West Hollywood City Council is set to consider approving the Drag Laureate Program, with proposed changes, and directing staff to reissue the application for the program. The Drag Laureate Program, an honorary position that will serve as an official ambassador of West Hollywood’s vibrant drag culture and arts, will use the position as a platform to both promote drag culture and arts in West Hollywood and promote West Hollywood through the art form of drag performance.
According to the proposed changes, the annual honorarium for the Drag Laureate will increase to $15,000 per year to reflect a fair working wage, which includes a $2,500 event budget for an annual event planned and hosted by the Drag Laureate. The honorarium will be inclusive of any costs incurred by the Drag Laureate related to participating in program events and activities and required insurance. The event stipend will be inclusive of any costs incurred for the annual event, including but not limited to performer fees, speaker fees, collateral, insurance, and rentals (equipment, av, etc.).
The Drag Laureate will be expected to attend various City events throughout the year, supporting arts and culture and the business community. The program’s management will transfer from the Business Development Division to the Arts Division within the Economic Development Department. The Drag Laureate will participate in the City’s Artist Bootcamp, a series of six interactive professional development workshops designed to assist artists in developing individualized plans for success. The Drag Laureate will also participate in a Media Training with the Communications Department.
The Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, with one representative from the LGBTQ+ Commission and one representative from the Transgender Advisory Board, will review applications and make the selection of the Drag Laureate. The Drag Laureate is expected to serve a two-year term beginning July 16.
The online application for the Drag Laureate Program opens in March/April 2023, with the deadline to apply in mid-May 2023. The Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission will review applications and select the Drag Laureate in May 2023, with the official installation of the Drag Laureate on July 16, 2023. The Drag Laureate’s term will end on July 15, 2025.
Take that, Tennessee!
When and if George Santos loses his seat in the house, perhaps Weho can award him a key to the city and then he can aspire to Drag Queen Laureate the following year. Then if he chooses residency in Weho he may run for city council which judging from the current crop he might fit right in.
I hope whoever they pick knows how to read or we’ll have a lot of pissed off third graders.
$15,000! Unbelievable. This city can’t spend other peoples’ money (taxpayers) fast enough. Years ago there was serious discussion of the city building subsidized housing for Seniors. Instead, we got that insane automatic parking garage behind City Hall. If someone wants to promote drag on behalf of WeHo, they should volunteer to do it at cost.
What is the end game? Do the Bears get a “Laureate”? What about Tops and Bottoms? Do they get Laureates too? This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of and why should the West Hollywood taxpayers have to pay for someone’s hobby?
Yeah, maybe Grindr can pay for this. Grindr’s Weho Versatile Bottom Poet Laureate, at your service.
It’s an arts grant.
Certainly takes away all the presumed integrity of the Arts Department by endorsing this silliness in its grants but then…….
Next up will the US Congress be introducing this as a National Drag Laureate Program? Maybe that will come when and if Sepi Shyne ever ascends to that lofty position.
The Weho Twink Laureate is gonna want a raise.
There’s a huge backlash brewing in our country. What’s up with men needing to dress up as women????? Don’t you have something better to do?
When will a rather large drag queen impersonate the ludicrous Mayor Sepi Shyne, arriving on stage seated in an extra-large butch-style scooter with Erickson and Byers as passengers?
Hope Miss Tiger will not be applying for this junket. When Mayor Meister called upon Miss Tiger to lead the Pledge of Allegiance, it was a disaster. 🙄Couldn’t remember it.
Further scrutiny of this Item 4.A indicates $25,000. Budget Allocation, $12,500 for the honorarium,$2,500 for the event stipend, $10,000 for program marketing. Excessively Outrageous.
Is this city a opportunity grab for this type of event actually segregating various aspects of residents according to their proclivities? For a city that advocated harmonious acceptance this is off the rails as it introduces exponential divisiveness on a grand scale. Additionally within the City Hall maze, individuals who appear to have the inside track profit handsomely. So ethically challenged and nearly indescribable.
See, the power of drag is that it’s voluntary, not a paid position. Sounds like the city is trying to counter Florida and neo red states. This is not the solution. Drag is good. A city drag position is not.
I’m completely against having any type of drag queen promoted by government at any cost. I question the judgment/sanity of the council members in approving $15,000 for a so-called drag laureate–it demeans all of us.
I’m not a poet, I’m just your typical slag, but if you give me 1,500 bucks, I’ll dress as a woman and show up in drag. But why does this program have to be just for men in drag? It’s a point I fail to see, but for $1,500 bucks, I wouldn’t mind dressing up like “Tootsie.” However, what do I know? I’m just a proud masculine gay man, and I guess if I’m going to win money for a poem, I may have to tuck and pluck, Just to make a buck. But alas, what can you do? From… Read more »
$15,000 not $1,500
What would you do for $15,000?
Who said it had to be a man? Drag can be done by men, women or non-binary people. And there are drag queens, but also drag kings.