emchy: (accordion from fran)
the benefit was a smashing success. money was raised. art was performed. chills, tears and laughs were more than had. but more than all of that - on a personal note. seeing people. reconnecting. and honestly - feeling my family of queer radical artists,activists and just MY fucking people being around - for me it was revolutionary. i've been feeling down and disconnected and sick and stressed out and a whole lotta unpleasantness for a long time now. its why i left the queer open mic. its why i find myself not writing as much. its why i am depressed and anti social a lot. like whine whine emo right - but i've been having a crisis of one kind or another for a while now and self care shcmelf care it aint seeming to be working. always so tired. so sad. so lethargic. and tonight. tonight i felt like i was getting sick. i was hella tired and stressed out and my rsi was cranky. but all of that didn't matter when i parked the car and saw steven pull in behind me. from that minute forward i felt like i was kinda home in this way that was all about people and community. even the people i didn't know were there with such good intention and goodness in their hearts that it was just - it was what friends and community are supposed to be. and it was amazing.i felt really honored to be a part of it. the personal messages to fran said into the camera. the cheers for the new uncle bear daddy in the house. the bruce springsteen shout outs. the casual way carol emceed like we were all at her dinner party. its this stuff that makes sf home for me. i may be thinkgin abut new orleans a lot these days. but you people. i fall in love with you all over again whenever i see you.

big big love.
now here are some pictures.
and now i go crashy.

more pics under the cut )

emchy: (a aug accordion yell hobo)
please start spreading the word

October 1, 2008
The Hella Pretty Army: A Benefit for Fran Varian

On October 1st an army of San Francisco’s revolutionary and passionate writers, musicians, performers and art makers will come together at the San Francisco Center for Sex and Culture to throw a big ass party and benefit for Fran Varian.

Poet, activist and organizer Fran Varian has spent her life creating art, and poetry that is intense, powerful and a politcal punch in gut. Giving voice to the women, the fighters, the poor, the queer, the disenfranchised, Fran has spent her artistic life fighting for people's rights and voices. In addition to her art - she has also spent her entire life as a health worker, counselor and activist for the rights of women around health care and reproductive freedom. Ironically it is a lack of access to health care that has brought Fran to a serious health condition. Recently diagnosed with late stage Lyme disease, Fran is literally battling for her life after 14 years of mis-diagnosis allowing this disease to destroy her system. At this stage of the illness there is only one type of treatment that has shown positive results and this benefit is fighting for the funds to ensure that Fran can complete the full cycle of treatment.

With performers including Mark Growden, Lauren Wheeler, Vagabondage, Meliza Bañales , Katrina James, Heathen Machinery, Steven Schwartz, Gina de Vries, 
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Storm Florez and more, a silent auction that includes one of a kind art, couture fashion, handmade chapbooks and more, plus rumors of an onsite kissing booth the night is sure to be a celebration of life, art and the power of people coming together to help someone that has dedicated their life to helping the community.

If you would like to help Fran win the battle against Lyme Disease you can donate on her profile here http://goodbadgirl.livejournal.com/profile

Come to the show and join Fran's Hella Pretty Lyme Fighting Army!!

The Performers
Mark Growden

Mark Growden is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer, painter, printer, and father based in SF. Some people think he smells good.

Lauren Wheeler is a recovering slam poet who competed at the National Poetry Slam in 1998, as a member of the renegade Team SF-Mission District, and again in 1999, as a member and the coach of Team Ithaca, NY. She has featured at Cornell University, where she studied English Literature, as well as in Los Angeles, Miami, and throughout the Bay Area. Lauren curated and hosted two poetry series in Ithaca, Tongue & Groove at Stella's Wine and Whiskey Bar and Re-Verse at the Oak Café, and was a core organizer of the ForWord Girls poetry and spoken word festival in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in Lodestar Quarterly, Other Magazine, and 365 Tomorrows.

Walking the dirty streets of the big city and the farm towns, Vagabondage sings you tales of lonely alleyways, late night bus rides and unfortunate incidents with spicy spicy food. Comprised of a poet, an actor, a storyteller, a ham, a vaudevillian, an accordion player, two guitar players, a kazoo player, and two singers, this duo will sing songs to make you laugh, cry, and raise your glass and sing along.

Steven Schwartz is not Andrei.

Katrina James had her first short story published in 1998 and has been creating a steadily growing body of tales ever since. She also co-produced the cult public access show kittypr0n and has acted in and worked behind-the-scenes on several San Francisco stage productions, including Night of the Living Dead, Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Twilight Zone, and Zippy the Pinhead. She currently spends her days disguised as a mild-mannered office manager.

heathen machinery: writer, mother, explosives expert. what's the worst that could happen?

Meliza Bañales is originally from Los Angeles. She has taught writing at UCSC and SFSU as well as at numerous conferences and workshops. She has been writing and performing for the last fifteen years. She published her first poems when she was seventeen in The Lesbian News. She went on to become the first Latina to ever win a Poetry Slam Championship on the west coast in 2002(Oakland), the 2002 winner of the People Before Profits Poetry Prize, and published her first book, Say It With Your Whole Mouth, at the age of twenty-five which went on to be nominated for the Poetry Center Book Award in 2004. Read more... )

Gina de Vries

Gina de Vries is a queer femme writer, rabble-rouser, and Paisan. Her fiction, journalism, memoir, and smut have appeared dozens of places, including: Baby, Remember My Name, Dirty Girls, TransForming Community, That's Revolting!, Bound to Struggle: Where Kink & Radical Politics Meet, make/shift magazine, and Curve magazine (where she was a columnist from 1997-2004). Currently, Gina curates shows for queer performance series San Francisco in Exile, blogs for national LGBT blog Bilerico, and teaches a writing workshop for sex workers at Center for Sex & Culture. She can be cruised online at ginadevries.com.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer Sri Lankan writer, performer and high femme powerhouse. The author of Consensual Genocide (TSAR), she has performed her work widely throughout North America and Sri Lanka, including performances at Yale University, Oberlin College, University of Southern California, Swarthmore College, louderARTS, 2006 Pride Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka's second ever Pride), and the immigrant rights rallies and benefits for queer youth centers down your block. Read more... )

Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Storm Florez is a Mexican Amaricon FTM, genderqueer singer/songwriter, performance artist, and live sex show instigator.

Storm currently lives in San Francisco. He has performed his music and spoken word across the US and co-produced and performed in the pornarific cabaret Trans as Fuck in San Francisco in 2004 and in West Hollywood in 2006. Read more... )

additional performers to be announced

If you have something (your time / silent auction items / performance) to donate for the show please leave a comment.

The Hella Pretty Army: A Benefit for Fran Varian
Doors at 7pm, show at 7:30pm
$10 - 20 (no one turned away for lack of funds - but it IS a benefit)
Center for Sex and Culture
1519 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 552-7399

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Emchy and Mikal - starting the ink Emchy and Mikal - starting the ink
Emchy and Mike - i luv a tattoo Emchy and Mike - i luv a tattoo
Goodbadgirl is ROCKIN moral support (and good photographer!!!) Goodbadgirl is ROCKIN moral support (and good photographer!!!)
Mikal - best tattooish EVAH! Mikal - best tattooish EVAH!

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