Friday, July 10, 2009

Events Promoting Equality for All: Madison Equal Opp'ties Comm. Picnic; OutReach Awards Banquet; RIOT ACTS Performance

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It's one of those happening weeks for special events in Madison.... in this case, several remarkable events celebrating our diversity:

* Madison Equal Opportunities Commission Potluck/Picnic, A Celebration of Diversity, 5-7 pm, Thursday, July 16th in the Warner Park Shelter. (If possible, call 266-4910 to RSVP and tell staff what kind of dish you'll be bringing.) Free and all are welcome!

* OutReach Annual Awards Dinner. Friday, July 17th, Monona Terrace Convention Center. 5:30 reception, 6:30 dinner; 7:00 program. $60 or $110 for couples. Call 255-8582 for tickets; deadline officially passed on July 10th, but call OutReach as early in the week as possible to see if they can accommodate you.

* RIOT ACTS: A Commemoration of Stonewall. A collaborative project of StageQ, Proud Theater and Perfect Harmony Men’s Chorus. July 16, 17, and 18 on the Drury Stage of the Bartell Theatre, 113 East Mifflin Street. Go to for more info.

Our show this week will feature guests involved with these three remarkable community-building events. Further details of each event below:

Madison Equal Opportunities Commission
Summer Celebration of Diversity Picnic

Please join us this Thursday, July 16th, beginning at 5pm, at the Warner Park Shelter (pictured immediately below). Warner Park is on Madison's northside, just southwest of the intersection of N. Sherman Ave., and Northport Drive. To find the shelter, drive toward the center of the Park from the entrance on either of these streets.
The event is a community potluck, featuring dishes that are family favorites or reminiscent of a person's native culture. Please contribute, if possible, but know that there's always plenty of food, if making a spontaneous decision to attend. The event begins at 5pm, with a brief program and award ceremony at 6pm.

Each year, an outstanding community leader is recognized for their outstanding contributions to the cause of civil rights, with the James C. Wright Award (named for the MEOC's beloved founder and first director). This year's recipient is Darlene Hancock, who was the Madison Metropolitan School District's first African-American female principal. (Mrs. Hancock, who was married for 50 years to Alan Hancock, is the mother of one son, grandmother of two, and a great-grandmother. She retired in 1996.) She was also instrumental in the founding of several community organizations, including LINKS, Alpha Kappa Alpha's Kappa Si Omega chapter, and the S.S. Morris A.M.E. Church. She continues to play an active role in these organizations, and others, such as the Genesis Development Corporation.

OutReach's 17th Annual Community Awards Banquet

OutReach, Madison’s and south central Wisconsin’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center has announced their 2009 Community Awards Recipients. The Awards will be presented at their 17th Annual Banquet on the evening of Friday, July 17th at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison.

The OutReach Awards Banquet is the organization's primary annual fundraising event. It showcases the services of OutReach and honors the contributions of individuals, community members, and organizations that support our mission “to promote equality and quality of life issues for LGBT people”.

Photos of some of the evening's hosts and awardees: Gary Hollander, Joann Elder, Dick Wagner, Jeanne Marshall, William Wartmann, Gov. Jim Doyle, "The Raging Grannies," and State Rep. Mark Pocan. (Our apologies--photos of several other awardees could not be located as of deadline.)

* Governor Jim Doyle is the recipient of the 2009 Courage Award, which is given for a unique or profound accomplishment advancing equality for LGBT people. Governor Doyle is receiving the honor for his successful effort to include a state-wide domestic partnership registry and selected benefits in the recently passed State budget. His leadership makes Wisconsin the first state in the Upper Midwest to grant such benefits.

* This year's Woman of the Year is Jane Boyd, a long time lesbian activist, for her pioneering work in starting and maintaining Lizards, a social network for lesbian-identified women over 30. The group has been in existence for decades, and focuses on potluck dinners to build a sense of community, particularly for rural women.

* The 2009 Man of the Year is Gary Hollander, the Executive Director of Diverse & Resilient, a Milwaukee-based LGBT capacity building organization. Through his leadership and passionate work of over 25 years, Mr. Hollander has made a significant and on-going contribution to underserved groups, LGBT community centers, state-wide public health, and individual well-being.

* SSBL is the 2009 Organization of the Year. This award goes to a business, non-profit, or community group that makes a notable effort toward the advancement of LGBT equality and quality of life. SSBL, Madison’s first LGBT inclusive sports organization, has a history of not only promoting social interaction through its baseball events, but also of building community through co-operative support of other LGBT sporting leagues and raising money for deserving groups in the greater Madison area.

* Jeanne Marshall is the 2009 OutReach Ally of the Year. This award goes to a person that does not identify as LGBT, and has shown substantial private and public support for LGBT people and causes, during the past year or over the course of their life. Ms. Marshall has a long and proud resume on behalf of the LGBT community, including an extensive role in the AIDS Network ACT Ride, Proud Theater, OutReach, First Congregational United Church of Christ, and AIDS Memorial Quilt Project.

* The OutReach Volunteer of the Year for 2009 is Roger Hansen. This is an award for extraordinary service and commitment to OutReach in a volunteer capacity over a period of time. Mr. Hansen’s long and intensive involvement in our Speaker’s Bureau and coming out support group facilitation demonstrates the impact that one volunteer can have on many lives.

* Donna Wess and Linda Lenzke will be honored with a Special Recognition Award from the OutReach Board of Directors for their determined work in building the most successful women’s’ group in OutReach history, Women4Women. This award is given selectively for contributions by individuals, groups, and entities that contribute significantly to the quality of life of the LGBT communities. In less than a year, these two individuals took an idea by visionary community member and turned it into a vibrant, inclusive group for women who love women.

* A Special Recognition Award by the OutReach Board of Directors will also be presented to William Wartmann for his outstanding philanthropic activity, especially to LGBT community groups. In addition to his long time and generous support of many local LGBT organizations such as GSA for Safe Schools, OutReach, Frontiers, and New Harvest Foundation, Mr. Wartmann has also been a substantial benefactor of arts, health, religious and ethnic organizations in our area.

For more information on or to order tickets for the 2009 OutReach Awards Banquet Dinner on July 17th, please call Harry or Steve at 608-255-8582 or e-mail at Official deadline for dinner reservations was Friday, July 10th, but we recommend that you call OutReach early in the day on Monday to see if they can accommodate you.

RIOT ACTS: A Commemoration of Stonewall
A Collaboration Between Stage Q, Proud Theater and Perfect Harmony

StageQ, Proud Theater and Perfect Harmony Men’s Chorus are proud to announce ‘RIOT ACTS, A Commemoration of Stonewall’. RIOT ACTS will be performed July 16, 17, and 18 on the Drury Stage of the Bartell Theatre, 113 East Mifflin Street. An original play with music from the era, RIOT ACTS was written collaboratively by StageQ, Perfect Harmony and Proud Theater. Kyle Richmond and John Steines are the principle authors, with assistance from Tara Ayres, Callen Harty, Brian Wild and the cast of RIOT ACTS. The show is directed by StageQ Artistic Director Tara Ayres, with music direction by Ken Forney, Perfect Harmony’s Music Director, and accompanied by Ken Kusiak, Perfect Harmony’s Assistant Music Director.

The cast includes Mark Albright, Ed Anderson, Marc Gofstein, Shaina Langlois, Travis McCormick, Chuck Mielke, Bob Moore, Sarah Newport, Dana Pellebon, Kyle Richmond, Jane Schneider, Steve Spera, John Steines, Louise Stout, Josh Swalheim, Alex Szele, Laura Varela, Erik Weinke, Adam Williams, Jessica Jane Witham and Kristina Zins, with additional choral support from Keith Eccarius, RDell Johnson, Matt Lanburg, and Rod Ziegler.

RIOT ACTS follows a core cast of characters whose lives intersect at the Stonewall Riots of 1969. On June 28, 1969, riots began at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, following a routine police raid. Continuing for three days, the Stonewall Riots are commonly considered the birth of the contemporary gay rights movement in the United States. With music, comedy, drama and satire, RIOT ACTS should entertain audiences of all ages.

For more information and to reserve tickets, go to or call 608-661-9696, ext. 3.
Above: Principal Authors Kyle Richmond and John Steines (Perfect Harmony), contributing author Callen Harty (for Proud Theater), Director Tara Ayres (Stage Q Artistic Director), and contributing author Brian Wild (Proud Theater Artistic Director), and logos of collaborating organizations Stage Q, Proud Theater, and Perfect Harmony.