The 14th Letters Read and first produced remotely and podcast.
Originally scheduled for March 26, 2020 at Frenchman Art & Books on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, this event was preempted by the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak. Instead, listen to Dylan Hunter reading as the voice of our subject. Rebecca Hollingsworth is Anne. Both self-recorded in the safety of their own home. Our emcee is Frank Perez, President of LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana. Frank was recorded through a telephone conversation with Dylan. Dylan is also our audio engineer for this event. Music is written and performed by Rob Hudak.
This event provides a rare glimpse into the personal life of an important Louisiana political activist. It begins with the 1967 correspondence from Anne, an intimate friend. The reading weaves in annual Valentine’s letters beginning in 1999 that, as recently as this year, were still mailed to 200 of his dearest friends.
Since the 1970s, Butler was a significant force in the Louisiana civil rights movement. In 1984, 1986, and 1991 he strategically advocated for changing gay-rights ordinances. He was a co-founder of LGPAC (the Louisiana chapter of Lesbian and Gay Political Action Caucus) and served on boards including the Lesbian and Gay Community Center, PFLAG, and LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana.
Thanks to fiscal agent, Antenna. To David Zalkind, owner, Frenchman Art & Book, and to Dancing Grounds from whom chairs were to be borrowed. The live audio engineer was to be Steve Chyzyk, Sonic Canvas Studio. Thanks also to Bill Hagler, John Magill, Robert Feiseler, and Courtney Sharp for providing background and context, to Letters Read narrative and storytelling advisors Ted Cotton and Cassie Pruyn.