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Author: Alfredo Casuso

The Palm Springs Food and Wine Festival Returns November 11 & 12

media contact:  DP&A, Inc / David Perry / (415) 676-7007 /

The Palm Springs Food and Wine Festival Returns November 11 & 12

Celebrity Chefs Martin Yan, Susan Feniger, Tanya Holland,
Michael Chung
and Andre Carthen Headline
Alongside 40 Restaurants, 80 Boutique Wineries

Special Guest Emcee Liam Mayclem of “Foodie Chap” Fame

Event Benefits the Fellows Program of the Culinary Institute of America, Les Dames D’Escoffier and DAP Health.

28 August 2023, Palm Springs:   “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,” said Virginia Woolf. In that spirit, the wildly anticipated return of the Palm Springs Food and Wine Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, November 11 & 12 at the Palm Springs Stadium Pavilion (1901 East Baristo Road). 40 acclaimed restaurants, 80 boutique wineries, tastings, sippings, pairings, live jazz and demonstrations by celebrity chefs make for a truly international celebration of cuisine and community. The event is a benefit for the Fellows Program of the Culinary Institute of America, Les Dames D’Escoffier and DAP Health.  Special guest emcee for the weekend is Emmy Award winner Liam Mayclem, known to legions of San Francisco Bay Area fans as “The Foodie Chap” alongwith Patrick Evans, Peter Daut and Sandie Newton of KESQ News Channel 3.Tickets may be purchased online at

“Palm Springs has become an incredible culinary destination,” said Jeff Hocker, event executive producer. “Palm Springs chef owned restaurants bring a hip, innovative and mid-century bohemian taste sensations. And, unlike so many festivals, the Palm Springs Food and Fine Festival promises unlimited free parking and an easy going, casual vibe typical of this Desert Oasis.”

Attendees will engage with celebrity chef demonstrations from Martin Yan of “Yan Can Cook,” Susan Feniger of “Two Hot Tamales” and her new Palm Springs restaurant Alice B’s, Tanya Holland of “Tanya’s Kitchen Table” on the OWN Network, and chefs Michael Chung and Andre Carthen of Kathy Ireland Worldwide and many more to be added.  Additionally, expert panels will be led by Shelley Lindgren, founder of San Francisco’s acclaimed restaurant A16, award winning sommelier Katie Finn of the Desert Wine Shop, and astronaut-turned-vintner José M. Hernández.

The Palm Springs Food and Wine Festival would not be possible without the support of The City of Palm Springs, Sotheby’s International Realty, Prime Time Produce, Stolzle Lausitz, Chill Bar Palm Springs, Kevin Crockett Law Group, Town Real Estate & Stars Travel, Sun Community Federal Credit Union, AAA, Costco Wholesale, Palm Springs Disposal, Team McTavish, Gravitas Wine Company, Hotel Zoso, 420 Bank Dispensary & Lounge, Jägermeister, Bright Event Rental, Mike Thompson RV Super Stores Phyllis Eisenberg and Kerry Hendrix

Media Partners for the Palm Springs Food and Wine Festival include: Los Angeles Magazine, KCBS Radio, KESQ News Channel 3, Spectrum News, Grape Encounters, MeTV Radio 103.1 FM, KGAY 106.5 FMD, David Perry & Associates, Inc, Kathleen Bennett, Desert Charities News, CV Independent, Desert Sun, Market Broadcasting System, Alpha Media, The Standard Magazine, Desert Business Association and The Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce



Aug. 17, 2023 – The San Francisco Travel Association released an updated 2023 Visitor and Lodging Forecast at the inaugural Visitor Impact Summit hosted by the Hotel Council and San Francisco Travel today at the Fairmont San Francisco.

Demand for hotel rooms in San Francisco grew year-to-date by 15%, and hotel revenues rose by 30%. The average hotel occupancy in 2023 is projected to increase to 66.8%, up from 62% in 2022. Events and conventions have helped to drive lodging performance, with San Francisco’s premier convention and exhibition facility, Moscone Center, hosting 35 events and accounting for nearly 665,000 hotel room nights this year.

“Convention business has performed well, and the calendar is strong through mid-December with major events such as Dreamforce and APEC’s Economic Leaders’ Week and CEO Summit being held at Moscone Center. Events such as these draw tens of thousands of attendees, and APEC will place the city in the global spotlight,” said Joe D’Alessandro, San Francisco Travel’s President and CEO.

Hotel room inventory in the city is expected to grow by 4% this year compared to 2022. San Francisco hotels are forecast to achieve an average daily rate (ADR) of $246.09, up 7.7% from 2022, and a revenue-per-available room (RevPAR) of $164.29, an increase of 15.9%.

Visitor volume to San Francisco is forecast to increase by 6.2% to 23.3 million, and visitor spending is forecast to reach $8.5 billion, up 13.9% from 2022. While San Francisco’s tourism industry is steadily recovering, San Francisco Travel said it does not expect tourism to exceed the industry’s record-breaking pre-pandemic levels for a few more years.

“San Francisco is still a great investment and still one of the world’s top tourist destinations,” said Alex Bastian, President & CEO of the Hotel Council of San Francisco. “This fall’s upcoming APEC Conference gives San Francisco a great chance to shine on the world stage. Working together with our city leaders and hospitality partners, we’ll continue to lean into the City’s recovery.”

“We are focused on ensuring a safe and welcoming City for our residents, workers and businesses, and visitors from around the world,” said Mayor London Breed. “Tourism is a major contributor to San Francisco’s economic recovery, and we are beginning to see strong improvements with people coming back. There is a renewed excitement and energy happening in the City and we will keep building on this momentum to ensure San Francisco remains a top global destination that is vibrant and thriving so that people will continue to visit and spend time in our City.”

Nearly two million international visitors—a key segment of San Francisco’s tourism industry due to their longer length of stay and higher spending—are projected to spend $4.2 billion this year. The U.K., Europe and India remain strong overseas visitor markets for San Francisco, while Mexico and Canada remain the city’s largest international visitor source markets.

Comparing August 2019 with August 2023, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) reported that 94% of weekly international flights have resumed, and weekly seat capacity is 93.6% of pre-pandemic levels. New airlines added to the SFO network this year include ITA Airways, Norse Atlantic and ZIPAir, flying from Rome, London and Tokyo, respectively. SFO is now served by 40 international carriers and will increase to 41 with the addition of Starlux flying from Taipei in December 2023. Prior to the pandemic, SFO was served by 43 international carriers.


20192022Forecast 2023% + YOY 2023
Visitor Arrivals26.21M21.94M23.3M6.2%
International Overnight Visitors2.95M1.74M1.99M14.6%
Domestic Overnight Visitors7.48M5.43M6.01M10.8%
No. of Moscone Center Events4933356.1%
Visitor Spending$9.56B$7.47B$8.5B13.9%
International Overnight Visitor Spending$5.11B$3.67B$4.22B15.0%
Domestic Overnight Visitor Spending$3.18B$2.4B$2.82B17.3%
Day Visitors15.78M14.77M15.3M3.6%
Day Visitors Spending$1.27B$1.39B$1.46B5.1%
SF Hotel Occupancy82.7%62.0%66.8%7.6%
Exhibitor/Planner Direct Spend$721.9M$294.9MNANA
Hotel ADR$273.61$228.58$246.097.7%
Hotel RevPAR$226.22$141.79$164.2915.9%
Hotel Room Nights Associated with Conventions967,861338,549664,74996.4%


San Francisco Travel expects to see Asian inbound visitation grow further in 2024 following last week’s announcements that China had lifted restrictions on group tours to the U.S. and weekly flights between China and the U.S. will double starting in September. United Airlines announced plans to relaunch service from SFO to Beijing in November and increase service to Shanghai in October with daily nonstops from SFO. In 2019, 518,000 visitors from China accounted for $1.2 billion in visitor spending in San Francisco and the Peninsula.

Continued growth in international and domestic leisure and business travel will drive San Francisco’s ongoing tourism recovery in 2024. Visitor volume is expected to reach 24.3 million, with 2.3 million international visitors forecast to contribute $4.8 billion of the anticipated $9.4 billion in total visitor spending. Moscone Center is slated to host 21 events accounting for 426,951 hotel room nights, down 34% compared to 2023.

“Since 2019, we’ve been reporting 2024 would be a more challenging year for conventions given some cancellations and it being an off year for rotational events. But every year after 2024 shows steady growth in conventions, with 2028 and beyond trending to be above 90% of the average,” said D’Alessandro.

To attract more events to Moscone Center in future years, San Francisco Travel is leveraging the existing Moscone Recovery Fund and the 0.25% TID increase that goes into effect in 2024. The TID increase will build an $8 to $10 million incentive fund to attract and retain business at Moscone Center through 2038.

So far this year, San Francisco Travel’s Convention Sales team has confirmed 16 events at Moscone Center, ranging from the 2024 Visa Payments Forum (to be held in the city for the first time) to the 2026 Super Bowl LX & NFL Experience. In addition, over 500 self-contained meetings and events have been booked year-to-date. These shorter-lead meetings will take place at hotels and event venues in the Bay Area, primarily in 2023 and 2024 in San Francisco.

The 2024 lodging outlook projects a hotel occupancy of 68.1% and an ADR of $252.59. RevPAR is expected to increase by 4.7% to $172.04.

The Visitor & Lodging Forecast projects visitor spending will exceed 2019’s record high of $9.6 billion in 2025 and visitor volume will be just shy of 2019’s 26.2 million by the end of 2026. 

Presented by Expedia, the Visitor Impact Summit was made possible with support from sponsors, including the Fairmont San Francisco; J.P. Morgan Wealth Management; Miles Partnership; Encore; Headshots and the San Francisco Business Times.


The Hotel Council of San Francisco is a non-profit membership-based organization advocating for the economic and social vitality of the hospitality industry in San Francisco. Their membership roster includes over 200 hotels, allied members, and partner organizations. The Hotel Council is dedicated to protecting the San Francisco hospitality industry and connecting its members to support the growth and success of the industry.


The San Francisco Travel Association is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. The city is one of the top tourism and meetings destinations in the U.S. and received 21.9 million visitors in 2022. Total tourism spending in 2022 exceeded $7.7 billion. The tourism industry is the largest generator of outside revenue into San Francisco’s economy and supports over 53,000 jobs.

For information on reservations, activities and more in San Francisco, visit

Follow San Francisco Travel on Facebook (, Instagram (, and Twitter ( Hashtags are #sftravel and #AlwaysSF.

United Airlines is the preferred airline of the San Francisco Travel Association.

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Critically Acclaimed ‘Tabula Rasa (Kora Kagazz)’ Makes its U.S. Premiere

media contact: 
David Perry, DP&A, Inc / (415) 676-7007 /

Critically Acclaimed ‘Tabula Rasa (Kora Kagazz)’ Makes its U.S. Premiere at Cinequest 2023 with Filmmaker Nawneet Ranjan in Attendance August 20 & 26

16 August 2023 – San Francisco Bay Area: On Sunday, August 20, at 3:45pm cinephiles will gather at San Jose’s California Theatre (345 S. 1st Street) and then again with a second screening on Saturday, August 26 at 6:25pm at the ICON Theatre & Kitchen # 3 in Mountain View (2575 California Street, Suite 601) for the eagerly awaited U.S. premiere of Kora Kagazz (‘Tabula Rasa”)

The screening is a featured event at the acclaimed annual Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival 2023. The Latin term “Tabula Rasa” translates to “blank slate,” a concept deeply embedded in the narrative of this film. Tickets may be purchased at the link below, which also contains a trailer for the film:

Brought to life under the meticulous direction of Nawneet Ranjan and penned by the collaborative brilliance of Donna Laemmlen & Nawneet Ranjan, ‘Tabula Rasa (Kora Kagazz)‘ narrates the poignant tale of three wandering souls searching for solace. Divya, a dedicated juvenile home warden, and Vivek, a passionate actor striving for authenticity in his art, come across Sandhya, a 14-year-old girl, shadowed by her tumultuous past. United by destiny, their lives intertwine as they endeavour to rise above adversity.

Leading the cast are the talented Rajat Kapoor, Swastika Mukherjee, and the prodigious Aishani Yadav. The drama is a touching exploration of human connections and the lessons we impart upon one another through our life journeys. Central to the narrative is the philosophy: “Life is just a Kora Kagazz (blank slate), and what truly defines us is what we choose to inscribe upon it.” This ethos is beautifully depicted, emphasizing the protagonist’s courage and determination to voice her emotions.

Renowned critic Archika Khurana of The Times of India lauds the film, stating, “‘Kora Kagazz’ deserves to be seen for its sincere efforts of telling a heartfelt story.”

Nawneet Ranjan’s journey as a filmmaker is as captivating as his movies. After almost seven years in the U.S., including a stint studying in San Francisco, Ranjan was beckoned by the tales from the bylanes of Mumbai’s Dharavi, resulting in the well-received ‘Dharavi Diaries’. However, his passion for community service drew him back to Mumbai, where he dedicated himself to empowering children through education.

Legendary actress Diane Baker, acclaimed for her collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock such as Marnie, her role in Silence of the Lambs and as producer of A Woman of Substance Emmy Nominated for Best Mini-Series among other extensive credits has expressed admiration for Ranjan, having known and mentored him during his academic journey at San Francisco’s Academy of Arts University Film Program.

“I’m so proud of Nawneet, and so impressed by his talent,” said Baker. “I hope his film is distributed in the USA either on Netflix, Amazon, or Apple! It’s very good and worthy of distribution especially from a new young filmmaker who raised his own funds in India to write and direct and produce!”

“Cinequest has always been a beacon for world cinema, and I’m thrilled to showcase our film here,” said Nawneet Ranjan. Both he and Donna Laemmlen will grace the Cinequest Film Festival 2023 with their presence.

The 2023 Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival, running August 15 through 30 is themed ‘energized’ this year and promises to be a melting pot of cinematic treasures from across the globe. 

Cinequest fuses innovation with the arts to empower great creations and to engage audiences, youth, artists, and innovators with these creations and with each other forging community, joy, and our future. Set in Silicon Valley, Cinequest’s uniqueness, impact, and legacy result from applying this powerful integration of creativity, technology, and community to inspire and transform lives. Cinequest does this through the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival, Maverick Studio, and Picture The Possibilities youth creativity services.

Perhaps USA Today said it best“Move over Cannes! Of the more than 4,000 film festivals around the globe, more than half take place on U.S. soil, and many rank among the best of the best. Our panel of film experts, movie buffs and festival gurus were tasked with narrowing down the field to the best 20 film festivals in the nation before we turned it over to USA TODAY and 10Best readers to choose their favorites. After four weeks of voting, we have a winner. Cinequest Voted Best Film Festival!”

Palm Springs Public Library Foundation Announces Armistead Maupinto Headline “Pride on the Page” Book Festival

Media Contacts:  

Julie Warren / Palm Springs Public Library /  / (760) 416-6731

David Perry / DP&A, Inc. / / (415) 676-7007

Palm Springs Public Library Foundation Announces Armistead Maupin
to Headline “Pride on the Page” Book Festival 

Legendary Tales of the City Author Appears Friday, October 13
at Palm Springs Cultural Center to Kick Off
the 2nd Annual Pride on the Page Book Festival

15 August 2023 / Palm Springs:  Armistead Maupin, whose Tales of the City novels and TV series have made the author one of the world’s most important and best known gay literary voices, will appear as a special guest at this year’s 2nd Annual Pride on the Page Book Festival ( The on-stage discussion with local writer David Eugene Perry on Friday, October 13 at 7pm will benefit the Palm Springs Public Library Foundation. United Airlines, a longtime ally of the LGBTQ community is sponsoring the appearance with additional support from El Mirasol Villas Resort and Visit Palm Springs. Maupin and his husband, artist, and photographer Christopher Turner, make their home in London, England.

“Chris and I are thrilled to be returning to Palm Springs,” said Maupin, “and I look forward to reading aloud a sneak preview of my new novel, Mona of the Manor, to be published in March 2024.”

Maupin will be onstage in conversation with longtime journalist David Eugene Perry, host and creator of 10 Percent TV, the longest running LGBTQ TV show in California history which ran for ten years and 351 episodes. Perry’s debut novel, Upon This Rock, won the 2021 Ben Franklin Silver Medal from the Independent Book Publishers Association and “Best Gay Book of 2021” from the San Francisco Book Festival. Called an “elegant, twisty thriller” by Maupin, and “the gay ‘DaVinci Code but a lot better” by Fenton Johnson, Upon This Rock, is currently in screenplay development with a sequel, Thorns of the 15 Roses, underway. Following the main event Maupin will autograph books. A selection of his titles will be available for sale in the lobby courtesy of The Best Bookstore in Palm Springs.

Tickets for the evening are $65 in advance for general admission seating ($75 day-of, if available) with a limited number of VIP tickets at $95 that include a pre-event reception (6pm), a copy of his memoir Logical Family and preferred seating. Tickets to the event may be purchased online at:

Launched in 1976 as a groundbreaking serial in the San Francisco Chronicle, Armistead Maupin’s iconic Tales of the City series has since blazed its own trail through popular culture from a sequence of globally best-selling novels to a Peabody Award-winning television miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney, to an ambitious new musical that had its world premiere at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater in 2011. The series now encompasses eight hugely popular novels: Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You, Michael Tolliver Lives, and Mary Ann in Autumn. The final Tales novel, The Days of Anna Madrigal, was released in January 2014. It premiered at #3 on the Independent Bestseller list and #7 on the New York Times Bestseller list. In 2019 Netflix aired a new series based on the novels titled Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City.

Maupin’s 1992 novel, Maybe the Moon, which followed the serio-comic adventures of a dwarf actress working in Hollywood, was named one of the ten best books of the year by Entertainment Weekly.  The Night Listener (2000), a psychological suspense novel inspired by an eerie episode in Maupin’s own life, became a 2006 feature film starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette.

In 2017 he wrote a memoir titled Logical Family which grew out of his critically acclaimed one-man show of the same name. Neil Gaiman said this about Logical Family; “Maupin is one of America’s finest storytellers, and the story of his life is a story as fascinating, as delightful and as compulsive as any of the tales he has made up for us.”

In 1997 Maupin received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle of New York.  In 2002 he was honored with the Trevor Project’s Life Award “for his efforts in saving young lives.” Maupin was the first recipient of Litquake’s Barbary Coast Award for his literary contribution to San Francisco.  In 2012 he was awarded Lambda’s Pioneer Award which is bestowed on individuals who have broken new ground in the field of LGBT literature and publishing. In 2014 he received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He also received the Visionary Award from the 2014 Outfest Legacy Awards for his collected novels and their “…diverse, interconnected community of San Francisco bohemians — which shaped our collective fantasy of what LGBT life is and could be.” Maupin is the subject of two documentaries: Armistead Maupin is a Man I Dreamt Up (1992) and Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin (2017).

The special event with Maupin on Friday evening kicks off the Second Annual Pride on the Page Book Festival, with most events taking place Saturday, October 14 (10am – 5:30pm). The FREE full day festival will take place at the Palm Springs Cultural Center’s historic Camelot Theatre (2300 Baristo Road, Palm Springs) and features ten panels of 40+ LGBTQ+ and affirming authors and their books in lively discussions. The goal of the Pride on the Page Festival is to communicate different viewpoints and represent various genres that will attract readers/people who have never experienced queer culture, and others who have made it the focus of their lives. The Festival’s panel moderators will lead the authors through discussions of their work, hearing from their point-of-view, helping attendees to discover new authors or get reacquainted with long-time favorites.

Advanced registration on Eventbrite is requested to help manage the event. Those that register and then check-in on the day of the event will receive a free gift. Register at:  To learn more about the Pride on the Page Book Festival, the appearing authors, schedule of events and more, go to

There will be something for everyone at the Second Annual Pride on the Page Book Festival presented by the Palm Springs Public Library Foundation and the Palm Springs Public Library. In addition, other sponsors include the City of Palm Springs, Palm Springs Cultural Center, The Best Bookstore in Palm Springs (the official book seller at the events), United Airlines, David Perry & Associates, Inc,  El Mirasol Villas Resort, Visit Palm Springs, KGAY Radio, CV Independent, and The Standard. 

Enriching Lives, Connecting Community, Inspiring Growth, and Sparking Creativity. For over a century, Palm Springs has recognized the importance of a thriving local library. From a small adobe housing its first books in 1919 to today’s stacks holding over 100,000 resource items, the library has served residents from a dozen different branches. The mission of the Palm Springs Public Library Foundation is to continue that legacy. We aim to support the Palm Springs Public Library and to increase and broaden its use as a cultural and educational institution through financial support securing its place as an essential community resource. Ensuring local access to high-quality library services for generations requires more than just tax-based funding.   Although public funds make libraries possible, it is private gifts that make them flourish. To learn more about the Foundation or how to become a member go to

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Below is the list of this year’s Pride on the Page Book Festival participating authors and moderators, in alphabetical order by last name, and their most recent title:

Noel AlumitMusic Heard in Hi-Fi: Multidisciplinary artist and winner of the Stonewall Book Award from the American Library Association and the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists’ Prize.

Charlie Jane AndersPromises Stronger Than Darkness: Multiple award winning (Lambda, Hugo, Nebula) prolific transgender author of many genres.

Ryka AokiLight From Uncommon Stars: Recipient of Lambda Literary’ s 2023 Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists’ Prize

Chris BelcherPretty Baby: Writer, professor, and former sex worker. Teaches Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Writing Program at the University of Southern California.

Branden Boyer-White & Shannon Watters – Hollow: Supernatural queer romance by the co-creators of the groundbreaking original series “Lumberjanes.”

David Church – Thomas Edison and the Lazarus Vessel: Author of the award-winning adventure novels, Thomas Edison and the Purgatory Equation and Thomas Edison and the Lazarus Vessel, the first two installments in his ‘Edison Trilogy.’

Christian CooperBetter Living Through Birding: Notes From a Black Man in the Natural World: American writer, editor, and infamous Central Park birdwatcher.

Robbie CouchIf I See You Again Tomorrow: Contemporary and speculative fiction young-adult fiction author of three best-selling novels.

Frank DeCaroDrag: Combing Through the Big Wigs of Show Business: Author and performer best known for his 12 years as host of The Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius XM, and his six-year stint as the movie critic on The Daily Show.

Sina GraceSuperman: The Harvests of Youth: Comic book writer, artist, memoirist, and social media personality.

Elena V. GrossOutWrite: The Speeches that Shaped LGBTQ Literary Culture: Co-Director of Berkeley Art Center and an independent writer and culture critic living in San Francisco, CA.

Jim Holmes: Fashion and design director for prestigious companies including principal designer for Mattel’s Barbie. Member of the Palm Springs Library Foundation Board.

A.M. HomesThe Unfolding: Author of 13 books of fiction, short-story, and non-fiction. Winner of the prestigious Orange/ Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Daniel M. JaffeThe Grand Sex Tour Murders: Internationally published, award-winning author whose most recent novel was selected by the review publication, Out in Print, as one of their 10 Favorite Books of 2022.

Sarah Lacy: Award winning investigative journalist, author, and serial entrepreneur.  Co-Founder of Best Bookstore in Palm Springs and Founder of ChairmanMe.

Byron LaneBig Gay Wedding: Author, playwright, screenwriter, Emmy-winning journalist, and former assistant to actress and writer Carrie Fisher.

Ruth MadievskyAll-Night Pharmacy: Author and poet, her work appears in The Atlantic, Harper’s Bazaar, The Los Angeles Times, GQ, Guernica, and elsewhere. 

Meredith MaranThe New Old Me: My Late-Life Reinvention: Author of a dozen nonfiction books and an acclaimed novel. Writer in Residence at UCLA and in residency at artists’ colonies including the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, MacDowell and Yaddo.

Armistead MaupinMona of the Manor (publish date March 2024): Internationally acclaimed author of the Tales of the City series and Netflix series based on the novels titled Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. Maupin’s 1992 novel, Maybe the Moon was named one of the ten best books of the year by Entertainment Weekly.  The Night Listener (2000) became a feature film starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette. In 2017 he wrote a memoir titled Logical Family.

Elías Miguel MuñozEncore! Encore!: Author of 10 novels in English and Spanish with a Ph.D. in American Literature.

Abdi NazemianOnly This Beautiful Moment: Film and television screenwriter/producer and author of five novels. Recipient of a Lambda Literary Award and a Stonewall Honor.

Rasheed NewsonMy Government Means to Kill Me: Television drama writer, producer, and novelist. 2022 Lambda Literary finalist for Gay Fiction and named one of the “The 100 Notable Books of 2022” by The New York Times.

Lydia OteroL.A. Interchanges: A Brown and Queer Archival Memoir: Writer, historian, and activist with a Ph.D. in history. Received many awards and honors including Southwest Book Awards and Dolores Huerta Legacy Award. One of the original founding members of Lesbianas Unidas.

David Eugene PerryUpon This Rock: Host and creator of 10 Percent TV, the longest running LGBTQ TV show in California history. Winner of the 2021 Ben Franklin Silver Medal from the Independent Book Publishers Association and “Best Gay Book of 2021” from the San Francisco Book Festival for Upon This Rock, currently in screenplay development.

Kamala PuligandlaZigzags: Writer of fiction, essays, and other ditties about radical, queer, mixed, black/brown people.

Steven ReignsA Quilt for David: Los Angeles poet and educator and was appointed the first Poet Laureate of West Hollywood. His latest work is the product of ten years of research regarding dentist David Acer’s life.

Cristy C. RoadThe Chaos of Enlightenment: First generation Cuban-American artist, writer, and musician. Rooted in punk, queer, and feminist communities, Road has spent over 20 years illustrating her story and publishing it. She published Green’zine from 1997-2004, and since has released three graphic novels tackling mental health, sexuality, cultural identity, and punk; as well as countless illustrations for music, publishing, and social movements.

Brittny RobertsLesbians In Bed: Reading Poetry: Author of the seductive and introspective Lesbians In Bed series. She is also the creator and host of The Lesbian PodQUEST, currently in its third season.

Rob RosenBobby Ray Breaks the Universe: Multi-award-winning and best-selling author/editor/anthologist of over twenty books. Short stories in over 200 anthologies.

Steven RowleyThe Celebrants: New York Times bestselling author of four novels, all in development for feature film and television adaptation. In 2023, was the winner of the 22nd Thurber Prize for American Humor and current book selected as a TODAY Show Read With Jenna Book Club pick.

Eduardo SantiagoMidnight Rumba: Author, screenwriter, and creative writing teacher. Currently serves as the Director of Program for the Palm Springs Writers Guild.

Justin Elizabeth SayreFrom Gay to Z: A Queer Compendium: Beloved author, writer, and activist in the LGBTQIA+ community and beyond. Host of the podcast Sparkle & Circulate where they interview performers, writers, and other creative minds of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Nic Scheppard & Jenson TitusA Very Gay Book: An Inaccurate Resource for Gay Scholars:. Authors and LA based comedians who, using ancient gay wizardry, turn your walls gay with paint.

Omar Sharif, Jr. – A Tale of Two Omars: A Memoir of Family, Revolution, and Coming Out During the Arab Spring: Egyptian-Canadian actor and model who currently lives in the United States. The grandson of Omar Sharif, the actor, he is widely considered to be the first openly gay person in the Arab world.

Wendy L. Silva – Queer, Latinx poet.  Winner of the Judy Kronenfeld Award in Poetry and the Academy of American Poet’s Prize.  Teacher of composition, creative writing, and Latinx Literature of the U.S. at Riverside City College.

Lorenzo Taylor (aka Lorenz Qatava)Mist Under the Waterfall: Poet, playwright, novelist, and journalist. Author of two gay romance/adventure novels, a volume of poetry and short stories, and two stage plays about Black gay men.

Michelle TeaKnocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My (In)Fertility: Executive Director of DOPAMINE Books, an upstart queer publishing house for weirdos, and author of over a dozen books, including the cult classic Valencia and the PEN/America winner Against Memoir. 2021 Guggenheim Fellow and a founder of Drag Queen Story Hour.

Lisa TeasleyFluid: Stories: Award-winning author whose writings have been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Arabic. Also, a visual artist and writer/presenter of the BBC television documentary “High School Prom,” which was in long-term rotation in the UK.

Darya Teesewell:  A woman of trans history, retired from the Motion Picture Industry (toiling behind the cameras) who is also a writer and regular contributor to Fourculture Online Magazine.

Jacob TobiaSissy: A Coming-Of-Gender Story: Actor, writer, producer, and author. Point Foundation and Harry S. Truman Scholar and a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 and the Out 100. Helps others embrace the full complexity of their gender with their message of personal fabulosity and social change.

Josh TrujilloWashington’s Gay General: The Legends and Loves of Baron Van Steuben: Writer of comic books and video games working with clients including Marvel, HBO, Google, Netflix, and DC Comics, among others. 

Guinevere TurnerWhen the World Didn’t End: A Memoir: Acclaimed screenwriter and director. Wrote and starred in the film Go Fish and was a writer and actor on Showtime’s The L Word. An essay she wrote for The New Yorker is the inspiration for her memoir, When the World Didn’t End.

Justine Pucella WinansBianca Torre is Afraid of Everything: Queer and nonbinary writer who whose YA debut was an Indies Introduce title and critically acclaimed comedic murder mystery.

Maui Relief Effort

media contact:

David Perry, DP&A / (415) 676-7007 /


Maui Relief Effort Coordinated by:

  • San Francisco Chamber of Commerce 
  • San Francisco Travel
  • Hotel Council of San Francisco
  • Golden Gate Restaurant Association 
  • Union Square Alliance

Donations go to Maui Community Foundation

Shoutouts and calls for donations being made today from concerts in Union Square and “Outside Lands”


Immediate and ongoing



“As Californians, and San Franciscans, we understand the suddenness with which disaster can strike. Today, forgo a lunch, a drink or a cup of coffee and give what you can. The ties between our two states are longterm and close. Now is the time to help in the spirit of aloha.”

— Rodney Fong, President & CEO San Francisco Chamber of Commerce