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News Briefs: Windows for Harvey seeks artists

by Cynthia Laird

As part of last year's Windows for Harvey project, the Berkshire Hathaway Realty office had a painting of Harvey Milk by Jun Yang in its Market Street office window. Photo: Rick Gerharter
As part of last year's Windows for Harvey project, the Berkshire Hathaway Realty office had a painting of Harvey Milk by Jun Yang in its Market Street office window. Photo: Rick Gerharter  

Windows for Harvey, an art project that will honor gay slain supervisor Harvey Milk's birthday in May, has put out a call for artists for this year's event.

Presented by Castro Merchants, organizers are inviting neighborhood businesses and local artists to create unique window displays from May 18-27. The week coincides with Harvey Milk Day on May 22, which is a day of special significance in California.

During the week, the public will be invited to stroll through the neighborhood to look at the windows, as well as shop.

This year's theme for the windows is "Equality." Milk championed inclusivity for all people, and his message of equality resonated with not only the LGBT community, but also with straight, working-class people, and elderly and minority voters who supported his election to office.

Artists who are interested in participating can visit for information and to enter. After the artist submits they will be partnered with a business to create an installation in the storefront. The deadline for submission is Monday, March 12, at midnight. For questions, email The artist's submission does not need to be their final piece, but they should indicate their design intent.

Merchants who are interested in activating their business windows can use their own creative initiative or volunteer to work with a participating artist. Either way, email to let organizers know if interested. For questions, visit or email

Longtime B.A.R. assistant editor to depart
Seth Hemmelgarn, who has been an assistant news editor at the Bay Area Reporter for 10 years, is leaving the paper this week to accept a job in Missouri.

Hemmelgarn, 45, a gay man, will be joining the Missouri State Public Defender's office as an investigator.

B.A.R. owner and publisher Michael Yamashita said the paper will miss him.

"Seth has been a respected and steadfast colleague who consistently reported on our community for 10 years," he said. "We'll miss working with him, but I know he'll be successful embracing life's changes and challenges."

Over the years, Hemmelgarn covered crime and the courts, LGBT and HIV/AIDS nonprofits, and other assignments. He joined the B.A.R. full-time in 2008, after having been a freelance reporter, and covered much of the Proposition 8 campaign. The same-sex marriage ban was passed by voters that year, but was eventually thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court on a technicality.

"It's been a privilege to work at the B.A.R. and cover the community for 10 years," Hemmelgarn said.

Strut offers new counseling group for men of color
The Stonewall Project at Strut, the men's health center in the Castro, has announced a new drop-in counseling group called Stand Together.

The group is aimed at men of color who are gay, bi, trans, and heteroflexible who have sex with men so that they can explore the intersections of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and substance use in their lives. Organizers said the goal is to become a community space for people to explore interpersonal dynamics, affirm experiences, and build and maintain social supports to survive oppression, develop healthy ways of coping with substance use challenges, and become more fully themselves.

Stand Together is held every Thursday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Strut, 470 Castro Street, in group room 2. For more information, visit

Lambda Legal mixer in SF
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund will hold a happy hour reception Thursday, March 8, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Lookout, 3600 16th Street in San Francisco.

Similar to one the LGBT legal group held on the Peninsula last week, the evening will give people an opportunity to meet new people and get an update on Lambda Legal cases that affect the LGBT community.

San Mateo County offers new park pass
The San Mateo County Parks Department is offering a new annual pass that even non-residents can purchase.

The pass, which hangs from the rear view mirror of your car, is good for 12 months and costs $60. Pass-holders can explore and enjoy county recreational parks and facilities as often as they'd like without having to pay daily vehicle entry fees.

Officials said that anyone can purchase a park pass. For more information, go to

Help plan Silicon Valley Pride in August
Officials with Silicon Valley Pride have put out a call for committee members and volunteers ahead of this year's event.

People are needed for several committees, including marketing and special events, parade, grants, sponsorships, talent, operations and logistics, and the women and trans rally.

Bryan Rodriguez, chief recruiting officer for Silicon Valley Pride, stated in an email newsletter that people can contact him at if they are interested in helping out.

This year's Pride parade and festival take place August 25-26 under the theme "Honoring Our Past ... Securing Our Future."

For more information, visit

GAPA to mark 30 years
The Gay Asian Pacific Alliance will mark its 30th year in the spring, and early bird tickets are now available for Legacy: GAPA's 30th anniversary banquet and gala.

Organizers said that the event, to be held Saturday, May 12, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Century Club of California, 1355 Franklin Street in San Francisco, will celebrate three decades of achievement. It will include entertainment and an awards program, a silent auction, and "an astounding gathering of movers and shakers in the community."

Tickets are $88 per person, and there are limited quantities available until March 15. After that, the price goes up to $150. To purchase tickets, visit

To watch a short promotional video, visit


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