Issue 356

Amy Johnson Heads OutFront Minnesota

OutFront Minnesota has named a new Executive Director. Amy Johnson, with more than 25 years of GLBT community service and advocacy under her belt, will guide the organization forward in this New Year and beyond.

With an impressive background in the legal world, Johnson, an attorney, is a member of the American Bar Association, the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association, the Hennepin County Bar Association, and Minnesota Women Lawyers. She is former President of the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association. Read the rest of this entry »

New Year’s Resolution–Or Not

If you’re planning to lose weight, quit smoking, save money, get fit, or quit drinking this New Year, you’ll be joining the nearly 150 million other Americans who will be attempting to do the same thing. If you’re lucky, you’ll be among the lowly 15 percent of those ambitious resolution-makers who actually follow through on their mission. If not, you still will be overweight, smoking, broke, unhealthy, and drinking your sorrows away. Read the rest of this entry »

Where Do Your Gift Dollars Go?

Examining 10 Community Nonprofits

When planning your charitable giving—particularly during these parlous economic times—it is wise to know what percentage of your gift dollars goes where.

To this end, Lavender examined the tax returns of 10 local nonprofit organizations, on file for public perusal at the Office of the Attorney General, Charitable Organization Division, St. Paul. We plan to do so annually.

In the chart below, the final percentages represent the total percentage of salaries plus benefits compared to revenue.

Heights Theatre Features Acclaimed Hedwig Filmmaker

An Interview with John Cameron Mitchell

John Cameron Mitchell is a pioneer in the exploration of human nature and its relationship to sexualities. The 2001 film version of his 1998 OBIE-winning stage musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which has become a countercultural phenomenon, is arguably the most influential film ever to wrestle with transgender identity. Not only does it reflect on homophobia in the military, but also it now resonates with the current same-sex marriage issue in a way it did not eight years ago. Mitchell directed, starred in, and cowrote the film. Stephen Trask wrote the music and lyrics, and cowrote the screenplay. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Townsend

All-American Experiments: Out There 2009
Five Days in March

Through Jan. 17
Jan. 22-24
Jan. 29-31
Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.
(612) 375-7600

Walker Art Center’s annual Out There series is still the best bet for those who relish experimental performance work from outside the Twin Cities. Three pieces are part of this year’s event. Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Awakening: Broadway Smash Mines Dark Night of Teen Sexuality

When a rock musical wins eight 2007 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, you can’t retreat into excuses about “hating rock musicals” to avoid seeing it.

In the case of Spring Awakening, playing the Orpheum on its national tour, you may recognize its title from Theater History class. Penned by German Frank Wedekind in 1891, it is regarded as one of the milestone nonmusical plays about sexuality. It probes themes of heterosexuality, homosexuality, masturbation, teen pregnancy, rape, suicide, and abortion—in a way that still packs a wallop. The drama’s first staging didn’t occur until 1906 in Berlin under Max Reinhardt’s direction. When the first American production took place 11 years later in New York City, the Commissioner of Licenses deemed it pornographic, and it was performed only once. Read the rest of this entry »

Three Local Musicians To March in Inaugural Parade

January 20, 2009, will be a historic day. President-elect Barrack Obama will be inaugurated into office, the first African American President of the United States of America. Another monumental event will happen on this day for the GLBT community. For the first time ever, a GLBT group will be included in the 56th Annual Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC. Read the rest of this entry »

Spirit of the Lakes Screens Original Harvey Milk Documentary

You’ve seen Milk, the highly acclaimed film about Harvey Milk, with Sean Penn as the California gay activist. Now, you have a unique opportunity to see—free—the “original” Milk: Rob Epstein and Richard Schmiechen’s 1984 Oscar-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, narrated by Harvey Fierstein. On January 28 at 7 PM, following refreshments at 6:30 PM, it screens at Spirit of the Lakes (SOTL) United Church of Christ (UCC) in Minneapolis. After the film, a discussion will be led by GLBT activists who were part of the gay rights movement during the lifetime of Milk, together with SOTL’s Pastor, Reverend James Pennington. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Record

Day & Age
The Killers

Las Vegas’s happiest rockers return for another round, taking yet another step back into the glittering past of bouncy dance rock. The band certainly knows a hook when they hear it, and their evocation of mid-1980s Cure and New Order is uncanny. It’s far from the deepest album I’ve heard in recent months, but the music moves without feeling absolutely artificial. In general, I find myself favoring the New Order-y tracks to the Cure-like ones (that’s how I prefer the originals), and the occasional stab at moodiness doesn’t do the Killers very well. But when this album hits it, such as the driving “Spaceman,” you have a perfect 21st-Century rocking dance tune. Read the rest of this entry »

The Strip Club

Born in 1885 of brick and limestone, with her iron-patterned cornice and lean arch piers, 378 Maria Avenue was one of St. Paul’s architectural jewels. With a spectacular view of the burgeoning Downtown, she was a majestic addition to Dayton’s Bluff. Unfortunately, after World War II, the neighborhood fell on hard times. Suffering a series of ill-conceived renovations, the building was completely dilapidated by the early 1990s. But a new owner removed the 1970s shingles, and restored the Victorian glory, leaving a handsome new restaurant ready for christening. Read the rest of this entry »

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