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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Pride South Side hosts inaugural Pride Fest
2019-06-15

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Chicago, IL — The Pride South Side Organizing Committee has organized its first inaugural pride festival with activities beginning Friday, June 28 and going until Sunday, June 30, 2019, in partnership with various venues on the Southside of Chicago. The venues are:

- The Stony Island Arts Bank, 6760 S Stony Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60649

- The DuSable Museum, 740 E 56th Place, Chicago, IL 60637

- The South Shore Cultural Center Beach, 7059 S South Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60649

- Gallery Guichard, 436 E 47th St, Chicago, IL 60653

- The Promontory, 5311 S Lake Park Ave W, Chicago, IL 60615

- The Jeffrey's Pub, 7041 S Jeffery Ave, Chicago, IL 60649

The Festival will consist of a series of events designed to cater to the wide array LGBTQIA-identifying community members and individuals on the southside of Chicago. The weekend will kick off with a film screening, in partnership with OpenTV which produces intersectional media, at the Stony Island Arts Bank on its opening night of June 28th from 8:00 p.m. — 10:00 p.m. OpenTV is best known for producing Brown Girls, a sitcom that was picked up by HBO.

The opening night will also include a kickoff party curated by Melloe Drama at Gallery Guichard from 8:00 p.m. — 1:00 a.m. Melloe Drama is a cultural curator whose work has included activations throughout the City of Chicago. Most recently Melloe Drama partnered with the Chicago Loop Alliance to curate their annual ACTIVATE Premier event which will transform a hidden alley for contortionists, magicians, hip-hop and house music on two stages, an interactive costume photo booth and more live murals.

On Saturday, June 29th, 2019, the DuSable Museum, the oldest African American museum and a Smithsonian affiliate, will host the mainstay event, a concert, and festival from 12:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m. Confirmed Artists include Duane Powell, Mister Wallace, Boogie, Morenxxx, Roy Kinsey, Brandon Markell, Cha$e and Avehre with more confirmations pending.

After the Festival on June 29th, four venues will host various after parties targeting different groups within the community, to include:

- Solaris from 9:30 p.m. - until. Solaris will take place at The Promontory, 5311 S Lake Park Ave. Ticket prices vary. SOLARIS is a queer pride celebration from Swoon, smallWORLD Collective, Molasses, and House of Zetina, inspired by the warmth and renewal of the summer solstice. These collectives have joined together to curate a one-of-a-kind party that unites all corners of Chicago's queer community.

- In Demand Entertainment presents The South Side Mini-Ball Deluxe on Saturday, June 29, 2019 9:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. with free entry if tested for HIV, $7 entry, $10 plates, and $20 VIP packages at The Global Studio, 8151 S. South Chicago Ave. To purchase tickets at these advance discounted rates please visit: https://www.pridesouthside.com/events/in-demand-entertainment-presents-the-south-side-mini-ball/pick-tickets.

- She Proud takes place from 9:30 p.m. — 1:00 a.m. at The Breathing Room located at 1434 W 51st St., and it is free to the public. She Proud is a South Side celebration about what it means to be unapologetically queer, a woman and femme. She Proud also centers cisgender and transforming Black women, butch and feminine, and girls from the neighborhoods of Chicago during this official after party.

- Legends: Grown Folk Only takes place at Jeffrey Pub ( address ) from 9:30 p.m. — until and tickets are $10.

- Sunday, June 30th, 2019, The South Shore Cultural Center Beach will host the closing event, Beachnic: Queering in the Parks. Guests will arrive to listen to music, hang out and say farewell to the weekend from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Pride South Side was organized with a greater social impact mission in mind. A report by the City of Chicago, Department of Health attempts to explain why HIV infections rates are on the rise on the South Side of Chicago, among queer black male youth, despite the advent of PrEP and education. Washington Park is leading the city in new HIV infection rates, followed by Chatham second, and South Shore third. This means that the southside is leading the entire Midwest in new HIV infection rates. The report finds that a leading cause of this issue is the lack of social spaces that are both queer and black/POC affirming. Pride South Side seeks to address this problem through a three-pronged initiative to include:

- Pride South Side: Host a flagship pride event on Chicago's South and West Sides that is evergreen and touches every majority minority South and West Side community;

- Cultural Training: Partner with churches, small businesses, non-profits, and schools to provide diversity and inclusion training in communities in which the epidemic is the highest. Support safe spaces by recruiting brick and mortar businesses into a safe space program where they register as a 'safe space';

- Pipelines: Develop pipelines of queer-identifying youth to support programming, including workforce development, educational advancement, health and wellness, and dating and intimacy workshops.

Despite the need to address rising HIV rates among queer black male youth, Pride South Side is celebrating the full breadth of the LGBTQIA community because there are other barriers to the community. This includes a high rate of drug abuse, murders of trans women and various issues that point to a continued devaluing of queer black and brown bodies.

The Festival's presenting sponsor is AHF and Lyft is a sponsor of Pride South Side and the official rideshare partner.

Additional sponsors include The White Sox, Lyft, The South Side Help Center, The Black Gay Men's Caucus, 720 Films, Jack Daniels, the DuSable Museum, the Chicago Park District, Fahrenheit Chicago, the Rebuild Foundation, OpenTV, the Coalition for Justice and Respect, Hope Is, Talooka Studios with more sponsorships pending.

Visit www.PrideSouthSide.com// www.PrideSouthSide.org for tickets and more information.

—From a press release

Earlier press release www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Pride-South-Side-launches-Pride-fest/66249.html .


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