The Pennsylvania Humanities Council gave thousands of dollars from the Biden administration's American Rescue Plan Act, funds dedicated to COVID relief, to LGBT+ organizations that host "queer story hour" and "drag story hour" for children, Fox News Digital reported.
The ARP Act was signed into law in March 2021 after receiving only partisan support from Democratic lawmakers. The legislation was promoted as providing "additional relief to address the continued impact of COVID-19." However, some funds from the ARP Act were used for other purposes unrelated to COVID relief.
The Pennsylvania Humanities Council received $1.4 million in relief funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which was allocated for the "recovery and reopening of humanities organizations."
The council used the funds to support organizations promoting "equity and geographic diversity."
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, received $16,000 from the council. The community center, which describes itself as an "inclusive space" for "LGBTQ+ residents," previously hosted a "drag story hour" for children. The story hour was presented by a drag queen who read "King & King," a picture book about two princes who get married.
The community center plans to host a "queer story hour" for children this weekend, during which a "queer reader" will read "I Am Jazz." The book, targeted to children from 4 to 8 years old, follows the story of a child who "was born transgender, which to her means having a girl brain in a boy body."
The Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art in Pittsburgh, which has hosted multiple all-ages drag events, was awarded $16,000 from the council. According to the museum, the ARP funds were used to put on a two-month installation in dedication to Greer Lankton, a deceased transgender artist known for creating lifelike and often nude dolls.
The museum hosted a "Queer Afterlives in Artist Archives" program that, according to the event's description, was funded partly by "PA Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021."
Fox News Digital obtained an interim report from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council to the NEH where the council described its contributions to the community center and the museum as the "most significant outcomes" of the COVID relief funding.
"The Mattress Factory recently held a 'Queer Afterlives in Artist Archives Symposium' and a celebration to launch the release of extensive public archives documenting the life and work of genderqueer artist Greer Lankton," the report stated. "The Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Center is building a community archive documenting the rich history of local and regional LGBTQ+ life and activism including print material, signs, memorabilia, garments and oral histories."
The Pennsylvania Humanities Council, Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art, and Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center did not respond to a request for comment, Fox News Digital reported.
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