Phill Wilson honors his late boyfriend, the AIDS care activist Chris Brownlie, for whom the first Los Angeles County-supported AIDS hospice is named. (Courtesy of The LGBTQ Center Long Beach)
The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach will present the 30th Long Beach QFilm Festival, a cinematic celebration of the diversity of LGBTQ experiences, at the historic Art Theater this weekend.
The QFilm Festival, which is organized by The LGBTQ Center Long Beach, has been a cultural staple in the city since 1993. It showcases narrative features, documentaries and short films created by and for the LGBTQ community — and is the city’s longest-running film festival.
More than 1,000 people are expected to attend this year’s festival to take in a truly diverse range of films,from poignant documentaries to LatinX short films.
The festival, which will take place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16-17, will open with the Long Beach premiere of “Commitment to Life,” a documentary about the pioneering LGBTQ organization AIDS Project Los Angeles.
“Against a rich Hollywood backdrop, ‘Commitment to Life’ documents the true story of the fight against HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles,” a recent press release said, “and how an intrepid group of people living with HIV/AIDS, doctors, movie stars, studio moguls and activists changed the course of the epidemic.”
The festival will also feature a trio of unmissable documentaries, including:
- “Jewelle: A Just Vision,” exploring the art and activism of Jewelle Gomez.
- “Studio One Forever,” which documents the world-famous Studio One Night Club as a staging ground for the LGBTQ community’s fight against the AIDS crisis.
- “It’s Only Life After All,” exploring the career of iconic folk-rock band The Indigo Girls, featuring never-before-seen archival footage.
In between viewings, be sure to attend special events such as the Saturday Ice Cream Social and Sunday Brunch, at which you can chat with fellow film enthusiasts and industry professionals.
The 30th Long Beach QFilm Festival will take place at the Art Theatre, 2025 E. Fourth St. — right next door to The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach.
All access VIP tickets, which start at $120, and single tickets are available at qfilmslongbeach.com.
Coastal Country Jam
Kick up your boots, let loose and jam out with your friends at Marina Green Park this weekend.
Coastal Country Jam is billed as “the West Coast’s biggest beachside festival,” and this year, organizers seem to be pulling out all the stops with a massive dancing area, interactive art installations, locally curated craft food and refreshing beverages, among other festival attractions.
But the main feature of the event, of course, is the A-list lineup of country music artists, which includes Blake Shelton, Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw, Maren Morris and more.
Check out coastalcountryjam.com for more information about the festival, which takes place this weekend, Saturday, and Sunday, Sept. 16-17. Single day passes start at $125.
“Share the Magic”
The Long Beach Camerata Singers will kick off off their 2023-24 season with the “Share the Magic” gala Thursday, Sept. 21.
Savor dinner, drinks and a special musical performance in an elegant and welcoming atmosphere at Hyatt Regency Hotel.
In addition to honoring the creative contributions of the musicians of the Camerata Singers, this gala will also pay tribute to two exceptional leaders in the Long Beach community: Alfredo Velasco, president and CEO of the Long Beach YMCA, and Marcelle Epley, president and CEO of the Long Beach Community Foundation.
Rancho Los Cerritos — the 4.7 acre historic landmark and museum — will also be honored on Thursday evening.
All three entities will receive the Beverly O’Neill Arts and Leadership Award on behalf of the Camerata Singers.
Mark your calendars for this gala, and plan to attend concerts during this year’s season, which marks the Camerata’s 58th year of bringing the magic of music to Long Beach audiences.
For ticket reservations, sponsorship details and more information, visit longbeachcameratasingers.org/gala/.
On Sunday night, Sep. 17, revel in the spirit of punk and grunge at Alex’s Bar.
Cosmic Kitten, the three-piece punk and post-grunge headliner for the night, was formed in 2016 by two friends, Karen Marie Hernandez and Zach Huckabee — who were both at transition points in their lives.
When Karen showed Zach her songs, he began to write drum and bass parts for them, which led to a fruitful artistic partnership.
Hernandez and Huckabee, though, became quick bandmates after they began writing songs together — and bassist Jay Vesper joined to complete the trio.
The music of Cosmic Kitten, like the era of ’90s grunge and alternative rock it harkens back to, features heavy riffs and a gritty sound coupled with emotionally charged, introspective lyrics — and a powerful female vocalist.
According to guitarist and lead vocalist Hernandez, the band has “always felt like underdogs in the scene.” But even so, she believes that “the band’s music is about themes of self-empowerment, the empowerment of those around you, and raw expression of self.”
Sonically speaking, this combination of “scrappy underdog” and “empowered champion” fits the band perfectly.
Secure your tickets for an evening of high-octane music at just $12.88 each. Cosmic Kitten will be joined by Shoebox Blue, The Hazards, and Persona Vision.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. In the ensuing days, protests erupted in cities across the globe, including here in Long Beach.
In some cases, protests turned to looting and even the National Guard was called in to Long Beach. In response, business owners boarded up their storefronts with plywood in an effort to prevent damage.
Then, in an act of love for their city, visual artists took to the streets to spread love and ignite transformation.
The result was beautiful artworks now known as the Protest Panels.
Recovered from the dust of urban transformation, these panels have been prepared for an intimate art exhibit telling the story of the stand for social justice.
“Long Beach Rising: Murals of the Movement,” curated and produced by Hannibal Media Group, is an opportunity to witness the beauty and impact of these vibrant street murals.
Art and activism combine in the heart of Long Beach during this exhibition, with completely free admission for everyone in the community.
The event is located inside the DreamKreator Art Annex, 255 E. Fourth Street. The exhibits will be on display from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every Wednesday to Saturday through Oct. 14.
Reserve your spot by heading to bit.ly/longbeachrising.