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Friday, March 20, 2015

Last Call chronicles recent history of New Orleans lesbian bars

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 4:52 PM

click to enlarge Last Call recounts the recent history of lesbian bars in New Orleans. - MELISSA CARDONA
  • Last Call recounts the recent history of lesbian bars in New Orleans.

Last Call, a collective of performers and archivists, will debut its first podcast about the recent history of lesbian bars in New Orleans at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, March 22, at Zeitgeist Multi-Discliplinary Arts Center. There's also a corresponding dance-based performance with video projections. The group is developing a full-length theater piece that it hopes to premiere in fall 2015.

When Rubyfruit Jungle closed in 2012, New Orleans was left without an identifiable lesbian bar, says Last Call member Bear Hebert (though at the time it closed, it was not thought of primarily as a lesbian bar, she adds). The podcast is particularly focused on lesbian-owned bars that served as social centers for members of the LGBTQ community. At various times in the 1970s and 1980s, there were as many as nine lesbian bars open at the same time, Hebert says. The bars were generally spread throughout the city, but at one point, there was a group of three within walking distance of each other in the French Quarter and Marigny.

During the last two years, the group compiled more than 400 pages of transcribed interviews about New Orleans' lesbian community. The podcast, titled Prologue: Coming Out Stories, is drawn from those interviews.

The event Sunday is in conjunction with the Patois International Human Rights Film Festival. Last Call members will be on hand to discuss the project.

The group expects to release a series of podcasts based on the interviews collected so far. The podcast will be available on iTunes and via the website.

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