Joseph Varisco is an independent multidisciplinary arts curator and producer with a focus on the intersectional creative practices of LGBTQIA, HIV+, and other underrepresented populations who over the past ten years work with over 3000 artists, organizations, and community partners to produce original works and independent projects.
These projects include multiple grant award winning annual program QUEER, ILL, & OKAY, educational workshops in partnership with Howard Brown Health, POST-Q as Curator-in-Residence at Links Hall, oral history series Queer Lexicon part of the nationally touring Strange Bedfellows, the Chicago Queer Arts Mentorship Program (CQAMP) educational arts mentorship program, and as curator with weekly performance series Salonathon since 2011. Varisco's work was recognized at the Chicago History Museum OUT at CHM Series and Visual AIDS is featured in the nationally touring exhibit and publication When Dogs Heal and the forthcoming a tumblr book: Platform and Culture.
Most recently as the former Public Program Director at Alphawood Gallery Varisco conducted over 100 public programs including panels, public talks, symposiums, workshops, theater, film, and concerts with acclaimed artists George Takei, Karen Finley (Anti-Workshop), Bill T. Jones, Kia Labeija (Black Sex Matters), Abby Ginsberg, Jonathan Katz, and Aram Han Sifuentes (Protest Banner Lending Library Residency) for nationally touring exhibition Art AIDS America Chicago and the first original exhibition Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese American During WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties. Varisco's practice is dedicated to cultivating local development, community partnerships, and educational mentorship initiatives to elevate and amplify queer arts with intersectional standards.
Joseph R. Varisco
Founder & Creative Director - JRV MAJESTY Productions