B-Word Project



The "NEA Four" (Karen Finley, Tim Miller, John Fleck, and Holly Hughes), were performance artists whose proposed grants from t he United States government's National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) were revoked by John Frohnmayer in June 1990. The grants were overtly vetoed on the   basis of subject matter even after the artists had successfully passed through a peer review process. The case made its way to the United States Supreme Court in National Endowment for the Arts versus Finley. The artists won their case in 1993 and were awarded amounts equal to the grant money in question.[1] In response, the NEA, under pressure from Congress, stopped funding individual artists.

The artists will be at CSULB on September 27 & 28, 2012, participating       in B-Word Project activities.


Members of the NEA 4 (Karen Finley / John Fleck / Holly Hughes / Tim Miller) will each perform in their own individual shows at CSULB's Carpenter Performing Arts Center.

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Holly Hughes/Tim Miller

Thurs, Sept. 27, 2012 at 8pm

Get set for an evening of outrageous satire, unrestrained passion, and unapologetic viewpoints as performance artists Holly Hughes and Tim Miller each share their latest contemplations on contemporary society—shaking audiences out of their complacency and provoking movement and thought.

In Sapphic Sampler Platter, Hughes unleashes her experiences—from being a poster child for the cultural wars and a fellow traveler at the WOW café (a home for wayward girls), to a feminist cooperative for feminists who were kicked out of other feminist groups for having the wrong haircut and her misadventures in academia. It’s a middle life crisis in the key of canine, shot through with poetry and biting wit.

In Sex/Body/Self, Tim Miller shares excerpts from his work and speaks about the role performance plays in constellating identity in this highly stimulating, fiercely funny, and opinionated rant with performance about identity, the culture wars and queer strategies for the future.



John Fleck/Karen Finley

Fri, Sept. 28, 2012 at 8pm

John Fleck takes the audience on a hair-raising roller coaster ride with a pair of Mad Women: Judy Garland & John Fleck's mother, Josephine. Buckle up and hold on tight as they twist, wind & sing their way through the cultural mindset of the late 1960s!

Plus Catch 23: Broken Negative, a work in progress by Karen Finley where she uncovers and reveals the desperation of making meaning out of trauma creatively. The piece—part memory, part emotional individuation, part research and discovery—revisits the inspiration of her earlier iconic   works that confronted subjects such as abuse, female rage, violence, homophobia and the outsider.

For more information, please see the individual artists' websites:

Karen Finley

John Fleck

Holly Hughes

Tim Miller


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