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Lucy and Gail mark 15th anniversary in Las Vegas

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Lucy and Gail are known for founding the famed Palm Springs Women Jazz Festival. For this year, they’re taking time off to celebrate their 15th Anniversary with a party in Las Vegas and everyone’s invited!

Lucy and Gail are, of course, Lucy DeBardelaben and Gail Christian. From events like Dinah in Color to Palm Springs Women Jazz Festival, the two are well-versed in setting up events that cater to lesbians of color.

This 2018, Lucy and Gail are postponing this year’s Palm Springs Women Jazz Festival to host a 3-day party in Las Vegas at the South Point Hotel on September 27-29. 

This event will still include lots of jazz, but will be more of a celebration of Dinah in Color, an event that started out as a way for queer women of color to meet.

This event later turned into a decade of bringing lesbians together to share their lifestyle and appreciation of themselves.

Lucy and Gail: In living color

Lucy and Gail, an accountant and a retired TV newsperson, met while working a woman’s music festival called Sisterfire. 

After getting together, they moved to Palm Springs in 2003 where they found no community of lesbians of color. 

Based from their previous experience in Sisterfire, they came up with the idea to host a party during the Dinah Shore weekend with a focus on women of color called “Dinah in Color.”

The party was such a success that by 2006, they had to move it to a hotel in downtown Palm Springs to accommodate the volume of attendees. 

Dinah in Color developed a large following with lesbians that they came from all around the country, from Europe and Asia, and even white and straight women. 

By 2010,the event became more of a vacation than a weekend party, and as much a cultural event as a social event.

Lucy and Gail: All that jazz

After a few more years, the event involved in 2013 into what is now today: the Palm Springs Women Jazz Festival, with its authors, poets, performance artists, and– of course– lots of live and jazz music. 

This festival weekend primarily promotes the work of women jazz artists, but includes everything from painting classes to golf.

The best female jazz musicians in the world have come to Palm Springs each year to perform.

Among them are established ones like Dee Dee Bridgewater, Diane Schuur and Terri Lyne Carrington, to upcoming artists like Jazzmeia Horn and Kandace Springs.

The festival will return in 2019 as a collaboration with other lesbian promoters that will showcase women in the arts more broadly.

Lucy and Gail in Palm Springs

Since Lucy and Gail came to Palm Springs, they’ve influenced queer life here by creating events for lesbians and women of color. 

The couple has become well known as event promoters and staples in women’s creative and business circles.

Admittedly, before the two arrived, Palm Springs was known for being LGBTQ-friendly. But the experiences of queer men are different from those of queer women.

Lucy, Gail and other queer women in Palm Springs have worked for years to build an inclusive, intersectional community in Palm Springs.

They did this while promoting women socially, in the arts, and in business. While there is still progress to be made, things have changed in the last decade or so.

Now, Palm Springs is becoming a desirable destination for lesbians thanks to a generation of queer women that have cleared the way.

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