[Editor's note: See photo coverage of a great day at the rocks at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Montrose-Rocks/38390.html .]
UPDATE AS OF LATE FRIDAY, June 22: Anthony Galloway has updated fans of Montrose Rocks with the news that the public health commissioner and park district have worked with organizers to make sure the event WILL happen. So now the Rocks at Montrose will go on as planned.
Below is previous post.
Anthony Galloway of the Montrose Rocks Pride Sunday event sent out an email June 22 announcing that the event had been cancelled due to lack of funds.
The predominantly African-American pride event had been part of the community since the early 1990s (and was the successor to the Belmont Rocks event on Pride Sunday starting in the 1970s).
Below is Galloway's letter:
Dear Community Partner,
Unfortunately, due to a myriad of issues, Ariq Cabbler, president of Rocks Coordinating Committee has informed me last night that the 35th annual festival scheduled for Sunday, June 24th has been cancelled. My apologies for the inconvenence that this has caused. I am very dissapointed and sad by the news as this has been a Chicago institution since the late 1970s. My heart is broken right now as I really did want to see this happen and have been a fierce advocate in keeping it going. RCC was unable to raise enough money in time to acquire the necessary park permits to conduct screenings and vaccinations. The city park district general counsel argued that providing health screenings on park grounds was not a first Amendment right issue denying our application for a fee waiver of $12,000. Additionally, slow payments and communication from other city and state agencies has also had a crippling effect on the ability of Mr. Cabbler and the ROCKS team to operate.
To all the organizations - TPAN, Haymarket, Howard Brown, Affinity, Chicago House, Amigas Latina, Center on Halsted, Task Force, Prologue, Stroger-Project POWER/POSSE - thank you for all of your support over the years. For some of the 12,000 people who might see this email thank you. Once I speak with Mr. Cabbler, I will work out reimbursements to paid back out to agencies by the end of the month.
I always remember the great word - "The race is not given to the swift nor the strong but to she who endures the race to the end."
Anthony C. Galloway
Their group's Website states:
"The Rocks Coordinating Committee (RCC) was founded as an official organizing committee in 1991 by Clubhouse Nightclub owners and life partners, Samuel Franklin Davis, Jr. (Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame inductee, 1994) and Bob Yeaworth. Original organizers included, Renae Ogletree (Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame inductee), Charles Nelson (Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame inductee), Sidney Thomas, Michael O'Connor, Renee' Davis, and Marc Loveless. The unofficial event started in 1977 at the Belmont Rocks and every year the event was shutdown prematurely due to the lack of permits and resources. In 1996, the organization became a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.
"Since the RCC inception, the event has drawn hundreds of locals and has grown to an event that attracted approximately 15,000 individuals in 2011. As attendance, entertainment, vendor and organization participation increased, the event was moved to Montrose Harbor. This event allows the Rocks Coordinating Committee to facilitate a culturally specific LGBT people of color PRIDE experience. Commonly referred to as "The Rocks", this event is held on the last Sunday in June at the Harbor's "Cricket Hill" site on Chicago's north side lakefront.
"The highlight of the event is the recognition of LGBT activist, organizations serving this community and honoring allies whom contributed significantly to the LGBT community. Politicians and both local and national entertainers have graced the stage to show respect and homage. With eight hours of activities, thousands flock to set up space to barbecue, listen to the impeccable sounds of DJ's, reunite with acquaintances and demonstrate pride. The RCC has chosen to host the celebration at the end of June during and after the Chicago Pride Parade to commemorate the turning point for the modern gay rights movement at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Nearly half a century later we continue to celebrate and honor the history of the sisters and brothers before us."