CampBiz – June 13, 2008

We hope you like our first cover of Camp featuring a dog this issue! Dusti Cunningham, our great photographer, chose Beemer (who, by the way, is up for adoption at www.mabbr.org) and Melinda Ryder graciously agreed to a background portrait, because we know how humble Melinda is when it comes to promoting her generosity in hosting benefits. The June 22 benefit for No More Homeless Pets is nearly sold out, so rush to the Web site (www.nmhpkc.org) and buy tickets. And even if it’s sold out you can still buy raffle tickets for the great new Smart car!
Gay Pride
Gay Pride was a fantastic success this year. Gay pride festivals are still going on around the world all through June, including St. Louis on June 28-29, but our Kansas City event kicked off the first weekend of June in grand style. Yes, it was indeed two very hot days, but at least the Friday night Streetblast and Saturday/Sunday festival were not rained out. John Koop, president; Darren Thomas, vice president, and all the officers and volunteers of Gay Pride are to be commended for pulling off a great and entertaining weekend. It was also great to see all the many exhibitors and friends who show up at Pride every year to be with “family.”
We’ll be reporting on the profit and loss figures of Pride as soon as the group is ready to release them – probably for our next issue. In the meantime, Koop reports that they expect the news to be all good.
Koop has decided that after serving as president for five years, he’s ready to turn over the reins to others. He won’t be running again, and the elections process for 2009 Gay Pride will begin at their next meeting at 7 p.m. July 1 at Missie B’s. People are invited to submit their nominations and give a short speech on why they would like to run for an officer position. Elections will follow at a subsequent meeting.
Black Gay Pride
The next Pride event will be Black Gay Pride on Aug. 6-10. A new group of dedicated volunteers is running this year’s event, and they’ve got a full schedule planned. For more information, read Marcus Hammond’s story on page 11 and plan to go to their next fundraising show — 10 p.m. June 17 at Tootsies.
Leslie Jordan
Leslie Jordan was in town June 5 and 6 for his book signing and his stellar one-man show at the Folly Theater based on his book My Trip Down the Pink Carpet. It was truly remarkable the energy the 53-year-old actor demonstrated, and although it was a smaller crowd than expected, the enthusiasm from the audience was enormous. Jordan also has a new series soon to debut on the LOGO channel, so stay tuned for more from this talented and out artist. He delighted us by showing up at Missie B’s the evening of June 5 with the Gay Pride people and offering us a short preview of his next evening performance.
AIDS Walk
Michael Lintecum of AIDS Walk reports that the June 7 Block Party fundraiser was another success: “Clear skies and warm temperatures helped the 4th annual BLOCK PARTY WITH A PURPOSE raise a record amount for AIDS WALK 2008. Hosted by the residents on Holmes Street in Hyde Park, this family friendly event included three wonderful live music bands, lots of kid friendly activities, Renn Festival folks and great food! Janie & Gary Foltz chaired the event with lots of hard work added by the Hosts. Brad Hobbs and Garon Shorten served as Master Chefs of the event grilling up all sorts of fine food! The event welcomed the support of HyVee, Miller Lite, Big Johnson and all the guests that together raised nearly $9,000! Not bad for a summer afternoon’s worth of work!”
Heartland Men’s Chorus
As we go to press with this issue of Camp the Heartland Men’s Chorus will be performing their “Divas” concert on June 14-15. For those who by some strange planetary reason may have missed this concert, you can still buy their brand new CD at $5 off through June 30. The CD, the ninth in their collection, is titled Quest Unending. It was recorded locally through the mastery of Jeff Schiller of the Soundtrek recording company. You can hear a sample of the music at the Heartland Men’s Chorus Web site (www.hmckc.org), where you can also purchase the CD.
Jason and deMarco
Spirit of Hope MCC is bringing back the popular gay Christian singing duo Jason and deMarco at 7 p.m. June 29 in the first performance of the summer concert series. The singers also have a new movie about their life, We’re All Angels, on Showtime. This concert is even better because it’s free, with donations gladly accepted. Hopefully you had the opportunity at Gay Pride to see the Rev. Kurt Krieger of Spirit of Hope conduct the commitment ceremony onstage with more than 15 couples united with his blessing. MCC is a wonderfully inclusive congregation for all, LGBT and straight. The concert with Jason and deMarco is a great way to introduce yourself to them.
Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Jamie Rich is bringing back the Gay and Lesbian Film + Video Festival from June 27 to July 3 at the Tivoli Cinemas in Westport. It promises to be a great week of LGBT cinema with at least 15 films, including a new documentary being created by Kansas City videographer Lisa Evans titled When Did You Know? Mark Manning of KKFI’s radio magazine The Tenth Voice and Rich conducted many interviews asking this question at this year’s Pride festival and they’ve been compiled by Evans in this new documentary premiering at the festival. Vern Barnet will be hosting a panel discussion June 29 after the film A Jihad for Love (see his column on page 8). The lineup of films is fantastic, with a variety of topics for all interests, so check it out and buy tickets at kcgayfilmfest.org.

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