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News Briefs: Pop-up exhibit, parade set for Lunar New Year

by Cynthia Laird

San Francisco's popular Lunar New Year parade is Saturday, February 24. Photo: Courtesy YouTube
San Francisco's popular Lunar New Year parade is Saturday, February 24. Photo: Courtesy YouTube  

The Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco will ring in the Lunar New Year with a pop-up exhibit celebrating the Year of the Dog, its annual Spring Festival, and the popular parade.

"Dogs, Dogs, Dogs" is the theme of the pop-up exhibit, which opens Thursday (February 22), with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. at the center, 750 Kearny Street, 3rd floor. Special hours for Chinese New Year will be Saturday, February 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8. The exhibit runs through March 17.

The Spring Festival, which is the largest indoor Lunar New Year celebration in the city, takes place at the center Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. The festival will feature performances from musicians and dancers, in addition to fun and interactive activities for all ages.

The parade takes place Saturday night from 5 to 8 p.m. The Chinese Cultural Center will have a special VIP viewing party on the Dr. Rolland and Kathryn Lowe Community Bridge. Tickets are $80 per person, or $50 for CCC contemporaries, a benefit program to support the center. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit http://bit.ly/2szhxGX.

The parade itself is free to view along the route, which starts at Second and Market streets, and continues up Geary, over to Post, and then along Kearny in Chinatown. Bleacher seats are sold out.

Portola Year of the Dog celebration
Portola Family Connections welcomes the Year of the Dog with a community celebration for children of all ages Friday, March 2, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at 2565 San Bruno Avenue in San Francisco.

Coming a week after the Lunar New Year parade, the cultural celebration will feature holiday-themed games, arts and crafts, a photo booth, and a variety of treats. There will be a lion dance performance and fortune cookie decorating.

"The Lunar New Year is important to our participants, and likewise, to us," said Maryann Fleming, executive director of Portola Family Connections.

The organization is also holding its annual raffle, with various prizes. The grand prize is a $300 Visa gift card. Raffle tickets are $10 each, three for $25, or eight for $50.

There is a $2 admission charge per person (ages 13 and up), payable at the door. Children under 12 are free. All children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult, and all adults must be accompanied by a child. The raffle drawing will take place at 6:15. Winners need not be present. Raffle tickets can be purchased at the agency's office or online at https://www.givedirect.org/donate/?cid=13530 (minimum credit card purchase is $20).

SF Pride grand marshal voting
People can now vote for community grand marshals for this year's San Francisco LGBT Pride parade.

This year's nominees are: Billy Curtis, Kin Folkz, Steven Gaynes, Ali Marrero-Calderon, Pamela Peniston, Gabriel Quinto, Jenna Rapues, Mrs. Vera, Soni Wolf, and Carolyn Wysinger.

Nominees for organizational grand marshal are: Bay Area Bisexual Network, The FAIR Education Act Implementation Coalition, Rafiki Coalition, the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, and the Young Women's Freedom Center.

Voting will be open until Wednesday, March 7 at noon. The winners of the public vote will be announced in mid-March, and the full slate of community grand marshals and awardees will be announced in early April.

San Francisco Pride takes place June 23-24, under the theme "Generations of Strength."

To learn more about the nominees and to vote, go to http://www.sfpride.org/grand-marshals/.

Courage Award nominations being accepted
Nominations close Friday, February 23, at 5 p.m. (Pacific time) for the Colin Higgins Foundation's Youth Courage Awards, which will honor three LGBTQ youth activists.

Nomination forms ask for information about obstacles a person has faced due to their sexual orientation or gender identity; how the nominee has overcome these obstacles; and how the award, which is $10,000, could transform their life.

Higgins, for whom the awards are named, was a gay man and screenwriter best known for the classic films like "Harold and Maude," and "9 to 5," which he wrote and directed. He died of AIDS-related complications in 1988.

The Courage Awards were established in 2000.

To fill out a nomination form, visit www.colinhiggins.org/yca.

Black History Month film screening
The Freedom Socialist Party will screen "I Am Not Your Negro," a 2016 documentary based on gay black activist and writer James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript, Saturday, February 24, from 1 to 4 p.m. at New Valencia Hall, 747 Polk Street in San Francisco. The building is near the Civic Center BART/Muni station.

Afterward there will be a discussion about Baldwin's reflections on the boundaries of race and the necessity for multi-issue coalition building in the civil rights movement.

There is a requested donation of $3-$5. Snack plates will be available for $5.

For child care or work exchange, call (415) 864-1278 or email bafsp@earthlink.net.

Point scholarship applications available soon
The Point Foundation has announced that applications will be available March 1 for its community college scholarships for LGBTQ students.

Community colleges are an increasingly useful and affordable steppingstone for students beginning their college career. Those LGBTQ students planning to transfer to a four-year degree program are encouraged to apply for the Point scholarships.

Point launched its community college scholarship program in 2016 with support from Wells Fargo, its longtime partner. The scholarships are $8,000 over one year.

For application information, visit www.pointfoundation.org/communitycollege.

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