QNS Collaborative is a community organization in Queens, NY that centers the needs of makers, artists, and other creative groups throughout the borough. In our storefront, QNSC uplifts creators by providing them with space to sell their work, promotion for their businesses, and a way for them to connect on a personal and professional level with their creative neighbors.
Behind the scenes, QNSC works with other local organizers and activist groups to bring their voices and causes to the forefront. As part of our involvement in the success of ALL of our neighbors, QNSC also offers sliding-scale membership and other monetary assistance in an effort to prioritize the inclusion of more immigrant, LBGTQIA+, BIPOC, differently-abled and women-centered creators in our space. But our hope is that our efforts won’t end there. QNSC is in a crucial period of transition as we move on from our temporary home on Astoria Boulevard and look to expand into a larger space that can provide a more robust set of resources, including more in-person workshops, shared studio space, a low-cost secondhand supply shop (and more!) The QNSC organizing team is deeply invested in making this dream a reality for Queens and believes that it’s been a long-time coming for a space like this to exist not across the city, but right here in our backyard. Interested in helping make it happen? JOIN OUR SLACK
We are inspired by the Community Agreements outlined by
Alternate ROOTS and seek to use them in our community to define tactical and practical behaviors for our community (you may have seen some above). These Community Agreements are: We use “I” statements and speak from our own experiences and feelings. We take care and responsibility for ourselves and our own physical, emotional, mental, spiritual needs. We seek first to understand and assume good intent while also acknowledging impact – if something we say or do causes harm we commit to working through it. We give each other grace, knowing that the work of undoing oppressions is hard and we will all mess up at some point. We write pronouns on our name tags, include our pronouns in group introductions/check-ins; we are mindful of using folks’ correct pronouns as part of growing our practice of gender liberation. We share time and space equitably: if we’re prone to participating a lot, we are intentional about moving back, if we’re prone to not participating much, we challenge ourselves to move forward. We ask before we hug – we acknowledge everyone has different physical boundaries, and seek to create a space where everyone feels safe and empowered in their own bodies. As time and group size allows, we check in and out at the beginning and end of meetings; we invite folks to share what’s going on in their neck of the woods or in what physical/spiritual/emotional state they’re entering or leaving the meeting. We share the labor of meeting roles including (but not limited to): facilitator(s), note taker, public scribe, emotions monitor, timekeeper, doorkeeper. (And sometimes meeting DJ and food maven.) We avoid alphabet soup and coded language by unpacking acronyms or buzzwords. We take stretch/dance/movement breaks whenever possible! We leave our physical spaces in better shape than we found it.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION PLEDGE
Inclusivity + Accessibility
Our space is welcoming to all people and we seek to center the experiences and voices of people who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and those with disabilities to be full participants in our community. We utilize our collective power to build a stronger creative community in Queens and seek to share exposure and deepen impact across all of Queens. We actively work to reflect the diversity of our borough and will not tolerate any speech or actions on the basis of disrespect , exclusion, intolerance towards any individual or group. We all come into this space assuming positive intent of each other and bringing our best and full selves. It is up to all of us to acknowledge our intersecting identities, show respect, acknowledge privilege, and do our best to uplift and learn from each other.
We all agree to be allies for each other. If you find yourself in a situation that is uncomfortable to you, you can turn to another member of QNSC or the Organizing Team and they will be your ally. We give each other grace, knowing that the work of undoing oppressions is hard and we will all mess up at some point. We take the time to build interpersonal community (1:1) in order to build and strengthen our larger community. Belonging + Opportunity
We believe space is inherently political and often inaccessible, particularly to those in the creative community, and especially those of marginalized identities. By uniting our resources and talents into a shared vision, we are creating a physical space of our own for artists to connect and grow; shouldering the burden of navigating leases, landlords, and other legal requirements to offer access to creative opportunities for all of our vendor-members; and working together to ensure all members, either as vendors or community members, feel a sense of belonging from this active collaboration that each person plays a hand in cultivating. As such, we expect all members of our community who are able to lend their time and talents to our cause, causes in solidarity with ours, and pay it forward.
We take the time to get to know fellow QNSC community members and engage with our neighbors in all forms. We celebrate and affirm our individual identities in all our differences, while acknowledging how those differences affect both our lived experiences and the perspectives with which we approach this work. We offer support and acceptance to our community members. Respect
As a group and space dedicated to uplift the Queens community, we treat each person with respect, kindness, and dignity to foster a safe and welcoming environment for all. QNS Collaborative is a safe space for all to learn and grow. We value community and creativity over competition. We can all thrive in our creative endeavors. There is enough support in our community for all of us to succeed.
We treat others as they would like to be treated. We respect each other’s right to privacy. We take care and responsibility for ourselves and our own physical, emotional, mental, spiritual needs. We seek first to understand and assume good intent while also acknowledging impact – if something we say or do causes harm we commit to working through it. We ask before we hug – we acknowledge everyone has different physical boundaries, and seek to create a space where everyone feels safe and empowered in their own bodies rooted in affirmative consent. Creativity
We promote creativity and imagination in all things we do. Our entire Collaborative is, after all, an experiment in a new way of fostering local creative communities and economies. As creators, and avid supporters of creators, we work together to find new inspirations for creativity through our collaborations as artists and as cooperative members. We ask you to share your skills, talents, and learnings as you are able and willing, and we all promise to do the same.
We come up with alternative solutions when working together to enhance the QNS Collaborative experience for both vendor and community members. We host and participate in workshops and skillshares as a form of continued education. We encourage each other to try new techniques or artistic practices to further harness our respective crafts.
Our mission as QNS Collaborative is to cultivate an accessible, inclusive, and community-driven environment for artists and creatives. We believe Queens-based makers should have a welcoming space in order to further nurture and support our borough’s flourishing creative community. Through our cooperative space, we strive to uplift, educate, and care for the Queens community in ways including, but not limited to, retail space for growing creators and their endeavors, community workshops, and support and physical space for mutual aid groups. We strive to provide all active community members with spaces, both physical and virtual, to connect and grow as artists and Queens residents alike.
We all agree to be allies for each other. If you find yourself in a situation that is uncomfortable to you, you can turn to another member of QNSC or the Organizing Team and they will be your ally. We give each other grace, knowing that the work of undoing oppressions is hard and we will all mess up at some point. We take the time to build interpersonal community (1:1) in order to build and strengthen our larger community. Diverse Streets Initiative
Diverse Streets Initiative is a collective of artists formed in 2020 as a way to provide joy and justice to their neighbors, but many of the artists involved in the project have been making moves and art in Queens for years. Currently, they work to transform our streets into temporary "exhibitions" to propel the voices of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, immigrant, and allied artists and collectives across our city. Find them online at
Kaleidospace is a Queens-based collective focused on the intersection of art, activism, and community. This community, organized by Queens creatives, hosts events, community exchanges, and seeks to heal, find strength, and provide comfort through the collective ritual of sharing and receiving. Find them online at
@kaleidospacenyc Queens Liberation Project
Queens Liberation Project is a BIPOC-led mutual aid group in Queens that was started during the COVID-19 pandemic. They organize to advance justice and equity through providing free food to communities most affected by poverty; midnight runs to provide essential and seasonally-needed items to folks experiencing houselessness; and organizing protests and community actions to disrupt the status quo and bring attention to critical issues in our communities. Find them online at
@queensliberationproject The Rolling Library
The Rolling Library is an Astoria-based mobile book fair that offers free books and events to the New York City community. They raise money to install (and keep filled) little free libraries in communities all over the five boroughs (particularly near NYCHA residences); host community book fairs alongside other mutual aid groups; and provide community-based workshops and educational opportunities. Find them online at