Tulsa’s new LGBTQ+ nonprofit promotes safe spaces and comedic expression – FOX23 News

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa’s newest LGBTQ+ nonprofit shows how comedy has played an important role in creating a safe space and creative expression since the 1980s.

Twisted Arts was founded in 2020. Founder and Executive Director Kevin Lovelace says the organization aims to celebrate the artistic side of Tulsa’s LGBTQ+ members.

“Tulsa is a very welcoming city with a very vibrant arts scene right now. When we bring other artists from other states, they see our artists, they can go tell their friends that Tulsa is a welcoming place and that we have a very supportive community here,” Lovelace said.

The idea behind the group was to bring an LGBTQ+ short film festival to Tulsa. The first was at the Circle Cinema last summer.

“It was really important to me and I think our community tells our stories and has a community where we can watch movies together. I started working on that and it grew into an organization to provide artistic capabilities to our community,” Lovelace said.

Art that also includes comedy. This really played a role in the 1980s. It was then that the country’s first gay comedy club was said to have opened in San Francisco.

“The best thing you can do is make people laugh. People got together and took over a comedy club and when people needed a place to go, they were there every week,” Lovelace said.

Lovelace says comedy is what got many LGBTQ+ members through dark times. Especially during the AIDS crisis. This weekend at Circle Cinema, Twisted Arts will present the documentary “Stand up, Stand out” showing how comedy has influenced the LGBTQ+ family.

“People came regularly every week because they needed a place to escape reality for a while. The same is happening now with state and local governments where they are trying to attack our community and we, as we always do, are coming together and fighting back with comedy,” Lovelace said.

Tickets go on sale Saturday, March 26. The show starts at 7 a.m. and tickets are $10. Several local comedians will perform.

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