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Day 176: Immerse yourself in art for a cause at Artopia

26 Jun

First, let’s get the basics out of the way. Artopia is an annual art benefit for Big Bend Cares, an HIV/AIDS support organization. Artists donate their work, and attendees bid on the art through silent and live auctions. Proceeds go to Big Bend Cares. The event is well attended with hundreds of well-dressed people crowding the halls of Florida State University’s Turnbull Center to peruse art and nibble on appetizers. It’s a premiere event for the gay and lesbian community and seems an ideal spot to mingle with some of Tallahassee’s most influential powerbrokers. We found a nice mix of art. There was photography of classic Florida sunsets and swampy rivers, and paintings, from the richly textured to the more basic watercolors. The silent auction prices were truly a steal. You could easily walk away with a $450-value painting for $50. We didn’t stay for the live auction, but the room that housed it was packed in anticipation and it looked ripe for bidding wars. Tickets are $25 per person and the event is held annually each summer. I’m told it is one of the most popular charity events in Tallahassee.

Address: This year it was at FSU’s Turnbull Center, at the intersection of Pensacola and Macomb Street.

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Day 53: Go to a burlesque show

22 Feb

Credit: Carl Bengston

I think I can pinpoint the moment when my husband got really excited about this little project. It was when I said “Honey, let’s go to a lesbian burlesque show.” I was looking for something to do on a Friday night that didn’t have a $20 entry fee and spied the “Cabaret Risque” show at the Warehouse, which promised a burlesque variety show for $5. It is geared toward the LGBT community, thought straights are welcome to attend. The night my husband and I went, I would say about a third of the crowd was straight and the rest LGBT. The MC was a very charming Drag King who had a knack for keeping the audience amused between sets. The shows were very entertaining, and mostly PG-13. Most of the entertainers were women, from the belly-dancers to straight-up burlesque dancers who ended their shows in pasties and underwear. There was a Drag Queen who lip-synced her way through a few songs and one talented male dancer who literally was hanging from the ceiling during one of his acts. I really enjoyed the show (and I know my husband did). The show was hosted by MixIt Tallahassee, which puts on events for the LGBT community.

Address: This particular show was at the Warehouse, at 706 West Gaines