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Volume 15/Issue 25

The Christmas Season And Beyond
At The Vieux Carre Metropolitan Community Church

For the last two weekends of Advent, the Vieux Carre MCC, 1128 St. Roch Ave. (504.945.5390) will have a Christmas Tea Sunday, Dec. 14 at 4:15pm with tea and seasonal goodies available for sale. Johann Sebastian Stein and Leo Bookbinder will provide a concert at 5pm featuring classical, jazz, and folk music for guitar and flute. Tickets are $10.; and, on Dec. 21 a pot-luck "love feast" will commence at 4:15pm. Bring something to eat and enough to share.

Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 8pm, the Church will have a Family Carol Fest with special selections from the VCMCC children and choir plus an opportunity for everyone to sing their favorites. From 9pm - 11pm an open house will follow the Carol Fest with cookies for all. At 11pm, there will be Candle Lighting Service ending at midnight.

On Christmas Day, Dec. 25 the regular morning worship will commence at 11am, followed by Christmas Potluck. Share your dinner with the residents of Lazarus House.

Don't miss the Epiphany celebration followed by a Fiesta for Children of all ages, Jan. 4th. Mark your calendars now for the Twelfth Night Celebration, Jan. 6th, to kick off the Mardi Gras season, with a Queen and King Cake Fundraiser with lots of surprises; and, on Jan. 11th, the VCMCC celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Merry Meissen Holidays At NOMA In December

Santa's already come to the New Orleans Museum of Art and left an armload of goodies. Some treats are for the eyes only, but there are also a bevy of holiday gifts available in NOMA's Museum Shop.

In the galleries, visitors can see four extraordinary exhibitions: The Genius of Meissen: Porcelain Figures from the H. Lloyd Hawkins, Jr. Collection; Grotesqueries: Form, Fantasy and Function in 19th Century European Ceramics, The Brooke Hayward Duchin Collection; Dunbar: Mining the Surfaces; and, Bright, Bold and Shining: Copper Lustres from the Donald A. Meyer Collection. Each exhibition will remain open through January 4, 1998.

The Genius of Meissen features 350 charming figurines crafted by the oldest and most famous porcelain manufactory in the western world. This will mark the first time that The Hawkins Collection, noted for its depth, has been on public display. Grotesqueries offers the work of European ceramicists who were greatly influenced by the "rustic" creations of 16th century potter Bernard Palissy. These 150 pieces are wonderfully scaled and decorated with vividly lifelike renditions of sea creatures, shells, coral and more. Both exhibitions can be seen in the first-floor Ella West Freeman Gallery. Bright, Bold and Shining features the always popular, beautifully glazed English copper lustre ware in the Cameo Gallery of the Lupin Foundation Center for the Decorative Arts.

New Orleans area artist George Dunbar is honored in Mining the Surfaces, a solo exhibition of his two- and three-dimensional works -refined geometric paintings and reliefs - in metal leaf. The works can be seen in the Contemporary Galleries on the second floor.

A retrospective of works by retired Louisiana State University art professor Walter Rutkowski opens December 6 in NOMA's Prints and Drawings Galleries. Walter Rutkowski Drawings, which features 51 of his eerie, darkly ironic large-scale works, will remain open through March 1, 1998.

In NOMA's Asian Galleries see In the Service of the Shogun: Japanese Paintings from the Kano School, an exploration of a major artistic lineage in Japanese painting, through December 31.

NOMA's Museum Shop, always a great place for finding just the right gift, is chock full of holiday goodies. Featured items include catalogues from The Genius of Meissen, Grotesqueries, Mining the Surfaces and Walter Rutkowski Drawings, holiday cards and decorations, and artful gifts including divine decorative objects, jewelry, ties, 1998 calendars and much, much more. The Museum Shop is open from 10am until 4:45pm. NOMA members receive a 10 percent discount. If you're coming in to shop and not tour the Museum, just inform the front desk personnel when you enter. And don't forget, NOMA memberships and tickets to special events make thoughtful gifts as well.

GLAAD Releases Groundbreaking
Internet Filtering Software Report

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced Dec. 2, from the historic Internet Summit in Washington, DC, the release of their comprehensive and groundbreaking report on Internet Filtering Software and ratings systems, Access Denied: The Impact of Internet Filtering Software on the Lesbian and Gay Community.

In the wake of the Communications Decency Act decision, Reno v. ACLU, and with the Internet Summit: Focus on Children, in the nation's capital, GLAAD has completed an exhaustive survey of how Internet filtering software, and future proposed ratings systems affect the lesbian and gay community. The findings mark the first time a lesbian and gay media advocacy organization has produced research and analysis of such depth on the issue of Internet access.

"The majority of software currently on the market, as well as new products in development, place informational Web sites serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the same categories as sexually explicit sites," the executive summary reports. "The software developers are either unable or unwilling to consider that information about sexual orientation and identity (e.g., a gay square dancing site) has nothing to do with sexual behavior, and everything to do with culture and identity."

"Access Denied" contains sections analyzing the legal, political and social implications of enforced invisibility on the Web. It also includes overviews written by members of groups such as Gay and Lesbian Parents Coalition International (GLPCI) and Peacefire (an entirely youth-run cyberliberties group), as well as testimonials from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, who, as seen in the report, are those most directly affected by the lack of access to important information via the Web or Internet newsgroups.

"I urge everyone who uses the Interent to read this report, and learn the troubling implications of the widespread use of filtering software," states Joan M. Garry, GLAAD Executive Director.

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