News Briefs: Maupin receives Mayor's Art Award

  • by compiled by Cynthia Laird
  • Wednesday February 3, 2016
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Bestselling author Armistead Maupin has been named by Mayor Ed Lee as the recipient of the 2016 Mayor's Art Award.

Maupin, a gay man, rose to fame with his nine-volume Tales of the City series, as well as the novels Maybe the Moon and The Night Listener .

"It is my great honor to recognize author Armistead Maupin with the 2016 Mayor's Art Award," Lee said in a news release. "His groundbreaking series Tales of the City helped introduce LGBTQ culture to the mainstream and contributed to San Francisco's image as a compassionate city that celebrates diversity and where all are welcome. He is truly a San Francisco icon, and we are immensely grateful for his innumerable contributions to the city's cultural history."

Maupin, 71, was born in Washington, D.C. in 1944 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. A graduate of the University of North Carolina, he served as a naval officer in the Mediterranean and with the River Patrol Force in Vietnam. He worked for a newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, before being assigned to the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press in 1971. In 1976 he launched his groundbreaking Tales of the City serial in the San Francisco Chronicle .

Maupin lives in San Francisco with his husband, Christopher Turner. Over the years, Maupin has been involved with advocating for gay rights and has actively supported a number of organizations that work to advance the lives of LGBTQ youth and adults.

"Armistead Maupin is a hero to many in the LGBTQ community," said Tom DeCaigny, a gay man who is director of cultural affairs for the city. "Throughout his life, he has given back to his adopted city and community whether it be championing gay rights through his art or supporting LGBTQ youth. He is most deserving of the Mayor's Art Award."

Maupin adds this award to other accolades including Lambda's Pioneer Award (2012); Litquake Barbary Coast Award (2007); and an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Maupin will receive the Mayor's Art Award on Tuesday, March 29 at a fundraising reception hosted by ArtCare: Friends of the San Francisco Arts Commission.

This is the fifth Mayor's Art Award to be bestowed on a San Francisco artist. Previous awardees are Ruth Asawa (visual art); Alonzo King (dance); Carlos Santana (music); and Rhodessa Jones (theater). Maupin is the first writer being honored.


Booker to speak in SF

Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) will be sharing his personal experiences and how they informed his civic vision during an appearance at an Inforum event Friday, February 19 at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street in San Francisco.

Inforum is a division of the Commonwealth Club and attendees meet thought leaders in entertainment, tech, pop culture, and politics.

Booker, an ally of the LGBT community, will talk about social, economic, and environmental justice during his talk, which is timed to the release of his new book, United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good.

Booker became New Jersey's first African-American senator in October 2013 when he won a special election to fill the term of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg. Prior to that, he was mayor of Newark, New Jersey's largest city, for seven years.

As senator, Booker is best known as a passionate proponent of criminal justice reform, and has garnered bipartisan support for the issue. He has sponsored bills on the issues of health, transportation and public works, taxation, and civil rights.

Booker is no stranger to the Bay Area as he earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Stanford University. He later attended Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar. He earned his law degree from Yale Law School.

Tickets for the event are $25 for non-members (or $45 with the book), or $15 for members ($35 with the book). Premium seating in the first rows is $75 for non-members or $60 for members. To purchase tickets, call (415) 597-6705 or visit


SF marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Black/HIV AIDS Awareness Day is Sunday, February 7 and marks the 16th year for the day, which is a national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative targeted at blacks in the United States and the Diaspora.

Locally, San Francisco will observe the awareness day Friday, February 5 with its annual community event. The theme this year is "Our Voices �" Bearing Witness" and the focus will be on PrEP, treatment as prevention, and mental health. The event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Conference Room 610 (6th floor).

For more information, contact Vincent Fuqua at [email protected] or (415) 437-6208.


Openhouse moves programs to Castro storefront

Due to its lease expiring this month at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, which is set to begin a renovation project in March, Openhouse has leased a Castro Street storefront on a temporary basis to house a number of its programs.

Beginning the third week of February, the LGBT senior services agency will be setting up shop at 541 Castro Street, a vacant retail space adjacent to the former Patio Cafe eatery. Property owner Les Natali, who owns both buildings, has previously leased out the storefront on a temporary basis, most recently to a real estate firm whose offices were being renovated.

The retail space was also once home to the now-defunct Under One Roof, a store that had donated a portion of sales to local HIV nonprofits. It ceased operations in 2014.

Openhouse will be moving into new offices this September being built in a ground floor space at the 55 Laguna LGBT senior housing development. As the Bay Area Reporter disclosed last month, the agency's new location will be named the Bob Ross LGBT Senior Center in honor of the B.A.R.'s founding publisher due to a $1 million donation from the Bob Ross Foundation.

Programs that will be housed in the Castro Street space over the next seven months include a four-week healthy aging workshop, which begins Thursday, February 18, and Openhouse's monthly fourth Fridays health and wellness series starting on February 26.

Its monthly drop-in group for people caring for someone with dementia is also moving to the Castro Street location, as are its gay writers group, poetry salon and, beginning on February 20, the weekly Saturday games gatherings.

To download Openhouse's monthly calendar listing the programs at the new location, visit


New exhibit at Qulture Collective

From a Place With No Space or Time in downtown Oakland February 5-29.

Adrift , and What the World Knows of Infinity at Qulture Collective, 714 Franklin Street, beginning February 5 with an opening reception February 12. On February 20, Davis debuts An Angel's Manifesto, a site-specific pole and dance performance that will begin at the Flight Deck, 1540 Broadway, and include a procession to a nearby downtown location.

From a Place With No Space or Time Davis embodies traditional and imagined spiritual and cultural archetypes as a means for creating new narratives that reflect queer black femme experience and power. In the visual exhibit, the culmination of nearly fours years of collaboration with New Orleans-based photographer Lauren Hind, Davis performs archetypal personas in site-specific locations that evoke possible alternative realities.

Adrift , shot in New Mexico, follows an afro-surreal water spirit as they navigate a vast rolling gypsum sand dune desert.

What the World Knows of Infinity, Davis channels the World card from Tarot, carrying elements for creation through sites in New Orleans.

'Revival' dance party for long-term survivors

A dance party to celebrate long-term survivors (HIV-positive and HIV-negative) will be held Saturday, February 13 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist, 1661 15th Street (at Julian) in San Francisco.

Organized by Gregg Cassin and the Shanti Project, the event, called "Revival," is free and will feature DJ Bill Strach playing some of the era's greatest hits. Light refreshments will be served early in the evening.

In an email, Cassin said that Revival honors the long-term survivor community, its resilience, hope, and commitment to one another.

Everyone is welcome. Volunteers are needed. For more information, visit the Facebook page at


Matthew S. Bajko contributed to this report.