Manchester Pride turns 21 this August and is marking the milestone with a commemorative exhibition, Queer To Stay: 21 Years of Manchester Pride at The Lowry, from Friday 3 June to Sunday 16 October.
This comprehensive collection of images, memorabilia, stories and more documents the festival’s rich history and explores the impact Pride has had on individuals, community groups and charities in the region.
From its humble beginnings as a collection of bring-and-buy stalls outside the Rembrandt Pub in 1991 to its current inception as one of Europe’s largest and liveliest celebrations, Manchester Pride has grown and developed with its audience to become a key date in the UK’s festival calendar.
Since 2003 Manchester Pride has raised £895,000 for LGBT and HIV charities, the most raised by any Pride event in Europe.
Queer To Stay: 21 Years of Manchester Pride looks at the many charities and individuals who have benefited from monies raised by Pride in its 21 years, exploring the important legacy of a festival often just seen as a weekend of hedonistic fun.
Peter Beswick, patron of Manchester Pride, said: “When we started raising funds for people suffering with HIV/AIDS, we were told the August Bank Holiday fundraiser was a one-off. How wrong could they have been. Year after year, it went from strength to strength and 21 years later a milestone has been reached. May it continue for the next 21 years raising much needed and appreciated funds for LGBT and HIV organisations.”
Jackie Crozier, festival director of Manchester Pride, said: “I’m really excited about this exhibition and having the chance to document the last 21 years of Pride is just wonderful. I would encourage as many people as possible to come along and take a trip down memory lane in the run up to our 21st birthday celebration.”
Michael Simpson, head of visual art and engagement at The Lowry comments: “Pride has been such an important part of people’s lives for 21 years now. This exhibition is a comprehensive exploration of the impact Pride has had, both as a life-affirming annual celebration and a life-saving year-round charity.”
For more information visit www.manchesterpride.com
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