Archive for May, 2013

Parade in Danger of Being Cancelled; Community Invited to Next Pride Meeting May 21

May 15, 2013

Parade Attendance down, cost up, says Pride board

By Central Voice
In a communication from Pride Festival of Central PA Board of Directors, the region’s LGBT community is invited to attend the next Pride meeting Tuesday, May 21, 7:30 p.m., St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, 118 State Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101.

The reason?

Attendance at the annual parade is down. Costs are up. The event costs about $8,000 to produce and does not produce any income. The small fees charged for parade participants don’t even begin to cover costs. Sponsors are leery of pumping big dollars into an event that draws such a lackluster response from the LGBT community. Why support an LGBT venue when the community itself doesn’t support the event?

The communication to the LGBT community from the Board of Directors for the Pride Festival of Central PA:

HBG Pride Logo

Dear LGBT Community and Friends,

With festival and Parade permits in hand, the Pride Festival of Central PA Board of Directors and volunteers are busier than ever in preparing for this year’s Unity Parade and Festival.

Headliners for 2013 are outstanding: All female headliner Take 147 takes center stage as the festival’s main act. Other acts include Steel Kitty and Day Taunt.

The tents and stages are on order, you’ll see some new and familiar vendors and drag queens and boy do we have a great Headliner act lined up, Take 147, to knock your socks off, plus some other very talented performers on both stages.

No doubt, this year’s festival will be one of our best and most fabulous, but all of this takes time, effort and funds to accomplish.

Throughout the year we work very hard to raise the necessary funds for both our Parade and festival by holding drag shows, bus trips and other fundraisers that brings us together as a community to have fun while raising the money we earnestly need to put together the awesome pride events you’ve come to expect.

At the same time, we’re also pounding the pavement contacting and looking for generous businesses and individuals for sponsorships and financial donations to supplement our fundraising efforts as well as our gate receipts.

Frankly, our fundraising goals this year have not been meeting our quarterly targets, as such we have to prudently evaluate where we spend the financial resources we have for the Parade and festival. We have some tough choices to make in the days ahead and I’m writing you to ask for your help and participation.

Over the past 43 years, since the nation’s very first pride Parade took place in New York City, gay pride parades have become a tradition in Harrisburg as well as other cities across the globe, having evolved from raucous and radical marches into celebratory joyful occasions celebrating our community’s diversity and history with decorative and highly creative floats, talented marching bands and performers, and all kinds of well known and political personalities marching for equality and the other causes near and dear to our unique community.

We know how very important and symbolic the Parade is to our LGBT heritage and the Central PA Pride Festival, but it is also one of our costliest events to produce, coming in a little under $8,000. In these challenging fiscal times, regrettably the Parade is in danger of being canceled this year due to its high cost and lack of self-sustaining revenue.

This decision is not being taken lightly and which is why we want the Greater Harrisburg area LGBT community to help us select the best option going forward this year, so we’re asking for you to attend our monthly Pride Festival of Central PA Board of Directors meeting to give us your feedback and ideas on saving the Parade.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday May 21, 2013 at 7:30 PM at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church 118 State Street, Harrisburg, Pa. 17101

We hope to see as many of you there as possible to help us keep a great tradition. And if with all of our best efforts and talents the Parade happens to be canceled this year, the festival will still go on as fabulous as ever and we promise to double down our efforts with your help to bring it back next year.

Sincerely,
The Board of Directors for the Pride Festival of Central PA

Want to Make Gay History with Broadway Cares? Get Kissed Again? Harrisburg Connection?

May 3, 2013

By Central Voice
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Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS presents a one-night, 20th anniversary performance of the landmark show THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME at 8 p.m. on Monday, May 20 at the Gerard W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College (524 West 59th Street, NYC).

For its 20th anniversary, THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME will be re-imagined from a one-man show to one featuring an ensemble cast performing a play that The New York Times originally called “rivetingly angry, intense, frenetic, frank and touching.” The special performance is produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and benefits BC/EFA and Sero Project.

Actor and activist David Drake wrote THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME in the early 1990s. After joining the activist group ACT UP, Drake began writing autobiographical monologues about the AIDS crisis that eventually became the one-man show about this critical point in American history.

First performed by Drake himself, who won an Obie for his work, the original off-Broadway run at the Perry Street Theatre became one of the longest-running solo shows in New York theatre history. There now have been nearly 100 productions worldwide and it’s been translated into French, Portuguese, Spanish and Greek.

“What began as an expression of my feelings became a work that reflected the cultural zeitgeist of a community,” Drake says. “When the 20th anniversary of the play approached, I started thinking about a reconfigured version with a cast, rather than as a solo performance. Incorporating a full cast conveys today’s passionate cries from our community’s heart while honoring the legacy of activism that brought us to this transformative moment in our history.”

Harrisburg Connection
In 2003, Drake appeared in Harrisburg at the first gay and lesbian film festival where he screened his movie version of the award-winning play to a full house. Many in attendance that night had watched him on stage in the original version of the play which mentions Harrisburg.

All-star Ensemble
The one-night-only benefit performance of THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME features an ensemble of talented actors taking on the story, including Drake, Brandon Cordeiro (Pearl at Kumble Theater of the Performing Arts), two-time Tony Award nominee Robin De Jesús (La Cage aux Folles, In the Heights), two-time Tony nominee André De Shields (The Full Monty, Play On!), Claybourne Elder (Bonnie & Clyde), Tony nominee Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon), Anthony Rapp (Rent), Wesley Taylor (Smash, The Addams Family), Chad Ryan (Chicago premiere of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me), Donald C. Shorter, Jr. (La Cage aux Folles national tour), Aaron Tone (BearCity 2) and Tony winner BD Wong (M. Butterfly).

THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME is directed by Tony nominee Robert La Fosse (Dancin’, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway).

Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased online at broadwaycares.org or by calling 212.840.0770, ext 268. VIP tickets also are available and include a reception with the cast and other benefits.

“This performance benefits two organizations very close to my heart,” Drake says. “Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Sero Project are, respectively, headed by Tom Viola and Sean Strub, my friends who believed in my story from the very start.”

For more information on the Sero Project, which is working to end inappropriate criminal prosecutions of people with HIV, go to seroproject.com.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Executive Director Tom Viola says: “In the two decades since THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME debuted, treatments for saving lives have advanced, yet HIV-related stigma has, sadly, increased. The treatment for stigma isn’t found at a pharmacy, it is accomplished by empowering the stigmatized, educating the public and providing a path to justice for all.”

Sean Strub, executive director of Sero Project, adds: “The message so eloquently conveyed in THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME is needed today even more so than before. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Sero are fighting HIV-related stigma, discrimination and criminalization, and working to ensure that vital, life-affirming, and, in many cases, life-saving services are available to those who need them.”

Strub and Viola produced THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME when it first premiered Off-Broadway.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $225 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

Broadway Cares awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.

Info: http://broadwaycares.org/thenightlarrykramerkissedme