Jon Sims Center To Re-Open Grandly – By Dennis McMillan

On Saturday, March 17, the Jon Sims Center for the Arts will present ?Second Debut: A Re-Grand Opening Celebration? as a fundraiser for Jon Sims Center. Doors open at 6pm and festivities will include a historical display, refreshments, and of course live performances by resident and community artists including the longest running small ensemble of the San Francisco Gay Men?s Chorus, the Lollipop Guild; Crash Cabaret: Where Queers Collide; Mina Liccione of Stomp; dyke burlesque queens Diamond Daggers; the drag queen accordion-playing Polish lunch lady chanteuse Kielbasia; and many others.

After an intense six months of reorganization and revamping, the board of directors is excited to invite the public back with a renewed sense of purpose. ?There is an obvious need in the community for this important center,? says board president Stephanie Smith. ?The phone has been ringing off the hook by groups needing low-cost rehearsal space.? One of the newest tenants, the Experimental Performance Institute of New College, is the first institution to offer degree programs in queer and activist performance. Dwayne Calizo, past AirSpace resident artist and core faculty & co-director for EPI, has been instrumental in beautifying the space and has secured two work-study students that are helping maintain the facility in the absence of staff.