Pride 2001 Heralds Historic Expansion
New Facilities and Stages for Women, African-Americans, Youth and Elders
MeShell Ndegeocello to Headline Nectar Stage


This year’s San Francisco Pride Celebration will be the most inclusive in history with new program initiatives inspired from within the Community. Pride President, Cecilia Chung, said:

“It’s exciting to see all the new venues reflecting more of our diversity and putting greater meaning into the event. We've come a long way and continue to trailblaze into the future.”

The first of the new venues is Nectar – the Women’s Stage. A diverse array of live and DJ music, spoken word, dance, poetry slams, comedy and more, the stage features nationally known artists such as MeShell Ndegeocello, The Butchies, Melissa Ferrick, and Kinnie Starr as well as local favorites, Tribe 8 and Oncé. Nectar Executive Producer, Kendall Nichols, said:

"Nectar will be a breakthrough event at SF Pride for musicians and Pride-goers alike."

Complimenting Nectar is The Soul of Pride, another Pride first. The Soul of Pride is a Stage and village programmed by the African-American Community. Duane Cramer, recently elected as one of the Parade Grand Marshals, is among the speakers and the entertainment is a cool blend of soul, hip-hop, house, gospel and spoken word. The Soul of Pride is sponsored by the Black Brothers Esteem Program. Pride Committee Vice-President Calvin Gipson, one of the organizers of the Soul of Pride, said:

"Black people have been vastly influential in shaping American and worldwide culture. The 'soul stage' is our time to share with the world the Bay Area-wide Black LGBT community's talent, culture, people and politics.

The new entertainment venues are the latest in an ever growing kaleidoscope of multi-culturalism and diversity which started in 1998 with the advent of the Latin Stage at the event. The Asian & Pacific Islander Stage debuted at the 2000 event. This year’s Main Stage program on Sunday starts with a massed drumming ritual performed by Native Americans.

The Celebration also features an enhanced Youth Zone centered on a booth complex organized by LYRIC. COLAGE and the Bay Area Gay Straight Alliance. Elders also have a central rallying point, staffed by New Leaf Community Outreach Services, adjacent to the large flagpole at the corner of Grove and Polk Streets on Civic Center Plaza. Seating, dedicated restroom facilities and a safe space to get some respite from the masses make this another Pride first.

Pride Executive Director, Teddy Witherington, said :

"All of the venues at Pride are programmed by the community. Nectar, The Soul of Pride, Youth Zone and Elders Space are all prime examples of the way in which diverse communities can and do shape the event.”

The San Francisco Pride Parade and Celebration takes place this year on June 23/24. Last year the event attracted an audience of over 750,000 people. The event theme is Queerific.

ENDS

For further information please contact Teddy Witherington at (415) 864 0831