Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sex Workers Art Show comes home

Published in the Volcano, Jan. 25, 2007

The Sex Workers’ Art Show returns to Olympia for one night only at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Friday, Jan. 26 beginning at 8 p.m.

Like so many things weird whacky and wonderful, this annual event started in Olympia and now tours nationwide, with performances in San Francisco, New Orleans, Boston, Chicago and New York. It was started a decade ago at the old Liberation Café in downtown Olympia by a South Sound sex worker and activist who goes by the pseudonym Annie Oakley.

“We're very excited about doing the show in Olympia,” Oakley said. “After ten years, Olympia now has an incredible amount of sex worker-savvy for a town its size, and being here is always so warm and welcoming. The show would never have grown into what it is now without the support and influence of this community.”

The Sex Workers’ Art Show is cabaret-style entertainment featuring music, spoken word, burlesque and multi-media performance art by people who have worked in or continue to work in the sex industry, such as strippers, prostitutes and phone sex workers.

Oakley said this year’s show will feature more men than ever before. “Male workers and their perspectives tend to be underrepresented in the sex worker movement and we're pleased to be able to present Kirk Read, Stephen Elliott, and Reginald Lamar,” she said, adding: “The show also has more burlesque than ever. It's a bit flashier and shows a bit more leg. We've got the spectacular Miss Dirty Martini, who was recently voted 'Best Body in Burlesque', tassel-twirling master Jo Weldon, and C. Snatch Z.”

Elliott and Read are both award-winning authors. Elliott wrote the novel “Happy Baby.” Read co-edited “Best Gay Erotica 2004” and is known for his popular coming out memoir “How I Learned to Snap.” Also on the bill is Japanese performance artist Cono Snatch Zubobinskaya, an internationally renowned member of the Japanese performance collective Dumbtype.

Finally, starring in the show this year is one of the most original and uncatagorizable artists in America, Julie Atlas Muz, an exotic dancer and 2004 Whitney Biennial artist and who was crowned Miss Exotic World 2006.

Organizers bill the event as “intelligent and hot, challenging and hilarious,” offering “scathing and insightful commentary on sexuality, gender and labor.” It is also intended to dispel some myths about sex workers. But most of all, it should simply be a lot of fun.

For more information and performer bios, go to
Tickets are $12 at the door.

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