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City of West Hollywood’s 2021 Rainbow Key Award honorees

The City presented more than 155 awards since 1993 to people & organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the LGBTQ community.

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WEST HOLLYWOOD – This year’s Rainbow Key Award Nominees represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds from filmmaking to journalism and music. Since 1993, the City of West Hollywood has presented more than 155 awards to people and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the LGBTQ community. Previous honorees have included activists, artists, civic leaders, educators, community organizations, and many others.

Dante Alencastre, local documentary filmmaker and LGBT community activist

Dante Alencastre is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and LGBTQ community activist, based in Los Angeles, California. An advocate for equal rights globally and for creating social change through media awareness of Latino and Trans People around the world, he is known for over a decade of work supporting and documenting the Transgender community in Los Angeles and Lima, Peru.

He has made several films spotlighting Trans experience and activism around the world, starting with”En El Fuego” (2007), a short exploring transphobia in Lima, and a follow-up, “El Fuego Dentro” (2011). In 2014, he released “Transvisible: Bamby Salcedo’s Story,” a documentary about the Trans Latina Los Angeles woman who founded the [email protected] Coalition, and who is now a renowned international leader and Trans community advocate. In 2016, he was a producer on “Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria”, a feature documentary examining the social, cultural and political legacy of Jose Sarria, the world’s first openly gay man to run for public office and the founder of the Imperial Court System. He next directed “Raising Zoey,” documenting a California teen’s battle against school officials for the freedom to be her authentic self at school.

Dante’s latest documentary, “AIDS Diva: The Legend of Connie Norman,” about the influential ACT UP leader who self described as an “ex-drag queen, ex-hooker, ex-IV drug user, ex-high risk youth and current post-operative transsexual woman who is HIV positive” and simply “a human being seeking my humanity,” premiering in August at LA’s iconic Outfest LGBTQ film festival. It is his second film to be screened at Outfest.
In addition to his film work, Dante has worked on the boards of Los Angeles Arts organizations, as well as political and community groups, which are focused on the overlapping Transgender, Latino/a, and gender-non-conforming tribes within the community. In 2018, he was appointed Executive Director of the California LGBT Arts Alliance.

Grace Baldridge, local musician and composer

Grace Baldridge identifies as genderqueer and non-binary using their middle name of Semler for music writing and performing, chosen both because of the name’s links to their maternal family history and because they prefer their music to be experienced from a gender-neutral viewpoint.

In February 2021 Semler released an EP, Preacher’s Kid, about being a queer Christian, which they recorded at home and promoted themselves.

Baldridge has been a regular guest host of The Young Turks, and co-hosted the former TYT Network show Pop Trigger. They created the TYT-associated YouTube series Murder with Friends, which was nominated for Best Non-Fiction Series in the 7th Streamy Awards in 2017.

In 2020, Baldridge hosted a documentary series entitled ‘State of Grace’ on being LGBTQ and Christian, produced by Refinery29. The first episode, “The Life Threatening Dangers Of Gay Conversion Therapy”, was nominated at the 31st GLAAD Media Awards for the Outstanding Digital Journalism – Multimedia award.

Jeff Consoletti, principal of JJLA and producer LA Pride

As a creative director and executive producer, Jeff Consoletti’s career has spanned nearly two decades leading trend-setting special events, brand activations, concerts and festivals. Jeff is the Founder and CEO of JJLA. Headquartered in Los Angeles, JJLA is a full-service live and digital event production, management, experiential and entertainment firm creating ground up special events that grow audiences, elevate experiences, energize fans and connect communities. 

For over ten years, he was widely recognized as the executive producer of the LA PRIDE Festival, transforming the event into the largest LGBT ticketed festival in the nation. In 2019, he produced Pride Island at NYC’s WorldPride, headlined by Madonna. During the pandemic, he launched his award-winning digital series, OUTLOUD: Raising Voices, profiling queer artists, for Facebook, and in the summer of 2021 delivered OUTLOUD as a the first post-pandemic live-concert at the iconic Coliseum to over 1500 fans per day and over 5M viewers on Twitch.

He is listed among Billboard’s PRIDE List, BizBash’s Most Influential Producers, Business Equality Magazine’s 40 Under 40, Special Event’s Top 50, and an INC5000 Fastest Growing Company. 
Originally from Boston, he graduated with honors from The George Washington University before relocating to Los Angeles where he resides with his husband, Rob.

Sophie B. Hawkins, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, writer, actor, and painter

Sophie B. Hawkins is an acclaimed music artist who burst onto the international scene with her 1992 platinum-selling debut album, “Tongues and Tails,” which included the Top Five hit single “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover” and earned her a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist – the first of multiple honors that have come her way in the three decades since.  

Sophie is not just a singer: she writes her own songs, is a multi-instrumentalist, and has been fully involved in every aspect of the production of her records herself – as an accomplished visual artist, she has even produced artwork and photography for each of her own albums.  Born and raised in New York City, she attended Manhattan School of Music before leaving to pursue a career as a percussionist. She cut her musical teeth singing from her drum set in various bands.

Throughout her rich musical career, Sophie has not only proven herself an enduring artist with a fierce commitment to artistic integrity, she has also committed herself to being an advocate and philanthropist. She performed a benefit concert for the Waterkeeper Alliance, an organization of on-the-water advocates who patrol and protect rivers, streams and coastlines around the world. In addition to her work with Waterkeeper, she has supported GLAAD, The Ms. Foundation for Women, The Trevor Project, and Raise a Child Foundation.

Even with all these achievements under her belt, Sophie says the crowning achievement of her life, and the accomplishment of which she is most proud, is being the mother of her two children.

NiK Kacy, a gender-non-binary trans-masculine fashion designer

NiK Kacy is the Creator and Executive Producer of Equality Fashion Week, the 1st LGBTQ+focused Fashion Week in LA, as well as the Founder and President of NiK Kacy Footwear, a LGBT-certified business, and the first gender-equal /
gender-free footwear and accessories for genders and identities in all spectrums.

As a gender nonconforming, transmasculine individual who identifies as nonbinary, Kacy’s designs are inspired by both their personal identity, style, cultural background, fashion, and activism. Their mission is to utilize fashion as activism in a way that inspires change so that gender is no longer a force that limits or restricts, and EQUALITY becomes the vernacular that ALL individuals speak.

Kacy’s journey began shortly after traveling throughout Europe in search of masculine-styled shoes made to fit smaller, petite feet. For most of their life, Kacy was unable to find a proper pair of shoes that were both comfortable and fitting of their identity. Tired of being under-represented, Kacy set out to discuss with manufacturers why shoes have traditionally been divided between men and women only. After being told repeatedly by the footwear industry that the market for this niche was too small and therefore non-lucrative, Kacy decided to design their own collection of gender-free shoes in a range of gender-equal sizes.

Since their successful Kickstarter campaign in March 2015, NiK Kacy has been featured in numerous publications.

In their spare time, NiK Kacy is dedicated to the local and global LGBTQ+ community in raising awareness, visibility, education and supporting the community at large. Kacy is part of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s Trans-Inclusion Task Force, is on the Board of Directors at TransCanWork and The Queer 26, and is also on the Advisory Board of GendrFwd, a new non-profit focused on increasing the visibility of non-binary and gender non-conforming community.

One of Kacy’s many passions include supporting local LGBTQ+ focused nonprofit organizations like the LA LGBT Center, the TransLatina Coalition, and Trans Chorus of LA.

Currently, NiK Kacy is committed to raising funds and increasing visibility for the Equality Fashion Week brand and hopes to bring EFW across the nation to cities where representation for LGBTQ+ communities are most needed.

Troy Masters, publisher, the Los Angeles Blade,

In 1988, at the height of the AIDS crisis Troy Masters was working in New York City, selling ads and managing accounts for what was then the world’s largest circulation magazine, PC Magazine. Masters was tracking in the right place for corporate success but for an openly gay man it was not the right time and, as it turns out, not the right place.

Masters, like many other gay men at the time, ditched his high-paying job to use his talents for his community and took a job selling ads for a new gay and lesbian magazine called OutWeek. In his words; “[…]it was a life-changing move because it put me at the center of a vast network of like-minded people who were deeply involved in every aspect of the AIDS crisis and a rapidly escalating fight for LGBTQ+ civil rights.” From that beginning he went on to be the founder of not just one, but ultimately five LGBTQ+ publications on the East and West Coast. Among them was a magazine, QW, which he co-founded with current Los Angeles Magazine Editor-In-Chief Maer Roshan. The glossy magazine paused publication after the AIDS death of Masters’ then partner, William Chafin. One year later, Masters founded LGNY, a lesbian and gay newspaper that, in 1994, also launched arguably the first LGBTQ+ newspaper website, even before nytimes.com was launched. That newspaper changed its name to Gay City News in 2002 and is now NYCs only LGBTQ newspaper.

In late 2015, Masters relocated to Los Angeles with the goal of establishing a strong LGBTQ newspaper for the Los Angeles region (none existed), ultimately resulting in the founding of the Los Angeles Blade where he is Publisher. Partnering with the venerable Washington Blade, one of the nation’s pioneering LGBTQ newspapers. Los Angeles Blade quickly built a powerful network of allies in the LA area and nationally that includes LGBTQIA community notables, activists, non-profit, political and business leaders, and philanthropists like Ariadne Getty and her philanthropic foundation, AGF. Masters continues to ensure that the LGBTQ+ community has its own news source and voice in Southern California. 

Masters, who was recently honored by the City of West Hollywood for hosting Pride Walk in WeHo, lives in LA’s Beverly Grove neighborhood with his partner of 20 years Arturo Jimenez and their beloved Schnauzer Cody.

Paulo Murillo, editor in chief and publisher of WeHo Times

Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES, an award-winning online news publication covering the City of West Hollywood. Murillo began his professional writing career in 1998 as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! Newspaper. He has been documenting LGBTQ history and current events as a columnist, reporter, and photojournalist for more than 20 years. 

From writing about his personal life as a gay man in Los Angeles, to covering LGBT news and advocating for recovery from drugs and alcohol in the LGBT community, Murillo has been featured in numerous LGBTQ+ print and online publications, including The Los Angeles Blade, The Fight Magazine, Bay Area Reporter, Frontiers Magazine, IN Los Angeles Magazine, and LA Health News, among others. 

In addition to his position at WEHO TIMES, Murillo continues to pen “The Share” column for The Fight Magazine where he interviews LGBTQ members of the sober community and shares their journey in recovery. The Fight Magazine celebrated their 10th Anniversary this year.

“I’m deeply touched and honored to be a co-recipient of this year’s Rainbow Key Award,” Murillo tells The Los Angeles Blade. “I hope it sends a message about the importance of documenting our LGBT history as we continue to lose our community spaces. I also accept this award on behalf of my extended LGBTQ family members who are working to recover from drugs and alcohol addiction. May this recognition inspire you to stay the course. There is always hope.”

Dr. Adrian Ravarour, founder of San Francisco-based Vanguard, who is also a priest and spiritual artist.

Adrian Ravarour, Ph.D., is a recipient of the 2021 Rainbow Key Award because he founded and organized Vanguard in 1965, the first gay rights liberation youth organization in the country to demonstrate for equal treatment, acceptance and to end discrimination; and, he has continued to make contributions to the LGBTQ+ communities throughout his life.

Adrian Ravarour is a priest, spiritual artist, and social activist who started Vanguard in San Francisco with Joel T Williams in the summer of 1965. Ravarour was the adult founder of Vanguard and civil rights teacher to the Vanguard members who were mainly Gay young male adults, teenage runaways and Tenderloin street youth. Ravarour felt obligated to enliven their hearts, souls, minds in his personal belief that being gay was a natural human emotion and that discrimination against the youth for being gay was unjustified. Vanguard was a gay rights youth organization active from 1965 to 1967 and a forerunner of the first Gay and Lesbian Center in San Francisco in 1967. Ravarour and other Vanguard leaders were participants in several protests related to discrimination against Vanguard members, including those that led to what has become known as the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot.  

Adrian is also a prolific artist and writer. His work currently centers around photography and his photography books are in numerous collections. 

Adrian has also been active in preserving historical records, artifacts and memorabilia that support gay artists. He was the president of the Ruth St.Denis Foundation for 20 years. A professional videographer, Adrian was the Executive Director of the Dance Video Center of Los Angeles recording local and major dance companies in Los Angeles and New York, and at the famous Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts. He also recorded oral histories of LGBT dancers and choreographers.   

Adrian Ravarour is a gay elder, spiritual leader, activist and prolific artist, who has and continues to make lifelong contributions.

This year’s Etheridge Award will be conferred to legendary LGBTQ+ rights activist and outgoing CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the former CEO of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Lorri L. Jean, for her relentless advocacy and tireless efforts on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Lorri L. Jean

Speaking to the Los Angeles Blade, LA LGBT Center CEO Lorri L. Jean marveled at the journey for the center she has headed on for so long and is now preparing to hand off its primary leadership role of- but also at her personal journey.

Twenty-nine years ago the Los Angeles LGBT Center moved from a rather dilapidated old motel and into a newly renovated 44,000 square foot building in Hollywood. Along with that newly operational space came a new Executive Director and the promise of a new future and direction for the Center which since 1969 had cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBTQ individuals and families in the Southland.

Along the way the Center has grown- expanding to a nearly 2 block campus along with an additional 9 sites around the Los Angeles metroplex. [10 sites includes the campus] Jean initially served as the Center’s executive director from 1993 to 1999. She returned as CEO in 2003. She announced last September that she would be stepping down in July 2022.

In addition to her role at the LA Center, Jean played a critical role as a co-founder in 1994 of CenterLink a member-based coalition to support the development of strong, sustainable, LGBTQ community centers across the United States; A role Jean is proud of she told the Blade.

Reflecting on the role CenterLink has played, Jean noted that what was once around 65 LGBTQ Community Centers has grown into 270 centers. “If you look at legislative efforts or LGBTQ rights that have been expanded, there is usually a strong and stable LGBTQ Center. They are the engines of the LGBTQ movement,” she said. “They assist fostering change.”

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City of West Hollywood’s LGBTQ+ Arts Festival 2022 kicks-off

Festival Kicks Off on Sunday, May 22 with a Harvey Milk Day Virtual Staged Reading of ‘Dear Harvey’ Featuring an All Trans & Non-Binary Cast

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Our Pride, a mural by artist LaToya D. Peoples (Photo credit: Jon Viscott)

WEST HOLLYWOOD, – Each year, the City of West Hollywood celebrates the artistic contributions of the LGBTQ community with its WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival (formerly known as the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival).

The festival runs for 40 days, from Harvey Milk Day on Sunday, May 22, 2022 through Thursday, June 30, 2022, which marks the end of Pride month. This year, some events will be presented in-person and others will be available online.

Note that for all all programming details please visit this link: pride.weho.org

The LGBTQ Arts Festival is presented in addition to WeHo Pride Weekend from Friday, June 3, 2022 through Sunday, June 5, 2022 and will include a Street Fair, the Dyke March, the Women’s Freedom Festival, the ticketed OUTLOUD Raising Voices Music Festival, and the WeHo Pride Parade.

For decades, the City of West Hollywood has been home to the largest Pride celebration in Southern California. Hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ people and allies from around the world make West Hollywood their destination for the Pride season. Home to the “Rainbow District” along Santa Monica Boulevard, which features a concentration of historic LGBTQ clubs, restaurants, and retail shops, the City consistently tops lists of “most LGBTQ friendly cities” in the nation. All #WeHoPride weekend programming details: www.weho.org/pride.

“The City of West Hollywood is thrilled to be producing the LGBTQ Arts Festival and #WeHoPride for our community again this year,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister.

“The City has a long-standing and proud commitment to both the arts and the LGBTQ community, and what better way to meld those commitments than with the #WeHoPride LGBTQ Arts Festival? Join the City online and in-person for art exhibits, thought-provoking panel discussions, entertaining performances, invigorating creative writing, educational self-guided walking tours, and even our very own queer ComicCon, where cosplay is encouraged and celebrated. Pride starts right here in West Hollywood and I’m looking forward to seeing you all in-person and virtually!”

The WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival theme for 2022 is “With Liberty, Diversity, Inclusion and Progress for All” and this year’s festival poster was designed by Kaija Sydlowski through an open call poster competition which received submissions from around the world. 

This year’s festival poster was designed by Kaija Sydlowsk

The City of West Hollywood will celebrate Harvey Milk Day, kick-off #WeHoPride, and commence the LGBTQ Arts Festival with a virtual staged reading of the play Dear Harvey: Stories of Harvey Milk, by Patricia Loughrey.

Extensively researched and beautifully constructed, this documentary-style ensemble play recounts the life and lasting impact of groundbreaking LGBTQ activist and politician Harvey Milk, as told by the people who knew him best … the real-world figures whose lives were forever altered by Milk’s too-short career. This spirited play reaffirms his impact and the continued relevance of his campaign towards equality, three decades after his assassination. 

This year’s production features an entirely transgender and non-binary cast including: Luckie Alexander, Blossom C. Brown, Abdullah “Abby” Rahsheen Hall, Marval A. Rex, Mallery Jenna Robinson, Sydney Rogers aka Miss Barbie-Q, and Emily Westheimer. This performance is directed by Brittney S. Wheeler and produced by Parnell Damone Marcano and Celebration Theatre, LA’s oldest theatre dedicated to producing LGBTQIA+ work.

The reading will be available for the public to view for free on the City’s WeHo Arts YouTube page (www.youtube.com/wehoarts) for one week, from May 22 through May 29, 2022.

The City has also installed Our Pride, a mural by artist LaToya D. Peoples on the N. Sweetzer Avenue east-facing wall of West Hollywood City Hall, located at 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard. The mural features four hands, symbolic of LGBTQ equality, activism, and pride: the first is a fist, symbolizing the LGBTQ and BIPOC community’s fight against oppression throughout history; the next is a painter’s hand symbolizing the community’s creativity and openness; the next hand holds a sunflower, a symbol for self-love and the seeking of light; and finally, a hand in a classic peace sign.

Our Pride, a mural by artist LaToya D. Peoples (Photo credit: Jon Viscott)

The background is a gradient bright sky, symbolic of the progress the community has made and has yet to make. Each hand is painted realistically, in color, representing diverse people. Installation is complete and the mural will remain on City Hall through May 2023.

The Meringue public art exhibition by LGBTQ artist Kim Kiduck will be lit up in pink, light blue, and rainbow colors for the duration of Pride Month. The translucency of Meringue lets sunlight in to glow naturally during the daytime, and at night transforms Meringue into a mixing chamber of various light combinations. Meringue is located in the median on Santa Monica Boulevard near N. Doheny Drive. 

Some highlights of the 40-day festival include:

  • QUEER DIASPORAS: Lavender City of Dreams presented by Rubén Esparza and Queer Biennial – May 27, 2022 through August 19, 2022. Free. Online exhibition with some in-person events at ONE Gallery. Touching on issues of identity, activism, futurity, and beauty where queerness is the thread that weaves through all these personal – yet universal -perspectives. Realized in imagined (no limits) digital galleries, spaces, and textures as the backdrop, along with up-to-the-minute live performances on May 28, June 3, and June 4, 2022. View the exhibition beginning May 27, 2022 and find in-person event info at www.lavendercity.art 
  • Queer Crossroads – June 1, 2022, 10 a.m. Free. Online at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcTAimXuIpWYkLkUeRZdxiw An exploration of queer intersectionality through video performance and conversation! What else do we bring to our beautiful queer spaces? Are you queer and Black, differently-abled, neurodivergent, HIV positive, Trans, Muslim, etc.? Let’s meet and share our stories in this workshop where intersectionality is explored and championed.
  • Write Out Proud LGBTQ writing workshops – Wednesdays and Saturdays in June. Free. When we Write Out Proud, we share the love of who we are for the world to see, so the world can become better at loving us back. We write fun and flirty stories of our magical LGBTQ selves influenced by our personal ideas of gender, sexuality, and sexual orientation. All are welcome, both new and seasoned writers. This no-cost four session writing workshop will take place virtually on Zoom. There are two workshop groups, each with the same writing prompts and plans. One group meets on Wednesday evenings in June from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the other group meets on Saturday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. culminating on Wednesday evening June 29, 2022 with an online reading of writings for those who care to participate. For more info go to writeoutproud.com. To sign up for this free workshop email [email protected].
  • Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Pledge Allegiance to Your Flag: A Festival of LGBTQ Flags – June 4, 2022 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at various locations. Free. The Sisters will delight you as they work their butts off to erase shame and stigma and lovingly help you to claim your LGBTQ identity by choosing from a myriad of their spectacular LGBTQ color guard flags (or bring your own!) and create your personalized made-up mad cap mad lib Pledge of Allegiance. The Sisters will record content for you for your Pride media posts with Sisters, your flags, and your pledge. For details: http://www.writeoutproud.com/pledge.html
  • Church of Trans Love – June 5, 2022 at 2 p.m. Free. The fictitious ‘The Church of Trans Love’ presents a queerdo take on ecclesiastical liturgical practices in the tradition of ‘The Book of Mormon’. The audience plays a ‘full, active, and conscious’ role in the show. The Church of Trans Love performance includes music from David Bowie and features Key Exchange, the show’s gospel choir of professional trans and non-binary singers. More information: https://bit.ly/churchtranslove.
  • WeHo Reads: Pride & Joy in the Matrix – June 7, 2022 at 6 p.m. Free. Online, RSVP: www.weho.org/wehoreads. LGBTQ+ authors are taking a hard look at society IRL and virtually, pinpointing the ways we come up short in connecting with and loving each other.
  • Pride Poets – “Pledge” Poetry Hotline – June 11, 2022 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from June 11, 2022 at 11 p.m. to June 12, 2022 at 2 a.m. Free. Call (202) 998-3510. LGBTQ poets are standing by ready to tackle all your poetic needs! Call in and have an original poem created for you or a loved one. This year’s theme is “Pledge: come share your allegiances with us!”
  • Q Con: A One Day Comic Convention Celebrating LGBTQ Comics – June 18, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Plummer Park’s Fiesta Hall, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. Free. Find an exciting, diverse selection of LGBTQ comics and graphic novels all in one place! Talk to creators, get autographs! Q Con is family friendly, and admission is free. Cosplay is encouraged. Join in the costume contest for fun and prizes! For the latest updates on Q Con, visit https://www.prismcomics.org/q-con
  • Trans Pride LA 2022: The VarieTy Show – June 18, 2022 at 7 p.m. RSVP required. Free.  For more information and to RSVP: https://transpride.lalgbtcenter.org/. The VarieTy Show serves as the grand finale of the annual Trans Pride LA Festival.

More detailed information and a full list of the City of West Hollywood’s LGBTQ Arts Festival 2022 programming is available at pride.weho.org.  

In addition, archived online programs from 2020 and 2021 are available to view. Among these is a collection of short films which tell the fabulous, fun, and deep LGBTQ history of the City of West Hollywood called the Stuart Timmons West Hollywood LGBTQ History Tour. Acclaimed author/historian Stuart Timmons (author The Trouble With Harry Hay, co-author of GAY L.A., former executive director of the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives) was in the process of writing his West Hollywood LGBTQ History Tour as the final in a trio of walking tours (Downtown Los Angeles and Silverlake are the other two) when he suffered a debilitating stroke in 2008. The tour remained incomplete until the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division funded its completion as part of the City’s 2015 LGBTQ Arts Festival, allowing Timmons and a small team to help finish his research, bringing it to completion as both a self-guided walking tour and a special in-person event featuring performance artists as tour guides. This fun and informative tour returned for two more years, and in 2021, was recorded as a collection of short films that can be viewed on the City’s WeHo Arts YouTube channel.

The City of West Hollywood’s #WeHoPride LGBTQ Arts Festival is organized by the City’s Arts Division. The City of West Hollywood is committed to providing accessible arts programming for residents and visitors. The City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division delivers a broad array of arts programs including: Art on the Outside (temporary public art), Urban Art Program (permanent public art), Summer Sounds, Winter Sounds, the WeHo Reads literary series, Free Theatre in the Parks, Arts Grants for Nonprofit Arts Organizations, Library Exhibits and Programming, the City Poet Laureate Program, Human Rights Speakers Series and the #WeHoPride LGBTQ Arts Festival.

For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/arts. For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Coordinator, Mike Che, at (323) 848-6377 or at [email protected] or visit www.weho.org/pride.

For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

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West Hollywood

West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

The new mural “Our Pride” by LaToya Peoples at City of West Hollywood City Hall, WeHo Pride 2022 Update, WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival

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Photo by Uriel Malak Brewer/Facebook

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood is reminding community members about events surrounding the upcoming #WeHoPride season. The City will provide regularly updated information about WeHo Pride 2022 programming as it becomes available:

  • WeHo Pride Weekend will take place on Friday, June 3, 2022, Saturday, June 4, 2022, and Sunday, June 5, 2022 in and around West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard and will include will include a free WeHo Pride Street Fair representing a diverse array of LGBTQ+ community groups as part of visibility, expression, and celebration.
  • The annual Dyke March and the new Women’s Freedom Festival will take place beginning on Friday, June 3, 2022 at 5 p.m. The Dyke March will feature the presentation of the Melissa Etheridge and Community Activist awards, a poetry reading, sign-making and supplies, speakers, a DJ, and the Dykes on Bikes contingent. The Dyke March will step off and return to the corner of Robertson and Santa Monica Boulevards. The Women’s Freedom Festival will take place immediately following the Dyke March at the #WeHoPride Street Fair stage and will feature emerging LGBTQ and BIPOC women and non-binary musicians, comedians, poets, and activists, along with a featured performance from Milck, singing her latest protest song, We Won’t Go Back
  • WeHo Pride Weekend will feature OUTLOUD: Raising Voices, the award-winning three-day LGBTQ concert series produced by JJLA at West Hollywood Park. Headliners, artist lineup, and ticket information are available by visiting https://weareoutloud.com
  • The City of West Hollywood’s Pride Parade will step-off at noon at Crescent Heights Boulevard on Sunday, June 5, 2022 and will make its way west along Santa Monica Boulevard to the City’s Rainbow District.
  • WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival (formerly known as the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival) will take place during 40 days from Harvey Milk Day on Sunday, May 22, 2022 to Thursday, June 30, 2022 live at various locations throughout the City of West Hollywood, along with selected online programming. The theme for 2022 is With Liberty, Diversity, Inclusion, and Progress For All. The WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival runs for 40 days, from Harvey Milk Day through the end of Pride month and is organized by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division with input from the City’s Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board, Transgender Advisory Board, Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, and community partners. A full calendar of events is available online.

More information and details about WeHo Pride Weekend will be posted as it becomes available at www.weho.org/pride.

Dyke March and Women’s Freedom Festival is scheduled to take place on Friday June 3, 2022

WeHo Pride Weekend will Take Place from Friday, June 3 to Sunday, June 5

OUTLOUD: Raising Voices Three-Day LGBTQ Concert Series Produced by JJLA Take Place from Friday, June 3 to Sunday, June 5

WeHo Pride Parade will Step-Off at Noon on Sunday, June 5 Along Santa Monica Boulevard

WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival Will Take Place from Sunday, May 22 to Thursday, June 30

For more than three decades, the City of West Hollywood has been home to the largest Pride celebration in Southern California, as hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ people and allies from around the world make West Hollywood their destination for the Pride season. Home to the “Rainbow District” along Santa Monica Boulevard, which features a concentration of historic LGBTQ clubs, restaurants, and retail shops, the City consistently tops lists of “most LGBTQ friendly cities” in the nation.

Since incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has become one of the most influential cities in the nation for its outspoken advocacy on LGBTQ issues. No other city of its size has had a greater impact on the national public policy discourse on fairness and inclusiveness for LGBTQ people. More than 40 percent of residents in West Hollywood identify as LGBTQ and three of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council are openly gay. The City has advocated for nearly four decades for measures that support LGBTQ individuals and the City is in the vanguard on efforts to gain and protect equality for all people on a state, national, and international level.

The City of West Hollywood is one of the first municipalities to form a Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board and a Transgender Advisory Board, which each address matters of advocacy. As part of its support of the transgender community, the City has a Transgender Resource Guide available on the City’s website, which provides information about a variety of resources including legal, health, and social services, available in the Greater Los Angeles area to enhance and improve the well-being of transgender people.

For more information about WeHo Pride, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Events Services Division at [email protected].

For more information about the WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Coordinator Mike Che at (323) 848-6377 or [email protected].

For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

The new mural “Our Pride” by LaToya Peoples at City of West Hollywood City Hall! Commissioned through WeHo Arts is now on display swing by and check it out.

Photo by Uriel Malak Brewer/Facebook

The City of West Hollywood is debuting a new mural at West Hollywood City Hall on its east-facing exterior wall facing N. Sweetzer Avenue. The mural celebrates LGBTQ Pride and is installed as part of the City’s WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival. City Hall is located at 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard. The LGBTQ Arts Festival is part of the City of West Hollywood’s annual Pride celebration.

Our Pride’ by artist LaToya D. Peoples features four hands to symbolize aspects of LGBTQ equality and activism. The first hand is in a rising fist shape, symbolizing the fight against oppression throughout history. Next, a painter’s hand, symbolizing LGBTQ creativity and openness as a community. A hand holding a sunflower comes next, as a symbol for self-love and seeking light. And finally, a hand in a classic peace sign. The background color is a gradient bright blue sky, symbolic of the progress the LGBTQ community has made and will continue to make. Each hand is painted as a realistic representation of the diverse people of our communities.

LaToya D. Peoples is a BIPOC, queer, multidisciplinary artist, educator, and entrepreneur working in the realms of visual art, public/community arts, and design. Her work focuses on figuration, natural elements, color, and pattern, as a way of exploring identity and history. She carries these themes over to her mural and sculptural installation work, creating transformative pieces guided by youth and community engagement. Her commissioned works live in the collections of University Maryland Medical Center, Denver Urban Arts & Venues, Baltimore Office of Promotion and Arts, and Baltimore Department of Parks and Recreation.

Peoples has also worked as an educator and coordinator for visual arts programming in Pennsylvania and Maryland. She has served youth and adults through teaching partnerships with the Baltimore City Public School System, National Museum of Ceramic Art, Arts Everyday, Jubilee Arts Center, Enoch Pratt Free Library, and the McDonogh School.

Our Pride’ will be on display through Sunday, April 30, 2023 at West Hollywood City Hall, located at 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard.

The WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival runs over the course of 40 days from May 22 (Harvey Milk Day) through the end of Pride Month (June 30) in-person at various locations throughout West Hollywood, along with selected online programming. For full details about the Festival and for information about #WeHoPride weekend (June 3-5, 2022) events, please visit www.weho.org/pride.

For more information about the Our Pride mural, please contact Mike Che, Arts Coordinator, City of West Hollywood at (323) 848-6377 or [email protected]. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

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West Hollywood

City of West Hollywood fundraiser for refugees from Ukraine May 22

The more visitors come, the more awareness, donations, and support organizers can provide to the refugees from Ukraine

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Screenshot/KTLA

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood is organizing a Fundraiser for Refugees from Ukraine on Sunday, May 22, from 11–7 pm in Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard.

The event will include a silent auction, various activities for people of any age, and a gala concert. The proceeds from the event will go
to a non-profit organization that is helping refugees from Ukraine in many parts of the world, including the United States and Los Angeles in particular. In addition to fundraising,
the event’s goal is to show solidarity with Ukraine and connect people to people during
this challenging time.

A free admission event will include a silent auction with items and services from local businesses and communities. As Sundays are usually family days, there will also
be activities for kids. Created by a veteran of Cirque Du Soleil, Dimitri Bogatirev, Aga-Boom theatre of physical comedy and circus arts, and artists Alex Bistrevsky and Dmitrious will amuse little philanthropists with their performances.

In addition, the Los Angeles Puppet Theater on Wheels will show the “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Small visitors can even participate in knitting classes led by the Kids Knitwork. The children’s zone will also include a basketball shootout, giant chess and connect games, hi striker, soccer darts, and more. Kids will have fun while allowing their parents to support people in need.

The day-long slate of free events for children includes games, entertainment zones, and masterclasses. The more visitors come, the more awareness, donations, and support organizers can provide to the refugees from Ukraine.

The gala concert in the evening will include performances by Ukrainian American musician Siuzanna Iglidan and Ukrainian singer Mika Newton. They joined John Legend on the stage at Grammy Awards 2022. The list of artists also consists of singers Svetlana Portnyansky, Boris Yudelevich, Ellina Adel, Karina Doba, Yulia Argo, and musicians Igor Serykh, Jacob Nakhman, and Jacob Konviser.

All artists are donating their time to help raise funds and awareness of the situation with Ukrainian refugees and the ways people can help them. 

In March, KTLA’s Carlos Saucedo reported on a14-year-old Ukrainian refugee who arrived in L.A. after being smuggled out of the war-torn country.

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