Canadian born Theodore Kerr is a Brooklyn based writer, organizer and artist whose work focuses on HIV/AIDS, community, and culture. To learn more, stay in touch or learn about upcoming events, SUBSCRIBE TO HIS NEWSLETTER.
Kerr's writing has been published in books, online and in magazines. It has appeared in Women's Studies Quarterly, The New Inquiry, BOMB, CBC (Canada), Lambda Literary, POZ Magazine, The Advocate, Cineaste, The St. Louis American, IndieWire, HyperAllergic, and other publications. In 2016, he won the Best Journalism award from POZ Magazine for his HyperAllergic article on race, HIV, and art. In 2015, Kerr was the editor for an AIDS-focused issue of the We Who Feel Differently journal.
Kerr earned his MA from Union Theological Seminary where he researched Christian Ethics and HIV, and his BA from the New School where he was Riggio Writing and Democracy fellow. At his graduation he spoke about the queer everyday in surviving. Currently, Kerr teaches at The New School. He has lectured at Hunter College, Rutgers and Skidmore College.
Under the direction of Amy Sadao and Nelson Santos, Kerr was the programs manager at Visual AIDS where he worked to ensure social justice was an important lens through which to understand the ongoing epidemic. He also served as the programs manager at the Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary. In 2007, he was a founding member of Exposure: Edmonton's Queer Arts and Culture Festival. Working with collectives, organizations and solo, Kerr has organized events at the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, BQSQD, Bluestockings, The New School, Housing Works and other locations.
In 2016 / 2017 Kerr performed 10 interviews for the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project. Kerr received his oral history training from Suzanne Snider as part of the Oral History Summer School. He was a member of the New York City Trans Oral History Project. Working with the Brooklyn Historical Society, Kerr indexed their AIDS oral history project.
Kerr is a founding member of the What Would An HIV Doula Do? collective, a community of people committed to better implicating community within the ongoing response to HIV/AIDS. In 2017, and 2018, the collective hosted multi-week writing workshops with support from Poets and Writers, and in 2018 began a reading group called Uneasy Medicine. In the winter of 2019, WWHIVDD curated an exhibition for the One Archives and the NYC LGBT Center entitled, METANOIA: Transformations through AIDS Archives and Activism. The collective’s work has been featured in The Body, Art in America and POZ magazine. With Aldrin Valdez, Kerr is a co-founder of Foundational Sharing, a performance and publishing platform. Since 2013, Valdez and Kerr have hosted 5 Foundational Sharing salons, and been invited to produce the event with the Bowery Poetry Club, CUNY, Visual AIDS and Queer Art Mentorship.
Creating postcards, posters, stickers, and collages, Kerr's art practice is about bringing together pop culture, photography and text to create fun and meaningful shareable ephemera and images. Collaboration is a big part of Kerr's art practice. He has made work with Zachary Ayotte, L.J. Roberts, Chaplain Christopher Jones, Niknaz Tavakolian, Bridget de Gersigny, Malene Dam and others. He has been in exhibitions curated by Kris Nuzzi, Sur Rodney (Sur), Danny Orendorff and others. Two of his works, in collaboration with Shawn Torres and Jun Bae, are part of DePaul Art Gallery's permanent collection.
'We will not be silent': This artist newspaper takes back the dialogue surrounding HIV/AIDS, Peter Knegt, CBC Arts
HIV in America: The Complicated Truth, Emily Bass, Esquire
‘Not Over’: ‘25 Years of Visual AIDS’, Holland Cotter, The New York Times
Revisitation Phase: Looking at Art and AIDS, Eric Sutphin, Art in America
Queer Past/Queer Future: In Conversation, Aldrin Valdez, ART 21
We Will Not Rest in Peace: Lost and Found Ends, Maura Donohue, Culturebot
On the Dangerous AIDS Myth of 'Patient Zero,' and the Book That Started It All, John Walker, LitHub
For Those Newly Diagnosed With HIV, What Would a Doula Do?, Victoria Law, TheBody.com
Reflecting on AIDS in New York City: Jenny Holzer in Collaboration with Surface, Amy Sadao, Surface