Fox Valley to put Pride on display at inclusive Water Street Studios Showcase

 
 
Posted6/11/2021 11:54 AM

A monthlong celebration of Fox Valley Pride will culminate with an inclusive showcase at the Water Street Studios in Batavia where participants are invited to share their stories or a performance via an open mic while surrounded by pride-inspired works of art.

The event, called Fox Valley Pride Showcase at Water Street Studios and sponsored by Geneva Pride, will be held on Sunday, June 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the studio, 160 S. Water St.

 

Geneva Pride is a newly formed group led by Fox Valley activists looking to provide a safe, inclusive and affirming space that celebrates the diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions of residents throughout our communities, said founding member Paula Merrington of Geneva.

"I'm quite proud of how the Fox Valley has grown to embrace pride diversity in recent years. It's heartening to see area police departments adding rainbows to their insignia and cities flying pride flags in celebration of Pride Month, " Merrington said. "But deep, lasting change takes time to be fully embraced by the community, and Geneva Pride intends to keep doing the work so that all members of the LGBTQI+ community feel seen and welcome."

That work, Merrington said, includes hosting events that bring LGBTQIA+ community members and allies together, such as the Fox Valley Pride Showcase at Water Street Studios.

"What we're really doing here is building community and acceptance," said Merrington. "We want you to know that if you're part of the LGBTQIA+ community, if you're exploring or questioning, or if you love someone who is part of the community, you are welcome here; there is a place for you," she said.

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The event will include an open mic for participants to share stories, read, perform, or simply gain or offer support from the warm and welcoming community, Merrington said. Local Indie rock band Pocket Fuzz also will perform.

Taylor Egan, Executive Director of Water Street Studios adds, "The mission of Water Street Studios as a community art center is to provide an inclusive and welcoming space for all area residents to explore and experience the arts. Art at its core is a snapshot of the world in which it is created. It creates conversation, connectedness, and growth within a community by exploring societal themes and how images impact the viewer. We look forward to welcoming the work of our LGBTQIA+ neighbors into the gallery on June 27 for a night of awareness, education and art appreciation."

Artists are invited to share their Pride expression by submitting artwork to be on display for the event by June 18 at www.waterstreetstudios.org/exhibit-at-water-street-studios. Paintings, drawings, sculptures, sketches, photographs, digital media, video, or any other appropriate media that will be considered for the showcase.

For more information, email Paula Merrington at merrington@aol.com.

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