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Pride: A message from RAC’s Executive Director

Dear RAC community,

It’s June and Pride Month! Starting with the Stonewall Uprising in June 1969, this month celebrates and commemorates LGBTQ+ activism and culture through the years.

At Richmond Art Center we celebrated Pride last weekend with Drag Queen Story Hour. In this special storytelling event with Drag Queen PerSia, families came together to rejoice in the gender fluidity of childhood and experience positive, queer role models.

But Pride month is also a time for action. As I look at the fun and excitement occurring here in the Bay Area, I have to pause and reflect on the fact that many LGBTQ+ people around the world still struggle against discrimination and persecution. I recently saw the HBO documentary Welcome to Chechnya. This documentary exposes the underreported atrocities LGBTQ+ people are suffering while highlighting a group of people working undercover to help them. I personally recommend this documentary and at the end of it you will see ways to help those who are in harm’s way. This is another way to celebrate Pride.

On to lighter subjects, we are finally upon the end of our fiscal year – and what a year it has been! RAC staff have done an amazing job in keeping the artistic flame alive through a challenging period. And now we are busy planning big things for FY22. The pause in our on-site activities has provided an opportunity to perform significant upgrades to our facilities. We are also looking at how to more fully utilize the courtyard with the help of an architectural firm here in the East Bay. The results of these initiatives will be a greater and safer experience for our students, teachers and guests.

It will take a significant amount of money to ramp up again and kick-start on-site operations after working with a skeleton crew for the last nine months. If you have recently donated to our efforts, a heartfelt thank you; if you have not yet, we appreciate a donation in any amount, so we can finish our fiscal year strong and ready to (hopefully) restart full operations in the fall.

I hope you have an enjoyable summer. I look forward to welcoming you at RAC in the very near future.

Warmly,

José R. Rivera
Executive Director

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Richmond Art Center
2540 Barrett Avenue
Richmond, CA 94804