Chicago LGBTQ community leaders are hosting a benefit concert for Artem Kolesov, a 23-year-old gay man who caught the world's attention when he came out earlier this year on YouTube as part of a Russian "Children-404" project, which invites teenagers to share their stories and discuss LGBT issues in Russia.
The concert, "From Russia with Love: A benefit concert for Artem Kolesov and other LGBTQ refugees fleeing persecution," will take place Saturday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m. at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St.
While his move caught international attention, it also means that he can never return home. His dream, therefore, is to insure his safety by obtaining U.S. citizenship. Kolesov now lives in Chicago, where he is first violinist in the Yas Quartet, which is in residence at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts.
Also, it was recently announced that violinist Rachel Barton-Pine will be a special guest.
Ticket prices start at $50 each; visit community.centeronhalsted.org/pages/from-russia-with-love. All proceeds will benefit legal costs associated with Kolesov's pursuit of U.S citizenship; American Friends of Rainbow Railroad; and Chicago LGBT Asylum Support Program ( CLASP ).
( Kolesov was a Windy City Times 30 Under 30 honoree this year. Also, his story is at WindyCityMediaGroup.com/lgbt/Russian-born-violinist-makes-waves-after-coming-out/59026.html. )