Friday, March 24, 2017

Wicked Queer The Boston LGBT Film Festival (AUDIO)















In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with James Nadeau, Executive Director of Wicked Queer Boston’s LGBT Film Festival which is celebrating its 33rd year and runs from March 30th to April 9th. There are over 120 features and shorts participating in this year’s film festival. Opening night on Thursday March 30th takes place at the Institute of Contemporary Art at 8P with the screening of “Signature Move” fresh off its World Premiere at South by Southwest Film Festival. The film is about thirty-something immigration attorney Zaynab played with wry humor by out Pakistani, Muslim actor Fawzia Mirza who is balancing her work, love life and taking care of her conservative TV-obsessed mother. A drunken night with the bold and assertive Alma played by the fantastically charismatic Sari Sanchez last seen on the Fox Network’s “Empire”, leads Zayneb to question just how to come to terms with her mom, her love life and her new found obsession with Lucha-style wrestling. Sari Sanchez and director Jennifer Reeder will be present for the opening night film to be followed by an after-party with complimentary hors d'oeuvres at Empire Restaurant and Lounge. “Signature Move” is co-presented by The South Asian Arts Council and Queer Muslims of Boston. We talked to James about the importance of the Wicked Queer Film Festival in the current political climate and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked how he sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Nadeau stated, “What I’m seeing within the filmmaking community is that it’s really sparked an activism that I haven’t seen in a really longtime. For those of us who are of the generation who grew up with friends dying of AIDS I think we’re seeing a resurgence of political activism in the community that is not about to give up the freedoms we fought for which I find very heartening. It’s clearly in reaction to Trump and I think that’s a good thing. I think we need to get fired up and be a more active, politically active community.”

 James Nadeau has been a part of the Wicked Queer Film Festival since 2000. He has also programmed films for the Provincetown International Film Festival, The Rhode Island International Film Festival and at galleries and art spaces in the Boston area. His video work has screened internationally. He is currently a lecturer on film in the Literature Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and part time faculty in the Art History Department of Lesley University's College of Art and Design where he teaches the history of the moving image. Wicked Queer Boston’s LGBT Film Festival will be presenting 11 days of the year's best LGBTQ films. There will be lots of special events and opportunities to meet the filmmakers. This year will provide a chance to attend film premieres and mix and mingle throughout the 33rd annual festival. There are a variety of feel-good romances to hard-hitting documentaries bringing festival attendees another fabulous year of world-class programming. Wicked Queer is proudly presented by Showtime Network.
For Info & Tix: wickedqueer.org



Monday, March 20, 2017

The Dinah Shore Weekend Palm Springs 27th Year














In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Mariah Hanson, founder and producer of the legendary Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend that’s in its 27th year and takes place in Palm Springs, California from March 29th to April 2nd. For over a quarter century Mariah Hanson has not only been delivering epic good times to lesbians but has also continuously been moving the needle forward with her ongoing commitment to amplifying, championing and celebrating women’s voices and talent with The Dinah. The growth and longevity of this worldwide cultural phenomenon event is even more astonishing and remarkable at a time when lesbian bars, spaces, festivals and publications are rampantly vanishing all across the country. This is why now more than ever events like The Dinah are necessary to reconnect our community. The Dinah is entirely produced by women for women and that is a powerful statement in today’s political climate. Kicking off at the close of Women’s History month on March 29th and wrapping up on Sunday, April 2nd the Dinah 2017 will celebrate and honor the trailblazing women in the Arts, Sports and Entertainment industry who have achieved historic firsts. We talked to Mariah about all the festivities planned for this year’s Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.

When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Hanson stated, “We have to move forward in the current administration very strategically. I think that we need to move forward collectively across all platforms. I don’t think anyone currently, any individual group knows how to preserve their civil liberties better than the LGBTQ community because that’s what we have been doing for the past fifteen years of my life so we’ve gotten really good at it and I think that we really should take a leadership role, but I don’t think it should be just about LGBTQ at this point. I think it should be about protecting the civil liberties of all Americans. Funding is being yanked from so many organizations; transgender youth are being attacked; Muslims are being attacked; African Americans are being attacked; Mexican Americans are being attacked; so I think we need to be collective and strategic going forward. I think this movement has become a movement of people, of Americans who want to protect what our democracy is based on.”

The incredibly inspiring women slated to perform at The Dinah in 2017 include world surf champion now turned cutting edge DJ Keala Kennelly who not only made a big splash playing herself in the 90s cult movie “Blue Crush” but also made history for female surfing winning the first women’s big wave contest at the Nelscott Big Wave Classic in 2010. Also performing will be Butterscotch the first female beatbox world champion and a finalist on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, singer-songwriter, rapper Tish Hyman who penned songs for top-notch artists like Alicia Keys, Diddy, Kelly Rowland and Kanye West, rising pop star and Latin hip hop artist Lady Cultura, 90s club Icons Cece Peniston and Black Box, among others. On the comedy front the always politically incorrect stand-up comedian Julie Goldman one of the most hilarious, provocative and familiar faces on Bravo’s “The People’s Couch” and the “Vanderpump Rules” will up the volume on your laughter. She’ll be joined by British comic Gina Yashere who appeared on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and the wildly hilarious Erin Foley who has been taking the comedy scene by storm across the nation. Championing the rise of women DJs behind the decks, The Dinah will also put the spotlight on some of the top female DJ tastemakers including DJ Kittens and more. Collectively these daredevils have considerably changed the game for women achieving power through their remarkable ability to build community around the personal brands they’ve created and the causes they champion.
For More Info & Tix: TheDinah.com








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Monday, March 6, 2017

Boston Gay Men’s Chorus “Let’s Hear It For The Boys”














In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Reuben M. Reynolds III, Music Director of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus about their upcoming shows March 18th at 8P and March 19th at 3P entitled “Let’s Hear It For The Boys” at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston, Massachusetts. “Let’s Hear It For The Boys” is a raucous revue saluting generations of pop music’s pretty boys from the Beatles to Pharrell Williams along with rock radio staples like David Bowie, Journey, Queen and Coldplay. Now in their 35th year with more than 150 members Boston Gay Men’s Chorus is the ultimate boy band paying tribute to the artists and bands that shaped us all. BGMC will put its unique stamp on classics like the Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “I Get Around” by the Beach Boys, David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” and the Jackson 5’s “The Love You Save.” The Chorus will also perform hits by disco-era gay icons The Village People, the late legend George Michael, 1990’s heartthrobs NSYNC and more recent chart-topping boy bands One Direction and A Great Big World in addition to other surprises. We talked to Reuben about the importance of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus in the current political climate and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked how he sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration, Reynolds stated, “Several years ago we went to the Middle East. We took the chorus to Istanbul and to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. We had a wonderful concert lined up in Istanbul and then all of a sudden the government basically told us we weren’t welcomed there. They canceled the concert and it was horrifying to be told you’re not welcomed here but a private university said their gay and lesbian group said please we would like to host you instead. So we wound up performing in a much bigger venue for 5,000 people. Then next morning we were to march in the gay pride parade in Istanbul. When we got there, we were met by police with riot guns who said that we should turn around and leave immediately because the pride parade had been canceled. It’s the kind of thing that somehow in the back of your mind you think this happened 30 years ago in America and here it was happening to us right now. We had young members of the chorus who never experienced anything like this. But it brings to mind that there’s always a fight going on. Sometimes we get too complacent and then bam, here it is again. Well we all know what we have done in the past. We have fought those fights and will fight whatever needs to be fought today. We will stand up. We will not bow down to anyone. Trump is no problem; it’s just another step in our progression forward. We will always stand up for who we are and what we are.”

Reuben M. Reynolds III has been the Music Director of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus for 20 years. The BGMC creates musical experiences that inspire change, build community and celebrate difference. Since its founding in 1982 the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus has infused itself into the LGBTQ community of Boston. It has also reached out beyond that community into the political, social and arts arenas. As a staunch supporter of LGBTQ causes, BGMC has distinguished itself by performing for every major AIDS service organization in the Boston area and has created innovative collaborations with organizations including Greater Boston PFLAG, GLSEN Boston, AIDS Action Committee and more. BGMC was also an active participant in the marriage equality movement becoming a role model for other choruses throughout the world. (Photo by Michael Willer)
For More Info & Tix: bgmc.org








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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

GLSEN Protecting Our LGBTQ Youth (AUDIO)














In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Dr. Jessica Toste, co-chair of the Austin, Texas chapter of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network. GLSEN was founded in 1990 by a small dedicated group of teachers in Massachusetts who came together to improve an education system that too frequently allows its LGBTQ students to be bullied, discriminated against or fall through the cracks. Over 25 years later GLSEN has grown into the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for our LGBTQ students. GLSEN’s flagship research project the National School Climate Survey has found that 8 out of 10 LGBTQ students are still harassed at school each year because of who they are. In the past few weeks with the disturbing appointment of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, GLSEN has urged Secretary DeVos to keep in place protections for the most marginalized students including women, students with disabilities, students of color, undocumented students and LGBTQ students. Recently in Austin, Texas Senate Bill 6 was filed that would require transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and public universities based on “biological sex” and would pre-empt local nondiscrimination ordinances that allow transgender Texans to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. We talked to Jessica about how GLSEN is dealing with the current political climate and her spin on our LGBT civil rights.

When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Dr. Toste stated, “The Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have reported increases in hate crimes across the country. As we watch civil rights come under fire especially LGBTQ rights that have been hard won in the very recent past I think it’s difficult for a lot of people to stay optimistic but we aren’t done. So GLSEN is continuing the work and our friends are continuing the work and I think one thing that can help us remain optimistic is that we’re experiencing a moment in history where so many groups are being directly targeted and we really can’t afford to splinter our efforts and lose focus. We need to organize and recognize that each of our liberties is bounded up in liberties of our neighbors. We need to work together and stand together and mobilize together and take this moment for the great potential of coalition building and renewing our commitment to justice and equality.”

Dr. Jessica Toste is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin and a fellow of the Reading Institute within The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk. She received her PhD in educational psychology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 2011. Her research interests are related to students with learning disabilities and effective reading interventions with a particular focus on psychosocial processes and classroom climate as determinants of school success. She has published articles and book chapters on resilience factors related to achievement and psychosocial functioning of youth at-risk. Jessica also shares GLSEN’s mission to create safe and affirming schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
For More Info: glsen.org








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Monday, February 6, 2017

Abe Rybeck Making Change With The Theater Offensive












In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Abe Rybeck Founder and Executive Artistic Director of The Theater Offensive one of the nation's oldest LGBTQ theater groups based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Theater Offensive grassroots movement has been a voice for the LGBTQ community in Boston and beyond raising awareness, fighting bigotry and hate through performing arts and providing LGBTQ performers with a safe space outlet. The Theater Offensive’s mission is to present the diversity of our LGBTQ lives in art so bold it breaks through personal isolation, challenges the status quo and builds thriving communities. Last November First Lady Michelle Obama presented their youth group True Colors with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award which is the nation's highest youth humanities award. This was the first LGBTQ organization to receive this prestigious honor. We talked to Abe about the significance of his work in the current political climate and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked how he sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Rybeck stated, “It’s so important before we say anything about that answer to remember the massive diversity of our community. Why this is so important is that in the last weeks I’ve seen a lot of rumors flying around about ‘Oh there’s going to be an anti-LGBTQ order coming out from the White House. Get ready we’re next’. We are not next, we are already under attack. Think about who we are: women, trans folks, people of color, people who want to drink clean water. That’s all of us. We are already under attack. The Theater Offensive has had Muslim employees and Muslim board members. It’s really important that we remember that these members of our community, if we’re not standing together like this, how are we calling ourselves a community? We are already under attack and The Theater Offensive the way I see it, we need to be already in action. So we’re mobilizing as part of the resistance to this. I think culture plays a vital role in resistance. Culture is part of the problem that created the situation that we’re in and it’s part of the solution. I heard a joke on Saturday Night Live which I think considers itself you know kind of progressive. There was a joke in the news segment about trans women of color or in other words the reason Trump won the election as if the reason Trump won the election was because of identity politics of LGBTQ folks. I think the opposite is true. The reason Trump won is because white supremacists grabbed on to an identity movement and went with that. And anti-gay forces grabbed on to their identity and went with it and though a minority of people in the country, a minority of voters even identified that way or support that, they organized politically in a way that they could win. I think it’s really important for us as a community to make sure we’re standing up to that and standing together against that.”

Abe Rybeck’s main work is uniting artists, neighbors, community groups and local businesses to collaborate on OUT performance work in the Boston neighborhoods. Collaborating across cultures and generations to create performance work is his favorite part of his job. Abe won the 2007 Jonathan Larson Award for musical theater for his collaboration on the book of True Colors alumna Melissa Li’s Surviving the Nian. Abe was declared one of the “Heeb 100” progressive Jewish world cultural leaders. He is proud to have received several awards from his peers in the community.
For More Info: thetheateroffensive.org








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Monday, January 30, 2017

Grammy Winner Janis Ian Speaks Out & Goes Viral













In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with two-time Grammy winning singer songwriter Janis Ian about her Facebook posting that went viral with over 12 million views, 50K comments and over 93K shares addressing the Trump Administration. Legendary singer, writer and feminist icon Ian was only 14 when she wrote "Society's Child" observing the racial bigotry and atrocities during the 1960’s. Her civil rights stand brought her controversy and even death threats, however the importance of the song was recognized when it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Janis remains society's child, although an older and wiser one with her commentary on current American history and our new president's positions. We talked to Janis about what inspired her to write this must-read post (see link below) and her spin on our LGBT civil rights.

When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Ian stated, “Well, I think the question for anyone in the LGBT community is can we move forward in this administration? This is an administration that is on record saying that we are crazy, that we’re mentally disturbed, that we need therapy to become ‘normal’. This is an administration that seeks to normalize hatred and bigotry and ignorance. My gosh if they’re normalizing anything it’s ignorance. They have the arrogance of their ignorance. So I don’t know that we can move forward. I hope we can but I think we’ll be doing very well if we can just manage to maintain at this point and I would say that goes across the board, not just for gay people but for the disabled, for anyone that dissents on either side and for anyone that is not white male and wealthy. I think the coalminers are going to get hit too. You know we’re not alone in this, it’s just that a lot of people don’t realize it yet.”

Janis Ian won her first Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1976 for “At Seventeen” and her second Grammy Award in 2013 at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony for Best Spoken Word Album for her audio book "Society's Child”. She had stiff competition in 2013 including President Bill Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama, Rachel Maddow and Ellen DeGeneres. When she won she sincerely considered it to be a “stunning upset.” With her inimitable sense of humor, she went on to say "There must be a joke in here somewhere. An ex-president, a First Lady and three lesbians go into a bar..." In addition to the Grammy the audio version also received an Audie Award, the audio book industry’s version of the Grammys. As a multitalented artist Janis has been expressing her life experience through her music, songs and her literary projects. Ian’s songs have been recorded by singers as diverse as Cher, John Mellencamp, Celine Dion, Nana Mouskouri, Charlie Daniels and Roberta Flack and she has performed with Tom Paxton, Lou Gossett Jr., Judy Collins, Phil Ochs and a host of other singer-songwriters. Read Viral Facebook Post...
For More Info: janisian.com








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