightGowns with Sasha Velour was hailed by The New York Times as being "among the most life-affirming shows you could find on any platform." She won a Realscreen Award for the show, which will come to the Roku Channel later this year. Through her genre-defying work, Velour is creating new business models for drag as art, which Fast Company says is “disrupting the business of drag.” Variety named Velour to their "Power of New York List" in 2019 and she has been honored in Out Magazine's OUT100, twice.
Velour studied Modern Literatures through the independent program at Vassar College and Cartooning at the Center for Cartoon Studies. In 2009, she received a Fulbright grant to study the role of political art in contemporary Russian life. As a public speaker, she has spoken at the Smithsonian, the Teen Vogue Summit, colleges and universities, and on behalf of the US State Department abroad. Velour recently starred in the short art-opera film, The Island We Made (commissioned by Opera Philadelphia), and her first book will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2022.
Christian Flores is a 2019 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Brazil. While on his Fulbright, he inaugurated Projeto Memória LGBT - Bagé, a public history project designed to highlight and celebrate queer voices and experiences at the Federal University of Pampa in Bagé, a small, conservative city in Brazil's southern countryside. Flores, an Illinois College alumnus, is based in Chicago, IL where he works as a Program Administrator in the Research Division at Safer Foundation, a non-profit that assists individuals with arrests and convictions to access job opportunities.