May 21, 2014
Alumni Sightings: A Couple of Geniuses and a White House Visit
: Josh Rawlings, Jerick Hoffer as Jinkx Monsoon, and Mary Lambert. Photo by (Hoffer) Jose A. Guzman; (Lambert) Deborah Spencer; (Rawlings) courtesy of the artist.
Alumni high notes: Mary Lambert sings at the White House, Hoffer and Rawlings nominated for Genius Awards.
A few short days ago, the members of the Cornish graduating class of 2014 were encouraged to keep reaching for their dreams. They only have to look at the recent successes of several Cornish alumni to see that those dreams could be closer than they think. On Thursday, May 22, alumna Mary Lambert (MU ’11) (fresh from her heartfelt and inspirational speech at the Cornish graduation) performs at the White House as part of the celebration to introduce a new postage stamp honoring gay rights activist Harvey Milk. On May 15, The Stranger announced its 2014 Genius Award nominees. The nominees included two Cornish alumni: Jerick Hoffer (TH ’10), actor and drag artiste, and Josh Rawlings (MU ’05), keyboardist for Industrial Revelation.
The design for a new postage stamp honoring Harvey Milk is going to be unveiled on Thursday, May 22, at the White House, and Cornish alumna and singer/songwriter Mary Lambert has been asked to perform at the event. The assassination of San Francisco councilman Harvey Milk in 1978 was a galvanizing moment for the LGBT community and the gay rights movement in America. Lambert did some galvanizing of her own at the Grammy Awards performing the hook “She Keeps Me Warm,” part of Macklemore’s hit “Same Love” (and later released in its stand-alone version), during an emotional segment on the broadcast honoring marriage equality. It is an absolutely appropriate and timely choice that Mary performs at the upcoming announcement event. The stamp unveiling will be televised live from the White House.
The annual Stranger Genius Awards honor outstanding artists in four categories: visual art, music, literature, and performance. Cornish alumni have peppered the nominations and winners’ lists since the awards began back in 2003. This year Jerick Hoffer (aka Jinkx Monsoon) has been honored with a performance nomination for his white-hot theater and drag work. In the music category, the self-described garage-jazz quartet Industrial Revelation has been nominated; Josh Rawlings plays keyboards for the band. The winners of the Stranger Genius Awards will be announced on October 18, 2014 at an awards ceremony at the Moore Theatre.
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