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News Briefs: Rainbow center to host drag brunch benefit

by Cynthia Laird

Drag queen Bella Aldama. Photo: Courtesy Facebook
Drag queen Bella Aldama. Photo: Courtesy Facebook  

The Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County will hold its annual drag brunch Sunday, July 8, from noon to 3 p.m. at Club 1220, 1220 Pine Street in Walnut Creek.

Drag queen Bella Aldama will serve as hostess.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the center's AIDS Walk San Francisco team, which is raising funds to support people living with HIV/AIDS in Contra Costa County.

"Come, have a fabulous time," Aldama told the Bay Area Reporter in a Facebook message. "Enter raffles, enjoy great food, and watch an amazing show."

Tickets, which include brunch and the show, are $25 and can be purchased online at

Frida Kahlo look-alike contest in Sacto; exhibit in Walnut Creek
The Latino Center of Art and Culture will hold its fifth annual Frida Kahlo Look-Alike contest Sunday, July 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2700 Front Street in Sacramento.

Kahlo, the late bisexual artist, will be celebrated at the Fiesta de Frida, which includes the contest, a "little Frida" children's parade, art workshops, local craft vendors, authentic Mexican food and drinks, and cumbia performers.

The festival is free.

To sign up for the look-alike contest, visit

In Walnut Creek, "The World of Frida" exhibit opens this weekend at the Bedford Gallery, 1601 Civic Drive. Through September 16, people can enjoy the culture, style, and persona of Kahlo.

Public programs include the opening reception July 8, from 2 to 5 p.m. Admission is $10, or $5 for youth age 13-17, and includes a fashion show, look-alike contest, crafts, and a Mariachi band.

For more information, visit

Kahlo, who was married to influential Mexican artist Diego Rivera, died in 1954. Last month the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to rename Phelan Avenue, a three-block street that runs through City College of San Francisco, after Kahlo.

Horizons Foundation Q Series looks at queer art
Horizons Foundation will hold its next Q Series program on queer art Tuesday, July 10, at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. The evening begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by the program from 6:30 to 8.

Organizers noted that queer art has always been part of a deep narrative of the LGBTQ community, telling tales of struggles, resistance, and healing.

"Today, queer art and artists play a prominent role in our larger culture, but in the process, has it lost its identity?" organizers asked.

To help answer that question, panelists will discuss how queer art fuels the resistance and whether, by taking up space in nontraditional areas, it still yields the same effects that it has in the past.

Scheduled panelists include Ed Decker, artistic director of NCTC; Ani Rivera, executive director of Galeria de la Raza; and Shawna Virago, artistic director of the Transgender Film Festival.

There is no cost to attend. To RSVP, visit

Horizons launches immigration fund
The aforementioned Horizons Foundation has created the Asylee, Immigrant, and Refugee Emergency Action (AIREA) Fund to support organizations working to resist current policies that are separating families and turning back people escaping violence and persecution in their home countries.

Horizons officials said that the Trump administration's "inhumane separation and detention of families at the United States border and the blatantly discriminatory ban on Muslim immigrants are affronts to the values for which America stands."

AIREA Fund is designed to support organizations that are fighting for the human rights of immigrants, refugees, and asylees.

Horizons President Roger Doughty, and AIREA Fund co-founder and board co-chair Olga Talamante, pointed out that immigration is an LGBTQ issue. More than 70 countries around the world criminalize the existence of LGBTQ people. Immigration to the U.S. and other relatively LGBTQ-friendly countries through asylum has often been the only recourse LGBTQ people have to avoid persecution, violence, and even death.

Tax-deductible donations to AIREA Fund will be divided equally between the following national and Bay Area organizations: CARECEN SF, Kids in Need of Defense, Mujeres Activas y Unidas, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Oasis Legal Services, Refugee Transitions, SF Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative, and Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights.

To donate, visit and click on the "AIREA Fund" button.

Horizons grant RFPs available
In yet more news from Horizons, the agency has issued a request for proposals for its upcoming community issues grant cycle. The annual grants support organizations or projects serving LGBTQ people in the nine Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma.

Most of the grants support nonprofits working on a wide array of issues with multiple populations within the LGBTQ community.

To help organizations maximize their opportunity, Horizons will be offering a series of webinars for groups interested in applying. The workshops will be held Monday, July 9, from noon to 1 p.m.; Wednesday, July 11, from 3 to 4 p.m.; and Monday, July 16, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Last year, Horizons awarded more than $2.25 million in grants to numerous nonprofits. Grantees are chosen by a panel of professionals who have roots in the community and are experts in at least one of the categories the foundation funds: advocacy and civil rights, arts and culture, community building and leadership, health and human services, and/or scholarships and fellowships.

The deadline to submit a grant application is August 8.

For more information, the application, and to register for the webinars, visit and click on the "Apply for a Grant" button.


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