VA Pride’s Youth Pride Fest is finalist in 2015 RVA Creativity Awards
A local LGBTQ group could potentially get a unique recognition from Richmond’s creative community. VA Pride’s Youth Pride is among the 20 finalists selected for the RVA Creativity Awards, an annual ceremony to honor the creative community here in the Richmond Region.
VA Pride’s RVA Youth Pride was chosen for collecting donations from local businesses, entertainment and art communities to provide engaging activities for youth and their families for Pridefest 2014, which took place on Brown’s Island Sept. 27.
Last year was the first time a Youth Pride event was included in VA Pride’s Pridefest, a annual festival bring awareness and enable unity among the Richmond LGBTQ community members.
Bill Harrison, Executive Director of Diversity Richmond, can attest to the positive outcome of RVA Youth Pride at last year’s Pridefest.
“Anyone that attended the festival last year saw what a huge success the Youth Pride was,” Harrison said. “I was pleasantly surprised about how popular it was, and the entertainment for the kids was right on target.”
Last year’s Pridefest drew 18,000 people, the highest to date, and Shannon McKay, Vice President of Virginia Pride and the VA Youth Pride Coordinator, echoed Harrison’s thoughts on adding a youth element to the festival.
“My passion and focus was to create a part of Pridefest that would celebrate the LGBTQ family and youth,” Mckay said. “I wanted to attract all ages to our area by having activities and entertainment that would appeal to parents and their kids, teens, and young adults too.”
A big part of the reason for RVA Youth Pride’s nomination for the award was was their work at Pridefest. The group’s goal was to hold a festival that included LGBTQ youth, parents and their children and also provided entertainment for everyone.
“The RVA Youth Pride stage entertainment schedule started off with singer/song writer Susan Greenbaum and built momentum throughout the day with interactive improv by HATTheatre, music by local bands,” McKay said. “The Articles and Manatree, Jonathan Austin juggling fire, speeches from the plaintiffs from the marriage equality case, The Handsmiths from DC, and finally, as the sun was setting, we had a dance party on the helipad which was the center of our RVA Youth Pride village.”
Harrison is rooting for Youth Pride to win the award and hopes to see them again at this year’s Pridefest.
“It’s a good place for LGBT youth and it’s also a good idea for parents that are bringing their children to the fest,” he said. “We’re all pulling for them and I think the recognition from the greater community not only for the Pridefest itself, but the children of LBGT adults.”
Planning for Pridefest 2015, which will be held Sept. 12 at Brown’s Island, is underway, and McKay said people can expect to see more from RVA Youth Pride.
“We are definitely planning RVA Youth Pride 2015 and hope to bring back most of our entertainment and activities, but also add more,” she said. “We plan to have only activity tents around the helipad so that there is more for everyone to do all day long. We want to have vendors nearby that promote goods and services to youth and their families.”
For the ceremony, Center of the Universe and James River Cellar Winery will be providing the adult beverages, The Underground will provide the food, and Church Hill Music Co. will be kicking out the tunes.
This RVA Creativity Awards ceremony will be held May 21st at the Bolling Haxall House at 211 E. Franklin St and was created by The Creative Change Center (C3) to celebrate the creative community of RVA. C3 is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides several programs for entrepreneurs and other creatives in the Richmond region.
Tickets for the ceremony are $35-$70 and you can grab yours here.
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