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    Kippy Marks for Grand Duke

    gypsyEditor’s Note: Violinist Kippy Marks is a music columnist for the “Bay Times.” He often accompanies singer and dancer Gypsy Love, who is our astrologer. We are very proud of our multi-talented contributors!)

    It’s no surprise that I believe in the power of love. As a San Francisco native, I’ve had the joyful pleasure of living in a city whose spirit encapsulates and celebrates love in every form. From freedom to fun to philanthropy, our community is recognized around the world for its warm embrace. Kippy Marks, candidate for Grand Duke 2013, radiates love unlike any other.

    The Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco, Inc., was founded in 1973 by H. L. Perry to raise money for a wide array of charitable organizations through large annual costume balls and other various fundraisers throughout the year. In 1998, the Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco created and added a sister Court located in Alameda County. A third such sovereign Ducal Court exists in London, Ontario, Canada. Each chapter has its own Board of Directors and is financially responsible for its own management. In addition to local non-profit status, many courts in the United States have Federal status. Each court holds an annual coronation, which is usually the chapter’s largest fund raiser, and is attended by both local members and members of other Ducal chapters, as well as Imperial Courts across North America. The coronation culminates with a ceremony in which the new monarchs – the Grand Duke and Grand Dutchess – are crowned. In San Francisco, the new monarchs are determined by popular election held in the community.

    Kippy Marks devotes his life to love. A vibrant musical entertainer and passionate owner of healing arts services business “Kima Exclusive Entertainment,” Kippy strives to inspire his community through his tireless devotion to raising funds for charitable causes. By sharing his gifts of music and healing, Kippy has helped raise over a quarter million dollars for local organizations such as: Black Coalition on AIDS, The Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation, Project Open Hand, The Ducal Court of San Francisco, The Imperial Court of San Francisco, AIDS Emergency Fund, Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, Leukemia Society, and Immune Enhancement Project.

    When asked about his intentions for Grand Duke, Kippy responds, “My ultimate goal is to merge the diverse array of talent in our city and unify them through the Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco in support of important causes that help build our sense of solidarity and happiness. Currently, we see so many individual artists doing their own thing – and doing it well! My vision is to galvanize the next generation of philanthropists and non-profit groups by enhancing our channels for bridging art and activism.”

    Kippy’s enthusiasm is contagious – just like his smile. He wholeheartedly commits himself to generating support from organizations that have yet to assist the efforts of the Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco. Kippy has joined forces with international tourism giant Ghirardelli Square, Stereotype Media (a movie production company owned by philanthropist Eliot Seal), Wattle Creek Winery, and in this newspaper where he’s the columnist for “Gems of the Bay,” which highlights the extraordinary local musicians of our San Francisco Bay Area.

    As the first African American candidate for Grand Duke, Kippy is especially interested in helping the African American community gain higher visibility and empowerment. Having partnered with the Black Coalition on AIDS for several years now, Kippy is an active advocate for promoting health, wellness, and prosperity among minority groups throughout the Bay Area and beyond. “Art – like love – is universal,” he says. “It knows no race, religion, or creed. Its sole purpose is to express and inspire. This is why my campaign motto is: ‘Inspire your community for unity.’ I believe that art transcends color lines, and so does my mission.”


    And a magnificent mission it is. If elected, Kippy will seek partnership with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus to produce a live performance series that raises funds for the Grand Ducal Council. Also on his trajectory are plans to collaborate with The Conservatory of Music and the San Francisco Symphony in support of these funding efforts.

    Kippy currently holds the title of “King X” of Krewe De Kinque, a charitable Mardi Gras inspired social club. He’s worked closely with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as co-emcee alongside Queen X, Kit Tapata, Mutha Chucka, and San Francisco legend Sister Roma.

    When he’s not enchanting audiences with his lively performances, Kippy Marks shines his light via other modalities of love and healing. He is a music teacher, certified massage therapist, and Reiki Master. The colors that Kippy has chosen to characterize his campaign are perfectly suited for his platform. Green represents the tradition of peace. Gold represents illumination, wisdom, and wealth.

    When asked to describe himself, Kippy shares: “My music and healing practices have always been my way of reaching out to the community. It’s a wonderful feeling when you can inspire someone…when you can help them experience just a little more joy in their day. I love to connect with the community. That’s why I love performing live, and why I’m inspired to work with the Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco.”

    The inscription Kippy wrote on the back of his original album Hummingbird says it all: “In the current state of the world that we live in, we all must strive to be the best human beings that we can be, sound and music and love are a very powerful way to help us along in this process. It is up to each of us to show each other the love that is needed.”

    Voting day for the Grand Duke election is Saturday, September 21, 2013. Cast your ballot for Kippy Marks at any of the designated voting locations: Project Open Hand (730 Polk Street between 9:00am to 1:00pm), Eagle Tavern (398 12th Street between 1:00pm to 5:00pm), and the Magnet (4122 18th Street between 2:00pm to 6:00pm). Remember to bring a valid ID from San Francisco, Marin, or San Mateo county. His campaign headquarters is at the Midnight Sun (4067 18th Street). For more information, visit