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Greater Palm Springs Pride announced today the recipients of its 2021 Palm Springs Pride Honors Awards. The prestigious awards honor individuals for their work advancing the causes of LGBTQ individuals and their allies.
Six awards celebrate extraordinary voices in the community, a leather icon, an internationally recognized artist, a celebrated musician, a compassionate business owner, a chef, and someone with forty years of service to LGBTQ organizations. The awards announcement marks the approach of Pride Week in the region under the worldwide theme of "You are Included."
Entrepreneur and sought-after chef Betty C. Berrysmith is the Spirit of Stonewall Volunteer of the Year. A founding member of L-Fund and board member since 2013, Betty offers her culinary skill and talent to raise funds for lesbians in need. Betty has cooked and served her award-winning gumbo for thousands at the original L-fund gala fundraiser known as the Gumbo Gala.
Leather culture legend Race Bannon is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award. Race has elevated awareness of the leather community's contributions toward LGBTQ liberation for nearly 50 years. As a writer and activist, he has ensured the broader progressive community discourse includes leather, kink, and BDSM.
An accomplished artist, a feminist, and a groundbreaker, Nancy Worthington receives a Lifetime Achievement Award. For forty-five years, Nancy's art has been a social commentary of life. She has covered many different topics, including police brutality, the environment, feminism, human rights, and scathing politics. Her unique visual language has brought her international attention, and her work is in permanent collections around the world.
The 2021 Friend of Pride is Keisha D, a champion for the LGBTQ community, humanitarian, singer-activist, and advocate for performing arts in education. For decades Keisha has given her time to perform at charity events and community galas, and fundraising events, all in the name of love and passion for helping others. When not on stage, Keisha mentors high school students and directly supports under-served minority students to pursue an education in music and the arts.
Motivated by gay trailblazers to stand up and not be afraid to tell his own story, Jim Hollenbeck is the Spirit of Pride Award recipient. Jim's first Pride experience in San Francisco, when he was 22 years old, opened the door to four decades of providing his public relations and communications services to many LGBTQ groups and nonprofit organizations. Jim has attended and supported events and fundraisers across the country that advance equality and celebrate the strength of the LGBTQ community.
The Spirit of Stonewall Community Service Award recipient is a faithful socially-minded business owner, Cliff Young. Driven by compassion and kindness, Cliff supports urban revitalization projects, mentoring, and work training programs for at-risk youth. Additionally, through his coffee company, he established the Warming Souls program, where he offers laundry services to local homeless and provides them with new socks and personal hygiene kits. Since 2017, in Desert Hot Springs, Cliff has done an average of fifteen weekly loads of laundry for people experiencing homelessness.
"Learning of the honorees and of the many ways they give back is inspiring. They each have lived their life helping others, and our community is better because of their leadership," said Ron deHarte, president of Palm Springs Pride. "As in years past, the honorees are not people who seek attention or accolades for what they do. They quietly serve, and we are grateful for the profound impact they have had and continue to have in our community."
Festival Returns to Palm Canyon Drive with new Sip, Sashay & Celebrate Event Zone
TLC, Heather Small, Kristine W, Maxine Nightingale, and BETTY top the lineup of the 2019 Palm Springs Pride Festival. The festival will take place November 1-3 in downtown Palm Springs on Palm Canyon Dr and in the Arenas District.
TLC, the Iconic four-time Grammy® award-winning “best-selling American girl-group of all-time” will be featured in a 60-minute concert Saturday, November 2 and lead nearly 100 other acts for the city’s annual Pride festivities. Formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1990, the group quickly rose to fame earning four multi-platinum albums and four number-one singles: “Creep”; “Waterfalls,” one of pop history’s most prominent HIV/AIDS-awareness anthems; “No Scrubs”; and “Unpretty,” a body-positive message that has inspired self-confidence for a generation.
TLC sets the stage for an unprecedented and diverse group of LGBTQ+ and allied performers featured in the Palm Springs Pride lineup. Regardless of genre, this year’s performers will come together on the Festival’s four stages to embrace the theme, Millions of Moments of Pride.
The Arenas District Merchants Association presents a weekend of Pop, Drag, and Rock ’n’ Roll, performances including M People singer Heather Small who joins Multi-Grammy-Award-Winning International DJ Lee Dagger of Bimbo Jones, Kristine W, the Queen of the 90’s dance music, and pop, disco Grammy-nominated legend Maxine Nightingale. The Arenas lineup includes the all-female Black Sabbitch, and the high-energy 80s Rock show, That ‘80s Band, among others.
Other acts appearing during the 33rd annual Pride Festival will be New York City’s premier queer femme pop music duo Sateen along with the female pop band BETTY from The L-Word, dance diva Pepper MaShay, Ayline Artin, Torrey Mercer, Los Angeles-based comedian Jessica Inserra, and London based Lucy Whittaker all perform on the new Pride Stage on Palm Canyon Drive at Amado presented by Effen Vodka.
Enjoy live performances by Josh Zuckerman, MARY, pop singers Tara Macri and Isabelle, Ted Fox with Joe Musser and the Roadhouse Rebels, Dj Aaron C, Luka, and closing headliner OneUP Duo - LGBTQ “Finalist’s” from NBC’s The VOICE ‘18.
ADA VOX pop singer, drag queen & top 8 “Finalist” from American Idol '18 returns to the desert to anchor the free Friday night Palm Canyon Street Party with Prince Poppycock - Fan favorite from America’s Got Talent. The party includes a special performance from LA’s Z LaLa.
Three days of dancing in the street will take place at the intersection of Tahquitz and Palm Canyon Drive. The new KGAY "Pride of the Valley" stage presented by Gay Desert Guide will host DJs all weekend. Recording Artist DJ Kidd Madonny, Ray Rhodes, Paul Cowling, Ryan Skyy, Vaughn Avakian, Eric Ornelas, Drew G, and Grace Delgado will feature their signature dance mixes at this outdoor street party.
The festival will showcase emcees Bella da Ball and Alexander Rodriquez and feature special performances that include the fresh drag show Now Serving the Chilldren featuring Ongina, the flamboyant and fabulous ladies of Risqué, Happyforyou, Djs Jeffree, LA-based Autumn Leilani, Peter Barona, Michael mAr, Probe 7, as well as Krave and Culture’s fashion show.
And there’s more. The US Bank stage at Palm Canyon and Belardo features many entertainers who volunteer their time and talent to give back to the community and support Pride in Palm Springs. On one stage alone, more than fifty local and breakthrough LGBTQ artists as well as some strong, talented, vocal allies, will perform during the festival. Look out for Keisha D, Cat Lyn Day as Marilyn, Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus, Modern Men, Marina Mac, Steven Michael Dance Machine, Steven Fales, and Drag Kings Jesse Jones and Johnny Gentleman, and many more.
“We’ve proud to present a diverse group of LGBTQ+ and allied performers taking the stage at the 2019 Palm Springs Pride Festival in downtown Palm Springs and the Gayborhood on Arenas Rd.,” said Ron deHarte, President and CEO of Greater Palm Springs Pride. “This unprecedented lineup has been made possible by the support from the City of Palm Springs, PS Resorts, Effen Vodka, Arenas District Merchants Association, and Bud Light.”
Festival highlights include a Youth Zone, Children’s Garden, Senior Cool Zones, LGBTQ artists, multiple HIV testing sites, health resources, 200 back-to-back exhibitors, food and beverage stations. You can also take your photo with Diva, the 20’ tall pink poodle. There’s something for everyone. Favorite bars and local businesses will be packed to the rafters and spilling out onto the streets for the biggest free LGBTQ street party in Palm Springs. The streets will be filled with Pride revelers, dancers, and open-air beverage lounges. Residents and visitors are invited to discover (and re-discover) all that Arenas Road and downtown have to offer.
deHarte added, “Community leaders and dedicated volunteers have worked hard to create the best Pride Festival ever and to welcome the largest gathering of LGBTQ+ individuals and allies at the city’s largest 3-day event. The new event zone coupled with an unprecedented lineup of headliners who advocate for the LGBTQ community sets the tone for a Pride Festival that educates, inspires and celebrates our diverse community. For more than two decades, Chilli and T-Boz of TLC have consistently used their voice to uplift the LGBTQ community and to create positive conversations around HIV and AIDS. We are thrilled to have them join us at Palm Springs Pride.”
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Program Recognizes Community Members Making a Difference
Greater Palm Springs Pride announced today the recipients of its 2019 Pride Honors Awards. The prestigious Pride Honors are presented annually to individuals to recognize their efforts in raising awareness and furthering the causes of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and their allies. The awards ceremony is September 24, at the Hilton Palm Springs.
Six awards celebrate powerful voices in the community, a former mayor, a teacher, a retired Army Master Sergeant and a 43-year veteran drag performer. The awards program marks the approach of Pride Week in the region under the worldwide theme of Millions of Moments of Pride.
Recognized as the Advocate of the Year for working to raise the consciousness of race and racism in our community is author, radio show host and retired attorney Lauren N. Nile. The Spirit of Pride Award recognizes Ellen Wolf for enhancing the quality of life in the region by raising awareness to advance equality, promote diversity or celebrate the strength and talent of the LGBTQ community. By using her activism and business management skills, Ellen focuses her volunteerism on projects that advance causes close to her heart.
The 2019 Friend of Pride is Jennifer Jungwirth a devoted mentor, educator and LGBTQ ally who has dedicated her life to helping students succeed in life, in their continued education and careers. Jennifer has been a teacher at Yucca Valley High school in Yucca Valley empowering youth for the past 20 years. The Spirit of Stonewall Community Service Award recognizes the positive impact Joyce Oldham has had in the community. Joyce is a retired Army Master Sergeant, who makes everyone feel welcome and is driven to bring people together, embrace self-expression and promote inclusiveness.
A Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Ron Oden, who has been active in the community for thirty years. He made history in 2003 by becoming the first openly gay mayor elected in Palm Springs. His election also carried statewide significance as the first openly Gay African-American elected to lead a California City.
From producing, directing, hosting and performing for more fundraisers than he can count, Tommi Rose is recognized as the Spirit of Stonewall Volunteer of the Year.
“We are thrilled to kick off this Pride season with honorees that educate, advocate, and inspire our diverse community. Together we honor the past and lift up each honoree,” said Ron deHarte, president and ceo of Palm Springs Pride. “As is our tradition, this is not a group that seeks attention or applause. They quietly serve and we are grateful for the profound impact they have had and continue to have in our community.”
As Pride season wraps up Greater Palm Springs Pride prepares to, ‘Sip, Sashay and Celebrate’ Pride and honor those who have courageously fought for equality and are no longer with us. Live your truth and no one else's. Gather your friends and together let’s celebrate our fearlessly authentic lives. Embrace diversity and advance the cause of individual freedom for all.
Palm Springs is the leading LGBTQ destination, year after year, and welcomes visitors of all genders, all ages and from all parts of the US and the world. Brimming with a roster of events, and the largest gathering of LGBTQ people in the city’s history and the largest free Pride festival south of San Francisco —from Nov 1-3, with record-breaking attendance anticipated. This is the first year that attendees are able to drink alcoholic beverages throughout the festival parameters.
We commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall and celebrate the spirit of Palm Springs’ vibrant LGBTQ community. Grand Marshal’s Michael Green and Alexander Rodriguez lead the parade with Pride Honorees; author, radio show host, retired attorney Lauren N. Nile, activist and business-woman extraordinaire Ellen Wolf, mentor, educator, and ally Jennifer Jungwirth, retired Army Sergeant Joyce Oldham, fundraiser, producer, and host Tommi Rose, and former Mayor Ron Oden.
TLC, Heather Small, Kristine W, Maxine Nightingale, and BETTY top the lineup of the Festival, with a special message from Kelly Clarkson.
Ron deHarte, President of GPSP, “Community leaders and dedicated volunteers have worked hard to create the best Pride Festival ever and to welcome the largest gathering of LGBTQ+ individuals and allies at the city’s largest 3-day event. The new event zone coupled with an unprecedented lineup of headliners who advocate for the LGBTQ community sets the tone for a Pride Festival that educates, inspires and celebrates our diverse community.”
Festival highlights include a Youth Zone, Children’s Garden, Senior Cool Zones, LGBTQ artists, HIV testing sites, health resources, 200 back-to-back exhibitors, food and beverage stations. Weekend Hosts include Bella da Ball, Alexander Rodriguez and Eric Restivo. Take your photo with Diva, the 20’ tall pink poodle. There’s something for everyone. Favorite bars and local businesses will be packed and spilling out onto the streets for the biggest free LGBTQ street party in Palm Springs. Residents and visitors are invited to discover (and re-discover) all that Arenas Road and downtown Palm Springs have to offer.