LOCAL ORGS PLAN FESTIVITIES FOR LGBT JUNE PRIDE

The Brattleboro Reformer, June 8, 2015

BRATTLEBORO -- Now you can stay in the area and have your Pride Cake too! For many years, if you had wanted to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots (the riots occurred in NYC City on June 27, 1969, and are now designated as the birth of modern LGBT movement) you would head out to Boston, New York City or even up north to Burlington. Seven years ago, a few LGBT activists and allies in the tri-state area got together and decided to create a number of events for those who couldn't travel for the occasion. And that tradition has continued these past years, as a number of groups have announced plans for Pride taking place in the Brattleboro area this month.

It kicks off with Green Mountain Crossroads and the Pride Center of Vermont sponsoring a community picnic with LGBTQ families and allies (bring the kids) on Saturday, June 13 at the Kiwanis Shelter in Memorial Park in Brattleboro from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (rain location KidsPLAYce 20 Elliot St. Brattleboro). The organizers have asked those planning on bringing a dish to share to register it at Green Mountain Crossroads at www.greenmountaincrossroads.org

Next, in what is being designated as "Pride Weekend," a host of events will take place starting with the 7th annual CineSLAM, Vermont's LGBT Shorts Film Festival at the Latchis Theater on Friday, June 19 at 7 p.m.

The Program Director of CineSLAM, John Scagliotti, has collected a number of short films from around the world including "Your Kunst is Your Waffen" ("Your Art is Your Weapon"), a film by Ela Troyana featuring Carmelita Tropicana, which he will showcase at the film festival. "This year" says Scagliotti, "we will see films from France, Los Angeles and Keene, New Hampshire. We derive our program diversity from our initials, LGBT, and we show a variety of films. So you'll see that we like to cater to all our audience's senses, including their stomachs, which is why we'll be serving 'pride cake' during our intermission." You can see descriptions of many of the films that will be screened, make reservations and purchase tickets ($10 including Pride Cake) at their CineSLAM website: www.cineslam.com

Following the film screenings, just up the street from the Latchis Theater at the old Flat Street Sanel Building, experience 'Pride Experience' which is being billed as more than 'just a dance,' DJ Buck (Jim Andrews) and Techmaster JJ (Jonathan Jensen) have gathered forces to create this night of stimulating visuals and sounds that the party planners say will get you off your seat. Pride Experience is a benefit for Green Mountain Crossroads and CineSLAM. The Tri-state Gay Men's Group will be manning the door with a sliding scale donation of $10.

More about the Pride Experience can be seen here: www.facebook.com/brattleboroprideexperience?fref=ts

On Saturday, June 20, audiences are invited to head out to the Vermont countryside to the Organ Barn at Tree Frog Farm in Guilford, where Vermont Performance Lab and CineSLAM will present "A Journey into Film and Performance" at 2 p.m. — a hybrid performance-film-artist talk with an introduction by John Scagliotti of CineSLAM and Sara Coffey of Vermont Performance Lab and a conversation with two artists developing work in VPL's Lab, Carmelita Tropicana and Ela Troyano. Tropicana and Troyano will share excerpts from their newest collaborative hybrid work "Schwanze-Beast" that will preview during VPL's Progressive Performance Festival. Alina Troyano, better known by her stage name Carmelita Tropicana, started by performing at the now-famous lesbian performance space known as the WOW Café.

Part of the program in the barn will also include short films and counting by Keene Filmmaker Michelle Wood and Dean Hamer's "The Preacher and the Poet." Reservations and tickets ($12 including the Italian Picnic) can be had at the CineSLAM website www.cineslam.com

On Sunday, Vermont Performance Lab and Green Mountain Crossroads bring the 2015 pride weekend to a close with an opportunity for LGBTQ-identified writers and performers in the area to participate in a "Writing and Performing Autobiography Workshop" with Tropicana and Troyano.

This workshop introduces participants to writing and performing autobiography. Open to teens and adults, there is no previous performance or writing experience required. The workshop is sponsored in part by The Samara Fund of Vermont.

Those interested in signing up for this workshop can go to: www.greenmountaincrossroads.org/our-events.