Splendors Of Versailles Exhibition
Top Event In United States for 1998
The Splendors of Versailles
Exhibition, set for Jackson
April I through August 3 1, 1998, at the Mississippi Arts Pavilion and featuring the largest presentation ever from France's Chateau of Versailles, has been selected as the "1998 Top Event in the United States" by the American Bus Association.
Officials of ABA and Destinations magazine, the association's travel trade publication, made the announcement during a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Sept. 3. Mississippi's First Lady Pat Fordice; E. B. Robinson, Jr., chairman of Deposit Guaranty Bank; Jack Kyle, executive director of the Splendors of Versailles Exhibition; and representatives of the French Embassy in Washington were among those attending the press conference.
"When we nominated the Splendors of Versailles Exhibition we knew it would be a winner. The Palaces of St. Petersburg: Russian Imperial Style Exhibition held in Jackson in 1996 was an overwhelming success for the group travel market and garnered one of the spots in the Top 100 Events of 1996. The Versailles exhibition will truly be another great opportunity to showcase the Mississippi tourism product to the group travel market. It is such a tremendous honor to be recognized by the ABA for a project of such quality," said Mary Beth Wilkerson, associate manager senior for the Mssissippi Department of Economic and Community Development, Tourism Development Division.
In 1996, the Palaces of St. Petersburg Exhibition attracted 554,000 visitors to Jackson, the exhibition's only venue. Splendors of Versailles will also be held exclusively in Jackson at the Mississippi Arts Pavilion and consist of approximately 140 objects from the collections of the National Museum of the Chateau of Versailles and several major U.S. museums.
"The name 'Versailles' conjures up in the imagination of people the world over images of grandeur and beauty associated with the reigns of three of France's most famous rulers, Louis XIV, XV, and XVI, along with Marie Antoinette. Never before has such a number of art and historical treasures associated with the Chateau of Versailles been assembled in North America or anywhere else in the world outside the Chateau of Versailles. This designation by the ABA as the "Top Event in the United States for 1998" clearly attests to the importance of the Splendors of Versailles Exhibition. I am certain this exhibition will bring great pleasure to hundreds of thousands of visitors during its five-month exclusive presentation at the Mississippi Arts Pavilion in Jackson," said Splendors of Versailles' executive director Jack Kyle.
Among the priceless objects in the exhibition are sculpture, paintings, bronzes, clocks, furniture, carpets, tapestries, musical instruments, jewelry, drawings, and porcelain-all associated with the history of France's most famous chateau.
"Never before has the span of such an exhibition from the Chateau of Versailles been shown on American soil," said Pierre Arizzoli-Clementel, director general of the National Museum of the Chateau of Versailles.
Highlights of the exhibition include the famous "Portrait of Louis XIV" by Hyacinthe Rigaud, a recreation of a royal bed chamber with fabric dating to the end of the 17th century, a gallery of Gobelin tapestries from "The History of the King Series," the "Creation of the World Clock" and Versailles' replica of the dazzling necklace of Marie Antoinette.
Serving as the grand centerpiece of the exhibition will be a specially commissioned replica of "The Equestrian Statue of Louis XIV" by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The replica weighs 10 tons and rises to a height of 12.5 feet. Two other replicas exist: one at the Chateau of Versailles; the other, at The Louvre in front of the famous pyramid designed by I.M. Pei.
In addition to objects from the Chateau of Versailles, the exhibition will include objects from the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon, and several major U.S. museums whose collections include objects once contained in the Chateau of Versailles.
In 1982, the North American Bus Association launched the Top 100 Events in North America program to assist charter motor coach and tour operators in planning itineraries. Today, the program attracts worldwide attention, and the Top 100 Events publication is distributed each year to tour planners, the general public, and the media. The Top 100 Events include U.S. and Canadian events from each state and province. The events are chosen for their appeal to a wide range of audiences.
Organized by the Mississippi Commission for International Cultural Exchange, Inc., and the National Museum of the Chateau of Versailles, the curators of the exhibition are Claire Constans, chief conservator, and Xavier Salmon, conservator, the Chateau of Versailles.
Splendors of Versailles is funded by major grants from the State of Mississippi, Department of Economic & Community Development, Division of Tourism; Metro Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau; and the City of Jackson.
Title Sponsors include: Deposit Guaranty National Bank and Trustmark National Bank. Principal Sponsors include: BellSouth and Jackson Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Major Sponsors include: Entergy, Jitney Jungle & Delchamps Food Stores, and SkyTel.
Individual tickets go on sale January, 1998, and will be available through TicketMaster outlets nationwide and by calling TicketMaster toll free at 1.800.409.9959. Tickets may also be purchased during the exhibition at the Box Office in the Mississippi Arts Pavilion. Tickets are for a specific date and time. Advance reservations are strongly recommended.
Admission prices are: Adults: $15.00; Seniors: (60+): $14.00; and Children/Youth (infants - 18 years of age): $5.00.
Group sales are now available by calling toll free 1.888.255.2552 (nationwide) or l.601.960. 9900 (in Mississippi). Approximately 40,000 group reservations have already been made. Special discount rates apply to all groups of twenty (20) or more.
An audio visual presentation and an audio tour are included with paid admission. A fully illustrated catalog will be available through the exhibition Gift Shop. On-site catering and deli-style food services are available in the Mississippi Arts Pavilion during the exhibition. The exhibition is handicapped accessible. Ample parking for school buses, motor coaches, and private vehicles is conveniently located adjacent to the Mississippi Arts Pavilion. Hotel packages are available.
For additional information call: 1.601.960.9900, fax: 1.601.960.9950, or write: Splendors of Versailles, P.O. Box 2447, Jackson, MS, USA 39225.2447. The Mississippi Arts Pavilion is located at the corner of Lamar and Court Streets in downtown Jackson, Mississippi.
To Gay Community
In the wake of her tragic demise, a
number of media outlets, includ-
ing notably the Associated Press (AP) and a local television station in Portland, OR, have run illuminating stories about the connection between Princess Diana and the gay community due to her AIDS advocacy work.
A Sept. 2 AP story begins, "In the largely gay Castro district, many San Francisco residents spent part of their Labor Day honoring the princess who championed AIDS causes." It quotes several of the people who viewed an impromptu memorial to Princess Diana. "Many in the city's gay community praised Diana for caring for those with AIDS when many feared the disease," it says. "One Castro resident, who said her full name was Oshara, left some lilies and a copy of the Oakland Tribune. She said the princess' view of AIDS was refreshing. Oshara also said that she appreciated the love Diana showed for the gay community. She said she had heard that Diana had gay friends who often helped her escape from the paparazzi."
During the morning news on Sept. 2, KOIN-TV in Portland portrayed reactions from a wide array of Oregonians, including contestants at the La Femme Magnifique pageant, where judges chose "the most beautiful female impersonator in the world." The drag queens shared their thoughts about the loss of Diana and the reporter and anchor people treated them as any other "man on the street." [from GLAAD]
The Ins And Outs
Of In & Out
comedy In & Out begins show
ing Sept. 19 in movie houses across the country. For those who have yet to see the trailer, featuring Kevin Kline dancing to the Village People's "Macho Man," the film is based on the premise that a famous actor (Matt Dillon) wins an Oscar and inadvertently outs his small-town high school drama teacher (Kevin Kline). It comes as a great surprise to the townspeople, most of all Kline and his fiancee (Joan Cusack). The story creates a media storm, which brings a closeted gay tabloid reporter (Tom Selleck) to town to find out the real story. Along the way, Kline struggles with his own self-identity, and the townspeople enact and confront their own assumptions, myths and stereotypes about gender and sexual orientation. Finally, the film refuses to shy away from same-sex intimacy, and features a prolonged, full-on lip-locking kiss between Kline and Selleck.
While the film does employ gay stereotypes, it does it in such a way as to simultaneously challenge them. In & Out's writer, Paul Rudnick, also wrote the hit play and movie Jeffrey and Addams Family Values, which explore the same theme.
Kline has to examine the ways in which he does embody certain stereotypes about being gay, including being a sharp dresser, having fluid hand gestures and loving Barbra Streisand.
In the end, though, the character discovers he must transcend worrying about what people think he is and just be true to himself. Kline also deals with issues of being a high school teacher who is thought to be gay and the very real possibility of losing his livelihood because of a lack of protections against job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Lastly, the town has to get over its homophobia in order to see the humanity in everyone. [from GLAAD]
1st Miss Gay
Pride Louisiana Set
The Krewe of Armeinius is start
ing a new tradition by holding
its first annual Miss Gay Pride Louisiana Contest Fri., Oct. 10, 1997 (New Orleans Gay Pride Weekend), commencing at 9pm at Body and Soul (2300 Chartres, corner of Marigny St. The production promises to be a night full of talent and beauty.
Tickets include an Open Bar and are $18 at the door, $15 in advance from any krewe member. Anyone interested in being a contestant, or for more informatiuon, can call 504.347.06959 or E-mail CaptAXXXX@aol.com.
George Highlights Hollywood's
Lesbian Leading Lady
In the Sept. issue of George magazine, a feature called "Women Who
Rule-the 20 Most Fascinating Women in Politics from the Glorious to the Notorious" features actor and Ellen DeGeneres' girlfriend Anne Heche. "So this is the Anne Heche who has Hollywood all worked up about whether straight men will still find her sexy in movies just because she's sleeping with a woman?" the profile opens. "It makes you wonder who Hollywood knows less about, lesbians or straight men." It continues by noting that Heche "is going where no woman has gone before: an actress on the upside of her career, cast in extremely hetero roles...announcing that she's a lesbian."
Discussing Heche's father's closeted gay existence and death from AIDS-related causes, the article highlights her own insistence on openness and honesty. "When her agents cringed at her intention to go public with Ellen at the Volcano premiere, she fired them and signed with DeGeneres'," it says. "But for Heche, the stakes are higher than they were for DeGeneres.
Ellen's coming out was a surprise to nobody,' said Larry Gross, author of Contested Closets. Anybody who didn't read her as a lesbian just can't read.' But no one had read Heche as a lesbian, including, apparently, Heche. If she still has a successful career,' Gross says, then she really will have broken a barrier.'"
In summary, George says, "The powers that be in Hollywood are in angst over whether she can. The problem with all the Hollywood hand-wringing is that the audience has never been given this choice before. And as Heche learned from DeGeneres, who knows until you've tried?"
By highlighting Heche, George recognizes cultural change as a central influence in "politics." The article also reveals the tip of Hollywood's homophobic iceberg by noting how much of the resistance to openly lesbian and gay actors comes from industry big-wigs afraid to take a risk on something unknown rather than any wisdom grounded in fact. [from GLAAD]
On September 8, GLAAD
launched a special weekly
radio show on the highly popular GLORadio, the Internet's first radio network dedicated to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Each Monday, a RealAudio presentation highlighting GLAAD's weekly activation tool GLAADAlert will be broadcast from GLORadio.
"GLAAD is thrilled to be a part of GLORadio's vital programming and to have the opportunity to bring our activism to a whole new audience," said GLAAD Interactive Media Director Loren Javier. To listen to the program, tune into www.gloradio.com. For more information, contact Loren Javier (GLAAD) at 415.861.2244 or via e-mail at javiergglaad.org. [from GLAAD]
Out & Proud
On The Internet
On September 9 the City
of West Hollywood and
the West Hollywood Lesbian and Gay Advisory Council presented "Out and Proud On The Internet: Acting Up From Home and Making a Difference On-Line." The town hall discussed utilizing the Internet as a grassroots organizing tool, the advantages of online communication in political action, and featured GLAAD's Interactive Media Director Loren Javier, Geo Cities CEO David Bohnett, Outbox.com producer Helen Mendoza, The Body President James Marks and Spare Parts representative Julia Salazar.
Love Takes Action at PFLAG Conference
On Sept. 11-14, hundreds
of Parents, Families and
Friends of Lesbians and Gays [PFLAG] converged on Orlando, Florida for "Love Takes Action," its 16th annual conference.
In addition to workshops on community organizing, computer and technology training, caucuses discussed regional issues as well as religion, youth and education.