West Hollywood has released the calendar of events for the annual “One City / One Pride” cultural festival scheduled for late May through June in celebration of Gay Pride Month.
The festival includes both free and ticketed events featuring theater, film, music, spoken word, visual arts, parades and more. The theme is “The Sacred and The Profane,” exploring how the LGBT community views itself in contrast to how it is seen from the outside, a blending of the spiritual and the carnal, of things holy and wicked, and of things granted and taken away.
Events on the schedule thus far include:
· Friday, April 19 through Wednesday, July 10: “Living in Limbo, Lesbian Families in the Deep South.” This exhibit of bold but intimate portraits by photographer Carolyn Sherer was the first full exhibition about the LGBT community to be shown at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama. Fifty years ago the struggle for civil rights in Alabama directly led to JFK’s submittal of the Civil Rights Bill to Congress in June 1963. A reception for the artist, a talk and a tour of the exhibit are planned for May 31. Admission is free. West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. For more information, please go to www.livinginlimbo.org
· Saturday, May 18: “Stolen and Forbidden.” This special pre-festival preview explores this year’s festival theme, “The Sacred and The Profane.” Before the Internet, young gay men looking for answers would often read in secret, or pilfer books and magazines out of shame. In this special event, famous gay men will read from texts that were stolen or forbidden in their youth. West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
· Friday, May 31: “8 the Play” by Dustin Lance Black. This staged reading of “8” based on the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case regarding Proposition 8 comes on the eve of a likely U.S. Supreme Court decision in June on the case the play is based on. Admission is free, with donations accepted to benefit the American Foundation for Equal Rights. Performance begins at 7:30 p.m. West Hollywood Library Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
· Saturday, June 1: “Transvisible: Bamby’s Story.” Premiere of a documentary on transgender/HIV activist Bamby Salcedo by filmmaker Dante Alencastre. Location to be announced.
· Sunday, June 2: Install:WeHo. In its second year, this event is a one-day exploration of visual and performance art in which queer artists create installations in shipping pods and U-Hauls vans that appear overnight, forming a temporary pop-up queer arts village, complete with a performance stage on a flatbed truck. El Tovar Parking Lot, adjacent to the West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
· Tuesday, June 4: LA Opera presents “Britten: Sacred and Profane” As part of Britten100, the worldwide celebration of the music and life of gay composer Benjamin Britten’s 100th birthday, Dr. Mitchell Morris and LA Opera’s Domingo-Thornton Young Artists participate in an evening exploring the sacred and profane in Benjamin Britten’s music and biography. Admission is free. Performance begins at 7 p.m. West Hollywood Library City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
· Wednesday, June 5: “My Life in Three Easy Payments.” Inspired by “Sunset Boulevard,” “Valley of the Dolls,” “Dreamgirls,” drag queens, Diana Ross, African storytelling and his own unique experience of selling products on live television, Dale Guy Madison tells a humorous interactive story through spoken word, songs, stories and video footage of his life. For more information, please go to calgbtartsalliance.com
· Thursday, June 6: “My Ink is White.” Local poet Steven Reigns organizes a free evening of artful erotica by gay male writers. For more information, please go to www.stevenreigns.com
· Friday, June 7, to Friday, June 14: “Out There” at Gallery 825. For the sixth year, Los Angeles Art Association presents its annual gallery show celebrating Pride. A reception will be held on the evening of Friday, June 7, and the exhibit will be open during the entire week, including the day of the parade. Gallery 825, 825 N. La Cienega Blvd.
· Friday, June 7: Purple Party and Dyke March. As a kickoff to the parade weekend, Christopher Street West presents an entire evening celebrating female pride and entertainment in and around West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd.
· Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9: LA Pride Festival. Join Christopher Street West for its annual two-day ticketed celebration with dance venues, exhibitors, music and entertainment headliners. West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd.
· Sunday, June 9: Pride Parade. Now in its 43rd year, the LA Pride parade features hundreds of thousands of participants, spectators and marchers. The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. from Crescent Heights Boulevard and runs down Santa Monica Boulevard to West Hollywood Park, 627 N. San Vicente Blvd.
· Tuesday, June 11: “Oral Histories” presented by The Lavender Effect, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating an LGBT museum and cultural center for the Los Angeles area. This project collects oral histories from LGBT leaders and pioneers to be preserved for future historians and to document the LGBT rights movement from those who experienced it firsthand. West Hollywood Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
· Wednesday, June 12: CA LGBT Alliance presents “Queer API in the Arts,” an evening of performances and presentations by Queer Asian Pacific artists exploring art practice as activism, identity formation and creating community, followed by an artist and audience interaction moderated by Alice Y. Hom, director of the Queer Justice Fund at Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. For more information, please go to http://calgbtartsalliance.com/
· Thursday, June 13: “West Hollywood in BLOOM”. Discover local queer writers who have appeared in the pages of BLOOM, called by Edmund White, “The most exciting new queer literary publication to appear in years.” Featured readers include Michael Wolf, Monica Carter, Joshua Charles, Abbie Leavens, and others. Location to be announced.
· Friday, June 14: “Outlaugh!” The minds behind Outlaugh!, America’s first and continuing queer comedy festival, will present a special one-night event starring Sandra Valls. Proceeds will support The Lavender Effect, a nonprofit organization creating a local LGBT museum and cultural center. For more information, please go to www.outlaughfestival.com
· Saturday, June 15: Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival presents “PRIDE,” performances by past Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival artists that speak to the LGBT community and new performances that speak to human, civil and voting rights. Admission is free. Events begin at 1 p.m. at Kings Road Park, 1000 Kings Rd. For more information, please go to www.lawtf.com
· Saturday, June 15: “Celebrating All Life and Creation — Pow Wow.” Organized by AIDS Project Los Angeles’ Red Circle Project, the third annual Pow Wow celebrates Native American culture with music, dance, crafts and food, while providing HIV testing and education and opportunity to build community. 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. For more information, please call (323) 329-9905 or go to www.redcircleproject.org
· Saturday and Sunday, June 15 and 16: CMG Short Film Festival. California Men’s Gathering presents short films and webisodes made by both men and women at its second annual festival. Proceeds benefit AIDSWalk Los Angeles. For information, please visit www.thecmg.org
· Sunday, June 16: Father’s Day Brunch and Concert. A kick off to the Summer Sounds series and part of the “World’s Largest Gay Fathers’ Day Celebration” co-sponsored by the Pop-Luck Club, RaiseAChild.US, and the Abbey, among others. West Hollywood Park, 627 N. San Vicente Blvd.
· Thursday, June 20 through Sunday, June 23: “Rent” stage production. Lee Strasberg Theatre, 7936 Santa Monica Blvd. For information, please call (323) 650-7777.
· Thursday, June 20: “Grey Hair” stage production presented by Stagebridge, a senior theatre company. LA Gay and Lesbian Center, 1625 N. Shrader Blvd., Los Angeles. For information, please call (323) 993-7400.
Many of the One City One Pride events are free of charge, or by suggested donation, but some require purchase of tickets. For updates and details such as event times, locations, and ticketing information please visit www.weho.org/pride. For more general information, please call (323) 848-6895. For the deaf and hard of hearing, please call (323) 848-6496.