Monday, September 25, 2023

Stories on Stage presents "Message in a Bottle"

Stories on Stage presents "Message in a Bottle" on Friday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 80302. Call 303-444-7328 for tickets. On Sunday, October 15 at 2:00 p.m. the performance moves to Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, Denver. Tickets are $26 and are available at or by calling 303-494-0523


“Message in a Bottle,” features Shannon Altner, making her SoS debut, along with Chip Persons and Gareth Saxe performing comical and moving letters written by entirely fictional characters, including a phony tennis pro, a poetic drifter, and a whole slew of crazy people seeking guidance from an advice columnist who’s even crazier. Join the actors at the free milk and cookies reception after the show.   


Celebrating their 23nd Season, Stories on Stage presents renowned actors performing dynamic and entertaining short stories.


"Message in a Bottle" is sponsored by Diane and Robby Gilmore and in part by the Citizens of the Scientific and Cultural District (SCFD), Colorado Creative Industries, Bonfils Stanton Foundation, Boulder County Arts Alliance, Community Foundation of Boulder County, and The Denver Post.

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Outfest - the Los Angeles-based nonprofit that uplifts marginalized creators in the entertainment industry by providing career support and curating the exhibition and preservation of queer, LGBTQ+, and underrepresented stories - announced today that they will honor Academy Award winner Shirley MacLaine with the James Schamus Ally Award and Trace Lysette with the Trailblazer Award at the 2023 Legacy Awards presented by Genesis Motor America. The Legacy Awards will take place on Sunday, October 22 at NeueHouse in Hollywood.  

The James Schamus Ally Award recognizes an ally’s efforts to foster LGBTQ+ moving images and to promote the communities' stories to a broader audience, and the Trailblazer Award recognizes an artist who has contributed to the history of the community, shedding light on the core of the LGBTQ+ identity and experience. 


"We're overjoyed to spotlight Shirley MacLaine and Trace Lysette at this year's Legacy Awards," shared Outfest’s Executive Director Damien S. Navarro. "Shirley's illustrious career has not only enthralled generations but her unwavering allegiance to the LGBTQ+ community has been a beacon of hope. Trace, with her groundbreaking performances, is courageously highlighting the essence of the trans journey. Their contributions are testament to the power of artistry in driving meaningful change." 

Past recipients at the Outfest Legacy Awards include Janelle Monáe, Billy Porter, Tom Hanks, Judith Light, Rita Moreno, Lee Daniels, Hillary Swank, Sean Hayes, Laverne Cox, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Bruce Cohen, Lisa Cholodenko, Craig Zadan & Neil Merdon, Tanya Saracho, Victoria Alonso, and Rain Valdez among others.  

The 2023 Outfest Legacy Awards are presented by Genesis Motor America. Additional sponsors include NeueHouse Hollywood, ABC7 Los Angeles and On The Red Carpet, the Los Angeles Times, and West One Music Group.

The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg: Jerry Aronson's Definitive Documentary Comes to Streaming & DVD

Allen Ginsberg, the visionary, radical, spiritual seeker, renowned poet, founding member of a major literary movement, champion of human rights, Buddhist, political activist, and teacher, had an indelible impact on American counterculture.

Over the course of 25 years, Academy Award-nominated director Jerry Aronson painstakingly compiled more than 60 hours of film footage on Ginsberg, resulting in a comprehensive portrait of one of America's greatest poets, the author of Howl, and other groundbreaking works.

The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg made its debut at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival and subsequently captivated audiences in theaters across the nation. Now, this cinematic gem has undergone a digital remastering in 16:9 HD (pillarboxed at 4:3, the film's original aspect ratio) and is set to be available for streaming for the very first time. In its entirety, the film chronicles the past 70 years of American culture, commencing with the Beat era in the post-war Forties and Fifties, traversing the revolutionary Sixties, and concluding with the uncertainties and possibilities of the present day.

Coming to Streaming & DVD on October 24th, the Deluxe Two-Disc DVD edition encompasses the remastered feature film along with over six hours of bonus content. This treasure trove includes previously unreleased materials, shared due to the warm friendship that developed between subject and director. Additionally, viewers will be treated to exclusive and insightful interviews with Ginsberg's friends, family, and contemporaries. Notable figures such as Bono, Johnny Depp, Philip Glass, Ken Kesey, Timothy Leary, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, Andy Warhol, and many others share their perspectives and anecdotes, shedding light on the life and times of this iconic American poet.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Celebrate Winter in Colorado Through New Ski Experiences, Lodging Offerings, Michelin Recognized Restaurants, Adventures Off the Slopes and More

Colorado will “Shine a Little Brighter” this winter season with new offerings to enhance the visitor experience. Guests will be welcomed with exciting travel offerings both on and off the slopes from major terrain expansions, new lifts and on-mountain enhancements at the state’s 28 ski areas and resorts to an elevated dining experience with the much-anticipated welcome of the MICHELIN Guide Colorado. Immersive arts and cultural experiences like Thomas Dambo’s new troll sculpture in Victor and the 25th anniversary of the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek to the celebration of snow with exciting new off-mountain adventures including hut trips, winter at night and snow-filled events will surprise and delight. Travelers can unwind after a day of adventuring with new craft beverage experiences, relax with a variety of wellness offerings at the state’s hot springs resorts, spas and retreats followed by snow-filled dreams in an array of new accommodations.

Visitors to the state are encouraged to “Do Colorado Right” and embrace the state’s interpretation of responsible tourism. Following is a sampling of what’s new this winter in Colorado. For more information and travel ideas, visit

Colorado’s Major 23/24 Ski Resort News:

The winter 23/24 season welcomes exciting news from Colorado’s 28 ski areas and resorts. This winter, Aspen Snowmass will unveil a new high-speed quad chairlift and major terrain expansion on Aspen Mountain, increasing skiable acreage by more than 20% on the resort’s flagship mountain. With 1,220 vertical feet and more than 150 acres of new chutes, glades and trails, this expansion will be Aspen Mountain’s first significant addition since 1985. This winter, Steamboat will complete the largest redevelopment in resort history, a 3 year, $220+ million dollar project. The final phase transforms the on-mountain experience with an additional 655 acres of expert terrain (bringing Steamboat from 5th to 2nd largest ski resort in Colorado) and the installation of the upper section of the Wild Blue Gondola, the fastest and longest 10-person gondola in North America. For the first time ever this winter, skiers and riders at Keystone will have lift-served access to more than 550 acres of high alpine terrain in Bergman and Erickson Bowls through the addition of a new high-speed 6-passenger chairlift, the Bergman Express. Copper Mountain welcomes a new lodge, the Aerie located at the top of the American Eagle lift. The Aerie will consist of a 25,000-square-foot, two-story building and the gondola will unload on the second-floor deck offering Copper’s first full-service on-mountain restaurant. Breckenridge continues the transformation of the Peak 8 base area with the upgrade of 5-Chair to a new, high-speed quad that will debut for the 23/24 winter season as the FIVE SuperChairWinter Park Resort unveils key improvements this winter season including a new high-speed, 6-person chair lift in the Vasquez Ridge area, a brand new 60-Minute Pro Tip lesson concept, a new Early Up add-on to access the mountain 30 minutes early, the new Sundog Tap Room and four new on-mountain pop-up dining options and more. Amtrak has announced the Winter Park Express, Denver to Winter Park, will resume this January with three day weekend runs and additional charters available. Wolf Creek Ski Area is installing a new beginner chairlift, The Tumbler. And while Colorado is known for its big name resorts, Colorado Ski Country offers a GEMS Card that provides discounts and savings at 11 of Colorado’s smaller and mom and pop ski areas across the state.  

New Winter Lodging Offerings:

Sweet dreams are sure to be had after a day of winter adventuring with several unique and boutique lodging offerings. With an expected opening in fall 2023, Trailborn Rocky Mountains and sister-property - Trailborn Rocky Mountain Outpost - will be the newest boutique hotel to open in Estes Park, the basecamp to adventures in Rocky Mountain National Park. Populus, the first carbon positive hotel in the country, plans to open in Denver’s Civic Center Park in spring 2024. The Hotel Melrose is Grand Junction’s first modern boutique hotel opening in late 2023 in a 1908 building offering 16 elegant suites and a speakeasy bar, The Melrose Spirit Co. MOLLIE Aspen is a new, 68-room boutique hotel that will open in late 2023 in the heart of Aspen. The Western Hotel & Spa is an iconic Old West property located in the historic district of Ouray that has been restored and opened in summer 2023 with select modern, luxe touches, and their Nordic Grotto Spa will open in winter 23/24. The Carlin opened in summer 2023 in Breckenridge featuring four luxury hotel suites on the top floor, an open kitchen restaurant on the main floor and a subterranean tavern. Canyons of the Ancients Guest Ranch unveiled their new Sky Village project in summer 2023 including Star Tower and Sky Kiva guest houses inspired by nearby Hovenweep National Monument. The Chamonix Casino Hotel will open in winter 23/24 and will bring a new level of European elegance and comfort to Cripple Creek. The historic Victorian-inspired Delaware Hotel in downtown Leadville will unveil major renovations in fall 2023 offering two new restaurants including Mineral 1886, a grand lobby lounge with a stage for live music and a new elevator. The Bauhaus-inspired Aspen Meadows Resort will debut an extensive room renovation and a redesigned arrival experience, including restaurant and bar, just in time for the 23/24 ski season. The Gant Aspen will commemorate its 50th anniversary this winter with a special package, celebrations and more. The Westin Denver Downtown completed a property-wide, multimillion-dollar renovation in August 2023. Known as the largest combined resort and convention center in Colorado, Gaylord Rockies in Aurora is re-concepting three of its existing restaurants, launching a new dining experience, remodeling the Grand Lodge and increasing function space with a new event pavilion with staggered openings throughout 2024.

New Apres Adventure Eats and Craft Libations - MICHELIN Comes to Colorado:

MICHELIN Guide is expanding to the Centennial State as Colorado becomes the guide's eighth destination in North America. The first edition of the MICHELIN Guide Colorado recently awarded five One-MICHELIN-Star restaurants including Beckon (Denver), Bosq (Aspen), Brutø (Denver), Frasca Food and Wine (Boulder) and Wolf’s Tailor (Denver). In addition, Colorado received thirty MICHELIN Recommended restaurants, four Green Star restaurants and nine Bib Gourmand designations. Chefs and craft beverage makers across the state are turning out exciting NEW flavors and concepts, perfect for imbibing. StarChefs Rising Star 2022 Winners Ni and Anna Nguyen opened the highly-anticipated sắp sửa in Denver in June 2023 as a culinary memoir to first generation Vietnamese Americans. Opening fall 2023 and helmed by Chef Kenneth Wan, an alum of famed restaurants like Momofuku, MAKfam reimagines traditional family-inspired Chinese recipes through a modern perspective in Denver.  Fuel & Iron Food Hall, an incubator food hall in the historic Holmes Hardware Building, recently opened in Pueblo, featuring six local, independent restaurants and a robust central bar. The recently opened Dune Valley Distillery in the San Luis Valley utilizes the valley’s vast potato crop as the basis for local spirits while running entirely on renewable biogas technology. Celebrated Grand Junction restaurant, Bin 707 is relocating and expanding. The team is also launching a new Grand Junction dining destination– Jojo's Dinette & Superette. Breckenridge’s The Carlin unveiled two upscale dining concepts in the building including The Restaurant whose menu revolves around the wood burning oven and centerpiece raw bar and the Tavern Underground that offers small plates and a cocktail bar.  Fort Collins’ first pizza speakeasy, Speak Cheesy Lounge recently opened. Emerald Eye is a new elevated cocktail bar inspired by the Caribbean circa 1955 that opened on Denver’s Larimer Square. The Rick Thomas Distillery is a new family-owned and operated distillery rooted in Scottish tradition in Black Hawk’s new Artisan’s Point development that consists of 22 acres of space for distillers, craft brewers, and entrepreneurs to create and innovate.

Hot Springs Are Hot This Winter:

The Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop recently expanded adding more destination partners to this loop that showcases the state’s premier hot springs destinations via self-guided itineraries to explore 23 unique hot springs soaking experiences. Colorado also has exciting hot springs news for this winter season. NEW as of July 2023, UPRIVER is a 21+ section of Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs, adding 10 new pools for a total of 32 pools for guests to enjoy. Guests can relax in two large Confluence Pools, take a dip in the Cold Plunge pool and enjoy drinks at the new Sandbar Cafe. The Durango Hot Springs Resort & Spa expansion continues with the addition of five private cedar Ofuro tubs and NEW hot spring pools, making a grand total of 40 water features, including 32 hot springs mineral pools, two cold plunge pools, a water tower, and 25-meter swimming pool in the newly renovated resort. The East End Expansion Project at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is expected to be complete in 2024 and will add a NEW swimming area with five additional pools featuring varying water temperatures and a shade pergola and hearth. In addition, the area around the mother spring, named the Yampah Spring by Ute Native Americans, will be landscaped and the mineral water drinking spring reopened. Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs in Ouray is celebrating the newly renovated Mineshaft Restaurant, nine different hot springs to choose from and a NEW underground vapor cave.

Immersive Arts:

Arts and culture is an immersive experience in Colorado, and there are several new winter offerings to ignite the senses. Denmark sculptor Thomas Dambo now has two of his world-renowned giant wooden troll sculptures in Colorado: “Isak Heartstone” located on the Trollstigen Trail in Breckenridge, and NEW in late 2023, “Rita the Rock Planter” on the Little Grouse Mountain Trail near Victor. The Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek celebrates its 25th anniversary this winter season as one of the top performing arts centers in the American West offering acclaimed performances throughout the winter season. The Snowmass paleontological site is the richest Ice Age ecosystem ever found at high altitude, and NEW for the winter season, Snowmass is bringing the Snowmass Ice Age Discovery story to residents and visitors in new ways including three new murals, viewfinders on the Rim Trail and a storybook walk on the Sleigh Ride Trail. NEW this fall to Denver’s 16th Street Mall is the Museum of Illusions offering an intriguing visual, sensory and educational experience with illusions ranging from tried-and-true classics to the never-before seen. The NEW Art Spot Silverthorne Makerspace is a creative hub that offers art-focused classes, programs, events and retail in Silverthorne. Visit five mountain town opera houses built between 1878 and 1913 along the NEW Historic Opera Houses Circuit, and enjoy their tours, live music, theater, festivals and more. History Colorado's NEW “Winter Warriors: The 10th Mountain Division in World War II” exhibit opens November 11, 2023 and follows the US Army's first winter warfare Division from training at Camp Hale, Colorado’s newest National Monument, in the Colorado Rockies through its crucial breakthrough against the German Army in the mountains of Italy.

Colorado For All:

Colorado strives to be a truly welcoming destination and offers experiences and access opportunities for everyone. NEW, the inaugural First Peoples Festival will take place in Estes Park January 13-14, 2024 celebrating Indigenous culture, art, music, language, oral traditions and more. Learn about the Indigenous connection to the Estes Valley and Rocky Mountain National Park, and take part in cultural demonstrations and workshops. Girls rule winter in Colorado with ski areas across the state offering tailored programming to provide women skiers and riders the opportunity to take part in a welcoming, supportive and fun learning environment on the snow. Moxie Mountain Guides is a NEW girl powered guiding service in Ouray that strives to elevate those from marginalized communities so they can experience adventures such as ice climbing, skiing, ski mountaineering, rock climbing, and alpine climbing with pay what you should programming. Aspen and Telluride roll out some of the liveliest gay ski weeks in the country. Several ski areas across the state also offer adaptive sports programming including the Crested Butte Adaptive Sports Center and The National Sports Center for the Disabled based out of Winter Park Resort. Colorado is the place where kids become lifelong skiers and snowboarders with unparalleled learning programs and terrain and offerings like Keystone Resort’s Kids Ski Free program and Purgatory’s FREE Power Kids season pass for kids 12 and under. History Colorado has a number of ongoing series to deepen appreciation for the diverse history of Colorado, including its critically acclaimed podcast, a speaker series on how women change history, and programs highlighting the achievements of Black Coloradans.

Winter Hut and Yurt Experiences:

Colorado is home to one of the most extensive backcountry hut systems in North America, with more than 30 huts across 350 miles of U.S. Forest Service trails called the 10th Mountain Division Huts.  Ski or snowshoe from hut to hut in the European tradition or set up camp in a single location for a more relaxing getaway. NEW this winter, Colorado-based guiding service, Mountain Trip's new hut-to-hut ski touring adventure pays homage to the renowned Haute Route of the European Alps, linking the iconic mountain towns of Ouray and Silverton, and two exceptional huts: the Opus Hut and Thelma Hut. NEW this winter, Campfire Ranch Wash Gulch in Crested Butte is a backcountry hut that sleeps 15 complete with bedding, running water, flushing toilets, a full kitchen and a wood-fired sauna. Campfire Ranch is also the new operator of Thelma Hut on Red Mountain Pass offering new winter enhancements to the full service hut experience. Other full service huts include the luxe Red Mountain Alpine Lodge on Red Mountain Pass and the Opus Hut near Silverton. In addition to the 10th Mountain Division Huts system, there is also the San Juan Hut System in southwestern Colorado, Summit Huts offers five easily accessible huts near Breckenridge and Copper Mountain and the Hinsdale Haute Route is Colorado’s highest altitude hut system offering two year-round yurts near Lake City. Other unique hut/yurt experiences include the Broome Hut (part of the Grand Huts Association) on Berthoud Pass, Pass Creek Yurt near Pagosa Springs and the High Camp Hut on Lizard Head Pass near Telluride. The Colorado Hut Yurt Alliance is a statewide organization for owners of huts and yurts to promote their offerings.

Offbeat Snowventures and Events:

There has been an emergence of off-beat and dynamic winter events and adventures for visitors to enjoy Colorado's snowy terrain, both on and off the slopes including new mountain coasters, curling, fat biking, new Via Ferrata offerings across the state, winter Jeeping, heliskiing, dog sledding, winter fly-fishing, snow kiting and more. The NEW “Breckebeiner” 2024 USA Triathlon Winter Triathlon National Championships, a run-bike-cross-country ski race, will take place February 23-24, 2024 in Breckenridge. Also in Breck, Ullr Fest celebrates 60 seasons of snowy tradition December 7-9, 2023. The Cloud City Wheelers will host the NEW 2024 Fat Bike Worlds January 26-28, 2024 in Leadville. The Lake City Ice Park recently expanded and now has three ice climbing areas, Dynamite Shack (soft opening last winter), the Beer Garden, and the original Pumphouse Park, with more than 75 routes between the parks, mixed grades WI3 and up. Downtown Colorado Springs is home to the NEW Lemon Lodge Ski Bar featuring Colorado’s only ski and snowboard simulator outside of professional training facilities that includes one-on-one coaching as well as apres libations and lodge food.

Winter Wellness:

In Colorado, wellness is not just a trend. Historians estimate that as many as one-third of Colorado’s early settlers moved to the state for reasons associated with health. Several historic Colorado destinations and landmarks such as The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and the Colorado Chautauqua in Boulder were originally founded, and are still sought after, as places for wellness retreats and individual healing. Three Forks Ranch, located on the Colorado/Wyoming border, is the newest addition to the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association and just launched a NEW state-of-the-art spa, fitness and wellness facility staffed by a team of Mayo Clinic trained and certified wellness coaches…a perfect complement to the ranch’s private cat skiing and guided winter activities. NEW Malibu’s The Ranch comes to Colorado September 3-October 27, 2023 where guests can experience The Ranch Malibu’s award-winning, transformational structured wellness program at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch. Near Crested Butte, The Taylor River Lodge offers immersive wellness retreats throughout the winter.  The Lodge’s eight individual cabins set the scene for a deeply restorative wellness retreat that includes river plunges, daily adventure activities, climate-based spa treatments, mindful culinary experiences and more. Hyatt Centric Downtown Denver is offering a NEW Skier's Recovery Lounge, the perfect post-vacation reset, which includes an assortment of recovery equipment including Theraguns, compression boots, topical CBD from local makers, in-room acupuncture, eucalyptus aromatherapy and a stocked vitamin bar. True Nature Healing Arts in Carbondale is a sanctuary for inspiration, connection and self-discovery offering a therapeutic spa, organic cafe, conscious gift boutique, full schedule of classes, workshops, events, retreats, a bio-dynamic peace garden and more.

Colorado Adventures After Dark:

The fun doesn’t stop after the sun sets in Colorado. Across the state, guests can experience incredible stargazing opportunities as different constellations come into view as well as unique winter adventures by moonlight. Colorado is home to 15 International Dark-Sky Association designations, including 10 Dark-Sky Parks. KeystoneGranby Ranch and Steamboat all offer night skiing on various runs. Copper Mountain hosts free full-moon snowshoe excursions through the area’s forest to see the Earth’s natural satellite rise above the valley. During Ullr Nights at Snowmass, guests can board the gondola to Elk Camp for night time adventures like tubing, riding the alpine coaster, snowbiking and indulging in s'mores and hot chocolate by the bonfire. Beaver Creek Village’s ice-skating rink and surrounding fire pits offer a cozy place for hot cocoa, and ice bike rentals are also available.  Snowshoe or cross-country ski to the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse outside of Leadville and enjoy an intimate, candlelit four-course dinner of classic Colorado cuisine. Similarly, Magic Meadows Yurt, a backcountry yurt outside of Crested Butte, provides a truly magical setting for moonlight snowshoe and cross-country ski dinnersBeano’s Cabin offers sleigh ride dinners up through Beaver Creek's iconic aspen groves to an exquisite gourmet dinner. Alpino Vino, one of the highest elevation restaurants in North America is a quaint European chalet on the Telluride Ski Resort that offers a prix fixe Northern Italian dinner accessible via a snow coach. Aspen’s legendary restaurant, the Pine Creek Cookhouse, is nestled at the base of the Elk Mountains and is accessible via cross-country skis, snowshoes or horse drawn sleigh. Arapahoe Basin's annual Moonlight Dinner Series highlights cuisines from mountain regions of the world and are held at the Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain accessible by riding the Black Mountain Express Lift.



Gearing up for the release of their debut album, Queer South Africa-born, Los Angeles-based independent recording artist Kaien Cruz (they/them) returns today with an infectious alternative version of their viral Afropop-infused anthem “I Lay” featuring Kenyan crooner Xenia Manasseh available to stream now on all digital platforms via The Orchard – LISTEN HERE // WATCHLYRIC VIDEO HERE

Co-produced by Glass Animal’s Edmund Irwin-Singer alongside Alli Valenzuela and Joshua Choo, “I Lay” is an anthem about the power of intuitive love and cosmic energy. Through potent vocals and the universal language of musical expression, the infectious song takes you on an upward spiral journey of curiosity, expansion, pure joy and ecstasy.

“Immediately after writing the original song I knew I wanted to hear it with a feature. Xenia sounds so perfect on it when she first sent me her verse I totally freaked out,” shares Kaien on their new version. “The harmonies and the way it flows is effortless.”

Cruz continues, “I wrote this song in an hour and honestly it just flowed straight out of me. I wanted to portray the feeling of total ease in love and life. “I Lay” is my pure expression of what it means to be in love and connection without the toxicity of ego.”

The original version of “I Lay” is accompanied by a breathtaking cinematic video – directed by Hunter So with production by Anna Dickson – that was shot on location in Costa Rica and features an appearance by Kai’s girlfriend as the love interest – WATCH HERE

Greater Than Hate Coalition Announces Parents Week of Action

Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization representing more than 3 million elementary & secondary school teachers & faculty, and the “Greater than Hate” coalition of advocacy groups that share a common goal to oppose hate in all its forms, are joining forces to launch a “Parents Week of Action” from September 23 - September 30th, 2023 to show up & show out for LGBTQ+ youth as students get back in the swing of the school year.

Schools should be places where all of our children are free to be who they are and where the foundation is laid for who they will become. Every student should be free to go to school without fear of discrimination or violence. But this back-to-school season, thanks to the actions of extremist politicians and hate groups, students are being forced into increasingly hostile and dangerous environments. Anti-equality forces have banned our children from seeing themselves in their curriculum, erasing critical lessons that impact their health, safety, and future successes. These forces have prioritized protecting assault weapons over protecting every child’s freedom to learn–all under the guise of “parental rights.”

During this week of action, parents and organizations across the country will hold a variety of events to uplift LGBTQ+ students, equip parents and guardians to stand up for their rights and those of their youth, and raise awareness about the rising tide of book bans, anti-trans legislation, and curriculum censorship that seeks to deprive children of a full and complete education.

“It’s time for us to fight back against these attacks on our kids,” said Kelley Robinson, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “Every parent and every family member of a young person should be able to count on our schools to respect and affirm our children. Every student should be able to see themselves and their families reflected in their school and in their school’s curriculum as part of the critical path to achieving health and success. Parents have the right to protect their kids. Side-by-side, we’re telling the fear-mongers that enough is enough.”

“Schools should be places where all of our students, no matter their ZIP code, gender, or background, are free to be who they are and where we lay a foundation to help them reach their full, brilliant potential,” said NEA President Becky Pringle. “But this school year, some extreme politicians continue to politicize public education and create increasingly hostile and dangerous environments. This month, we are collaborating with the Greater Than Hate Coalition on Parents Week of Action to stop the full-court attacks on our freedoms. We are coming together–parents, educators, and students–to say enough is enough. Stop the attacks on our LGBTQ+ community. Stop denying students the right to a truthful and honest education. Stop banning books. By joining together and speaking up at school board meetings, contacting our elected leaders, and voting to fully fund our public schools, we can make this a country where all students have the freedom to learn, grow, and thrive.”

Visit Orlando & Passport Magazine Launch "Orlando for All"

Abby Family Vacation 2
PASSPORT Magazine has joined forces with long-term partner Visit Orlando to expand awareness of its "Orlando for All" initiative. This month, the magazine launched a national multimedia campaign across its digital properties to spotlight Orlando as a welcoming city for all visitors regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or life stage.
To kick off the campaign, PASSPORT released a video featuring the Abbys, a lesbian couple with two children, who recently vacationed in Orlando and experienced some of the city's spectacular and inclusive hotels, restaurants and attractions. Loyal readers have an opportunity to enter for a chance to win a similar experience through PASSPORT's national LGBTQ+ family getaway contest now through October 31, 2023. The getaway, which can accommodate a party of up to four people, includes airfare, hotel, a GoPro courtesy of PASSPORT, tickets to attractions, and a meal at Hungry Pants. Visit LGBTQOrlandoContest for more information.
In addition to the contest and experience-led video production, the campaign also features an LGBTQ Orlando Travel Guide on the magazine's website, Orlando for All banner ads, e-newsletter sponsorships, and extensive social media posts, culminating in an estimated reach of 4.5 million impressions.
"The success of our long-term partnership with Visit Orlando is based on a synergy of shared values," said Don Tuthill, PASSPORT's publisher. "They truly understand the importance – and economic impact – of the LGBTQ market."
 A highly inclusive destination, Orlando has been a pioneer in LGBTQ+ tourism dating back to the original Gay Days at Walt Disney World in 1991. The city has a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, which measures the LGBTQ+ inclusiveness of cities' laws, policies and services throughout the US.
"Orlando has always been and will continue to be a diverse, welcoming and inclusive community," said Casandra Matej, president & CEO of Visit Orlando. "As the top travel destination in the country and longstanding leader in the travel industry, our community has a history of welcoming all to our destination." 
Visit Orlando—the Official Tourism Association® for Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States, Theme Park Capital of the World and No. 1 meeting destination in the country—has been a partner of PASSPORT since 2006. What began with Visit Orlando as an advertiser in the print magazine has since flourished into a comprehensive, multifaceted and integrated marketing program to reach loyal LGBTQ travelers year-round.
"PASSPORT's partnership with Visit Orlando is indicative of its overall business model for success, which has allowed it to grow and evolve with the times. Its innovative approach to working with clients truly sets the standard for excellence in Marketing," added Tuthill.

Inspīr Carnegie Hill Achieves Platinum SAGECare Credential, Demonstrating Commitment to LGBTQ+ Senior Care

Inspīr Carnegie Hill, a luxury senior living community located on Manhattan's Upper East Side, proudly announces its recognition as a 2023 SAGECare Platinum Credentialed Provider. The achievement demonstrates the brand's ongoing commitment to exceptional care and support for the senior LGBTQ+ community.

To earn this credential, a minimum of 80% of Inspīr's management and non-management staff completed training in LGBTQ+ aging cultural competency. The program encompassed education on historical and contemporary LGBTQ+ struggles, proper use of terminology pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity, and strategies to address distinctive challenges faced by this demographic. The significance of this training is underscored by a 2022 survey conducted by AARP, revealing that 85% of older LGBTQ individuals expressed concerns about discrimination.

"We take great pride in our exceptional staff, who recognize the value of this specialized training in providing the highest quality care to our residents, and completed the training well ahead of our projections," said Jill McGroarty, Vice President of Human Resources at Maplewood Senior Living. At this time, Inspīr is one of only two luxury senior living communities in New York City to earn a SAGECare Platinum Certification. Inspīr also plans to seek certification at their second location in Washington, D.C., set to open in late 2024, implementing the training into the onboarding process for all new hires.

At Inspīr, resident life is grounded in nine core elements; one of which is belonging. Inspīr frequently hosts programming that celebrates the causes and identities that hold significance for its residents. Notable guests have included Marti Cummings, a non-binary political activist and candidate for New York City Council; Sutton Lee Seymour and Evita Loca, two of NYC's premier drag queens; and Jim Obergefell, plaintiff in the landmark marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges, who will visit Inspīr Carnegie Hill this October. The attainment of the SAGECare Platinum Credential serves as yet another emblem of Inspīr's commitment to fostering an inclusive residence, workplace, and community.

"Armed with this training, we can better understand and cater to the distinct needs of LGBTQ+ elders through an enlightened and compassionate lens," said Evan Rossi, Director of Resident Experience at Inspīr Carnegie Hill. "By seamlessly integrating gender identity and sexual orientation into our care plans, we curate personalized services that champion physical, emotional, and social well-being for all residents."

Nicholas Watson, Managing Director for SAGECare commented, "SAGECare is proud to partner with organizations like Inspīr Carnegie Hill that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in senior care. This Platinum credential signifies their dedication to providing exceptional care and support to all residents, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We commend their efforts and look forward to continuing our collaboration in creating safe and inclusive spaces for seniors."

SAGECare is a division of SAGE, the country's largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ older adults. SAGECare provides LGBTQ+ competency training and consulting on LGBTQ+ aging issues to service providers.