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New York Public Library Features LGBT Programs, Complete with Drag Queens

Thursday May 31, 2012
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NEW YORK, NY -The New York Public Library (NYPL) and Souleo Enterprises LLC, an event/media production company, have formed a partnership to provide adult library patrons with an exciting line-up of artistic/cultural, LGBT and financial literacy summer programming, beginning June 2012.

Highlighting the evolving role of libraries as educational culture hubs, programming includes improv performances by the National Comedy Theater; make-up makeovers by NYC’s top drag queens such as Hedda Lettuce; a panel on LGBT hip-hop; celebrity impersonators discussing diva worship; music industry veterans Meli’sa Morgan, Full Force and Christopher "Play" Martin discussing overcoming financial struggles; a master class in career reinvention by George C. Fraser; interactive workshops featuring the iconic drag entertainer John Epperson (Lypsinka’s Maid); a fashion reinvention design workshop with Beau McCall; and much more.

"This season of adult programs aim to present a diverse, entertaining and enriching line-up of programming that represents a range of cultures and experiences as reflected in our collections," said New York Public Library Adult Programming Specialist Kelly Yim. "These programs allow us to demonstrate to the community how libraries are transforming into educational culture hubs."

"We are thrilled to work closely with the NYPL and to have the opportunity to create and produce a part of their summer adult programming," said Souleo, Founder and President of Souleo Enterprises, LLC, who is a producer of events and content for a variety of media and nonprofit institutions. "In this digital age, libraries must continuously seek creative programming to remain relevant. We are confident that these programs will fulfill that goal and help to attract new and diverse audiences."

The ambitious series of 28 events includes "A Moment of...LOUD," pop-up performances and workshops in the normally quiet library, ranging from a lip-syncing class to a gong concert. LGBT programming will consist of a series of fun workshops and provocative panels celebrating the spirit of the community and analyzing some of its current challenges. Financial literacy presentations will work to empower individuals and communities with key tools and resources, while life stories from celebrities of triumphing over financial obstacles will aim to inspire. Events will take place in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island from June 2 through August 25.

"This season of adult programs aim to present a diverse, entertaining and enriching line-up of programming that represents a range of cultures and experiences as reflected in our collections."

The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services.

It comprises four research centers - housed, respectively, in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and the Science, Industry and Business Library-and 90 locations in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 65 million items, including materials for the visually impaired.

In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English as a second language. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and another 25 million users internationally, who access collections and services through the NYPL website, www.nypl.org.

Souleo Enterprises, LLC is the umbrella company that creates and produces entertaining and informative events, media and artistic projects by founder, Souleo. This Brown University graduate and dynamic young talent’s list of journalism credits includes Newsweek, Ebony, New York Press, Black Enterprise, XXL, Sister 2 Sister, Rolling Out and more.

Most recently the company has formed a partnership with the prestigious non-profit arts service organization the Harlem Arts Alliance. The initial project, a weekly column entitled "Harlem Arts Alliance Presents: On the ’A’ w/Souleo" is now syndicated online and in print via several outlets including SoulTrain.com, New York Amsterdam News, Rolling Out, and more.

For details on the events, visit: www.nypl.org or www.souleouniverse.com

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