Joe's Movement Emporium
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Be Steadwell's Queer Love Songs Take the Stage as a Musical Valentine's Day

This Valentine’s Day “Queer Love Songs” Becomes a Musical

All are invited to a work-in-process showing of Be Steadwell’s A Letter to My Ex: The Musical

Composer and vocalist Be Steadwell to spend 5-day artist residency, part of the NextLOOK program in partnership with The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mt. Rainier, MD culminating in a two-day pay-what-you-wish work-in-process musical performance. Steadwell tells stories of love, loss, and intimacy though LGBTQ-affirming pop music. Through this residency she’ll bring her album to life. A Letter to My Ex is a collage of music, movement, and film, narrating one character’s journey through the ups and downs of love. Pay-what-you-wish tickets are available online or at the door, minimum payment is $5. First performance, Valentine’s Day, Thursday, February 14that 7pm, followed by a Friday, February 15thperformance at 7 pm. Both performances at Joe’s Movement Emporium located at 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at

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Be Steadwell is a singer songwriter from Washington DC. With roots in jazz, acapella and folk-Be calls her music QUEER POP. In her live performances, she utilizes looping, vocal layering and beat boxing to compose her songs on stage. Be’s original music features earnest lyricism, and Affirming LGBTQ content.

In 2017, Be sang at The Women’s March on the National Mall behind Maxwell and Janelle Monae in Toshi Reagon’s Big Lovely Band. The Astraea Global Arts Fund awarded Be a grant to produce her next album, “Queer Love Songs”. In September, Be had the opportunity to open for Big Freedia at DC’s Honeygroove Festival. The DC Commission in the Arts awarded Be the 2018 Artist Fellowship. Be is currently touring her music internationally.

Established in 2014, NextLOOK supports the development of new music, plays, dance and other experiences by regionally-based performing artists. Selected through a yearly application process, NextLOOK artists are given a stipend and access to rehearsal and performance space at Joe’s Movement Emporium. These artists also collaborate with The Clarice and Joe’s Movement Emporium staff to construct innovative methods of deepening the audience’s involvement in their creative process. By removing logistical barriers and providing a sounding board for artists creating new work, NextLOOK invests in the regional arts ecology and creates an accessible, exploratory environment that connects intriguing artists with adventurous audiences.

Established in 1995, Joe’s Movement Emporium is a cultural arts hub that acts as a catalyst for creativity and economic opportunity. Based in Mount Rainier, Maryland in the Prince George’s Gateway Arts District, Joe’s serves more than 70,000 visitors annually. Joe’s has five arts-based youth programs that bridge the creative divide between under-resourced families and those with means. Through programs and productions in education, performing arts, and work readiness, Joe’s integrates progressive education, creativity, and youth development. 

In 2016, Joe’s achieved the Standards of Excellence through the Maryland Association of Nonprofits, which validates and promotes our exemplary work in youth arts education programming. Additionally, Joe’s earned the highest possible rating through Maryland EXCELS (level 1) based upon nationally recognized quality standards and best practices. This rating allows Joe’s to receive state funds to expand our reach in providing high quality arts education to youth in our community.

Neena Narayanan