2023 CU PRIDE FEST FULL SCHEDULE
Sat Sept 23 - Sun Oct 1st
"We Are Here" Block Party
Saturday, September 23rd - 1pm
Nevada Street between Goodwin & Mathews
Please join us for the 2nd "We Are Here" Block Party for BIPOC LGBTQIA2+ students, campus and community members, and allies! Celebrate Pride and the diverse histories and experiences of BIPOC queer folks with an afternoon of music, food, games, and campus and community resources! We look forward to seeing you there!
Pride Papermaking Workshop
Sunday, September 24th - 11am - 2pm
Fresh Press Studio - 2116 S Griffith Dr, Champaign
Suggested Donation: $50 adult/$20 child/student & sliding scale/BIPOC scholarships available - 14+ event
In this workshop we will learn the western papermaking technique by pulling and pressing sheets of vibrant colored pulps that you might incorporate into future art projects, poetry and collage. We will have materials ready and you are encouraged to BYOP: papers, journal pages, photos and old documents to turn into pulp. The process of breaking down old notes and letters and transforming them into something new can be magical. Because the fibers have the potential to hold so much history, the medium works on its own to tell stories, disrupt or establish an archive, and ask questions about origin. This practice is integral to queer experiences of being and forever becoming. You'll find that paper is also very forgiving, loose, and fun! This workshop has a 15 person limit so sign up now!
Keynote Speaker: Rae Lewis Thornton - Aging with HIV/AIDS
Monday, September 25th - 6:30pm
Spurlock Museum of World Cultures - 600 S Gregory, Urbana
Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award winning AIDS activist and renown social justice advocate. Rae received national acclaim for her story of living with HIV/AIDS in the Essence Magazine December 1994 issue. She is credited with changing the face of AIDS for Black women in America. For three decades Rae has traveled worldwide educating and challenging stigma around HIV/AIDS. She will be featured in an up-coming OWN documentary on Essence Magazine and Black Women. Rae earned a Master of Divinity Degree from McCormick Theological Seminary. Rae graduated Cum Laude from Northeastern Illinois University where she received the distinguished alumnae award. She is currently working on a Doctorate of Ministry at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Rae has written three books: Amazing Grace: Letters Along My Journey, The Politics of Respectability, and her bestselling life story, Unprotected: A Memoir. Rae continues to speak across the country on HIV/AIDS, childhood trauma, and surviving and healing from trauma.
Panel: Behind the Mirror, an Inside Look at Drag
Tuesday, September 26th - 7:30pm
Spurlock Museum of World Cultures - 600 S Gregory, Urbana
Join us for a truly unique experience! In this session, local drag stars Mona Monclair, Spank Knightly, and Karma Carrington will be interviewed while they paint their faces. The audience will watch as performers go from who they are offstage and out of makeup, to transforming into their drag performance personas, all while they answer moderator and audience questions.
Lunch & Learn! Biblical Self-Defense: a dialogue about faith & LGBTQIA+ identities presented by Rev. Leah Robberts-Mosser
Wednesday, September 27th - 12pm
University YMCA - 1001 S Wright St, Champaign
FREE (lunch included!)
Ever notice how certain Biblical passages get used as weapons against LGBTQIA+ folx? Join Rev. Leah, ordained minister at the Community United Church of Christ (CUCC), for a discussion and learning the history and context of these so-called Biblical "clobber passages". AND learn what scripture passages affirm the goodness and worth of LGBTQIA+ people.
This event is co-sponsored by UIUC Diversity & Social Justice Education.
Living History with our '23 Pride Fest Grand Marshals: LGBTQ+ Elders
Wednesday, September 27th - 6pm
Followed by a screening of "The Stonewall Uprising"
The Red Herring Vegetarian Restaurant - 1209 W Oregon St, Urbana
Join us at Red Herring to enjoy some food and community. Some of our LGBTQ+ elder 23 Pride Fest Grand Marshals have been invited to sit at stations around the space and be ready to tell their stories, answer questions, and engage across generations to preserve this deeply important component of queer life. Before the internet, the only way for younger queer folks to learn was to sit with our elders and listen. And while we're thrilled that so many now have access to stories we never had before, we believe the human component remains vital to our community's health and wellbeing. So come take this irl moment to meet some amazing individuals whose shoulders we stand on today and thank them for the work they've done and the impact they've had on all of us.
A screening of the PBS documentary, "The Stonewall Uprising" will follow this event so the learning and community can continue!
Elders who will be with us this evening include:
Doug Barnes, Jerry Carden, Ceduxion Carrington (Marcus Wilder), Danielle Chynoweth, Robert Michael Doyle, Tim Hutchison, Kimberlie Kranich, Sophie Michaels, Mona Monclair (Damon Rule), Kathie Spegal, and Lynn Sprout.
Resist Erasure Exhibit Opening Reception
Thursday, September 28th - 5-7pm
McKinley Foundation - 809 S Fifth St, Champaign
The McKinley Foundation's Artists' Alley presents a new juried art show: "Resist Erasure." This is a show of student art work created with the theme in mind. "Resist Erasure" is meant to inspire students to respond to the current political climate toward LGBTQIA2S+ students and young adults: facing limiting legislation, book bans, harassment and more, students say they are being “erased” from the U.S. education system. Join us for an opening celebration of this important show!
Sing-A-Long Screening - "Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody"
Thursday, September 28th - 6pm doors, 7pm start
The Virginia Theatre - 203 W Park Ave, Champaign
We know her, we love her, and we miss her! This movie honors the late, great Whitney Houston in all her glory. But even better, at THIS showing you can belt along with all your favorite Whitney hits! Yes, this is a SING-ALONG!
We've chosen this film to be part of Pride Fest because of the touching and nuanced way in which it deals with her same-gender romantic relationship with her longtime friend and manager, Robyn Crawford. It addresses Whitney's struggles to exist in this world at that time and how she felt like she couldn't be fully who she was without too big a cost. That her full story can be told now is a gift to her legacy and those of us who have loved her and her work for so long.
We're grateful for the partnership on this program from The Virginia Theatre, Mix 94.5 Throwback Thursdays, the UIUC Women's Resource Center, and the UIUC Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center. Please join us to celebrate and sing!
Youth & Family Pride Party
Friday September 29th - 3:30-6pm
Phillips Recreation Center - 505 W Stoughton, Urbana
FREE - All Ages
Join Uniting Pride and the Urbana Park District for an incredible event focused on families, teens, and littles! UPD will present a Pride themed Teen Hangout Zone inside the facility, while we have games, crafts, free Kona Ice, a bounce house, and music outside designed for youth and families of all ages!
Friday September 29th - Doors 8pm, Event 9pm
Canopy Club - 708 S Goodwin, Urbana
$20 ADV/$25 DOS - 18+ event
Get your fancy duds ready because our Queer Homecoming Dance returns! But this year featuring the incredible artistry of Defy Gravity and Carnival Debauche! Get up the nerve to invite that date, pick out something shiny, sparkly, fancy, dapper, or whatever makes you feel like your best self, and come live out that quintessential school dance experience. But while feeling free to be your whole self in a safe and affirming space! You'll get to dance your hearts out to DJ Silkee, plus enjoy a thrilling show courtesy of our favorite burlesque and pole entertainers. This is going to be a night to remember and will kick off Pride Fest weekend with a bang!
We want to thank our generous event sponsor: Pavlov Media!
Pride Nature Hike
Saturday, September 30th - 9:30-11am
Busey Woods, Anita Purves Nature Center
FREE - but RSVP required
All Ages (under 15 with adult)
Celebrate CU Pride Fest, and share your pride and love of the outdoors by enjoying a guided hike! Relax in the sights, sounds and smells of nature as we explore Busey Woods. Everyone is welcome, but space is limited. Call 217-384-4062 by 5pm on Friday 9/29 to sign up.
CU Pride Fest Parade & Fair
Saturday, September 30th - Fair: 1-5pm, Parade Step Off: 2:30pm
Downtown Urbana (parade route info coming soon!)
Join us for the signature Pride Fest programming - our Parade & Fair! We take over downtown Urbana once again featuring locals businesses and artists, community resources, entertainment, games, crafts, food, and fun!
We're grateful to have One Community Together back again this year for our main stage entertainment. That schedule is:
2pm Bow-dacious String Band and the BBL Jazz Ensemble
3pm Sixth Street Brass Band
4pm Marching Illini
We've also added a second stage at Rose Bowl Tavern! That schedule is:
1pm Chris Jacobson-Chism
2:30pm Anika Emily
4pm Sing It UP Choir
Click the button for more detailed information:
CU Pride Fest Drag Extravaganza
Saturday, September 30th - Doors 9pm, Show 10pm
Canopy Club - 708 S Goodwin, Urbana
$20 ADV/$25 DOS/$40 VIP - 18+ event
ARE YOU READY FOR THE LALA RI EXPERIENCE?!? Fresh off winning the RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Season 8 Fame Games, LaLa comes to CU to light this place on fire! VIP tickets include front and center reserved seating and a Meet & Greet with LaLa!
But that's not all! This show also features local faves: DJ Silkee, Ceduxion Carrington, Just Sue, Karma Carrington, Spank Knightly, Special Guest Host Callie Luttman from Mix 94.5 and so much more to come!
Heed our warning: THE VIP WILL SELL OUT.
MyPride365 Drag Brunch: Drag Circus & Sideshow
Sunday, October 1st - 10am
Holiday Inn - 101 Trade Center, Champaign
Tix start at $40
Close out the 2023 CU Pride Fest week with an amazing drag brunch hosted by MyPride365! Delicious food and drink and the best drag CU has to offer!