Monday, April 21, 2008

Queerfest 2008

The SGN reported that the Seattle LGBT Center has announced that Queerfest will be greatly reduced from previous years and will not feature a parade or rally in Volunteer Park, but instead:

[Ivan Wright, newly elected co-president], explained the Center’s new plans for this year’s event. “What we’re trying to put together now is a Queerfest event throughout the month of June, which will be held & certainly at Neighbours—they’re one of the sponsors of the event—and beyond that I’m not sure. We’re still very early into this in terms of bringing it together, but we’re hoping to get several venues around Capitol Hill and beyond.”

Mr Savage comments on all this on Slog:

Capitol Hill and beyond? Beyond Capitol Hill? As in, “off Capitol Hill”? Excuse me for bringing this up, but the whole point of Queerfest—and the divisions it created, and the money it lost, and the community center is caused to implode—was to keep Seattle’s gay pride events on Capitol Hill where the shriekers insisted they belonged.

Hey, SGN! The LGBT Center is moving Queerfest—bits and pieces of it—off the hill! Where are the charges of betrayal and heresy? Where are the furious letters from the gay community’s outraged spokesdouches? What? No quotes from angry bar owners? No calls for the board of the LGBT Center to resign? What gives?

I also commented on Slog, part of which were replies to things that other people had posted:

1)Don't know about a Neighbor's payback. I think it's a situation where Neighbor's contribution has earned them the right to be an official sponsor of the Center's events for a very long time...
2)FYI: There are no paychecks at the center to protect or money being hoarded. They have very little money, (and could use a LOT more) and ONE part time paid co-ordinator. The Board is NOT paid, and the Center hasn't had a paid Director for months. The Board's decision to do a greatly scaled back Queerfest, was a sound decision to make, both financially and for the well-being of the community.
3)If they're ever able to put on a full scale Queerfest, I would personally recommend they DON'T do it concurrently with official Pride in June, but hold it in August and make it ARTS based instead of political. A queerer, artier version of Capitol Hill Block Party held on Pike Street and Cal Anderson Park with an emphasis on this city's vast pool of queer and queer friendly talent could be a huge success and a hell of a lot of fun.

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