Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



About Face Theater hosts Leppen Leadership Awards
by Vern Hester

This article shared 4176 times since Tue May 23, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

On May 14, About Face Theater presented its Leppen Leadership Awards to members of the LGBTQ+ community for their activism and service.

The organization normally awards two individuals a year but decided to expand this year, honoring eight individuals, in order to make up for the two years when the Covid-19 made the awards ceremony impossible.

The May 14 event which took place at the Den Theater, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave., following a performance of Gender Play.

The 2023 recipients of the Leppen Leadership Award included:

Victor Salvo: As an LGBTQ activist for over forty years, Salvo has helped establish several political advocacy groups and two charitable-provider agencies, co-founded two professional associations, worked on numerous electoral campaigns, and served on several boards. He co-founded and serves as CEO of the Legacy Project, which educates the public about the many roles LGBTQ+ people have contributed in the advancement of world history and culture. Salvo's award was presented by Amy Hutchison.

Angela Barnes and Renauda Riddle: Barnes and Riddle are co-owners of Nobody's Darling, a North Side bar in Chicago that has evolved into a central location for celebrating LGBTQ+ culture, inclusivity and community. Nobody's Darling is a woman-centered, woman forward cocktail bar welcoming the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC community—as well as all other community members. It is one of only two Black- and queer- owned bars in Chicago. Barnes and Riddle's award was presented by Logan Jones.

Sam Kirk: Kirk, a Chicago-based muti-disciplinary artist, undertakes work for public spaces that explores culture, identity politics, the visibility of women, communities of color, social issues and members of the LGBTQIA community. She is the first woman and the first American to participate in the Annual CASAMOUJ Street Art Festival in Morocco and her work has been featured in a number of publications. Kirk's award was presented by Adithi Chandrashkar and accepted by Alison Schniffer.

Gloria "Mama Gloria" Allen: A transgender activist and social educator who grew up on Chicago's South Side, Allen transitioned before Stonewall. After overcoming violence in high school, Allen went on to earn an LPN and worked at University of Chicago Hospital as a nurse's aide. In her later years, she pioneered a charm school for young transgender adults at Center on Halsted, offering lessons on love, self-love, manners, and make-up. Since the charm school was not a paid position, Allen often used her own money to provide meals for her students. She passed away at 76 in June of 2022. Allen's award was presented by Taylor Mason and was accepted by friend and neighbor Donald Bell.

Art Johnston and Pepe Pena: As civil rights and business leaders, whose iconic bar Sidetrack has evolved into a both social and economic center for its neighborhood, Johnston and Pena have provided political and financial support for LGBTQ+-rights initiatives for decades. Their work helped build Equality Illinois, among other organizations, while they also proved a community-based entertainment and safe space for the community. Johnston and Pena's award was presented by Michael Leppen.

Willa J. Taylor: An educator and storyteller, not to mention Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Goodman Theater, Taylor has collaborated with community partners to transform learning and bring about systematic change by using art-based strategies. She has created education and community programs for Lincoln Center, New Victory and Arena Stages, and has lectured on theater and social change as an adjunct professor at DePaul University has lectured on theater and social change. Taylor's award was presented by author E. Patrick Johnson.

About Face, whose stated mission is to "advance LGBTQ equity through community building, education and performance," has been distributing the Leppen Leadership Award, which was named for founding supporter and consultant Michael Leppen, since 2001.

This article shared 4176 times since Tue May 23, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

Theater Review: Billy Elliot, The Musical 2024-02-19
- Book and Lyrics: Lee Hall; Music: Elton John. At: Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora Tickets: 630-896-6666 or; $28-$79. Runs through March 24 Billy Elliot: The Musical may nearly be two decades old, but ...

Gay News

'West Side Story' gets a sex-positive spin with new burlesque show 2024-02-19
- In partial observance of National Condom Day, which was Feb. 14, Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) presented A West Side Story Burlesque at the Harris Theater for two hour-long performances on Feb. 17. The show, ...

Gay News

Second Glance Productions hosts LGBTQupid Soiree 2024-02-16
- In celebration of Valentine's Day, Chicago based film and media production company Second Glance hosted The LBGTQupid Soiree. The event, which was focused on spinning attitudes on this particular day, was presented at The iO ...

Gay News

Carisa Hendrix mesmerizes as Lucy Darling in Teatro ZinZanni 2024-02-12
- Since 2019, Teatro ZinZanni has gathered together amazing performers from all over the world to create an experience in Chicago under the Spiegeltent in the Cambria Hotel building, 32 W. Randolph St. Over the years, ticket ...

Gay News

THEATER Dot-Marie Jones talks Goodman production, 'Glee,' 'Bros' 2024-02-12
- Running through Feb. 18 at the the Goodman Theatre, the production Highway Patrol works with a script conceived entirely from Emmy-winning actor Dana Delany's (TV's China Beach) digital archive of hundreds of tweets and direct messages ...

Gay News

Dr. Lady J explains how opera can be a drag 2024-02-10
- On Feb. 8, Center on Halsted, in partnership with Lyric Opera of Chicago, presented a lecture by historian, drag activist, podcaster and curator Dr. Lady J. The event, titled "Castrated Superstars, Cross Dressed Divas, and Queer ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Raven-Symone, women's sports, Wayne Brady, Jinkx Monsoon, British Vogue 2024-02-09
- In celebration of Black History Month, the LA LGBT Center announced that lesbian entertainer Raven-Symone will be presented with the Center's Bayard Rustin Award at its new event, Highly Favored, per a press release. She joins ...

Gay News

Chicago-based production company to host all-inclusive, LGBTQ-focused Valentine's Day event 2024-02-07
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Second Glance Productions will host the LGBTQupid Soiree this Valentines Day, Wednesday, February 14, 2024. The event will be held at the iO Theater, 1501 N. Kingsbury St., from 6 pm to 11 pm ...

Gay News

THEATER Nostalgic 'Sunsets' still offers a timely reflection of LGBTQ+ community 2024-02-07
- Nostalgia reigned on a variety of scales this past weekend in Chicago. During her Celebration tour, at a majestically packed United Center, Madonna acknowledged the last 40 years of her career, highlighting her '80s interactions with ...

Gay News

The Jeff Awards announces the 50th-anniversary non-Equity theater nominations 2024-02-06
--From a press release - (Feb. 6, 2024 - Chicago) — Celebrating its 50th anniversary awarding recognition for Non-Equity theater, the Joseph Jefferson Awards announces its nominations for theater excellence among Non-Equity theater during the ...

Gay News

DANCE Choreographer Dwight Rhoden talks David Bowie, Alvin Ailey, queerness 2024-01-31
- In "STAR DUST: A Ballet Tribute to David Bowie," Complexions Contemporary Ballet co-founders Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson—backed by their Alvin Ailey lineage—and their dance troupe tackle many of the ...

Gay News

Broadway star Chita Rivera dies at 91 2024-01-30
- Chita Rivera—a Broadway legend with more than seven decades of credits—has died at age 91 after a short illness, People Magazine reported. "It is with immense personal sorrow that I announce the death of the beloved ...

Gay News

Rue-ing the day: Vince Kelley drags out Blanche's charm in Golden Girls spoof 2024-01-26
- Picture it. Broadway Playhouse. 2024. Four queer men dress in drag to portray iconic women. Murray & Peter present Golden Girls: The Laughs Continue, a parody written by Robert Leleux and directed by Eric Swanson. The ...

Gay News

Out truth-teller Jeff Hiller takes his act on the road 2024-01-21
- Jeff Hiller is an openly gay American storyteller who is bringing his act to the Midwest in February. He's making his way across the United States while filming the third season of HBO's Somebody Somewhere and ...

Gay News

Upcoming Lyric Opera performance Champion explores famed boxer's gay identity 2024-01-21
- Grammy Award-winning composer Terence Blanchard and Tony Award-winning librettist Michael Cristofer's opera, Champion, is set for its Lyric Opera of Chicago debut Jan. 27. It runs through Feb. 11. This contemporary "opera in jazz" features the ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.