More than 117,000 commuters drive through downtown Columbus every day and more than 44.3 million visitors come to Columbus on an annual basis. The “Downtown Banner Program”, administered under the auspices of “Experience Columbus,” allows local organizations to promote their annual events via banners that are hung throughout the city which bring attention to these organizations in a highly visible manner. This urban banner program celebrates the diversity of the city while promoting community spirit and connectedness.
Since the late 90?s, Stonewall Columbus has participated in this program, with fifteen bold, bright banners lining the streets of Columbus, promoting and celebrating our annual Pride Festival and Parade during the month of June.
In 2011, Stonewall Columbus donor, Malcolm Riggle, generously gifted us the funds to cover the costs for creating and hanging fifteen new banners, consequently allowing us to fly a total of thirty Pride banners along High St. in the downtown area during our Thirtieth Anniversary Pride Festival. This was a compelling and historic statement for our community and served to visibly remind all the residents of Columbus, that we, as LGBT citizens, are a vital component in making this city dynamic, productive, authentic and so welcoming to its visitors. In 2012 Malcolm led the fundraising effort and we were able to fly 60 banners for Pride. In 2013 we hung a total of 100 banners – a new record!
But we don’t want to stop there. Let’s increase the number of our banners again this year and even more importantly, extend our participation to other times of the year to promote other important Central Ohio LGBT events. We believe it is very important for our LGBT community be more prominently acknowledged all year round. After all….we aren’t just LGBT in June!
But we need your help. Our goal for 2014 is to line the downtown streets with 125 banners. Please contribute to our Stonewall Columbus “PRIDE Banner Project” and help us reach our $25,000 goal.
Let’s make 2014 a “banner” year for our LGBT community and our continued visible presence in our beloved city. And let our flags fly….proudly. All year ’round.
Stonewall Columbus, Inc.