Advocacy in Art

Just last year I was told by a government official that “there is no LGBTQ arts and culture.” San Diego Pride is one of our region’s largest civic events, a celebration of LGBTQ arts and culture with a 26.6 million dollar economic impact on the region. That official was wrong, however, our community understands how often our work, creativity, and brilliance are ignored, abused, or stolen for profit. So often though, it is our artists, drag queens, DJs, dancers, musicians, poets, and playwrights who bring us and our community through challenging times. They guide us to joy.

LGBTQ visual and performing artists still find ourselves needing to create intentional programs, organizations, and venues to ensure our stories are told. Groups like San Diego Women’s Chorus, San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, San Diego Queer Youth Chorus, Diversionary Theatre, FilmOUT San Diego, Pride Youth Marching Band, Pride Youth Art Show, and Art of Pride provide intentional community and spaces for queer brilliance to shine. They bring us together to mourn, learn, heal, laugh, and thrive.

While many LGBTQ performing artists find it difficult to find footing in the industry, San Diego Pride invests in LGBTQ talent through our year-round events, Vibe with Pride – LGBTQ music series, and Pride Week. From She Fest to the Pride Festival we prioritize hiring local and big-name LGBTQ artists who use their platform to advocate for LGBTQ justice. Melissa Ethridge, Laverne Cox, Kim Petras, King Princess, Big Freedia, Cindy Lauper, Wilson Cruz, Margaret Cho, Mila Jam, and Jai Rodriguez have all been showcased on San Diego Pride stages, raised funds for LGBTQ justice work, and ensured our community has visible representation. We can’t wait to tell you who will be with us this year.

Join us this Friday for our Art of Pride reception, next Tuesday for our LGBTQ Arts Educator Mixer, at the Pride Festival this July, or any of our community’s events this year. When you do you are investing in our LGBTQ visual and performing arts and the year-round advocacy work they and these programs raise funds for. LGBTQ art is a powerful tool for advocacy. When we support it we are lifted to Justice with Joy.

With Pride,

Fernando Zweifach López
Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs
Executive Director
San Diego Pride

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About Fernando

Fernando Lopez is the Executive Director of San Diego Pride. Lopez’s years of LGBT advocacy, nonprofit management, public education, diversity consulting, media relations, guest lectures, and organizing have made them a consistent presence ensuring the struggles of the LGBT community are ever visible.