New York City Reopen Plans

From  ABC  NEWS; After three gloomy months and 21,000 deaths that made it the nation’s most lethal hot spot, New York City slowly began reopening Monday (June 9th, 2020) in the biggest test yet of Americans’ ability to keep the coronavirus in check.

Owners of smaller shops were eager to reopen, even if they didn’t expect much business.

“We are going to be open every day for the sake of showing life,” said eyewear designer Ahlem Manai-Platt, who was reopening a lower Manhattan store.

 

From TRAVEL PULSE; Phase 1 includes construction and manufacturing, mostly, along with some retail clothing, electronics, jewelry and luggage stores, among others.

Each phase will take two weeks before moving into the next phase, unless confirmed cases of the virus continue to drop more dramatically and then New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo will consider speeding things up.

Fortune magazine estimated that New York City is losing $173 million a day. “The coronavirus crisis is shrinking New York City’s economy on a scale far more vast than the squeeze on any other U.S. metropolis,” Fortune wrote.

The short answer to the question of when one of the world’s great destinations will reopen to tourism is not until the end of June, when Phase 3 kicks in. Phase 3 includes the bulk of the hospitality industry, with restaurants and other food-service businesses allowed to reopen for dine-in service, as well as hotels that are not already open servicing overnight guests.

Phase 4 includes arts, entertainment, museums, theaters and movie theaters.

New York City has more than 40 major theaters hosting first-run plays and musicals, not to mention Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway productions. Now the shows won’t go on again until Tuesday, Sept. 8, at the earliest, and more likely not until after the first of the year. Many people don’t realize how tightly packed a 1,000-seat theater can be, making social distancing difficult. And reduced capacity makes it financially cumbersome for Broadway shows to continue.  READ MORE HERE.

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Pride 2020 Drag Fest Weekend June 19-21

OVER 100 OF NYC’S GREATEST DRAG PERFORMERS JOIN MARTI GOULD CUMMINGS & THE ONLY PRODUCTIONS FOR “PRIDE 2020 DRAG FEST: A WEEKEND TO SUPPORT OUR QUEENS”

NYC PRIDE and GLAAD to Support Three Day Digital Drag Festival to Celebrate Pride and Raise Funds for Local Drag Performers

RuPaul’s Drag Race Stars Jan, Heidi N. Closet, Nicky Doll, Shuga Cain, Brita Filter, Milk, Honey Davenport, Jiggly Caliente, and Dusty Ray Bottoms among Participants

 

Political activist and New York City drag staple Marti Gould Cummings and The Only Productions today announced the largest digital drag festival during Pride 2020. More than 100 performers are scheduled to appear during “Pride 2020 Drag Fest,” an official event of NYC Pride and supported by national LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD. The virtual performances will run each day from 6:30-8pm EST beginning on Friday, June 19 and through Sunday, June 21, 2020. The video events will stream on NYC Pride and GLAAD’s Facebook pages. Viewers can contribute directly to each performer during their scheduled time through donations to their Venmo profiles and donation platforms highlighted during the broadcast.

For more information: https://www.nycpride.org/events/pride-2020-dragfest

“Since before Stonewall our drag community and our trans community have rallied to stand up and fight for equality and justice,” said Marti Gould Cummings. “As we grapple with the new normal of our daily lives we must continue in the footsteps and carry on the spirit of Pride. We may not be able to meet in person this year but Pride will live on as we gather digitally to celebrate our drag community and honor the legacy of Masha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and the activism that so many LGBTQ icons ushered in.”

Performers slated to appear during “Pride 2020 Drag Fest” include RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Jan, Heidi N. Closet, Nicky Doll, Shuga Cain, Brita Filter, Milk, Honey Davenport, Jiggly Caliente, Dusty Ray Bottoms, plus NYC drag stars including Jasmine Rice LaBeija, Sherry Vine, Shequida, Pixie Aventura, Horrorchata, Merrie Cherry, and over 100 others. For a full list of talent visit: https://www.nycpride.org/events/pride-2020-dragfest

According to Vice.com: “While nearly all businesses in the U.S. have been threatened by the outbreak, bars and nightclubs that cater to the LGBTQ community are particularly vulnerable because they already operate under extremely small margins.” Many drag performers have started hosting virtual performances, while several LGBTQ bars and nightclubs have launched crowdfunding pages to support  employees.

“You cannot have Pride without a little (or a lot) of Drag. This performance of gender expression has been a staple of the LGBTQIA+ community throughout its history, bringing with it a sense of vibrancy and power that can be felt at every NYC Pride event,” Shawn Kobetz, Partnerships Manager, NYC Pride. “We at NYC Pride are proud to stand with our drag friends and family from around the world during these trying times. We hope this event provides much needed support and entertainment for our community.” Last week, NYC Pride began announcing virtual events to celebrate Pride 2020 and bring NYC’s LGBTQ community together including a special broadcast event with WABC-TV Channel 7.

Marti Gould Cummings is a NYC-based drag artist, television personality, and political activist. Throughout their nearly decade long drag career Marti has been a regular fixture in the nightlife world who uses their platform to spread a message of equality, acceptance, and kindness. Marti has appeared across media outlets including The New York Times, New York Daily News, People and Good Morning America online to speak about LGBTQ issues and, most recently, about COVID-19’s impact on LGBTQ New Yorkers.

“COVID-19 has closed LGBTQ safe spaces including community centers, bars, and nightclubs which served as lifelines for so many LGBTQ people, and it has also delivered an unexpected and urgent financial loss to talented performers and employees who worked in these spaces,” said GLAAD Chief Communications Officer Rich Ferraro. “Both during Pride month and beyond, our community needs to join together to support drag performers and other talent who have always supported us.”

More information about “Pride 2020 Drag Fest: A Weekend to Support Our Queens” visit: https://www.nycpride.org/events/pride-2020-dragfest

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NYC Pride June 25th 2020 Live Stream

NYC Pride and our partners at WABC Channel 7 are proud to announce a special broadcast event on Sunday, June 28, 2020, from 12:00 to 2:00 pm to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Pride March held in 1970.

In this unique year, NYC Pride is committed to saluting front-line workers alongside several leaders in the community being honored as Grand Marshals:  Dan Levy, The Ali Forney Center, Yanzi Peng, and Victoria Cruz.

While it may be a different type of celebration, the tradition of commemorating the LGBTQIA+ movement will continue!

The special will feature performances by Janelle Monáe, Deborah Cox, Billy Porter, Luísa Sonza and more.

Expect to see appearances by Wilson Cruz, Miss Richfield 1981, Margaret Cho and others. WABC’s very own Ken Rosato and Lauren Glassberg will be joined by special guest co-host Carson Kressley, along with correspondents Sam Champion and Kemberly Richardson.

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STARS in the House for Actors Fund

Have you heard of this  show on YouTube?

Music, community, and education to support The Actors Fund and its services.
Live-streamed daily at 2 PM ET and 8 PM ET/ Listen on SiriusXM VOLUME at 9AM ET, M-F

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and theatres across the world closing their curtains indefinitely, SiriusXM host Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley have created Stars in the House, a daily live streamed series to support The Actors Fund and its services. 

NEW SHOWS  DAILY!

With new shows airing daily at 2 PM ET and 8 PM ET, Stars in the House is a combination of music, community, and education (from CBS Chief Medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook) located on the Actors Fund YouTube Channel. With musical performances by stars remotely from their home and conversations with Seth and James between each tune, viewers can also donate to the charity and interact with the guests in real time. 

RAISING MONEY!

Stars in the House raised over $50,000 in the first four days of airing. Guests include Andrew Lloyd Webber, John Lithgow, Jason Alexander, Kristen Chenoweth as well as couples confined together like Audra McDonald and Will Swenson, Frozen composers Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, writers Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond, and many more. Stars in the House plans to stream daily until Broadway re-opens.

LOTS  of  upcoming shows PLUS  3 months of Archives!

 

THE ACTORS FUND

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. Through offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Fund serves everyone in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance with programs including social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and secondary employment and training services.

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New York City Gay Pride 2020

NEW YORK CITY GAY PRIDE 2020 UPDATE

Last week, it was announced that all in-person June events would be canceled as a response to the ongoing health crisis. While we are all saddened that Pride will not take place as expected in 2020, the health and safety of all at our events is our highest priority.

That being said, there has never been a year without a Pride celebration.

Keep an eye out for us this summer. We are planning virtual programming for the last week in June culminating with a special on WABC Channel 7. NYC Pride, in collaboration with our partners at WABC-TV, will air a special broadcast to celebrate pride and the LGBTQIA+ community. Including performances, inspiring speeches, community stories, featured guests, and more; 2020 will be a Pride year to remember!

Stay inside, stay safe, and stay tuned as we continue planning for #pride2020.

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Stonewall Gives Back Fundraiser

April 23rd, 2020,  Troye Sivan, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Petras, Rufus Wainwright and many more got together to raise funds for those in the LGBTQ nightlife industry in need during the COVID-19 crisis.

Hosted by 

Michelle Visage and Tyler Oakley

Performances and Appearances by

Alan Cumming, Allie X, Betty Who, Carlie Hanson, Cyndi Lauper, Darren Hayes, Dave Mizzoni, Greyson Chance, Issac Dunbar, John Cameron Mitchell, Kim Petras, Kristin Chenoweth, Leland, Lorna Luft, Matt Rogers, MUNA, Nina West, Our Lady J, Pabllo Vittar, Peppermint, Rufus Wainwright, Shoshana Bean, Todrick Hall, Troye Sivan, TUCKER, VINCINT.

The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative (SIGBI). We are a non-profit charitable organization inspired by the struggles and ideals of the LGBTQ rights movement born from the Stonewall Inn Uprising of 1969. We are committed to eliminating the social intolerance that is profoundly impacting the lives of LGBTQ citizens throughout America and abroad. Through awareness campaigns, educational programming, fundraising and candid public dialogue,we support grassroots organizations scattered across the country and especially those in communities where progress toward equality has been slow and the negative impact of ongoing acts of discrimination and harassment can no longer be tolerated.

GIVE TODAY!

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LIVESTREAM PREMIERE OF PARAMODERNITIES

Photo: Maria Baranova, Courtesy of New York Live Arts, March 2019.

NETTA YERUSHALMY PRESENTS THE LIVESTREAM PREMIERE OF HER

EPIC WORK PARAMODERNITIES.

 

THE SIX-PART ENCYCLOPEDIC SERIES DECONSTRUCTS HISTORIC DANCE WORKS BY ALVIN AILEY, GEORGE BALANCHINE, MERCE CUNNINGHAM, BOB FOSSE, MARTHA GRAHAM, AND VASLAV NIJINSKY.

EACH PERFORMANCE IS FOLLOWED BY A LIVE DISCUSSION WITH SPECIAL GUESTS AND AN INTERACTIVE CHAT WITH THE AUDIENCE.

 

MAY 4-9, 2020   @    3-4PM DAILY

*Closed-Captioning provided for all performances.*

Trailer linked here.

 

“Take six classic dances. Chop them up. Then tear open the modern canon, with equal parts love and fury.” – Gia Kourlas, The New York Times

 

 Netta Yerusalmy to present the week-long livestream event of Paramodernities Live, May 4-9, 2020, featuring 2019 performances at New York Live Arts with live “post-show” discussions with special guests and a chat feature for the audience. This event is directed by Jeremy Jacob and produced by Marc Crousillat, Jacob, and Yerushalmy.

 

The six-part encyclopedic series is a multidisciplinary work that weaves theory and performance into a marathon-style hybrid event. Yerushalmy and a cast of 20 dancers and scholars, ranging in age from 20 to 68, perform deconstructed installments of Vaslav Nijinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (1913), Martha Graham’s Night Journey (1947), Alvin Ailey’s Revelations (1960), a mix of Merce Cunningham works Rainforest, Sounddance, Points in Space, Beach Birds, and Ocean (1968-1990), dance numbers from the Bob Fosse’s 1969 film Sweet Charity, and a response to George Balanchine’s Agon (1957) that includes none of the original choreography.

 

Paramodernities boasts a radical and undefinable rethinking of the canon, involving virtually no music. Each section was created as an independent unit with a distinct creative process that features text, read live, by scholars and writers from various fields who place the dances within a larger context. The cast joins Yerushalmy in generating questions about the different paths taken by the modern tradition in dance and beyond. Within each installment, fundamental tenets of modernism are explored, such as sovereignty, spectacle, race, feminism and ableism.

 

The performances at New York Live Arts theater feature dancers Michael Blake, Gerald Casel, Marc Crousillat, Brittany Engel-Adams, Joyce Edwards, Stanley Gambucci, Taryn Griggs, Magdalena Jarkowiec, Nicholas Leichter, Jeremy Jae Neal, Hsiao-Jou Tang, Megan Williams, Netta Yerushalmy; and scholars/writers Thomas F. DeFrantz, Julia Foulkes, Georgina Kleege, David Kishik, Carol Ockman, Mara Mills, Claudia La Rocco, with lighting by Tim Cryan and costumes by Jarkowiec.

 

Each livestream performance will feature closed-captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Livestream events of Paramodernities take place at nettay.com from May 4th to May 9th at 3pm. This event will be live and free. The running time is approximately 1 hour.

 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

PARAMODERNITIES #2: Trauma, Interdiction, and Agency in ‘The House of Pelvic Truth’

A response to Martha Graham’s Night Journey (1947)

 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

PARAMODERNITIES #3: Revelations: The Afterlives of Slavery

A response to Alvin Ailey’s Revelations (1960)

 

Thursday, May 7, 2020

PARAMODERNITIES #4: An Inter-Body Event

with material from Merce Cunningham’s Rainforest, Sounddance, Points In Space, Beach Birds, and Ocean (1968-1990)

 

Friday, May 8, 2020

PARAMODERNITIES #5: All that Spectacle: Dance on Stage and Screens

A response to Bob Fosse’s Sweet Charity (1969 film)

 

Saturday, May 9, 2020

PARAMODERNITIES #6: The Choreography of Rehabilitation: Disability and Race in Balanchine’s Agon

A response to George Balanchine’s Agon (1957)

 

PARAMODERNITIES is made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. PARAMODERNITIES is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project, commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow in partnership with New York Live Arts, HMD’s Bridge Project, and NPN. The Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency).

For more information: www.npnweb.org.

 

 

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ANTI GAY Group Samaritan’s Purse Are Running Tent Hospital

Why is this allowed to go on?

A 68-bed makeshift hospital is expected to open in Central Park on Tuesday in an effort to ease some of the strain on the city’s hospitals that have been bombarded with COVID-19 patients.

The field hospital in New York City is comprised of 14 tents and will receive patients first from Mount Sinai Brooklyn and Mount Sinai Queens. Brooklyn and Queens have been the hardest-hit boroughs in the city’s outbreak, according to data released by the city.

Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian group that regularly takes advantage of humanitarian crises to spread their far-right agenda, has been revealed as the charity behind a tent hospital.

Samaritan’s Purse has specifically been recruiting Christian volunteers to work in their 68-bed respiratory unit. But before being accepted, they’re required to adhere to the group’s statement of faith.

While nine of the 11 statements are theological, the other two are about abortion and LGBTQ people.

Volunteers have to agree that transgender people don’t exist, same-sex marriage is a sin, and gay people should be celibate or risk “damnation and eternal punishment.”

“We believe God’s plan for human sexuality is to be expressed only within the context of marriage, that God created man and woman as unique biological persons made to complete each other,” the ninth item reads. “God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female.”  read more here.

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NYC Opens Stonewall House LGBT Senior Housing

Stonewall House in Brooklyn, NY is the city’s first LGBT-welcoming senior housing opened  recently. Its population will be roughly 50 per cent LGBT and 50 per cent straight.

Occupying the prominent corner of Myrtle Avenue and St. Edwards Street in Fort Greene, Stonewall House is the largest LGBT-welcoming elder housing development in the country. The 17-story mixed-use building will consist of 124,000 SF containing 145 apartments and a 6,800 SF SAGE community facility space on the ground floor.

 

The massing of the building, using brick as a design feature, abuts the existing St. Edwards and St. Michael’s church rectory to the north and steps down from the corner of Myrtle and St. Edwards with three setbacks that provide common outdoor roof terraces. A cantilevered canopy marks the entry to the SAGE space off Myrtle Avenue and the residential entry off St. Edwards Street. ISR reconnects the Stonewall House campus and holds the corner, creating a safer and friendlier sidewalk experience.

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New York City Subway Explained

NYC  subway can be overwhelming at first!  I know  I avoided it  for  several years!

New York CURBED ran a great piece  this  week – A comprehensive guide to the subway’s history, unspoken rules of conduct, and more insider intel.

The subway can also be tricky to navigate if you’re new to NYC, given the sheer size of the system—there are 472 stations throughout the boroughs—and its quirks. But fear not: This primer has everything you need to know, from the history of the subway to how you should behave during a cramped rush-hour commute. If you’re looking for the latest subway news, we’ve got you covered, and scroll to the bottom for an overview of the current situation.  Read the full article  HERE. 

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Broadway’s Carols for a Cure 21!

BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS RELEASES ITS 21ST ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF 
“BROADWAY’S CAROLS FOR A CURE” 

The collection is full of spirited holiday favorites sung by stars from Broadway’s leading musicals including 
Hadestown, Beetlejuice, Ain’t Too Proud, Freestyle Love Supreme, Dear Evan Hansen, and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!  

For over twenty years, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ holiday CD, Broadway’s Carols for a Cure, has been a staple of every theatre-lover’s wish list.   The beloved series pairs casts from award-winning Broadway musicals with seasonal songs that are both classic and new.  This year’s compilation, Broadway’s Carols for a Cure Volume 21, features 18 tracks from the companies of Hadestown, Beetlejuice, Ain’t Too Proud, Freestyle Love Supreme, Dear Evan Hansen, Come From Away, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, and more!  It is available now for $25 in the Broadway Cares store,  along with Volumes 1 through 20.   Broadway’s Carols for a Cure Volume 21 is also available at participating theaters.

“This year’s 21st anniversary edition features eighteen original, newly recorded singles, creatively arranged and performed by the incredibly talented performers and musicians from the 2019 Broadway season,” explains producer Lynn Pinto. Once again, she has collaborated with engineer Andros Rodriguez on the album.   “Several of the casts really made their song sound like it could be a song from their show!”

With over twenty years of creating Broadway’s Carols for a Cure, Lynn Pinto has developed a recipe that works.  She allows each company a great deal of freedom in choosing the material and the style of their arrangement.  She also works with their demanding Broadway schedules.  “We record the musicians and singers in layers, utilizing isolation booths for a higher quality recording,” she says. “It gives our holiday album a unique sound from most cast albums and allows us to properly showcase these amazing voices and instrumentalists.”

The first Broadway’s Carols for a Cure album debuted in 1999.  Recorded at St. John’s Church in Greenwich Village, it featured carols from the casts of Cabaret, Fosse, Chicago and Swing!, as well as from Phantom of the Opera who also appear on the 21st anniversary edition.  Fans of today’s Great White Way will be overjoyed to hear original recordings from today’s top productions, including the cast of Hamilton with a sweeping rendition of “What Child is This?,”  the cast of Frozen performing “O Holy Night,”  and the cast of Tootsie singing an all-new, frolicking version of “Jingle Bells.”

Additionally, this year’s album includes two unique Chanukah songs.  The cast of Dear Evan Hansen performs “Hine Ma Tov/Together” and the cast of Fiddler on the Roof presents “Drey Dreydele,” sung in Yiddish!

This year’s Broadway’s Carols for a Cure Volume 21 cd comes with its own digital download card inside the packaging so that listeners can access the music even if without a CD player! In addition, downloaded music also features incredible bonus content including behind the scenes videos of the making of the album.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is a nonprofit organization that helps individuals with AIDS and other serious illnesses receive the health care and support they need.  In addition, they provide financial support in the form of grants to AIDS and family service organizations throughout the country.

“No town is more festive than New York City for the holidays and no street here is as magical as Broadway!  Broadway’s Carols for a Cure Volume 21 is sure to be a favorite for all,” promises Lynn Pinto.

Broadway’s Carols for a Cure Volume 21 exclusively benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and can be purchased (along with Volumes 1 through 20) in the web store at https://broadwaycares.stores.yahoo.net/caforcucds.html or by calling Broadway Cares at 212-840-0770.  The new album is also available at participating New York City theaters.

 
Broadway’s Carols for a Cure Volume 21 Track Listing:
 
1. BEETLEJUICE – CAROL OF THE BEETLEBELLS
2. TOOTSIE – JINGLE BELLS
3. AIN’T TOO PROUD – COME ALL YE FAITHFUL
4. FIDDLER ON THE ROOF IN YIDDISH – DREY DREYDELE
5. RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S OKLAHOMA! – AULD LANG SYNE
6. MEAN GIRLS – BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
7. BROADWAY MUSICIANS AFM LOCAL 802 – A PRAYER FOR PEACE
8. ALADDIN – DECEMBER FEELS
9. HAMILTON – WHAT CHILD IS THIS?
10. DEAR EVAN HANSEN – HINE MA TOV/TOGETHER
11. COME FROM AWAY – DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?
12. WICKED – LO, HOW A ROSE E’ER BLOOMIN’
13. AN FLS TREEMIX – CHRISTMAS TREE
14. FROZEN – HOLY NIGHT
15. WAITRESS – SECRET SANTA
16. THE BROADWAY BABY MAMAS – COVENTRY CAROL
17. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA – THE FIRST NOEL
18. HADESTOWN – MIDWINTERSONG
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Robert Graham Shoes Fall Apart – from Century 21

I love Robert Graham clothes! I have numerous shirts, and always get so many compliments!

 

(FYI – Robert Graham represents the American Eclectic lifestyle brand-where craftsmanship, luxury and style intertwine. As a true design house since 2001, we’ve been inspiring fashion by developing unique garment-making techniques and complex textile patterns. Our creative seasonal collections encompass: men’s sportswear, premium denim, footwear, outerwear, loungewear, accessories, and women’s sportswear. With eye-catching mixed fabrics, one-of-a-kind trims and stunning embroideries, Robert Graham embodies luxury at its finest. Each product is unique, character-filled and distinctly Robert Graham–with “knowledge, wisdom, truth” embedded in each garment. CHEERS TO LIVING LIFE COLORFULLY!)

I had never seen Robert Graham shoes before. In late June 2019, I was in NYC at Century 21, and they had some of these colorful summery shoes marked down to $100. How could I refuse! Very eye-catching! Very comfortable. They looked worth $100. I would never pay the $200+ asking price.

I work for a luxury retailer in Chicago. I thought these would be a great addition to my black wardrobe. I keep my dress shoes in my locker at work and they never touch pavement. Only the marble floors of the store.

EVERYONE loved these shoes! So many compliments! I did not wear them right away. However, once I did start wearing them, after about 10-12 days of use, I noticed the “image” started cracking. It’s almost like a film is stretched over the leather perhaps? The leather seems fine, but the print is cracking.

See below….

(On the last big photo, the flash hit the shoe – sorry – but you get the idea)

When I looked  online,  EVERYONE  has these shoes  discounted  to about $100. Maybe  RG  knew were defective? or they just did not sell?   I emailed  Robert  Graham  US, and they said  very little  about the shoe, no explanation, except that I should return it to the point of purchase.  Which was in New York City.  I live in Chicago.

I called Century 21, they will not take anything back if it has been worn. For manufacturer problems, they said contact Robert Graham!

RG  said, “unfortunately we cannot issue an exchange since the item was purchased from a third party retailer. Merchandise purchased from other retailers, department stores or specialty stores must be returned or exchanged to the store from which it was originally purchased, and is subject to the return policy of the originating retailer.”   And  RG  offered  me a  $25  gift card! Nothing on their site  is  $25!

Basically  RG  does not stand behind the items they manufacture. Why wouldn’t they take it back?  It has nothing  to do with the store – the item is defective!

 

I see on some websites,  (Neiman Marcus Last Call, Nordstrom, etc)  the shoes  are listed  as  Printed Leather  “Driver”.  Also  sometimes listed as Print Moccasins. To my eye, it is not really  “printed  leather”.  As  I said,  it appears  to be a film stretched  over or  onto  the leather. The leather is not cracking – just the image/film.

I do not have my original box – I am not sure how the shoes  were described.  But,  – definition of driving shoes – Though driving shoes can be worn for an evening out on the town, but if that evening consists  an extended walk around the city, consider an alternative. This shoe is ultimately made for hanging out, short walks, and of course, driving. They can wear down more quickly since they’re not made for strenuous use. – I wish I had known that. I am on my feet 8 hours a day, on marble.  Looking at them, the rubber pieces on the sole make them look  durable.  So I assumed  I could wear them  at work. Indoors.

Driving shoes are basically  like slippers.  Light wear.

Either way,   I wore  my shoes 80-90 hours  and the damage started.  You might wear them a few hours  here or there,  but you can not stop the damage. Driving shoes  or not.  The movement of your foot will eventually  crack  the image.

So buyer beware.

I  bought some permanent  felt tip markers this week and may just color them!

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Down to Eartha One Woman Show in August

Actress, singer, author, and activist Eartha Kitt might be best known as the singer behind “Santa Baby” and “C’est si bon,” or as the third Catwoman on the sixties Batman TV series.

However, a government-led blacklisting in the late sixties halted her career for an entire decade. The infamous blacklisting forms the basis for Down To Eartha, a one-woman show which will begin its 10-show run at the Gene Frankel Theater (24 Bond Street) in August.

“I simply loved her as a young girl growing up in the theater,” said Down To Eartha producer and director Marishka Phillips. “After seeing her comeback performance in Timbuktu! I knew I wanted to be a part of this business.”

The play, which premiered earlier this year at the WOW Cafe in Manhattan, was written by Deirdra McDowell, who also stars as Kitt.

“I was first inspired to play Eartha Kitt by acting coach Susan Batson, in 2010,” said McDowell. “After performing an animal exercise in class, she simply stated, ‘I see Eartha.’ From there, I felt the need to tell Kitt’s story.”

Many will be shocked to discover the measures the CIA took to silence Kitt following an incident at a White House luncheon in January 1968. Kitt’s anti-war statements on that day personally insulted First Lady Lady Bird Johnson so much that she urged President Lyndon Johnson to blacklist Kitt from working in the United States. The government succeeded in doing so for the following ten years.

Down to Eartha explores Kitt´s personal re-encounter of that fateful day in detail, while also delving into her personal journey of power and freedom. Stemming from a life ridden with years of child abuse, Eartha´s personal journey proves to be at times a nightmare of a hurdle. It is one that could only be conquered by the power of love.

“In today’s political climate, the right to be heard continues to resonate,” said Phillips. “Kitt’s outspoken views are just as relevant and inspiring today as they were in 1968.”

Kitt, who for decades has endured a large LGBTQ following, stated in a 1992 interview, “We’re all rejected people, we know what it is to be refused, we know what it is to be oppressed, depressed, and then, accused, and I am very much cognizant of that feeling. Nothing in the world is more painful than rejection. I am a rejected, oppressed person, and so I understand them, as best as I can, even though I am a heterosexual.”

Give Dierdra a listen!   Can’t wait for this!!

Down to Eartha will begin its run at the Gene Frankel Theater on August 7 at 8pm. Shows will run August 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 at 8pm. There will also be a matinee performance on Sunday, August 11 at 4pm. Tickets for all performances are available now.

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5-6 Million Expected in NYC for WorldPride

Do you have any idea  what 6 million people  are going to look  and feel like  in NYC??  Some people are estimating that number  for   WorldPride 2019!

Pride in New York City is expected to be particularly massive this year, since it is the first time WorldPride will come to the U.S. and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots that first started the annual gay pride march.

Some 6 million visitors are expected to come to New York City for Pride month this June. A variety of events are slated, culminating with the annual LGBTQ Pride march on June 30.

THERE IS SO  MUCH TO DO ALL MONTH!

I am guessing  it will be  very difficult  to get around the city, Pride  Weekend. There are only so many cabs, ubers and lyfts! – be prepared to do some walking!  AND   Allow  extra  time  to  get places!

 

SAO PAULO  pride  is  the biggest  celebration in  the world  with 4,000,000

Madrid Worldpride in 2017  drew  3,500,000

NYC normally  gets  2,000,000

Chicago gets  1,000,000

So fasten your seat belts, it is going to be a hell of weekend!

 

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LGBT Welcome Center for WorldPride NYC

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES GRAND OPENING OF WORLDPRIDE WELCOME CENTER IN NEW YORK CITY’S WEST VILLAGE

New Center Will Highlight New York State as a Welcoming Place for the LGBTQ Community and Promote WorldPride Events

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of the New York State WorldPride Welcome Center, located at 112 Christopher Street in New York City’s West Village, steps from the Stonewall National Monument. WorldPride, the largest international LGBTQ Pride celebration, is coming to New York this month to coincide with the Stonewall 50 commemorations, marking the first time it has been held in the United States.

“Pride is a special month for the LGBTQ community and for all New Yorkers, and with the Empire State hosting WorldPride this year on the 50th anniversary of Stonewall we have a lot to celebrate and commemorate,” Governor Cuomo said. “From the passage of marriage equality and GENDA to our ongoing fight with the Trump administration over critical protections for transgender individuals, New York has been a national leader in the fight for LGBTQ rights and we will always stand alongside this community that we love so much. As millions of people visit our state this June, the WorldPride Welcome Center will highlight the roots and accomplishments of the LGBTQ rights movement in New York and promote the state as a safe, welcoming destination with no place for hate.”

 

Created in partnership with NYC Pride/Heritage of Pride and The LGBT Community Center, the New York State WorldPride Welcome Center is located just blocks away from the site of the original Stonewall Inn. On June 28, 1969, LGBTQ community members began spontaneous demonstrations at the Stonewall Inn that lasted for six days and are recognized today as the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ rights movement. The Welcome Center showcases New York’s role in the struggle for equality through a timeline gallery from the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis in the 1950s, to the Stonewall uprising in the 1960s, to Governor Cuomo signing the state’s Marriage Equality Act into law in the 2010s.

The rainbow pride colors are featured prominently throughout the Welcome Center. Visitors can take a picture at the selfie wall, featuring the I LOVE NY LGBT logo. Overhead, the center’s ceiling showcases a creative deconstructed interpretation of the pride flag, and the rainbow colors are also incorporated into the center’s shelves and lighting.

Senator Brad Hoylman, the only openly LGBTQ member of the New York Senate, said, “The first brick was thrown at Stonewall a half century ago, igniting the global movement for LGBTQ human rights. Since then, our community has been fighting for equality—including this year, when we finally assured equal rights for transgender New Yorkers thanks to the State Legislature and Governor Cuomo. I’m thrilled to see the New York WorldPride Welcome Center open today to mark the beginning of this international celebration of progress on LGBTQ human rights and thank Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for their efforts.”

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said, “50 years ago, the Stonewall Uprising in Greenwich Village sparked a movement for LGBTQ rights that spread throughout the world, so it’s fitting that this year’s WorldPride is in New York. I’m proud that this welcome center, which is located blocks from the Stonewall Inn and in my Council district, will help visitors for WorldPride navigate Greenwich Village and all the wonders of New York.”

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World Pride Opening and Closing Ceremonies NYC

NYC Pride is proud to unveil the location and initial talent line-up of the official Opening Ceremony of WorldPride. The Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 7-10pm Ceremony will be formatted as a benefit concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Proceeds from the ticket sales to this historic concert event will support Ali Forney Center, Immigration Equality, and SAGE – three leading organizations in the LGBTQIA+ movement based in New York City.

Prolific entertainer and internationally-recognized humanitarian, Whoopi Goldberg, will host the ceremony, featuring a growing medley of acclaimed speakers and performers. Cyndi Lauper, iconic performer for the LQBTQIA+ community and New Yorkers alike, leads the initial release of the talent line-up.

Cyndi Lauper is a groundbreaking Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning artist with global record sales in excess of 50 million. Her unmistakable voice, influential style, and infectious performances have catapulted her to stardom from her roots in Queens.

Chaka Khan, one of the world’s most gifted and celebrated musicians, will also perform at the WorldPride Opening Ceremony.

DAYA also joins the star-studded lineup for the WorldPride Opening Ceremony benefit concert.Ciara, a Grammy  Award-winning singer/songwriter, producer, model and actress has sold more than 23 million records and 16 million singles worldwide, including chart-topping hits “Goodies,” “Ride,” “Oh,” “1, 2 Step,” “Body Party,” and “I Bet.”

Billy Porter  is a Tony  and Grammy Award-winning actor, singer, director, composer, and playwright from Pittsburgh, PA. He currently stars as ‘Pray Tell’, in in the FX series “Pose,” for which he has received both a Golden Globe and Critics Choice nomination for Best Actor in a Drama Series. Todrick Hall is a multi-talented singer, rapper, actor, director, choreographer, and YouTube personality who rose to prominence on American Idol.

Tickets start at  $45

The Ali Forney Center is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive agency dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youths—assisting nearly 1,800 young people per year through a 24-hour Drop-In Center, which provides over 65,000 meals annually, medical and mental health services through an on-site clinic, and a scattered-site housing program.

SAGE is the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older people. Founded in 1978, and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is an organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older people and their caregivers.

Immigration Equality is the nation’s leading LGBTQ immigrant rights organization, representing and advocating for people from around the world fleeing violence, abuse and persecution because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status.

 

June 30, 2019 as NYC Pride welcomes all to a final celebration of pride from 7-10pm in NYC’s iconic Times Square.

The evening will provide a full slate of influential speakers and global musical talents who represent the cultural diversity, tenacity, and grace of the LGBTQIA+ community. One of the renowned artists slated to perform is Grammy-Award winning singer-songwriter, Melissa Etheridge.

Margaret Cho is set to host the occasion in Times Square.

Cho is a Grammy and Emmy Award nominated stand-up comedian, actress, and singer-songwriter. Through her hard work, Margaret has had the opportunity to be heard, to extend her point of view and become regarded as a true pioneer in her field.

Jake Shears and MNEK will also perform at the WorldPride Closing Ceremony.

 

THE PROM is the joyous Broadway hit that New York Magazine calls “smart and big-hearted” and The New York Times declares a Critic’s Pick! It’s a new musical comedy about big Broadway stars, a small town, and a love that unites them all.

Deborah Cox will perform in Times Square at the WorldPride Closing Ceremony on June 30th!

Deborah Cox possesses one of the most powerful and versatile contemporary voices of our time. The Canadian born star has an impressive list of #1 Billboard hit records, including twelve #1 songs on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart.

Additional talent will be announced in the weeks ahead.

 

FREE tickets   and  Paid  tickets   HERE

 

**To remain in compliance with the City there will be an extensive bag check and no provided restrooms. Please plan accordingly. **

Prohibited Items:

Weapons of ANY kind, Fireworks/explosives, Illegal Substances, Large or hard-sided coolers, Picnic Baskets, Pets, Glass containers of any kind, Alcohol (alcohol will be sold at the Festival), Instruments, Large backpacks, Laser pointers, Professional still camera equipment (no detachable lenses, no tripods, big zooms, or commercial use rigs), Audio/video recording equipment, Drones, No illegal vending is permitted. No unauthorized/unlicensed vendors allowed, nor Hoverboards.

Permitted Items:

Sunscreen, Hats, Sunglasses, Earplugs, Hilarious GIFs to send in response to your friends’ texts, Non-professional film, and digital cameras, Factory sealed bottles of water (non-glass containers), Phone charging case or phone charger, or Small backpacks or bags

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James Bidgood at Museum of Sex

 

James Bidgood was born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1933, at the height of the Depression. From the time of his arrival in New York at 18 years old, he immersed himself in the underground worlds of drag, hustling, and pornography. In the 1950s, Bidgood was a drag queen and set and lighting designer at the legendary New York nightclub Club 82. He attended Parsons School of Design, and went on to design elaborate costumes for society balls, among other jobs that would come to inform his art.

In the 1960s, he turned his attention to “physique photography,” the highly-coded gay pornography of the time, where he found creative freedom, an eager audience, and his own groundbreaking artistic voice. Bidgood was proudly and uncompromisingly “out” during a pre-Stonewall moment when rapid social change around gender roles and sexuality coexisted with widespread hostility and discrimination against homosexuality. His work stands as a crucial link in the history of queer art and cinema, as historically important as it is visually ravishing.

 

Extraordinarily, almost the entirety of Bidgood’s work was shot in his tiny Hell’s Kitchen tenement. Bidgood literally lived in his sets, and used colored lighting, homemade props, and a variety of clever illusions—from the ingenious use of forced perspective to complex, Rube Goldberg like mechanisms that operated moving sets, fans, or lights—to create impressionistic wonderlands.

The culmination of this work was Pink Narcissus, a dreamily erotic feature-length film depicting the allegorical fantasies of a gay prostitute, and shot almost entirely in the same apartment. Upon its release in 1971, Pink Narcissus was an immediate underground hit, but due to creative disagreements between Bidgood and the film’s producer, Bidgood took his name off the credits, and the film was released anonymously. While rumors flew that the film had been made by a major, presumably closeted Hollywood celebrity, Bidgood remained in obscurity.

Since his rediscovery in the 1990s, Bidgood’s work, made for the worlds of mail-order pornography and midnight cinema, has been exhibited in such prestigious venues as The National Portrait Gallery, The Brooklyn Museum, and the Musée d’Orsay, and is included in vaunted collections such as the Tate Modern, London and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Alongside Bidgood’s remarkable photographs, this exhibition brings together a variety of ephemera from his extraordinary life, from vintage physique magazines, showing the original context of the work, to vintage photos from Bidgood’s time as drag queen Terry Howe at Club 82—all evidence of an extraordinary, productive, and utterly uncompromising life.

 

James Bidgood: Reveries’will be on view through September 8th, 2019.

All images courtesy of The Museum of Sex. Full color images courtesy of ClampArt New York.

MUSEUM OF SEX
233 Fifth Avenue (@ 27th Street)
New York, NY 10016
(212) 689-6337

MUSEUM HOURS:
Sunday thru Thursday 10:30 am to 11pm.
Last entry is 9pm
Friday & Saturday 10:30 am to 12am.
Last entry is 10pm

Last ticket sold 2 hours before closing

 

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Paige Turner, Sutton Lee Seymor and Jackie Cox June 27-28

WORLD  PRIDE  WEEKEND!   Get your  tickets  now – THIS WILL SELL OUT!

Move over Cher, Britney and Beyonce, NYC drag darlings PAIGE TURNER, SUTTON LEE SEYMOUR and JACKIE COX are back by popular demand, with their very own semi-biographical jukebox  YOU DON’T OWN ME! after it’s 2018 Smash Run and just in time for World Pride Weekend!

See what happens when three fierce drag divas all vie for the spotlight in this hilarious evening of sisterhood and friendship told through the music of Stephen Sondheim, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The First Wives Club , La La Land and More!

Performances are WORLD PRIDE WEEKEND Friday June 28th and Saturday June 29th at 7pm Tickets are $22 ($35 VIP with meet & greet, preferred seating and photo), and may be purchased online at

http://spincyclenyc.com/index.php/pride/479-own-me-pride

The Laurie Beechman Theatre is located inside the West Bank Cafe at 407 West 42nd Street. There is also a $20 food/beverage minimum at all performances.

Showbiz Spitfire” PAIGE TURNER, Known as the Carol Burnett of Drag, is one the original creators, producers and host of NYC’s live drag reality show “So You Think You Can Drag?”  She is a 2 time Glam Award winner and is known for her over the top parodies and comedy. Paige is a regular at the Beechman and has previously been seen in ”Drag me To the Top,” “Confessions of An Un-Natural Blonde,” Make America Gay Again,” “This Show is Gay!” and her annual Christmas and Easter Shows. You Don’t Own Me marks her 10th original show at the Beechman. She tours internationally  with Atlantis Cruises and coined the phrase Slurp!  She is currently part of the cast of Shade: Queens of NYC, on the Fusion Network.

Known as the “Robin Williams of Drag,” SUTTON LEE SEYMOUR is New York City’s campiest live singing queen of stage and screen, now touring her best selling shows from coast to coast in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Europe, and also the seven seas with Atlantis Events! She is a Glam Award winner as well as Season 4’s winner of So You Think You Can Drag?  She has been previously seen at the Beechman in her solo shows Fameish and Camp Queen and as well as Make America Gay Again and She Came Upon a Midnight Clear with Paige and Jackie.

JACKIE COX burst onto the NYC drag scene in 2010 in So You Think You Can Drag  and went on to the win coveted role of All Star in 2017. She has headlined her own shows “I Dream of Jackie Part 1 and 2 at the Beechman and is part of the Hells Kitchenette trio. She has also appeared in shows at the Laurie Beechman Theater “Make America Gay Again” and “She Came Upon a Midnight Clear” with Sutton and Paige. and The Crown & Anchor of Provincetown (“Gypsies”). Recently, Jackie appeared on TV in Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live”, winning the title of “Real Queen of Beverly Hills” for her impersonation of TV personality and Depends undergarment spokeswoman, Lisa Rinna and has appeared on ABC’s What Would You Do? As a drag queen coming out to her family.

 

 

 

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WorldPride NYC 2019 Parade Route

NYC Pride, the official host of WorldPride NYC 2019 and Stonewall 50, announces the 2019 LGBTQIA+ Pride March route, as an unprecedented number of people are expected for the events planned for June 2019.

 

The 2019 Pride March, which commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, will step off at noon on Sunday, June 30th. Starting from 26th Street and 5th Avenue. Some 150,000 marchers will proceed south on 5th Avenue before heading west on 8th Street. After crossing over 6th Avenue, the March will continue on Christopher Street, passing the site designated in 2016 by President Barack Obama as the Stonewall National Monument. It will then turn north on 7th Avenue, passing the NYC AIDS Memorial, before dispersing in Chelsea just north of 23rd Street and 7th Avenue.

 

“As we prepare for the largest LGBTQIA+ Pride event in history, NYC Pride has worked closely with the NYPD, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, and Council Speaker Corey Johnson to determine the most efficient and safest route and staging areas possible for the 2019 March,” said Julian Sanjivan, NYC Pride March Director.

 

“As we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, it is fitting that we will march down Fifth Avenue, past the Stonewall Inn and through the neighborhoods of Greenwich Village and Chelsea. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio, the NYPD, NYC Pride and all their partners for their hard work in planning WorldPride NYC 2019, a tremendous logistical feat,” said NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

 

“New York City stands ready to welcome people from around the world to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and the significant role our city played in advancing equality and justice for all,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I commend NYC Pride, the NYPD, and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson for working together with my office to determine a Pride March route that provides for a safe, affirming, and meaningful experience to commemorate this historic milestone for the LGBTQ community.”

 

“NYC Pride is thrilled to welcome millions of LGBTQIA+ people from around the globe for World Pride as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic Stonewall Uprising,” said Chris Frederick, Executive Director of NYC Pride. “From our Opening Ceremony in Brooklyn to the largest Pride March in history to the Closing Ceremony in iconic Times Square, it is clear that New York will embrace Pride like never before. We welcome everyone to experience a million moments of Pride and make history with us in 2019.”

 

Heritage of Pride –

Heritage of Pride, Inc. is the volunteer-directed organization behind the official NYC Pride roster of events. Heritage of Pride’s mission is to work toward a future without discrimination where all people have equal rights under the law. We do this by producing LGBTQIA+ Pride events that inspire, educate, commemorate and celebrate our diverse community.

 

For more information about Heritage of Pride, WorldPride 2019 NYC, and Stonewall 50, including opportunities to volunteer, sponsor, or purchase tickets, visithttp://www.worldpride.org.

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I’m From Driftwood Gala March 27

Are you ready?
I can not believe it’s been 10 years!
 I’m From Driftwood is celebrating 10 years, with dinner, drinks, performances, speakers and, of course, stories.
I’m From Driftwood’s 10th Anniversary Gala is in one week from today, on Wednesday, March 27. Since it’s a sit-down dinner, there are a limited number of seats so buy your ticket before they sell out. (GA starts  at $150)
The event will honor notable I’m From Driftwood storytellers: former Houston Mayor and current Victory Fund President and CEO, Annise Parker, who was the first openly LGBTQ mayor of a major American city; beloved singer, songwriter, and pianist, David Raleigh; and revered LGBTQ and AIDS activist, Cecilia Gentili. The evening’s festivities will include dinner, stories from the “I’m From Driftwood” archive, and feature a performance directed by artist and activist Mila Jam.

VISION
I’m From Driftwood envisions a world where every lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer person feels understood and accepted, and every straight person is an ally.

MISSION
I’m From Driftwood aims to help LGBTQ people learn more about their community, straight people learn more about their neighbors and everyone learn more about themselves through the power of storytelling and story sharing.

Increasing empathy and empowering individuals is accomplished by creating an apolitical forum for LGBTQ stories from every age, race, gender, background and culture. The stories deepen our understanding of each other, preserve history, and open hearts and minds.

VALUES
The most personal and meaningful stories are shared when the storyteller is in a trust-worthy, welcoming, judgment-free environment. I’m From Driftwood strives to create that environment on every level, whether you’re a long-time supporter at one of IFD’s events or a first-time visitor to the site. Be yourself, be comfortable and let’s get to know each other.

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