White Party announces firstIcon Award winners
Dave Nyczepir, The Desert Sun 1:54 p.m. PDT March 27, 2014
PALM SPRINGS – White Party Palm Springs will recognize people whose achievements “embody the spirit” of the gay dance music festival with the first Icon Awards at this year’s 25th anniversary celebration.
The festival is April 25-28, with the awards bestowed April 26.
Among the 28 recipients are singer Cher in the artist category, songwriter Sir Elton John and husband David Furnish in the philanthropist category, actor Bruce Vilanch in the activist category, and BRAVO TV personality Andy Cohen in the pioneer category.
“We are thrilled to present our special Icon Awards to individuals who have exemplified White Party’s defining principles of unity and celebration, commitment to excellence and leading edge creativity,” Jeffrey Sanker, founder and producer, said in a statement. “I look forward to presenting those attending recipients their awards on the White Carpet.”
About a third of the honorees have tentatively committed to attending, according to organizers. Sanker promised elaborate video displays, Bent Collective’s live DJ performance debut, and that SiriusXM would broadcast live from the Palm Springs Convention Center.
Conceptual photographer Duke Shoman will create photographic tableaus throughout the weekend as part of a fundraising auction effort to benefit Desert AIDS project.
Uber, a ride-hailing service through your phone, will serve as the official transportation, with stations set up throughout the festival.
Icon Award recipients
Carmen Electra — artist, activist
Cher — pioneer for LGBT community, activist
Jai Rodriguez — actor, activist
Kathy Griffin — comedian, philanthropist, activist
Lady Gaga —pioneer for LGBT community, philanthropist, activist
Lance Bass — actor, activist
Aaron Walton — philanthropist, activist
Bryan Singer — director, activist
David Cooley — founder of Abbey, philanthropist
Fred Arens and Jason Duguay — philanthropists, activists
Roland Emmerich — director, philanthropist
Sir Elton John and David Furnish — philanthropists, activists
Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley — NoH8 Campaign, activists
Bruce Vilanch — actor, writer, activist
Lisa Vanderpump — reality star, activist
Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo — Prop 8 activists
Ron Oden — Former Palm Springs mayor, activist
Ronnie Kroell — activist
Todd Saporito — philanthropist, activist
Andy Cohen — BRAVO TV personality, activist
Candis Cayne — pioneer of LGBT community, activist
David Stern — former publisher of Frontiers, activist
DJ Abel Aguilera — deejay, activist
Reza Farahan — BRAVO TV personality, pioneer of LGBT community