There is another great festival planned for New York City. The My True Colors Arts Festival recently announced that comedian, actor and singer Richard Pryor Jr.has been selected as the 2015 My True Colors Festival (MTCF) celebrity ambassador. The inaugural arts festival is an Official New York Pride Event (Heritage Pride Inc.) that will be held June 12-26, 2015, in New York City at the Faison Firehouse Theater, founded by Tony Award winning Broadway icon George Faison (Choreographer for The Wiz). Richard Pryor Jr. will kick off the festival during an opening night meet and greet reception on June 18, 2015.
Pryor relaunched his career in 2006 in New York City as a tribute to his late father, comic genius Richard Pryor. As a child, Richard Jr. introduced his dad’s shows and hasn’t stopped performing since, including lead roles in various theater productions. He received a 2015 MAC Award nomination for outstanding performance in a Musical Comedy for his cabaret show, “Life, Love, and a Little Laughter.” Pryor works within the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) community using his voice as an African American gay man.
In addition, MTCF announced its 2015 lineup of artistic work for and by LGBTQ storytellers and people of color. This year’s festival is comprised of 35 plays, theatrical performances, narrative features, documentaries, shorts, and webisodes spread across the country and around the globe, including the international premier of the documentary, A Queer Aesthetic, which follows Sydney, Australia-based portrait artist Guy James Whitworth for twelve months before his 2014 exhibition “A Queer Aesthetic.” The film is as visually rich as it is poignant, portraying a diverse group of remarkable individuals.
Special events during the festival include a Make Music New York showcase on June 21, featuring a sneak peak at Invisible Life The Musical, based on the book E. Lynn Harris with music and lyrics by Motown legends Ashford and Simpson. In addition to a DJ spinning the Invisible Life The Musical soundtrack, there will be a one-on-one conversation with director Poteus Spann. Also slated is a screening of the documentary Out On The Tracks, which follows gay Guyanese soul singer Nhoji and his groundbreaking “Made To Love Him”music sessions—same-sex renditions of classic hetero love songs.
“The L Word 2.0,” June 22, is a day of programming dedicated to women, including the premier of the webseries Dyke Central, about a group of 30-something queers navigating life, love, lust, and adulthood in the lesbian Mecca that is Oakland, California. A main stage event is an up-close conversation with dramatist Ntozake Shange talking about the 40th anniversary of the choreopoem For Colored Girls… and its Broadway revival. June 23 has been designated as “T-Day,” featuring workshops, screenings and talk backs relevant to the transgender community, including a screening of Brothers, an original narrative webseries about a group of transgender masculine friends in Brooklyn, New York.
“The festival has a number of fantastic artistic works that showcase the multicultural and multi-layered creative visions of LGBTQ storytellers,” says MTCF Co-Founder and Producer, Tai Chunn. “Work from artists across the country and the world round out our2015 lineup, exploring and exemplifying the festival’s theme of fighting for social justice and promoting cultural diversity through the arts,” adds Chunn, who also is the owner of MVC Management Productions in New York.
Another main stage festive event is a special tribute to Patrik-Ian Polk and the 10th anniversary of the debut of NOAH’S ARC, the first scripted series for Viacom’s Logo network. An up close conversation with Polk will be followed by a double feature screening of PUNKSand NOAH’S ARC: JUMPING THE BROOM, Lauded as the “Father of Black Gay Cinema,” Polk has carved out a niche for himself as an award-winning filmmaker. Tapped by Kenneth ‘Babyface’ and Tracey Edmonds to serve as Vice President of Production for Edmonds Entertainment, Polk contributed to the production of such films as: Soul Food, Hav Plenty and Light it Up. He made his film writing and directorial debut with PUNKS, described as a male Waiting To Exhale. His original comedy-drama NOAH’S ARC about the friendships and love exploits of a group of gay black men changed the television landscape. In 2008, MTV/Logo ordered a feature film spin-off entitled NOAH’S ARC: JUMPING THE BROOM. Polk’s latest film releases are THE SKINNY (2012) and BLACKBIRD (2014), a gay coming of age story.
For a full lineup of events and to learn more visit www.mytruecolorsfestival.com.