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Academy of Art University Partners with Juanita MORE! to Raise Money for Youth Empowerment Summit

This summer Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion is partnering with local activist Juanita MORE! in her effort to raise money in support of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) community during San Francisco Pride Week. MORE!, a celebrated drag performer, fundraises with a variety of LGBTQ organizations each year in conjunction with Pride Week and has chosen to raise money for the Youth Empowerment Summit (Y.E.S.) for her annual Pride Party on June 28.

Eight School of Fashion textile design students from the Applied Textiles 3 course have hand-printed imagery inspired by MORE! and her French bulldog, Jackson, on 32 100 percent organic cotton tote bags made in the U.S. with eco-friendly, water-based ink. MORE! selected her four favorite bags to be locally produced by Morrison Productions and distributed to select retailers in San Francisco; the winning totes are currently for sale at Sui Generis Consignment, Unionmade, ATYS Contemporary Design, s16 Home, Asterisk San Francisco and M.A.C. Modern Appealing Clothing.

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One of the winning tote designs. Photo by Bob Toy.

“I am excited to be collaborating with the textile class at Academy of Art University,” said MORE!. “I talked to the students at the beginning of the semester about Pride and the nonprofit Y.E.S. When I returned at the end of the semester I thought I was only going to view about a dozen totes, and when I saw that there were over 30 totes on display I was incredibly impressed. I was in disbelief that I was the inspiration behind all of the amazing artwork. Picking just one tote to produce was impossible - so I chose four of them! I hope we work together again next year!”

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A tote design featuring MORE!’s dog. Photo by Bob Toy.

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One of the winning tote designs. Photo by Bob Toy.

The remaining 28 totes are being sold at Academy of Art University’s store, SHOP657, as one-of-a-kind items for $15 each with all proceeds going to Y.E.S. 

SHOP657 is located at 657 Sutter St. and is open Thursday through Saturday from 1 p.m.–6 p.m.

“Academy of Art University was founded in San Francisco and is very rooted in this city’s culture,” said the School of Fashion’s Assistant Director of Textiles Rhona MacKenzie. “Our students are always looking for ways to get involved in the community and to support Y.E.S. during a relevant period of time for the LGBTQ community was a valuable opportunity.”