Best Tireless Performer of Thankless and Payless Tasks - 2006
OK, so a lot of people fit into this category. We know there are hordes of you out there busting your butts for zero bucks, for the sake of art and/or justice. Kudos to all! The reason event coordinator and independent publicist Shani Heckman stands out is partly longevity: Before moving here she produced events in Santa Cruz for years, bringing musical giants like Tribe 8, the Need, and the Butchies to that college town. Since relocating she's been just as busy, producing everything from mega-events like the 1999 Paradise Lounge Dyke March after-party to more serious gatherings, including an upcoming conference called "Queer Tactics," not to mention making a successful short film called Wrong Bathroom, a comedy about trans health issues. On one Sunday, for example, she might run from a film shoot to a grant-writing meeting. Explaining the grant-writing process, she unwittingly describes herself: "You have to have a certain way of thinking and imagining that is unique; you have big unrealistic dreams and then you keep going when reality sets in." Here's hoping it gets her thanked and paid someday.