A debate has been raging as to whether June’s LA Pride parade and festival, organized by Christopher Street West, will adequately represent the variety in LGBT communities and pay homage to the history of the fight for equal rights.
That is, however, a major focus of the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival (OCOP), an annual event organized by the City of West Hollywood. This year’s OCOP festival theme is “into the streets,” which is based on a rallying cry of early LGBTQ rights groups (“Out of the closet and into the streets!”)
The OCOP calendar includes more than 90 events and exhibits over 40 days, most with no admission charge. One exhibit, “A Brief History of Drag,” already is open at the West Hollywood Public Library. It is a show of photos sourced from the ONE Archives and on loan from Austin Young and will be on view through June 27. The events begin on Harvey Milk Day (May 22) and run through the end of June. A full calendar is available on the city’s website and updates on WEHOville.
For those wanting to plan ahead, here are some highlights:
On June 4, a performance art piece promises tours of the “sensational, sordid and surprising LGBTQ history of the City of West Hollywood.” The tours include a brief shuttle ride and a hike that take participants past performers who serve as “tour guides” at historically and culturally significant locations. They include Atasiea (the dancer at Holloway Drive), Princess PoodlePoo (Barney’s Beanery), Qlint Steinhauser (CVS Pharmacy), Miss Barbie Q (Revolver) and Dane Hereford (The Factory). The tour is based on work by Stuart Simmons, co-author with Lillian Faderman of “Gay LA: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, And Lipstick Lesbians,” and it is directed by Jason Jenn.
The tours, each 90 minutes long, begin at 11 a.m. at the West Hollywood Library. A new tour starts every 15 minutes and the event ends at 2 p.m. There is free parking in the parking structure just south of the library.
Also on that day, at West Hollywood Park, there will be an array of “art interventions.” They will include musicians, a roving drag queen and a poetry corner with Steven Reigns, the city’s poet laureate. Also Ian Mackinnon, the performance artist, will have a workshop station — the “Queer Liberation Activation Station” — where people can write their own manifestos and protest signs.
On June 8, a panel will discuss the artistic significance of the work of Robert Mapplethorpe, whose work is now on exhibit at the Getty Museum. The panel is composed of Paul Martineau, Getty Museum curator; fine arts photographer Catherine Opie; Britt Salvesen, curator at the L.A. County Museum of Art, and painter and Yale art historian Jonathan Weinberg. Mapplethorpe’s work was experimental and covered a range of subjects and genres – from celebrity portraits and still-life images of flowers, to nudes of black men and female bodybuilders. The panelist will discuss how Mapplethorpe, known for pushing boundaries in art and life, influenced artists, museums, media and the teaching of the arts.
On June 26 there will be a free screening at City Hall of “I Stand Corrected,” the true story of jazz bass virtuoso Jennifer Leitham, formerly known as John Leitham, and the risks she encountered when she transitioned from male to female. The film will be screened from 2 to 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by a free Summer Sounds concert by Leitham in the new community plaza behind City Hall. Admission is free but reservations are requested and can be made online.
A full list of events and exhibits scheduled to date is below:
May 22, 3 pm: Harvey Milk Day Screening – Film / History
Harvey Milk was the first openly gay person to be elected to U.S. public office. Join the City for a free screening of “Milk,” followed by a panel discussion and small reception. West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission.
May 24, 7 pm: Lambda Literary Finalists reading – Literary
Join us for readings by the Los Angeles area finalists for the annual Lambda Literary Awards. West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission.
May 25, 7:30 pm: Queer California – On Music and Mapping – Music/Lecture
How does sprawl sound? Karen Tongson and Raquel Gutierrez explore the ways identities impact psychogeographies. This conversation will musically map some of Southern California’s “peripheral” spaces of queer sociability. West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission.
May 31, 7:30 pm: Lambda Literary Book Club – Literary
City Poet Steven Reigns leads a book discussion around Felice Picano’s Nights at Rizzoli. West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free.
June 1, 7:30 pm: Outfest WeHo Screening: Wedding Wars – Film
With same-sex marriage now the law of the land, it’s worth looking back a decade to celebrate the tenth anniversary of this hilarious comedy from director Jim Fall (“Trick”). Free admission. RSVP required. West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
June 4, 11 am-2 pm: Stuart Timmons LGBTQ History Tour – History/Performance Art
Stuart Timmons, co-author of “Gay LA” suffered a stroke before his West Hollywood LGBTQ History Tour was completed. Thanks to a team of helpers and a grant from the City of West Hollywood through One City One Pride, the tour will be restaged with a cast of colorful characters from different eras stationed along the route on June 4 from 11 am to 2 pm. The tour starts from West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free to participate. ]
June 4, Noon -3 pm: Army of Lovers – Art Intervention
Join us for an afternoon of interactive creative queer activism. Participants will be lead through a series of hands-on activities including: personal manifesto making, glitter adornment, costume fun, a mini liberation march and more, all ending in a glamorous outdoor modeling session / photo shoot for all your queer social media needs. Come show us what Pride means to you! West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free to participate. No RSVP is necessary.
June 4, 1 to 4pm: Apt 3F’s Art Out! – Art Intervention
APT 3F takes over West Hollywood Park for an afternoon arts laboratory – Art Out! Discover live musicians (Mariachi Arconis, Adrian Banuelos, ETM, Coral Lobera, Rebecca Norris), readings (City Poet Steven Reigns, homo-centric), kids craft tables (JP of Craft Night at Akbar), chalk art (David Rasmussen), dance (1122 Dance Company) and drag (Rubella Sparks, Martin Matamoras) all celebrating pride and art. Free to attend.
June 4 and 5, 6 to 7pm: “Working OUT” presented by New Stages – Theatre
LGBTQ seniors share their experiences of the journey toward equality in an evening of songs and stories based loosely on the 1970s musical “Working” by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso. New Stages produces dynamic arts experiences for senior citizens. Renberg Theatre, The Village at Ed Gould Plaza’s LA LGBT Center, 1125 N. McCadden Plaza, Los Angeles. Free admission. No RSVP is necessary.
June 5, 3 pm: Vox Femina Rocks! – Music
Rock out with Vox Femina! Featuring music from rock legends to indie rock to top of pop, Vox will sing and jam to the music of David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Adele, Lady Gaga, Indigo Girls and many other artists, including many gay icons. Come see Vox as you’ve never seen them before! 3pm, Congregation Kol Ami, 1200 N. La Brea Ave., Free admission.
June 7, 7 pm: Human Rights Speakers Series – Lecture
Join the City of West Hollywood for a Human Rights Speakers Series on LGBT Rights around the world. West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission.
June 8, 7:30 pm: What Did Robert Mapplethorpe Teach Us? (A Zócalo/Getty “Open Art” event hosted by WeHo Arts) – Visual Art/Lecture
How did Mapplethorpe change photography—and the perception of photography — as an art? Coinciding with a major retrospective of his work, join J. Paul Getty Museum curator Paul Martineau, fine arts photographer Catherine Opie, LACMA curator Britt Salvesen, and painter and Yale art historian Jonathan Weinberg in a discussion on how Mapplethorpe continues to teach us, even now, a quarter century after his untimely death at age 42. West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission.
June 9 – 26: Hollywood Fringe / One City One Pride – Theatre
The Hollywood Fringe Festival is an open and uncensored community-derived event. The Fringe’s eastern border is usually Gardner Street, but through a special collaboration with the City, LGBTQ shows can take place throughout West Hollywood as part of One City One Pride. Go online here to find shows taking place in WeHo. Shows sponsored through this partnership are: Actor’s Company: God’s Waiting Room, Life’s a B**** and So Am I, The Gay Guide to Tinseltown, Sarah G’s Spot: The #1 Ballsy Woman; Bar Lubitsch: Snatched…Stories from Down There; MACHA Theatre: Reclaimed Freedom: Fact or Fiction, Skin of Honey/Piel de Miel, The Collection of Harold Pinter/Anniversary by Rachel Bonds. Times, dates and ticket prices vary.
June 10, 6 to 9 pm (opening reception): LAAA “Out There” exhibit which runs through June 17 – Visual Art
The 9th annual LA Art Association’s Out There group exhibition at the historic Gallery 825 asks artists to examine West Hollywood’s commitment to the LGBT community. Reception June 10 from 6 to 9 pm. Gallery hours 10 am-5 pm daily except Monday through June 17. Gallery 825, 825 N. La Cienaga Blvd. Free Admission.
June 10, 6pm: Dyke March – Community Event
The Dyke March kicks off from the West Hollywood Park with a 6 pm program followed by a march at 7 pm down Santa Monica Boulevard.
June 10 – 12: LA Pride Festival – Multidisciplinary/Community Event
The LA Pride Festival features performances by Carly Rae Jepsen, Charli XCX, DJs Krewella, Faith Evans, Big Freedia and more. Visit LA Pride’s website for a full line up of entertainment and to purchase tickets. West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd.
June 11 -12: “Got Framed” art installation at LA Pride – Art Installation
“Got Framed” is a playful, interactive art piece that encourages people to step up, take a picture, and “be the art.” Even the city’s background becomes a character in the picture. This large-scale artwork debuted at Burning Man 2015, and through a grant from One City One Pride will be on display at the LA Pride festival in West Hollywood. Ticket purchase is required to enter the LA Pride festival grounds.
June 12, 1 1am: LA Pride Parade and FATA (From the Archives to the Archives — Queer Signs of the Times 1965-2016) Artist Ruben Esparza for One City One Pride – Art Intervention
The LA Pride parade runs from Crescent Heights Blvd. to San Vicente Boulevard along Santa Monica Boulevard Queer Signs of the Times 1965-2016 will include 75 re-created protest signs that will be taken to the streets in a mock protest rally, depicting historical signs dating as far back as 1965 and up to date as part of the Queer Biennial created and organized by Ruben Esparza. Parade is free to attend and kicks off from Crescent Heights at 11 am. More details are available online.
June 14, 7 pm: Human Rights Speakers Series – Lecture
Join the City of West Hollywood for a Human Rights Speakers Series on LGBT Rights in China. West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission.
June 15, 2 to 3:30 pm: “Stonewall Uprising” film screening – Film/History
Join the West Hollywood Library for a free screening of the PBS film, “American Experience: Stonewall Uprising” which explores the events of June 28, 1969 which are commemorated annually with June Pride month. West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission. (310) 652-5340
June 15, 7 pm: Felice Picano Talk: Gay Hollywood in the 1930’s – Literary/Lecture
Join author Felice Picano for a talk on how extremely gay the Hollywood film industry was during this era, despite the strictures of the Hays Commission. Followed by a short reading from the novella “Wonder City of the West.” West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission.
June 16, 7:30 pm: The Lavender Effect presents “Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation” reading – Literary/History
Join historian Jim Downs for a book reading and Q & A around his new book “Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation” co-sponsored by the LA County Public Library. West Hollywood Library Community Room, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission. Space is limited, please reserve seats online.
June 17-18: Trans Pride – Multidisciplinary/Community Event
Trans Pride kicks off on June 17 at 7 pm, with a Big Queer Convo with trans activist CeCe McDonald followed by the reception for the art exhibit “We Can Be Heroes” from 9 to 10 pm (exhibit remains on view until July 23). Come back for a day of performances, workshops, and music on June 18 from 12pm-9:30pm. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, LA LGBT Center, 1125 N. McCadden Place.
June 18, 10 am-6 pm: 6th Annual “Celebrating All Life and Creation” Pow Wow Multidisciplinary/Community Event
Join Red Circle Project of AIDS Project LA for a full day of traditional Native American music, dance, crafts and food, along with HIV testing and prevention resources. Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. Free to attend.
June 21, 7 to 8 pm: QueerWise “Selfies: Exploring Our Multitudinous Selves”- Literary
LGBTQ writers aged 50+ reveal their funny, thoughtful, brave, sexy, proud and unique selves in a spoken word performance. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, Los Angeles LGBT Center, 1125 N. McCadden Place Free admission. No RSVP is necessary.
June 21, 7:30 pm: Celebration Theatre – Chuck Rowland Award / New Works Series – Theatre
Celebration Theatre will present its annual Chuck Rowland Award for contributions to LGBTQ theatre along with a staged reading of “Pathetic Fallacy,” which tells the story of Julie, a hyper-sensitive Catholic school girl who discovers she’s attracted to girls. West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission, with donations accepted. No RSVP is necessary.
June 22, 6:30 pm: Rainbow Key Awards – Community Event
This year the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board honors Jay M. Kohorn, Mark Lehman, Carol Taylor-DiPietro, the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation and Ruth Williams with awards for their dedication to the Lesbian and Gay community. 6:30 pm reception, 7 pm program. West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission.
June 23, 7:30 pm: Charles Pierce Biography – Literary
Professor and author Chris Freeman interviews the author of the new book on drag artist Charles Pierce along with a book signing, video clips and a Q&A. West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission.
June 25 & 26, 1 pm: ALAP Pride Play Reading Festival – Theatre
Two programs of rehearsed readings of LGBTQ-themed plays written by members of The Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights (ALAP). Saturday’s program will feature six short plays, while Sunday will feature a single full-length play. Plummer Park Community Center, Rooms 5/6, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. Free admission.
June 25, 4 to 7 pm: REACH LA ‘Dancing in the Streets’ – Art Intervention
REACH LA is a service organization that reaches out to disadvantaged youth of color through the ball community, and have performed at MOCA and for various One City One Pride events over the years. Tapping into its talented pool of performers, West Hollywood will come alive with unexpected dance performances and interventions. For instance, two men at a picnic table playing chess, will suddenly break into a choreographed vogue dance-off. Other performances will take place in various parts of the park and sidewalk. West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission.
June 26, 2 pm: “I Stand Corrected” film screening and Summer Sounds concert with Jennifer Leitham – Film/Music
In 2001 Leitham transitioned from being known as John Leitham to Jennifer Leitham while on tour with Doc Severinson, a story that was the subject of an Outfest award winning documentary, “I Stand Corrected.” Join us for a free screening at 2 pm, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Andrea Meyerson. At 4 pm, Leitham will perform as part of the city’s free Summer Sounds concerts series in the City Hall Community Plaza, 8300 Santa Monica Blvd. Free to attend. No RSVP is necessary. Jennifer was chosen as one of LA Weekly most interesting people in 2016, and was featured in the Vanity Fair “Trans America” issue.
June 28, 7:30pm: Lambda Literary Book Club – Literary
City Poet Steven Reigns leads a book discussion on “What Belongs to You” by Garth Greenwell. West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission.
June 29, 7:30 pm: OutSet Fifth Anniversary screening – Film
OutSet is a filmmaking workshop for LGBTQ young people between the ages of 16-24 through a collaboration of the LA LGBT Center and Outfest. Join Outfest for a screening. Admission: $10 general/$6 Outfest members. West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
June 30, 7 pm: Lesbian Speakers Series/WeHo Reads/One City One Pride present Natalie Goldberg in conversation with West Hollywood City Poet Steven Reigns – Literary
Join us for this special conversation on the 30th anniversary of Natalie Goldberg’s classic “Writing Down the Bones – Freeing the Writer Within.” West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission.
WEHO ART EXHIBITS
A Brief History of Drag exhibit – History/Visual Art
On view through June 27, this exhibit at the WeHo Arts library exhibition spaces is an overview of the history of drag in Los Angeles County, and describes the importance of “drag queens” and others in the early LGBTQ rights movement. The exhibit consists of photographs drawn from both the ONE Archives and taken by photographer Austin Young. Curated by Katie Poltz and Jessica Fowler of the LA LGBT Center and David Attyah of Glendale Community College as a result of a collaboration between the City of West Hollywood, LA LGBT Center, and Center for Performing Arts at UCLA. West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. Free admission during library hours. No RSVP is necessary. http://weho.org/residents/drag-angeles-one-city-one-pride.
ONE Archives: “C**k, Paper, Scissors” – Visual Art
Funded in part by a grant through WeHo Arts, “C**k, Paper, Scissors” brings together collage works by 15 artists who reuse print for projects ranging from the era of gay liberation to the present. Artists include Steven Blevins, Enrique Castrejon, Marlene McCarty, Jonathan Molina-Garcia, Glenn Ligon, Olaf Odegaard, Anita Steckel, Ingo Swann, Jade Yumang, and a site-specific installation by feminist pioneer Mary Beth Edelson. The exhibit will be open to the public Thursday through Sunday, 1 to 5 pm (Closed Monday through Wednesday) through July 10. Admission is free. This exhibit contains nudity. Viewer discretion is advised. As part of the exhibit a book launch and discussion will take place during One City One Pride. Details are available online. Long Hall, Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd.
Geez,that’s ALL?? Kidding.
Am very excited about Felice Picano coming to speak. I miss the days when Different Light bookstore held author readings….
Get rid of CSW and combine these events into Pride weekend for a free event for all.
Actually that’s on the June 17 schedule as is “The Pride”, a gay themed play, scheduled for June 6-30, 2017
Pride@TheWallis: On June 3, The Gay Men’s Chorus will be appearing at The Wallis Annenberg’s Bram Goldsmith Theatre in celebration of June Pride Month.