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Organizers face economic and fintn
from page I
feel that this could also be due to fear of being
associated with such an event in our area.”
Other Palmetto State Prides are also feeling
a pinch, but are moving full-steam ahead. _
Ryan Wilson, president of the South Carolina
Pride Movement (SCPM), says organizers
there are excited about their plans — the
entertainment-wish list includes out comedi
enne Wanda Sykes — but are
being realistic when it comes to
“So far we
to raise the
funds that we
have raised,” he
says. “We are
some gaps in
Upstate Pride will celebrate its first-
ever march and parade on June 20 in
public and private funding.
“We may not be able to count on grants
and major sponsorships so we will continue to
cut costs where we can and come up with
more creative ways to raise funds,” he says.
Last year, the SC Pride festival and parade
received a sizeable $10,000 grant from the City
of Columbia. Wilson says they’ve been notified
that such public grants could be reduced by 25
percent or more, as governments are left deal
ing with decreased income and revenue
streams, budget crunches
and impending layoffs.
Wilson says the group
has applied for a total of
$50,000 worth of grants for
SC Pride and another
$15,000 for the Harriet
Hancock Community Center.
SC Pride is hoping com
munity members will shore
up any possible losses. In cel
ebration of their 20 th
anniversary, the/re encour
aging folks to renew their
annual SCPM memberships
for a special rate of $20 per
person. But the group knows
they aren’t the only ones feel
ing the squeeze.
“We know that our community is suffering
and may not have the funds to travel as much
this summer,” Wilson says, “that’s why we
remain committed to offering as many free
events as possible.”
Pride Charlotte organizers Denise Palm-Beck
and Jonathan Hill also recognize the economic
situation will have an impact on how communi
ty members choose to spend their money.
“We need to be cognizant of the economic
situation,” Palm-Beck says, noting that this
year Pride Charlotte won’t be expanding their
festival grounds at Gateway Village.
Like SC Pride, Pride Charlotte is
2009 looking to give back to community
members. They’ll keep things low-
cost on their end and keep events
as cheap or as free as they can. As
in years past, their annual festival
on July 25 will continue to be free
“We also decided not to raise
vendor fees, to help businesses and
vendors with the crunch,” Hill says.
Palm-Beck says she hasn’t seen a signifi
cant change in donations and sponsorships
from last year, but says the group is keeping
their tabs on the situation. “We’d be silly if we
weren’t keeping that in mind,” she says.
If there are gaps in funding, perhaps it
comes from corporate sponsors giving less. Hill
says the time is ripe for gamering more sup
port from an increased number of corporate
allies. “The [NCAA] basketball tournament had
more sponsors this year than they ever have,”
Charlotte Black Gay
Pride organizer Lyncoia
Handy says his group’s
fundraising levels have
been almost the same
as last year, despite
“Securing funds has
always been a difficult part
to making the weekend
happen,” he says.“Some of
the problems we have
encountered in the past we
still encounter as we
attempt to raise the funds.
The economy being what it
is really hasn’t hampered
OutWilmington welcomes RuPaul
for their week-long series of
events in June.
or thrown a monkey wrench in our plans’
see next page
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12 APRIL l8.2009*ftNotes