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Esteem Awards July 4 at Sidetrack announced the recipients of the Ninth Annual Esteem Awards, which will take place Saturday, July 4, at Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted St., 2-5 p.m.

A few of the local finalists are:

—Outstanding Service, Male: Erik Glenn, program manager of Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus (CBGMC)

—Outstanding Service, Female: Mona Noriega, chairman and commissioner of the Chicago Human Rights Commission

—Outstanding Service, Transgender: Angelica Ross, CEO of Trans Tech Social Enterprises

—Future Leaders Award (formerly Outstanding Service Youth): Jaime Frazier, founder and senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church of Chicago

—Artistic Expression Based on Another Medium: Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP)

The event is free and open to the public.

Final Amigas Latinas event July 10

The last event for the organization Amigas Latinas, "Siempre Latina—Y se acabo!," will take place Friday, July 10, at 8 p.m. at Michelle's Ballroom, 2800 W. Belmont Ave.

Amigas Latinas' founders, former board members, past and current members, friends and families will come together to celebrate the organization's 20-year-long history.

Admission is free, and there will be a cash bar. A buffet will be served. Space is very limited; RSVP at .

Taste of Chicago reveals performers

The Taste of Chicago has revealed its headlining music acts for the food festival that will take place July 8-12.

The five headlining acts are Weezer, Erykah Badu, The Chieftains, Spoon and Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly.

The 35th annual Taste of Chicago will take place in Grant Park, and festival-goers can watch the headlining musical performances at the Petrillo Music Shell. Visit

Third season of 'Transparent' OK'd

Amazon has greenlit a third season of its award-winning comedy series Transparent that will be released in 2016.

The returning cast includes Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light ( Dallas ), Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass. Series creator Soloway will continue in her role as showrunner; Andrea Sperling, who previously was co-executive producer, is now executive producer.

In addition, Soloway has signed an overall deal with Amazon Studios that will have her exclusively develop television projects for Amazon Prime.

Chicago DJ's CD out July 10

In the realm of electronica/dance, Felix Da Housecat will issue a new album, Narrative of Thee Blast Illusion, on July 10 on No Shame imprint.

The follow up to 2011's Son of Analog, Narrative of Thee Blast Illusioninvolves the Chicago-bred, two-time Grammy-nominated DJ/producer/remixer releasing an 11-track CD. "Is Everything OK," the debut single, is out now on iTunes.

Black Alphabet Film Festival July 23-26

The Black Alphabet Film Festival ( BAFF ) returns for its third outing of showcasing films and other works that highlight and explore the Black LGBTQ and same-gender-loving ( SGL ) experience on July 23-26.

This year BAFF's international film festival will now take place beginning Thursday, July 23, and closing on Sunday, July 26, at Center on Halsted and a venue to be determined in the near future.

'Loving' looks at Gertrude Stein

Kokandy Productions will continue its 2015 season with Loving Repeating, a musical tribute to the life and loves of celebrated author Gertrude Stein.

Using Stein's own works as lyrics, the production is adapted by Frank Galati ( The Grapes of Wrath; The Accidental Tourist ), with music by Stephen Flaherty ( Ragtime; Seussical ), direction by Co-Artistic Director Allison Hendrix, music direction by Resident Music Director Kory Danielson and choreography by Andrea Louise Soule.

Loving Repeating will run July 18-Aug. 30 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets are $25 ( previews July 18-19 )-$38 ( regular run ) each; visit, call 773-975-8150 or stop by the Theater Wit box office.

IGNITION Festival lineup announced

Victory Gardens Theater announces the lineup for its newly-expanded IGNITION Festival of New Plays for the 2015 Festival.

The productions include Confessions of a P.I.M.P., by Andre De Shields; Queen, by Madhuri Shekar; Slay & Eat, by A. Zell Williams; The Last Book of Homer, by Jos�© Rivera; Muthaland, by Minita Gandhi; Office Hour, by Julia Cho; and Sadie River's Drag Ball on the Lawn, by Basil Kreimendahl.

The festival takes place July 16-19. Performances are at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. For more information or to RSVP, visit or call 773-871-3000.

See full calendar of events at the link: .

Hall of Fame nominations now being accepted

Nominations for this year's Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame are now being accepted.

If you know someone who meets the criteria below and think that they would be a good addition to the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, complete and submit the nomination form that can be found at this link by July 15 for consideration.

Criteria are as follows: Induction into the Hall of Fame symbolizes that the recipient has made either:

(1) a single, far-reaching contribution or

(2) significant long-term contributions to the quality of life of Chicago's LGBT community or of the city of Chicago.

The Hall of Fame also recognizes "friends of the community" and LGBT organizations (including businesses) that have made similar contributions to Chicago's LGBT communities.

Those with questions about the nomination process should contact Executive Director Israel Wright at .

Queer AAPI conference Aug. 6-9

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), Chicago i2i, and Trikone-Chicago are co-hosting the national conference with the theme of "Thriving Together: Queer APIs Building Community, Solidarity & Movement."

The conference will take place at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Aug. 6-9.

The goals of this conference are to network, organize, agitate, educate and build capacity of the nation's LGBTQ Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

A special highlight of the conference is the Community Catalyst Awards Celebration on Friday, Aug. 7, at Cai Restaurant, 2100 S. Archer Ave. Actor Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock) will be the guest emcee.

For more about the conference, visit

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