Upon first hearing about the GLBT Historical Society’s Unmasked Gala a few months back, I was instantly intrigued. I mean, I love good art, and I love a good cocktail party. And pretty much anything combining the two is deliciously divine.
What I didn’t know until doing further research is that the event—which is coming up on October 29—is an annual event that not only showcases some of the best art out there but is backed by so many Castro-based supporters.
First, the basics: The GLBT History Museum, located on 18th Street, is “the only full-scale, stand-alone museum of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history and culture in the United States.” That alone is worth high praise.
Since it’s inception in 1985, the Historical Society has been collecting and preserving pieces of GLBT history in order to better display it for the public to both learn from and enjoy. The registered 501©3 educational nonprofit offers regularly-changing exhibits as well as long-standing ones, and open up their massive archives to researchers a few days a week—and to the public two Saturdays a month.
Heck, their website doesn’t call the museum the “queer Smithsonian” for nothing.
So naturally, being that the GLBT History Museum is such a big part of the community, some of the Castro’s most well-recognized fronts are sponsors for the society’s annual Unmasked Gala. Bi-Rite Market and Noe Valley neighbor Whole Foods will be supplying the snacks. Badlands and Toad Hall pitching in support. And community-loved Studio Black Sheep plans the event.
So what’s this crazy gala about anyways?
Held at the beautiful Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Unmasked Gala serves as lets gives art enthusiasts the opportunity to not just celebrate queer history art and memorabilia but gives them a chance to own a piece of it as well. General admission for the event includes appetizers, cocktails and live entertainment. VIP admission, which gets guests through the doors a few hours prior for more wine and hors d’oeuvres—because really you can never have too much of that—along with a preview of the night’s main event: the silent auction. Bid on a piece of history—one of Harvey Milk’s business cards!—or a trip for you and your posse—Beyond The Label Napa Valley wine weekend!
Now you must be wondering: Hey I love me some good art, but how much is it going to break the bank to get into this shindig? Tickets start at $75 per person general admission. (Of course, buying VIP tickets and such will get you perks with the museum and your name in the program, but we’ll let you decide how much you want to splurge for a chunk of GLBT history.)
The GBLT Historical Society’s 2014 Unmasked Gala takes place Wednesday, October 29 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum on Mission Street. General admission tickets get you in at 7pm, VIP admission is at 6pm. For more information about ticket prices, sponsors and the museum itself, please visit unmaskedgala.org