In what organizers are promising will be one of the hippest benefits of the year, Project Inform is presenting Swimwear for a Cause Saturday, May 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Phoenix Hotel, 601 Eddy Street in San Francisco.
Under the tagline "See. Be seen," a cocktail-style evening awaits attendees, who will be dazzled by stunning models walking poolside in this spring's hottest swimwear, all to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.
"This is a time of hope, renewal, and possibility in the fight against HIV and hepatitis C," said Dana Van Gorder, Project Inform's executive director. "It seems fitting to use the advent of spring, and the beauty of life we seek to protect, to celebrate the strides being made against these two epidemics."
Project Inform does public policy work around HIV/AIDS and hep C, as well as offers an HIV health info line (1-800-822-7422, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; for Bay Area residents and international callers, 415-558-9051). The agency is also involved with advocacy work around the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and health care reform.
Tickets for Swimwear for a Cause are $50; hotel packages start at $500. To purchase tickets, visit www.projectinform.org.
API HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Today (Thursday, May 3) is National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and the API Wellness Center will present Taking Root: Our Stories, Our Community from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics, 518 Valencia Street (between 16th ad 17th streets) in San Francisco.
The evening will include a screening of digital stories, food, and performances commemorating the eighth annual National API HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
For more information, visit www.apiwellness.org.
Jane Lynch at Grace Cathedral
Actress Jane Lynch will be in conversation with the Very Reverend Dr. Jane Shaw, the out lesbian dean of Grace Cathedral, on Sunday, May 6 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church's Gresham Hall, 1100 California Street (at Taylor) in San Francisco.
Lynch's appearance at the Forum is part of the church's series of conversations about faith and ethics in relation to the issues of the day. Lynch is an out actress who has appeared in several movies and currently stars in Fox's Glee television series.
Lynch is also being honored on Saturday, May 5 at the National Center for Lesbian Rights' 35th anniversary gala.
Admission for the Grace Cathedral conversation is free; there is a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. The event is open to the public.
For more information, visit www.gracecathedral.org.
Petchitecture 17 coming up
You can dress up your dog and take him out to Petchitecture 17, the benefit for Pets Are Wonderful Support that takes place Friday, May 11 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Palace Hotel, 2 New Montgomery Street in San Francisco.
More than 800 human guests and their well-behaved canine companions will be treated to a gala that includes one-of-a-kind pet habitats created by some of the Bay Area's leading architects and designers.
Live and silent auctions will feature an array of wine, fine dining, entertainment, and lifestyle packages. Guests will dine on the Palace's award-winning cuisine and there will be a short program highlighting PAWS' comprehensive companion animal services for low-income seniors and people living with HIV/AIDS and other disabling illnesses.
"With the lavish surroundings and amazing cuisine of the Palace Hotel, hundreds of good friends and supporters, and 200 pups dressed in their finest woof-wear, Petchitecture is truly a party with a purpose," said PAWS President Kevin Kosik.
Photographers will also be on hand to capture the evening's festivities. Fully licensed and vaccinated dogs on leash are welcome.
Individual tickets are $160 and available online at www.pawssf.org. For more information, call (415) 979-9550.
Oakland gay men's chorus in concert
The Oakland East Bay Gay Men's Chorus will start its 14th concert year with The Writes of Spring on Saturday, May 5 in Napa and next weekend in Oakland.
The concerts will premiere several new works and arrangements, including one commissioned by the chorus. The chorus will also release its first CD, Oakland-East Bay Gay Men's Chorus: The First Ten Years at the upcoming concerts.
"We are pleased to present original compositions and arrangements from friends of the chorus as well as its own members," said Stephanie Lynne Smith, interim artistic director. "In addition, it is our extreme honor to premiere a new piece commissioned by the chorus with text from Mountain Thoughts by John Muir set to music by San Francisco Conservatory student Red Bennett."
The Napa concert takes place at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 625 Randolph Street.
The Oakland performances take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 12 and 5 p.m. Sunday, May 13 at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, 3534 Lakeshore Avenue.
Ticket prices for all concerts is $25 premiere, $20 general, and $15 students and seniors and can be purchased by visiting www.oebgmc.org.
SF Rent Board to hold forum
The San Francisco Rent Board will hold a free landlord-tenant neighborhood outreach event on Saturday, May 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street.
Staff from the city department will give a short overview of the rent control ordinance. Topics covered will include rent increases, eviction regulations, security deposits and interest, roommates and subletting, master tenants, and landlord passthroughs. Attendees will be provided with valuable rental and eviction information and have an opportunity to meet briefly with staff to discuss their individual concerns. If tenants are in a rental dispute with their landlord/master tenant or a landlord has grounds for a lawful rent increase, the rent board provides arbitration and mediation services with no filing cost to the parties. Petition forms will be available and staff will assist all parties to understand when and how to file.
"It's important to get out there in the community because a lot of people, including those who are new to the city or who make informal roommate situations, don't realize how city law impacts them until problems start to come up," said Greg Miller, rent board community outreach coordinator.
The rent board is located at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 320 (at Market) and is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone counseling is available 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. at (415) 252-4602. More information is available at www.sfrb.org.
Latino Prevention Center to host open house
The Latino Prevention Center will celebrate its opening with a reception Thursday, May 10 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at 1663 Mission Street, Suite 603 in San Francisco.
The center is a joint venture with Instituto Familiar de la Raza Inc. and Mission Neighborhood Health Center and will provide services to the Latino LGBTQ community at risk for living with HIV. The center will utilize culturally-informed and evidenced-based practices. Officials said the center's vision is to enhance the resilience of individuals and promote the well-being of the Latino LGBTQ community.
To RSVP, email Jayvani Garcia by May 7 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline extended for Rainbow Honor Walk designs
Organizers of the proposed Rainbow Honor Walk in the Castro have extended the deadline to submit design proposals for the LGBT history project. The delay means that the first section of the walk will not be unveiled in October, as organizers had hoped.
In February the project sponsors announced they were asking the public for help in determining what plaques dedicated to famous LGBT people should look like. The winning entrant will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize.
Entries had been required to be delivered by May 1. But last week the honor walk's board voted to push the deadline to July 15. They also are dropping the $100 entry fee.
"We were overly optimistic, and should have given ourselves more time. Just now we're beginning to get queries from designers, artists, and design schools," David Perry, a co-founder of the project, told the Bay Area Reporter. "Also, serendipitously, we can now use the attention of gay Pride in June to make a final push for entries. That still allows us to have an approved design by National Coming Out Day."
Organizers have already settled on the first 20 nominees, who include poet Allen Ginsberg and artist Keith Haring as well as writers Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf. Markers explaining each person's contributions to society will be installed into the sidewalk in the city's gayborhood.
It is estimated that the first set of 20 plaques will cost at least $100,000. No date has been announced for when they will be installed.
For more information about the design contest guidelines and how to submit entries, visit: http://rainbowhonorwalk.org/?page_id=201.
Horizons announces new scholarship
Horizons Foundation announced this week the establishment of the New Road scholarship, a fund to support LGBT Asian-Pacific Islander students entering their first year of college in the Bay Area.
The fund was established by an anonymous donor and will award as many as four $1,000 scholarships for 2012. According to Horizons' Kevin Herglotz, the donor received a university scholarship 20 years ago and worked with the foundation to establish the New Road fund as a way to help students achieve their educational goals.
The deadline for applications is May 31. For more information, visit www.horizonsfoundation.org/page/organizations/scholarships. The page also lists several other scholarships administered by Horizons; some deadlines have already passed, but interested students can check out the page for details.
Matthew S. Bajko contributed to this report.