ilume Gallery remembers Jack Evans with exhibit of his art

Posted on 31 Aug 2016 at 9:32am

Jack Evans

Ilume Gallery is now staging its 100th show, a retrospective of the art work and mementos of Jack Evans.

Evans, who died in June, and his partner George Harris are known, among other reasons, as LGBT community organizers who made the front page of the New York Times and appeared in People magazine after the Obergefell marriage equality decision in 2015. At the time of Evans’ death this summer, the couple had been together for 55 years.

Evans’ photography and art has previously been displayed at Northaven United Methodist Church, where the couple attended.

The Ilume exhibit opens with receptions from 6-8 p.m. on Sept. 9 and 10. The exhibit continues through Sept. 17.

Ilume Gallery is located in the original ilume, 4123 Cedar Springs Road.

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Get an early-bird discount to Bruce Wood Dance Project’s Six

Posted on 31 Aug 2016 at 8:11am

8520This past weekend, the Bruce Wood Dance Project — I’m not gonna lie: one of my absolute favorite arts organizations in a city filled with many great ones — held its annual Cocktails and Choreography mixer, where the company previews its upcoming season, which has already been jam-packed (including a trip to the GALA Choruses conference). Attendees were treated to excerpts from a world premiere piece, Klezmer Radio, from guest choreographer Katarzyna Skarpetowska. That’s just one of three pieces — including a world premiere from artistic director Kimi Nikaidoh and a Dallas premiere from the company’s late founder — that will be on display at City Performance Hall on Nov. 11 and 12. If you book your tickets before next Tuesday (using the code SIX),  you can get $6 off tickets … and also get a seat at Mistletoe Magic (Dec. 20), the annual gala fundraiser. Click here for more info and to get your discount.

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Paxton sues Waller County over licensed carry ban

Posted on 30 Aug 2016 at 5:09pm
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Texas AG Ken Paxton

As if he weren’t busy enough suing the federal government, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton managed to make time to sue one of his own state’s 254 counties, defending people’s right to carry guns in government offices.

Paxton sent out a press release today bragging that he has sued Waller County “to bring it into compliance with the state’s licensed carry laws.”

According to the press release, Paxton “gave Waller County final notice to comply with the law” on Aug. 10. When county officials refused to give in Litigious Ken (I’m borrowing from the Donald Trump playbook and giving him a catchy nickname) decided to sue. (Last week, in announcing that he had filed suit against the federal government over HHS regulations banning discrimination against transgender people in health care, Paxton noted it was his 13th lawsuit, in less than 2 years, against the federal government.)

 

Paxton’s press release notes that the lawsuit “requires [Waller] county to allow citizens to lawfully carry firearms in areas of the Waller County Courthouse that contain non-judicial county administrative offices, such as the county clerk, county treasurer and county elections offices, as the law requires.”

The press release goes on to quote Litigious Ken as saying, “A local government cannot be allowed to flout Texas’s (sic) licensed carry laws, or any state law, simply because it disagrees with the law or doesn’t feel like honoring it. I will vigilantly protect and preserve the Second Amendment rights of Texans.”

Let me take a moment to remind you all that the man who is so diligently demanding that Waller County follow the law has already been fined by the Texas State Securities Board, in 2014, for failing to disclose that he had been paid to solicit investment clients on behalf of a firm that was paying him a commission, and now faces additional state and federal securities fraud charges. You can read about it here in this Texas Monthly article. Apparently he’s the only person allowed to flout the law because he doesn’t feel like honoring it.

I will give him this, though: Paxton isn’t demanding that Waller County do anything he isn’t willing to do (except, you know, obey the law). I called and checked, and his office in Austin allows those with licenses to carry to bring their guns into his offices.

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New ‘Queer Ghost Hunters’ web series launching

Posted on 30 Aug 2016 at 2:30pm

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I know that a lot of people think the ghost hunting/ghost stories shows that have become so popular on TV over the last few years are pretty hokey. And yeah, ok, most of them are. But I still watch them. Except that one with Zak WhatsHisName. He gets on my nerves.

But this week I got an announcement about what may well turn out to be my all-time favorite of the genre: Queer Ghost Hunters.

Queer Ghost Hunters is a new web series set to debut on YouTube in October. In addition to being the month of Halloween, October is also LGBT History Month, which fits right in with part of the theme of the show: “The docu-series follows real people discovering stories of the queer past in places as diverse as the Ohio State Reformatory, where the film Shawshank Redemption was just — just one of many reportedly haunted places where LGBTQ people were often imprisoned, lived or worked in greater numbers that the general population,” according to the QGH press release. Queer Ghost Hunters looks at very real history, no matter what you believe, while parodying other ‘ghost hunting’ shows.”

As ghost hunter Lori Gum says in the trailer for the series, “The places most ghosts are found, we [LGBT people] were the people in those places.”

The series focuses on the work of Stonewall Columbus Queer Ghosthunters, “the first known group of its kind,” who “investigate haunted sites, asking for the first time if there are queer ghosts that wish to come out to them,” and — so the press release says — actually documenting on film some of those contacts with queer ghosts.

The series is produced by the same folks who brought you Gen Silent and Reel in the ClosetStu Maddux Films. Maddux himself notes that while the SCQG members “really believe in what they are doing,” they are also well aware “how bizarre it all looks. So their ability to have fun at their own expense has been just as fun to document.”

Maddux’s husband and co-producer, Joe Applebaum, adds, “It is the perfect combination of real findings and funny moments wrapped into a campy version of ghost hunting shows.”

I have already subscribed to their YouTube channel and “liked” their Facebook page, and I will be watching when Season 1 debuts on Oct. 1. Take a look at the trailer, below, and see if you want to be watching then, too.

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Pink Magnolia celebrates first birthday with rosy party

Posted on 30 Aug 2016 at 8:25am

6-Chef-Blythe-Beck-1Chef Blythe Beck loves her babies. Not human kids, no! Her babies. Like her lettuce babies, one of her signature apps. And of course her biggest baby is her Oak Cliff restaurant, Pink Magnolia. (We profiled the path to its opening in an award-winning piece published exactly a year ago.)

Well, the baby is about to have its first birthday (not anniversary!) and mamas Beck and Casie Caldwell are ready to celebrate with a pink explosion in September. This Saturday, Sept. 3, begins with a trip down the pink carpet for a brunchtime kid-friendly party with live music by Whiskey Sour, photos with the chef, face painting, a pick pony (!), cocktails and bites. A portion of the $35 adult cover ($10 for teens; free for 12 and under) will benefit Genesis Women’s Shelter.

Then on Sept. 20, Beck will share her Think Pink philosophy for a limited-seating “lunch and learn” event. (As with the b-day party, a portion of proceeds goes to Genesis.) You can secure your spot at both at PinkMagnoliaDallas.com/tickets.

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Texas schools on Campus Pride’s ‘Shame List’

Posted on 29 Aug 2016 at 3:57pm

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 3.49.42 PMCampus Pride — a national organization for LGBTQ and ally college students and campus groups that each year releases its “Best of the Best” list of college campuses with the most inclusive LGBTQ-friendly policies, programs and practices — has this year, for the first time, issued a list of the most anti-LGBTQ campuses across the country.

The “Shame List” enumerates 102 campuses that openly discriminate against LGBTQ youth in policies, programs and campuses, and it includes several schools in Texas: Arlington Baptist College in Arlington, Criswell College in Dallas, East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, University of Dallas in Irving, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton and Wayland Baptist University in Plainview.

Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride’s executive director, said, “Most people are shocked when they learn that there are college campuses still today that openly discriminate against LGBTQ youth, It is an unspoken secret in higher education how they use religion as a tool for cowardice and discrimination.”

The Shame List, Windmeyer said, “uncovers the religion-based bigotry that is harmful and perpetuated against LGBTQ youth on these campuses.”

The Shame List was first published on Dec. 1 last year, highlighting 57 campuses that received or requested Title IX exemptions that would allow them to freely and openly discriminate against LGBTQ people. The schools applied privately for those waivers and often even faculty, staff and students didn’t know administrators were requesting permission to discriminate.

The U.S. Department of Education has since published the letters regarding Title IX exemptions online, and Campus Pride spent the last six months researching public records and compiling a database related to anti-LGBTQ policies, programs and practices. To included on the Shame List, schools had to have applied for a Title IX waiver and/or demonstrated a past history and track record of anti-LGBTQ behavior.

Windmeyer said his organization created and published the list for students and their families have a right to know what to expect from these schools, “and so do the corporations who do business with these campuses — from those who hire and recruit, to vendors who contract food service, sell books and make donations and in any other way provide goods or services to a college or university.”

The Shame List published this week includes the findings of those six months of work, and it will be updated annually.

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The Rev. Todd Scoggins leaves CoH

Posted on 29 Aug 2016 at 3:31pm
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The Rev. Todd Scoggins, right, with the Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas on the pulpit at Cathedral of Hope.

The Rev. Todd Scoggins has announced he is leaving Cathedral of Hope after serving as associate pastor of the congregation since 2009.

Scoggins was instrumental in holding the congregation together after the church’s former senior pastor, the Rev. Jo Hudson, resigned suddenly in 2013. While going through a period of healing and a nationwide search for a new head pastor, Scoggins remained at Cathedral of Hope providing stability for the congregation while the Rev. Jim Mitulski served as interim senior pastor. After Mitulski left and before the Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas arrived, Scoggins again offered the leadership the church needed.

A statement from the church read:

“On August 28, 2016, the Cathedral of Hope Church of Christ received the resignation of Reverend Todd Scoggins as Associate Pastor.  Todd has faithfully served our church for the past 7 years and we are extremely grateful for his service.

“In his resignation to the church Reverend Todd said this:

“‘Throughout scripture, the number 7 has great significance and it is often followed by a time of rest and restoration. I began to notice a feeling of imbalance in my life at the beginning of this year, but I allowed myself to be ‘too busy’ to give it much attention.’ He continued, ‘I want you to know my departure has nothing to do with Neil, the staff or the Board of Stewards…they have gone above and beyond in supporting me as I have wrestled with this reality that God is doing a new thing in me.’

“There will be a farewell reception to honor Todd scheduled for Friday, September 9, 2016 from 5:00 -8:00 pm at the Interfaith Peace Chapel located on the campus of Cathedral of Hope.”

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It’s not too late to book a trip to SoDec!

Posted on 29 Aug 2016 at 1:56pm

Ace-Hotel-New-Orleans_ Alto_Fran-Parente_2Southern Decadence — also known as Gay Mardi Gras — is New Orleans’ most flamboyant event … and that says a ton. Taking place in the Crescent City over the Labor Day weekend, it’s a sea of twinks and bears, drag queens and leathermen, dykes on bikes and hell on wheels.  Still, it truly has grown beyond its “weekend” status, and now begins this Wednesday. And it’s not too late to book a last-minute trip to revel in all the frolic. (I found airfare for about $200 round trip.)

This year’s event — its 45th — has the theme Decadence Takes the World, and the “colors” are ruby red, pearl white, blue sapphire and amethyst purple.

There are tons of things to do, but readers of Dallas Voice can get some special discounts if they book at the Ace Hotel, a 1928 art deco building located the crossroads of Carondelet and Lafayette streets in the Warehouse District. If you book here and use the code BLANCHE, you can get a discounted room rate, VIP access for two to shows at its Three Keys venue (which include a Queer Bounce and Hip Hop Night a drag double-header, a Black Decadence seance and more), plus two free drinks on the property.

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Dallas Voice cartoonist nominated for important award

Posted on 29 Aug 2016 at 10:05am

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Movies have Oscar, theaters have Tony, even scifi writers have Hugo. But comic artists? Well, they have Harvey. The Harvey Awards have been around for about 10 years, and recognize artists, writers, letterers, colorists and all the folks who turn pencil drawings and ideas into works of art, political commentary, humor and more. There are 21 categories, like best syndicated strip or panel (nominees this year include Pearls Before Swine and Zippy the Pinhead),best artist (with Batman and Daredevil in the running) and best online comic (including Berke Breathed and Mark Stokes).

Wait a second… Berke Breathed, legendary Texan and creator of the recently revived Bloom County… is up against… Mark Stokes?

harvey-logo-nomineeStokes, as regular readers of Dallas Voice know, contributes regularly here with his Drawing Dallas Sketches, profiling ordinary North Texans in amazingly accurate caricatures. (He also designed the Ask Howard author logo.) But Mark also has an online comic strip called Zombie Boy (we wrote about his Kickstarter campaign a few years ago). And it’s his work there that has landed him a coveted slot as a finalist for this year’s Harvey Awards, which will be presented Saturday during Baltimore Comic-Con.

“Win or lose, just being nominated it a real honor,” Mark told me about the thrill of being in the running. “It’s a slightly unreal feeling — this [recognition] is something I’ve  wanted since I started creating comics back in the 1980s.”

We’re just excited to know one of our friends is getting a shout-out for work he’s done… then again, we’ve known about his talent for a long time. Fingers crossed, Mark!

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Cocktail Friday: Throw Shade

Posted on 26 Aug 2016 at 1:42pm

Throw Shade 1Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson, the hosts of the queerish podcast Throwing Shade, bring their live show to Dallas tonight (see our interview here), so we thought it would be nice to welcome these Texans back home with a cocktail named for what they do. Enjoy!

2 oz. Sailor Jerry Rum

Juice of half a lime

1.5 oz. simple syrup

8 mint leaves

Amber lager

Making it: Muddle the simple syrup and mint. Add rum and lime juice and shake over ice. Double strain into a beer mug (or pint glass) on the rocks. Top with the lager. Garnish with lime and mine.

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