Celebrating House Ballroom Culture with Live Performances and a Tournament-Style Competition
(NEW YORK, NY — August 16, 2021) — Times Square Arts and OTA Entertainment are pleased to present OTA Times Square, the first ball to ever happen in Times Square this August 23, 2021 from 5-10pm at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets. Utilizing the world’s most iconic public space as its stage, OTA Times Square celebrates queer culture and invites the public to experience New York’s historic House Ballroom culture. The event is presented in collaboration with 4A’s Foundation, Amida Care, Housing Works, and Ballroom, We Care.
Named after and founded on the principle of “Open To All,” OTA is a truly inclusive, intergenerational community of creatives that welcomes all expressions of one’s self in art. Times Square is an iconic and historic space within New York that is open and accessible to all, making it the perfect stage to mark not only the comeback of the House Ballroom Scene, but the recovery and resilience of New York City itself.
Since its inception, ballroom culture has prioritized building community, creating an empowered space for queer communities of color to center their own radically authentic selves. Today, ballroom culture has hit the mainstream, especially in film and television, exposing new audiences from all walks of life to the joy and ingenuity of ballroom. OTA Times Square offers the unique opportunity for New Yorkers and visitors alike to watch the action in real life, cheering on these powerful performances from the sidelines.
“This historic night is packed with so much talent and I am excited for the world to see us in our authentic form without diminishing who we are to be palatable amongst the masses. Forget what you saw on TV, THIS is the House Ballroom Scene for real,” said OTA Founder Leggoh JohVera.
Legend Tiny Tunes | Agape Key
Icon Uncle Mike Ebony | The Clubhouse
Legend Jojoe Saint Laurent (Marquise Foster) | Celebrity Designer, Project Runway
Legend Diva Davanna | Diva D’Luxe, Runway Instructor
Legend Gillette Oricci | Legendary Season 2 House of Oricci, Runway Instructor
Icon Rucka Revlon
Legend Courtney Balenciaga | Founder of Masterz at Work Dance Family
Legend Asia West
Legend Gunner Tisci | Gunner Doyle
Jasmin Van Wales | House Ballroom and Nightlife Icon
Lolita Leopard | My House, Legendary Season 1
Bugz Gutta | Pynk Gorilla Entertainment
ABOUT LEGGOH JOHVERA
Born in Calidonia, Panama raised in an Army family and now based in Brooklyn, New York, Leggoh JohVera (Cazayka Hyman Walker-Johnson) is a professional voguer, performance artist, house ballroom commentator, event producer and community leader. As founder of the House of JohVera, named after Marsha P. JOHnson and Sylvia RiVERA, and OTA Entertainment, Leggoh JohVera has been active in the ballroom scene since 2010. As a performance artist he has worked with and performed for several celebrities and major company brands. Led voguing workshops, gave lectures on ballroom culture and performed at various universities such as Cornell University, Rutgers University, and University of Massachusetts Amherst. Leggoh JohVera is a beloved leader amongst the community for continually giving back and providing opportunities for members of the ballroom scene community. (Social Media: @iamleggoh)
ABOUT OPEN TO ALL
Founded by Leggoh JohVera, NYC Ballroom Commentator, in 2019, OTA is a growing hub that accesses the many facets and talents within the House Ballroom Scene. OTA Weekly presented by JohVera and Icon Tim Lanvin (Timothy Tobias) is a mini ball series that quickly made a major impact in the local ballroom scene and garnered international visibility since its debut. OTA has since expanded to the West Coast, OTA Oakland led by West Coast Programs Director Shireen Rahimi (Hype Kitty) and OTA Los Angeles led by Regional Programs Director Packrat (Legendary Season 1, House of Lanvin) The OTA Ball in Times Square is the culminating event of the OTA New York Weekly series, which is held at the 3 Dollar Bill in Brooklyn, New York every Monday. (Social Media: @opentoall.ent)
ABOUT TIMES SQUARE ARTS
Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places. Through the Square's electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance's own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators, such as Mel Chin, Tracey Emin, Jeffrey Gibson, Ryan McGinley, Yoko Ono, and Kehinde Wiley, to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district's unique identity.
Senior Account Executive, Cultural Counsel
Account Coordinator, Cultural Counsel