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TRIBUTE TO AFRICAN AMERICAN AUTHORS Set for 2/25 at L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center celebrates Black History Month with two concurrent free events highlighting some of the cultural contributions African Americans have made to our society: A Tribute to African American Authors, in which renowned actors and singers perform selected works; and a reception for the new exhibit Ain't Just Paint: Works from the CCH Pounder Collection. Both events take place on Monday, Feb. 25, in the Renberg Theatre and Advocate & Gochis Galleries at the Center's Village at Ed Gould Plaza. The Tribute will begin at 7:30 p.m., followed immediately by a reception in the Galleries. Admission to both events is free, but reservations are required for the Tribute:

Ain't Just Paint: Works from the CCH Pounder Collection will be on exhibit Tuesday, Feb. 19, through Saturday, March 2. It showcases artwork from Ms. Pounder's personal collection, with a focus on art that could be considered non-traditional. On display are works on canvas as well as pieces fashioned from unusual materials, such as beads, fiber, embroidery, plastics, cardboard and even tortilla chips and silk worm dung! The humbleness of the material is used with glorious execution in the hands of these artists.

CCH Pounder is an Emmy and Grammy Award nominated actress. Her credits include Warehouse 13, Avatar , ER and The Shield . She is also an art collector and consultant who has amassed a collection of contemporary art over the past 40 years. A world traveler, Pounder procures or identifies emerging artists for the Boribana Museum in Dakar, Senegal, which she co-owns with her husband, Boubacar Kone

A Tribute to African-American Authors features renowned actors and singers reading selected pieces by writers who have shaped, and perhaps will shape, the American cultural landscape. Performers include:

Cleo Anderson-a youth spoken-word artist performing original work.

CARLEASE BURKE-film credits include Get Shorty, In Her Shoes, The Back-Up Plan, and The Terminal. TV credits include: Heroes, Dollhouse, Grey's Anatomy, Bones, Days of Our Lives, How I Met Your Mother, Dexter, The Closer, Monk, Without a Trace, and Desperate Housewives. In addition to her acting career, Burke also performs as a stand-up comedian.

Michael Castro-a youth spoken-word artist performing original work.

Dale Guy Madison-a writer, actor, filmmaker and former host for the QVC network. He appeared in the original 1988 John Waters movie, Hairspray, and has appeared on NBC s Homicide: Life on the Streets. Madison produced a CD of spoken word poems in 2008 called WANTED: DamnGoodMan.

Iona Morris-TV credits include: Law & Order: L.A., Cold Case, Lincoln Heights, The Shield, many others. She recurred on: As the World Turns, The District, Moesha, others. Among her extensive theatre credits are In the Red and Brown Water (nominated for two L.A. Drama Critics Circle Awards) andher one-woman show For You, about her father Greg Morris from the '70s TV series Mission: Impossible. Morris is also a writer and director.

Michael A. Shepperd- an actor whose work has been applauded by critics on both coasts, often compared to Sidney Poitier and Paul Robeson. His impressive resume boasts roles on Arrested Development, Ally McBeal, Frasier, Friends, Monk, ER Strong Medicine, the film Humanoid and others. His first love is the theatre, most recently co-starring in the Los Angeles production of Peter Pan, starring Cathy Rigby.

Jenifer Leigh Warren-a critically acclaimed singer/actress lauded for her show-stopping performance in Big River on Broadway and the original Little Shop of Horrors. She has received an Ovation Award, a Garland Award, two BroadwayWorld awards, and NAACP Award nominations. Her show Diamonds Are Forever: The Songs of Dame Shirley Bassey premiered in 2011 at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Renberg Theatre and received seven BroadwayWorld Award nominations. Warren has been seen in numerous films and television shows.

The event will take place in The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Renberg Theatre (200-seat theatre) and The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Advocate & Gochis Galleries at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood (one block east of Highland, just north of Santa Monica Blvd. Free parking.), on Monday, February 25. Tribute at 7:30 p.m. Gallery reception at 8:30 p.m. Ain't Just Paint on exhibit Feb. 19-March 2. Gallery hours: Mon.-Fri. 6-10 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: FREE, but reservations are required:

The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center provides a broad array of services for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, welcoming nearly a quarter-million client visits from ethnically diverse youth and adults each year. Through its Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic and on-site pharmacy, the Center offers free and low-cost health, mental health, HIV/AIDS medical care and HIV/STD testing and prevention. The Center also offers legal, social, cultural and educational services, with unique programs for seniors, families and youth, including a 24-bed transitional living program for homeless youth. Information about the Gay & Lesbian Center is available on the Web at

Artwork: A Better Tomorrow, by Zane Turner

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