Drag Performers, Dancers, Musicians and Aerial Artists Unite for Pride Center Fundraiser the Emerald Ball

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TENCHA LA JEFA PHOTOGRAPHED BY JULIÁN P. LEDEZMA
  • Tencha la Jefa photographed by Julián P. Ledezma
If you keep up with the slideshows we post on sacurrent.com, you’ve undoubtedly come across the work of Julián P. Ledezma, a tireless photographer who closely follows San Antonio’s wide-ranging drag scene. Beyond the many late nights he spends shooting entertainers and partyers on the Main Strip, Ledezma also stages studio portraits with drag performers, many of whom were represented in his 2017 solo exhibition “Invoking the Reign.” In 2012, Ledezma devised a way to combine several of his talents while giving back to the LGBTQ* community via the Emerald Ball, an eclectic variety show benefiting Pride Center San Antonio and its mission to “serve the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV communities by connecting them and their families to community resources and organizations related to health, wellness, support, education, activities and advocacy.”
AZUL BARRIENTOS PHOTOGRAPHED BY JULIÁN P. LEDEZMA
  • Azul Barrientos photographed by Julián P. Ledezma
So far, the annual endeavor has raised more than $20,000 for Pride Center with a specific focus on helping the nonprofit establish the physical community space it acquired last year. When it comes to booking the talent, Ledezma offers performers not cash but an individual photo shoot in exchange for participation. (Judging from a quick head count, Ledezma’s about to have about 20 upcoming shoots on his calendar.) Emceed by snaggletoothed, curler-wearing camp queen Tencha la Jefa in the cozy confines of Woodlawn Pointe, the eighth annual affair unites drag talents from both traditional and avant-garde sides of the equation (from Beyoncé D. Mykels and Nilaya Milan Matthews to Ezzy Breezy and Kitty Buick) with boundary-pushing sideshow performer Salem, the drag king collective Los MENtirosos, genre-jumping vocalist Azul Barrientos, dance ensemble Grupo Folklórico de Bendiciones and aerial troupe Suspend Your Belief, among others. General admission $15, VIP tables $250-$650, 7-11pm Sat, May 25, Woodlawn Pointe, 702 Donaldson Ave., brownpapertickets.com.

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