What is the Burlesque Hall of Fame?
The Burlesque Hall of Fame (BHoF) is the world’s premier organization dedicated to preserving the living legacy of burlesque as an artform and cultural phenomenon and fostering the continued growth of the artform. With a collection of several thousand costumes, stage props, photographs, and personal effects documenting the careers and lives of burlesque dancers, comics, and producers over nearly a century, the museum is a growing testament to the power and social impact of the art of the tease.
Is the Burlesque Hall of Fame a registered nonprofit?
Yes, BHoF is a 501(c)(3) educational organization, EIN# 33-0850255, and has been registered since 1998. All donations to the museum are therefore tax-deductible.
Where are you located? How much does it cost to visit?
BHoF is located in downtown Las Vegas at 1027 S Main St, Suite 110, in the heart of the Las Vegas Arts District.. Admission is $15, $12 for Nevada Residents, and $10 for Students, Seniors, and Active and Retired Military.
What do you have in your collection?
BHoF’s collection was begun by Jennie Lee in the 1960s and continues to grow. It currently consists of several thousand pieces including costumes, stage props, photos, sheet music, magazines, manuscripts, and personal effects from performers at every level of fame. Our collection includes an array of historic items, from fun to functional, including Sally Rand’s fans, Gypsy Rose Lee’s travelling trunk, Dita Von Teese’s giant martini glass, Liz Renay’s book typescripts, and Jennie Lee’s typewriter.
I have some things I would like to donate to the museum. How do I do that?
BHoF is happy to accept donations of costumes, stage props, photos, and other burlesque memorabilia that help us to better illustrate burlesque’s unique history. Please visit our donations page at https://www.burlesquehall.com/support/donating-artifacts/ for more information on what we are able to accept and how to arrange a donation.
Do you have an induction process or ceremony? How does someone get inducted into the Hall of Fame?
The Burlesque Hall of Fame does not have a formal induction process. Rather than inducting specific people, we are dedicated to celebrating and honoring the entire history of burlesque. Each year, we present a “Living Legend” award to a performer who has made a significant contribution to burlesque history, as well as the “Sassy Lassy” to a person who has contributed significantly to the promotion and preservation of the art of burlesque. However, our mission is to tell the entire story of burlesque, not just the story of a handful of prominent performers.
To whom does the term “Legend” refer?
Through popular usage over the years, the term “Living Legend” or its shorter form, “Legend,” has come to mean any burlesque performer who was a headliner or featured act at some point before 1975.
I would like to contact one of the Legends. Can you give me their address or other contact information?
Our policy is not to give out the personal contact information of any person, including Legends, with whom we have an association. In some cases, we are able to forward mail on the sender’s behalf; please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we are able to reach the particular Legend you’re interested in contacting. Each holiday season, we organize a holiday card drive for those performers whose current addresses we have, forwarding cards addressed to themuseum to the appropriate recipients.
Who founded the Burlesque Hall of Fame?
The Burlesque Hall of Fame was founded by burlesque dancer Jennie Lee as part of her outreach efforts for the Exotic Dancers League. The EDL was a section of the American Guild of Variety Artists founded by Jennie and several other dancers in 1955 to represent the interest of burlesque performers. In 1965, Jennie invited attendees at the EDL’s annual Striptease Reunion to bring photos and other memorabilia to help start a Burlesque Hall of Fame.
In years to come, she would display her growing collection at her San Pedro bar, the Sassy Lassy, before moving to the Helendale ranch in the 1980s to create Jennie Lee’s Exotic World, a museum dedicated to the history of burlesque. When Jennie died in 1990, her widower Charlie Arroyo asked Jennie’s close friend Dixie Evans, “The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque”, to take over running the museum.
Dixie was the curator and director of the museum during the foundational years of the burlesque revival, creating a virtual Mecca for the legions of young dancers interested in learning about and building on the history of burlesque. In 1991, to encourage more visitors to the remote museum, Dixie created the Miss Exotic World pageant. This an annual burlesque competition would become the proving ground for a generation of new performers, while providing them the opportunity to rub elbows with the Legends of burlesque whose careers were represented in the museum’s displays.
Who owns the Burlesque Hall of Fame?
You do! The Burlesque Hall of Fame is a California Public Benefit Corporation that holds our collection in trust for the people of the United States. The organization is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees, and the day to day affairs are managed by our Executive Director.
What is the relationship between the Burlesque Hall of Fame and the Exotic World Museum in Helendale, CA?
We are the same organization. When Exotic World moved to Las Vegas in 2007, the name was changed.
What is the BHoF Weekender?
The BhoF Weekender is an annual fundraising event held the first weekend in June in Las Vegas and featuring nightly burlesque showcases, classes taught by burlesque Legends, parties, and numerous other events. The Weekender combines the Stripteaser’s Reunion, started by Jennie Lee and the Exotic Dancers League, and the Miss Exotic World competition, the world’s premier competitive burlesque event, started by Dixie Evans. Today’s events also includes classes, parties, and social, learning and networking events. Above all else, it is a place for every generation of burlesque to gather and share their experiences and the love of burlesque, making it a true “family reunion” for the burlesque world.
Where can I find more information on the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender?
Visit our Weekender website at www.BHoFWeekend.com
How is the Burlesque Hall of Fame funded?
BHoF is supported by donations, merchandise sales, annual memberships, corporate sponsorships, special event admissions, and ticket sales for the events of the annual BHoF Weekend.
How can I support the Burlesque Hall of Fame?
The Burlesque Hall of Fame depends on its visitors and fans for both financial and practical assistance. VIsiting the museum, attending the Weekender, volunteering, becoming a member, and simply spreading the word about us are all valuable. Please visit the Support page on our website at https://www.burlesquehall.com/support/ for more information about supporting BHoF.
What is money raised by the Burlesque Hall of Fame used for?
Our budget supports the operation and maintenance of the museum, preservation of the collection, and the development of programming and educational materials.
I’d like to throw a benefit event to raise money for BHoF. Can I use your name or logo?
We appreciate every effort to help support the museum and spread awareness of our work. If you are planning a benefit event, please contact us at email@example.com and let us know. We are happy to provide a digital copy of our logo for your promotional materials, however we ask that you are careful not to use our name and logo in such a way to suggest that BHoF either produced or endorsed your specific event. Contact us for further information.
I would like to do research at the Burlesque Hall of Fame. Is that possible?
Absolutely. BHoF welcomes qualified researchers and are happy to work with you to pursue your research goals. Please see https://www.burlesquehall.com/about/researcher-access/ for more information on how to gain access to our collection.
Do you offer grants or funding to support burlesque research?
At this time, we do not have the financial means to support third-party research.
Do you offer grants or funding for Legends with medical or other financial needs?
As a registered educational nonprofit, BHoF is legally unable to provide direct relief to individuals for medical or other needs. We are happy to lend our expertise and prominence in the community to fundraising efforts, but cannot directly support such efforts.
My organization would like to work with BHoF. Do you partner with other organizations?
BHoF is happy to work with other educational institutions whose interests and missions mesh with our own. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with more details about your organization’s project and how we can be involved.
Will BHoF help promote my show/Kickstarter campaign/other event?
In order to maintain the usefulness of our various online channels for distributing our own news, and given the huge number of shows, fundraising campaigns, and other events we are asked to help promote, we have limited ourselves to promoting only the following types of programs:
- Fundraising shows and other events whose direct beneficiary is BHoF;
- Projects whose main purpose is education in the history of burlesque;
- Projects and events that feature Miss Exotic Worlds and other BHoF title-holders in central roles; and
- Direct sponsors of BHoF.
Will BHoF sponsor our event or buy an ad in our program?
Although we would love to be able to support every burlesque event, as a non-profit, our resources are limited. Please contact us at email@example.com with information about your event and we will consider what, if any, action we are able to take in your specific case.