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Volume 21/Issue 18/2003

Rip & Marsha



by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain 
Visit their site: ripandmarsha.com

Decadence Breaks Records Despite Minimal Religious Protests; 121,000 Participants, $96 Million Economic Impact

The 32nd Official Southern Decadence celebration was up an average of 10 percent and broke all time records despite minimal protests from religious zealots. The event brought out an estimated 121,000 revelers including visitors and locals. The economic impact on the City is believed to be in the neighborhood of $96 million, based on a conservative spending average of $800 per person. Even though the majority arrived on Fri., Aug. 29 and left on Labor Day, Sept. 1, the weekend was still up 10 percent. Many visitors still took a holiday week arriving on Wed., or Thurs., Aug. 27 or 28 departing on Tues. or Wed., Sept. 2 or 3.

In order to combat the attacks by small factions in the religious community, the New Orleans gay community banned together to insure that the 2003 celebration would go on without incident. The religious protesters insisted that Southern Decadence promoted homosexual sexual activity. Two weeks prior to the event, Ambush coined the phrase, Southern Decadence: A Celebration of Gay Life, Music and Culture. Apparently the religious factions had a fixation on sex whereas the GLBT community were simply celebrating the end of summer at Southern Decadence.

The community including SDGM XXXI Rusty LaRoux, worked even more closely this year with the City of New Orleans and the New Orleans Police Department 8th District in order for visitors and locals alike to have a safe and fun Southern Decadence. The GLBT community also promoted an aggressive campaign to end public sex in the streets.

Over 40 volunteers from the GLBT community staffed the Southern Decadence Security Team which was sponsored by SouthernDecadence.COM. Working in teams throughout Southern Decadence weekend, members wore yellow shirts with the SD logo and the word SECURITY, so as to be easily identified. Security Team members were able to provide information, directions and general assistance to visitors, and reminded individuals engaged in unlawful conduct of applicable laws, and warn them of consequences associated with a violation of these laws. A contingency of Security Team members were involved in escorting the Southern Decadence Grand Marshal XXXI Rusty LaRoux, and participants, during the parade.

The No Public Sex Campaign worked. Of 47 arrests made, there were no arrests for public sex over the weekend. This made the religious protests moot since this was their whole objective to stop Southern Decadence. Interestingly, the majority of the arrests took place between the 100 and 700 blocks of Bourbon, not in the GLBT business area of Bourbon between St. Ann and Dumaine. Two arrests were made in the GLBT area for exposing themselves below the waist in order to obtain beads.

Ambush contacted many businesses following the holiday to find that business was up in the majority of cases, an average of 10%. Some businesses were up as high as 32% over the 2002 event. It was interesting to note that shopping and dining establishments showed the largest increase over last year. Also sources at both the New Orleans Museum of Art and D-Day Museum said that many Southern Decadence participants enjoyed both venues over the holiday.

In the week prior to Southern Decadence, SouthernDecadence.COM and AmbushMag.COM brought in over 24,000 unique visitors. SouthernDecadence.COM is the original and only Official Website of Southern Decadence in New Orleans dedicated to the preservation of the history and traditions of Southern Decadence since 1972. Ambush Mag is the Official Southern Decadence Guide.

This publication flew off the shelves of distribution points throughout the city. Even though Ambush put an additional 2,000 editions out in New Orleans, the mag’s number one distribution point, Dance Club & Show Bar of the Year, Oz, 800 Bourbon St., went through over 4,000 copies. Most other distribution points were out of Ambush by Sun., Aug. 31 or Mon., Sept. 1.

Leather Bar of the Year, The Phoenix, 941 Elysian Fields, hosted the largest Leather Decadence Block Party on Sat., Aug. 30 that it’s ever seen. Attendance was way up over last year.

Decadence is not just for men anymore, it’s becoming a hot destination for women as well. Kims 940 Nightclub and Guest House, 940 Elysian Fields, Home of Women's Decadence, saw hundreds of women pass through its doors.

Southern Decadence XXXIII is set for Wed., Sept. 1-Mon., Sept. 6, 2004.

14th Annual NO/AIDS Walk Sept. 14th

NO/AIDS Task Force, a local New Orleans non-profit agency providing services and support for individuals infected with HIV/AIDS, is pleased to announce the 14th Annual NO/AIDS Walk. This year’s Walk will be held Sep. 14th at Audubon Park.

Walkers and supporters are encouraged to meet in Audubon Park at 8am for registration. The Walk will kickoff at 10 am and will proceed down historic Magazine Street to Napolean Avenue and then will turn onto Prytania Street as we head back into Audubon Park.

Participants will enjoy music and refreshments form our sponsors such as Starbucks Coffee, Krispy Kreme Donuts, Abita Beer, Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, French Market Wholesale, Rain Vodka and Kentwood Springs Water. Other sponsors include: Walgreens, The Times-Picayune, Gambit Weekly, Ambush Magazine, Where Y’AT Magazine, Entergy, Hibernia, The Donovan Edward Duplant Memorial Fund, Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Dorian Bennett/Audubon Title, Gilead Sciences, Inc., ID Lubricants, Intermarine Inc., Ortho Biotech Immunology and Roche Laboratories. The NO/AIDS Walk is extremely kid-friendly with activities for children and pet-friendly with doggie water stops in the park and along the route.

NO/AIDS Task Force has been at the forefront in the battle against HIV since 1983. The agency offers a comprehensive array of services such as prevention education, HIV antibody testing and counseling, community outreach, the Louisiana Statewide HIV/AIDS Hotline, primary medical care, peer support, mental health therapy, support groups, case management, housing coordination, medicine assistance, home delivered meals and a food bank. The NO/AIDS Walk is one of the largest fund-raisers for those infected with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana.

Mitch Landrieu Leads Slate to be Honored Sept. 16

The Jefferson Parish Democratic Executive Committee is having its seventh annual Michael "Mike" Yenni Lifetime Democratic Achievement Award on Tues., Sept. 16, at the Jefferson Orleans North, Metairie, with 7pm cocktails and 8pm dinner.

2003’s honoree is Mitchell "Mitch" Landrieu. Representative Landrieu is being honored for his tireless devotion and strong leadership to the Democratic party for over 20 years. Also being honored are Democratic Governatorial candidates Kathleen Babineau Blanco, Richard Ieyoub, and Claude "Buddy" Leach.

If you would like to purchase tickets contact Bob Marrero at 504.366.8025 or Jamie Balser at 504.885.6529. Tickets for the gala event are $ 50 each or a table of 10 is $500.

The Jefferson Parish Democratic Executive Committee is an elected body whose objective is to promote the Democratic Party, to support Democratic candidates, and to encourage and recruit Democrats to seek public office.

Mary Griffin Returns Sept. 18

Mary Griffin: The Diva Returns Tour is set for Thurs., Sept. 18, 8pm-1am at Mama Rosa’s Blues Room, 616 N. Rampart St. in New Orleans.

Louisiana vocalist, Mary Griffin boasts a universal sound that is sure to excite the ears of music listeners around the world. Her Curb Records debut album, which will be released late this fall, offers a full package of crisp emotive vocals and stellar tracks. Even the most discriminating critic will be impressed with Mary’s ability to move the listener with her soulful R&B tunes, airy mid-tempo ballads grooves.

New Orleans Pride Festival Up Next on Oct. 4-5

New Orleans Pride Festival 2003: Proud to Be is the next big event in the Crescent City. Set for Oct. 4 and 5, the annual celebration will be staged at Armstrong Park adjacent to the French Quarter.

New this year is the first night parade set for 5:30pm on Sun., Oct. 5. The annual Dyke March kicks off the weekend on Fri., Oct. 3.

Many fundraisers have already been held with many more scheduled at area clubs in New Orleans, Metairie, and Gretna. Please join in and support Pride at your favorite club.

This year's festival is sponsored by Ambush Mag, Wood Enterprises, Kims 940 Night Club, Cowpokes and Alternative Lending Service.

For more info call 504.258.2224 or visit NewOrleansGayPride.ORG.

Giant Circuit Event Halloween XX Oct. 23-26

Halloween Twenty: Spectacular Spectacular is set for Thurs., Oct. 23-Sun., Oct. 26 in New Orleans. The benefit for Project Lazarus is one of the most popular circuit events in the country.

Events include:

Dinner & Silent Auction - Thurs., Oct. 23, Ritz-Carlton, 921 Canal St., 7:30pm – 11:00pm, guest admission $75;

Xtraordinare, Xtraordinare - Drinks, Dancing, Meet & Greet, Fri., Oct. 24, Twi-Ro-Pa
1544 Tchoupitoulas St., 10pm3am, guest admission $35, DJ Wayne G. - London;

(Optional Friday Night Party Shuttle will start 30 minutes prior to the party until 30 minutes after. The pickup locations will be the Maison Dupuy and Oz. One-way either to or from the party - $5 Roundtrip purchase - $9.)

Halloween XX: Spectacular! Spectacular! Costume Dance Extravaganza - Sat., Oct. 25, Municipal Auditorium, Armstrong Park
10pm-4am, guest admission $60, costume required, DJ Roland Belmares;

Gospel Brunch, Sun., Oct. 26, House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 1pm - 5pm, guest admission $35.

Halloween is sponsored by Ambush Mag, Destination Management, Genre, Hampton Inn Hotel & Suites, Miller Lite, Saks Fifth Avenue and Oz. For more information visit HalloweenNewOrleans.COM.

Words of Fire at FAB

FAB, Faubourg Marigny Art & Books, 600 Frenchmen Street, salutes Think Tank Press for its release of Words of Fire, an anthology of poetry and artwork. Think Tank editor Heidi Peite is celebrating the first birthday of this new press this month. The anthology records the creative output of the poets and artists who have been holding weekly readings at the Dragons Den in Marigny over the years.

Come view and obtain this artistic portrayal of the best of these poetry readings from 1 til 7pm daily at the former site of the Faubourg Marigny Bookstore, one of the nation’s oldest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender bookstores.

Continuing at FAB is the showing of transgender drawings by Sharon Brown and male nude photos by Otis Fennell. The Art by Sharon drawings present a very striking look at nude transgender models. The Naked Men on Frenchmen exhibit features oversized poster color prints.

FAB presents the Words of Fire poetry anthology and the art and photo exhibits to celebrate and support local creative talent and provide a neighborhood bookstore for residents as well as visitors looking for unique artwork, vintage magazines, books and unusual gift items.

White Party Tickets & Passes on Sale Now

Tickets and passes for the 19th Annual White Party, scheduled for Nov. 26 through Dec. 1, are on sale now!

Benefiting Care Resource - Florida’s One Source for HIV/AIDS services – the White Party, also known as the Crown Jewel of AIDS Fundraisers, is a spectacular array of fun-filled parties that take place throughout Miami, Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale for an entire week. The festivities culminate with the 19th Annual White Party at the historic Vizcaya Museum and Gardens on Biscayne Bay in Miami.

This year’s dance parties feature more than a dozen of the world’s A-list of DJ/Producers including Victor Calderone, Manny Lehman, Tracy Young, David Knapp, Monty Q, Abel, Hex Hector, Ivano Bellini of SFP Records, Peter Rauhofer, Susan Morabito, Eddie X, Tony Moran and many more who will be spinning at some of South Florida’s hottest venues including Space34, Crobar, Maze, Nikki Beach, Skybar at the Shore Club, the Delano Pool Bar, Ritz Plaza Hotel and Opium.

Just go to www.whiteparty.com and purchase your tickets or passes now – before they’re all gone!

Care Resource is able to use 86% of each dollar raised from White Party for programs and services, offered free of charge, through the support of the community and volunteers.

Schedule of Events:

Sun., Nov. 23, White Sunset T-Dance with DJ Hex Hector @ Space 34;

Tues., Nov. 25, Azucar – The Latin Party with DJ Carlos Sarli @ Jade Lounge;

Wed., Nov. 26, White Knights VIP Reception with DJ JRNY @ Delano Pool Bar, Victory Party with DJ Ivano Bellini & DJ Eddie X @ Skybar at the Shore Club;

Thurs., Nov. 27, White Dining @ Britto Restaurant in the Royal Palm Crowne Plaza, White Stars location & DJ TBA;

Fri., Nov. 28, Heat Wave Pool Party with DJ Pride @ Ritz Plaza Hotel, White Dreams with DJ David Knapp & DJ Tony Moran @ Miami Seaquarium;

Sat., Nov. 29, Muscle Beach with DJ Monty Q @ 12th Street Beach, Cirque Blanc with DJ Pride @ Nikki Beach, White Heat with DJ Peter Rauhofer @ MAZE;

Sun., Nov. 30, White Dawn with DJ Susan Morabito @ Crobar, The 19th Annual White Party with DJ Manny Lehman & DJ Dale Rozman @ Vizcaya, Noche Blanca Space with DJ Tracy Young @ Space34, Noche Blanca Crobar with DJ Victor Calderone @ Crobar;

Mon., Dec. 1, White Horizon with DJ Abel @ Space34, Relax with DJ Roland Belmares @ Opium Garden.

DJ’s and Venues are subject to change

NEED A ROOM? Returning as the Official White Party Host Hotel and the location of this year’s Welcome Center for the 19th Annual White Party is the Royal Palm Crowne Plaza Resort.

This stylish South Beach luxury hotel features state-of-the art amenities and is within walking distance from the hottest clubs, trendy shops and cafes in Miami Beach’s historic Art Deco district. For more info check out their website at royalpalmcp.crowneplaza.com. To make your White Party reservations call 305.604.5700. Use the code: "White Party" to take advantage of their exceptionally low White Party Week rate of $159 per room (single or double occupancy) and $259 per suite – rate good until Oct. 22.

MUST BE THE MUSIC! To relive the excitement of White Party 2002, get in the mood for this coming year, and help Care Resource raise funds for HIV/AIDS services now, log on to www.whiteparty.com and purchase last year’s official White Party CD, featuring DJ Tracy Young, produced by Centaur Music.

Sponsors (as of August 27, 2003):

Presenting: Southern Wine & Spirits of South Florida

Diamond: Blue House Studio, Genre Magazine

Platinum: Party 93.1, VCA, Wire, Ambush Magazine

Pearl: Gay Web Monkey, GayWired.Com, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Tetu Magazine, Wet

Silver: 411 Magazine, Express Gay News, HX Magazine, Miami Seaquarium, Next Magazine, reFRESH Magazine, JustCircuit.com

Crystal: Cupid’s Cabaret, Chicago Free Press, Cybersocket, Hotspots! Magazine, Kiss The Girl Productions, Kohlman Hamlin, LLP, Miami New Times, Partylist.Com, Thecircuitdog.com, TWN – The Weekly News

Event: CircuitPartyInsanity.com, MisterNightlife.com, Southernboys.com, GreatPartyPics.com

Supporting: Crest Hotel Suites, Ritz Plaza Hotel, South Beach Hotel, BellSouth

Promotional Partners: Adventure Summer Camp, Altitude, Aqua Girl, Black & Blue Montreal, Cherry Ball, Chrome Party, Fireball, Freedom Party, Gay Days Orlando, Gay Halloween – New Orleans, Gay Mardi Gras – New Orleans, Gay New Year’s – New Orleans, Heritage of Pride, Hotlanta River Expo, Motorball, Pride South Florida, ReUNION Party, Southern Decadence, Summer Camp Provincetown, Winter Party, with the support of the Miami Beach VCA -creating tourism partnerships.

Care Resource is South Florida’s oldest and largest HIV/AIDS service organization serving both Dade and Broward Counties. Care Resource is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit multicultural community-based organization dedicated to providing counseling, clients support services, primary medical care, clinical trials, information and referrals, community outreach and education in response to HIV spectrum illness in diverse communities.

Care Resource Mission: Through prevention, education, care and treatment, research, and support, Care Resource strives to end the HIV pandemic.

Ogden Museum of Southern Art Opens in New Orleans' Warehouse District

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, University of New Orleans, will celebrated its grand opening in New Orleans’ Warehouse District with the unveiling of Stephen Goldring Hall. This opening also marks a milestone in the national presentation of the art and culture of the South with its inaugural exhibition The Story of the South: Art and Culture, 1890-2003, featuring seminal works of art from the American South from 1890 to the present. This exhibition showcases some of the most important artworks to come out of the South, giving an insider’s view of Southern life, including the legacies, traditions and history, as interpreted by artists.

"The opening exhibition is the most comprehensive overview of recent Southern art ever assembled," says David Houston, the Museum’s chief curator. "To capitalize on this opportunity, we have arranged the galleries to follow the unfolding of Southern art both chronologically and thematically." Through this layout, the exhibition will reveal the complex richness of the South’s visual heritage and the influence of Southern art and culture on the American mainstream.

The Story of the South: Art and Culture, 1890-2003 takes visitors on a visual journey through time in the South, tracing the history of the region’s agrarian roots through World War I, the Great Depression and the Jazz Age, continuing on through the Civil Rights era and the modern age, finally arriving at the most contemporary works that take Southern art into the 21st century. The exhibition begins with Impressionist, Tonalist and landscape painting with selected works by William Woodward, Lulu King Saxon, Julian Onderdonk, Alexander Drysdale, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, and William Posey Silva among others. But the exhibition expands in an unexpected way.

The Ogden Museum’s inaugural exhibition shows the continuation of established traditions in the South and a willingness to face and confront new realities, new technologies and new challenges evident in the larger environment. This can be seen in the works by artists as diverse as Clementine Hunter, Elemore Morgan Jr., Douglas Bourgeois, Ida Kohlmeyer, William Dunlap, Willie Birch and many others represented in this introductory exhibition.

Galleries in Goldring Hall showcase works from Mississippi, Texas, Florida and South Carolina. It will also include galleries dedicated to photography, works by self-taught artists, and contemporary glass, craft and design. Along with space showing the work of Walter Anderson, other galleries will be dedicated to the extended families of artists Will Henry Stevens, and Benny Andrews’ family, including his wife, Nene Humphrey, and father, George "the Dot Man" Andrews.

A hallmark of the Ogden Museum are the in-depth collections of individual artists’ work, including Stevens, Andrews, and Dusti Bongé that span the life and work of that artist. This will allow the Museum the opportunity to rotate works of art from these artists throughout the inaugural exhibition, as well as a place for study and research in the Museum’s archives.

"The Ogden Museum’s journey through the South during the 20th and 21st centuries reveals hallmarks of Southern art and culture — the importance of place, the strong sense of family and community that bond Southerners to the land, the concept of history and memory that mold identity, and the idea of celebration and the spirit," says J. Richard Gruber, Ph.D., Director of the Museum. "These themes will be celebrated in the art on display and in other venues, including a series of original films and multi-media gallery installations created by Washington, D.C. filmmaker Stanley Staniski."

In the South, family life formed the center of personal experience. The Story of the South: Art and Culture 1890-2003 examines this in a range of portraits, and in the repeated renderings of Southern churches, which were important gathering places for families and communities. The encroaching urban sprawl and its impact on the family is also documented in works such as Lulu King Saxon’s Uptown Street, which captures the rapid rural to urban change of New Orleans’ Magazine Street at the turn of the last century.

Among the other artists featured in the inaugural exhibition include Fritz Bultman (LA), Jeffrey Cook (LA), Thornton Dial (AL), Howard Finster (AL/GA), Sam Gilliam (MS), Marie Atchinson Hull (MS), Charles Hutson (SC), Kendall Shaw (LA), Eudora Welty (MS), Ellsworth Woodward (LA) and Willliam Woodward (LA).

"What is important to remember is that Southern art unfolds at a different pace and with a different logic than the art of other regions," says Houston. "Sometimes it anticipates or participates in important national trends; other times it continues an inner logic that ignores major cultural shifts to continue longstanding traditions that are slow to change. The opening of the Ogden Museum allows us to further explore these and other complex relationships that redefine our expanded understanding of the art of the American South."

Founded in 1994, the Ogden Museum holds the largest and most comprehensive collection of Southern art in the world, enhancing the growing national recognition of works from the South. It will serve as the preeminent resource on Southern art and culture and is the first museum in Louisiana affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution. The Ogden Museum’s core Collection of Southern works, donated by Louisiana businessman and philanthropist Roger H. Ogden, has expanded to more than 2,700 pieces and continues to grow as the Museum attracts interest from donors from coast to coast who understand the value of having a national repository of Southern Art in New Orleans, with a growing reputation as an arts and cultural destination.

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, University of New Orleans opened on Sat., Aug. 23 in the Warehouse District at 925 Camp St.. The new five-story contemporary building, Stephen Goldring Hall, restored Patrick F. Taylor Library, and the Clementine Hunter Wing house four centuries of Southern art. Museum Hours
Tues. through Sun. 9:30am-5:30pm,
Thurs. until 8:30pm, closed Mon. For more information call 504.539.9600 or visit the Web site at www.ogdenmuseum.org.

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