Axel Bartolomei, remembered as a generous and prominent member of the local Latino LGBTQ community, passed away March 17 in Florida, where he had been living since February. He was 41.
Leslie Bartolomei, one of Axel's sisters, described Axel to Windy City Times as 'someone you could count on and someone who was outgoing. He was a giver He was very sociable and had so much charisma. He would come into a room and you would know he was there—and you [ would ] feel such a good vibe [ from him ] . ... He planted a little bit of himself in everybody's heart.' Growing up, she said that he was 'an outstanding person [ who ] was always very helpful; if you needed something he was there.
Citing several positions that Axel worked, including campaigning for Illinois State Rep. Ken Dunkin, Leslie said that Axel 'was everywhere. He was a legend.'
On one of its Web pages, the Association of Latino Men for Action ( ALMA ) said of Bartolomei that he 'came into this world with a spark in his eye, magic in his heart and a smile personalized for each of his friends. He gave of himself without question, listened without judgment and made us laugh when we needed it the most.'
Axel Bartolomei, who grew up in Puerto Rico and, later, Chicago, is survived by his father, Luis, and seven siblings. His mother, Ramonita 'Monin' Bartolomei, preceded him in death.
A wake was held for Bartolomei Thurs., March 20, at Alvarez Funeral, 2500 N. Cicero. A funeral was held the following day at Acacia Park Cemetery, 7800 W. Irving Park. People can send donations to help defray the cost of funeral expenses to Leslie Bartolomei, 1204 N. Oak Terrace, Round Lake Beach, Ill., 60073.
Black lesbian author receives award
Chicago-born Black lesbian performance pioneer and award-winning author Sharon Bridgforth received a National Performance Network ( NPN ) Creation Fund Award for her newest work, delta dandi.
Delta dandi, a multi-disciplinary theater piece, is an NPN Creation Fund Project that is co-commissioned by Women & Their Work in partnership with Center on Halsted and NPN. The piece follows the life of a Black female jazz musician in the '40s.
Bridgforth can bee seen at Northwestern University's upcoming Black and Latino Queer Performance Festival Sat., April 19, at 2 and 8 p.m.
See www.sharonbridgforth.com .