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SAN DIEGO – Have you ever been to a "Queer Circus"? A circus is coming to town this weekend, kicking off the 2011 Pride celebrations with a lot of wit, art, dancing and everything visual you can imagine.
The Fab and Furious Queer Circus of Dastardly Delights will be held Sunday, July 10 in Balboa Park, from 4 - 8 pm.
Balboa Park has been home to many circuses over the years -- Circus Vargas, Ringling Brothers and Cirque de Soleil come to mind -- but clearly this isn’t your average circus.
Sponsored by So Say We All (SSWA), San Diego Writers Ink, (SDWI) and the San Diego Art Institute (SDAI), this circus will be like no other you have never seen and is certain to tickle even your shadow creative within.
The mastermind of Ted Gideonse, treasurer and board member of SSWA, the Queer Circus was inspired by the storytelling collective’s monthly readings and narratives, as well as their much larger visual artistry production, The Lost Supper, recently performed at UCSD.
Sunday’s event will expand even more upon these programs, to include storytelling, slam poetry, performance art, and dance combined with some of Southern California’s best emerging visual artists and put them together all in one place -- creating a "circus" atmosphere.
According to their promotional materials:
Writers and storytellers will include the poet Jericho Brown, activist Autumn Sandeen, essayist Dave White, singers and actresses Adriana Zuniga and Dawn Marie Williams, Dylan Yates, and Allen Clark.
Performance and visual artists will include the Kalpulli Atlachinolli dancers, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Adrian de la Pena, Don Tatro, Frankie Martin, Jayson Ward, Jen Smith, Kristine Thompson, Marcus Civin, Omar Lopez, Rigo Maldonado, Robert Steinberger, The Rubber Rose, Steve MacIsaac, Suzanne Wright, and Zac Monday.
The art is being curated by Andrew Printer and literature by Ted Gideonse.
"There has always been some sort of queer-themed readings event [put on by SDWI] during Pride in the past, but this is definitely a first," said Gideonse, who will also act as the Fab and Furious Ringmaster of ceremonies. (Look for him in his top hat.)
"It will definitely disrupt the way we think about Queer Art."
SDWI and SSWE are both non-profit organizations, so this partnership supports the overall mission of the Art Institute by getting involved with both the local community and support non-profits, while promoting participation in the arts.
The circus will be held at the Museum of the Living Artist, located directly across from the Museum of Man on the east side of the Laurel Street bridge.
The festivities kick-off inside the museum at 4 pm, with all acts, events and performances taking place in literally one big room. Attendees will get the opportunity to wander through the space, visiting various “stations” where they can see individual performance art, magic tricks, a pickling demonstration, listen to personal readings, etc.
Modern art from the Art Institute will be available for viewing along the walls, and there will even be art carried around for your viewing pleasure. A central space with chairs will showcase the larger performances, beginning at 6 pm.
"There will be a lot of movement," said Gideonse. "It’s going to be this big wacky thing."
Audience participation is highly encouraged, and Gideonse even suggests bringing vegetables to pickle, and cash for the tarot card readings and the artists who are selling their wares.
He was quick to point out that this particular circus is not really a place for children or teens, so beware.
Gideonse is currently a grad student at UCSD studying Anthropology, with a focus on gay culture, meth addiction and HIV studies. Although his partner is program director for SDWI, his personal involvement with the storytelling community comes from years of creative writing as an undergrad.
This circus will surely tap into every one of his interests -- and then some.
"I love seeing something this kooky coming from the queer, gay, lesbian and bisexual and ally community," he said. "I can’t wait to see what everyone’s ethnographic cultural product will be."
More than 140 people have already RSVP'd online, so be one of many who experience this dastardly exciting, colorful and truly artistic event.
Tickets are just $5. For more information or to RSVP, visit their Facebook event page.
About the San Diego Art Institute
The Art Institute of California - San Diego is a design, media arts and culinary arts post-secondary school providing bachelor's and associate's degrees in Advertising, Culinary Arts, Bachelor of Science in Game Art & Design, Visual & Game Programming, Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing & Management, Interior Design, Media Arts & Animation, Audio Production, and Web Design & Interactive Media. Located in the heart of San Diego's Mission Valley, The Art Institute of California - San Diego is ideally situated in close proximity to the area's thriving business community, cultural attractions, shopping, entertainment and its famous beaches.
For more information, visit the SDAI website.
About So Say We All
Created in February of 2009 and based in San Diego, CA, So Say We All (SSWA) is a non-profit (501c3) narrative arts production and education organization. Specializing in the literary and storytelling arts, SSWA serves the community by providing showcases for artists of various mediums, education outreach programs and workshops, and publishing opportunities.
For more information, visit the SSWA website.
About San Diego Writers, Ink
San Diego Writers, Ink is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We offer classes, groups, workshops, readings and other literary events at The Ink Spot and other locations throughout San Diego County. We also collaborate with other arts and cultural organizations and community programs to fulfill our mission to nurture writers and those wishing to explore the craft of writing, foster a literary community, promote literature and celebrate artistic diversity.
For more information, visit the SDWI website.
The Fab and Furious Queer Circus of Dastardly Delights poster (shown above) was designed and produced by John Lytle Wilson.