Saturday, July 25, 2015

Wistariahurst Museum Presents "The Lavender Blues" by Sarah Kilborne



On Saturday, August 1 at 7 p.m., modern cabaret performer Sarah Kilborne, great- great- granddaughter of William Skinner and the author of American Phoenix, returns to Wistariahurst with a brand new show that brings to light the quiet yet powerful emergence between the world wars of songs that spoke about what it was like to be gay or "in the life." From such legends as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Gladys Bentley and Josephine Baker, Kilborne performs songs – written almost a century ago – that describe what it is like to be non-binary. Tickets to the performance are $20 or $15 for Museum members and can be purchased ahead of time at www.wistariahurst.org.


The Lavender Blues will take audience members on a musical journey that illuminates a courageous and colorful time in America’s past when pioneering artists sang boldly about sexual and gender fluidity, something radical even for today – and as deliciously fun and inspiring as ever. “It is music history. It is queer history. It is women’s history. It is entertainment. It is life,” says Sarah Kilborne, author, performer and activist, of the upcoming program.

Kilborne is the founder of the Kiss for Equality campaign, which raises awareness about LGBTQ rights, and she has written about LGBTQ issues for the Huffington Post, Slate, the Advocate and more. Her most recent book American Phoenix, about her ancestor William Skinner, was praised by Kirkus Reviews as ‘perfect for readers who like to root for the underdog.” In 2013 she produced a music video for marriage equality which leading activist David Mixner called “pure joy.”

The concert is the final in a summer series designed by Wistariahurst Museum to present music that reflects the diversity and artistry of the Pioneer Valley community.

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