March will bring a wave of spring warmth to Kansas City (though winter has been so mild, we may not be able to tell) and a wave of events in our community.
Dining Out for Life
Good Samaritan Project (GSP) is again participating in Dining Out for Life. This year’s event will be Thursday, April 26. GSP will partner with locally owned restaurants for a day of dining out. In 2011, their participating restaurants raised more than $9,000 and had more than 1,000 diners.
GSP is Kansas City’s oldest and most comprehensive AIDS service organization. It provides essential services to low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. Dining Out for Life is an international annual fundraising event involving the participation of volunteers, corporate sponsors, and more than 3,500 restaurants in over 55 cities.
For more information and how you can participate as a restaurant or diner, visit www.gspkc.org or www.diningoutforlife.com.
Like Me Lighthouse grand opening
It’s finally happening: The long-anticipated Lighthouse center at 3909 Main St. in KCMO will have its grand opening over the March 10 weekend. The Friday night screening of Wish Me Away, the documentary about Chely Wright’s coming-out process, is already sold out.
The entertainment lineup for the concert and parts of the open house will, of course, include Chely Wright, but she will be joined by actors and singers Alan Cumming, Hal Sparks, Jennifer Knapp, Tracy Ryerson, Stamie Karakasidis, Kristie Stremel and MSNBC anchor and reporter Thomas Roberts.
Saturday, March 10
Noon: Ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Lighthouse
Noon-4 p.m.: Open house, celebrity appearances, art exhibit with silent auction
7 p.m.: Benefit concert at UMKC Student Union Theater. Tickets can be purchased at: https://tickets.cto.umkc.edu/public/show.asp. Must be 18 or over to attend the concert. Ticket prices begin at $66, and $206 seats will include a VIP meet & greet with Alan Cumming, Hal Sparks, Chely Wright and Jennifer Knapp, starting at 6 p.m., before the 7 p.m. performance.
Sunday, March 11
Noon-3 p.m.: NoH8 Photographers Session, photos with celebrities available for donations.
For more information visit: www.likemelighthouse.org
Green Party and Green Rave
An LGBT Street Party is back in Midtown! Thanks to Jeffrey and Gene, owners of Bistro 303, for working with their neighbors on Westport Road to create the first Green Party and Green Rave street party on St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17.
The party will be on the block of Westport Road just east of Bank of America on Broadway and west of Central Street. Beer and mixed drinks will be served, and there will be a food court. In addition, Bistro 303 will be open, serving food and drinks all day.
The schedule is:
9 a.m. Green Party opens
Noon: Live music (opening band to be announced soon)
2 p.m.: Live music by Sellout
6 p.m.: Green Rave, featuring Kansas City DJ Steve Thorell
11 p.m.: Party ends
Pride in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Pride has reported this historic news about the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Kansas City: “Show Me Pride has been officially accepted into this year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade as an entry! A first for Pride!” They say they need many adults and children to walk with them, wear green, and make Pride history.
For more information on Pride and how you can join them for monthly meetings or volunteer, visit www.gaypridekc.com.
Suzanne Westenhoefer and Big Bad Gina in concert
Willow Productions is bringing the very funny comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer and, fresh from the HRC 2012 Battle of the Bands, Big Bad Gina, to Drexel Hall, 27 Linwood Ave., KCMO, at 8 p.m. on March 17. Tickets are $25 and $35 in advance and $5 more at the door. Tickets can be purchased at: www.brownpapertickets.com.
Changes for Castro Movie Nights
Russ Ptacek, reporter for KSHB-TV in Kansas City, has just moved on to Washington, D.C., where he has joined WUSA-TV as a reporter. Many of you know that Ptacek was very involved in the formation of Castro Movie Nights, a fundraiser for AIDS service organizations in Kansas City. They held monthly movie nights at the Screenland Armour theater in North Kansas City.
There have been some changes in Castro Movie Nights. Good Samaritan Project is now the sole beneficiary of the events, and they will be held every other month at the Tivoli Cinemas in Westport. Jamie Rich of the Kansas City Gay and Lesbian Film and Video Festival is lending his expertise to Castro Movie Nights as they transition to the new location.
Their next event will be the movie Pariah from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 9 at the Tivoli, 4050 Pennsylvania, KCMO. You can buy tickets online in advance at www.kcgayfilmfest.com. For more information, visit the Facebook page of Castro Movie Nights.
News from Spirit of Hope MCC
Spirit of Hope MCC (www.spiritofhopemcckc.org) is always a great resource for the LGBT and allied communities. As a welcoming congregation, they have many activities in addition to their Sunday congregational services, current Lenten series and monthly potlucks. Eddy Potter has sent us the following information about some events for Potters House at Spirit of Hope MCC:
Potters House Concert: The Spirit of Hope Potters House presents recording artist Elaine McMilian in concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 10. From show tunes to folk songs, hard rock anthems to tender lullabies, whatever she’s singing comes from the heart. Doors will open at 6 p.m., along with the Potters Cafe, which will be selling pizza and other treats. Judy Garland will be back as well and will open and close the show with some of her biggest hits. There is always free parking and free admission. Call the church office at 816-931-0750 if you have questions.
Potters House CD Release Party: The Spirit of Hope Potters House will host a CD Release Party for the all-female group Sweet Harmony to celebrate their new album called New Dawn. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for a time to meet and greet Sweet Harmony, and then they will take to the stage at 7 p.m. to present songs from the new album as well as past classics. They will have the new CD with them for sale as well as their past albums. Refreshments will be served after the concert. The party will be in the church’s Social Hall, so please enter through the back gate. The church is at 3801 Wyandotte, KCMO. For more information, call 816-931-0750. There is plenty of free parking alongside of the church as well as the street in front.
Silent vigil against religious homophobia
Minister Gerald Palmer has written us about a vigil his church is holding in response to a minister who will be visiting Kansas City and who is known for his verbal attacks on homosexuality:
At 5:30 p.m. on March 9, Word for the Soul Ministries and the New Day Coalition will hold a silent vigil calling for the end of religious-based homophobia in the black church, Palmer reports. It will be held at the corner of 53rd Street and Bannister Road, in front of Canaan Worship Center. Canaan is hosting the Rev. R.A. Vernon from Cleveland.
Palmer says “Vernon is one of many preachers who preach misinformation about our LGBT brothers and sisters. Homophobia leads to anti-gay violence, the fueling of HIV, the high rate of suicide among LGBT teens and other social issues that make life difficult for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender neighbors.
“We are ready to speak out and we call for others to join us. We call for the church to be the voice of equality for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters. The same elements of the church that sheltered the weary from the effects of racial prejudice and discrimination are there to shelter and comfort those facing prejudice and discrimination because of their sexual orientation.”
Word for the Soul Ministries is a Christ-based, holistic affirming ministry that believes in helping others break down the barriers of discrimination, prejudice, poverty, blame, shame and pain. For more information, call 816-876-5924 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video of R.A. Vernon:
Bowling for Equality
Another great fundraiser to support the work of HRC, this event will be held at Ward Parkway Lanes, 1523 W. 89th St., Kansas City, Mo. from 2 to 5 p.m. on March 24. There will be three hours of bowling, prizes for the best ’80s-themed costume, light food provided, and a cash bar available. Cost is $200 per six-person team or $35 per individual and $20 per student. Tickets can be purchased at http://bit.ly/z89apW.
LGCC-KC Community-Wide meeting
The Lesbian and Gay Community Center is reporting that the annual organizational meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. March 23 at the event space above Morning Glory Antiques, 313 Westport Rd. It will be different from previous meetings, where groups sat around a large table and offered a brief presentation on what they do. Instead, this will be more of a “mixer” social format for organizations to meet and get to know what others are doing. Look for more information at www.lgcckc.org or on their Facebook page.
New home for Toastmasters
David Whitner, vice president for public relations for Hear Me Out Toastmasters, sent an update on some exciting developments for them.
At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, he reported, Hear Me Out Toastmasters will celebrate an Open House in their new home, the Like Me Lighthouse, 3909 Main St. This new meeting location is the latest announced change for the club. Two other changes — the creation of a new website and the addition of a Twitter account — will allow the club to expand its support of the personal and professional development of verbal communication and leadership skills for Kansas City’s gay, lesbian, and allied community. The members will conduct a condensed meeting with one prepared speech followed by an oral evaluation, an exercise in impromptu speaking, and then allow time for questions. Light refreshments will be served.
Hear Me Out formed in the summer of 2005 and quickly chartered as an accredited chapter of Toastmasters International. Toastmasters was founded in 1924 as a workshop environment for business professionals to develop their public speaking and leadership skills. Of the 5,000-plus Toastmasters clubs in the United States, Hear Me Out is one of fewer than 20 focused on the gay and lesbian community and its allies.
Columnist Dan Savage to Narrate at ‘When I Knew’ HMC Concert
The Heartland Men’s Chorus will perform “When I Knew,” the group’s latest original musical documentary, for its spring concert on March 24 and 25 at the Folly Theater.
The show focuses on gay men’s and lesbians’ realization of identity, or that first self-knowing moment. The narratives between the musical numbers were drawn from chorus members. Columnist and author Dan Savage will join the performance as narrator. Savage is the co-founder of the “It Gets Better Project” (itgetsbetter.org), which reaches out to LGBT young people by featuring contributors’ personal videos of support .
A new work by local composer Daniel Doss will premiere at the concert. The composition was inspired by “When I Knew” stories submitted by HMC audience members.
When I Knew:
8 p.m. March 24
4 p.m. March 25
300 W. 12th St., Kansas City, Mo.
For tickets: www.hmckc.org