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The Cherie and Yolanda Archive Project

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In the late 90s, Cherie & Yolanda LIVE! was a staple of Vermont cable access—a literal variety show, featuring guest interviews, musical performances, live telephone calls from viewers, poetry readings, and performance art, all filtered through the bawdy and burlesque charisma of hostesses Cherie Tartt (Steven West) and Reverend Yolanda (Yolanda Roger Anthony Mapes).

The guest list was a who’s who of Burlington’s music and theater scenes, and the show celebrated and supported the social justice work of the city’s queer-positive individuals and organizations. The show aired from 1998 to 2001, including the hostile years of the Vermont civil unions debate. 

The impact they had on their viewers was palpable—queer youth connected with them, adults found levity and power from their very public presence as two drag queens on local TV, and all viewers experienced a peek into the work and play of the Vermont queer community.

Fifteen years after the final episode, Cherie and Yolanda reunited live on-air as part of the 20th anniversary of the Winter Is a Drag Ball.

As the memories flowed, Cherie mentioned that a whole trove of old VHS tapes existed of the Cherie & Yolanda LIVE! show from back in the day. While newer VCAM content is archived and available online, precious little from the time of Cherie & Yolanda was saved—until now. VCAM applied for and was awarded a $2,500 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation's Samara Fund to cover some of the basic costs of digitizing the tapes and now we are pleased to announce that the work is complete: we can share more than 70 original episodes of Cherie & Yolanda LIVE!

The Samara Fund "fosters and sustains Vermont's gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities by providing support for projects and scholarships and establishing a permanent resource for the future." Making Cherie & Yolanda LIVE! digitally available provides a preserved piece of the LGBTQ community's history—and a preserved piece of public access history, of Vermont TV history. 

Most of all, the goal of this project has been to cement the impact intended by Cherie Tartt and Yolanda: to spread joy and love where too often there has been darkness and despair.

  • Ric Kadour, Periwinkle

    Ric discusses anti-gay hate crimes and the murder of college student Matthew Shepard; Periwinkle showers Cherie and Yolanda with love; Yolanda sings a couple of songs.

  • The Cat's Meow (UVM Women's A Capella Group), Keith Goslant

    Cherie performs with The Cat's Meow; Keith discusses gay rights and Vermont legislature; Yolanda sings a song.

  • James Kochalka Superstar, Paul Cook

    James performs a couple of songs and plugs his new cassette tape Punk Ass Bitch!; Paul does some standup comedy; Yolanda sings a song; includes video clip of Yolanda's recent performance in San Francisco and a clip from a foot fetish video produced by Kink Video.

  • James Kochalka Superstar, John O'Leary from Kink Video

    James talks about his new CD and shows a “Monkey Vs. Robot” music video produced by Nate Palmer; John brings Yolanda a gift, talks about the Midwest Men’s Festival, discusses his video production company and shows a clip from flogging and sadomasochism video Punishment; includes a video clip from Yolanda and the Plastic Family’s CD release party at Higher Ground and a clip from the movie Dangerous Beauty.

  • Chrystal Chaplin, Roy Haynes

    Roy discusses life as the cheapest man in the world; Crystal talks about Outright Vermont and her experiences and struggles as a gay person; Yolanda sings a song accompanied by Tommy Hologram.

  • Missy Bly, Colin Clary, Leah Mervine of Vermont Cares, Fans Liza, Danielle and Josh

    Fans of the show bring gifts for Cherie and Yolanda; Leah discusses AIDSWalk '99; Missy sings a song and talks about her new CD; Colin sings a song; Yolanda sings a song.

  • Mia Sladyk, James Kochalka Superstar, Matty Thorsen, Dr. Michael Horn, DJ Chia and Friends

    Mia talks about her upcoming birthday party and musical extravaganza at Higher Ground; James talks about his hit song “Hockey Monkey” and shows the song’s music video; Michael examines Yolanda, talks to her about the bun in her oven and announces the due date; Matthew shows off some photographs and talks about his upcoming exhibit at the state capitol; Chia and friends talk about Dream Party Productions; Cherie sings a song; Yolanda sings a song.

  • Chin Ho!, Todd M. Hall

    Members of Chin Ho! discuss the band’s upcoming CD release party at Club Metronome and show a video clip of a recent performance; Todd reads poetry; Yolanda sings a song; includes a video clip of Cherie’s recent cabaret show performance at 135 Pearl.

  • Tammy Fletcher, Dr. Michael Horn, Theatre Factory, Freedom to Marry Action Committee

    Michael discusses cloning; committee members discuss efforts to help galvanize support for civil marriage for same-sex couples; Tammy talks about the upcoming Drag Ball 2000; Theatre Factory representatives discuss local production of Neil Simon’s Rumors and show a promotional video; includes video clip of Yolanda and the Plastic Family performing at the Wetlands.

  • Drag Ball 2000

    Entire episode is an excerpt from a video recording of Drag Ball 2000 featuring Yolanda and other performers.

  • Helicopter Consortium, Kathy Bouton from the Peace and Justice Center

    Kathy talks about the upcoming Glitter Ball Fair Trade Fashion Show; members of Helicopter Consortium sing a song, show a video clip of one of the band’s past performances and discuss their upcoming farewell performance at Higher Ground; includes a clip from Yolanda’s work-in-progress “Eat Me” music video.

  • Diane Horstmyer from FLUFF; Honey the Professional Waitress

    Honey talks about her wardrobe and accessories; Diane discusses a new organization called FLUFF (Fools Launching Unusual Flights of Fancy); Yolanda sings a song; includes a clip from the movie Trick.

  • Todd M. Hall, Tom Henglesberg, Jubilee, Dick Longfellow, Don Eggert

    Tom and Yolanda perform a couple of songs; Todd reads poetry and talks about a late-night experience at Denny’s; Dick and Don talk about the upcoming L/G/B/T Community Supper.

  • Jenn Karson & Bad Ju Ju, Cathy Resmer, Andrew & Merrick, Chrys, Sarah Kenney

    Cathy reads a poem and talks about the local poetry scene; Chrys discusses the hardships experienced by transgender people; Sarah talks about events planned for Sexual Violence Awareness Month; Jenn and her fellow band members bring Cherie and Yolanda special gifts and promote an upcoming benefit for the Women’s Rape Crisis Center; Andrew and Merrick play creepy music while Cherie and Yolanda dance; includes clip from the movie Forces of Nature.

  • Katherine Quinn, Pride VT Committee, Kendra Henson, Greg Douglas

    Katherine sings a song and performs a duet with Greg; committee members discuss events planned for Pride Vermont 2000; Kendra talks about recent march on Washington and upcoming Boston to New York AIDS Ride; includes video clip of Yolanda's performance at Wetlands and clip from the movie Funny Face as a tribute to Audrey Hepburn.

  • Andrew and Merrick; Meg the Copy Goddess; Tom Crowley and Brian Cina, Co-Chairs of Pride Vermont; Imani Health Institute Representatives

    Andrew and Merrick play eerie music; Yolanda shows a pre-recorded interview with author Chris Bohjalian and bookstore owner Renee Reiner regarding Chris's new book Trans-Sister Radio; Imani Health Institute people discuss condoms and the institute's education initiatives; Meg talks about her upcoming Peace Corps assignment in Armenia; Tom and Brian discuss Pride Vermont 2000 and show a clip of Lea Delaria on The Rosie O'Donnell Show.

  • Andrew and Merrick, Rusty Dewees, Tom Crowley from Pride Vermont

    Tom discusses activities planned for Pride Vermont 2000 and shows video clips of Scott Thompson and Lea Delaria; Rusty shares some Tootsie Rolls and marshmallows and discusses his new CD, new calendar and new videotape; Yolanda sings a song accompanied by Andrew and Merrick.

  • Mike Hughes, Torsion, Brian Cina & Elliott Matos

    Picture of 5-year-old Cherie; Mike sings a song and discusses Acoustic Night at Boom; members of Torsion show off their tattoos, discuss underwear and show a video clip of one of the band’s live performances; Brian and Elliot discuss upcoming Pride Week activities; Yolanda sings a song; includes a Chainsaws and Children music video and a clip from TV game show Strip Poker.

  • Lady Zeno, Todd M. Hall, The Halogens, Periwinkle

    Periwinkle discusses Sugarfest, Vermont’s first outdoor queer music festival; Todd recites a poem; The Halogens perform a couple of songs and discuss the band’s new CD; Lady Zeno shows off her crown and discusses Drag Bingo; includes video clip of gay pride parade in Burlington.

  • Alex Lyons, Dean Pratt, James Kochalka, Andrew and Mark from Chin Ho!, Sean the Dancer from Montreal

    Show opens with a song by Yolanda; Dean discusses Theatre On A Shoestring and an upcoming production of Rose; Alex discusses The Leo Lovefest and plays a Brazilian musical instrument accompanied by Yolanda on vocals; James sings a new song and discusses his new book and his recent Scandinavian tour; Andrew and Mark perform a song; Sean does a striptease act.

  • Barbara Snelling, Nurse Wretched, Keith Goslant, Jerry Acosta

    Barbara talks about adult literacy programs in Vermont; Cherie and Yolanda review books; Jerry discusses his candidacy in the state senate race; Keith discusses the upcoming election, civil unions and other political issues; Nurse Wretched promotes an upcoming hepatitis clinic; includes video clip of Cherie and Yolanda on The Daily Show's public access spotlight.

  • Keith Goslant

    Keith discusses upcoming election day and Vermont’s current political climate.

  • Us Humans, Chris Kaufman from Outright Vermont

    Chris discusses Outright Vermont’s mission and the organization’s education services and activities; members of Us Humans perform a few songs and discuss the band’s new CD; includes Yolanda's "Right to Surrender" music video and a clip from Cherie's performance in the See You Later Review at 135 Pearl.

  • Fred Tuttle, Sean Ingoldsby, Rusty DeWees

    Fred and Sean discuss Fred’s new CD; Rusty shows off his new calendar and a clip from his new videotape; Yolanda sings a song accompanied by Alex Lyons on drums.

  • Recent Travels

    Cherie and Yolanda discuss their recent travels; includes video clips from: Queer as Folk; Charles Bush on stage; Beefcake docu-drama.

  • Haik Bedrosian, Colin Clary

    Haik discusses his candidacy in the Burlington mayoral race; Colin sings a couple of songs and discusses release of two new CDs; includes videoclip of Lady Bunny.

  • Members of the Pride Vermont Committee

    Committee members discuss upcoming Pride Vermont fundraisers; Yolanda sings a song; includes: music video featuring Yolanda; clip of Cherie performing at the Drag Ball; clip from HBO special on drag queens; clip from movie Slapshot.

  • Maggie Sherman, Courtney St. James, Chia

    Maggie shows off The Handshake Casting Kit: Chia sings a song and dances with Yolanda; Courtney discusses her victory in the Drag Queen Survivor Contest and shows a video clip from the contest; Cherie and models celebrate anniversary of the invention on the jockstrap; includes video clip from Queer as Folk.

  • Colin Clary, James Kochalka Superstar, Alex Lyons, Don Egert

    Alex discusses her struggles with Crohn’s Disease and performs a couple of songs with Yolanda; Don discusses upcoming dinner and silent auction at the RU12 community center; Colin and James perform songs from new CD The Danger Sessions.

  • Aaron Masi, Stephen Goldberg, Sabella, Courtney St. James

    Stephen and Aaron discuss production of Stephen’s play Kong Wash; Courtney and Sabella discuss upcoming gay pride fundraisers.

  • Dysfunkshun, The Lemay Sisters

    Members of Dysfunkshun discuss the band’s latest CD and show one of their music videos; Amber and Marguerite bring Cherie some Halloween candy and introduce friend Liza Little; includes clip from the movie If Looks Could Kill.

  • Cherie & Yolanda Reunion Show

    Cherie and Yolanda are back for the 20th Anniversary "Winter Is a Drag Ball", and they are stopping by VCAM's studio for a live reunion show!