ST. GEORGE — Three Southern Utah organizations recently received grants from Project Rainbow to fund events or projects that help increase LGBTQ visibility.
Project Rainbow is a Utah-based effort that strives to promote inclusivity and LGBTQ visibility by staking flags across the state in observance of various holidays such as Pride Week. Last year, the project raised $55,000 for a community fund, and $10,525 was given to 21 Utah projects and events as grants, Project Rainbow Executive Director Lucas Horns told St. George News.
“We wanted to choose a diverse range of projects, both in the manner of the project and the geographic location,” he said. “There were only three applicants in Southern Utah and we wanted to award all of them. Relative to Salt Lake, there’s a lot fewer resources for LGBTQ people in St. George, and they are just on the frontline of this movement. They’re doing amazing, amazing work.”
The three organizations to receive grants were Pride of Southern Utah, RedRox Music Festival and the LGBTQ Brunch and Resource Fair. Horns added that Project Rainbow is excited to support these three organizations because they are so different from each other and all very impactful.
The Brunch and Resource Fair is organized by Southwest Utah Safety Net and works to connect young people ages 14-25 in Southern Utah to jobs and resources. Throughout the year, Southwest Utah Safety Net provides resources such as food stamps, clothing, hygiene items and other benefits to those in need through its outreach program. The fair will take place on Sept. 4.
Director Frankie Pfister told St. George News that she hopes to expand the fair to twice a year.
“My hope is not only bringing in service providers to give access to these resources, but also bringing us all together so we can help make a difference,” she said. “We’re so grateful to Project Rainbow for recognizing this need. I hope this is helpful.”
The Project Rainbow grant money will be used to provide breakfast and coffee at the fair among other things, Pfister said. For more information about the fair, you may email the organization.
Pride of Southern Utah has held festivals in St. George in September since 2016 and has tripled in size since its first year. Executive Director Stephen Lambert told St. George News that the $4,000 grant from Project Rainbow will help fund this year’s Pride Festival, which will be free to the public.
“We’re very appreciative,” Lambert said. “We will be doing Project Rainbow again in September, and we encourage all of our residents in the St. George area to be on the lookout and to order a flag if they know somebody, if they love somebody, if they’re related to somebody who is part of the LGBTQ community. We encourage them to put a flag out to show their support.”
He said he hopes to be able to hold the festival as normal on Sept. 25, which depends on COVID-19 regulations, he also has a Plan B and C in order to have some form of celebration this year. The festival did not happen last year, and Lambert said although he isn’t sure what it will look like this year, he wants to make sure the festival can happen in a safe way. Anyone interested in donating to the festival can do so online.
RedRox Music Festival — formerly the Redrock Music Festival — will take place on Nov. 5-6 this year in Springdale for the first time. The festival added an “x” to its name in an effort to engage marginalized communities, Jandy Stelter, community engagement director, told St. George News. This year’s festival will feature only Utah-based female and LGBTQ musicians to showcase the beauty of Utah and gender-inclusive artists.
“We are so super excited to get people together again,” Stelter said. “This year we’re trying to keep it a little bit more local. We want to show off the local talent, so we’re going to really highlight the artists we have here in Utah. The takeaway is come join us, it’s gonna be a rockin’ time.”
Tickets are currently on sale, and prices were lowered this year to allow anyone affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to affordably attend the festival, Stelter said. In addition, anything left over from the $4,500 Project Rainbow grant, she said, will be used to give away scholarship tickets or provide access to the festival for those who may not normally be able to attend. Anyone who purchased tickets to the 2020 festival and left their money with the festival will be able to attend this year for free.
Project Rainbow will return to St. George in September for Southern Utah Pride Week. For more information or to order a flag or donate, visit Project Rainbow’s campaign webpage.
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