I am feeling a lot of gratitude for everyone who has donated and those who are working on and will attend the benefit for Fran. You all are awesome!!! It is because of each of you that she is able to start treatment. It is a long road but I know that with your continued support she will heal! Then the world better watch out!! :) I wish I could hug everyone of you. I have been pulling together a page where folks can learn about Fran, learn about the disease etc... you can check it out here www.helphealfran.org
October 1, 2008 The Hella Pretty Army: A Benefit for Fran Varian
On October 1st an army of San Francisco’s revolutionary and passionate writers, musicians, performers and art makers will come together at the San Francisco Center for Sex and Culture to throw a big ass party and benefit for Fran Varian.
Poet, activist and organizer Fran Varian has spent her life creating art, and poetry that is intense, powerful and a politcal punch in gut. Giving voice to the women, the fighters, the poor, the queer, the disenfranchised, Fran has spent her artistic life fighting for people's rights and voices. In addition to her art - she has also spent her entire life as a health worker, counselor and activist for the rights of women around health care and reproductive freedom. Ironically it is a lack of access to health care that has brought Fran to a serious health condition. Recently diagnosed with late stage Lyme disease, Fran is literally battling for her life after 14 years of mis-diagnosis allowing this disease to destroy her system. At this stage of the illness there is only one type of treatment that has shown positive results and this benefit is fighting for the funds to ensure that Fran can complete the full cycle of treatment.
With performers including Mark Growden, Lauren Wheeler, Vagabondage, Meliza Bañales , Katrina James, Heathen Machinery, Steven Schwartz, Gina de Vries and more, a silent auction that includes one of a kind art, couture fashion, handmade chapbooks and more, plus rumors of an onsite kissing booth the night is sure to be a celebration of life, art and the power of people coming together to help someone that has dedicated their life to helping the community.
Come to the show and join Fran's Hella Pretty Lyme Fighting Army!!
The Performers Mark Growden
Mark Growden is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer, painter, printer, and father based in SF. Some people think he smells good.
Lauren Wheeler is a recovering slam poet who competed at the National Poetry Slam in 1998, as a member of the renegade Team SF-Mission District, and again in 1999, as a member and the coach of Team Ithaca, NY. She has featured at Cornell University, where she studied English Literature, as well as in Los Angeles, Miami, and throughout the Bay Area. Lauren curated and hosted two poetry series in Ithaca, Tongue & Groove at Stella's Wine and Whiskey Bar and Re-Verse at the Oak Café, and was a core organizer of the ForWord Girls poetry and spoken word festival in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in Lodestar Quarterly, Other Magazine, and 365 Tomorrows.
Walking the dirty streets of the big city and the farm towns, Vagabondage sings you tales of lonely alleyways, late night busrides and unfortunate incidents with spicy spicy food. Comprised of a poet, an actor, a storyteller, a ham, a vaudevillian, an accordion player, two guitar players, a kazoo player, and two singers, this duo will sing songs to make you laugh, cry, and raise your glass and sing along.
Katrina James had her first short story published in 1998 and has been creating a steadily growing body of tales ever since. She also co-produced the cult public access show "kittypr0n" and has acted in and worked behind-the-scenes on several San Francisco stage productions, including "Night of the Living Dead," Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy," "The Twilight Zone," and "Zippy the Pinhead." She currently spends her days disguised as a mild-mannered office manager.
heathen machinery: writer, mother, explosives expert. what's the worst that could happen? Meliza Bañales
Meliza Bañales is originally from Los Angeles. She has taught writing at UCSC and SFSU as well as at numerous conferences and workshops. She has been writing and performing for the last fifteen years. She published her first poems when she was seventeen in The Lesbian News. She went on to become the first Latina to ever win a Poetry Slam Championship on the west coast in 2002(Oakland), the 2002 winner of the People Before Profits Poetry Prize, and published her first book, Say It With Your Whole Mouth, at the age of twenty-five which went on to be nominated for the Poetry Center Book Award in 2004. Her writing has been featured in the anthologies Revolutionary Voices (ed., by Ami Sonny); Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing-Up Working-Class (ed., by Michelle Tea); The Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Change; Baby, Remember My Name: New Queer Girl Writing (ed., Michelle Tea); and Word Warriros: 35 Women Leaders of the Spoken-Word Movement (ed., Alex Olsen) as well as Lodestar Quarterly and Finery. She is currently finishing a second manuscript of poems, 51 Poems About Nothing At All. Bañales is currently working on a one-woman-show, One Bad Year, as an artist-in-residence for Airspace in San Francisco. She was also the winner of a 2008 QCC Grant for the National Queer Arts Festival for the show Coming-Out…Again which features new work around multiple identities within the queer community. She has also written and directed for the Twilight Zone Festival at the Dark Room Theater in San Francisco. She has been on three national poetry slam teams (Santa Cruz, Santa Curz/Salinas, Oakland) and has toured with the notorious spoken-word roadshow Sister Spit: The Next Generation. She is also one-half of the punk performance-art duo, Las Damas, with Celestina Pearl set to go on tour in Spring 2009. Las Damas will also appear in the photo book by Del La Grace and Ulrika Dahl entitled Femmes of Power: Expoloding Queer Feminities in the fall of 2008. Bañales is also a clothing designer under the name Missy Fuego. She is one-half of the design team Never Never Designs with Boston-based designer and leather craftsman Jacob Vaughn Gushue.
Gina de Vries
Gina de Vries is a queer femme writer, rabble-rouser, and Paisan. Her fiction, journalism, memoir, and smut have appeared dozens of places, including: Baby, Remember My Name, Dirty Girls, TransForming Community, That's Revolting!, Bound to Struggle: Where Kink & Radical Politics Meet, make/shift magazine, and Curve magazine (where she was a columnist from 1997-2004). Currently, Gina curates shows for queer performance series San Francisco in Exile, blogs for national LGBT blog Bilerico, and teaches a writing workshop for sex workers at Center for Sex & Culture. She can be cruised online at ginadevries.com. additional performers to be announced If you have something (your time / silent auction items / performance) to donate for the show please leave a comment.
The Hella Pretty Army: A Benefit for Fran Varian Doors at 7pm, show at 7:30pm $10 - 20 (no one turned away for lack of funds - but it IS a benefit) Center for Sex and Culture 1519 Mission St San Francisco, CA 94103 (415) 552-7399