Auburn PRIDE Week Celebration

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“Honoring Stonewall 50th – Auburn NY Pride 2019” 
NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center and partner History’s Hometown sites celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride

This June, WorldPride, the largest LGBTQ+ Pride celebration, comes to New York City for the first time to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising. While millions of visitors will be celebrating in Manhattan, there will be commemorative events all across New York State, including Auburn.

With the opening of the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center in November 2018, a facility that welcomes visitors to History’s Hometown and celebrates the State as a leader in advancing equal rights, this celebratory anniversary presented the right timing for Auburn to honor this pivotal historic moment city-wide during the month of June.

Programming efforts for Auburn NY 2019 Pride are supported by a Market NY grant received in 2018, featuring NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center artist-in-residence Blake Chamberlain. The Celebrate Pride Art Trail will exhibit Chamberlain’s “Trans American History” portrait series on display in downtown Auburn through June 30. In addition to the NYS ERHC, Art Trail sites include Seward House Museum, Schweinfurth Art Center, Cayuga Museum of History and Art, Auburn Public Theater, and Westminster Presbyterian Church.


Official Auburn NY Pride 2019 week kicks off June 20 through 29:

Thursday, June 20; 8 p.m.: Auburn Public Theater presents nationally renowned stand-up comedian Jen Kober, the 2017 and 2018 winner of NPR’s Snap Judgement Comedic Performance of the Year and who can be seen as a cast member in two new Netflix original shows. (Tickets)

Sunday, June 23; 11 a.m.: “Sunday’s Are a Drag” Brunch at Cayuga Museum of History and Art’s Carriage House Theater, featuring Ms. Drips, Ivanna Michaels, Triniti, and Tilia Cordata (Tickets)

Monday, June 24; 6 p.m.: Film screening of Stonewall Uprising: The Year That Changed America (83 minutes) documentary at Seymour Public Library to learn about the 1969 police raid that lead to the Stonewall riots (Free; open to public)

Tuesday, June 25; 7 p.m.: “Meet Your LGBTQ+ Neighbors” public panel at Auburn Public Theater with featured panelists Lithgow Osborne, Blake Chamberlain, Dr. Nina Wright, William Tentiy, Lorraine Austin, Aiden Patch, among other community members; moderated by Rev. Patrick Heery (Free; open to public)

Wednesday, June 26; 7 p.m.: “Lift Every Voice: Interfaith Pride Service” featuring musical selections by the Syracuse Gay and Lesbian Chorus and spoken testimony and prayer by faith leaders at Westminster Presbyterian Church; reception to follow (Free; open to public)

Thursday, June 27; 7 p.m.: Seward House Museum Directors of Education and Collections will discuss “Charlotte Cushman: Symbol of an Age” at the NYS ERHC. A renowned actress of her time, Cushman was also a Seward family friend and early figure in LGTBQ+ history. Jeff Ludwig and Matt Mac Vittie will explore these stories as well as sexuality in the 19th-century and the complicated ways Cushman subverted “traditional” roles in a Victorian age often associated with repression. (Free; open to public)

Friday, June 28; 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.: Schweinfurth Art Center presents filmmaker Erin Davies Q&A and screening of the documentary Fagbug (2009) at 1 p.m. and follow-up documentary Fagbug Nation (2014) at 7 p.m. at Auburn Public Theater. Watch as this Volkswagen Beetle vandalized in a hate crime in Albany obtains its rainbow paint job and serves as a catalyst on a road trip to equality throughout all 50 states. (Free; open to public)

Saturday, June 29: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Downtown Auburn Saturday Market and LGBTQ+ Pride Rainbow Rally (12 p.m.) at NYS ERHC with artist Blake Chamberlain live painting on site, entertainment by singer/songwriter CC Ryder and the Diana Jacobs Band, noted speakers, face painting, and LGBTQ+-themed vendors and merchandise, plus more surprises (Free; open to public)

3 p.m. “Following Our Rainbow: Parents On Supporting LGBTQ+ Children” forum with panelists Kim and Chris Patch, Julianne Sanders, Lauren Webb, and moderated by William Tenity at Cayuga Museum of History and Art’s Carriage House Theater (Free; open to public)

8 p.m. Drag Show hosted by Samantha Vega with performances by Cherry Blasé, Aziza Bijoü, Jenna Jacobs, Celeste Lerue, Gloria Schaaft, Lala Savage, Ginger Diamond, and Natasha Champagne, plus DJ Dance Party at Auburn Public Theater (Tickets; at door)

Visitors wanting to learn more about the Stonewall Inn uprising can visit the NYS ERHC during the month of June for focused tours on the 1969 event, including actual photographs and printed portraits of key gay rights activists like Marsha P. Johnson who demonstrated at Stonewall. Support provided by Market NY through I LOVE NY/ New York State’s Division of Tourism as a part of the Regional Economic Development Council awards. Other Auburn NY Pride 2019 sponsors include the Great New York State Fair, History’s Hometown, the City of Auburn, and the Osborne Memorial Association.

For more information, call (315) 258-9820, email, and visit

[image credit: Portrait of Marsha P. Johnson by Blake Chamberlain]

About NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center: The New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center (NYS ERHC) opened on November 13, 2018, as part of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council’s “CNY Rising” Upstate Revitalization Initiative. With the support of Governor Cuomo and the NYS legislature, this $10 million downtown revitalization project created more than 100 construction jobs and supports upstate New York’s tourism industry. The new NYS ERHC is a heritage tourism promotion center that communicates the pioneering role that New Yorkers played in the ongoing quest for equal rights and acts as a visitor launching pad for equal rights attractions throughout the state. Located at 25 South Street in Auburn, New York, the Center is owned and operated by the City of Auburn and is a hub for visitors to discover all of New York’s equal rights heritage sites, as well as, serve as the visitor information center for Auburn and Cayuga County


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