Wolfgang Busch

Wolfgang Busch Honored with Award

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ften, the hard work of AIDS advocates and community activists go unremarked, so it’s heartening when tributes are paid. “Keep the Dream Alive” Humanitarian Awards, a black-tie tribute to Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and David Jackson, Don Garcia, Mike Gaye and Winston Dyre, brought together those helping to make positive changes in the world.

On Saturday, January 31, at Terrace on the Park in Queens, New York, participants were treated to food, live music and DJs, a fashion and comedy show, and a salute and parade by the Harlem Youth Marine Cadets. The event honored the Hon. Tanya R. Kenedy, Charles McCray, Gwyn Worthy Bron, Dr. Monica Sanchez, Charles Conner, Larry Love Moore, Richard Washington, and Wolfgang Busch [A&U, December 2006]. Busch is being honored for his LGBT ballroom community activism.

Long active in the ball community as a ballroom convention producer and ballroom historian, lecturer and educator, and a member of the House of Omni, Busch created the documentary How Do I Look, about the Harlem House Ball community, which received the Humanitarian Award from the Diaspora Film Festival in Berlin. A festival favorite, the film has been used as an educational tool across campuses and community-based organizations. Busch created the film in part to provide a more empowering and historically accurate look at the ball community, whose practices are often arguably misappropriated by major pop stars or decontextualized by films like Paris Is Burning.

Like Busch, the ball community has often embraced HIV/AIDS education as a way to secure health justice for African-American and Latino communities.

Notes Busch: “I have the highest respect for the Ball community, because of their creativity and family values we can all learn from it….I can honestly say that there is a need for an organization representing the ballroom community’s best interest and can help them with artistic empowerment and health-related issues. There is a need to educate the public, politicians and AIDS agencies to change the public opinion, so we can build a productive future. We need to unite our community again and start a healing process so our future generations will benefit from it.”

For more information about Wolfgang Busch, log on to: www.ArtFromTheHeartnyc.org.