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Dan Savage
Photo: Rachel Robinson


SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Author, social and political activist, and syndicated sex advice columnist Dan Savage will be the guest of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) for a moderated conversation on Thursday, April 5, at 7 p.m.


Savage, editorial director of Seattle’s weekly alternative newspaper, The Stranger, is known for his take-no-prisoners attitude in his political and social commentary, as well as his honest approach to sex, love and relationships.  He tells it like it is. “I tell people to communicate,” he says. “Put your needs out there, and if they reject you, then you know you’re not compatible.”


His appearance is part of Out@SMoCA, the museum’s ongoing, original series that champions diversity in Scottsdale and Arizona by featuring public conversations with nationally recognized personalities who demonstrate the positive role that thoughtful and committed individuals play in our society. This is the sixth event in the series designed to encourage laughter, as well as frank dialogue. Previous speakers include punk legend and anti-bullying activist Henry Rollins and U.S. Women’s Soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe. Signed copies of one of Savage’s books will be raffled to benefit ONE Community, a member-based coalition of socially responsible businesses, organizations and individuals that support and promote diversity, inclusion and equality for all Arizonans.


Savage’s sex advice column, “Savage Love,” is syndicated in newspapers and websites in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Rolling Stone and The Onion, as well as on Salon.com. He also has been a guest on CNN, MSNBC and The Colbert Report, as well NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and ABC’s 20/20. He is a frequent and popular speaker on college campuses across the United States and Canada.

His books include Savage Love; The Kid: What Happened When My Boyfriend and I Decided to Get Pregnant (PEN West Award for Creative Nonfiction, Lambda Literary Award for Nonfiction); Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America; and The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage and My Family. In his most recent book, American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics, published in 2013, he shares his thoughts on such topics as marriage, parenting and the gay agenda, the Catholic Church and sex education. Commenting on the book, Publisher’s Weekly wrote that Savage is, “America’s most in-your-face sex columnist and gay rights activist.”


In 2010, Dan Savage and his husband, Terry Miller, founded the Its Gets Better Project to provide hope, encouragement and support to LGBTQ youth. It began as a social media campaign with a YouTube video and has evolved into a multi-media platform capable of reaching millions of young people every year through inspiring media programming, a growing network of international affiliates and access to an arsenal of community-based service providers.


$35 / (M $30)
This moderated discussion will take place in the Virginia G. Piper Theater at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

Out@SMoCA is presented in partnership with the City of Scottsdale Office of Diversity, Scottsdale Human Relations Committee and media partner Echo Magazine.

Through its partnership with the City of Scottsdale, the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts (formerly known as Scottsdale Cultural Council) creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and educational opportunities that foster active, lifelong community engagement with the arts. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a regionally and nationally significant, multi-disciplinary arts organization offering an exceptional variety of programs through three acclaimed divisions – Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) and Scottsdale Public Art – serving more than 400,000 participants annually.


Founded in 1999, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) explores the best of contemporary art, architecture and design. Global in its focus, the Museum is a unique and vital cultural resource for the Southwest, serving local audiences as well as visitors from the United States and abroad. Designed by award-winning architect Will Bruder, SMoCA’s minimalist building (an ingenious renovation of a former movie theater) has four galleries for showcasing changing exhibitions and works from the Museum’s collection, along with SMoCA Lounge, a living, functional art installation and space for community engagement. The Museum presents a wide variety of educational programs and special events for adults and families, including lectures, readings, performances, docent-led tours, workshops and classes. SMoCA also features an outdoor sculpture garden housing James Turrell’s Knight Rise, one of the renowned artist’s public skyspaces, and Scrim Wall, a monumental curtain of translucent glass panels by James Carpenter Design Associates. The Museum’s retail store, Shop@SMoCA, offers classic design objects and furnishings, contemporary jewelry, art and architecture books, and imaginative gifts for all occasions.

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale, AZ 85251


Tuesday – Wednesday, noon – 5 p.m.
Thursday – Saturday, noon – 9 p.m.
Sunday, noon – 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays and major holidays
Admission: $10 adults, $7 students, free for members and children under 15
Free on Thursdays and after 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays