Current Exhibition

Open Dialogues: Stories From the LGBTQ Community

Saturday, February 8 - Sunday, May 17, 2020

Open Dialogues: Stories from the LGBTQ Community is a series of targeted activities within the Center’s multi-disciplinary programming focus on issues and narratives within the LGBTQ community in Hollywood and throughout Broward County. Open Dialogues was created to engage with the stories and identities of a diverse cross-section of LGBTQ residents while fostering conversations within the community at large. Activities have been developed with the guidance of the Open Dialogues Advisory Committee created by the Center.

Opening Reception
Saturday, February 8, 2020 | 5 – 8 pm
$10, Free – Members

Stonewall logo

The project features an exhibition of a newly commissioned short documentary video directed by award-winning filmmaker Freddy Rodriguez. The exhibition will include artifacts from the Stonewall Museum & Archives in Fort Lauderdale and wall text by Hollywood-based author Julie Marie Wade. The documentary video will be screened on an ongoing basis from Feb. 8 through May 17 in the Center’s Interactive Gallery. An opening reception will be held 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8, and will include the raising of a commissioned Pride/Ally flag created by Nicole Storrs from an open call to area artists.

Three additional events will be presented as part of Open Dialogues.

Open Dialogues LGBTQ Panel Discussion
Allies | Finding Commonality

Wednesday, March 11, 2020
7 pm reception | 7:30 pm panel

Moderated by Todd Delmay
President, Hollywood LGBTQ+ Council
Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida
+ Open Dialogues Screening

Saturday, April 4, 2020 | 4 pm | FREE
Julie Marie Wade: Poetry and Prose
Saturday, April 18, 2020
5 pm reception | 5:30 pm author reading

Open Dialogues is funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Broward as part of Broward Pride, one of the 10 Issues That Matter most to Broward’s future. Broward Pride seeks to catalyze institutional culture change within organizations to openly welcome and include LGBT residents.


The short documentary video Open Dialogues: Stories from the LGBTQ Community draws upon the coming-out narratives of seven Broward residents who took part in on-camera interviews for this project. The 19-minute video was produced by the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood to inspire conversation about acceptance and inclusion of the LGBTQ community in Broward County.

For the video, the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood reached out to seven individuals from Broward’s LGBTQ community who represent a variety of coming-out narratives. They are Christine Walters, Dan Bassett, Franchesca D’Amore, Gary Keating, Julie Marie Wade, Michael Goodman, and Omar Morales.

Each was interviewed on camera and spoke openly about their respective coming-out journey. The topics covered include how acceptance of self is the first step in expecting acceptance from others, overcoming rejection based on gender or sexual identity, and the role of spirituality in the LGBTQ narrative.

Christine Walters is Co-Chair of the South Florida Bisexual+ Network. A resident of Pembroke Pines, she is completing her course work to become a veterinarian specializing in exotic animals.

Dan Bassett is Assistant Principal of St. Mark’s Episcopal School in Fort Lauderdale. A native of upstate New York, he has served as the artistic director of the South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble since 2005. He plays the trumpet and lives in Fort Lauderdale with his husband Francis Lyn.

Franchesca D’Amore is a member of the Hollywood LGBTQ+ Council and serves on its Business Committee. A native of Zimbabwe now living in Hollywood, she works as a hair stylist, life coach and tutor. She is the author of the musical Combing Through Life’s Tangles and founder of the non-profit Hairstylists for Humanity (2004-2013). She has served as a board member for various social service and arts-related nonprofits in South Florida.

Gary Keating is the Director of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, which he founded in 1986. He is a retired teacher who was Director and Conductor of the Choral/Vocal Magnet Program at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in Miami, where he conducted four choruses and taught Advanced Placement Music Theory and other subjects. He lives in Oakland Park with his husband Richard Schultz.

Julie Marie Wade is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Florida International University. She is the author of 11 books of poetry and creative nonfiction, including When I Was Straight, Same-Sexy Marriage, and the forthcoming collection, Just an Ordinary Woman Breathing (Feb. 2020). A native of Seattle, Washington, she lives in Hollywood with her spouse, Angie Griffin.

Michael Goodman is the owner/founder of GPR/Goodman Public Relations, a full-service agency based in Fort Lauderdale. He is the board chair of the Florida Theatrical Association, immediate past chair of Neighbors 4 Neighbors, and is an Honorary Trustee at the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood. He performs nationally as the iconic artist Cher under the stage name Michael Dean as Cher.

Omar Morales is an Office Assistant at the LGBTQ Community Service organization SunServe in Wilton Manors. A native of Puerto Rico, he worked previously as a news correspondent for Telemundo in New England. He lives in Fort Lauderdale with his partner Johnnie Mejia.

Freddy Rodriguez

Open Dialogues is directed, photographed, and edited by award-winning Miami-based filmmaker Freddy Rodriguez, owner of the film production company and creative video agency 66 Films. Rodriguez is an EMMY®, TELLY® and Promax/BDA® award-winning writer, director/DP, and editor of commercials, music videos and short films. These include Malabar, which was acquired by HBO and was selected as the Best Short film of 2019 at FilmGate-Miami’s “Not Gonna Move to L.A. Film Festival.” He received a 2019 Ellie’s Creator Award from Oolite Arts to write the feature-film screenplay Project Ballroom, which tells the story of Miami’s gay ballroom scene of the 1990s.

Pride/Ally Flag by Nicole Storrs

Pride/Ally Flag by Nicole Storrs

An original Pride/Ally flag created by Broward-based artist Nicole Storrs will be present outside and inside the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood galleries from Feb. 8 to May 17. To commemorate activities for Open Dialogues: Stories From the LGBTQ Community, Storrs’ originally designed flag, titled “The Blended Flag: A Cross Section of Culture and Identity,” will hang from a flagpole at the entrance to the Center, with free, mini-replicas of the artwork also being made available to attendees to Open Dialogues program activities.

This original flag was among 25 entries submitted by 14 South Florida artists through an open call. Storrs’ work was selected by the Center’s Open Dialogues Advisory Committee in conversation with Curator of Exhibitions, Meaghan Kent. “The Blended Flag” supports the goals of Open Dialogues, which celebrates the stories and identities of a diverse cross-section of LGBTQ residents through a variety of art and culture activities.

Storrs is a Broward County native who currently lives in Lauderhill. She graduated from Broward College with an Associate of Arts degree in 2008 and has exhibited her work at Bear & Bird Boutique & Gallery in Lauderhill and Slushbox Gallery in West Palm Beach. She is a ceramics instructor at 9Muses Art Center, which provides mental health services through participation in fine arts, evidence-based recovery workshops, support groups, and performing arts.

In her artist statement for “The Blended Flag,” she wrote, “This design, made up of a cross-section of overlapping rainbow ribbons, is emblematic of the overlapping and blending of identities. The classic rainbow is inverted, spun in on itself to greater amplify how light and color changes when introduced to one another, how shades of blue and yellow become lime and forest green. This blending is emblematic of the LGBTQ+ community’s ever increasing understanding of the nuances and intersections between ever-shifting identities.”

She adds, “At the same time, the design celebrates the wonderful intermingled identities living and thriving in South Florida and Hollywood. We might be Caribbean and bisexual, a Jewish lesbian single mother, or the transgender man who volunteers on the weekend. We are a vibrant, colorful, blended community. This flag represents and celebrates vibrancy. To paraphrase Walt Whitman, we contain multitudes. And we deserve to express those multitudes, in all our polychromatic glory.”

Open Dialogues is funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Broward as part of Broward Pride, one of the 10 Issues That Matter most to Broward’s future. Broward Pride seeks to catalyze institutional culture change within organizations to openly welcome and include LGBT residents.

Support for Open Dialogues: Stories from the LGBTQ Community is provided by the following Funds at the Community Foundation of Broward: Richard Frisby and Edward Burkhart Fund, Leonard and Sally Robbins Fund, Frederick W. Jaqua Fund, and James Bell-Greenbaum Charitable Fund.