Anthony Hudson / Carla Rossi

Anthony Hudson (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde) is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, performer, and filmmaker. Anthony is a graduate of Pacific Northwest College of Art, and a collaborator in Queer Horror, the nation’s only ongoing LGBTQ horror screening series, at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland.

Carla RossiIn 2018, Anthony was announced as one of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s National Artist Fellows in Artistic Innovation, and named among the inaugural cohort of the Western Arts Alliance’s Native Launchpad program to advance Indigenous performance. In 2019, Anthony was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship in performing arts from the Oregon Arts Commission.

The vehicle for most of this accomplishment is a drag clown named Carla Rossi. Drag clown, not drag queen. Clowns can make us laugh at things that aren’t necessarily funny.
Anthony identifies as queer, and cites heritage that is half Native American and half German. Carla seems to be descended from Coyote, the Trickster. Anthony identifies the storytelling as non-traditional and still Native in spirit, but Carla appears in whiteface as a direct reference to both whiteness and clowning.

That would seem to be dangerous territory, even for a clown, but all kinds of audiences love Carla, and with a recent tour in Australia, her reputation is now international.
A local commentator wrote that Carla “ … may expose the cruelty of a Western-based view of a queer biracial urban Indian, but it also uplifts us when [Anthony] shares the beautiful tradition of Native respect for ‘Two Spirits.’”

When she’s not astounding audiences and impressing critics, Carla Rossi is a beloved reader for the Multnomah County Library’s Drag Queen Storytime.

The photo of Carla is by Sam Gehrke.



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