wehotimesChristopher Street West (CSW), the non-profit organization that produces the LA Pride Festival and Parade, announced on September 25, the results of its recent recruitment effort to onboard new members to the CSW Board of Directors. This year, the organization received an overwhelming number of applications to fill only eight open seats. All applicants were highly qualified and represented all facets of LA’s diverse LGBTQ+ community.

“The selection process was more difficult this year due to the sheer volume of applications received,” says Board President, Chris Classen. “I’m excited by the diversity and caliber of the applicants who were ultimately elected and look forward to seeing the unique contributions they will all make to CSW.”

labladeLA Blade | Karen Ocamb - Something happened at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s 48th Anniversary Gala Vanguard Awards Saturday night, Sept. 23. It was as if the sold out suit-and-gown crowd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel took a knee in solidarity with each other and the growing effort to resist Reality TV star President Donald Trump’s pursuit of hostile divisiveness. In addition to saluting honorees Valerie Jarrett, former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, and Hollywood super agent Ari Emanuel, TV host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel and Center CEO Lorri Jean underscored how pushing back against Trump is an imperative fight to preserve American democracy and simple human decency.

The gala skirted that shimmering elite frat party feel for a simple elegance more befitting the budding development of a new coalition for compassion, three decades after AIDS forced the fight for humanity into the public discourse.

labladeLA Blade | Susan Hornki - When events producer Billy Butchkavitz is not creating impressive designs for HBO parties throughout the year, he is searching for new decor themes around the world.

“My favorite thing is to travel and find new sources, i.e. people that can manufacture for me, vendors, ideas. Just walking through villages in India and seeing a temple or seeing people on the banks of a river doing hand block textiles, I find inspiration everywhere,” Butchkavitz enthused.

The veteran organizer/designer is one busy guy: he creates over 36 elaborate parties each year, and ongoingly works for years with gay and lesbian students for Project Ten.

laglcFrom the playwright and producers of Hit the Wall comes the West Coast premiere of Exit Strategy by acclaimed Chicago playwright Ike Holter. First produced in Chicago in 2014 and then off-Broadway in 2016, this fiery and poetic play will be directed by Deena Selenow. Three preview performances are scheduled for September 26, 27, and 28, and opening is set for Friday, September 29 at 8 p.m. The run will continue through November 5 in the Davidson/Valentini Theatre.

The cast will feature (in alphabetical order) LaNisa Renee Frederick, Jane Macfie, Remy Ortiz, Maria Romero, Darrett Sanders, Adam Silver, and Luke Tennie.

laglcThe Los Angeles LGBT Center honored Co-CEO of WME | IMG Ariel Emanuel, and former Senior Advisor to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, at their 48th Anniversary Gala Vanguard Awards, which took place on Saturday, September 23 at the Beverly Hilton. This year’s star-studded, Hollywood-meets-the-Beltway evening, brought to you by American Airlines, united more than 1,000 leaders from the civic, corporate, entertainment, and philanthropic communities to celebrate the inspirational 2017 honorees for their unwavering support of the LGBT community and their dedication to creating positive change in the world. Guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner, and entertainment, along with a not-to-be-missed silent auction that included high-end items, packages, and experiences.

Host Jimmy Kimmel was greeted by thunderous applause when he stepped onstage to kick off the evening’s program. He introduced MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, who took a moment to reflect on the current political climate, and to commend Kimmel for his bravery in using his voice to create positive change.

laweeklyLA Weekly | Hayley Fox - The highly feted, $700 million USC Village has faced a good bit of controversy since its inception, and one of its newly added businesses arrives in South Los Angeles with some additional baggage. Barilla, the self-described “world’s most popular” pasta corporation, announced this month that it would be opening a new restaurant in the South L.A. development this fall. But the fact is, the company has not always been very popular.

Just four years ago — a few months after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage — the president of Barilla went on an Italian radio program and stated that he wouldn’t include same-sex couples in his company's commercials because he preferred “traditional” family structures.

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