Take the Survey
Leslie Fest 2012 and a tribute statue? Take the survey as Leslie Cochran'slegacy gets appropriately weird
As if it could get any weirder (in a good way, of course), Leslie Cochran's friends and supporters are actively continuing his legacy and gearing up for a celebration of his life: "Leslie Fest" is coming to Austin on June 24.
And that's not all: funds are being raised for a statue in his honor; there is currently a 10-foot tall close up of Leslie positioned at the front of Lipstick24 on East Seventh Street; and artist Mitch Brookman is working to procure a location for a large mosaic of Leslie.
"Gatherings and online conversations continue about how to sustainably honor Leslie's memory," said close friend Debbie Russell. "Working on homeless issues like fighting for a woman's shelter and no-red-tape transitional housing for those with substance abuse issues or simply committing everyday acts of kindness, much like our sorely-missed Leslie — his passing has opened the door to many dialogues, including how we view and treat the homeless in Austin."
Neither Leslie Fest nor the statue have any significant traction yet beyond the burning desire of his friends, but the ideas are worthwhile for the purpose of keeping alive a conversation about homelessness in Austin.
On June 24, Leslie's sister will return to Austin in order to place a headstone on his grave (at a currently undisclosed location). That date seemed perfect to Russell for creating a community-wide event honoring a man so many connected with.
Russell also says negotiations are underway regarding where to place a Leslie statue. Just today the group sent out a survey in order to solicit opinions about a Leslie statue and where to put it. They even ask for ideas about sculptors. Take the survey (it's four questions) by clicking here.
Funds being raised at BookPeople through donations and the sale of Leslie magnets, combined with in-kind donations, have already brought in enough money to cover Leslie's medical expenses and help his family with housing during his illness. Now, just for the rest of this week, a silent auction of a Leslie painting and the sale of posters and additional magnets will go toward building the statue.
How it is that a cross-dressing homeless guy manages to engender this kind of amazing outpouring is simply a reflection of the deep connection he made to those who live here.
A statue? Really? Well, why not. And where else other than Austin.