CampBiz – August 1, 2008

Heartland Men’s Chorus GALA concert
Kansas City’s Heartland Men’s Chorus wowed the audiences at the July 12-19 GALA conference in Miami. GALA is the umbrella organization for all LGBT choruses.
Tom Lancaster, who sings in the chorus and handles the group’s marketing, reports via e-mail: “The GALA Festival happens every four years — GLBT musicians from around the world (mostly U.S., but also Ireland, Germany, elsewhere in Europe and Canada) gather together for a weeklong event. Each chorus performs in a concert block, with two blocks running simultaneously (for instance, while HMC performed in one hall, Turtle Creek Chorale performed across the street). About 5,000 delegates attended Festival in Miami.
Rick Fisher, executive director for the chorus, said in an e-mail: “HMC was one of the largest choruses to take the stage. … With 131 singers, our participation surpassed that of our colleagues in larger cities with much larger choruses!”
And, he said, “HMC was at the top of their form.”
Lancaster said, “We were greeted like rock stars — it was truly amazing. We received standing ovations after 4 of our 5 numbers. After our performance, the ovation was astounding. We went and had our “official Festival portrait” taken (which took about 15 minutes). When we were done with that, we exited through the performance hall lobby, and many audience members had stayed and applauded us as we left.”
The festival itself, he said, was amazing. “The most moving part for me was the six GLBTQ Youth Choruses who performed. The courage and conviction with which they sang was truly moving — there were many tears in the audience, and our hands were sore from clapping.”
www.galachoruses.org/events/festival/festival8.html
Corroboree
The 15th annual Corroboree for SAVE Inc. will be Sept. 19, and it’s truly a blast. As always, it will be at the Kansas City Zoo. The price of admission includes all the food and beverages you care to consume, and there will be entertainment and a silent auction. Half the fun is the tram ride! In the Aug. 29 issue of Camp, we will do a special supplement again this year about SAVE Inc. and the housing assistance they provide to those living with HIV/AIDS.
PROMO’s 2008 Missouri Equality Conference
PROMO will be hosting this event Sept. 27. The annual conference brings together grassroots LGBT activists from around Missouri and offers education, information and connections. Admission is $20 for adults and $15 for students or those with reduced income. Lunch will be provided. Participants will have a chance to choose from workshops covering health issues, queer youth, trans-education, and more.
Zoey Awards
Zoe Kelly, Miss MGRA 2007 and 2008, reports that the 2nd annual Zoey Awards will be Sept. 27 at the Screenland Theatre. This is a benefit for the Missouri Gay Rodeo Association (MGRA). I’m happy to say that in 2007 Camp received the award for Best Gay Publication and Mike Sugnet won the award for Best Columnist for the “Camping Out in Kansas City” columns he wrote for Camp.
For financial reasons, the MGRA will not hold the annual Show Me State Rodeo in Kansas City this fall, but the group has not gone away. MGRA plans to revisit the rodeo in 2009. Todd Tramp, our local rodeo star, recently won several events in the North Star Gay Rodeo Association’s rodeo in Minnesota. Many of the rodeo participants who have come to MGRA will join their counterparts Aug. 29-31 in St. Louis for the Gateway Gay Rodeo Association’s Rodeo.
Ballots for the Zoey Awards should be out in the bars and other establishments early in August, and campkc.com will post a downloadable pdf of the ballot. There will be 19 “Best” award categories: Event, Outreach Organization, Publication, Photographer, New Starlet, Male Impersonator, Female Impersonator, Vocalist, Emcee, D.J., Gay Friendly Business, Gay Business, Spiritual Outreach, Show Bar, Bar, Bar Owner, Bar Manager, Bartender and Pageant Promoter.
Kelly reports that they will be giving out three awards chosen by their committee:
Lifetime Achievement – Flo
Living Legend – Chris Collins
Friend of the Community – Deshannon
Along with a great lineup of Kansas City entertainers, the Zoey Awards will also feature people from out of town, including Deshannon (Miss IGRA ’95 and ’98), Janet Jenkins (Miss IGRA 2008), Candy James (former Miss Missouri America), Jade St. Clair (current Miss Missouri America), Champagne Cocktail (Miss Gateway Rodeo Association 2008) and Mike True (Mr. Gateway Rodeo Association 2008).
AIDS Bicycle Challenge
With the summer soon ending and cool weather only a few weeks away, there’s no better time than now to get out on a bicycle and start training to ride in the fourth annual AIDS Bicycle Challenge on Oct. 4. Actually, you really need no training — I can attest to that. There are three rides, and the 10-mile ride is a breeze, if you think you might not be up to the longer two rides. It’s mostly a flat trail, and for any slight incline uphill, you get double the benefit in coasting downhill. The money raised benefits the AIDS Service Foundation, and it’s really a great event.
Main Street Businesses
I went to a 39th and Main Street luncheon and property/business showcase of available leasing/purchase spaces on July 24, sponsored by Greg Patterson and Susan Scott of Greg Patterson & Associates, Larry Sells of the Uptown, and other commercial real estate agents. At least 100 people attended, and it was good to see how many business people are interested in this developing area of Midtown.
Some of the spaces available for lease or purchase are outstanding. We already know several businesses like the Unicorn Theatre, KC Fitness Link, Illegitimate Art & Design and, of course, the bars Sidekicks and Buddies who have supported Main Street by developing their businesses in this location.
Have you noticed the many “red shirts” on bike or foot patrol or as the Main Street Corridor Development Corp. refers to them, “Area Maintenance Attendants” and “Area Awareness Officers.” With the future of light rail adding even more to Main Street, this is a great area to watch develop. For more information, check out www.maincor.org, and for information on available properties, contact Greg Patterson at www.gpattersonassoc.com.

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