Category Archives: Community

Pride in the Park June 26 & 27, 2021

PRIDE IN THE PARK ANNOUNCES LEGENDARY LINEUP THAT BRINGS TOGETHER THE QUEEN OF FUNK AND QUEER ICON, THE GREATEST DJ OF ALL TIME, AND THE PRODIGAL PRODUCER THAT IS SURE TO PRODUCE SICKENING SOUNDS AND ONE OF THE BEST PRIDE MUSIC FESTIVALS OF THE YEAR

Pride in the Park Chicago, presented by Truly Hard Seltzer, proudly announces the legendary lineup for this years’ Main event in Grant Park (downtown Chicago) on June 26 and 27, along with being one of the city’s first in-person festivals.

HEADLINING IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER    

  • Chaka Khan, the legendary Queen of Funk, Queer Icon, and ten-time Grammy-winning artist.
  • GRYFFIN, the self-taught prodigal producer, with a #1 on Spotify’s US and Global Viral charts and                                 #2 on Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist.
  • Tiëstoa Grammy award-winning artist, dubbed “the world’s greatest DJ,” the Godfather of EDM, and commanding the title of “best DJ of the last 20 years.

FULL LINEUP

  • Betty Who, the Australian-American singer and songwriter of “I Love You Always Forever,” peaked inside the top ten in Australia and reached the top of the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart in the United States.
  • Tracy Young, a Grammy award-winning producer, history-maker, and proud member of the LGBTQ community, she is the first woman ever to win a Grammy in the category of best-remixed recording.
  • Alyssa Edwards, the iconic star from Emmy-winning television series “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” American entertainer, choreographer, and television personality.
  • Derrick Carter, a Queer, Black Chicago-native, was named No. 53 in the 100 Most Famous Chicagoans, is regarded as one of the best underground house key players in the U.S. and Europe.

Among these show-stoppers, there will be other renowned and diverse artists such as CircuitMOM, Hector Fonseca, Tony Moran, Lady D, The Vixen Denali Foxx, Karsten Sollors, Tenderoni, Miss Toto, Mila Jam, Kinley Preston, Traci Ross, Naysha Lopez, It Jomama, Hinkypunk, Kara Mel D’Ville, Sheeza Woman, Avi Sic, Matt Suave, O’Laysia, Chamilla Foxx, Zoliy Miyake Mugler for Ballroom Pride & Guest Speakers.

Dusty Carpenter, Pride in the Park Chicago President and Lead Organizer, said, “To say we are excited is an understatement. We have legendary artists – with 12 Grammys combined – diverse Allies and Queer icons that are going to simply bring the house down. What better way to celebrate our Pride than with amazing music in a diverse and inclusive atmosphere? We continue to celebrate Pride to remind us of our achievements and to also remind us of our history, struggles, and work that is yet to be done.”

Proud Partnerships Uphold Our Commitment to Equality, Equity, and Big Entertainment

  • We are proud to continue its official charity partnership with The Center on Halsted – donating a portion of ticket sales and providing in-kind tickets to ensure LGBTQ+, and underprivileged youth may participate, feel welcomed, and celebrate their pride openly.
  • We are proud to continue another community activity on Pride weekend; the awards ceremony for Pride Bowl XIII will be held at the festival. Now in its 13th year, Pride Bowl is an LGBTQ+ flag football tournament played on Chicago’s lakefront as part of Pride weekend.
  • A new Proud Partnership with Chicago’s very own CircuitMOM Productions – commanding their own onsite performances. Consistently bringing exceptional performances, outrageous outfits, drag kings and queens, world-famous DJs, and that signature electric house music that only CircuitMOM can deliver.
  • A new Proud Partnership with Health Pass by CLEAR. Health Pass is a free mobile experience on the CLEAR app that securely connects a user’s verified identity to multiple layers of COVID-19-related health information to help reduce public health risk and get people back to what they love.
  • We are proud to continue a partnership with Howard Brown Health and other Chicago testing providers to give attendees as many options as possible. If not fully vaccinated, we highly suggest you get tested Thursday or Friday prior to the event at one of the COVID PCR testing centers around the city.

VISIT WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OUR PROUD PARTNERS AND OUR FULL COVD-19 HEALTH SAFETY PLAN

WHAT: Pride in the Park Chicago LGBTQ+ live, outdoor festival

WHERE: Grant Park – BUTLER FIELD (Downtown Chicago) | 100 S Lakeshore Drive, Chicago, IL 

WHEN: Saturday, June 26 and Sunday, June 27 // TIMES: 2:00 PM-10:00 PM, 3:00 PM – 10:00 PM

GET TICKETS ON THEIR WEBSITE!

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Drag March Chicago 2021 will happen JUNE 13th

Second Annual Drag March for Change to be Held June 13th
Chicago Black Queer Community Calls for Change
The second Drag March For Change will begin at 12:30pm June 13 at
Belmont and Halsted, where the LGBTQ+ community and allies will march in support of Black Lives
Matter and demand justice for acts of oppression. A gathering will mark the beginning of the march, with the march commencing at 1:00pm and ending at Halsted and Grace where drag community leaders will speak on the issues of today, the mission at hand, and ways to create and promote lasting impact.
“The sparks we ignited last year with our actions were able to create meaningful change that bettered our
community,” said protest organizer Joe Lewis, who performs in drag as Jo Mama. “Now we need to
continue to stoke the flames of change, and hold those who have oppressed our community accountable
with continued action.”
The Drag March for Change is making a return as there continues to be an attack on the Black
community, specifically Black trans lives, that still persists and has expanded to peoples of all races,
especially members of the AAPI community.
The actions demanded by organizers are:
-Justice* for Tony McDad, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd
-Reclassification of violence against Trans individuals as a hate crime
-That the Chicago City Council defund CPD by 75% and reinvest those funds into social services and
community programs
-Police banned from marching in Pride festivities indefinitely
-Immediate release of all protesters from previous BLM actions
*Justice being the abolishment of the system that took these lives and that restorative systems grow in
their stead.
The current list of speakers includes community leaders such as:
RuPaul’s Drag Race Alum, Dida Ritz
Legendary Performer, The Miss Toto
Chicago Icon, Lucy Stoole
RuPaul’s Drag Race Alum, The Vixen
Drag Council Co-Founder, Lil Nicki
Molasses Collective Member, Cae Monae
Drag March for Change Organizer, Jo MaMa
About The Drag March for Change
The Drag March for Change is a peaceful protest that originated in June of 2020 in response to a growing
need for action after events such as the murder o f George Floyd, the murder of Breonna Taylor, the
murder of Tony McDade, and racism that exists in the Boystown community of Chicago. Over 15,000
people marched in solidarity on June 14, 2020 in response to a need for change, specifically in regards to
racial injustice taking place in Chicago communities.
The march in 2020 resulted in change within the Chicago community, such as the creation of the Cicago
Black Drag Council, a town hall lead by the Chicago, a petition for change in leadership in queer
nightclubs in Chicago, action to uplift oppressed communities such as black queer folks within the
Boystown community, and a continued effort to support performers in Chicago.
To VOLUNTEER:
https://forms.gle/823xCHjJmLRMxSHa7
To DONATE:https://www.facebook.com/donate/474925713760025/
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LAUNCHING JUNE PRIDE MONTH WITH AIDS GARDEN CHICAGO GROUNDBREAKING

The Honorable Mayor Lori LightfootAlderman Tom Tunney,  Congressman Mike Quigley, Congresswoman Jan SchakowskyState Senator Sara FeigenholtzState Representatives Greg Harris and Margaret Croke, Chicago Parks Foundation Executive Director Willa Lang, and Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Mike Kelly, along with members of the LGBTQ community, officially and joyfully ‘broke the ground’ on the long-awaited AIDS Garden Chicago Wednesday, June 2, 2021.

 

 Located at Lake Shore Drive and Belmont Avenue, AIDS Garden Chicago is the city’s first public park to memorialize the early days of Chicago’s HIV epidemic, and honors those who continue to fight against the disease today.

Taking place in front of the Garden’s anchor piece, the stunning 30-foot Keith Haring sculpture, ‘Self-Portrait,’ official remarks were followed by a powerful spoken word performance by Chicago-bred Black Queer playwright, poet and activist Osiris Khepera.

 

“It brings me great joy to officially break ground on AIDS Garden Chicago in a location that means so much to our LGBTQ+ communities,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “As we memorialize those we’ve lost to the HIV epidemic and honor those who continue to fight this disease, it has never been more important to immortalize Belmont Rocks’ legacy as a safe space where people could gather, support one another and be their full selves. I look forward to seeing this garden come to life by the end of this year and become our city’s newest symbol of liberation, individuality and stewardship.”

Alderman Tom Tunney said, “I thank everyone who attended the AIDS Garden Chicago groundbreaking event; in the face of the AIDS epidemic, countless people took action and worked to provide health care, housing, food or other services to meet basic needs of our friends and neighbors who became infected with HIV/AIDS. Many of these same people worked tirelessly to see this garden, the city’s first public park to memorialize the early days of Chicago’s HIV epidemic, come to fruition.  AIDS Garden Chicago is a living garden and an educational tool that symbolizes the resiliency of the LGBTQ community. AIDS Garden Chicago is intended to be a safe space for all: those who are queer or straight, those with any gender identity, those from any race or ethnicity. The AIDS epidemic impacted people of all backgrounds from all communities and walks of life and we recognize the human toll for all. Thank you to all who have helped make AIDS Garden Chicago possible.”

Added Chicago Parks Foundation Executive Director Willa Lang, “Especially at this time, during the pandemic, when so many marginalized communities were impacted disproportionately, we remember, recognize and honor those amazing joyful lives lived and lost during the AIDS epidemic at this magnificent site along the lake front. But what is most important to remember is that there are those who still live with HIV/AIDS today, individuals not yet welcome, not well-served and still struggling to be seen. Our work is not yet done. AIDS Garden Chicago is a garden for all. A safe place to tell the stories, reflect and celebrate all lives and our differences as well. The Belmont Rocks will live on in this lush wandering garden of beauty, joy and shared love. The Chicago Parks Foundation is honored to lead this project to its completion and look forward to bringing our communities together again when we cut the ribbon on AIDS Garden Chicago this fall.”

Other VIPS in attendance at the groundbreaking included: Chicago Park District Manager of Art Initiatives Mike Dimitroff, Chicago Parks Foundation Board Member Michael Erwin, OUTspoken co-founder David Fink, Chicago Park District Director of Planning and Development Heather Gleason, business woman and activist Christie Hefner, former Alderman Tunney representative Chris Jessup, community gardener Nancy Juda, Design Workshop garden designer Manisha Kaul, Legacy Project Co-Founder Owen Keehnen, former State Senator William Marovitz, Alphawood Foundation Executive Director Jim McDonough, Executive Director of The Arts Club of Chicago Janine Mileaf, community supporter Vicki Noe, current Alderman Tunney Director of Business Affairs and Special Events Jessica Papp, President and CEO of AIDS Foundation Chicago John Peller, former State Representative Yoni Pizer, Rosenthal Fine Art’s Dennis Rosenthal and Susan Pool, Legacy Project Co-Founder and Executive Director Victor Salvo, and Lincoln Park Conservancy Executive Director Doug Widener.

The 2.5 acre AIDS Garden Chicago is situated on Lake Michigan at the original location of the historic Belmont Rocks, a beloved space where the local gay community gathered between the 1960s and 1990s.  The Garden’s first phase was completed in late 2019 with the installation of its anchor piece, the stunning 30-foot Keith Haring sculpture, ‘Self-Portrait.’ The Garden will include unique areas designed for reflection, education, honor, and pride. Visitors will be guided through a variety of collective garden spaces all providing a sensory nature experience, most notably a Gingko Reflection Grove. The Foundation will soon launch the AIDS Garden Story Archive, a digital quilt of personal shared experiences to be posted on the AIDS Garden Chicago website. AIDS Garden Chicago, a “park with purpose,’ expects to open in Fall 2021.

The Chicago Parks Foundation thanks current AIDS Garden Chicago partners: Alderman Tom Tunney, Alphawood Foundation, TAWANI Foundation, Walgreens, Beaumier Donor Advised Family Fund, the Elizabeth Morse Trust and the Chicago Park District in addition to tireless advocacy by the State of Illinois, Senator Sara Feigenholtz, Leader Greg Harris, Representative Mike Quigley, State Rep Margaret Croke and former State Representative Yoni Pizer. Further thanks to: AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Center on Halsted, Design Workshop, Friends of the Parks, Howard Brown Health, Keith Haring Foundation, Legacy Project, Mariano’s, The Moth and Rosenthal Fine Art, Inc.

The Chicago Parks Foundation is leading the Garden’s fundraising and community conversations.  Established in 2013 as the nonprofit partner of Chicago’s parks, the Chicago Parks Foundation operates in a public-private partnership with the Chicago Park District to provide fiscal partnership to foundations, organizations, and individuals who wish to support their parks.  For more information, visit Chicago Parks Foundation.

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Boystown Chicago Northalsted Market Days 2021

Northalsted Market Days® is set to return to Chicago in 2021: August 6, 7 and 8, adding a Friday night edition for the first time. The 1/2 mile long street festival has been an annual summer tradition in Chicago for nearly 4 decades.

As widespread vaccinations continue making progress against the pandemic, planning is underway for a much anticipated comeback.

With safety at the forefront, planning involves continual contact with health officials in the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois and monitoring of CDC guidelines in order to take all necessary precautions to ensure a safe event.

Since the first Market Day in August, 1982, the LGBTQ+ positive event has grown from a handful of folding tables and chairs on the sidewalk, to a half-mile long, annual summer ritual on Chicago’s North Halsted Street from Belmont to Addison.

39 years later, Market Days is now considered among Chicago’s top ten festivals. Thousands attend from near and far enjoying all-day lineups of live music on 5 stages, hundreds of vendors, summer food & drinks, dancing in the street, and more. Subscribe to the newsletter for the latest updates and this year’s entertainment details.

A $15 suggested donation for entry helps cover festival costs, benefits local charities and supports year round Northalsted chamber programming in the community. Generous public donations, funded the Chicago Pride Crosswalks project, the longest installation of its kind in the world, covering 14 intersections.

 

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Circuit Mom Presents Drag Queen Drive In Fun Oct 16th

And now for something a little  different –

Drive in Drag – just in time for Halloween!

2 shows on Friday October 16th, 2020

6pm  and  8:30pm

Calling all GHOULS!

Does the person in the mirror tell you you’re beautiful?!

Then this pageant is for you!

Known for their over-the-top productions and events, the creative team at CircuitMOM Productions (CMP) is taking the “drive-in movie” event model being used across the country and turning the LakeShore Drive-In at the Adler Planetarium into a Halloween themed Drag Show.

This beauty pageant parody will have headliners from RuPaul’s Drag Race (Jaida Essence Hall and The Vixen), Dragula (Biqtch Puddin and Landon Cider), and Chicago Local Drag Superstars (CircuitMOM, Aunty Chan, Darby Lynn Cartwright, Denali Foxx, Sheeza Woman, and Miss Toto)!

Showtimes are 6:00pm and 8:30pm on Friday October 16th and tickets are available on our website circuitmom.com. Each show is limited to 200 vehicles, so get tickets for you and your friends now to see CircuitMOM crown the first ever Drop Dead Drag Pageant King or Queen!

*For full details and rules, please check the ticket site.

Get Your Tickets Now!
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Aids Run Walk Chicago 2020

This month, the AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC) is inviting Chicagoans to move “Forward Together” for the 19th annual AIDS Run & Walk. For the first time, the weeklong event – kicking off on Monday, Sept. 28th

CHOOSE YOUR WALK!

This year will feature 5K and 10K routes throughout various Chicago neighborhoods including Hyde Park, Uptown, the Loop and more to promote safety and minimize crowds. The AIDS Run & Walk will conclude at Soldier Field on Oct. 3 and raise vital funds and awareness for AFC, in addition to more than 20 community partner organizations that provide programs and services for those living with or vulnerable to HIV, AIDS and other chronical illness.

GRAB A FRIEND AND REGISTER NOW

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Iconic Boystown Chicago to Get a Name Change

History is about to be erased and changed

This is making National AND International news!

Chicago’s LGBTQ ‘hood has long been called ‘Boystown’, but business leaders have decided its time for a re-brand.

The move comes after a petition gained steam over the summer which described Boystown as the “only gendered nickname” of any city’s LGBTQ district. (The petition gained over 1,500 signatures, although a counter-petition to keep the name had over 2,000.)

HISTORY –   The Boystown section of Lakeview was the first officially recognized gay village in the United States.

It is also the cultural center of one of the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities in the nation. Boystown has grown into a cultural center for the LGBT residents living within the Chicago metropolitan area. The district’s informal boundaries, overlapping with Lakeview East, are Irving Park Road on the north, Broadway on the east, Wellington Avenue on the south, and Sheffield Avenue on the west. The Center on Halsted, an LGBT community center, is also located in this area.

Boystown is known for its colorful, lively nightlife and inviting atmosphere. Boystown also includes some of Chicago’s off-Loop theater, specialty restaurants, greystone and brownstone walk-up buildings and other historic architecture, trendy fashion outlets, wine boutiques, chain stores, and independent shops. The city’s annual Gays and Lesbians Chicago Pride Parade begins at the intersection of Montrose and Broadway, runs south along Broadway then Halsted to Belmont, turns east on Belmont to Broadway again, then south to Diversey, and then east to Sheridan Road.

From QUEERTY “Systemic transphobia, racism, and sexism have plagued our neighborhood for decades, and it begins at the top, with the all-male board of the Northalsted Business Alliance. It begins with the BOYSTOWN signs down our street announcing that this neighborhood is ‘for the boys,’ though the signs hang above our diverse Legacy Walk of several LGBTQ icons in our history.

“To promote the inclusion of transgender, nonbinary, lesbian, and intersex individuals, we submit this petition for the Northalsted Business Alliance to simply follow the other LGBTQ neighborhoods across the world by marketing the area based on its location, North Halsted, not the majority gender of those people who sit on the Northalsted Business Alliance board This is only the beginning of the many changes needed in the North Halsted area.”

So what’s going to be the new  name??????  WHO  KNOW’S ?!

 

NORTHALSTED ANNOUNCES SURVEY RESULTS ON ‘BOYSTOWN’ NAME CHANGE
September 23, 2020

In response to concerns over the ‘Boystown’ name as exclusionary, the Northalsted Business Alliance sought community input via a three-month online survey, which concluded September 15. While the alliance used ‘Boystown’ in past marketing campaigns, it does not have any claim nor rights to the name, which has been in colloquial use since the 1980s.

The survey, intended to listen to community voices, results in the board’s decision to focus marketing efforts on the geographic location (Northalsted) and use the slogan ‘Chicago’s Proudest Neighborhood’.

While formal changing of the name Boystown lies with city planners, map makers, Aldermen and organizations beyond NBA, the alliance will focus marketing exclusively on location.

A breakdown of survey results as follows:

7,890 respondents
3,060 comments/1,350 suggestions for new names
58% favor keeping the Boystown moniker
80% did not feel unwelcomed by the Boystown name

The survey queried participants on categories of self-identification. The majority identifying as Lesbian, Transgender, non-binary and queer favor a name change. To ensure all members of the LGBTQ+ community feel welcome in the business district, the Northalsted Business Alliance Board agreed to discontinue using ‘Boystown’ in marketing.

Plans to replace banners featuring ‘Boystown’ are underway.

About the Northalsted Business Alliance (NBA)
Formed in 1980, NBA represents more than 100 businesses along the Halsted Street corridor. The organization hosts major events throughout the year including Chicago Pride Fest, Northalsted Market Days, the Haunted Halsted Halloween Parade and more.

For information about NBA visit www.northalsted.com.

 

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Gay LGBTQ Diversity Night at Six Flags September 12th, 2020

OUT IN THE PARK will return for it’s ninth year, on September 12th, 2020!

Six Flags were given the green light to open their waterparks (Hurricane Harbor Gurnee &  Rockford) last week and have begun hiring staff for the opening of the main park, which will happen in the coming weeks.

The Six Flags Re-Opening Plan was developed in coordination with expert epidemiologists and is designed to protect Six Flags guests and Team Members from potential exposure to COVID-19. Learn about their safety protocols HERE .

$45 advance Tickets are on sale  now  via  smartphone  or  with a PC and printer. Details here. 

Parking is FREE.

Season Passes are not accepted.

The private night event is  8pm – 12am. Only 5000 tickets will be sold.

The park will be open to the general public  that day 11am-7pm.  You may enter the park during the day if you wish to enjoy the park with the general public.

Round trip Bus tickets will be available – details soon.

 

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Gay Bars forced to Stop Indoor Drinking

GAY BARS forced to close down, again.

Indoor bar service has officially shut down for a second time in Chicago as several heightened restrictions took effect Friday following weeks of reopening progress during the coronavirus pandemic.

Devastating news for many businesses  🙁

 

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Circuit Mom Pride Extravaganza June 19th

We hope you have been spending these last few weeks supporting your Black friends and family through protests, petitions, conversations with friends, family, and elected officials, and donations to various causes as we continue to fight for racial equity and equality in this nation. This fight is by no means over, but we have to remember this is a marathon and not a sprint, so it is important to take moments for ourselves.

As a way to facilitate a break (if it feels appropriate to you) we are bringing you a PRIDE edition of our long awaited virtual show celebrating the intersectionality of BIPOC and the LGBTQ+ community from 7-11pm Central Time on Friday June 19th, 2020. Which happens to be  the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, the day Major General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston, Texas with the news that the slaves were free.

This virtual show is filled with some of Chicago’s best talent such as Black Girl Magic’s The Vixen, Dida Ritz, Lucy Stoole, Sasha Love, Bambi-Banks Coulee, and Miss Toto, Ballroom star the Legendary Myah Lanvin, rapper KC Ortiz, pole dancer Ang Hell, Sheeza Woman, Aunty Chan, Joffrey ballet dancer and heels choreographer Fernando Duarte, Trans Chicago’s Valeria Mendez, Ginger Valdez, and Andrea Magia Mendez, Catfight lead singer Molly Callinan, The Baton’s Joan Jullian and Jacky Ireta Couture, DJ Ale Maes, Grammy nominated DJ and Producer Ralphi Rosario, and of course the one and only CircuitMOM.

This online event will be streamed across Twitchcircuitmom.com, and Facebook Live, and in an effort to keep progress moving forward will benefit Black Lives Matter and Trans Chicago from the Puerto Rican Cultural Center.  Prepare to pull out your phones and tip these performers down. We appreciate anything and everything you are able to give.

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Chicago Gay PrideFest June 20-21

Chicago Pride Fest is  BACK ON for  June 20-21!

It was previously announced   that Pride Fest,  the Pride  Parade and  Market Days  were being canceled or rescheduled, due to the Covid 19 restrictions and limitations.

This morning it was announced  that plans  are underway to put together a  2 night virtual celebration of  Pride  Fest streaming for Free to Chicago and the world!

Chicago Pride Fest Goes Virtual

Chicago Pride Fest will mark its 20th year with a virtual festival format. On June 20-21, the Northalsted Business Alliance brings Boystown to the world with a streaming Chicago Pride Fest celebrating the love, life and diversity of Chicago’s LGBTQ+ community. Running from 7 pm to 9 pm both nights, the streaming Twitch event will feature a full line-up with entertainment, activism, greetings and more.

Virtual gate donations will benefit Boystown community programming, the Center on Halsted and Howard Brown Health.

Northalsted President Ramesh Ariyanayakam acknowledges how different things will look this year. “Right now our focus is all about planning a Pride celebration for the digital ages. We know this virtual festival will bring much needed connection and hope to our community and beyond and are thrilled to produce this event.”

More details at pridefestchicago   . A full programming line-up will be available in June .

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AIDS Garden Chicago Gets 30′ Haring Sculpture

AIDS GARDEN CHICAGO TO UNVEIL SIGNATURE 30-FOOT KEITH HARING SCULPTURE, SELF-PORTRAIT, THIS FALL, COMPLETING FIRST PHASE OF NEW PUBLIC LAKEFRONT GARDEN

 

In partnership with the Chicago Parks Foundation, the new AIDS Garden Chicago will memorialize the early days of Chicago’s HIV epidemic & honor those who continue to fight against the disease

 

 The Chicago Parks Foundation today announced that the first phase of the new AIDS Garden Chicago will be complete this Fall with the unveiling of a specially-commissioned 30-foot-high sculpture, Self-Portrait, by iconic HIV/AIDS activist and artist, the late Keith Haring. (Precise installation date to be announced.)  AIDS Garden Chicago will be the city’s first public monument to memorialize the early days of Chicago’s HIV epidemic and to honor those who continue to fight against the disease today.   As previously released, the new 2.5-acre public lakefront garden will be located along Lake Michigan just south of Belmont Harbor, at the original location of the ‘Belmont Rocks,’ a space where the local gay community gathered between the 1960s and 1990s.

“The fight against HIV/AIDS represents more than a health epidemic: it symbolizes a time in our history when the LGBTQ+ and ally communities came together in the face of tragedy,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “We lost countless neighbors and friends and relatives over the years, but we have made significant strides in combatting the virus. What was one of the darkest moments of the 20th century has given way to a blooming garden of hope and love; this new AIDS Garden Chicago will serve as a permanent reminder of how far we have come and as a way to honor those who continue the work of getting to zero new HIV infections.”

“The Chicago Parks Foundation is so honored to be a part of this historic and legacy project for the city and all the communities and individuals who have been affected and still are living with HIV/AIDS.  We are far from eradicating the disease, but this garden and iconic Keith Haring sculpture will serve as a beacon of hope and unity for all.  This is truly a park with a purpose and a message,” said Chicago Parks Foundation Executive Director Willa Lang.

“We have worked closely with some of our longtime community leaders, held meetings with various community groups and are now excited to start phase one of this overdue project,” said Alderman Tom Tunney (44). “Self-Portrait’s new home at AIDS Garden Chicago, in the 44th Ward, is a small but powerful way to continue talking about the epidemic as we fight to bring both HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths to zero.”

Bold, bright green and nearly three stories high, Self-Portrait will be the largest iteration of this popular sculpture that has ever been fabricated, and the Chicago Parks Foundation expects it to be the Garden’s signature anchor and gathering point.  Working with the Chicago Park District and designed by landscape architects Design Workshop, AIDS Garden Chicago is set to be complete in 2020 and will include unique areas designed for reflection, education, honor, and pride.  Visitors will be guided with markers and milestones through a variety of intimate and collective garden spaces to be coordinated and maintained by community gardeners still in formation.  This park garden will provide a sensory nature experience; the most notable being a memorable grove of Gingko trees and a perennial garden of natural plantings at the entrance. A serpentine path will be the site for future temporary art installations organized by community partners.

Self-Portrait is provided to AIDS Garden Chicago through a generous gift from the Keith Haring Foundation with personal financial support from Alderman Tom Tunney that was matched by the Alphawood Foundation Chicago.  Rosenthal Fine Art, which facilitated the conversation with the Haring Foundation, was established here in 1986 and has most recently been dedicated to making art more accessible to the public through partnerships with private developers and city agencies.

Keith Haring (1958-1990) generously contributed his talents and resources to numerous causes. In 1989, Haring established a foundation to ensure that his philanthropic legacy would continue indefinitely. The Keith Haring Foundation supports arts and educational institutions by funding exhibitions, educational programs, and publications that serve to contextualize and illuminate the artist’s work and philosophy.

Alderman Tom Tunney and the Chicago Parks Foundation thank all the valuable partners still in formation and continuing to grow, including the Keith Haring Foundation, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, Center on Halsted, Friends of the Parks, Howard Brown Health, and Legacy Project.  The Chicago Parks Foundation welcomes additional financial partners to help bring the project to completion.

The Chicago Parks Foundation, the charitable partner to the Chicago Park District, was established in 2013 as a nonprofit to operate in a private-public partnership in support of Chicago’s parks, independent and collaborative in spirit. The Foundation facilitates over $2.3 million in grants annually that support Chicago parks and park programs. More information can be found at https://www.chicagoparksfoundation.org/

More information on AIDS Garden Chicago can be found at AIDSgardenchicago.org.

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World of Chocolate Returns Dec. 5th

World of Chocolate is Chicago’s premier World AIDS Day event supporting the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s efforts to mobilize communities, creating equity and justice for people living with and vulnerable to HIV and related chronic diseases.

World of Chocolate celebrates the imagination and ingenuity of our renowned chefs from across Chicago!

THURSDAY, DEC. 5, 2019, 6 – 9 P.M.

AT REVEL FULTON MARKET 

Enter at 1215 W. Fulton Market (Fulton and Racine).

The closest CTA L stop is located at Morgan on the Pink/Green Lines.

Complimentary coat check is provided.

Click here to buy tickets

Tickets purchased before Dec. 3 will be held Will Call. Check in with your name or your ticket purchaser’s name. After Dec. 3, General Admission & VIP tickets are available at the door for $150 and $250 respectively.

Parking: We recommend using public transportation or taxis. Street parking is available in the neighborhood — check parking signs and pay boxes for information.

Dress to impress! Your favorite holiday cocktail attire/business casual is perfect for the evening.

VOTE for People’s Choice! During check in, you’ll receive a red marble to vote for your favorite chocolatier. The event is bigger and better than ever, so plan your night accordingly by perusing our chefs and menu for the evening.

At 8:30 p.m., we’ll have a special performance to announce the judges’ picks for Best Sweet, Best Savory, Best Libation, Best Small Business, Best Large Business and Best Sculpture.

Knock yourself out! Punch Board and Luxury Raffle prizes will be announced Monday, Nov. 11.

Share the fun! Help us get the buzz going on Facebook and Instagram by using #AFChocolate

VIEW PHOTOS FROM 2018.

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Chicago Halloween Week Events

Saturday, 10/26 – We are back home at Chicago’s House Of Blues  for “Haunted Hollywood II” featuring DJ’s Ale Maes (IML, Real Bad) and DJ Ana Paula (Brazil, Madrid) making her CircuitMOM debut! Ghoulish go go’s, zombie drag stars and more all set in a creepy graveyard. Get there early and help us raise the dead.
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Sunday is now “SUNDAE”.  10/27 – Debuting our second space for the weekend, we are partnering with Organized Grime Crew to showcase Prysm Nightclub for our new T-Dance event.  You will love the venue’s high tech sound and lights, massive LED wall, 2 levels of party space and the fabulous DJ booth at crowd level. Come get your two scoops of sexy go go boys (nuts included, cherries are questionable) and get a shake on with hot caramel sounds of DJ’s Dani Toro and  the whipped and creamy beats from DJ Ale Maes. Plus, we are bringing back two Chicago legends of the nightlife scene, DJ’s Teri Bristol and Psycho-Bitch who helped shape Chicago nightlife into what it is today.  You do not want to miss this event!  2pm-10pm!
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   THURSDAY, OCT  31  HALLOWEEN  PARADE!

One of the 10 Best Halloweens in the US by Fodor’s Travel Guide
Redfin’s #3 Best City for Halloween

Haunted Halsted Halloween
Parade & Costume Contest
$4,000 in Cash Prizes – After Party

 

Join us for the 23rd annual Haunted Halsted Halloween Parade & Costume Contest plus Awards & After Party, October 31, 7:30pm. $4,000 in cash prizes. Free to watch or participate, all ages. Starts at Halsted & Belmont and goes north to Halsted & Brompton.

7 Categories, Free to participate:
Scary  |  Drag  |  Creative  |  Youth  |  Cosplay  |  Group <10 |  Large Group 10+

$500 Cash Prize in each category
Large Group Category = $1,000 Prize

Register for Parade & Costume Contest NOW

 

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Aids Run Walk Chicago October 5th 2019

“Live True. Be You” at the 2019 AIDS Run & Walk Chicago

 

On Saturday, Oct. 5, advocates from across Chicago and beyond will gather to support those living with and vulnerable to HIV at the 2019 AIDS Run & Walk Chicago. Held at Soldier Field, the 18th annual event encourages participants to live true as they raise vital awareness and funds for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) and 27 CommunityDirect partners. The proceeds benefit programs and services improving the lives of those affected by HIV and AIDS and other chronic conditions.

 

The event attracts thousands of participants annually, who gather at one of Chicago’s most iconic locations for the 5K walk and 5K and 10K runs. Participants travel a scenic route along Lake Michigan and finish at Soldier Field. This vibrant event will mobilize the community under the theme “Live true. Be you.”

 

“The theme this year continues to be “Live True. Be You”, as living each day authentically is a crucial part of embracing who we are as a community and showing how we can make a difference for people living with and vulnerable to HIV and AIDS,” said Dustin Erikstrup, AFC’s Senior Manager of Special Events. “It is important to live true and openly each day in this unpredictable climate. AIDS Run & Walk Chicago provides this safe space where people can express themselves.”

 

In addition to AFC, 27 community organizations serving Chicago’s HIV and AIDS population are also beneficiaries of the funds raised at AIDS Run & Walk Chicago as part of the CommunityDirect program. Participating CommunityDirect organizations kick off the event’s fundraising efforts by registering their own team for the 5K walk, 5K or 10K runs. Many of this year’s community partners have been involved in the event for years, providing opportunities for other organizations to participate and support its fundraising efforts.

 

AFC recently joined forces with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Chicago Department of Public Health, and other statewide partners to launch Getting to Zero Illinois. This is a state-wide initiative to end the HIV epidemic in Illinois by 2030 with the help of community-based organizations, health care providers, local government agencies and local members of Illinois’ HIV community. The initiative focuses on increasing the current rates of PrEP (a daily prevention pill that is up to 99 percent effective when taken consistently and correctly) and other HIV treatments to attain fewer than 100 new HIV cases per year.

 

In Illinois, an estimated 45,000 people live with HIV or AIDS. AFC, along with community organizations and other partners, are working tirelessly to get this number down to zero through their advocacy and fundraising efforts. The AIDS Run & Walk Chicago provides the ideal opportunity to raise money and awareness for and the groups and individuals who are working to combat the epidemic in Illinois.

 

Since its establishment in 2001, the AIDS Run & Walk Chicago has raised more than $6 million to battle the epidemic. For more information or to participate, visit aidsrunwalk.org or call 312-334-0946.

 

2019 CommunityDirect Partners

Michael Reese Care Program at Mercy

Chicago Recovery Alliance

Lurie SID

The Night Ministry

Agape Missions

Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago

Center on Halsted

Chicago House and Social Service Agency

AMITA Health Housing & Health Alliance

Legal Beagles (Legal Council for Health Justice)

Season of Concern

Open Door

Howard Brown

Sinai/Holy Cross Strolling Bones

SWOP – Chicago (Sex Workers Outreach Project)

CCHE (Chicago Center for HIV Elimination

Pride Action Tank

Men and Women in Prison Ministries

Catholic Charities

Mother and Child Alliance

Team CCHIP (Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center)

DANCE FOR LIFE CHICAGO

Erie Family Health Centers

Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus

Team Loyola

New Ages Services Corporation

Team HAI (Heartland Alliance International)

About AFC

About the AIDS Foundation of Chicago: AFC mobilizes communities to create equity and justice for people living with and vulnerable to HIV or chronic conditions. AFC aspires to create a world in which people living with HIV or chronic conditions will thrive, and there will be no new HIV cases. More at: aidschicago.org.

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Honorary Ralphi Rosario Blvd on Halsted Street

Ralphi Rosario is a pioneering house music DJ, a Grammy Award-nominated producer and soon he’ll be a Chicago landmark.

This  past Saturday  the City of Chicago dedicated a portion of North Halsted Street in Boystown (By Hydrate nightclub)  in honor of Ralphi “The Razz” Rosario, according to Go Pride. Rosario was instrumental in spreading the house music sound as the youngest member of the Hot Mix 5, and later was nominated for a Grammy for Best Remix with Abel Aguilera for their remix of the Rihanna hit “Only Girl (In The World).”

“I’ve never really been a person to hype anything that I’ve done,” Ralphi told 5 Mag in a 2012 cover story. “I’ve always believed that the music and remixes should speak for themselves. I personally do not like getting in people’s faces about WHY my stuff isn’t played or WHY I’m not getting recognized or WHY I didn’t get the remix work, etc.

“I didn’t begin in the business on the intent of winning anything; I did it because music is a very strong trait for me. But this does mean the world to me – to know that not only my peers but all the fans and listeners are thanking me in this gracious way… They’re listening! [laughs]”

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Taste of Boystown September 24th

A new fall event is on the way! Taste of Boystown Restaurant Tour is a delicious evening of menu sampling, beverage tasting & local music – Tues Sept 24.

Visit 10 eateries to sample Boystown’s best dining experiences & 7 other venues to try an array of craft brews, cider, sparkling wines, small batch spirits & even Malort!

A portion of ticket sales benefits Lakeview Pantry, working to end hunger in Chicago. Read on for all the details & ticket info!

Participating Eateries & Tasting Menu*

Chicago Diner
pretzel crusted tofu sliders + german sauerkraut & house mustard on kaiser rolls, potato flautas enchiladas + salsa verde, grilled pineapple pico de galloDrew’s on Halsted
crab cake balls + chipotle mayo, butternut squash ravioli, bacon wrapped dates

D.S. Tequila Company
bourbon chicken tacos + onion strings + jalapeno ranch & scallions

Elevate Coffee – authentic greek spinach feta spanakopita

Fajita Factory – smoked chicken empanadas + black bean corn salsa + cheese mix & jalapenos

FFC Boystown – protein shakes & smoothies

Forever Yogurt – small frozen yogurt with any topping

Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club
tempura shrimp + sriracha mayo & sweet chili dipping sauce, chicken satay + thai peanut sauce

Lark – wood fired neopolitan pizza

Roscoe’s Tavern
r-rods fried queso blanco + wasakaka pepper sauce, mini r-burgers + bacon, lettuce, tomato, sunchoke pickle relish & cheddar mayo

Wood Chicago
grilled persian cucumbers + green goddess dressing, duck liver mousse + crushed roasted peanuts, pickled blueberries, fresh oregano, toasted baguette

Beverage Sampling

Universal Wellness Source | Virtue Cider
brut dry & michigan harvest semi dry cidersMen’s Room Chicago | Metropolitan Brewing

Egoist Underwear | Journeyman Distillery
last feather rye, featherbone bourbon, corsets whips and whiskey, ocg apple cider liqueur

Double Trip Press | Dryhop Brewers
shark meets hipster wheat ipa

CrossTown Fitness | CH Distillery
ch mule, vodka, london dry gin, bourbon & jeppson’s malört

Cram Fashion | Burke Beverage
pol clement brut & brut rose, bulgariana sauvignon blanc

*details subject to change
Buy tickets at http://buytickets.at/northalsted/296613

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Chicago Market Days 2019 Aug 10-11

Northalsted Market Days® is the largest street festival in the Midwest and Chicago’s hottest summer celebration, August 10-11, 2019.

The 38th annual Northalsted Market Days® is a weekend long festival celebrating life & community in Chicago’s historic Boystown/Lakeview district. The 1/2 mile long festival features all-day lineups of live music on 5 stages, 200+ unique vendors, arts, crafts, food and drink, DJ’s and dancing, sponsor booths, and more!

Featuring live performances by Daya, Icona Pop, Sheila E, Deborah Cox, Jake Shears and more.

 

 

Admission: $10 Suggested Donation – All Ages

Location: Boystown on Halsted Street from Belmont to Addison

Hours: 11am – 10pm, August 10-11, 2019

Public Transportation: A short walk away from the CTA Belmont Red/Brown/Purple Line Station or the CTA Addison Red Line Station

Weather: Open rain or shine, please be advised that severe conditions may delay or cancel performances

Security: No large bags/backpacks allowed, all bags will be inspected prior to entry. No coolers or outside beverages.

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PRIDE NIGHT at Cirque du Soleil Soldier Field

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL VOLTA  is  hosting a special PRIDE Night on  Tuesday June 188pm at Soldier Field South Lot.

It  will benefit the state’s top LGBTQ advocacy and education organization, Equality Illinois. The rainbow carpet will be animated by Chicago’s top drag queens from 7-8pm!  Use  code  EQIL  to  save  15%  @  Cirquedusoleil.com/VOLTA

Cirque du Soleil’s latest touring production, VOLTA, is now playing under its signature Big Top at the Soldier Field South Lot, 459 E. 18th Drive, Chicago, thru July 6, 2019. Tickets, starting at $49.

 

30 years in Chicago

2019 is a special year for Chicago and Cirque du Soleil as it marks the 30th anniversary of the coming of the circus troupe in the Windy City. Indeed, the first-ever Cirque du Soleil touring show to visit the USA, CIRQUE RÉINVENTÉ, stopped by Chicago in 1989 for the first time. This year, VOLTA will then be the 25th production to be presented in the area since the Canadian company first visited.

 

30 years in numbers:

  • Cirque du Soleil visited Chicago for the first time 30 years ago with CIRQUE RÉINVENTÉ in 1989
  • VOLTA is the 25th Cirque du Soleil production to visit the Chicago area
  • VOLTA is the FIRST Cirque show to be presented at Soldier Field
  • Chicago is the 10th city to be visited by VOLTA in the USA
  • VOLTA employs 200 local employees from Chicago for the duration of its stay

 

The show

Energetic, urban and contemporary, VOLTA is a captivating voyage of discovery that showcases never-before-seen under the Big Top acrobatics in a visually striking world. Driven by a stirring melodic score and inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and recognizing one’s own power to make it possible. Ultimate freedom comes with self-acceptance, and with the liberation of the judgement of others.

 

The Costumes

The stunning costumes of VOLTA have been designed by Emmy Award winner Zaldy Goco, famous for his work with Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani and on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

GET A GLIMPSE  OF  VOLTA  HERE

Social Media:

Facebook.com/VOLTA

Twitter: @Cirque #VOLTA

Instagram: cirquedusoleil #VOLTA

 

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Pride in the Park in Chicago June 29 2019

Tickets  $50-$100

GA Tickets All Ages

VIP Tickets 21+ only

Held the day before Chicago’s annual LGBTQ Pride Parade, this ALL-NEW FEST at the Petrillo Bandshell will celebrate June’s Pride Month and will feature top national and local performers.

It will also feature an eclectic mix of food and arts & crafts vendors.

“We hope to build Pride in the Park into something people travel to Chicago for yearly, and something that will add to the already amazing Chicago Pride experience”

A portion of tickets processed will benefit the Center On Halsted. Center On Halsted is the Midwest’s most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland. More than 1,000 community members visit the Center every day, located in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood.

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