Thanks to everyone who came and enjoyed another great day out with us! See you next year!
Humidity’s rising, barometer’s gettin’ low
According to all sources the street’s the place to go
The Weather Girls were right, but if The Weather Channel is to be believed, we might have some spotty weather early tomorrow. The Street Festival is still on from 11-4! Rain or shine, we will be out on the streets. Come out and play!
ACT UP NY, THE ANCHOR STUDY, CALLEN-LORDE COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER, CATHY’S SAUSAGE TRAILER, CITY CRUISERS NYC MC, EASTON MOUNTAIN, EMPIRE CITY MOTORCYCLE CLUB, FRIENDS OF THE HIGH LINE,GAY NATURISTS, INTL., HIV CENTER FOR CLINICAL & BEHAVIORAL STUDIES,LUCAS ENTERTAINMENT, MASSIVE GOODS, MAsT, METALBONDNYC, MTTA,NEW YORK BONDAGE CLUB, NYC-PAH, NYJOX, ONYX-NY NORTHEAST, OYNX GEAR, RUBIO LEATHER, SILBER FUCHS NYC, TASTY TROPICAL ISLAND PINA COLADAS, TES, TEAM EAGLE NYC, THE BODY ELECTRIC SCHOOL, U DON’T HAVE 2BA NANCY
Without a doubt, 2014 has been an amazing journey for Folsom Street East. The board began the year with a daunting goal ahead of us: reinstating our signature event and with that reestablishing nearly two decades of tradition and hard-won credibility with our community. Dave and Gary in particular threw themselves headlong into the work of repairing and growing relationships with city agencies and the police; neighborhood residents, businesses, and organizations; sponsors, vendors, and media; and certainly not least, our entertainers, volunteers, and attendees. Our attendance and revenue exceeded all expectations, allowing us to donate over $13,000 to our beneficiaries, and our hard work this year will bolster our ability to negotiate permitting with the community board and the city in 2015. Beyond all that, though: we did what some folks had insisted was impossible: we brought kink back to the streets of New York where it belongs, and where it will stay.
In parallel with bringing back the street festival, we began to bring Folsom Street East into organizational maturity as a nonprofit. Rising to the level of effort that goal demanded meant a lot of firsts for us, not least among them our first annual report and our first board retreat. Speaking as the guy who suggested we all schlep upstate for a chilly weekend in the country to talk about strategic planning and governance, I was frankly floored by the level of engagement and conversation among my fellow board members. On some level, I always knew why we do what we do; the retreat allowed us to put that into words and tie those words to actions in a way more powerful than I thought possible. We’ll be formalizing the new mission statement drafted at the retreat and sharing it with you all early in 2015, but our inspiration to continue our work has already been renewed.
Based on feedback from 2013’s community survey, we made a huge effort to better inform you about us and about our beneficiaries. This was enabled by the completion of two big behind-the-scenes projects in 2014: the overhaul of our website and the migration to our new web domain. Together, these have ensured that we will be able to easily deliver timely, secure communications in the years to come. In early 2015 we’ll be migrating to a new email marketing platform which will allow us to manage mailings more efficiently and economically.
It’s with regret that we accepted long-time member Ray’s resignation from the board last month; however, we know he’ll continue to be on call for event support and other special projects on an ad hoc basis going forward. On a brighter note, we have four new board members joining us in 2015, effectively doubling the board’s size. Marie, Paul, Robert, and Rudy have already made inestimable contributions to thought leadership and our ability to execute, and we are excited to continue to work with them in the coming year.
We’ve achieved a lot as a board this year, but we couldn’t have done it without you. I was reminded of that early on the morning of the street festival, when I found that at least twenty volunteers had showed up well ahead of me and were standing under the High Line awaiting my sleepy-eyed direction. After months spent planning for every contingency, our plans came through because you did. Even six months later, I still stand in awe of all that we were able to achieve together in those few hours on a summer Sunday — and I don’t just mean pushing porta-potties around. I mean playing a part in something bigger than any one of us — creating a public space where our culture can flourish. For that (and for moving porta-potties, too): thank you, thank you, thank you.
On behalf of the board, allow me to wish you the happiest of holidays, and invite you to mark your calendars — the next street festival is slated for 21 June 2015. Looking forward to seeing you all there, and to sharing some surprises with you along the way!
Matt Johnson, Board Chair, Folsom Street East
Here at Folsom Street East, we are working year-round — not just to bring you the street festival each June, but to grow and nourish the organization which makes that possible. In another first for the FSE board, we gathered at secretary Gary’s home upstate over a weekend in mid-November for some intensive brainstorming on our mission and our vision, as well as developing a strategic plan for the years ahead. The weather was chilly, but the fire was warm, the tunes were carefully curated, and the food we made together was delicious.
During the day on Saturday, we achieved consensus on a number of matters, certainly not least of which was that giant Post-Its are pretty much the best thing ever.
After enjoying a contemplative moment in a magic marker-induced haze, we conducted our final business meeting of 2014 and welcomed four new board members — Marie, Paul, Robert and Rudy — with a celebratory dinner!
As we moved from Saturday night into Sunday morning, the Post-Its only increased in number.
Whether it was the markers, the strong coffee, or simply the mental effort, our giddiness only increased as well.
But we left Sunday afternoon with the draft of a new mission statement — no small feat!
All these warm fuzzy vibes inevitably culminated in our first-ever board selfie:
From left to right: Robert Lopez (at-large), Paul Phillips (at-large), Matt Johnson (chair), Dick DeWilde (treasurer), Gary Martin (secretary), Dave Hughes (president), and Doc Hoskins (at-large).
Not pictured are Marie Gagnon and Rudy Flesher (of Providence, RI, and Philadelphia, respectively), who were unable to join us for the retreat but will be working with us both virtually and in person in the new year!
We did it! Thanks to our generous sponsors, our hardworking volunteer corps, and all of you who came down to West 27th Street in June for a fun afternoon out, Folsom Street East was able to award over thirteen thousand dollars to our beneficiaries!
Executive Director Sharon Stapel and Development Associate Andrea Durojaye accept a check from Folsom Street East board chair Matt Johnson, president Gary Martin, and treasurer Dick DeWilde on behalf of the Anti-Violence Project.
Ride Coordinator Steve Bratton and Team Eagle riders Skip Ralph, Dan Parente, Johnny Nowak, and Stefano Biaggio accept a check from Folsom Street East board chair Matt Johnson, president Gary Martin, and treasurer Dick DeWilde on behalf of Cycle for the Cause.
Senior Vice President for Development and Marketing Andrew Greene accepts a check from Folsom Street East board chair Matt Johnson, president Gary Martin, and treasurer Dick DeWilde on behalf of Housing Works.
Fil Vocasek accepts a check from Folsom Street East board chair Matt Johnson, president Gary Martin, and treasurer Dick DeWilde on behalf of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.
In the weeks leading up to the street fair, we’re taking some time to introduce you to this year’s beneficiaries and share some information about the good work that you’re supporting.
The New York City Anti-Violence Project empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and supports survivors through counseling and advocacy.
AVP provides an extensive range of client services addressing many types of violence, including immediate crisis intervention, safety planning, short or long-term counseling, police, court and social services advocacy and accompaniment, information and referrals. Their free bilingual (English/Spanish), 24-hour, 365-day-a-year crisis intervention hotline, is staffed by professional counselors and trained volunteers who respond to the immediate needs of LGBTQH victims and survivors of any type of violence. AVP receives about 3000 hotline calls a year – an average of one call every 3 hours.
Additionally, AVP organizes responses to specific violent incidents throughout New York City and State and creates campaigns that address LGBTQH people’s safety. They also collaborate with community leaders and community-based organizations at the local, state and national levels to raise awareness about the intersection of LGBTQH identity and violence. AVP’s Training and Education Institute trains thousands of community members, police, court staff, district attorneys’ offices, rape crisis centers, domestic violence agencies and other mainstream health and human service providers.
AVP also graciously hosts all of our Folsom Street East board and street fair planning meetings, for which we cannot thank them enough.
If you or someone you care about has been affected by violence and needs help, call the AVP hotline at 212-714-1141. All AVP services are free and confidential.
As ever, this year’s street fair will showcase some of NYC’s edgiest acts. Hosts WILL CLARK and WITTI REPARTEE will emcee a fast-paced and eclectic concert featuring the following artists:
MICHAEL T & THE VANITIES
photo: Alex Colby
Michael T is a longstanding staple of NYC nightlife and has showcased his talents in many aspects of club culture. An accomplished rock’n’roll DJ, he’s played in many cities including Boston, DC, Philadelphia, and L.A. He’s also produced several of NYC’s infamous poly-sexual parties, including (but not limited to) Motherfucker (2000-2007) and Rated X – The Panty Party (2004-2010). Currently, Michael is the producer of the quarterly live performance glam-rock spectacle Oh! You Pretty Things, which is held at the prestigious downtown cabaret Le Poisson Rouge. Michael T & The Vanities are the headliners of these productions, and are thrilled to be invited to perform at Folsom Street East.
photo: Dusti Cunningham
Rapper Big Dipper is a recent Brooklyn-transplant from Chicago. His crazy antics, exciting live shows, and infectious music make him the most exciting independent rap act to watch this year. Named one of Hip Hop’s Queer Pioneers by DETAILS magazine in 2012, he has been profiled by VICE , Red Eye Chicago, the Huffington Post, Out.com, Chicago Reader, and countless other blogs and online publications. With nearly 500K views on his YouTube channel, he is best known for his music videos for Drip Drop, Meat Quotient, Skank. Get ready to get sweaty and shake your ass with this beefy, charismatic emcee who challenges the traditional ideals of rap music.
JoJo Americo, Paul Alexander and Nashom took over the planet with their smash hits and club favorites “Flawless” – later reworked by George Michael as “Flawless (Go To The City)” – ”Superstar”, “I Feel Upside Down” and the celebrated, star-studded video clip “When We Get Together.” Their album “Blast From The Past” delivered the celebratory anthem “Face and Body” which stirred controversy last summer as Cher’s video for “A Woman’s World” simulated closely the visuals for their original runway, cut-and-swap idea and featured the late Codie Leone. These three fashion forward and iconic New Yorkers let it happen again with their brand new “Work Pussy In Face” EP which includes some of their hits reworked in 21 different mixes by Dan Mckie, B. Ames, Fagault & Marina, Travolta Moroder, John J-C Carr and others. Ready to deliver a blast into the future in time for 2014’s Pride season. No velvet ropes, no guest list. Just come on in and take the ultimate killer ride that you won’t want to get off!!
25-year-old rap/punk artist STOSE has been breaking down barriers and bridging gaps between diverse forms of music, politics, and culture since he started his first band at age 15. STOSE’s debut EP, “Civil Disobedience,” will be released in 2014. Born in Virginia and now based out of New York City, STOSE cites a variety of musical and culture influences. From Dr. Dre to Iggy Pop and Edward Snowden to Black Flag, STOSE is fueled by forces for change that challenge the status quo. As a songwriter in the tradition of Henry Rollins and NWA, STOSE informs as he entertains and tells stories that open eyes.
photo: Laura Pardo
Dandy Darkly is a storyteller of supernatural sleaze and homosexual horror — a mincing, menacing Mary of frighteningly filthy fables! Dandy Darkly also hosts variety shows across Manhattan and Brooklyn, curating a cruel and unusual cast of dancers, musicians and storytellers to fit his villainous, vaudevillian vision! In August 2013, Dandy Darkly made his world debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe performing his solo show Dandy Darkly’s Gory Hole! at theSpaceCabaret in participation with theSpaceUK. The show was a critical hit among the international press.
photo: Adrian Buckmaster
Xavier’s vocal skills have received uncoerced praise from some of the music industry’s best, including TV on the Radio, Erykah Badu, Anita Baker, Mary J. Blige, The Rapture, Pete Tong, D’Angelo, Ashford & Simpson and Lena Horne, as well as a Diesel U Music Award nomination. He’s hollered on records with Scissor Sister Del Marquis, Basement Jaxx vocalists Vula Malinga and Sharlene Hector, Stephin Merritt, and LL Cool J. UK-based music magazine NME calls his music “glorious” and Billboard magazine contends he’s “pure magic.” He’s currently working on a new album with Slow Knights.
photo: Tod Seelie
Gay Panic is a Queer Wave band from Brooklyn playing live and touring since 2012. They released their first album, Too Sensitive, in early 2012, and released a second full length album entitled Wrong Feelings on May 8th, 2014. Influenced by Gang of Four, Talking Heads, Radiohead, The Smiths, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell and Jeff Buckley. With Josh Lerner on vocals, Lior Ben-Abu Hadar on guitar, Maggie Schreiner on drums and Phil Andrews on bass.
photo: Peter Lau
Will Clark is a producer, performer, director, playwright, blogger and promoter, as well as having starred in 48 XXX films. He has been emceeing and producing fundraising events for the past 20 years, working with dozens of LGBT non profit organizations in New York, LA, San Francisco, Chicago, and many other cities across the country.
Recently he ended a 9 year run producing and emceeing The Will Clark Show feat. P*rno Bingo and a 10 year run producing Bad Boys on the Hudson. His previous events include the Bad Boys Pool Party (Los Angeles 1998 – 2002, Palm Springs 2001 – 2005); Porn Idol (NYC 2004 – 2007), Cocktails with the Stars (1999-2002). He has also emceed the L.A. Leather Street Fair (2001- 2002), Mr. & Ms. NJ Leather (2006 – 2009) and much much more.
Will has been honored by the Gay/Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, and United for the Ride for his fundraising efforts and was recently knighted by New York’s Imperial Court (so you can now legitimately call him “Sir”). He was a judge at the 2014 International Mr. Leather and has previously judged International Ms. Leather, International LeatherSir and leatherboy and Mr. International Rubber.
photo: Adam Woomer, Telltale Heart Photography
Witti Repartee is a Queen (NYC Gay Men’s Chorus 2002-2003), an Empress (Imperial Court of New York, 2012-2013) and an Angel (Team Eagle, Cycle for the Cause 2013-current). Since 1997, she has called New York City her home base as a cabaret and burlesque artist, where she has appeared at more than 500 events as a performer, a volunteer or a guest of honor.
She produces several shows each year for local charities, produced and hosted “The Gayest Link” at Hannah’s Lava Lounge and has been a regular performer and guest host at “The Will Clark Show, featuring Porno Bingo.” As a headliner, Witti has been lauded by gala audiences not only in NYC, but also in Washington DC, Lexington, Kentucky, Anchorage, Alaska and San Francisco, California. As a hostess, she counts the Ninth and Tenth “Bad Boys on the Hudson” cruises, New York’s Leather Pride Night, Halloween at the New York Eagle, and countless fundraisers, special events and performances in HIV residences among her accomplishments.
In 2014, she began workshops of her one-woman show, “Witti Repartee: Falling in Love…Again” before audiences. At the end of the day, though, she’s a man in a dress.
Think volunteering isn’t sexy? Think again! Folsom Street East offers five — yes, five! — ways to live out your hottest volunteer fantasies on our biggest day of the year. With so many options you’re bound to find just the right fit. Check ’em out below and sign up for your favorite here!
SEXY MAID/BUTLER (Street Sweep): Are you obsessed with New York’s filthy streets? Here’s your chance to give at least one block the cleaning it deserves! Bonus reward for arriving early is coffee and donuts. (Did we mention that the donuts will also be EXTRA SEXY?!)
SEXY SECURITY GUARD (Street Guard): Maintain law and order on our clean, mean street — make sure only authorized kinksters are onsite and direct traffic as needed (white gloves optional). By the way, this guy is an actual subway security officer … in Brazil. Hey, even New York doesn’t have everything.
SEXY, UM, FURNITURE INSTALLER (Setup): Are you the friend everyone calls when they need to wield an Allen wrench? You’ll be a natural at setting up tables, unfolding chairs, and unfurling banners. Remember, only you can facilitate hot tabletop scenes!
SEXY P.A. (Event Staff): No, not *that* kind of P.A., but trust we won’t complain if you have one. Meet and greet glamorous people! Keep those adoring throngs in check! Dart from task to task at the snap of a marginally more powerful person’s fingers! (We’re much nicer than Anna Wintour, we promise.)
SEXY BONUS: SEXY CREW T-SHIRT: Yours FREE if you pitch in. These are actual volunteers wearing actual crew shirts. We know what you’re thinking: pretty hot, huh? You’d like to get to know them better, maybe? So sign up already! See you at the fair!