Bloomington Pride: Come As You Are!

Photo by Daniel Arzola
Photo by Daniel Arzola

The City of Bloomington’s Human Rights Commission, in partnership with Artistry, a non-profit arts organization that runs the Bloomington Center for the Arts, Twin Cities Pride, and other local partners, has created? Come As You Are!, a Pride art exhibition honoring the LGBTQ+ community and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Twin Cities Pride festival. The exhibit—scheduled to run from June 3 – July 8, 2022, in the Inez Greenberg Gallery—is a collection of artworks by emerging and established Minnesota artists selected by a curatorial panel following a month-long review process. 

Twin Cities Pride is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year by honoring the contributions of all LGBTQ+ community members and their allies who have fought for equal rights and social justice. The celebrations in Pride Month are a grand toast to those acheivements. Twin Cities Pride is a non-profit organization that coordinates an annual celebration for the LGBTQ+ community. The festival, which draws nearly 400,000 attendees every June, features a parade down Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. Over the years, Minnesota has seen vast improvements in the quality of life for LGBTQ+ individuals, including legal protections from discrimination in housing and the workplace.

Come As You Are! Is an art exhibition that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community. Showcasing works by over 50+ local emerging artists and presenting a variety of creative approaches, the exhibition aims to affirm community inclusiveness. The exhibition’s theme is not meant to be highly conceptual or extremely challenging. The goal is to provide a showcase of LGBTQ+ art to a broader audience by creating a welcoming and intersectional community- one that holds space for people from all races and ethnicities and continues the conversations within Minnesota about sexual orientation and gender identity.

The art show is a part of a celebration of Bloomington’s Pride month this year. As a city, Bloomington has seen the LGBTQ+ community grow and come into it’s own, particularly in recent years. The annual Pride Festival and the other events in Pride Month aren’t the only signs of the growing LGBTQ+ community presence in Bloomington. The seeds of the city’s vibrant history and LGBTQ+ community reach back to the 1970s.

Since then, many organizations and local businesses have embraced LGBTQ+ causes. People who identify as LGBTQ+ often flock to Bloomington to pursue educational or employment opportunities that weren’t available in their hometowns. It has become a common sight to see storefronts painted with rainbows. Nowadays, Bloomington is widely considered one of the most accepting cities for LGBTQ+ people in the Midwest. 

The Human Rights Commission is a public service organization in the city of Bloomington. The organization, since its inception, sought to aid and advise the City Council in ensuring for all the citizens of Bloomington equal opportunity in those areas protected by law, including matters of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation. These rights were secured through various state and federal acts. In addition, the Commission sought to affect changes in other affairs that may affect the social standards of the city. 

The event’s host, Artistry, is a non-profit arts organization with a mission to promote and advance the arts in Bloomington. It hosts professional development and exhibition projects, studio tours, educational opportunities, and outreach events. Artistry strives to create a safe space where people can grow as artists, educate themselves about art processes, and enrich their lives through learning.

The exhibition will open on June 3 from 6 to 8 PM. Both the reception and gallery are free to attend for all ages. All of the art on display is family-friendly and has no age restriction.

The City of Bloomington will also host a Pride Celebration Event on August 13 from 4 to 8 PM. The celebration will include live entertainment, food and drink, and community resources.

Find out more about the upcoming exhibit, a list of all artists involved, and sign up for art classes here www.artistrymn.org/comeasyouare.

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