Local News West Hollywood

Pride Month activities to be conducted ‘virtually’

WEST HOLLYWOOD — Each year, the City of West Hollywood celebrates the artistic contributions of the LGBTQ community with its vibrant One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, which runs for 40 days, from May 22 through June 30.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, all festival events have moved to an online “virtual platform” to respond to the city’s efforts to prioritize health and public safety. 

The  One City One Pride Festival began May 22 with a special live-streamed online reading of Patricia Loughrey’s play “Dear Harvey: Stories of Harvey Milk,” produced by Celebration Theatre. 

“We have to hold onto our pride more than ever this year, and I’m overjoyed to be part of kicking-off a ‘virtual platform’ of One City One Pride events,” Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath said. “Moving to a virtual platform will help us safeguard health and well-being. We’ll be able to connect and celebrate in a new and creative way this year.” 

Other highlights of the 40-day festival include Pride Poets, which will be observed every Friday during the month of June from 6 to 8 p.m. Pride Poets will write and perform spontaneous works and also will respond to custom poem requests from the public that can be submitted at pride.weho.org/pride-poets

Pride Poets also will curate a half-dozen poem excerpts to produce WeHo Chalk Poetry on sidewalks throughout the city for passersby to enjoy.

On June 20 and 21, virtual readings of plays chosen from blind submissions by a panel of judges will make up the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights) Pride Playreading Festival. June 20 will feature readings of short plays and June 21 will feature a virtual reading of a full-length play. To RSVP, send an email message to events@laplaywrights.org with your full name and whether you would like to attend the short play readings, the full-length play, or both no later than 5 p.m. the day before each event, and you’ll be sent a Zoom link.

On June 27 at 7 p.m., New Stages and the LA LGBT Center Senior Services Department present “Out of the Dark,” a virtual online event featuring LGBTQ seniors sharing their coming out experiences through song and storytelling. RSVP at www.weho.org/pride.

A virtual panel discussion about the legendary store Circus of Books will include conversation with Circus of Books owners Karen and Barry Mason, documentarian Rachel Mason, and transgender activist Buck Angel June 30 at 6 p.m. RSVP at www.weho.org/pride.

Additionally, Pride Poets, a project funded by the city of West Hollywood, currently has an open call for the 2020 Pride Poets Cohort. In 2019, Pride Poets popped up with typewriters around the city throughout the One City One Pride Festival crafting more than 600 new poems for passersby commemorating their personal queer histories. This year Pride Poets is moving to an online format.

Pride Poets seeks additional poets to join the cohort in creating poetry as a public service, including writing custom poems for strangers and friends, sharing poetry in chalk on the streets, and supporting one another’s writing lives. 

Queer poets of color, trans poets, poets with disabilities, and West Hollywood-based poets are especially encouraged to apply. Since the festival has moved to an all-digital format this year, poets from anywhere in the world may apply.An application to apply for the Pride Poets 2020 Cohort can be found at www.weho.org/pride.

Independent Staff Report