News Briefs: Frameline names permanent executive director

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday March 6, 2024
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Allegra Madsen is the permanent executive director of Frameline, which produces the San Francisco LGBTQ film festival. Photo: Courtesy Frameline
Allegra Madsen is the permanent executive director of Frameline, which produces the San Francisco LGBTQ film festival. Photo: Courtesy Frameline

Frameline, which produces San Francisco's annual LGBTQ film festival, has named its permanent executive director. It did not have to look far.

Allegra Madsen, who has served as interim executive director since the departure of James Woolley last August, was named the new head of the nonprofit organization. Woolley was named executive director of the Miami Film Festival last October.

Madsen, a lesbian, is the first woman of color to lead the organization, she stated in a February 29 email announcement.

"I think this is an incredibly powerful way to honor Black History Month and welcome Women's History Month," she stated.

In a March 5 phone interview, Madsen said that this year's Frameline48 festival will be "atypical" because the organization will not be able to use the Castro Theatre now that it is temporarily closed for renovations.

"So it will be spread out around the bay," she said, adding several San Francisco theaters are also expected to be part of the festival. Madsen would not divulge specific venues, other than to say that the 233-seat Roxie Theater will be a big part of Frameline48. (It also has a smaller 47-seat theater.)

Madsen, 44, said that she thinks Frameline members will attend the screenings even if the Castro Theatre is not part of the festival this year. She acknowledged that the 1,400 seats in the Castro Theatre are "hard to replicate."

"I feel like we have a committed fan base," she said, adding that when Frameline held neighborhood nights last year "folks came with us." Madsen also sees the spread out festival as a way to possibly expand with new members around the Bay Area.

Frameline in 2019 last had its "Fun in Boys Shorts" and "Fun in Girls Shorts" programming during the festival. In 2021, when the festival returned to having in-person screenings, Frameline opted instead for a gender-inclusive "Fun in Shorts" comedy package. Madsen said that would remain the case this year.

"The conversations around gender are evolving," Madsen said, adding that Frameline hopes for large audiences for all of its films. "It's important for our entire community to get together and learn together. Shorts are an excellent way to do that. We're existing in an intense political climate when all the LGBTQ+ in the rainbow is under attack."

As was the case last year, Frameline48 will wrap up Saturday, June 29, the day before the San Francisco Pride parade on Sunday, June 30. Madsen said that worked well last year and it was a nice way to "funnel into Pride Sunday."

In addition to overseeing Frameline48, another of Madsen's goals is to boost the organization's artist development arm. Frameline already has a completion fund that helps artists finish their projects. She would like to see the organization develop a production fund that helps queer filmmakers.

Prior to serving as interim executive director, Madsen became Frameline's director of programming in 2021.

"Allegra's proven track record of success in leading nonprofit organizations, combined with her understanding of the LGBTQ+ landscape and passion for building community through art and film, make her the ideal person to lead Frameline into the future," stated Ryan McNeill, president of Frameline's board of directors.

Madsen was selected following an extensive search process coordinated by Scott Miller Executive Search, a news release stated. The search firm engaged 150 potential candidates and sources during a six-month international search process.

Frameline operates on a budget of $2 million. Madsen's salary wasn't immediately available, but according to the organization's IRS Form 990 for 2022, Woolley's salary was listed at $100,000.

Queer LifeSpace to hold hiking fundraiser

Queer LifeSpace, a nonprofit counseling agency that provides affordable access to therapy for the LGBTQIA+ community, will hold its inaugural hike-a-thon fundraiser Saturday, March 23, in San Francisco.

Participants should meet at Glen Canyon Park, located at Elk and Chenery streets, at 8:30 a.m. Hikers will depart at 9 for the daylong event, arriving at the Lands End Trailhead by about 4 p.m. A sunset bonfire at Ocean Beach will take place from 6 to 8, a news release stated. There will be a one-hour lunch break in Golden Gate Park.

Organizers noted that the unique fundraising event combines the spirit of outdoor adventure with the power of community support. Participants will explore the landscapes of the northern half of San Francisco's Crosstown Trail.

Registration starts at $25 per person, though those that can't afford to pay can sign up for a trail companion pass. People can also sign up as part of a team or create their own teams. Fundraising pages will be created for participants, including trail companions.

The release noted that all proceeds from the event will benefit Queer LifeSpace's youth service offerings, including Outlandish, which provides equitable access to the outdoors; EQUARTY, which stands for emerging queer artists in their youth; and rural youth outreach.

All levels of hikers are welcome and people can join for a shorter segment or even hike independently at their own pace, the release stated.

The hike coincides with Earth Hour Day, in which people are asked to turn off non-essential lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

For more information and to register, click here.

APA adopts policy supporting trans, nonbinary people

The American Psychological Association has adopted a landmark policy affirming evidence-based care for transgender, gender-diverse, and nonbinary children, adolescents, and adults.

The policy was approved February 24 by the association's governing council of representatives on a vote of 153-9 with one abstention, according to a news release from the Washington, D.C.-based organization.

Titled, "Policy Statement on Affirming Evidence-Based Inclusive Care for Transgender, Gender Diverse, and Nonbinary Individuals, Addressing Misinformation, and the Role of Psychological Practice and Science," it sends a clear message that state bans on gender-affirming care disregard the comprehensive body of medical and psychological research that supports the positive impact of such treatments, APA officials noted.

The resolution also calls for insurance plans to extend coverage for health care services tailored to the developmental needs of children, adolescents, and adults identifying as transgender, gender-diverse, or nonbinary, encompassing both psychological and medical gender-affirming care, the release stated.

"We believe that access to evidence-based health care is a fundamental right for everyone, and this policy reflects our commitment to promoting social justice and equity in health care," stated Cynthia de las Fuentes, Ph.D., APA president.

Talk line for parents announces training dates

San Francisco children's advocacy agency Safe and Sound has announced upcoming training dates for people interested in volunteering for its TALK (telephone aid in living with kids) line.

Spring training dates are April 3, 6-7, 10, and 13-14.

Founded in 1974, the TALK line is primarily staffed by trained and supervised volunteer line operators who provide early interventions, support, and community-based referrals to parents and caregivers experiencing stress.

In addition to overseeing the day-to-day operation of the 24-hour TALK line and its volume of calls, Safe and Sound staff are currently preparing for a peer-support volunteer training intended to bring new voices to the 24-hour warm line in April, the release stated. (A warm line offers support, but is not intended for emergency situations.)

Prospective TALK line volunteers will receive 38 hours of virtual training during the upcoming sessions. Upon completion of the training, volunteers are asked to hold weekly four-hour shifts on the line for a period of one year after their initial shift. (Volunteers must pass a criminal background check.)

TALK line volunteer applications are available at Applicants with lived experience of parenting or caregiving are preferred, but this position can be fulfilled by volunteers 18 years of age or older who have a private space to take calls, an internet connection, and home computer, the release stated.

For more information, people can contact Charlie Fredrick, senior program manager for the TALK line, at [email protected] or Chris Miller, volunteer and community engagement manager, at [email protected]

The TALK line number is 415-441-KIDS (5437).

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