Go West: Utopian Vision for One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival

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The city of West Hollywood’s One City, One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival offers a wide range of programs and a utopian vision for 2017. Running through June 30th, the fest’s theme of “Go West,” references movement toward a utopian promised land, dreams of gay liberation, and the freedom to live openly in West Coast communities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and West Hollywood. Featuring interactive, performance, visual arts, and education events, this year’s programming explores LGBTQ history, culture, and art.

Dubbed a “Day of History,” on Saturday June 3rd, One City One Pride offers multiple events that will take place throughout the city.

At 11 a.m., Radar Productions presents Drag Queen Storytime in the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room. The free event includes children’s stories and crafts. Radar brought the same acclaimed program to the San Francisco Public Library. The meeting room is located at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., 90069.

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Also starting at 11 a.m., the Stuart Timmons LGTBQ History Tour combines an urban hike with an entirely original performance art piece. Written by author and historian Stuart Timmons and directed by Jason Jenn, the tour leads participants to a variety of locations.

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They’ll encounter over a dozen costumed characters, bringing the history of West Hollywood to vibrant life.  The experience includes a brief shuttle ride that drops passengers on Sunset Blvd.  Each tour lasts between 90 and 120 minutes, with departures scheduled every fifteen minutes between 11 and 1 p.m. Live music will be performed while participants wait to board. This is the third year for the charming tour, presented in a final staging to celebrate the legacy of the recently deceased Timmons. Timmons is the author of The Trouble with Harry Hay and GAY L.A., among other works.

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ADA accessible throughout,  colorful parasols will be provided during the tour, offering shade from the sun and enhancing the lively interactive atmosphere. This unique event starts at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., 90069.

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From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., trans artist Yozmit, the first artist to receive a Trans Initiative Grant from the City of West Hollywood, presents the interactive performance installation “Totem Building.” Yozmit will create transformative visual wearable art pieces to be used as a ritual object or totem. The audience will be invited to create prayers and intentions which she will collect for part of a future performance.


The artist will stitch a ribbon or bead onto her Pyramid Dress, as a symbol of exchange for those intentions and prayers. This interactive, transformative performance will be held on Santa Monica Boulevard near San Vicente Boulevard.

At 5 p.m., there will be a screening of Reel in the Closet, a feature-length documentary. The film connects viewers with queer people from the past, utilizing rare home movie footage that dates back as far as the 1930s. Filmmaker Stu Maddux also discovered recorded news stories and community productions, and regularly updates the documentary, encouraging audience members to share movies of their own pasts. Maddux notes that he embarked upon the project when he was searching “for a way to really understand the people who came before me, not just read about them.”  The film will be screened at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers, located at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. 90069

Also at the City Council Chambers, throughout the day the film LA: A Queer History will be shown in a continuous loop; ONE Archives LGBTQ History Exhibits will be displayed in West Hollywood Park.

Later in June, One City, One Pride highlights include:

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“Out There,” a group art exhibition at the Los Angeles Art Association’s Gallery 825 opening June 9th from 6 to 9 p.m. The exhibition will run through June 18th, with the gallery open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Monday. The gallery is located at 825 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, 90069.

Also on the 9th, from 6 to 10 p.m., the Annual Dyke March begins with a protest sign making workshop conducted by Sparkleblob’s Julianna Parr, followed by a march down Santa Monica Blvd. at 8 p.m. Confirmed speakers include Patrisse Cullors of #blacklivesmatter, and Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.  the The workshop takes place and march begins at Sal Guariello Veterans’ Memorial, 8447 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 90069.

From 7 to 9 p.m. on the 9th, Yozmit’s Migration of the Monarchs and WALK will take place. Based on the idea that everything in life transforms, the trans artist will perform WALK as live ambient art along Santa Monica Blvd. between Robertson Blvd. and San Vicente Blvd.

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June 11th from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., LA Pride hosts a human rights march in lieu of a parade. The march starts at Hollywood and Highland in Los Angeles, and concludes near West Hollywood Park. 

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And June 29th, at 7:30 p.m., there will be a world premiere film screening of Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies, and Feminism, a new documentary on the life and accomplishments of late activist and author Jeanne Cordova. Film director Gregoria Davila and Cordova’s partner Lynn Harris Ballen participate in a post-screening discussion. The screening takes place at West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., 90069.

For a full calendar of One City One Pride events through June 30th, visit    www.weho.org/pride

One City One Pride is organized by the City of West Hollywood through WeHo Arts, the City’s Arts & Cultural Affairs Commission and Arts Division, with input from the City’s Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board, Transgender Advisory Board, and other community partners. 


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  • Genie Davis; Photos: Weho.org

One City One Pride: Into the Streets

2016 One City One Pride Logo
The city of West Hollywood’s 40-day One City One Pride festival is a tribute to diversity that is itself wonderfully diverse in the wide variety of arts programming it offers.

2016 One City One Pride main poster image - artwork by Ricky Serrano

Continuing through June 30th are an exceptional range of over 90 events, exhibitions, performances, and interactive programming, all built around the 2016 festival theme of “Into the Streets,” which explores LGBTQ activism and history. The festival’s theme recalls an early rallying cry of LGBTQ rights groups “Out of the closet and into the streets.”

From theater to art exhibitions, concerts and conversations, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy as a part of the inclusive program.

Running through June 26th is Hollywood Fringe/One City One Pride. The City of West Hollywood is collaborating with The Hollywood Fringe Festival to present a full line-up of exciting LBGTQ-themed theatrical productions. Partnership shows include God’s Waiting Room, Life’s A Bitch and So Am I, The Gay Guide to Tinseltown, Sarah G’s Spot: The #1 Ballsy Woman, Snatched…Stories from Down There, Reclaimed Freedom: Fact or Fiction, Skin of Honey/Piel De Miel, and The Collection by Harold Pinter/Anniversary by Rachel Bonds. For dates, times, locations and prices, see http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/weho.

June 10 - LAAA Out There exhibit - Artwork by Julio Panisello

Lena Moross, Carmine after Degas

Opening June 10th from 6 to 9 p.m., and running through June 17th, Gallery 825 hosts the 9th annual Out There group exhibition. The subject asks artists to explore West Hollywood’s commitment to the LGBTQ community. Out There was juried by William Escalera and Francisco George, and features cutting edge mixed media, paintings, photography, and sculptural work by artists including Robyn Alatorre, Debi Cable, Kathy Curtis-Cahill, Bibi Davidson, Dwora Fried, Shelley Heffler, Tom Lasley, Shana Mabari, Lena Moross, Johnny Naked, Hung Viet Nguyen, Kenn Raaf, Osceola Refetoff, Cory Sewelson, Skye Amber Sweet, Scott A. Trimble, and Monica Wyatt, among many others. The gallery is located at 825 N. La Cienega, and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10-5. For more information, see http://www.gallery825.com/exhibitions.html

Photos: Joshua Barash City of West Hollywood Pride parade 2010 Santa Monica Blvd.
Photo: Joshua Barash

June 12th, starting at 10:45 a.m. is the renowned LA Pride Parade, and as a part of the parade itself, FATA – From the Archives to the Archives – Queer Signs of the Times 1965 – 2010. The pride parade is produced and presented by Christopher Street West, and runs from Crescent Heights to Robertson Boulevard along Santa Monica Boulevard. When watching the always-popular parade, don’t miss Queer Signs of the Times 1965-2016, a stellar art project that takes place within the parade, which includes 75 re-created protest signs taken to the streets in a mock protest rally. The re-created signs date back as far as 1965.

June 12 - Queer Signs of the Times - Historic Signs from 1965-2016 - Flyer - Artist Ruben Esparza

Mid-week, author Felice Picano talks about the strong gay presence in Hollywood during the 1930’s on June 15th at 7 p.m. Held at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers, located at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd, this free event also features a short reading excerpted from the novella “Wonder City of the West.” For more information, see http://bit.ly/GayHollywood30s

On Sunday June 19th from 4-8 p.m. the book launch for the ONE Archives exhibit running through July 10th takes place in Plummer Park’s Long Hall. The C*ck, Paper, Scissors Book Launch and Collage Workshop centers around the first catalog to examine queer collage practices in an historical context. It was published in collaboration with the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. Supporting this seminal achievement is a free collage workshop led by feminist artist Suzanne Wright. Long Hall is located at 7377 Santa Monica Blvd., where the exhibit is also displayed.

The last weekend of June serves up more strong OCOP events, including the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights’ Pride Play Reading Festival, two rehearsed reading programs featuring LGBTQ-themed plays. Six short pieces will be featured on Saturday; a single full-length project presented on Sunday. Both free programs will take place at the Plummer Park Community Center, Rooms 5/6, located at 7377 Santa Monica Blvd.

June 26 - 'I Stand Corrected' Film Screening and Summer Sounds concert with Jennifer Leitham - Photo courtesy of Jennifer Leitham

Both a film screening and Summer Sounds concert will also take place on Sunday the 26th. The screening of the film I Stand Corrected takes place at 2 p.m. in West Hollywood’s City Hall at 8300 Santa Monica Blvd. The film tells the story of Jennifer Leitham, who transitioned from being known as John Leitham during a 2001 concert tour with Doc Severinson. Leitham was recently chosen as one of LA Weekly’s most interesting people of 2016, and was featured in the Vanity Fair special edition Trans America issue. A Q&A with filmmaker Andrea Meyerson will be held following the film. At 4 p.m., Leitham will perform at the City of West Hollywood’s free Summer Sounds concert series outside in the City Hall Community Plaza. There’s no RSVP required, but more information can be found at http://bit.ly/SSJL2016

A Brief History of Drag exhibit 'Portrait of Anyone Who Shows Up In Drag, Los Angeles Edition, 2016' and artwork by Austin Young

Continuing through June 27th is “A Brief History of Drag,” a fascinating photography exhibition that chronicles both the Los Angeles and WeHo drag scenes from the late 1800s to the present. Installed on the second floor of the West Hollywood Library, this exhibition includes work by Austin Young, whose “Portrait of Anyone Who Shows Up In Drag, Los Angeles Edition, 2016,” a 7.5 x 7.5-foot composite photograph, features more than 100 people in drag. The exhibition is a collaboration between the City of West Hollywood WeHo Arts and One City One Pride with the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Advocate & Gochis Galleries, and CAP UCLA with assistance from the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives. See more at: http://www.weho.org/residents/drag-angeles-one-city-one-pride

June 4 - Art Out! West Hollywood City Poet Steven Reigns will host a 'Poet-tree' reading during Art Out! Photo of Steven Reigns by Tony Coelho

The Lesbian Speakers Series/WeHo Reads/One City One Pride will present Natalie Goldberg in conversation with West Hollywood City Poet Steven Reigns on the 30th anniversary of Natalie Goldberg’s classic Writing Down the Bones – Freeing the Writer Within. This free event will take place June 30th at 7 p.m. in the West Hollywood City Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. More information is available at: www.weho.org/wehoreads

For more information on all events and RSVP links, visit:
http://weho.org/home/showdocument?id=26443 (PDF format)