The Talking Stick Coffee Lounge in Venice will present Grassroots Acoustica #24: Second Annual Pride Edition, a celebration of diversity benefiting “This Way Out,” the award-winning locally produced gay and lesbian radio magazine program currently airing on more than 175 local community stations around the world.

The three-hour event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 13th, at Talking Stick, 1411C Lincoln Blvd., Venice.

Host and curator Mark Islam and artists-in-residence Tom Gramlich and Byron Pfeifer with Dan Raziel, will welcome special guest Marc Francoeur, who will open the event with an interpretation of Nat “King” Cole’s Nature Boy before a sampler set of self-penned selections from his upcoming one-man show.

Obie winner Dudley Saunders is another returning guest whose last CD The Emergency Lane made Frontiers magazine’s year-end 10-best of 2007.

Making first-time visits are duo Vertigo Road, who are currently working on new tunes in the recording studio; Christopher Dallman, who plays San Diego Pride in July; actor/writer Vincent James Arcuri, who reprises excerpted monologues from his ACME Comedy Theatre-premiered one-man show Becoming Butch; and a video presentation of outmusician Jon Gilbert Leavitt’s Pride At 40.

The half-hour radio show “This Way Out” includes a weekly NewsWrap segment reporting on events in or affecting sexual minority communities worldwide.

There is no cover charge for Grassroots Acoustica #24: Second Annual Pride Edition, but 100 percent of any voluntary donations will be directly given to “This Way Out.”

To learn more about This Way Out or to make a secure PayPal donation, www.thiswayout.org/.

Grassroots Acoustica’s previous 23 shows have raised a total of $16,240 for Los Angeles-area nonprofit organizations.

Venice SongFest

The Talking Stick Coffee Lounge will also present the Venice SongFest featuring four musical acts Tuesday, June 16th.

The event will begin with sign-ups at 6:30 p.m., followed by a welcome set and open-mike by artists in residence Allan Comeau and Johnny Szmyd from 7 to 8 p.m.

Opening at 8 p.m. is the neo-narrative songwriter and author, Robert Morgan Fisher, whose Built Me a Greenhouse CD features co-performances with Ned Beatty, Delaney Bramlett, Rosemary Butler, Albert Lee, and John McEuen, among others. Following Fisher are Michelle Brent and actor and singer-songwriter Tavis Bohlinger, introducing songs from his Acoustic Sessions CD.

Bass and guitarist Chad Watson, with Texas Country Hall of Fame member Pam Loe will play the closing set at 9:30 p.m. The evening will be hosted by musician Jeff Swann.

For more information, (310) 450-6052.

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