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    Sister Dana sez, “What are the far right Repugnicans talking about when they say ‘The Deep State’?

    By Sister Dana Van Iquity–

    Sister Dana sez, “What are the far right Repugnicans talking about when they say ‘The Deep State’? The only deep state I know of has the Grand Canyon!”

    ACADEMY OF FRIENDS held a TOAST THE NOMINEES party to celebrate with drinks at suiGENERIS in the Castro. We enjoyed cocktails while shopping for our gala outfits to the Academy of Friends’ annual Oscar party—this year entitled “Under the Big Top.” Board Vice Chair Matthew Denckla pointed out fellow board members in the room. Co-Board Chair Gil Padia mentioned the beneficiaries: Aguilas, AIDS Legal Referral Panel, HIV AIDS Nightline, Maitri, Positive Resource Center, and Project Open Hand. Representing AIDS Legal Referral Panel were Volunteer Coordinator Hannah Center and volunteer Ray Dolan (who back in the day was Sister Ivanna Tramp). I’m begging her to get back into drag as Ivanna Tramp during these terrifying Trump times. Co-Board Chair Lee Johnson spoke about Academy of Friends annually producing the world’s premier Academy Awards Night Charity Gala as the centerpiece of its efforts to raise funds, award donations, and encourage volunteerism that benefit a diverse set of HIV/AIDS organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. In typical Academy of Friends’ fashion, everyone at the event will enjoy food provided by the Bay Area’s finest restaurants and caterers, wine, and champagne by amazing vintners along with a fun way to watch the 2018 Oscars. Join them on Sunday, March 4, at City View at the Metreon for their 38th Annual Academy Awards Night Gala. academyoffriends.org

    Sister Dana sez, “Happy Birthday, Emperor Norton, inspiration for today’s Court of Imperials, you don’t look a day over 200!”

    The monthly CASTRO ART WALK, where the public is encouraged to take a self-guide tour of art studios and locations to enjoy the creativity in the Castro, was held on February 1. The following locations took part: Art Attack SF, 2358 Market Street Suite 1; The Artist’s Gallery, 4406 18th Street Suite A; Spark Arts, 4229 18th Street; Dog Eared Books, 489 Castro Street; Blush! Wine Bar, 476 Castro Street; Norden Living, 3618 17th Street; Club 440, 440 Castro Street; The Apothecarium, 2029 Market Street; S16 Home, 286 Sanchez at 16th Street; and Ruby’s Clay Studio & Gallery, 552A Noe Street. Art at most of these locations will remain on display until being exchanged for new art at the March Castro Art Walk. Spark Arts provided a small youth band, The Funky Feathers band from the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, to play for us. castroartwalk.com

    Sister Dana sez, “As we go to press, I wonder whether Mitch McConnell will keep his word about DACA and immigration reform on February 8th—while the government could possibly run out of money. Hey, it’s Mitch. I mean really. Is he known for keeping his word?!”

    We art enthusiasts went to STRUT, the gay/bi/transmen Castro center for health and social wellness, for the monthly gallery reception on February 2, presented by Baruch Porras-Hernandez, Community Organizer. On display then and all month long at 470 Castro Street are the works of artist JOSE JOAQUIN FIGUEROA entitled LGBTQ RELATED DRAWINGS. Jose Joaquin Figueroa is an Oakland based artist born in Caracas, Venezuela. Figueroa uses postmodern strategies to create artworks that “reflect on the fragility of fleeting moments, the complications of inter-layered identities, and the impossibility of a single perspective.” Figueroa has exhibited at Southern Exposure, Berkeley Art Museum, and Embark Gallery, all in the Bay Area; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Bogotá, Colombia; Longwood Arts Project in New York, among others. He attended Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in 2009, received his B.F.A in arts from the Cooper Union in 2014 and his M.F.A. from U.C Berkeley in 2016. He is currently an Affiliate Artist at Headlands Center for the Arts. He draws imagining an “aerial and extracorporeal perspective that generates a vigilant record of his everyday environments.” He says his drawing practice is constantly evolving and incorporates the use of “text as a formal resource while following premises of ethnographic methodologies.” The resulting images are panoramic exposures developed on site and in public. The drawings are water colored with liquids that belong to the depicted environment such as water, coffee, wine, or others. There are almost 100 selections on various unframed paper pieces (some ripped from a three-ring binder with holes showing). There is something for anyone to relate to. For me, the ones that brought back memories were those depicting Burning Man, Faerie Village during Gay Pride Parade, street protests, trans rights demonstrations, drag shows, and especially memorable was the Castro Theatre John Waters appearance hosted by the late great DQ Cookie Dough. I have to give a shout-out to the jeans jacket I saw a guy wearing with its back emblazoned with big, red block letters as a homonym in a totally politically correct: “Know Fems! Know Fats!” I just gotta say, what a fashion statement, and props to that! strutsf.org

    I was delighted to attend—not as press or representing any organization, but as a longtime good friend of Mark Leno—at one of the many MARK LENO FOR MAYOR fundraisers, SHAKE UP CITY HALL! at Daddy’s Barbershop in the Castro. My dear friend Donna Sachet was also there. We have loved this man way back in the day since he was a major shaker for a new, badly needed LGBTQ community center, and has been in politics going forward since the ’80s. I love his progressive goals: changing the status quo of City Hall; going against Big Money buying democracy; establishing a mental health justice center; creating 50,000 units of affordable housing; stopping the epidemic of car break-ins; and defending San Francisco against Trump—the orange ogre oligarch that continually works his hateful agenda attacking people of color, women, immigrants, and LGBTQ San Franciscans. Oh yes, not to mention Mark becoming the first openly gay mayor of EssEff! sfethics.orgmarkleno.com

    Sister Dana sez, “Valentine’s Day is coming. Just why we care about a dead saint who in ancient days married hetero couples—and give candy and flowers on this day—is crazy to me. But here are some heartfelt events coming up!”

    You will love experiencing the true spirit of Mardi Gras with San Francisco’s KREWE de KINQUE Mardi Gras club! Our annual Bal Masque, with the theme “FLIGHT 420,” will be held at the spectacular Castro nightclub The Café (Market at Castro) on Saturday, February 10. Expect wild costumes, outrageous performances, regal Kings & Queens, and sexy shenanigans by the West Coast’s authentic LGBTQStr8 krewe! 6–9 pm ($20 advance/$25 door): Bal MASQUE XV is hosted by KDK King XIV Barry Miles & KDK Queen XIV Lady Cuki Couture, featuring dancing with music by Sergio Fedasz(Go BANG!), costumed tableaux show, the crowning of KDK King & Queen XV, $5 Stoli drink special, $7 Hurricanes, exciting silent auction and raffle prizes, and no host full bar service. Also, professional staged Photos by Gooch! Free beads to VIPs from Queen VII Sister Dana. There will be free admission to The Café’s night event, but you must stay in the venue after 9 pm. Proceeds benefit Larkin Street Youth Services. Since 1984, Larkin Street Youth Services has reached over 75,000 young people, ages 12 to 24, through a range of services including outreach, shelter, housing, health, wellness, education and employment. facebook.com/KDKinSF

    ART SAVES LIVES Castro gallery and performance space, curated by San Francisco local artist Thomasina De Maio, will hold the anticipated FEBRUARY RECEPTION on Friday the 9th of February, 6–8:30 pm at the 518 Castro Street gallery. There will be a live show featuring African-American performers, Alotta Boutee, Magnolia Black, Jack Noir, and Mojo Deville in honor of BLACK HISTORY MONTH—as well as dozens of pieces of art by such local artists as Wilfredo Santana, Bill Bowers, Keenan Faiz, Hank Strohbeck, Michael Staley, Jerry Frost, and Jack Stelnicki. Free refreshments will be served.  

    A new exhibition at GLBT HISTORY MUSEUM drawing on rare posters and ephemera will highlight the journey of black lesbian activist Angela Davis: from radical scholar, to political prisoner, to revolutionary icon, to public intellectual. The Reception is on Friday, February 9, 7 pm at 4127 18th Street. Curated by collector Lisbet Tellefsen and historian Amy SueyoshiANGELA DAVIS: OUTSPOKEN” considers some of the roles Davis has played in the American political imaginary and explores the complexity and impact of her life across nearly half a century. glbthistory.org

    RICHMOND-ERMET AID FOUNDATION‘s first “One Night Only” benefit cabaret for 2018 will be on February 19, 7:30 pm at the Marines’ Memorial Theater featuring touring cast members from the Tony Award-winning Broadway show “THE BOOK OF MORMON.” This will be their third benefit show with touring casts from this amazing show, and they have always sold out and garnered rave reviews. This time out, cast members will be performing songs “Off the Résumé”—songs they used to audition for their Broadway roles and got them where they are today. Joining the cast of BOOK OF MORMON for this special benefit cabaret show will be cast members from Bay Area Musicals’ “THE WEDDING SINGER.” This will be an evening of heart-felt music and comedy. reaf-sf.org

    Sister Dana sez, “That was not a State of the Union speech, but rather a State of Onion, because it made me cry for our country as Trump peeled away nothing but hype, hyperbole, and hypocrisy.”