Mazzoni Center Publishes Student Guide How to Build a FIERCE GSA

FIERCE cover picMazzoni Center‘s Ally Safe Schools program has distilled its wealth of knowledge into a book, so educators and students alike can learn how to create or strengthen a Gay/Queer-Straight Alliance at their schools. These student-run clubs help raise awareness of LGBTQ issues, organize activities, provide support for each other, and/or create a safe space for LGBTQ students.

How to Build a FIERCE GSA is 22-pages in length, and filled with all kinds of tips that the Center hopes will help inspire healthy, vibrant GSAs across the region and nation. The small 4-by-6 guide is portable, so readers can keep it on hand for meetings and events. It’s so tiny—and adorable—it will fit in your pocket.

You may have seen Mazzoni handing out some of these at OutFest yesterday, but you can still get a free copy by downloading it here as a PDF or requesting a hard copy.

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Philly DJ Mural Project to Include Block Parties, Free RJD2 Show, and New Shepard Fairey Mural at 12th and Chestnut

The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program announced a new initiative that will combine public art with Philly’s DJ history. The year-long “Philly DJ Mural Project” brings the city’s history of raising DJs to a new generation with youth-focused events.

Philly-raised DJ Cosmo Baker will work to include members of the DJ community into the year’s events. The project culminates in a brand new mural by world-renown artist Shepard Fairey—a DJ himself— that’s inspired by ithe DJ culture. (Fairey completed his last Philadelphia mural, Lotus Diamond, this August.)

Throughout the school year, students will work on the new mural, to be installed at 1232 Chestnut Street, and participate in educational programs with DJs at Scratch Academy. Students will work alongside DJs to learn not only the technical skills needed to bring their turntable dreams to life, but also the in-depth history of the art and its influence. (Scratch Academy has its own storied history: it was created by the late Jam Master Jay.) These lucky students will have the opportunity to show off their new skills at Philly DJ Mural Project events.

This massive educational celebration kicks off Friday, October 17th, with a free, citywide block party on 13th Street between Chestnut and Sansom streets from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.. It will comprise digital, interactive activities, food trucks, and giveaways taking over the block. DJ RJD2 and Philly’s own DJ Cash Money will provide the jams for this special event.

Stay tuned for more Philly DJ Mural Project events throughout the year. Future participants include DJ Jazzy Jeff, King Brit, Ill Vibe Collective and more.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai to Accept Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center


Malala Yousafzai became the youngest Nobel Laureate ever on October 10th when she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside Kailash Satyarthi. At just 17, Malala was picked from 278 nominees, which included both Edward Snowden and Pope Francis.

Yousafzai and Satyarthi were chosen for their work promoting children’s rights. Yousafzai became an international spokesperson for girls’ rights to education at 11 years old, when she began writing for the BBC about her experience living under the Taliban. Though she was celebrated for speaking out, Malala became the target of an assassination attempt by the Taliban and was subsequently shot down in 2012. Since her miraculous recovery, and under continued threats, Yousafzai has continued her campaign for girls’ education. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said in a statement that Malala “has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations.”

Satyarthi, an Indian children’s rights activist, has spent decades fighting child trafficking and forced labor in India. In 2013 Satyarthi launched the Save the Childhood Movement in an effort to identify and protect children from societal values that work to erode their childhoods. The Norwegian Nobel Committee added, “it is an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism.”

Earlier this year, Yousafzai was chosen to receive the 2014 Liberty Medal for her campaign for children’s educational rights and for finding courage despite the challenges she has faced. Yousafzai will be awarded the medal in the 26th Annual Liberty Medal Ceremony held Tuesday, October 21st at 7 p.m. at the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall. Previous recipients include Hillary Rodham Clinton, Muhammad Ali, Tony Blair, and Bono.

Guide to OutFest 2014: Gay DJs at Dilworth Park, a Stimulus and Pulse Mashup Party, Stonewall Kickball’s Pub Crawl, and More

The party is always hoping on Camac Street, between U Bar and Venture Inn. | Photo by Josh Middleton

The party is always hoping on Camac Street, between U Bar and Venture Inn. | Photo by Josh Middleton

The 24th annual OutFest is on Sunday, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t celebrate National Coming Out Day all weekend. To keep you on your gay-game we’ve rounded up the best events so you’ll know how to whoop it up from Thursday night till the sun goes down Sunday.

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Boyz II Men to Perform at Halftime During Eagles vs. Giants


Philadelphia’s own Boyz II Men will make an exciting appearance at this Sunday’s Eagles vs. Giants game. R&B hit-makers and Philly natives Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris, and Nate Morris will perform during halftime on Sunday, October 12th. The Grammy-winning group will put on a medley of their biggest hits and their newest tunes. Boyz II Men’s latest album, Collide, drops Tuesday, October 21st.

It looks like the Eagles are already warming up for Boyz II Men’s performance:

David Lynch’s Twin Peaks To Make Triumphant Return in 2016

Yes, you read that correctly: David Lynch and Mark Frost’s hit television series, Twin Peaks, will return for a 9-episode run in 2016. The miniseries will air on Showtime, 25 years after it’s original run on ABC.

Deadline reports that the series will be set in present day and speculates that some of Lynch and Frost’s favorite actors will return. Lynch, a former Philadelphian and PAFA graduate, will direct the miniseries, while he and Frost will write all the episodes.

In the 24 years that have elapsed since the show’s premiere in 1990, the mystery of Laura Palmer’s murder has gained a next-generation cult following. Rumors of the show’s return began in August when Lynch posted a cryptic tweet announcing his search for the actor who played Big Ed Hurley on Twin Peaks.

Frost and Lynch fueled the rumors Friday when they sent out messages quoting one of the show’s catchphrases:

This morning the creators sent out identical messages confirming the new project:

Lynch’s alma mater, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, is currently housing “David Lynch: A Unified Field,” an exhibit containing about 90 of the artist’s paintings and drawings from 1965 to the present. The exhibit also features a few of Lynch’s early short films, shot in Philadelphia. The exhibit runs through January 11th, 2015. 

The Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center Grand Opening


This week marks the opening of the Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center in Manayunk. An event 10 years in the making, this massive project was a collaboration between the town’s community, the Philadelphia Water Department, and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. Located at 1 Vector Street, the Venice Island development reconstructed the former facilities between the Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Canal into a public space now filled with a performing arts theater, an outdoor amphitheater, a playground, basketball courts, and a spray park.

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