Leading the way in this spring’s parade of events is AIDS Walk, which will be April 28. It’s amazing how much the Kansas City community raises for this important cause — one more reminder of the generosity of Kansas City.
As we do every year, we’ve dedicated stories in this issue to the people who fight against HIV/AIDS and provide resources for HIV/AIDS in our community, including our neighbor city of Lawrence, Kan., and others in Camp’s distribution area.
In addition to events like the AIDS Walk Open on March 3 that raised $20,000, Mosaic on April 6, and events in May, AIDS Walk organizers are planning a new fashion event called “Denim” on June 22.
On their website, they write: “Join artistic producers Chadwick Brooks and Damian Lair for the inaugural Denim, a fashion performance on the history of men’s denim. Guests will be taken on an interactive, performance-based journey through the history of denim — including French fur traders, California gold prospectors, and early American industrialists … all the way to high fashion in the modern day. Kansas City’s own Ron Megee will also be on hand to guide the journey.”
Tickets are on sale now and will go quickly. Here are the details.
Denim Fashion Performance
Bruce Burstert Studio
122 Southwest Blvd.
Kansas City, Mo.
Reserved seats: $50
General admission: $25
It’s not too late to sign up and walk or pledge for walkers in the April 28 AIDS Walk. Visit www.aidswalkkansascity.org.
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 on how you can participate as a restaurant or diner, visit www.gspkc.org or www.diningoutforlife.com.
David Wayne Reed unwraps Jolly Rancher
Kansas City playwright and actor David Wayne Reed will perform Jolly Rancher a collection of stories culled from his own rural upbringing, in the show’s Kansas City debut April 6-8. The play debuted at the Seaside Repertory Theatre in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., in January during Reed’s month-long artist residency with Escape to Create.
In his press release, Reed writes, “Growing up on a farm in Louisburg, Kan., without formal creative outlets, Reed created his own venues for self-expression — performing impromptu drag performances for visiting seed salesmen, dancing for the hay crew after a long day’s work, rehearsing Shakespeare in abandoned grain silos.”
Tickets are $10 and available in advance at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/237008
“If everything we read was like this, I might give a shit.” — Community college student from Gardner, Kan.
Fishtank Performance Studio
Friday, April 6, 8 p.m.
Saturday April 7, 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 8, 7 p.m.
Heartland Men’s Chorus
I have to say, the HMC concert over the March 24-25 weekend, “When I Knew,” was truly one of the finest performances of theirs that I have ever seen. With the narration by Dan Savage, gay columnist and founder of the “It Gets Better”campaign, the multimedia presentation of videos and images throughout the second act, and especially the music, it was a concert that had everyone talking afterward. I was warned by some to bring a handkerchief, and I was not disappointed with the poignancy of the concert. A highlight for me was the song “When I Knew,” written by local musician Daniel Doss, with input from HMC audience members and commissioned for this concert.
The performance dealt with the issue of teenage bullying, and the first act featured a stage adaptation of the children’s book written by Tomie dePaola, Oliver Button Is a Sissy. The Heartland Men’s Chorus performed this first act on Friday morning to an audience of hundreds of area elementary students as part of the Folly Kids Series. The chorus reports that, “Participating schools were given a free copy of Tomie dePaola’s book for their school libraries and a packet of lesson plans, activities and resources for teachers to enhance this concert experience and help them deal with bullying in their schools.”
Green Party and St. Patrick’s Day
Kudos to Jeffrey Schmidt, AIDS WALK and all the volunteers who created the first annual Green Party and Green Rave street party in front of Bistro 303 on St. Patrick’s Day. As one can imagine on this day of green revelry, the crowd
was feeling quite festive, and it was a great first-time event on a beautiful March day.
Earlier in the day, our local LGBT groups participated in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The Missouri Gay Rodeo Association had a float for the second year in a row, Pride had a marching group, and the Mid America Freedom Band marched and played to the crowd. Kansas City’s LGBT community was well-represented in front of thousands of parade onlookers.
Local political consultant Doug Grey wrote to us about a new fundraiser in Kansas City for the national political group called the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. The champagne brunch will be Sunday, April 29, at the Studio Dan Meiners event space. The purpose of the brunch is to raise awareness
for the organization and raise funds that will directly support openly LGBT candidates.
Grey wrote: “The Victory Fund is an incredible organization that deserves your support. Their mission is to change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBT Americans by increasing the number of open LGBT officials at all levels of government. Nowhere is this more needed than right here, at home in the Kansas City metro area. The organization vets and supports candidates who are viable in local, state or national races.”
The program will include comments by Missouri State Sen. Jolie Justus, who is a Victory Fund beneficiary, and a speech by Fort Worth City Council member Joel Burns, also a Victory Fund beneficiary. Burns is best known for his “It Gets Better” speech given in 2010 from the City Council bench in response to a local gay teenager’s suicide. Watch his speech here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax96cghOnY4&feature=youtu.be.
Grey reported, “There is a movement afoot, and momentum is building. But did you know that not a single state has passed ANY type of relationship recognition (domestic partnerships, civil unions, etc.) without first having elected openly LGBT state legislators, and not a single state has passed marriage equality legislatively without having first elected five or more openly LGBT state legislators. With only three openly LGBT officials in Missouri and ZERO in Kansas, we have work to do! Now is the time to support openly LGBT political candidates to continue the change that is so long in the making.”
10:30-11:30 a.m. VIP Champagne Reception, Meet and Greet with Jolie Justis and Joel Burns ($125 tickets or table-level sponsorship).
11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Brunch.
Studio Dan Meiners
2500 W. Pennway, Kansas City, Mo.
To sign up, visit: https://www.victoryfund.org/about_us/events/id:127.
Christine Kane from Show Me Pride reported the news from their monthly March meeting:
• The Be the Cure Benefit at OutaBounds raised around $1,700 and had a great turnout. Thank you all who came to the event to raise money toward cancer research.
• The Fetish Ball was well-attended, and it raised around $500.
• At the Meet and Greet at Seasons 52, the officers informed businesses around the city about the LGBT community.
• For the AIDS WALK Open, Pride won the best hole award! Thank you to everyone who helped build the hole and volunteered their time during the event.
• Show Me Pride also has an AIDS WALK team. Please join the team and donate to a great cause.
• Social Bar and MGRA will be doing an event for Pride on April 13 at Social. They will have a mechanical bull.
• LGCCKC will be using the Green Space for the family picnic on Saturday of the Pride festival.
• Show Me Pride is looking for a volunteer coordinator for the Pride festival (May 28 – June 3). We need someone who is very dedicated for this important job. Please contact me if you are interested at email@example.com.
• Youth Royalty Court has been doing shows at Hamburger Mary’s. They are also having a benefit this Saturday for Passages/Pride at Passages.
UMKC plans April 17 scholarship fundraiser
UMKC has sent this information about a scholarship fundraiser centered on the film In The Family.
“Director/star Patrick Wang and actress Kelly McAndrew, a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Theatre, will be the featured guests at a gala red-carpet premiere screening of the award-winning independent film In the Family.
The event, a benefit for the LGBTQIA Scholarship at UMKC, includes a reception and dinner at Californos in Westport, followed by a “red carpet walk” to the Kansas City premiere of the film at the nearby Tivoli Cinemas theater. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. on April 17. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students, and include dinner, two drink tickets and film admission; tickets can be purchased online.
In the Family, described as “a remarkably fresh and unpredictable drama” in a New York Times review, follows a custody battle over the 6-year-old son of a gay man killed in a car accident, waged between his sister (McAndrew) and his partner (Wang).”
McAndrew, now based in New York, earned a master’s degree from UMKC Theatre in 1998. After the premiere event, In the Family will open at the Tivoli for a special one-week engagement April 20-26. Show times will be available at the Tivoli website.