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    Divas & Drinks @ The Academy: Tribute to Jan Wahl on October 27, 2022

    Double Emmy Award winning producer, director, and writer Jan Wahl, who is also a San Francisco Bay Times columnist, was honored at the October 27th Divas & Drinks @ The Academy event emceed by fellow Bay Times columnist Donna Sachet, who sang a heartfelt version of “It Had to Be You” to the guest of honor.

    A Certificate of Honor from Mayor London Breed was presented to Wahl by Coma Te, Director of Communications for the San Francisco Arts Commission. It noted that Wahl:

    • was the youngest woman ever to be inducted into the Directors Guild of America;
    • is a member of the Alumnae Hall of Fame at San Francisco State University;
    • is a well-known radio and television personality who, famous for her iconic hats, has educated viewers about films and all things showbiz;
    • has, in addition to the Bay Times, worked for KRON 4, KCBS, KNBR, ABC Los Angeles, and KGO-TV;
    • for years was the iconic interviewer at major film events presented at the Castro Theatre and produced by Marc Huestis;
    • and has always been a vocal supporter of the Bay Area LGBTQ community, regularly helping nonprofits such as the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and Frameline. 

    Nguyen Pham, Director of Philanthropy for Frameline praised Wahl during the event, which was a fundraiser for Frameline. Sachet led a live auction for a private lunch at The Trident in Sausalito with Wahl. Two bidders—Mary Conde of Another Planet Entertainment and Bay Times food columnist David Landis—won, earning $1050 for Frameline from that item alone (doubled, thanks to the restaurant).

    Elizabeth Lanyon, Associate Director of Philanthropy for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, also spoke, inviting all to attend NCLR’s Champions for Justice gala on November 11.

    Central to the event was Sister Roma, who skillfully interviewed Wahl about her formative years, connection to the LGBTQ community, favorite films, and more. Wahl spoke of her family’s early support of gays and lesbians, going back to at least the 1940s when a gay male couple lived as boarders in a relative’s house. She was overcome with emotion describing her acceptance by the LGBTQ community, which she likened to her feelings of happiness and home during Passover.

    DJ Rockaway presented by Olivia Travel created a special playlist for the evening, inspired by Wahl, and that carried over into the “Name That Tune” competition pitting Team Bank of the West vs. Team Another Planet Entertainment. Both teams played well, but Team Bank of the West, under the leadership of Madeleine Bronstone, proved victorious.

    Special thanks to Nate Bourg and Paul Miller of The Academy SF, The Academy’s hardworking staff, the Bacardí Team led by Vanessa Wright, food sponsor Extreme Pizza, and to all others who helped with the tribute and came in support of Wahl. Please join us for the Bay Times holiday party with the Golden Gate Business Association and the SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band on December 13 at The Academy. Additional details will be announced soon.

    Published on November 3, 2022