On June 1, Fred Hutch celebrated the start of Pride month with its fourth art installation as part of the Public Art & Community Dialogue Program, or PACD, featuring artist Ariadne Campanella.
Initiated by the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Core, the PACD program provides selected artists from different communities with the opportunity to create commissioned artwork to inform Fred Hutch employees and the broader community in conversations of solidarity with underrepresented groups. Campanella, a queer, non-binary trans woman and mixed media artist, was selected out of 132 submissions to create a piece focusing on LGBTQIA+ communities as they reflect on healing, in/visibility, and moving from surviving to thriving.
To kick off the celebration, Fred Hutch staff gathered in front of the Yale Building, where Anders McConachie, a leader of the Fred Hutch Rainbow Employees for Equity (FHREE) Employee Resource Group, gave a moving speech about Pride and its meaning for the LGBTQIA+ community.
“Pride is a time to reflect, reconnect and be joyous in our persistence. It is a time for history, community and growth,” McConachie said. “A time to reflect on those who have made a difference and those who would have, had they not been taken from us, and to be joyous in our opportunity to build and grow today and tomorrow authentically as ourselves.”
From there, all those gathered joined in a short parade, stopping to raise the Progress Pride Flag in front of Clinic Building 1 and then continued to the Arnold Building Vessel where Dr. Paul Buckley, vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, wished everyone a happy Pride Month, dedicating the unveiling to the queer community.
“Our gathering today goes out to every queer person, every trans person," he said. "In safety, outside of safety, every person who is seeking, every person who is sure, every person who is asking to be recognized and honored for their human dignity and the right to be exactly who they are.”
He continued to pledge unwavering support as an ally for the queer community and to fight for inclusion, equity and ongoing progress despite a polarized political landscape that continues to threaten the rights and lives of members of this community.
“We are not going to allow this nation to treat people like they don’t exist,” Buckley said. “We are not going to pay into systems that work against people’s humanity and people’s dignity. And we are going to fight with each other. Not against each other. We are going to fight with — against systems and forces that would do anything but work toward greater inclusion and equity.”
Buckley then welcomed featured artist, Campanella for the unveiling of her artwork, “Block #3249 (Mend).”
Stepping up to the podium, Campanella thanked the committee and Fred Hutch for the opportunity to create art through the program. Becoming overwhelmed with emotion, she took a momentary step back from the podium. As members in the audience showed support through clapping and cheering, Campanella continued, speaking of one of her favorite movies, “Paris is Burning.”
“Dorian Corey says in the movie, ‘Everybody wants to make an impression, some mark upon the world. Then you think, you've made a mark on the world if you just get through it, and a few people remember your name.’ And I hope that we’re all able to remember each other’s names and the names of everyone who hasn’t been able to make it this far or is thinking that they might not make it much farther. So, if you have somebody in your life who fits under that category or is even just part of the queer community, I encourage you to reach out to them and let them know you remember their name.”
Following Campanella’s powerful and emotional words, the Progress Pride Flag and a banner showcasing her work were raised near the Arnold Vessel.
To close the event, McConachie offered all attending audience members chalk, inviting everyone to write messages of support and affirmation for members of the queer community, “To remind us that we all belong here, that we can thrive here and that we all have value here at Fred Hutch,” said McConachie.
Throughout the month of June, there are several activities to show support for the LGBTQIA+ community including a Queer Chat and Pride Tie-Die event on June 9 and a virtual social on June 16 (details still TBD). Additionally, all staff are invited to march in the Seattle Pride Parade representing Fred Hutch.
To watch the full unveiling of Campanella’s work, visit Fred Hutch’s Facebook page.
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