Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

News Briefs: 'Harvey's Halo' to recall Milk's election to board


A rendering of "Harvey's Halo" that will grace Harvey Milk Plaza next month. Photo: Courtesy Ben Davis
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For the 40th anniversary of slain Supervisor Harvey Milk's election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District will hold a gathering at the plaza named after him, as a special light show unfolds.

Ben Davis, CEO and visionary for Illuminate, has created a signature public art installation consisting of rainbow-colored beams of light that will be mounted on top of the SoulCycle building next to Harvey Milk Plaza.

Andrea Aiello, executive director of the CBD, said that the November 8 event will include speakers. It also marks the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump winning the presidency, and people can reaffirm their commitment to equality for all, Aiello added.

Milk made history on November 8, 1977, becoming the first openly gay person elected to office in California. He and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated one year later, in November 1978, by disgruntled ex-supervisor Dan White.

According to Davis, the installation will be lighted for seven nights over two weekends, concluding November 18. It also serves as a beginning for the reimagining of the plaza, Aiello added.

Illuminate has done the Bay Lights installation on the Willie L. Brown Jr. Bridge (Bay Bridge) and the Summer of Love lights on the exterior of the Conservatory of Flowers.


Day of the Dead exhibition starts Friday in SOMA

The 18th annual Day of the Dead exhibition at SOMArts Cultural Center opens Friday, October 6 and will have more than 25 altars by over 60 participating artists during the nearly monthlong show.

This year's theme is "Remembrance and Resistance," and emphasizes the importance of mourning in the context of resistance struggles, center officials said. The theme was selected by father and son curators Rene and Rio Yanez.

The exhibit offers one of the most internationally diverse Dia de los Muertos celebrations in the U.S. Merging traditional Mexican altars with contemporary art installations, the exhibition presents a wide array of perspectives remembering, honoring, and celebrating the dead.

An opening party takes place Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at SOMArts, 934 Brannan Street (between Eighth and Ninth streets). The exhibition unveiling will feature a Day of the Dead-inspired artist market and music by La Gente. For tickets, visit

Also of note is the Mission Salon, which will take place Friday, October 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. The interactive salon curated by David Kubrin will feature San Francisco poet laureate Kim Shuck and performances by Tro Camnio, Los Nadies, Josue Rojas, and the Musical Art Quintet. For tickets, visit

Admission to each event is $12-$15 sliding scale.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 5.

The exhibition will be on display through November 9, when there will be a closing party from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $7 to $10 sliding scale and can be purchased at


Dolores Park Cafe marks 20 years

The popular Dolores Park Cafe will mark its 20th anniversary with an open house Saturday, October 7 at 501 Dolores Street (at 18th Street) in San Francisco.

Over the years, owners and life partners Rachel Herbert and Dana Oppenheim have created a space that has become a cornerstone of the Mission Dolores community, offering sustainable and locally sourced ingredients.

The daylong open house (7 a.m. to 10 p.m.) will feature treats for guests, lunch specials, as well as the full menu available for pick-up for park patrons. The featured artists, beginning at 7 p.m., include Lucky Rapp, Deborah Pardes, Judea Eden, Garrin Benfield, and many more.

For more information, visit


Jones' birthday pub crawl to benefit RWF

Gay longtime activist Cleve Jones turns 63 on National Coming Out Day (October 11) and is using the occasion to organize a Castro pub crawl to raise funds for Rainbow World Fund's relief efforts in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. and starts at the Mix, 4086 18th Street. The goal is to visit every Castro bar.

Jones pointed out the date is also the 30th anniversary of the first display of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt that he founded.

"Rainbow World Fund is a great way for the LGBTQ community to express our compassion and concern for the world," Jones said in an email.

Jeff Cotter, executive director of RWF, an LGBT-led humanitarian organization, said that special guests will include Bay Area Reporter society columnist Donna Sachet, drag queens Juanita More! and Bebe Sweetbriar, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

Cotter, who detailed RWF relief efforts in a guest opinion in last week's B.A.R., said that the organization raised $6,300 at last Sunday's Castro Street Fair.

To make a donation, visit


Coming out show on KQED

To commemorate National Coming Out Day, KQED will explore how LGBTQ visibility has changed in the world premiere of a new documentary, "Coming Out: A 50 Year History."

The film, narrated by trans teen Jazz Jennings, features several Bay Area high school and college students interviewing older LGBTQ people who came out in different historical eras from the 1950s until today.

"We all stand on the shoulders of the activists that came before us," director Phil Siegel said in a news release. "Every person who is taking a non-traditional path in their lives has had the road cleared just a little bit by the generation that preceded it."

The documentary began as a series of short films done by the Pye Harris Legacy Project, with which Siegel is affiliated. The short films were re-edited and updated with Jennings into a one-hour program.

KQED is scheduled to air the program October 11 at 10 a.m.


Historical society to hold gala

The GLBT Historical Society will hold its Living Colors gala Saturday, October 14 beginning at 6 p.m. in the Green Room at the San Francisco War Memorial Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco.

The evening will be emceed by Marke Bieschke of the Stud and and Alex U. Inn of Momma's Boyz and Kingdom.

Entertainment will be provided by drag queen Honey Mahogany of "RuPaul's Drag Race" (season five) and opera singer Breanna Sinclair.

Historical society officials said that this year's benefit will celebrate the vibrant history and diversity of the LGBTQ community. A special announcement will be made regarding the society's acquisition of artwork, memorabilia, and personal papers of rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker, who died earlier this year.

Additionally, Gayle E. Pittman, Ph.D., author of "When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Built a Community," her picture book biography of Lyon, who resides in San Francisco, and Martin, who died in 2008, is planning to be at the gala where she will have copies of her book available. Pittman is a psychology professor at Sacramento City College and also the author of "Feminism From A to Z."

Gala tickets are $150 and can be purchased at




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