- Melina Paris
Pictured above, one of Americas’ flourishing singers, Angel Bonilla has a rare ability to effectively serenade and capture her audience’s attention with her strong stage presence.
“If Pride celebrates who we are, OUT LOUD celebrates what we create,”— OUT LOUD
Summer has arrived and it’s time for the second annual OUT LOUD: A Cultural Evolution, the LGBTQ+ arts festival June 29, at The Art Theatre Long Beach. The community arts organization presents their theme, Queer Futures, with the driving question: What do queer futures look like, and how do we create them?
The event began in May 2018 as the brainchild of founder Dave Russo. He recognized a need for artistic and creative spaces where LGBTQ+ artists and culture-makers can be seen, heard, and valued for their contributions to society.
OUT LOUD director of events and promotion, Nancy Woo said, “The big thing we are bringing to Long Beach is a multi-disciplinary art festival celebrating the many facets and diversity of the queer experience, opening up the question of what queer means, and envisioning positive queer futures.
Variety is at the heart of this festival as the main theater event features singers, dancers and poets in a lineup of 12 performers. After the performances a social reception will follow. OUT LOUD will present a curated art display of more than 20 artists and additional performances from 4 to 6 p.m. at The Hangout across the street from the Art Theatre.
Going forward, Russo envisions OUT LOUD’s future to showcase big things like a float festooned with photos of great LGBTQ writers, artists, musicians, activists to newly educate or remind the crowd of this cultural heritage. He wants to bring attention to the historical and cultural figures who worked for equality by using the pen, the brush, the piano, the stage, to offer a view of the significant contributions LGBTQ artists have given to the world.
“Overcoming the odds, fighting for individual rights, working hard to achieve success and recognition—aren’t these noble acts that deserve a spotlight?” asks Russo “Wouldn’t it be great if we had a parade and a stage?”
OUT LOUD will present multiple disciplines of performance art. Here are just a few from the Art Theatre portion of the event.
- Featured among the theater performances will be Angel Bonilla from the Philippines. Angel’s competitive journey began in 2016 when she represented the Philippines and placed second out of 53 countries at the 25th Discovery International song competition in Varna, Bulgariain. Then Angel made history March 2018, when she took the stage as the first transgender contestant to turn a chair on NBC’S The Voice. Besides singing, Angel’s other great skill is her ability to emotionally connect with her audience.
- Other performers and speakers include, the United Voices Choir; a choral orchestra specially assembled for OUT LOUD 2019.
- CSULB Dance Showcase; Threading, featuring Sarah Culotta and Jasmyn Hamblyn. “..threading..” is a movement expression exploring the desexualization of stigmatized over-sexualized lesbian relationships.
- Cultural anthropology professor Gregory Mattson will give a social address. LGBT culture and history, interest Mattson particularly as they intersect with race, ethnicity, class and sub-culture.
See the full festival lineup here, www.tinyurl.com/arttheatrelineup-queerfutures
OUT LOUD Festival
Time: 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. June 29
Venue: The Art Theatre Long Beach, 2025 E 4th St, Long Beach