Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Taking it to the Streets...The Tuesday Edition

Even though this city celebrated Pride last week, these celebrations are actually spreaded over several months throughout the summer. I heard from many of you during the week that you've attended other larger events in Q-metropolitan areas that seem to impress your senses. I lived in San Francisco, witnessing the notable pride parade their, but I've never ever considered that event comparable to this city, As I've stated previously, this is not "their" and selling our selves short because we've seen it done bigger elsewhere isn't helping improve our offerings locally. Those cities such as NYC, ATL or even Dallas for that matter, have these determining factors that create those highly visible efforts. First: MONEY. The budgets for those cities are funded through various revenue sources including some city grants. In Philadelphia, local Pride events have received $10,000 for single day events and additional funding up to $10,000 for multi-day events. Can you imagine if the city of Little Rock had a "community festival funding program" equipped with such funding? How about the Mayor or Ward Representative attending? Meanwhile, in Fort Lauderdale, their festival was almost cancelled due to a $50,000 short fall for a "weekend" slate of activities, based on a budget topping over $100,000. In Columbus, budgeted items included $27,000 for staging, $20,000 for security and contracted services as well as $19,000 for catering for purchase after an admission fee. At this year's picnic co-sponsors COP:24/7 and CAR were generous in offering FREE food and beverages. Secondly, Sponsorships. Ranging from Local adult beverage vendors to AARP, each offering in-kind donations to on-site booths ran the gamut at the big events. Could this level of sponsorship be a reality for the capitol city? If not, why not? Thirdly, PEOPLE. Many of these festivals have "functioning" Board of Directors, some paid Executive Directors and distinctively committed individuals/volunteers who make these memorable events happen. For those who braved the heat and came in support, also who have send this forum "congrats," I again personally thank you and appreciate your support. However, If Little Rock wants more big city fare, then making your personal commitment starting TODAY is the challenge. Here are the building blocks of the blueprint to 2010 success. The question becomes: what can you contribute to show some pride? I promised that there would be ongoing perspectives on what it will take to give you more of what you are looking for in PRIDE 2010. Stay locked in, share your observations, participate with our widgets and get on board NOW!...

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