The Transgender District and Opera Parallèle will kick off Transgender History Month with “Expansive 2023: A Showcase of Transgender and Nonbinary Classical Artists.” The shows takes place Thursday and Friday, August 3-4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Strand Theater, 1127 Market Street in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, Mayor London Breed will observe Transgender History Month by raising the trans flag at City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Wednesday, August 2, at 11:30 a.m. on the Mayor’s Balcony, second floor, according to her office.
A news release from the trans district stated that “Expansive” will feature musical performances by award-winning classical singer Katherine Goforth; Detroit-based harpist and multidisciplinary artist Ahya Simone; and mezzo-soprano Nikola Printz, who will also incorporate aerial work into their performance, with accompaniment by Taylor Chan. Serving as host will be San Francisco’s own DIVAlicious Dreamgirl Afrika America.
Goforth recently served as the dramaturge of Opera Theater Oregon’s workshop of “Nu Nah-Hup: Sacajawea’s Story,” a new work that reimagines the story of Sacajawea, the release noted. She also received the True Voice Award from the Washington National Opera and the Career Advancement Award from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Women in Classical Music Symposium.
Simone is a multi-hyphenate harpist whose work in music and film is recognized across multiple institutions, the release stated. She was the first Black trans woman to receive a Knight Fellow at the Sundance Institute (2018), and her web series, “Femme Queen Chronicles,” screened at the 20th annual Allied Media Conference.
Printz is a multifaceted artist who combines opera with aerial performance. They first started training in aerial performance when they were a company resident at Opera Memphis. They recently made their debut with the San Francisco Symphony, performing their original act, “Meine Lippen sie Kussen so Heiss,” on the trapeze for its Holiday Gaieties concert.
The release stated that pay what you can tickets start at $10. For tickets and more information, go to https://tinyurl.com/yjwtkwkj
Muttville senior dog adoption day
Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, the nonprofit that works to get older pooches adopted, will be having a community day Sunday, July 30, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the lawn of the Walt Disney Family Museum, 104 Montgomery Street in the Presidio in San Francisco.
The event coincides with the museum’s latest exhibit, “Disney Cats & Dogs,” which explores the innovation of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ animal-inspired animation and storytelling through the decades, and the massive undertaking involved bringing the iconic cats and dogs to life on screen.
In a news release, the museum said it is partnering with Muttville to bring adoptable dogs to the facility with the hope of matching them with their forever homes. People can meet, cuddle, and walk the dogs, and practice live animal sketching using the dogs as models.
The event is free to attend and no registration is required. Standard adoption fees apply and dogs cannot be taken home that day. Rather, guests will be shown how to submit adoption applications on Muttville’s website.
For more information on Muttville, go to muttville.org.
For more information on the museum, go to waltdisney.org.
LGBTQ+ trailblazers on new radio episodes
ONE Archives Foundation in Los Angeles has unveiled its new season of Youspeak Radio, an educational initiative that pairs high school students with California-based LGBTQ+ activists for in-depth conversations that offer insight into the community’s past. The 2023 cohort transformed these interviews into audio stories to be released weekly starting this week.
The trailblazers featured include gay former Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, who was thrust into the media spotlight last year after racist and bigoted audio recordings made by other councilmembers and a labor official were leaked that included a racist slur used against Bonin’s adopted Black son; gender-fluid multidisciplinary artist Dorian Wood; political activist Terence Alan Smith, known as his drag persona Joan Jett Blakk; bisexuality expert Mimi Hoang, Ph.D., a psychologist and educator; healer and trans community leader the Reverend Valerie Spencer; and queer historian Amy Sueyoshi, Ph.D., provost and vice president of academic affairs at San Francisco State University.
Those who were interviewed praised the project.
“I am just so touched that ONE has this platform to help youth,” stated Hoang. “You are going to change the world. It makes me happy as someone who is older to be able to impart some of my experiences.”
Youspeak Radio equips students with audio storytelling, oral history, and interview skills necessary to bring stories to life, the release noted. This year’s program is led by Trevor Ladner, ONE Archives Foundation’s new education programs manager. As a former K-12 social studies educator, Ladner champions initiatives to make LGBTQ+ history more accessible to queer and trans teens, the release stated.
“In a time of attacks on a new generation of LGBTQ+ people, I am inspired by the knowledge and passion that our youth fellows brought to their conversations with those trailblazers,” Ladner stated.
Tony Valenzuela, a gay man who is the foundation’s executive director, stated, “By connecting our community’s youth with our community’s elders, ONE is playing a vital role in passing down queer legacies to tomorrow’s leaders, making the future stronger and safer for all.”
To listen to the interviews, go to onearchives.org/youspeakradio.
Chalk festival in Daly City
Westlake Shopping Center in Daly City invites people to attend a free, fun-filled “Hello Sunshine” chalk festival Saturday, July 29, from noon to 3 p.m.
According to a news release, festival artists will utilize hundreds of sticks of pastel chalk to create spectacular murals on the pavement encompassing a full city block at the shopping center. In addition to the chalk artists, a DJ will be spinning upbeat summer music while open-air artists will have easels and canvases located throughout the event.
The festival includes family-friendly activities such as a kids’ chalkland where children can create their own works, as well as a craft section where children can decorate a butterfly-shaped suncatcher.
The release stated that there will be a youth chalk art challenge in which amateur student artists ages 14-18 are invited to create their own chalk mural during the festival for a chance to win $200 worth of Westlake Shopping Center merchant gift cards.
Students interested in signing up should contact Karla Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the festival, go to westlake.shopkimco.com.
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