2016 – Ivy Bottini

Ivy Bottini is an artist, a mother and a legendary activist, devoting over 40 years to the feminist & LGBT’s struggle for civil & human rights. 

She is a founder of the first chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) formed in 1966 as well as designing their national logo. As she fought for women’s rights in New York City, she conceived and led the takeover of the Statue of Liberty in 1970 when Ivy’s New York Chapter of NOW, hung a large banner over the top of Statue’s pedestal which read, “Women of the Word Unite.” 

She introduced the struggle for lesbian rights into the women’s movement in 1969. She created feminist consciousness raising within her New York chapter of NOW, which was later adapted for all chapters to participate in. In 1970 she was forced out of NOW due to her desire for equality and inclusion of lesbians in the struggle for women’s rights. 
She was the Southern California deputy director of the 1978 campaign which spearheaded the defeat of the Briggs Initiative, (No on 6) which would have banned gays and lesbians from teaching in California’s public schools. She went on to chair the No on LaRouche and No on 64 Initiative victories. 

She has organized numerous gay-rights marches, protests and “die-ins” in the 1980s. She has fought to get funding and services for the sick and dying during the AIDS epidemic. She founded the first AIDS organization in Los Angeles, AIDS Network LA, which served as a clearing house for early disease information and in 1983 she co-founded AIDS Project L.A. 

She was a founder the Los Angeles Lesbian/Gay Police Advisory Board. She has been co-chair of the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board for the city of West Hollywood from 1999 to 2010, spearheading work on partner abuse in the LGBT community, Crystal Meth addiction, the annual dyke march, and affordable housing for LGBT seniors. Ivy originally conceived the idea of providing affordable housing for Gay & Lesbian Seniors. 

Many years of hard work culminated with the founding of the non-profit Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing, Inc. in 1993. The group’s first project, Triangle Square contains 103 units in an affordable income apartment complex which opened in late April 2007 in Hollywood CA. It is the first in the Nation. 

A famous and respected activist has, Ivy explores the human form and its relationship to itself, to space and to its surroundings. In addition she interprets numerous other subjects in a variety of media.