Although this column usually focuses on events around town and news about our businesses and organizations, I want to relay the information that I just received as we go to press in an e-mail from the Kansas City Anti Violence Project (KCAVP).
According to KCAVP, there was an assault outside Tootsie?s, 1818 Main St., Kansas City, Mo., on Friday, Jan. 25, when a woman went to place her bag and coat in her vehicle and was attacked with a gun shoved to the back of her head and the demand to hand over her bag. She reported that she was beaten up repeatedly by the assailant?s fists, feet and with the gun.
KCAVP officials say they do not know whether the incident was anti-LGBT-motivated. However, they send the following tips that may be helpful as we all try to keep ourselves and others safe.
1. Be aware of your surroundings. Who?s around you? What are they doing? Are they paying attention to you?
2. Try not to travel alone. Traveling in groups can sometimes (but by no means always) dissuade likely attackers. Hate violence perpetrators are cowards, and there are almost always more of them than there are of you.
3. Don?t let your guard down just because you?re in a ?queer? area. About 25 percent of anti-LGBT incidents happen in places that we think of as being safe for our community: in or around bars, nightclubs or LGBT institutions; streets in LGBT-identified areas of the city; and cruising areas.
4. Here?s what to do if you are the victim of an incident: If you need immediate assistance, call 911. Report the incident to the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project at 816-561-0550. All services are free and confidential. KCAVP does not report to the police unless the victim wants us to.
5. Here?s what to do if you witness an incident or a friend is a victim: Call 911 if someone is in immediate danger. Make it clear to 911 what the danger is, as this may make the difference in getting a quicker response. Call the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project at 816-561-0550 to report what you?ve seen. Leave a message if it is after office hours. If you speak with the victim, share the KCAVP phone number and encourage him or her to call. There are supports and services that can help them pay medical bills and find other assistance.
If you have been a victim of a crime outside Tootsie?s or any other place, please call KCAVP to report it. KCAVP can take action if they see a pattern of incidents outside LGBT establishments.
Good Samaritan Project?s board of directors has announced the appointment of David Schlomer as the agency?s executive director. The announcement comes after Jimmy Woodcock resigned in November for family reasons.?Schlomer has been on staff at Good Samaritan Project for nine years as director of business operations and had assumed the role of interim executive director after Woodcock?s departure. Founded in 1985, Good Samaritan Project is Kansas City?s oldest and most comprehensive AIDS service organization. Services include case management, emergency financial assistance, transportation, counseling services, spiritual and social support, back-to-work assistance, and HIV testing and prevention education.
I was so pleased to see that a good friend, John Rensenhouse, is starring as Atticus Finch, in the role Gregory Peck played in the movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird, now at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre until Feb. 17. John?s a Kansas City native with a great resume of work in New York, around the country and in Kansas City. It?s on my list ? I can?t wait to see John doing something other than a Shakespearean role.
As many of you may have heard, the Rep now has a new artistic director. Eric Rosen will be the fourth artistic director in their 44-year history. Rosen is a co-founder and artistic director of the About Face Theatre in Chicago, a nationally recognized theater that has featured many works that include gay characters. He has also previously directed two of the Rep?s most critically acclaimed productions: Metamorphoses and The Trip to Bountiful. We welcome Mr. Rosen to Kansas City and look forward to his work.
The Unicorn Theatre reports that the greatly anticipated Jerome Stage is complete. It is named for Dr. Norge W. Jerome, a former Unicorn board member and nutritional anthropologist. Her generous donation, along with the support of the Kansas City community, helped the Unicorn complete ?The Next Stage? Capital Campaign, started to build the Jerome Stage, renovate the Main Stage and start an Artistic Development Fund.
The Jerome Stage opens Feb. 15 with powerful and moving stories of modern Iraqi women and their firsthand accounts of living in a war zone. Heather Raffo?s 9 Parts of Desire has been called ?An example of how art can remake the world!? by The New Yorker. Directed by Cynthia Levin and featuring Cheryl Weaver, Jennifer Aguilar and Andi Meyer, the show previews Feb.13-14, opens Feb.15 and runs until March 2. Call 816-531-PLAY or go to www.unicorntheatre.org for tickets. The theater is at 3828 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.
In the early years of Camp, we published a print calendar in every issue. With a limited staff, it became a nightmare to keep current, write and design, especially since very few people or organizations submitted calendar information to us.
However we have a great online calendar. We would like to think we can do both print and online listings of events. So please send your information to me at least two weeks before your event so it will hopefully make it into my CampBiz column in the print version of Camp. More lead time is always better. If we can?t make print, we?ll at least be able to do something online at www.campkc.com.
Have a wonderful Valentine?s Day on Feb. 14. Whether you celebrate with cards, chocolates and roses or you decide to shock a few people by dining out at a romantic venue and holding hands or kissing in public, I hope it?s a great day for those of you in love. And for the rest of us, I?ll see you for cocktails at Missie B?s.
Details can be found at www.campkc.com.
Feb. 2. ?Hedwig Hosts Bingo.? Sharp?s.
Feb. 3. Chili Cookoff to benefit AIDS Walk.
Feb. 7. Gay Pride?s Royalty Court Pageant.
Feb. 9. PROMO?s Words of Love benefit
at bar Natasha.
Feb.16. Girlyman in concert.
All Souls UU Church.
Feb. 23 AIDS Walk Texas Hold ?Em Tournament.
Feb. 29- Mar. 23 Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Off Center Theatre, Crown Center.
Feb. 29- Mar. 23 A Marvelous Party, Kansas City Repertory Theatre.
Mar. 1. AIDS Walk Open. Seven bars.
Mar. 14-16 Rent at the Music Hall.
Mar. 29-30 Heartland Men?s Chorus & Wichita?s Heart of America Men?s Chorus present Exile: The Journey Home.
Through Feb. 10 ? A House With No Walls, Unicorn Theatre
Through Feb. 17 ? To Kill A Mockingbird, Kansas City Repertory Theatre