Campus and community come together to speak out for social justice at inaugural Springfield event
SPRINGFIELD – WIG OUT! – a 12-hour festival showcasing nationally known drag performers, allied musical groups, and local community organizations – will take place from noon to midnight on Saturday, September 22, on the Quad at the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Springfield's first non-Pride Week festival for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, WIG OUT! is designed to unite LGBTQ and allied community members through song, dance, comedy, and speech to raise voices for human civil rights. Host for the day-long festival will be nationally renowned drag performer Hedda Lettuce.
Jimmy Brower, chair of UIS' Queer-Straight Alliance, which is presenting the event, noted, "As a student activist for many minority issues, I am honored to be involved in the creation and management of such a precedent-setting festival.
"Music and performing arts are one of the underlying threads that hold all progressive movements together through opinionated song, dance, and speech," Brower added. "Equality should be visible, and is visible thanks to community members, business professionals, corporate sponsors, and allies alike," he said.
"I am so excited to be asked to host the very first WIG OUT! Festival," said Lettuce. "WIG OUT! embodies all the things I have been working on in my own career for the past decade: music, comedy, art, and politics. To be surrounded by like-minded people with the common goal of supporting diversity and civil liberties in a fun and entertaining festival is an amazing honor."
Festival sponsors include radio stations WDBR-FM and WABE-FM, ID Lubricants, The Advocate, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, GAY.COM, and the UIS Office of Student Life and Student Activities Committee.
Tickets are $10; high school and college students with valid IDs will be admitted free. Advance tickets are available through the festival website; tickets will also be sold on site. All proceeds will be used to benefit programming efforts of the Queer-Straight Alliance, as well as Springfield's Phoenix Center, an organization that offers support services to LGBTQ youth.
UIS' Office of Student Affairs, in conjunction with organizations such as the Queer-Straight Alliance, has developed an array of programming, policies, and services for students and others, including the Safe Zone program that trains members of the campus community to become "safe allies" and advocates for LGBTQ individuals.For more information, contact Brower at 217/299-1258 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.thegreatmidwesternwigout.com.