Partnership Around Pride

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VPL, Green Mountain Crossroads and CineSLAM
join forces to produce a celebration of queerness, diversity, creativity and social justice 
June 19-21, 2015

Brattleboro & Guilford, VT – Vermont Performance Lab (VPL) has announced that it will be teaming up with two local LGBTQ organizations to produce a full weekend of activities and events as part of the annual Pride Weekend, June 19-21 in Southern Vermont. In partnership with Green Mountain Crossroads and CineSLAM – Vermont’s LGBT Film Festival, VPL will bring performance art icon Carmelita Tropicana and filmmaker Ela Troyano to Vermont to be one of the highlights of Pride Weekend in Vermont. During the festivities, CineSLAM will screen Troyano’s film “Your Kunst is Your Waffen” (“Your Art is Your Weapon”) as part of the 7th Annual CineSLAM Film Festival. On Saturday and Sunday the artists will participate in an afternoon artist talk and Italian–style picnic at the Tree Frog farm in Guilford, and offer a “Writing and Performing Autobiography” workshop to teens and adults.

In making this announcement Sara Coffey of Vermont Performance Lab remarked, “Our partners help ground VPL artists and projects in our community. The partnership with CineSLAM and Green Mountain Crossroads is very special as it is a wonderful example of how three organizations can come together to create a series of events that celebrate diversity and foster dialogue and tolerance in our community around LGBTQ and social justice issues.”

HB Lozito commented, “The artists that VPL brings to Southern Vermont are critical and provide Green Mountain Crossroads (GMC) and our broader community with the opportunity to encounter artists who are making work outside mainstream culture. As queer people living rurally, we struggle against the mainstream notion that queer people can only live happy, safe, and fulfilling lives in urban areas. At GMC we appreciate how VPL and these artists bring visibility to important issues around privilege, race, culture, gender identity, and we see the impact that these artists have on our community.”

Warm up for Pride Weekend with a Family Pride Picnic hosted by Green Mountain Crossroads on Sunday June 14th where LGBTQ parents or families including LGBTQ people of all ages are welcome to enjoy the sun, some games, and good company in a relaxed and casual get together.

The Pride Weekend formally kicks off Friday June 19th with the CineSLAM Festival screening short films at the Latchis Theater (7PM) including “Your Kunst is Your Waffen” (“Your Art is Your Weapon”) a film by Ela Troyana featuring Carmelita Tropicana. The Program Director of CineSLAM, John Scagliotti, has collected a number of films from around the world which he will be showcase at the 7th annual film festival. “This year we will see films from France, Los Angeles and Keene, New Hampshire. We derive our program diversity from our initials, LGBT, and we show a variety of films. So you’ll see that we like to cater to all our audiences senses including their stomachs which is why we’ll be serving ‘pride cake’ during our intermission.” Following the festival screenings, there will be the annual Pride Dance organized by CineSLAM and Green Mountain Crossroads.

On Saturday, audiences are invited to head out to the Vermont countryside to the Organ Barn at the Tree Frog Farm in Guilford where VPL and CineSLAM will present “A Journey into Film and Performance” — a hybrid performance-film-artist talk with an introduction by John Scagliotti of CineSLAM and Sara Coffey of Vermont Performance Lab and a conversation with Carmelita Tropicana and Ela Troyano who will share excerpts from their newest collaborative hybrid work “Schwanze-Beast.” Alina Troyano, better known by her stage name Carmelita Tropicana, started by performing at the now-famous lesbian performance space known as the WOW Café. Ela Troyano is an award winning interdisciplinary filmmaker, as well as a writer, director and performer. Both have played prominent roles in the New York avant-garde film and theater movements of the 1980s. VPL has been working with Tropicana since 2014 supporting her research and development of “Schwanze-Beast.” Following the event, audience members are invited to stay for an Italian themed Picnic, sponsored by Pride of the Ocean’s LGBT Venice Film Festival.

On Sunday, VPL and Green Mountain Crossroads bring the 2015 pride weekend to a close with a wonderful opportunity for a LGBTQ-identified writers and performers in the area to participate in a “Writing and Performing Autobiography Workshop” with Tropicana and Troyano. This workshop introduces participants to writing and performing autobiography. The morning session includes writing exercises by Irene Fornes to generate original material. The second part of the session participants are led through theater and improvisation exercises to shape the writing developed in the workshop into an informal short performance. Participants are asked to bring a pen and a notebook to write as well as comfortable clothes for light stretching and visualization exercises. Open to teens and adults – no previous performance or writing experience required. The workshop sponsored in part by The Samara Fund of Vermont.

Tickets and Reservations for the CineSLAM Festival at The Latchis Theater ($10 including Pride Cake, June 19th) and VPL/CineSLAM Organ Barn event at Guilford’s Organ Barn ($12 including Italian Picnic) can be made at CineSLAM’s web site, www.cineslam.com and at the Latchis Hotel Lobby Desk. For information and registration for the workshop “Writing and Performing Autobiography” visit www.greenmountaincrossroads.org/our-events.

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ABOUT THE PARTNERS:

CineSLAM FILM FESTIVAL: CineSLAM, Vermont’s Festival of Shorts, began in response to a call from a community group of LGBT people (and some allies) meeting in Brattleboro Vermont in 2008 about creating a number of events for the first Pride Month in Southern Vermont. The Kopkind Colony, which runs workshops for journalists and filmmakers in Guilford, Vermont, was asked to participate. The administrator of Kopkind, John Scagliotti, himself a filmmaker and festival programmer, offered to create a shorts LGBT film festival under the auspices of the Kopkind Colony which was named CineSLAM. CineSLAM has continued programming shorts from around the world in its festival in southern Vermont for Pride Month based around a theme from Andrew Kopkind’s A Queer Nation (Nation Magazine, 1993): CineSLAM “reaches back to the radical roots of liberation, to the joyously skewed visions of love, culture and camp that lie outside the conventions of the straight world.” www.cineslam.com

GREEN MOUNTAIN CROSSROADS:
Green Mountain Crossroads (GMC) builds strong, healthy, and visible rural LGBTQ communities through social events, support groups, political education workshops, and multi-media outreach projects. GMC lifts up and centers the voices and experiences of rural LGBTQ people at popular events like Played Out! LGBTQ Game Night, Trans Day of Remembrance & Resistance, Friday Night Group for LGBTQ youth, and the Tri-State Gay Men’s Social. We believe that collective liberation for all people is possible and that rural LGBTQ people play a critical role in the collective movement toward justice. www.greenmountaincrossroads.org

VERMONT PERFORMANCE LAB: VPL is a Guilford-based non-profit arts organization dedicated to supporting artists in the creation and development of new work and bringing artistic experiences to rural Vermont communities. Since 2006 VPL has brought artists of regional, national and international stature to elementary classrooms in Marlboro and Guilford, to youth in Brattleboro and Bellows Falls through partnerships with Youth Services and the Windham County Regional Career Center Program and various community halls and theaters including the Broad Brook Grange, the Marlboro Town House, the Bellows Falls Opera House, Marlboro College and New England Youth Theater. Last year VPL’s community and education programs served more than 1,500 students, families, young professionals and seniors in Windham County through workshops, informal performances and art-making experiences. www.vermontperformancelab.org

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EVENT INFORMATION:
VERMONT PRIDE WEEKEND: June 19-21 various locations in Southern Vermont
Friday June 19th Opening Night CineSLAM Vermont’s only LGBT Film Festival screening of short films including Ela Troyano’s film featuring Carmelita Tropicana “Your Kunst is your Waffen”
7pm @ The Latchis Theater, Brattleboro, VT
TICKETS: $10 available at www.cineslam.com

Saturday June 20th Artist talk and Italian picnic
“A Journey into Film and Performance” features VPL Lab Artists Carmelita Tropicana & Ela Troyano, John Scagliotti and Sara Coffey for a show and tell on the topic of hybrid form of performance and film. Featuring films excerpts from a new work in development “Schwanze Beast”
2pm @ Organ Barn @ Tree Frog Farm in Guilford, VT
TICKETS: $12 includes the talk and an Italian picnic available at www.cineslam.com

Sunday June 21st: Workshop: Writing and Performing Autobiography
with performance art icon Carmelita Tropicana and filmmaker/director Ela Troyano
Many contemporary artists use autobiography to write and perform their work: Lisa Kron, Spalding Gray, John Leguizamo, etc. This workshop introduces participants to writing and performing autobiography. Open to LGBTQ identified teens and adults – no previous performance or writing experience required. Limited to 15 people.
$15 fee includes workshop + lunch + a CineSLAM Festival pass – pre-registration required
For more registration and information visit www.greenmountaincrossroads.org/our-events

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