Interested in LGBT arts and literature? The Stonewall National Museum and Archives in Fort Lauderdale offers readings, art exhibitions, a library with over 20,000 books and 1,000 DVDs, an archive with over 5,000 items documenting LGBT history, and the annual Gay and Lesbian Literary Arts (GALLA) Festival.


Note of disclosure: I am a lesbian literary geek for Stonewall.

Since moving back to South Florida in 2003, I’ve been involved at Stonewall in different ways. I’ve read my writing at Lavender Speaks -- a monthly cultural event for women that has now relocated to The Pride Center, -- taught a creative writing workshop, attended readings by authors from Bella Books and recently started volunteering at the front desk.

My work with the museum is a way to connect to the LGBT community—real-time connection, not just a Facebook post. Social media and the internet have re-defined how we relate to each other—sometimes to our disadvantage. For instance LGBT bookstores were centers for activism, intellect, and creativity. As these bookstores close down due to the economy and competition with online retailers, we have to find other ways to build community. This is why we need Stonewall.

On Sunday, August 7, Stonewall National Museum and Archives presents an event that speaks to this call for community. Unfortunately, it’s not in South Florida.

The Land’s End Inn of Provincetown, Massachusetts is where Stonewall will showcase a Women’s Music Event and Ice Cream Social from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event includes a ten panel exhibition on Women’s Music in the 1970s featuring the work of Holly Near, Meg Christian, Alix Dobkin and others. Music of the era will be played, and there will be ice cream sundaes. Sponsor levels are $250, hosts $150. A suggested donation of $35 includes a Stonewall membership.

Why Provincetown? Stonewall board member Brian McNaught, a summer resident of Provincetown, initiated the event, and President of Stonewall Bryan W. Knicely envisions “building Stonewall’s reputation and membership beyond Fort Lauderdale… to become the best LGBT museum, archive and library in the U.S.” Fourteen Stonewall exhibitions are currently traveling the country.

Created by Charles L. Ross, Stonewall first displayed Breaking the Sound Barrier: The Women’s Music Movement, 1970s-Today from March 1 to April 30. Knicely affirms how the exhibit documents “the beginning of the women's music movement…women record[ing]…music without the usual politics in the ‘male equivalent’ world.”

If you can make the trip or live in the area enjoy the ice cream and 1970s lesbian vibe. Those who can’t attend—at least know Stonewall National Museum and Archives continues to build a sense of community not only in South Florida, but in other places as well.

Stonewall National Museum and Archives present
Women’s Music Event and Ice Cream Social
Land’s End Inn
22 Commercial Street
Provincetown, MA
Sunday, August 7, 2011 1-4pm