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Rainbow flag burned outside Adams Morgan restaurant

Incident comes same day as Orlando massacre

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Terry Stone, gay news, Washington Blade, rainbow flag 'I will replace it and hang it again,' says a restaurant owner whose rainbow flag was burned.

Rainbow flag that was burned at D.C. Bourbon. (Photo by James Patrick Woods)

The owner of the Adams Morgan restaurant D.C. Bourbon said a large rainbow flag he hung from a pole attached to his restaurant’s outside wall was set on fire and destroyed sometime during the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12.

James Patrick Woods said he displayed the flag in support of D.C.’s LGBT Pride weekend and he’s troubled that someone would go so far as to set it on fire.

“It is appalling to us,” he told the Washington Blade. “I don’t think it was targeting my restaurant. But to me it is a hate crime.”

Woods said the D.C. hate crimes hotline didn’t immediately respond to his call for an investigation into the incident. He said he planned to call the police LGBT Liaison Unit to report the incident.

“I will replace it and hang it again,” he said.

The flag burning incident at D.C. Bourbon at 2321 18th St., N.W. took place the same day an unknown suspect spray painted the words “Down with the gay agenda” on the sidewalk outside the Thaiphoon restaurant at 2011 S St., N.W., near Dupont Circle.

It couldn’t immediately be determined whether the suspects responsible for the rainbow flag burning and the graffiti outside Thaiphoon restaurant were prompted to take their action by the news of the shooting deaths of 49 patrons of the Orlando, Fla., gay nightclub Pulse.

Sometime after the anti-gay message appeared on the sidewalk outside Thaiphoon restaurant in black spray paint someone else used red paint to change the phrase “gay” agenda to “gun” agenda.

anti-gay, gay news, Washington Blade

An unknown person changed the message ‘Down with the gay agenda’ on the sidewalk outside Thaiphoon restaurant to “Down with gun agenda.

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Brian's Ions

    June 16, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Both incidents are hate crimes under DC law. Injury to property is specifically listed as a “designated act” in DC’s hate rimes law (Bias-Related Crimes Act). The perpetrators are targeting the LGBT-supportive restaurant –AND– its LGBT customers. Burning the flag may be an implied threat of arson — or worse.

    So yes, indeed, take this incident VERY SERIOUSLY,

    It is shameful that MPD and Assistant Chief Diane Groomes and MPD’s LGBTLU unit, for which she is responsible, has not given these two anti-LGBTQ hate crimes proper attention.

    Mayor Bowser should be publicly denouncing these anti-LGBT hate crimes as well.

    Report the hate crime to MPD and demand a LGBTLU officer make the 251 report, with its suspected hate crime checkoff. Make sure the officer gives you a CCN number —and– after 24 hours, get a copy (free to injured parties) of the 251 Report from any MPD district office. Then review the 251 incident report, including its narrative section closely for accuracy.
    http://mpdc.dc.gov/page/police-districts-and-police-service-areas

    Also, a copy helps the restaurant owner(s) (and patrons or others, if necessary) can followup and make sure MPD doesn’t try to bury the case.

    BTW, the restaurant and its patrons may have CIVIL remedies available to them against the perpetrators under that same law…
    http://dccode.org/simple/Title-22/Chapter-37/

    I commented on the first incident in WaPo– with a few additional relevant links…

    WASHINGTON POST
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/dc-police-investigate-anti-gay-graffiti-painted-on-dupont-circle-sidewalk/2016/06/13/d925993a-3196-11e6-95c0-2a6873031302_story.html
    .

    • Cpt_Justice

      June 16, 2016 at 3:41 pm

      Thank you for this comprehensive post.

  2. Simon

    June 16, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    “Down with the gay agenda”!

    Didn’t anyone tell them we had a meeting a decided its now called the Homo-schedule.

    • chinangel .

      June 16, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      really? i forgot to attend. Homo-schedule. I’ll remember that.

    • Kayla Greene

      June 16, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      I missed the last one too, can you tell me how we are spelling “work” these days? Last I heard it was “wherque”

    • Nursemommy

      June 16, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      Lol!

  3. Tazzari1

    June 16, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    What cowards – strike by night and bravely burn a flag and spray graffiti on a sidewalk. It’s the knuckle-dragging crowd who feel threatened because WE’RE WINNING!

    • Ryan taylor

      June 16, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      Winning? Talk like this is what incites hate. Relax and do you. All this “Hey look at me, I’m gay” talk creates more separation. Can’t you see that?

      • Shaddus

        June 16, 2016 at 9:53 pm

        So what you’re saying is that we should all be secretive and not let anyone know anything about us, or they may want to kill us?

        • Ryan taylor

          June 16, 2016 at 9:59 pm

          Dude what are you reading? Secretive? Why would you deserve that? I clearly wrote relax and do you. You are a human being just like me. Everyone knows gay people exist. I have lots of tolerance, but I’ve seen with my own eyes instances when gay couples go out of their way to make people uncomfortable with unnecessary PDA. Straight or gay it’s wrong to do that around young children. I don’t think you or anyone should be killed. Just know that there are people out there that aren’t of sane mind, like that idiot in Orlando or that psycho white guy in Cali that showed up to the Pride festival for target practice.

          • Ryan taylor

            June 16, 2016 at 10:28 pm

            Tazzari mentioned gays are “winning”. Ok what exactly are you “winning”? I’m asking so I have a better understanding of what you’re trying to say.

          • Hrothgir Ó Dómhnaill

            June 17, 2016 at 8:20 am

            To play jesuit – I think the ‘winning’ is referring to ‘the right to exist as they are, free from discrimination and molestation’ You know, what straight people get by virtue of being straight.

          • Ryan taylor

            June 17, 2016 at 10:09 am

            I appreciate your comment, but when I see the term “winning”, I think of competition. That leads to the discussion of people that support gay rights and those that don’t.

            The last couple of years there has been more homosexuality injected in mainstream movies and music. Gay activists have stressed that the culture needs to be represented in a positive manner so it becomes more of a natural sight. I get it. With America being a county that was built on Christianity there was bound to be some backlash, which we have seen. The Muslim religion is just like many others. You have those that preach love and understanding and those that become radicalized. Some people will never be able to accept the gay culture.

            I look at the gay flag as a symbol of separation. If you’re gay that’s your right, but why is there a need to rub your sexuality in people’s faces? It’s your personal business. Woman or male, if I see you share a kiss or holding hands guess what I’m going to assume you are gay. I respect that. It’s the people that go overboard with trying to make people uncomfortable by announcing their arrival then saying “oh I’m just proud” that are getting innocent people hurt.

          • Laura Bartlett

            June 17, 2016 at 10:38 am

            As a person with a disability, I like being assertive and stand up for myself in all things. If you think for one second that I’ll ever apologize for making some poor snowflake normal uncomfortable….think again. Since my sexuality runs pretty much in the range of middle of the road straight, you’d think my being affectionate with the spousal unit would slip under the average conservative’s radar. I’ve been told we’re sinning cos I’m unable to have kids and my husband should marry a normal female instead a tool of the devil…etc etc But whatever.

            I would never say I understand what hurtful vicious crap an LGBT person has to put up with from their point of view, but I understand the feeling of being the “other”.

            People who are middle of the road normal in most things never seem to realize how off putting they can be to anyone different from themselves.

          • Ryan taylor

            June 17, 2016 at 11:06 am

            I understand what you are saying and I apologize on behalf of those that would say such evil things to you. Myself being a straight male, I’ve had these conversations with my gay friends. Some are open and flamboyant, others are open but laid back. I had a gay friend look at another gay guy and say “he’s doing too much” lol its really awesome to talk to people in a public forum and try to see where their head is at. Everyone is so different, but everyone deserves respect.

          • Laura Bartlett

            June 17, 2016 at 11:18 pm

            Definitely.

          • Alex Klebenow

            June 17, 2016 at 10:42 am

            Ryan, by YOUR OWN EXAMPLE (PDA) Heteros do it EVERY MOMENT OF THEIR LIVES in public: on the street, the subway, sucking face in restaurants, holding hands and other portions of the anatomy in public, wearing wedding rings CONSTANTLY shoving THEIR personal lives in our faces. WHY is it “wrong to do that around young children” to show show true LOVE?
            Do you ALSO condemn the heteros who engage in PDAs and “hey I’m Hetero” talk??
            WE have EVERY RIGHT to love the person whom we choose, AND to show that love as well as every hetero couple out there.

          • Ryan taylor

            June 17, 2016 at 11:00 am

            Thank you for responding, and yes I did state that excessive PDA by any gender is not for the public. You do have every right you stated and I have no objection to you nor will I judge you.

          • Hrothgir Ó Dómhnaill

            June 18, 2016 at 6:40 pm

            You sound sort of bitter.

          • Hrothgir Ó Dómhnaill

            June 18, 2016 at 6:45 pm

            And when you’re that socially Darwinist as the view you espouse, ‘surviving’ is winning.

          • North Of Kwameville 48

            June 16, 2016 at 10:32 pm

            Straight sloppy PDA occurs round the clock. Your critique of gay behavior is hypocritical. Double standards undermine your position. You should start warning straight PDA people that they may become targets of the Pink Panthers who are a bit testy right now.

          • Ryan taylor

            June 16, 2016 at 10:34 pm

            Sir you can be cynical all you want. 49 people just got killed. If you’re not gay, I really don’t care for your opinion. I clearly just wrote straight or gay PDA is wrong in certain situations. How about reading before you write.

          • North Of Kwameville 48

            June 16, 2016 at 10:41 pm

            Why should gay PDA be treated
            differently? You are justifying hypocritical behavior and the murder of 49 people. Your snide and rude reply is not warranted or wanted. I really don’t care for your opinion either regardless of
            your orientation. We should not be subjected to different standards of behavior just because “they” are enraged.

        • Hideous Harbinger

          June 16, 2016 at 10:52 pm

          Yes, we best not make da massuh mad…..da closet is the safest place.

  4. Morgan Tepper

    June 17, 2016 at 10:03 am

    In response to the desecration of the rainbow flag outside of Bourbon Adams Morgan, we are doing a “gay-in” at the establishment starting at 8pm. Please join us in solidarity as we present them a new rainbow flag and express our uninhibited love for each other and the community.

    MORE INFO: https://www.facebook.com/events/200009093729734/

    Email [email protected] with any questions

    • Alex Klebenow

      June 17, 2016 at 10:43 am

      If I still lived in DC I would be there!
      I WILL be there in spirit though!

  5. Mark Cichewicz

    June 20, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Last year some ass took my marriage equality sign. Lot of good that did It’s ok we got it anyway.

  6. FedupbeyondbeliefwObummer

    June 28, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    The American flag is as precious to me as the Rainbow flag is to you….your supporters burned my flag…..am I supposed to care that yours was torched? Really?

  7. Patrick

    June 29, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    LGBT in SF Just burned an American flag. No big deal. It does not mean they hate America. So someone burnt theirs. What’s the big deal it’s just a flag.

    Ignore what some idiot wrote on the sidewalk and keep your life going.

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Two injured in gunfire outside crowded 14th Street restaurants

Witnesses say 20 shots fired near Blade, Whitman-Walker offices

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Police are looking for three suspects in connection with Thursday’s shooting.

D.C. police are seeking the public’s help in identifying at least three suspects involved in a shooting in which two men were wounded shortly after 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 22, on the 1700 block of 14th Street, N.W. where the offices of the Washington Blade and Whitman-Walker Health, the LGBTQ supportive health center, are located.

The shooting occurred while dozens of people were dining at restaurants along the bustling street in the heart of the city’s Logan Circle nightlife area.

Police released a video showing two men – one wearing a white hooded sweater or sweatshirt and the other wearing a dark colored similar hooded shirt running along the street and entering the front and rear passenger doors of a black car double parked on the street that police described as an older model Honda Civic with D.C. license plates.

The video shows the car driving away at a fast speed with a third person driving the vehicle.

“Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Third District seek the public’s assistance in locating suspects and a vehicle in reference to an Assault with Intent to Kill (Gun) offense,” a statement released by D.C. police says.

“At approximately 8:20 p.m., members of the Third District heard the sounds of gunshots and responded to the listed location,” the statement says. “Upon arrival, members located two adult male victims, both conscious and breathing, suffering from gunshot wounds,” according to the statement. “DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and transported the victims to area hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.”

The shooting incident took place at a time when many city residents and police were on edge following the fatal shooting of a 6-year-old girl on July 16 in Southeast D.C. and the firing of gunshots last Saturday outside Washington Nationals Stadium during a game, which prompted people inside the stadium, who heard the gunshots, to duck for cover.

D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee, who was accompanied by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at a news conference at the scene of the shooting on Thursday night, said investigators believe one of the two men wounded by the gunfire was a target of the shooting. Contee said police believe the second victim was hit in the crossfire.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re doing everything we can as an entire system here in the District of Columbia to hold offenders accountable when these things happen in our community,” Contee said. “This is unacceptable. That’s the bottom line. It is totally unacceptable behavior,” he said.

“I’m asking the community to take a look at these videos,” he told reporters at the press conference. “If you know the person or the vehicle or somebody who is in that – there is one individual with a very distinctive hoody that he was wearing – please look at that very closely,” he said. “We’re asking for the community’s help.”

When asked by a reporter to comment on expressions of outrage by members of the community over the widespread outbreak of gun violence in the city, Bowser said she shares that concern.

“Well, I’m outraged. The chief is outraged. And the community should be outraged,” the mayor said. “What we saw tonight and unfortunately what we saw over the last several days is an illegal firearm brazenly used on D.C. streets,” Bowser said.

“And we know that our investigators and detectives are going to track down every lead. Our citizens have already been helpful in supplying leads and video and anything else that they saw so that we can get these individuals off the street and hold them accountable,” the mayor said.

Witnesses have said the Thursday night shooting on 14th Street reportedly occurred at the intersection of Riggs Street outside the Mexicue Restaurant, which is located at 1720 14th Street, N.W. The Blade office is located just a few doors down and Whitman-Walker’s Elizabeth Taylor building is a short distance away across the street at 14th and R Street, N.W.

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Suspect charged in murder of trans woman in PG County apartment

District Heights man apprehended in Arlington following unrelated arrest

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P.G. Police charged DeAllen Davonta Price with first-degree and second-degree murder and related charges in connection with Taya Ashton’s death.

Prince George’s County, Md., Police announced on Wednesday that homicide investigators identified and filed murder charges against a 27-year-old District Heights, Md., man for the July 17 homicide of transgender woman Taya Ashton, 20, who was found shot to death in her apartment in nearby Suitland, Md.

In a statement, P.G. Police said they charged DeAllen Davonta Price of the 6400 block of Hil Mar Drive in the unincorporated area of District Heights with first-degree and second-degree murder and related charges in connection with Ashton’s death.

According to the statement, while P.G. police detectives identified Price as a suspect in the Ashton murder, Arlington County, Va. Police arrested him on July 18 on an unrelated robbery charge after he attempted to flee from Arlington and Metro Transit police inside a train tunnel at the Pentagon City Metro Station.

“With the assistance of Metro Transit Police, Prince George’s County Police detectives and a K9 officer searched those tracks and recovered a weapon that’s now been linked to Taya’s murder,” the P.G. Police statement says.

“Price remains in custody in Virginia pending extradition to Prince George’s County,” the statement says. “The motive remains under investigation,” says the statement, but it adds, “Detectives have uncovered no evidence suggesting Taya’s murder was due to her gender identity.”

The announcement by P.G. police of Price’s arrest came on the same day that family members and friends of Taya Ashton held a vigil to honor her life at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at River Terrace Park in Northeast D.C. along the banks of the Anacostia River, which is part of the neighborhood were Ashton grew up.

Veteran D.C. LGBTQ rights advocate Phil Pannell, who attended and spoke at the vigil, said that in addition to family members and friends of Ashton’s, those who spoke included Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy; D.C. Council member Trayon White (D-Ward 8), D.C. transgender rights advocate Earline Budd, and numerous community leaders in D.C. and P.G. County. Budd said more than 200 people turned out for the vigil.

At the conclusion of the vigil, many of the participants drove in a lengthy caravan of cars to the apartment building in the Suitland section of Prince George’s County, where Ashton lived and where her life ended, to further honor her.

“The nearby streets were completely filled with people coming out for Taya and her family,” Budd said.

A three-page charging document filed in Prince George’s County District Court by P.G. Police on Wednesday, July 21, provides a detailed account of how homicide detectives used cell phone records and high-tech firearm ballistics techniques to link Price to the murder.

P.G. police said homicide detectives began an intense investigation into the murder almost immediately after family members who discovered Ashton’s body at her apartment on July 17 called police. Ashton’s grandfather, Stuart Anderson, who said Taya Ashton’s status as a transgender woman was accepted by her family, told the Blade that family members who arrived at the apartment could not find any evidence of a forced entry, leading them to believe the assailant responsible for the murder may have been someone Ashton knew and invited into her home.

The charging document says that although Ashton’s phone was missing from the apartment and presumed stolen at the time her body was found, detectives obtained her phone number from family members and used it to discover through the tracing of her calls and text message records that she and Price communicated with each other by text or calls between Friday, July 16, one day prior to the murder, and at 11:42 p.m. Saturday, July 17.

“This is the last call that the Decedent makes or answers before being found deceased,” the charging document states.

According to the charging document, earlier in the evening of July 17 Ashton and a friend of hers exchanged text messages in which Ashton wrote, “My dude is on his way” which the friend understood to mean a sexual encounter was expected to take place. A short time later Ashton told her friend in a follow-up text message “that a sexual encounter occurred,” the charging document says.

“As the investigation continued, it was discovered that Defendant was arrested on 07/18/2021 at approximately 1642 hours [4:42 p.m.] by the Arlington County Police Department for a theft,” the charging document in support of Price’s arrest says.

It says that when Arlington Police initially attempted to apprehend Price, “he jumped off of a platform and ran into a subway tunnel towards the Pentagon Metro Station.” The document says he hid inside the tunnel for about two hours before being arrested after he walked out of the tunnel into the station.

At the time of his arrest, the charging document says, Price was in possession of a Gucci cross strap bag with distinct markings that Ashton’s family members reported was missing from her apartment at the time her body was found.

A short time later, P.G. County homicide investigators, who arrived on the scene, conducted a search of the train tunnel and found a black semi-automatic .40 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun, the charging document states.

It says that that a police firearm expert, after examining the gun, “was able to conclude that the fired .40 caliber cartridge casing recovered from the scene [of the murder] and the fired projectile recovered from the Decedent’s body were fired from the Smith and Wesson handgun bearing serial #HTU3274 recovered from the area the Defendant hid from police.” 

The document states that when questioned after his arrest, Price waived his Miranda rights to withhold comment and obtain representation from an attorney and acknowledged that police had obtained access to his correct cell phone number.

“He also admitted to being sexually intimate with the Decedent and stated that he has known the Decedent for approximately three months,” the charging document continues. “He then admitted to being at the Decedent’s apartment the night of the murder and being sexually intimate with the Decedent that night,” it says.

“Based on the aforementioned facts, the evidence indicates that the Defendant is responsible for shooting and killing the Decedent,” the document concludes. The document does not state whether detectives asked Price whether he committed the murder or whether or not he admitted or denied fatally shooting Taya Ashton.

An arrest warrant that accompanies the charging document says that in addition to being charged with first-degree and second-degree murder, police charged Price with Assault-First Degree; Firearm Use/Felony Crime of Violence; Assault-Second Degree; Handgun on Person; and Loaded Handgun on Person.

Court records show that Price had been arrested in Virginia and Maryland several times prior to his latest arrests beginning in 2012 on charges that include illegal possession of a firearm, armed robbery, misdemeanor theft, and grand larceny.

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LGBTQ ally Hoffberger stepping down at American Visionary Art Museum

Iconic Baltimore attraction looking for a successor

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The Divine statue is a tribute to the gay actor and Baltimore native that was championed by outgoing AVAM founder and director Rebecca Hoffberger.

A longtime ally of the LGBTQ community is leaving her job in the arts world.

After 26 years as founder, director and primary curator of the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Rebecca Alban Hoffberger disclosed this week that she will retire in March of 2022.

In 1992, Congress designated the museum as a “national repository and educational center for visionary art,” which is defined as works “produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training” which arise from “an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself.”

Rather than focusing on works of visionary art as objects unto themselves, Hoffberger curates exhibits that combine art, science, philosophy, and humor, always with an underlying focus on social justice and betterment. AVAM’s exhibits have explored themes ranging from hunger, public health and climate change to sleep and what makes us smile.

Throughout her tenure, Hoffberger has supported LGBTQ artists by featuring their work and stories in her themed exhibits and adding their work to the museum’s permanent collection. While other museums have only recently begun to call attention to their efforts to support Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access, AVAM has done it all along.

One of AVAM’s best known and most photographed pieces by an LGBTQ artist is British sculptor Andrew Logan’s 10-foot-tall statue of Divine, a tribute to the gay actor and Baltimore native who starred in drag in “Pink Flamingos,” “Multiple Maniacs,” “Hairspray” and other movies by filmmaker John Waters.

Logan, whose paintings and sculpture fill the Andrew Logan Museum of Sculpture between England and Wales, has two other works at AVAM: Icarus, a figure suspended above the main staircase, and the Cosmic Galaxy Egg, an eight-foot sculpture on a plaza outside the museum’s Jim Rouse Visionary Center.

Other LGBTQ artists highlighted at AVAM include painter James Snodgrass; Judy Tallwing McCarthy, an Apache leatherwoman and multi-media artist who won the first International Ms. Leather contest in 1987; Andrey Bartenev, a Russian performer, sculptor and experimentalist who won the Alternate Miss World pansexual beauty pageant in 2018 as Miss UFO; and psychic and “consciousness researcher” Ingo Douglas Swann, co-founder of the Stargate Project that was launched to investigate psychic phenomena in military and domestic intelligence applications.

Local visionary talents include woodworker Bob Little; Bob Adams, a multi-media artist and one of John Waters’ Dreamlanders, whose photographs, scrapbooks, shrines and other assemblages have been featured in three AVAM exhibits, and Bob Benson, a popular classical music radio host who became a prolific visual artist later in life, responsible for the fart machine in the museum’s Flatulence exhibit; the blinged-out Universal Tree of Life visible on Key Highway (made with Rick Ames and David Hess); the ocean beneath Icarus and the sky above him, and many other creations.

The museum has supported the LGBTQ community in other ways as well. It was one of the first places in Maryland to offer a welcoming setting for same-sex weddings, even before they were legal in the state. Couples would get married in the District of Columbia, where it was legal, and then come to AVAM’s Meditation Chapel to have a second wedding and reception.

One of Hoffberger’s year-long exhibits was called “Race, Class and Gender: 3 Things that Contribute “0” to CHARACTER (Because being a Schmuck is an equal opportunity for everyone!), also known as The Character Show. As part of that 2005-2006 presentation, she wrote an essay entitled “gender,” in which she explored the ways people in different countries think about transgender citizens; “intersex” children born with both male and female reproductive organs; gender “verification” for athletes; gender fluidity, the “gender rights” movement and related subjects.

“Every human being is precious,” she argued at the end. “We are all, all of us, part of God’s family. We all must be allowed to love each other with honor.”

The museum’s shop, Sideshow, has a gay owner whom she recruited from Chicago, Ted “Uncle Fun” Frankel, and is filled with gay-friendly books and gifts that reflect his sensibility. TripSavvy.com, a website last month named AVAM the LGBTQ+ Best Hidden Gem in Maryland. Readers of The Baltimore Sun just chose it as Baltimore’s Best Museum and Best Tourist Attraction.

In announcing her departure, Hoffberger said she loves her time at the museum but wants to pursue other interests, including writing a play about the close friendship between inventor Nikola Tesla and writer Mark Twain.

“I consider myself the luckiest woman I know,” she said. “It has been such a fantastic privilege to imagine, birth and to help our American Visionary Art Museum flourish over these past decades, alongside the most wonderful hardworking staff imaginable. Every beautiful thought, opportunity to communally inspire some greater good, we have joyfully undertaken.”

Her final curated exhibit as director will be “Healing & The Art of Compassion (And The Lack Thereof!),” scheduled for Oct. 9, 2021 to Sept. 4, 2022. A farewell gala and fundraiser has been set for Nov. 20. The museum’s board has appointed m/Oppenheim Executive Search to help find her replacement.

Waters, a big fan of the museum, is one of many who think Oppenheim doesn’t have an easy assignment.

“Rebecca Hoffberger’s name is almost synonymous with the word ‘irreplaceable,” the writer and filmmaker said in an email message.

“She has given the world the perfect museum to celebrate Baltimore’s reputation as a welcoming home to eccentric artistic outsiders and crackpot personalities,” he said. “The statue of Divine watches over the international visiting guests with benevolence and the same understanding Rebecca has for all artists who don’t fit in. Rebecca is passionate, obsessive in her drive, and nobody else could have made this place become such a major tourist destination. And now to find a successor? Who knows? We need another Glinda, the Good Witch of the Visionary. She’s out there somewhere.”

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