Erika Lopez, a writer and performance artist who has been featured in the pages of BUST, is in N.Y.C. with a new performance project, The Welfare Queen. Adapted from her memoir, The Girl Must Die, the new work chronicles Lopez’s descent from a Simon and Schuster-published author to a welfare and food stamp recipient, all in the matter of a few years.
In 1998, Simon and Schuster published Lopez’s illustrated novel Flaming Iguanas. After breaking ties with the publishing company, Lopez started her own independent media company, Monster Girl Media. The Girl Must Die: A Monster Girl Memoir was published and released by Monster Girl Media in 2010.
Lopez' website describes the show as recollecting “the heyday of East Village performance art with embarrassingly low production values, impossibly high ideals, and lots of sleazy and shameful excitement. The attitude lashes out with the comedic rage that’s every comedian’s act of suicide and what he or she is born for – the screed that cares, screams, and ceases to give a damn about saving face (or making it to the end of next week). Kitten Lopez has returned with the love of a woman lifting a bus off her child to tell us all to deal with reality, grow up, and have fun while doing so.” 

Opening acts for each performance include: Monster Girl Dance Collective, a body-positive dance troupe from Jersey City, NJ, as well as writers Charles-Rice Gonzalez and Jennifer Camper, to name a few. 

The Welfare Queen is running through October 8th at the Clemente Soto Velez Center in the lower east side of Manhattan, so hurry up and get your tickets! Admission is $25 and all shows begin at 8pm. For more information on Erika Lopez or The Welfare Queen visit her website.


Niesha is a writer, diversity editor, and traveler. Her bylines include Glamour,, Business Insider, Women's Health, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. She is the digital editor for Bust. Keep up with her at 

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