I have been invited to donate my papers (which include lots of paper as well as slides, photos, videotapes, costumes and artwork) to the Tretter Collection, a GLBT collection in the Special Collections of the University of Minnesota Library. Linnea Stenson of the Schochet Center at the U extended the invitation, and I was happy to receive it. Despite having moved many times over the last years, I had the good sense to not throw away what I knew to be valuable materials. I realized the request was not a fluke when, a month after I had agreed to the donation, the MN Historical Society approached me with the same request. I delivered my materials to Andersen Library on the West Bank before I left for Brazil for the winter. They filled about 50 archival boxes.

I would like to take a year to go through all of this material, to organize and annotate it. It will be a treasure for future historians, as they look back on our gay, performing arts, and HIV communities in the last decades of the 20th century. With the guidance of my friend and dance historian Judith Brin Ingber, I will work with historians and librarians to learn best practices to explain and add value to the collection. It will take time. At a box a week, it will take about a year. My goal is to be finished by my 50th birthday, October 22nd of 2003. I fear that if too much time passes, it will never get done. That's the difference between being at the end of August with a package of tomato seeds, or a healthy garden.



Last winter I began to write the history of Patrick's Cabaret. (The stories frequently leaked over the line into personal memoir. I did not let that trouble me.) I plan to continue this as I carry out project #1, which will be a constant source of material for me as I write these stories. I plan to collect the stories into a book, maybe Patrick's Hats. In my adult lifetime I have worn many: at Patrick's Cabaret, on the board of directors of the National Performance Network, driving a school bus, on stages across the Americas and Europe, in classrooms working with teachers and students, and on panels funding everything from performance artists and playwrights to HIV prevention programs. I took my hats off in bed usually, but I promise to write about sex and romance, too.


As I carry out the library and writing projects, I will also be working with Joel Gibson as a spiritual advisor and Colleen Convey as a career counselor to discover what path I can best forge next. Joel is the former dean of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Minneapolis and a friend. Colleen is a consultant I worked with last year in the Institute for Renewal of Community Leadership. She helped me to realize that yes, it was time for me to move on from the cabaret. With their help, I will create the transition into the next phase of my career. I don't know yet what it will be, but you can trust that it will build on my track record of creating space for people to envision and live their lives more freely, consciously and creatively.