Thursday, August 23, 2012

Las Vegas Burlesque Hall of Fame Deals with Hwy.15 Widening and Eminent Domain

Photo of Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, 
Sat. June 2, 2012, by Cory of Blue Hair Media
The Burlesque Hall of Fame just wrapped up its 22nd edition of the Weekend Festivities in June, only to be informed soon thereafter that their storage facility is smack dab in the middle of a Hwy.15 expansion here in Las Vegas, Nevada. The deadline ends August 31, 2012. A heated campaign fundraising is under-way at Indigogo to help accommodate the rarities that are housed in storage, and to take the opportunity to move to a more expansive space.

A mission statement on the BHOF website ( states clearly what the Non-Profit organization -of which the museum is only a part- is all about. "The Burlesque Hall of Fame is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to inspire, educate and entertain the public, fostering an appreciation for and understanding of the unique history and heritage of vintage American Burlesque–including but not limited to the art, artifacts and personal histories of the art’s biggest names and brightest stars".

The Burelsque Hall as an organization has experienced a lot of reorganizing and a little drama in 2011 and 2012, not unusual for Non-Profit organizations where there is not one person in charge, but many. In 2011 according to Seven Vegas's Jason Scavone many long-time supporters had a heated split, including California's notable Satan's Angel who participated in a competing event the same time-slot as the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2011, entitled The Dixie Evans Burelsque Show, run by the woman responsible for keeping the Burlesque Hall of Fame going when friend and founder Jennie Lee could no longer do so. (Read it here). In 2012, Dixie Evans (Behind the Burly Q) was not in attendance at the new Weekender's location, the Orleans Hotel May 31 - June2, 2012.

The museum is being run by Interim Director Dustin Wax, who is leading the organization of the move. Dustin was unavailable for comment at the time of this article but told Geoff Carter on Aug. 23, 2012 “By upgrading our space, we’ll be able to acquire new material which will turn up in exhibits over time—and to make better use of some of the older pieces that need a lot of loving care to be made ready for exhibition,” Wax says.“I wouldn't say the situation is dire, though it’s a lot of work to do in a short period of time.” I'll say, and he didn't mention that it's been an average of 106 degrees here in Vegas for most of August, which is the hottest month of the Valley's Year.

You see, it's not a very big space that the museum has for storage, or for it's display (which are in two different locations). The historic Downtown area of Las Vegas houses the small display museum in the Emergency Arts building (a very snug spot), while the warehouse is across town apparently in the way of the Hwy.15 widening project (See about Hwy.15).

The Burlesque Hall of Fame is many things to many people. It started as a grass-roots effort to revive and preserve the art of American Strip Tease, and its artifacts in all their glory (previously Miss Exotic World, Helendale, CA.). It's a place for Legends to connect with up-and-coming current Strip-Tease and Burlesque Performers. It's an annual pageant, a party, an awards show, and a museum, but whatever it is to you, the bottom line is that it's time to dig-in and give a little, to upgrade the space to preserve the art collection. I did. No matter who you agree with, or what side of the politics you find yourself on, there is one thing everyone can agree upon: no where else on earth but at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum in Las Vegas can you see a colorized, autographed, photo of Mata Hari.

Burlesque Hall of Fame Site
Article by Frankie Tease