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SFGMC launches campaign to support National LGBTQ Center for the Arts

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Photo courtesy SFGMC.

This week, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus launched a public campaign to raise funds for the National LGBTQ Center for the Arts.

On Wednesday night, January 15, SFGMC announced the launch at a reception, held at the organization’s new home, a historic four-floor 1930 property near the Castro neighborhood where the chorus began four decades ago. The evening featured remarks from Mayor London Breed, California State Senator Scott Wiener, Honorary Chair Sharon Stone, SFGMC Artistic Director Dr. Timothy Seelig, Campaign Chair Edward Sell, and SFGMC Executive Director Chris Verdugo. There were also performances from members of SFGMC, San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company, Opera Parallèle, San Francisco Philharmonic, and Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, along with docent-led tours of the building, and more.

According to SFGMC, the three-year, $15 million campaign “will secure and refurbish the new building and create a long-term financial foundation for SFGMC with a permanent endowment. To date, more than $9 million has been raised, with leadership gifts of $5 million from founding Chorus member Terrence Chan, $1 million from the Chorus Board of Directors, and $1 million from Zendesk Founder and CEO Mikkel Svane, along with $250,000 from the city of San Francisco and $500,000 from the state of California. The remaining $6 million will be raised through the generous support of individuals, foundations and businesses. Naming opportunities for iconic spaces within the new building include the auditorium, production studio, main lobby, second and third floor lobbies, conference rooms, offices, dressing rooms, the roof, and the building itself.”

San Francisco Mayor Breed remarked, “Creating a space for the National LGBTQ Center for the Arts and a foundation for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus will help ensure these important organizations can operate for generations to come. This new space with help inspire greater advocacy through art, which, given the current political environment at the federal level, is more important than ever before.”

“As the Chorus has grown, our mission has evolved,” said Campaign Chair Sell. “Today the Chorus aspires to play a larger role, offering programming that serves the entire nation… There are few organizations like SFGMC with the history and power to unite and transform, and there has never been a more critical need for the uplifting sounds and unifying messages of SFGMC.”

Executive Director Verdugo commented, “The Arts Center will not only be SFGMC’s home, it will be home to countless artists and arts organizations nationwide who often find it a challenge to merely exist, much less have a physical space…As pioneers of the LGBTQ choral movement, we will inspire and challenge the next generation of leaders and creators to create art that not only keeps our stories alive, but moves us all forward as one collective human community.”

SFGMC purchased the National LGBTQ Center for the Arts in April 2019. The organization plans “to expand and enhance its leadership role by opening the building to composers, librettists, choreographers, and other performing artists as an incubator and workshop space for the creation of new works and collaborations.”

Additional details about SFGMC’s upcoming plans for the Center will be announced on January 21.

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Arts & Entertainment

10 LGBTQ events this week

It is Black LGBTQ Pride and Memorial Day Weekend

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Below are our picks for some of the most fun and creative things to do this week in D.C. that are of special interest to the LGBTQ community.

BenDeLaCreme “Ready to be Committed”

BenDeLaCreme (Photo by Magnus Hastings)

Monday, May 23
7 p.m.
9:30 Club
815 V Street, N.W.
$45
Facebook | Website | Ticketmaster

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” alumni BenDeLaCreme performs “Ready to be Committed” at the 9:30 Club Monday. Doors open at 7 p.m. Seating is first come, first serve.

Mystery Reveal Party

(Image via Facebook)

Wednesday, May 25
9 p.m.
Trade
1410 14th Street, N.W.
Facebook

Meet the mystery guest at a mystery reveal party hosted by Jaxknife on Wednesday. Mystery drink specials include $3 shots and $7 beer/shot combos.

Black, Gay and Thriving

(Image via Facebook)

Thursday, May 26
5:30 p.m.
ANC 5D Community Meeting Room
371 Morse Street, N.E.
Facebook | Eventbrite

Gay Professional Men of Color (GPMC) holds a networking event on Thursday at the beginning of Black Pride Weekend in D.C.

LGBTQ+ Evening Out in Del Ray

Evening Star in Del Ray, Va. (Photo via Facebook)

Thursday, May 26
7-10 p.m.
Bar No. 9 Lounge at the Evening Star
2000 Mt Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, Va.
Facebook | Eventbrite

Join a free gathering and make some new friends at the Bar No. 9 Lounge (upstairs) in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Va. on Thursday.

Trans Agenda

(Image via Facebook)

Thursday, May 26
9 p.m.
JR.’s
1519 17th Street, N.W.
Facebook

A show featuring all trans performers at JR.’s includes host MasVusi, Silver Ware, Chata Uchis and St. Patrick Star.

RuPaul’s Drag Race British Invasion Tour

(Image via Live Nation)

Friday, May 27
8 p.m.
Warner Theatre
513 13th Street, N.W.
$45-$153
Facebook | Live Nation

See the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. as the British Invasion Tour makes its Washington, D.C. stop at the Warner Theatre on Friday.

GLOW/CRAZY

(Image via Facebook)

Friday, May 27
9 p.m.
Green Lantern
1335 Green Court, N.W.
no cover
Facebook

Enjoy a Kicks & Giggles dance party at the Green Lantern complete with DJs and glow paint. From 9 to 10 p.m., if you’re wearing body paint on your chest or back, you drink for free!

Anything But Clothes Party

(Image via Facebook)

Saturday, May 28
9 p.m.
The Lodge
21614 National Pike
Boonsboro, Md.
$5 cover before 10 p.m. / $8 cover after 10 p.m.
Facebook

Join Capital DJ Chase for the “Anything But Clothes Party” at The Lodge on Saturday. There will be a most creative outfit (not clothes) contest at midnight.

Black Pride Brunch & Babes

(Image via Facebook)

Sunday, May 29
11:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Karma Night Club
2221 Adams Place, N.E.
$60
Facebook

Celebrate Black Pride with the Capitol Ballroom Council at a ballroom performance with a catered brunch buffet and bottomless memosas- Sunday, May 29, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Black Pride Brunch & Babes at Karma Night Club.

Flashy Memorial Day Weekend

(Image via Facebook)

Sunday, May 29
10 p.m.-5 a.m.
Flash
645 Florida Avenue, N.W.
$30 advance / $40 door
Facebook | Eventbrite

Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend Sunday night into the wee hours of the morning at Flash. Music by DJ Twin, DJ Sean Morris and DJ Lemz.

If you would like to let us know about an upcoming event, email [email protected] with details.

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PHOTOS: Summer Kickoff Party

Washington Blade holds annual event at The Pines in Rehoboth Beach

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Del. Lisa Blunt Rochester shares a laugh with Blade Editor Kevin Naff at the Summer Kickoff Party on Saturday. (Blade photo by Daniel Truitt)

The Washington Blade held its 15th annual Summer Kickoff Party at The Pines in Rehoboth Beach, Del. on Friday, May 20 with special guest Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.).

(Washington Blade photos by Daniel Truitt)

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PHOTOS: Worthy Mentoring Pride Brunch

Carson Kressley serves as emcee for LGBTQ fundraiser

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Carson Kressley serves as the emcee for the Worthy Mentoring Pride Brunch. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Carson Kressley of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” served as the emcee for the Worthy Mentoring Pride Brunch at the Four Seasons Washington Hotel on Sunday, May 22. Worthy Mentoring is a nonprofit that connects mentors and mentees in the LGBTQ+ community through a mobile iOS and Android App.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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