This exhibit on the Upstairs Lounge fire and MCC New Orleans is truly a collaboration of many persons.
Lynn Jordan, long-time friend of the LGBT Religious Archives Network, planted the seeds for this exhibit months ago when he told me about collecting artifacts about the fire for an exhibit at MCC San Francisco. Lynn proved to be an incredibly creative and diligent researcher who located many of the artifacts displayed here.
Skylar Fein, New Orleans artist who created the extensive “Remember the Upstairs Lounge Fire” exhibition which was shown in New Orleans (2008) and New York City (2010), responded promptly and helpfully to my inquiries about locatingparticular artifacts.
Johnny Townsend, New Orleans writer who single-handedly collected stories and personal photos of persons related to the Upstairs Lounge fire over many years, generously shared his photo collection with us which brought a critical personal dimension to this exhibit.
Henry Kubicki, who was in New Orleans as a young gay activist and MCC member at the time, found us and got heavily involved by providing several photos and artifacts as well as invaluable background information on the persons and places in this story.
These persons graciously responded to requests to locate or identify some key artifacts: Pastors Richard Easterling (St. George’s Episcopal Church), Anita Dinwiddie (St. Mark’s UMC), and Gail Minnick (Big Easy MCC); as well as Harriett Murrell, archivist for the Episcopal Diocese; David Cupps, Integrity USA staff; and Rev. John Gill, MCC retired.
Carl Foote, who has been the technological guru behind the LGBT Religious Archives Network since its inception, has once again done his magic by designing this exhibit.
These donors provided gifts to help underwrite the costs of this exhibit: Jim Bailey, Roy Birchard, Ellie Charlton, Angel Collie, Lynn Jordan, Jim McCrea.
The contributions of all these persons has made it possible to bring you this powerful and illuminating exhibit in LGBT religious history.
Mark Bowman, co-curator
LGBT Religious Archives Network Coordinator