First Commerce Corporation Sponsors Scholarship Program
For Human Rights Campaign Dinner
First Commerce Corporation, the parent company of First National Bank of
Commerce (FNBC), announced that it will sponsor 20 "Helping Hands"
Scholarship tickets to the fifth annual Louisiana Human Rights Campaign Dinner/Dance, Black Tie V, on Sat., May 17.
The scholarship program is designed to facilitate the participation of lesbian and gay youth, persons with AIDS, and others who might otherwise not be able to attend the event, which features nationally renowned speakers, special guests, and presentation of the 1997 LA/HRC Awards.
"First Commerce Corporation has long been dedicated to encouraging education," said LA/HRC Dinner Co-Chair, Robert Ripley. "They are a model corporate citizen with respect to gay and lesbian issues, and their sponsorship of Black Tie V allows us to introduce many youth and disadvantaged persons to the important work of the Human Rights Campaign, and role models within out community."
Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La) will be the featured special guest of the evening, while former Congressman Steve Gunderson (R-Wi) and his longtime partner, Rob Morris will deliver the keynote address. The Honorary Committee of the event includes a host of local and state leaders: Rep. Bill Jefferson, Mayor Marc Morial, City Council members Troy Carter, Oliver Thomas, Roy E. Glapion, Jr., and many others.
Individuals interested in applying for scholarship tickets to Black Tie V should submit their name, and a statement indicating their interest in attending, to LA/HRC Dinner Committee, c/o Sandra Pailet, 1699 Robert Street, New Orleans, LA 70115. A four hour volunteer internship, during the gala weekend, May 16 - 19, is required as a part of the scholarship program.
For more information about the 1997 HRC/LA Dinner Weekend, or to learn more about the work of the Human Rights Campaign, please contact dinner Co-Chairs Ti Martin or Robert Ripley at 504.949.2572.
And The (Big Easy Awards) Winners Are...
Hometown media sweetheart
Arthel Neville and comedian/
commentator Harry Shearer assisted local celebs as hosts of the Tenth Annual Big Easy Entertainment Awards on Monday, April 21, 1997 in the beautiful Orpheum Theater in downtown New Orleans. Honorary Chairmen Cosimo Matassa and Sonny Borey were joined by local luminaries to give more than 40 awards to the city's finest performing artists in Music and Theater. Lively performances from the Treme and Nightcrawlers Brass Bands, Beausoleil, the Crownseekers and others were interspersed between awards, with the selections from the nominated musicals The Wiz, Always Patsy Cline and Sophisticated Ladies winning the greatest audience response.
Top theater honors went to Sophisticated Ladies (Le Petit Theater du Vieux Carre) with five awards: Best Musical, Best Director of a Musical (Sonny Borey), Best Choreography (Karen Hebert), Best Costumes (Debby Simeon), and Best Actor in a Musical, Ben Bagby. Brighton Beach Memoirs (Rivertown Repertory Theater) was a close second with four awards: Best Comedy, Best Set Design (Robert Self), Best Lighting Design (Daniel Zimmer), and Best Supporting Actor, Vance Smith. Lois Crandell was a popular favorite receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award in theater. Diana Boylston won Best Actress in a Musical for her work in Always, Patsy Cline!
Carl Walker took home three awards: Best Director of 1996 for his work on Three Tall Women, which also won for Best Drama of 1996, and Best Original Work Created for Theater, for the popular Class of 70Something. Charlotte Schully won Best Actress in a Play for Three Tall Women, and Michael Bennett took home the Best Actor Award for Madwoman of Chaillot. Janet Shea won Best Supporting Actress for Little Foxes and Vance Smith won Best Supporting Actor for Brighton Beach Memoirs.
Star of stage, screen and television, Patricia Clarkson was named New Orleans Ambassador of Entertainment, Better Than Ezra took double honors, winning the Entertainer of the Year and Best Rock Group categories for accomplishments in 1996 - their debut album went platinum, they had two hit singles and videos from their follow up album, Friction...Baby! and they headlined a major show at the UNO Arena, a remarkable accomplishment for a local group.
Nicholas Payton was also a double winner, winning for Best Contemporary Jazz Artist and for Best Album of 1996 for Gumbo Nouveau, which he produced with Richard Siedel for Verve Records. The funky Galactic won Best Emerging Artist of 1996, and the controversial Master P won for best Rap Artist of 1996. Best Female honors were given Irma Thomas, and perennial favorite Johnny Adams won Best Male Artist of 1996. One of the most touching moments of the evening was Blue Lu Barker's acceptance of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Music from Cosimo Matassa and Allen Toussaint.
Anti-Marriage Bill (SB 37) Falls Short
Of Two-Thirds Support
The Anti-Marriage Bill (SB 37),
authored by Sen. Phil Short, R-
Covington (rabid dog of the Christian Coalition) fell short of passage by a two vote margin.
The bill, which would have amended the "Right to Individual Dignity" portion of the Louisiana Constitution to deny recognition of marriages performed validly between same-sex couples outside of the state, received a firestorm of debate both pro and con that lasted almost a full hour before dying 24-8-7.
Proponents of the bill stated that is was necessary to protect the family and traditional marriage. Opponents were concerned about the rise in hate crimes that a statewide vote on such a divisive issue could potentially create.
"The game is not over," said Brian Hartig, exective director of Louisiana Electorate of Gays And Lesbians (LEGAL), "The bill can be brought up for reconsideration at just about any time. So we've got to be on our toes and continue to remind our legislators that this bill is simply unnecessary."
The authors of Senate Bill 37 can revisit the issue (through another vote) at any point through to the end of the session. The author simply must request that the bill be brought to the floor once again to be debated and voted on.
"And you can be certain that he (Sen. Short)'s going to make sure he has all of his ducks in line before he does this," said Hartig. "Short will cut his deals and get his votes lined up and then bring the bill up for a vote. So we've got to recontact our legislators to make sure that they vote against this bill."
The discussion on the bill brought forth some of the most vocal and heated debate that the senate has seen this session as most speakers lined up to oppose the bill. Only two senators spoke in favor of it (Jordan & Dyess), the other "yes" votes preferring to remain quiet on the issue. Voting For SB 37: Barham, Branch, Cain, Campbell, Dardenne, Dyess, Ellington, Fields, Greene, Hainkel, Heitmeier, Hines, Jordan, Lambert, Lentini, Malone, Romero, Schedler, Short, Siracusa, Smith, Theunissen, Ullo, Mr. President (Ewing).
Voting Against SB 37: Bagneris, Bean, Cox, Dean, Johnson, Jones, Landry, Robichaux. Not voting: Bajoie, Casanova, Cravins, Guidry, Hollis, Irons, Tarver.
NO/AIDS Walk Date Changed to Sept. 14
The Eighth Annual NO/AIDS
WALK has been rescheduled
for Sunday, Sept. 14, one week earlier than previously planned. According to co-chairs Charlie Khoury and Helen Siegel, the decision was based on the release of the Saints 1997 schedule. Instead of people having to make a choice of which event they would be participating in, the co-chairs decided to move the WALK back one week to a day when the Saints would be playing out of town.
The NO/AIDS WALK supports services to HIV/AIDS affected and infected individuals throughout the state of Louisiana. Since 1990, the WALK has raised nearly $1.5 million. Every year 10,000 to 20,000 individuals come together to raise over $300,000.
14th Annual AIDS Candlelight Memorial
& Silent March
The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial and Mobilization will happen around the world on Sunday, May 4, 1997.
This year marks the fifteenth anniversary (14th in New Orleans) of the world's largest annual community-based AIDS event.
People in over 40 nations, from Argentina to Zimbabwe, and all 50 states in America will simultaneously join in remembrance of those who have died of AIDS and in support of those who are living with HIV and AIDS.
The New Orleans observance of the event will take place on May 4, 1997 at 7:00 pm at St. Mary's Church located at 1116 Chartres Street at the corner of Ursulines and Chartres.
A ceremony with special guest speaker and music will be followed by a ceremonial lighting of candles in the church courtyard.
For more information, to make a donation, or to volunteer for the event, please call Ivan Vargas at 504.832.5016.
Vieux Carre MCC
Vieux Carre Metropolitan Community Church will celebrate
Pentecost Sunday on May 18th.
That day, traditionally known as the birthday of the Christian Church, will provide the theme for the service and the reception which will follow the morning worship at 11:00 a.m.
Join them for the morning worship service located at 1128 St. Roch Ave., and stay for the birthday party immediately following the service!
"Raised Southern" Blues And Jazz Paintings
By Patterson and Barnes
Raised Southern features new
paintings and constructions
by Gary Patterson and Marion Barnes now on view at Bryant Galleries, 316 Royal Street, through May 25. Their emotional and expressionistic images depict not only those legends who create and perform the music that was born in the South, but their paintings also reflect the settings and situations from which these very Southern art forms were born.
Marion Barnes states, "As Southerners growing up in the 60s, we saw our society radically changing....Since then our world has become much more commercialized. So it is inspiring to still see that there are some things in life that remain largely unaffected and unshakably unique - like the blues and jazz and the powerful roots from which they spring."
In addition to featuring portrayals of jazz and blues legends like Thelonius Monk and Albert Collins, some of the paintings included in this exhibit depict everyday travails as in the construction "Running Out of Gas and Flat Out Broke." This constuction is created from scraps of wood and even an old gas pump.
Another painting, entitled "I Ain't Washing Your Dishes No More," reveals a tired but resolute looking woman holding her handbag and car keys - poised to leave. Below her in a shadow box is a tableau of pots, pans and other kitchen utensils and an old container of "Joy" dishwashing liquid.
In all of Patterson and Barnes' work, one finds a delicate balance between humor and pathos. Patterson and Barnes art has been embraced by both art and music lovers around the world.
COMEDY OF ERRORS at Southern Repertory Theater
Fund Raiser for NOCCA
Theatre Ensemble presents
Shakespeare's Comedy Of Errors at the Southern Repertory Theatre, One Canal Place (Third Level). The play opens Thursday, May 8 and will run through to May l1th.
Comedy Of Errors is directed by Dr. Henry Hoffman, Chairperson of NOCCA Theatre Department, from his own scenario of the Shakespeare text. The play is a madcap 90-minute whirligig, the Bard's first comedy, which includes several sets of twins caught in a maze of mistaken identity. The twins or doubling theme is carried throughout the performance. The NOCCA production is rooted in the commedia dell 'arte (Italian for "professional comedy") and is inspired by the silent film comics like Charlie Chaplin, as well as contemporary artists like Bill Irwin.
The NOCCA Theatre Ensemble (NTE) is the production wing of the Department of Theatre at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. NTE is comprised of advanced theatre students, theatre faculty and guest artists from the community. This is the third collaboration between Southern Rep and NOCCA.
This production will serve as a fund-raiser to help support the advanced NOCCA theatre students in traveling to the Lincoln County School of the Performing Arts in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada. The NOCCA students have been invited to help celebrate Lincoln County's tenth anniversary. Both Lincoln County and NOCCA are partners in the International Network of Performing & Visual Arts Schools of whom John Otis, Principal of NOCCA, is President. The students will also experience performances at both the world-famous Strafford and Shaw Festivals.
Comedy Of Errors was made possible by the talent, dedication and hard work of all the cast and crew. Choreography is by Alton Geno and Yvette Sirker. Lights are designed by Elliot Keener. Sound is by Kimberly Jackson. Costumes are by Trish McClain. The cast includes: Keenan Goldsmith and Irvin Parker as the Antipholi, Jessica Podewell and Sarah Bromberg as the Dromios; Tarah DeSpain as Adriana and Shaina Coleman as Luciana; Richon May as Tommie and Dennis Tyler as the Courtesan/Abbess/Emilia; Rakisha Ballen, Gabrielle Foss, Skyla Hubert and Haydee Erb play the Beatles; Alisha Elrod is Big Lucy, Kerri Montagnino is Max and Allison King as Shakespeare himself.
Comedy Of Errors will run Thursday May 8 through Saturday, May 10 at 8:00 pm with a special Mother's Day matinee on Sunday, May 11 at 2:00 pm at Southern Rep (Canal Place Shopping Center, Third Level). Tickets are $10/person. NOCCA students and faculty are admitted for $5. To reserve and purchase tickets call NOCCA at 504.899-0055. For other general theatre information call Southern Rep at 504.861.8163. Tickets may be purchased at the Theatre prior to performance if seats are available.
Spring's bouquet of local festivals continues apace with Fete
d'Amerique Francaise/French Fest, a two day, admission free, music, food, crafts and children's festival celebrating the French language and culture of New Orleans and South Louisiana.
The festival will be held on May 17-18, 1997 in Dutch Alley (located behind the French Market between Dumaine and Ursulines).
In keeping with this year's theme, "La Fete Creole" - and to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sidney Bechet, one of Louisiana's great Creole jazz musicians - a jazz contest for the best rendition of Creole influenced traditional New Orleans Jazz will be held. In addition to the winner of this contest, musicians such s Rebirth Brass Band, Bois Sec Ardoin, Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys, Bruce Daigrepont, Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band and Don Vappie & the Creole Jazz Serenaders will play the best in jazz, zydeco and cajun music.
At the children's festival, both children and adults will be fascinated by the likes of Adella Gautier, Creole storyteller, Papillion, Grayhawk, Alida & Moise Viator, Jimmy the magician and Phillip Melancon, performers gifted in spinning tales and eliciting laughter.
To highlight Louisiana folkways, Roy Parfait will demonstrate Houma Indian wood carving and Larry Miller will display Cajun musical instruments. Other artisans will display jewelry, pottery and Creole ceramics.
On May 16, Fete d'Amerique Francaise/French Fest will present a French play entitled Charta to be performed in French.
To find out how you can participate, call Fete d'Amerique Francaise/French Fast, 504.581.9569, fax: 504.566.0546, or E-Mail FAF@Koerner.law.com.