The past few years we have seen tremendous headway towards equality for the LGBT community. While monumental steps have been taken, the journey is far from over—it is one thing to embody acceptance within laws, proceedings, and policies—but changing the hearts and minds of human beings takes time, commitment, and support of everyone. Every year, OutSpokane has worked tirelessly with the latter in mind—by organizing, staffing, and executing the annual Spokane Pride Parade and Rainbow Festival—in an effort to bring individuals from various communities together to celebrate and embrace diversity.
This year marks the 26th annual celebration of Spokane Pride, and in the spirit of collaboration, OutSpokane and INBA have teamed up again to take another step toward our goal of having every available street banner in Downtown Spokane displaying the message of Pride and building awareness and acceptance of the LGBT community. Other hallmark events in Spokane, such as Hoopfest, Bike to Work, CHAS, United Way, the University District, and the Lilac Festival, have enjoyed the message those banners send to our city’s residents and visitors: that Spokane is a city that supports arts and culture, health care, education, social services, and environmental conservation. Our message is one of diversity and inclusivity—and we are looking to the community to raise the funds needed to produce and hang the additional banners this year.
Together the Kalispel Tribe, OutSpokane, INBA, and members of the greater Spokane community came together to fill Spokane Falls Blvd with 22 of these large Rainbow Banners. We heard many stories of people coming down the street, seeing the banners and beginning to cry. They felt welcomed, included, and loved. In addition to the banners, 36 rainbow flags were also hung along various streets in Downtown Spokane adding to the message the banners bring. We believe these banners and flags contributed to more attendees than ever before—approximately 11,250 according to the Spokane Police Department.
17 additional banners (see photos below) will be placed on Main St. to go with the ones on Spokane Falls Blvd. Each banner is 94″ tall by 30″ wide. The cost to produce and hang each banner is $130, for a cost of $2,210. The cost to hang last years banners will be $540 for a grand total of $2,750. The Downtown Spokane Partnership has already agreed to the banner placement. Instant Sign Factory, an INBA member, has agreed to produce the banners.
The Kalispel Tribe and Northern Quest Resort & Casino have issued a challenge grant to help pay for the banners. Every dollar raised will be matched, up to $1,430! Any funds raised past our $1,320 goal will go directly towards the costs to install them again in following years.
We ask for your help in making this project a reality. To contribute please follow the link below to our GoFundMe campaign.