December 11, 2015
At a Town Hall Meeting held in the community room at Chase Brexton Health Services on November 10, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (GLCCB) gave an update on the financial results of the 2015 Pride Festival, and announced the dates for the 2016 Pride Festival, to be held on the weekend of 23 and 24 July. While the community feedback on holding Pride in July was mixed, these dates are official and confirmed with the City of Baltimore.
The reported total revenue for Pride 2015 was $49,402 which was $58,040 less that the projected income presented to the GLCCB Board in the Pride budget in January 2015, and was $4,598 less than the profit from Pride 2014. Pride expenses exceeded the projected budget by more than $20,000, and Pride income was more than $37,000 under budget. There were several suggested reasons offered for these discrepancies, including over $6,000 being spent on T-Shirts, however since the staff person responsible for Pride in 2015 is no longer employed by the GLCCB, much of this was based on speculation.
During the open microphone portion of the Town Hall Meeting, a number of community members expressed concerns that the planning process for Pride in 2015 had not been successful at engaging the support, energy and participation of the community. For example, while community members and organizations were repeatedly told they should just come to Pride planning meetings to provide input, when they did, they were essentially told what would be happening and who would be doing it, as opposed to being invited to be part of the process and planning. In response to these concerns, the GLCCB leadership has committed to an open and inclusive process for planning pride this year, and welcomed all community members interested in being part of the process to join the Pride Committee. This fit together with an overall message of being open to input and making a concerted effort to listen to the community more effectively.
When speaking of the town hall meeting, GLCCB Board President and Acting Executive Director Jabari Lyles said “Perhaps the biggest success and largest take away for me was hearing community members say, "I am willing to help." Community buy-in is, and should always be, our most valuable asset, and to have people become re-inspired and recommitted to our mission at this point is our history is priceless. It is now up to us to harness this momentum and follow-through. We look forward to hosting our next town hall event in spring 2016 to hear from the community about how we have done in this first phase of change.”
To learn more about the Pride planning process, or for questions please email email@example.com or call (410) 777-8145. The first Pride committee meeting will take place on Wednesday, December 16, 2015, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the GLCCB at 1000 Cathedral St. in Baltimore.
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