Kia LaBeija


Kia LaBeija is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in the heart of New York City’s theatre district, Hellz Kitchen. Her work explores the intersections of community, politics, fine art and activism. As a visual artist she stages digital portraits as theatrical and cinematic re-imaginings of non fictional events to spark conversation, complicating the way we view her subjects and the spaces in order to occupy. Her Portraiture utilizes the medium of story telling, to preserve histories, and make sociopolitical commentaries on current events. She is a featured artist in Art, AIDS, America, along side Keith Haring, Annie Leibovitz, Nan Goldin and Robert Mapplethorp, where she is the only representation of a female artist of color living with and born with HIV. A performer by nature, LaBeija is a member of the Iconic House of LaBeija and uses Voguing as a performance practice and community based work. She can regularly be seen walking functions in the underground House/Ballroom scene holding titles from The New York Awards Ball, The Latex Ball, and House Dance International. As a voguer she has performed and curated events in collaboration with MoMa PS1, The Brooklyn Museum, AFROPUNK, H&M, Fergie and Red Bull Music Academy. She speaks frequently in public on the subject of HIV/AIDS and is an advocate for under represented communities living HIV positive including long term survivors, women, minorities and children born with the virus. As a public speaker she has been invited to speak at The CUNY Graduate Center, New York University, and The New York Public Library. She has been honored in POZ magazine’s POZ 100 list of HIV/AIDS activists under 30, and HIV Plus Magazines 20 most amazing HIV Positive Women, featured in VICE, The New York Times, Paper Magazine and Time Out New York. She has studied at prestigious institutions such as The Juilliard School, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and The New School University.



2016 The New School University, New York City | BA Candidate in The Arts | 2016

2005-2008 The Ailey School | Ballet, Modern and West African | New York, NY

2001-2008 The Professional Performing Arts School | Musical Theatre, Dance | New York, NY

1999-2001 The Juilliard School | Music Advancement Program | New York, NY


2015 Who Paved The Way Award | The 25th Anniversary of The Iconic House of Infiniti Ball | BB Kings | New York, NY New York Awards Ball - Grand Prize Woman’s Performance | Stage 48 | New York, NY

Hector Xtravaganza Xcellence Award | The 25th annual Latex Ball | New York, NY 2015

The 20 Most Amazing HIV Positive Women of 2015 | HIVPlus Magazine | New York, NY 2015

2014 POZ Top 100 of 2014 | December Issue | New York, NY 2014

Latex Ball 2014 - Grand Prize Woman's Performance | GMHC + House of Latex | Terminal 5 | New York, NY August

Visual AIDS Vanguard Award | Presented by Visual AIDS | Youngest Recipient | New York, NY May

Student Teaching Fellowship - Eugene Lang, The Newschool for Liberal Arts Orginizing For Freedom With Robert Sember and Michael Roberson New York, NY February - May

Art Exhibitions

2016 Agitprop! | Brooklyn Museum | New York, NY April 6th - August 7th 2016 Visual AIDS commission of three artworks for Play Smart sexual health prevention packs…

2015 Harlem Postcards | Studio Museum of Harlem | New York, NY November 12th - March 6th, 2015 Commission highlight Harlem neighborhood; concurrent exhibiting artists include Zanele Muholi.

Party Out of Bounds: Nightlife as Activism Since 1980 | Curated by Osman Yerebakan and Emily Colucci | La MaMa Galleria | New York, NY September 18th - October 10th, 2015

Elastic Practice | Clifford Chance | Curated by Jacob Robichaux and Sam Gorden New York, NY May 29th - October 1st, 2015

Art, AIDS, America | Curated by Rock Hushka And Jonnathan Katz | One Gallery, LA | TACOMA, WA | Zuckerman Museum, Georgia | Bronx Museum, NY | National Tour 2015 | Only representation of women of color living with HIV/persons born with HIV virus

2014 Ephemera as Evidence | Curated by Josh Lubin-Levy and Ricardo Montez | La MaMA Galleria New York, NY June 2014

Know Who You Are at Every Age | Curated by Q_Raider and BDGRMMR | Bronx River Arts Center New York, NY April 2014

Honest Bodies | Curated by Zachary Patrick and Andrew Phan | CUNY/Project Reach | New York, NY February 2014

Live Performance

2016 Reusable Parts/Endless Love | Gerard and Kelly | University of Albany Lab Theater | February 12th 2016

Metamorphosis | House of Vans with DJ MikeQ | New York, NY January 16th 2016

2015 H&M x BALMAIN Collaboration Runway Show | New York, NY October 20th 2015

Givenchy NY Fashion Week Official After Party | Curator: Ladyfag | Lower East Side | New York, NY September 11th 2015

AfroPunk Fancy Dress Ball | Opening for Grace Jones | Commodore Barry Park | New York, NY August 21st 2015

The Red Road Block | Planet Indigenous | Toronto, Ontario August 2015

Wilhelmina Brings Down the House - Mens Fashion Week 2015 | Marquee | New York, NY July 16th 2015

Movement Research Festival - Kia Labeija x LION | Tandem Bar | Brooklyn, NY May 16th 2015

HAUS OF SPICE Mini Ball | Brooklyn Museum First Saturdays | Brooklyn, NY May 2nd 2015

La MaMa’s Squirts 2015 | The Club at La MaMa | New York, NY January 16th - January 25th 2015

2014 Make a Way out of No Way | Stereo Night Club | Glasgow, Scotland September 26th 2014

AFROPUNK w/DJ MikeQ | Commodore Berry Park |Brooklyn, NY August 24th 2014

GAYLETTER Pride Ball | The Wythe Hotel | Produced by Kia Labeija | Brooklyn, NY June 27th

BAAD: Out Like That | Bronx Academy of Art and Dance | Bronx, NY June 14th 2014

La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival | La MaMa Experimental Theatre | New York, NY May 16th - 18th 2014

The Road to Mastery Ball | MoMa PS1| New York, NY April 20th 2014

2013 Wet N’ Wild Benefit for AMFAR with Fergie feat. The House of Labeija | Tao Restaurant New York, NY December 2013

Selected Panel Discussions/Public Programming

2015 The Artist’s Voice: Kia Labeija | The Studio Museum in Harlem | New York, NY December Sold-out solo artist talk at Studio Museum highlighting Kia Labeija’s body of work

Kia Labeija Presents FAME | Queer Art Film, IFC | New York, NY November 2015

New York City Vogue and Ballroom culture | VICE Headquarters | New York, NY November 2015

In This House: AIDS, Art and Activism in the Vogue Ball Scene | La Mama Galleria | New York, NY September 2015

Positively Resilient | The Audre Lorde Project | New York, NY March 18th 2015

2014 You've Never Seen Pain Expressed Like This | The Tramway, featuring Miss Prissy, Pony Zion Garcon & Danielle Goldman | Glasgow, Scotland September

Tea Time: Mapping Informational Networks of Women Living with HIV | Eugene Lang, The Newschool for Liberal Arts | New York, NY March 19th

EN VOGUE: GAYLETTER Pride Ball Discussion Panel | The Wythe Hotel | Discussing Jenn Nkiru’s short film on the ballroom scene | New York, NY June

International Ballroom Convention 2014: House of Labeija | Chahama Harlem Gallery | New York, NY April 2014

The Personal and the Political: Loosing Parents to AIDS | Part of Why We Fight: Remembering AIDS Activism Exhibition | New York Public Library, New York, February

2013 Race & the Colonial Impulse: Queer Performance Practices | The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, New York University | New York, NY November 2013

(Re)Presenting AIDS: Culture and Accountability | Along with The Pop Up Museum of Queer History and Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies CUNY Graduate Center | New York, NY August

Documentary Film

2015 What it’s really like to live with HIV today | Refinery 29 | New York, NY December 2015

We’re Still Here | Director: Grissel Granados | Film about children born with HIV | Los Angeles, CA July 2014

2013 En Vogue | Director: Jenn Nkiru | Choreographer: Danielle Polonco | Cinematographer: Bradford Young | New York, NY September 2013

Dirty 30 | Director: Hannelore Williams | Film on how HIV is perceived 30 years after the epidemic began | New York, NY October 2013


2015 Hold That Pose - Voguing and Self Portraiture Workshop | GMHC | New York, NY October 2015

Vogue Classique | Illadelph Legends Festival, Destiny Arts Studio | Oakland, CA June 2015

The Bronx is Voguing Workshop | The Bronx Museum | Bronx, NY March 2015

2014 A Day With(Out) Art: Voguing Workshop | Queens Museum | New York, NY December Vogue Master Workshop | The Academy at Urban Arts Partnership | New York, NY November 2014

Vogue Baby Steps | PS 137 | New York, NY October 2014

Vogue Performance Workshop | Funktion Dance Complex | Edison, NJ September 2014

Vogue Workshop with Legendary Pony Zion | Glasgow Kelvin School | Glasgow, Scotland September 2014

Vogue Performance | GMHC - Vogue Lounge | New York, NY September 2014

Elements of Vogue |The Shade Tour | ODC & Dance Mission | San Francisco, CA August 2014

Featured Publications

2015 “Kia Labeija Tracks the Influence of HIV/AIDS on Contemporary Art” | The Creators Project, VICE | By Antwaun Sargent | September 2nd | http://thecreatorsproject.vice... blog/kia-labeija-tracks-the-influence-of-hiv-aids-on-contemporary-art

“Vogueing is Still Burning up the Dance Floor” | The New York Times | By Brian Schaefer | July 23rd | vogue.html

“Power in the Crisis: Kia Labeija’s Radical Art as a 25 Year Old, HIV Positive Woman of Color “ | VICE | By Hugh Ryan | June 6th | kia-labeija-456 “Kwans Song and the Allure of Immortality” | A&U Magazine | By Sean Black | May 1st |