Let Your Freak Flag Fly During Out in the Tropics, Miami's Queer Arts Festival

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June is arguably the best time of year to be gay. Or queer, or bi, or trans. In Miami, we have an extra reason to celebrate our pride with Out in the Tropics, a performing arts festival with an LGBT theme. Don't get us wrong - the gay theme is usually the only thing the performances have in common - the festival offers a very varied schedule.

Andrea Askowitz, from Lip Service: True Stories Out Loud, shares, "I love that Lip Service is participating in Out in the Tropics. We're taking a very broad approach to queer art. We didn't do anything different than we always do.  We asked people to submit true stories.  The best stories we get are always about being different--the stories about someone trying to figure out who he or she is.  This is queer in my book, no matter what the subject. Out in the Tropics is relevant and fun because it illuminates differences in an interesting and accessible way."

And, again, don't get us wrong. Just because it's a queer performing

arts festival, doesn't meet straight people do not attend. "Part of my

personal goal with this year's festival, is to bring together both the

GLBTQ community and the 'straight' community," explains Susan Caraballo

from Fundarte, the arts organization putting on the event.

Susan continues, "I am not a huge fan of labels, but I do see the

importance of a GLBTQ arts festival, especially for the GLBTQ

community.  I am also really interested in the 'straight' community

coming out as well to see the work of GLBTQ artists." 

"Last year, Teatro

El Público's Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant attracted a very mixed

audience. This year, Keith Hennessy/ Zero Performance's piece Crotch (pictured above) has

the potential to attract the vibrant visual arts community with its

strong Joseph Beuys component.  Really, all of the artists would appeal

to the wider public. I really do hope our audiences are as diverse as

the community that we live in."

The festival opens with a free panel discussion and reception at the

Shore Club (1901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) on Thursday at 9 p.m. On

Friday at 8 p.m., check out recording artist, Bitch, at the Colony

Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach), whose "mouthy wordplay and

virtuous electric violin playing are ferociously hot" according to the

Village Voice.

Out in the Tropics starts tomorrow and runs until June 19. Individual tickets cost between $15 and $20 and VIP

festival passes cost $100. Call 305-910-7898 or visit fundarte.us.

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