current issue | main page | classifieds | special events | weekly events | web rates | site stats | feedback!

in the news/segment 1
A M B U S H  M A G  2 0 0 0   -   V O L U M E  1 5   -   I S S U E  8

LAGPAC Endorsed Candidate Makes Run-Off

The Louisiana Lesbian and Gay Political Action Caucus (LAGPAC) announces its continued support for incumbent William Bowers in the District 6 School Board Run-off Election to be held May 3rd.

"Bill Bowers, as former chair of the Human Relations Commission of New Orleans, has demonstrated insight and ideas for implementing policies of concern to lesbians and gay men," said LAGPAC Co-chair Christopher Daigle.

Bowers received 31% of the votes cast in the April 5th primary. He faces Woody Koppel, a teacher, who benefited from his father's name recognition.

For more information about LAGPAC, visit our website, or leave a message at 504.836.9086 requesting a return call or brochure.

Thurman A Strong Choice To Lead Office
Of National AIDS Policy, HRC Says

The Human Rights Campaign re-cently commended the selection of Sandra L. Thurman as the new White House "AIDS czar." "Sandra Thurman is a solid choice to take the Office of National AIDS Policy to the next level," said Elizabeth Birch, HRC's executive director. "She brings the right mix of leadership, political skills and commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS."

Winnie Stachelberg, HRC's legislative director, said Thurman has the experience to design and execute the administration's programs in the changing struggle to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

"Thurman was intricately involved in the creation and enactment of the Ryan White CARE Act in 1990 and its reauthorization in 1995," said Stachelberg, who is a member of the executive committee of the umbrella group National Organizations Responding to AIDS. "She knows AIDS policy and politics from the inside-a critical combination of skills for this job."

Thurman becomes the third person to hold the position known informally as the national AIDS czar. She replaces Patsy Fleming, who stepped down after President Clinton's re-election. The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian and gay political organization, with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that lesbian and gay Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

1st Annual Comedians For Kids

The T.A.L.K. Foundation, Inc. For Teaching And Loving Kids, a non-profit organization, will present its first fund-raising endeavor with a Comedy Show starring the irascible Ms. Sandra Bernhard (with local talent to be announced) on Thursday, May 1 at 8 pm at the State Palace Theater.

The primary objective of this event is that 80% of the funds raised from the sale of tickets to this engagement will benefit the Orleans Parish Schools. Money will be evenly distributed to the educational, fine arts, and athletic departments. The goal is to raise an estimated $40,000. For the school systems of Orleans Parish.

Petronius Goes To "Pageant"

The Krewe of Petronius announces that it has acquired the first two performances, Wednesday, May 21 and Thursday, May 22 at 8 pm, of the New Orleans premiere of the Off-Broadway musical comedy hit, Pageant, created by Bill Russell, Frank Kelly and Robert Langbottom, produced locally by All Kinds Of Theater, directed by Carl Walker, with musical direction by Michael Howard, and featuring Petronius' own reigning Queen XXXV Wess Hughes as the emcee, Frankie Cavalier. Roy Haylock designs the warped wardrobe.

What makes this drag beauty contest different is its interactivty between the contestants, the emcee and the audience, which ultimately votes on its favorite of six contestants: Brooks Braselman's Miss Deep South, Russell Hodgkinson's Miss Great Plains, Douglas Parks' Miss Bible Belt, Steve Sherman's Miss Texas, Paul Soileau's Miss Industrial Northeast or Ken Weatherup's Miss West Coast-to say nothing of its outrageous musical numbers.

Tickets for these two shows which will benefit the krewe can be purchased from any krewe member or by calling Captain Mickey Gil at 504.525.4498, or at Cosimo's Bar, corner of Gov. Nicholls and Burgundy, daily between noon & 7 pm.

New Orleans Area PFLAG Announces 7th Annual
Scholarship Champagne Reception

The New Orleans Area Chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) will hold its 7th Annual Scholarship Champagne Reception Saturday, May 3,1997 at 7:30 pm at the Carousel at City Park.

The local PFLAG chapter has awarded over $75,000 in scholarships to 72 lesbian and gay students. This year they will award at least $15,000 in scholarships to 15 students.

The purpose of the awards is to recognize outstanding gay and lesbian youth from the community, encourage continuing education for self-identified gay and lesbian youth and foster a positive image of lesbian and gay youth in society.

This year's event which will be held at the Carousel in City Park promises to be an unforgettable evening. Michael Atwater, a past recipient will speak about what the scholarship has meant to him. A special presentation will be made to Dr. Mike Kaiser who recently resigned as Executive Director of the NO/AIDS Task Force to take a position in Washington D.C. In Honor of Dr. Kaiser's ongoing support of PFLAG and his tireless leadership in the battle against HIV/AIDS the New Orleans, Area Chapter of PFLAG is naming a scholarship in his honor.

Refreshments will include wine, champagne and hors d'oeuvres from some of the areas finest establishments.

Tickets will be available at the door for $30 per person. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $25 per person or individuals and businesses can participate in advance at one of two levels: Partner in Education at $100 or Host at $50.

Partners in Education receive four tickets to the event and Hosts receive two. Both groups will be acknowledged in the program.

Donations for Partner in Education and Host must be received by April 25 to be listed in the program.

Donations can be sent to: PFLAG, P.O. Box 15515, New Orleans, LA 70175.

NOMA Plays Host To Jazz Fest Film Festival

The New Orleans Museum of Art is proud to host the 1997 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Film and Video Screening, a three-day celluloid celebration that features not only the music that has made the region famous but films from this year's featured country, Mali. Screenings are Tuesday, April 29; Wednesday, April 30; and Thursday, May 1.

For the second year, the screenings will be in the air-conditioned comfort of NOMA's 220-seat Stern Auditorium NOMA is within walking distance of the festival site at the Fair Grounds. The films are free with Museum admission, which is $6 for adults, $5 for those age 65 and older and $3 for children ages 3-17. Members are admitted free at all times. Because of space limitations, free seating passes win be given out at the Museum's admissions desk on a first-come, first-served basis beginning one hour before each film time. there is no reserved seating.

The film festival will take place during NOMA's showing of the acclaimed exhibition Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures, showcasing nearly 100 renderings of Wyeth's longtime secret model.

Films to be shown this year include two award-winning films from Mali, Guimba the Tyrant and Yeleen, and the French film Latcho Drom. All three are subtitled in English. Other films are music-oriented and include New Orleans greats from Sidney Bechet (in a 1932 feature) to Clifton Chenier, plus more.

Tuesday, April 29, noon: Header Reception. The film festival opens with a reception that gives the audience an opportunity to gather with other film enthusiasts. 1:30 p.m: Guimba the Tyrant, Directed by Cheick Oumar Sissoko, is one of the most visually ravishing African films ever made. A fable about power, its atrocities and absurdities, it won Africa's most prestigious film award in 1995. 3:30 p.m: Yeleen. Film Comment calls Yeleen, directed by Souleuymane Cisse, "the best African film ever made." A sci-fi tour de force set during the powerful Mali Empire of the 13th century, Yeleen is a highly imaginative contemporary response to the seminal West African quest myth.

Wednesday, April 30, noon: The Show. This documentary, which contains adult language, takes a look at the inner workings of the Hip Hop community with concert footage and interviews with artists like Snoop Doggy Dogg and the late Notorious B.I.G. 3 p.m: Latcho Drom. This cinematically beautiful and sensitive film depicts the life and culture of gypsies from Northern Africa to Eastern Europe and beyond.

Thursday, May I, noon: New Orleans Music Artist Review. This collection of films and shorts includes Sidney Bechet in Moon Over Harlem, James Booker in Molde Jazz, Clifton Chenier in Zydeco Gumbo and Danny Barker in selected shorts. 3:15 p.m: The Music District. This film highlights four Washington, D.C., based musical groups: The Orioles, a three-generations-old R&B quartet; The Four Echoes, a 50-year-old jubilee gospel quartet; The Junk Yard Band, which originally used cans and buckets to drum out go-go music; and the Kings of Harmony, a thundering brass shout band steeped in the gospel tradition.

NOMA Unveils Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures

Helga Testorf was Andrew Wyeth's secret from the beginning - planned, calculated and organized. She posed for him in places where they were assured they would not be discovered. Now, twenty years later, the New Orleans Museum of Art proudly reveals the product of this secret relationship in Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures, on view for the first time ever in New Orleans, the last stop of a national tour. This suite of pictures is unquestionably the finest of Wyeth's work and represents an art essay of the 15 years spent with his secret model. Their relationship was kept from Andrew's wife, Betsy, Helga's husband, John, and the rest of the world, save the few who conspired with the two. The nearly 100 sketches, loose watercolors, and tempera paintings are on view from April 25 through June 29, 1997.

At 79 Andrew Wyeth is still a lively and active painter. Despite the near-fatal removal of a lung and a recent hip replacement, Wyeth sets out each morning in his Suburban to wander the countryside near his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, working in the same feverish manner as always. As the son of famed illustrator N.C. Wyeth, Andrew learned discipline, determination and the art of deception. N.C. was determined to make his home a hothouse of imagination, untouched by outside influences. "Wyeth both worshiped his larger-than-life father and came to resent his gravitational pull," wrote George Colt in a recent Life article. Many say that after N. C.'s death Betsy became Andrew's father figure. Indeed, Wyeth repeated the syndrome he had lived with his father, simultaneously seeking Betsy's judgement and feeling stifled and overpowered.

In 1972 Andrew began creating a secret world with Helga Testorf. And Helga, a homesick and lonely Prussian immigrant, was transformed through posing for Wyeth. "I became alive. It shows in the pictures. I became young overnight. I've never done anything more worthwhile." she has said.

At first she posed for him at a neighbor's house where she worked, and then at Andrew's childhood home where his eccentric and in firmed sister, Carolyn, lived the life of a recluse. Andrew hired Helga to tend to his sister. He painted Helga during the day, and every evening at 5 he returned to Betsy while his secret model stole through the woods. There was no danger of Betsy discovering Helga, but Betsy's curiosity and suspicion were aroused by any decrease in her husband's normal output of paintings Andrew felt pressured to account for his time and from 1970 until 1985 he delivered sixty temperas on other subjects. Though he largely kept his sessions with Helga secret, in 1977 Wyeth told a friend about a mysterious model and a hidden body of work -"in case anything happens to me." He said that if Betsy found out, "it would finish me."

A strategy was devised to confuse Betsy. Wyeth would paint a series of pictures and then repaint them using different models. In three different paintings he hid Helga inside black skin. After seeing two of the Helga pictures Wyeth's son remarked, "My father was tom between realizing the stuff was important work, and yet realizing his life would be hell once my mother learned about it." The scheme continued when the paintings were moved from a friend's attic to the Brandywine River Museum vault, where Director James Duff helped keep the secret by personally crating and falsely labeling each picture.

"Wyeth believed that the Helga pictures were so radically different and unexpected they would revive his stature in the art world and break his image as a mere painter of Americana" writes Richard Meryman in his new book, Andrew Wyeth: A Secret Life. Wyeth needed to know whether his judgement was accurate. In October 1985 (with their son Jamie present as a buffer), Wyeth revealed his secret to Betsy. Although seeing this body of work permanently scarred their marriage, Betsy recalls, "If I hadn't have liked them, I would have killed him." The same paintings that shocked Betsy and the art world are now after a decade being unveiled for a fresh look at Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures.

An audiocasette tour of the exhibition is available for $3. A full-color catalog, available in the Museum Shop, will accompany the exhibition. More information about the exhibition are available at NOMA's site on the World Wide Web,

current issue | main page | classifieds | special events | weekly events | web rates | site stats | feedback!


AMBUSH onLINE: a list | america | bars | mardi gras | rainbow award | southern decadence
ambush mag 2000 | becky allen tour | new orleans | gulf south directory

Copyright © 1997 Ambush, Inc. All Rights Reserved ®
Rip Naquin-Delain | Sonny Cleveland | George Patterson

828-A Bourbon Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70116-3137 USA
PH 504.522.8047 FAX 504.522.0907
OUTSIDE LOUISIANA 1.800.876.1484