ST. LOUIS, Mo. - In a joint announcement, this week, The St. Louis LGBT History Project (Project) and Pride St. Louis, Inc. (Pride) unveiled an expanded archival and programming partnership designed to better elevate the importance of the struggle, impact, and history of the region's LGTBQIA+ community.

 

This new collaboration will see the Project work with Pride to preserve LGBTQIA+ artifacts and offer educational exhibits and lectures at the PrideCenter (3738 Chouteau Ave. 63110). For the past seven years, Pride has donated exhibit space to the Project during the annual PrideFest.

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“The expansion of our work with Pride will enhance our already dynamic archival and community partnerships with the Griot Museum of Black History, Missouri History Museum, the State Historical Society of Missouri, and Washington University," said Project Founder, Steven Louis Brawley.

 

Kicking off the expanded partnership will be a new exhibit at PrideCenter billed Pride in Missouri. The colorful and informative display will provide an overview of LGBTQIA+ history across the state. Produced in conjunction with the Project, Missouri State Archives, Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America in Kansas City, Mo., and Ozarks Lesbian and Gay Archives in Springfield, Mo., the exhibit will run through November 1.

 

"It is an honor to work with Steven in being able to display important history of our community," offered Christa Cunningham, President of Pride St. Louis. "In today’s hectic pace of life, it is crucial to take the time in looking back in the past, admire the photos, read the stories and articles. You might be surprised to find that there are many similarities of those stories of the past with our own lives today."

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In addition to exhibits and special programs, PrideCenter’s library will feature a special LGBTQIA+ history section that the Project will work to enhance. Further, the Project has loaned Pride duplicate copies of St. Louis Pride Guides, Pride Pages, and the venerable Gay and Lesbian News Telegraph newspaper which published from 1981-2000. All will be archived at PrideCenter for use by researchers and the community.

 

The partnership also includes Pride utilizing PrideCenter to involve community members in hands-on experience with organizing, preserving, and displaying these historic documents.

 

"I have been afforded an excellent opportunity to help preserve and display something that the LGBT community does not often see... the everyday lives of LGBT individuals," said  Bill Stephens, Pride St. Louis' first residential archivist.

 

Indeed, this expanded collaboration bolsters two of the city's storied LGBTQIA+ institutions and leverages their respective missions to develop a shared vision. Jordan Braxton, the Director of Public Relations for Pride St. Louis, highlighted the partnership as an opportunity to "help educate those in the community who may not be so familiar with our history."

 

Brandon Reid, Secretary for Pride St. louis, has been working with Brawley for over a year to get this collaboration underway. "We must remember our history. The project allows us to showcase it in a new and open way," added Reid.

 

The St. Louis LGBTQ History Project was founded in 2007 with a mission to preserve and promote St. Louis’s dynamic LGBTQIA+ history.

 

Celebrating 40+ years, Pride St. Louis, Inc. is a not for profit organization based in St. Louis, Missouri that works to foster an understanding of and equality for the LGBT community in the general population by raising awareness through educational programs and events ultimately leading up to the annual PrideFest in St. Louis.

 

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