My buddy Jeff Freedman, chair of the Pittsburgh PrideFest Committee gave me the heads up on an upcoming “town hall” meeting to get community input on impending changes in PrideFest. To summarize, the GLCC has produced PrideFest for the past 5 years or so after it was nearly bankrupted by previous producers. <I always like to remind those who bitch and moan about PrideFest that the GLCC stepped in when no one else could/would.>
Enter the Delta Foundation which brought us the first ever “Pride in the Street” festival on Liberty Avenue. The Delta Foundation has taken over some longstanding events (boat cruises) and brought some new fundraisers with kicky names (Spark! Splash!) to town. Now, they are tackling PrideFest with the apparent blessing of the GLCC and this town hall meeting is your chance to be part of the planning.
So, who is the Delta Foundation? The .pdf flyer attached to this post claims they are a “newly formed” non-profit group, but take a peek at the roster and it is clear that this is a revamped version of Pittsburgh's LGBT Tavern Guild. Is that a problem? Not necessarily, but there's a lot of “perception” built into a group that has a history of representing only one set of interests — white gay men who own local bars. I'm hopeful that the leadership of the Delta Foundation, which has two open seats I'm told, will look to other groups in our community — lesbian business owners, the trans community, the bisexual community and the African-American LGBT community just to name a few — to fill those seats. I'd be a lot more comfortable if they get the owner of the Square Cafe on board, for example.
I'm trying to keep an open mind, really I am. I like Jeff and think he's being straight with me (no pun intended). PrideFest has been moved to a Sunday and will move out of Riverfront Park to Liberty Avenue. The rest is yet to be revealed.
Hence, the meeting.
Overall, this could be a promising change for the LGBT community if the Delta Foundation leadership are willing to share the power with minority groups within our community.
Should you attend the meeting? Well, why not? Especially if you are one of the million of us who have ever complained about PrideFest being too much this or not enough that. You don't have to join a committee; just come to a meeting and share your thoughts.
PRIDE PITTSBURGH 2008
7 Days ???? June 16-22
Pride in Pittsburgh will never be the same!
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
7pm to 9pm ???? Everyone Welcome
500 Grant Street ???? Downtown Pittsburgh
One Mellon Center
For more information and to RSVP:
WE NEED YOUR HELP! We encourage all local GLBT organizations to get involved.
If you would like to be involved in this ground breaking movement to change the GLBT Community
in Pittsburgh, please attend our Partners in Pride Town Hall Meeting.
As if repeating that wouldn’t be tough enough,
the newly formed non-profit group known as the Delta Foundation
is taking Pride in Pittsburgh from a one day parade, festival and evening party
to a WEEK-LONG CELEBRATION of the GLBT Community in Pittsburgh
in cooperation with the GLCC.