JUNE  6-8  2014
IN WEST HOLLYWOOD
FAQ

Why PRIDE?
Why is it called Christopher Street West (CSW)?
How is CSW governed?
What is the partnership between CSW and the City of West Hollywood?
Why does LA PRIDE charge an admission fee to the festival?
How are the performers chosen?
Are local performers also invited to participate?
In what ways can local nonprofit organizations benefit from LA PRIDE?
How are community honorees nominated and chosen?
Are there any changes to the event venue given the fact that construction has been completed on the new West Hollywood Library?
CSW Recent Accomplishments
How can I share my comments about LA PRIDE?
How can I stay connected to CSW News and Events?


Why PRIDE?

Pride events are truly the only opportunity for our entire diverse community, family, friends and allies to come together—by the hundreds of thousands—to celebrate our history, courage, accomplishments and future.  There is no other gathering that offers such visibility and camaraderie for the TLGB community.

“It was our involvement with LA PRIDE last year that inspired us to get involved in our communities, and through that involvement we’ve found much love.  The generosity and love of the people of LA PRIDE is profound and moving.”  - 2011 participants Teresa, Ken and 16 year-old Elliott Sitz
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Why is it called Christopher Street West (CSW)?         

In 1969, our brothers and sisters in New York City stood up for equality at the infamous Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street.  This passionate outburst launched the larger movement celebrating the TLGB community and prompted    
local leaders Morris Kight and Reverends Troy Perry and Bob Humphries to unite the LA community and produce LA PRIDE, in 1970, the first TLGB Pride Parade in the world, thereby creating Christopher Street West.  42 years later, CSW remains committed to the goals of human rights, outreach, education and equality for the TLGB communities in Los Angeles and around the world. 

“I was most impressed with the organization.  I have been to many Pride festivals in West Hollywood and around the country.  This was one of the best I have seen.  This is real PRIDE.”  - Tom Carpenter - Board of Directors,   Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
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How is CSW governed?
    
CSW is the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that produces the LA PRIDE celebration and is governed by an unpaid, professional volunteer Board of Directors, assisted by volunteer committee members, numerous administrative and event volunteers, and a few paid seasonal consultants and staff. 
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What is the partnership between CSW and the City of West Hollywood?

CSW treasures its important and enduring partnership with West Hollywood, the Official Host City of LA PRIDE.  CSW is a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit organization governed by an unpaid, professional volunteer Board of Directors and since West Hollywood’s incorporation in 1984, the city has been a leading sponsor and partner in LA PRIDE—graciously waiving permit fees, providing West Hollywood Park and surrounding streets for the festival and parade and paying for the LA County Sheriffs’ presence on the day of the parade.  In return, the City of West Hollywood—an international tourist destination—is promoted globally as an TLGB mecca and LA PRIDE, one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world, as a unique and highly sought-after cultural event.  According to a 2008 economic impact study, more than $16 million is spent in West Hollywood as a direct result of LA PRIDE, with another $6 million being spent in neighboring cities. 
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Why does LA PRIDE charge an admission fee to the festival?

There are hundreds of Pride organizations around the world, each with different models of levying admission fees to cover production costs.  Some charge admission while others solicit donations.
   
An admission fee is charged to cover the costs of producing LA PRIDE, one of the largest TLGB celebrations in the world.  Some of these costs include public safety for the three day festival from the LA County Sheriffs and private security firms, paramedics, entertainment (talent and performers), structures, staging, lighting, insurance, labor, cleanup and other miscellaneous production costs.

Despite rising costs in a very challenging economic environment, admission fees to LA PRIDE have not increased since 2006.  CSW also offers discounted tickets online closer to the festival. 
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How are the performers chosen? 

Every year, CSW’s Entertainment Committee, the Board and consultants create a wish list of who they would like to perform, aiming to provide a diverse lineup with something for everyone while working with a limited budget.
             
If you have a direct personal connection to a major headliner or performer that you believe might want to participate in LA PRIDE, please email talent@lapride.org.
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Are local performers also invited to participate? 
CSW is very proud to have showcased local talent as part of LA PRIDE.  At the beginning of each year, CSW opens the online application process for performers (singers, musicians, comedians and disc jockey’s).  Once the application is received, it is vetted through the CSW Entertainment Committee, which ultimately selects based on diversity, culture and musical genre.  To learn more, please see the application section of www.lapride.org.  
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In what ways can local nonprofit organizations benefit from LA PRIDE?

There are numerous ways in which local nonprofit organizations can benefit from LA PRIDE.  First and foremost, the CSW Community Working Grants Program allows organizations to volunteer their time during the celebration in exchange for a financial donation and free entrance to the festival.  Having donated thousands and thousands of volunteer hours, more than 50 local nonprofit organizations have benefited from this program.

CSW also provides direct support to community organizations by co-sponsoring events and fundraising activities, purchasing tickets to events and donating them to underserved populations and by utilizing an extensive contact list to promote such events through the CSW newsletter and various popular social media channels. 

Additionally, CSW distributes more than 1,000 free tickets to the clients of local non-profit service providers and partners with the Los Angeles Unified School District to ensure that hundreds of youth from the Gay-Straight Alliance Network are allowed to attend for free.

Overall, the visibility that nonprofits receive is truly immeasurable.  With an estimated 400,000 participating in the PRIDE parade, and the potential for millions of additional viewers via CSW’s media partners who stream it live, the parade facilitates exposure and visibility that entrants might not otherwise receive.  This unmatched visibility opportunity often translates into new interest in the form of clients, volunteers, donors and more.  CSW is proud to provide community organizations with this forum.    

One example of a nonprofit that has greatly benefited from participating is The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to TLGB and questioning youth.  In its very early days, The Trevor Project maximized its presence at LA PRIDE, building its database of donors and volunteers, and also awareness of the then-unspoken crisis of TLGB youth suicide. Today, The Trevor Project is an enormously respected, national organization that is a lifeline at the forefront of protecting our youth.  AIDS Walk Los Angeles, produced by APLA and benefiting numerous HIV/AIDS service providers, is another organization that greatly benefits from its involvement with LA PRIDE.  For APLA, the celebration is the primary source for recruiting new and returning walkers to their annual walk, one of the largest in the country.             

“I want to express my great respect for all you do, the differences you have made for TLGB rights and respect and the support you have given us, especially in relation to the amazing team of volunteers that make up the core of our Best in Drag Show team.” – Jeannette Bondurant, Aid for AIDS
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How are community honorees nominated and chosen?

Each year, in January, CSW opens the nomination process for LA PRIDE Community Honorees.  Recipients of this very special recognition include individuals, groups, organizations and businesses that have made significant contributions to the greater TLGB community.  CSW relies on the community to nominate the most-deserving and that is why when the nomination process opens, more than 10,000 people are alerted through various CSW channels including facebook, twitter, the CSW mailing list and website in an effort to have as much community input as possible.  CSW also asks local elected officials and local media to share this information through their various distribution channels.     

“Thank you for all your hard work and wonderful planning for such a successful and fun LA PRIDE. We enjoyed ourselves enormously and very much appreciated the opportunity to participate in your many great events leading up to the parade.”  -Doreena Wong, on behalf of Asians & Pacific Islanders for TLGB Equality – 2011 LA PRIDE Connie Norman Award recipient 
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Are there any changes to the event venue given the fact that construction has been completed on the new West Hollywood Library?

For the last few years, the construction of this facility has been a hindrance to the size and scope of the festival.  In looking ahead to this year’s celebration, CSW is working with leadership from the City of West Hollywood and is optimistic that with the completion of the new West Hollywood Library and park, there will be more room for performance stages, dance pavilions, exhibitor booths, food vendors and gathering spots.    
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CSW Recent Accomplishments

-  In an effort to leverage the excitement and buzz of the iconic annual Dyke March—the celebrated kickoff to LA PRIDE—2011’s celebration featured the first ever “Purple Party, A Celebration of Women.”  Hosted by CSW and the Lesbian Visibility Committee of the City of West Hollywood, this evening featured entertainment from Macy Gray and numerous options from LA’s popular food trucks.  This special night was free, open to the public and bolstered participation in the Dyke March, which saw a very significant increase in attendance.    

-  To support TLGB youth, the 2011 LA PRIDE parade included more than 350 local students—members of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network within the Los Angeles Unified School District.  This group, the largest youth contingent ever, was a parade highlight.  All participants and their parents or chaperones were then given free admittance to the festival.   

-  In 2010, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa opened the doors to Getty House, the official residence of the Mayor of Los Angeles, for the first-ever LA PRIDE Garden Party.  In fact, this was the first time in the city’s history that this prestigious landmark hosted an event for the TLGB community.  CSW could not have been more proud.
             
-  In 2011, as the bond between the City of Los Angeles and CSW grew, in addition to the LA PRIDE Garden Party, Mayor Villaraigosa and the Los Angeles City Council—led by Councilmember Bill Rosendahl—declared June TLGB Heritage Month with a special inaugural presentation in the LA City Council Chambers.  In another tremendous first, following the ceremony, a half-day star-studded festival was held outdoors on the south lawn of City Hall. 
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How can I share my comments about LA PRIDE? 

The CSW Board of Directors views itself as trustees of the legacy of TLGB Pride.  In that spirit, CSW very much appreciates feedback from the community about any facet of the celebration and takes comments and suggestions seriously.  Please email info@lapride.org.  Board Meetings are also open to the public and take place the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7pm in the CSW office, 8235 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite #302, West Hollywood, California, 90046. 
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How can I stay connected to CSW News and Events?

You can sign up for the CSW Newsletter at www.lapride.org.  You can also like our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pages/LA-PRIDE-Christopher-Street-West/40868283260 and follow us on Twitter @LAPRIDE.  As we move closer to June’s celebration, we will be sharing ways in which you can get involved and volunteer.  
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