Poet laureate comes to Pride

Long Island Stonewall veteran to speak at Pride event

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On Saturday, June 25 from 1 to 6 p.m., the Patchogue Arts Council will be hosting their annual Pride event.

This year’s theme is “Rainbow Connection” and was cultivated by executive director Beth Giacummo and Anu Annam, the founder of SEA of Visibility (Support Expression Through the Arts), who has curated for PAC’s Museum of Contemporary Art in the past.

Annam has been instrumental in coordinating Pride events since 1990. Her organization, SEA of Visibility, “embraces BIPOC, immigrant, queer and disabled artists and allies, focusing on neurodiversity and mental health and provides peer and professional support and offers coping and compensatory strategies for its participants, helping to create art that broadens the greater community’s vision of what mental illness is.”

Annam has been a mainstay in the growth of the Patchogue arts scene and LGBTQIA+ community, especially with her critically acclaimed curation of Lex Barberio’s “I L L U M I N A T E D: a lens on gender.” Then-legislator Rob Calarco issued a county proclamation honoring Annam’s groundbreaking work.

“Though I don’t live in Patchogue, Patchogue has embraced me, and I have made many, many artist friends in Patchogue, such as Mark Propper, who is one of our exhibiting artists, and I bring artists here as well—extolling the town’s virtues. I’ve always been about integration, natural, genuine growth, with a little elbow grease to assist hard to reach populations in attending events and classes,” said Annam.

The “Rainbow Connection” theme was established to “welcome queers and allies who have explored uniqueness of intersectional experiences in our vibrant LGBTQIA+ community.”

“We are celebrating our commonalities and what drives us to unite, through all the flavors of life, with our vastly different expressions of gender, relationship style, sexual orientation and its intersections with class, race, culture, and generation,” said Annam.

Some of the Pride event’s most distinguished in the line-up include Rusty Rose, a Stonewall trailblazer poet laureate. In her poem, “Put the ‘T’ First,” she remembers with distinguished valor that a Black trans woman, Marsha P. Johnson, was the first person of the Stonewall Riot to take a stance.

Rose was only 17 when she witnessed the Stonewall Inn riots that began after plainclothes police officers came in, physically terrorizing and arresting patrons.

Andraleia Buch, a musician who has honed empathy through her music study—which she calls “Empathology”—fuses virtuosic technical skill, deep musical empathy, and a thick sense of groove. A lifelong musician, Buch’s early years were spent training at such wide-ranging musical institutions as Walnut Hill Conservatory and Berklee College of Music.

Her touring, performing, and recording experience include notables as
JD Simo, Just Loud, Pretty Cryers, The Big Happy and Sister Monk, and guest spots with The Allman Betts Band, Mumford & Sons, Matisyahu and Umphrey’s McGee.

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