Coming Out Day: Legacy Walk to bring GLBT history to Halsted

Tue. September 11, 2012 9:43 AM

Chicago, IL - The Board of Directors of the Legacy Project announces the plans for the upcoming dedication of the Legacy Walk to take place on Oct. 11, 2012. This unique multi-faceted celebration will be a community first. Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 2 p.m. — 7 p.m. $100 general admission. $200 VIP admission.

The Legacy Walk — to be located on one-half-mile of North Halsted Street in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood — will be an outdoor "museum walk" recognizing the contributions gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people have made to world history and culture.

The Legacy Walk — an international, multi-cultural installation — will consist of a series of 18" x 24" cast bronze plaques affixed to the celebrated "Rainbow Pylons" which define the stretch known as the "Northalsted Corridor" as the center of Chicago's diverse GLBT population. Each plaque will bear a laser-cast image of an inductee along with a 300-word biographical paragraph that explores the individual's contributions.

Eighteen (18) plaques will be dedicated as part of "Phase I" of the two-year implementation of the installation. According to the organization's Founder and Executive Director, Victor Salvo, "In 2012 we will attach one plaque (and the mechanical housing that supports it) to each of the seventeen (17) available pylons — with the exception of the pylon at 3340 N. Halsted which will house two of the plaques. In 2013 we will install the remaining sixteen (16) units that will leave each pylon on the Legacy Walk with two plaques, completing Phase II with thirty-four (34) markers."

Installation of the mechanical housings will begin in early October. Plaque attachment to the mechanical housings will begin a few days before the October 11 dedication date. "That date — 'National Coming-Out Day' — is extremely important to both the community and to the Legacy Project. The idea for this installation was conceived on the very first National Coming-Out Day in 1987 — a day set-aside at the National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights to recognize the contributions of our ancestors and to encourage closeted people to come out and embrace their shared heritage. The Legacy Walk will thus be dedicated on October 11, 2012 — twenty-five (25) to the day that the idea was first inspired." Upon its dedication the Legacy Walk will be the only outdoor installation of its kind in the world.

Dedication Day for the Legacy Walk will be an all-day affair. The main dedication ceremony will take place in a tent being erected in the parking lot of the 7-11 on the corner of Halsted and Roscoe Streets.

(The tented ceremony is a ticketed affair and seating is limited.) Prior to the ceremony there will be a "Pre-Ceremony" VIP event at Sidetrack where attendees will have an opportunity to meet a number of "Visiting Dignitaries" who are making the trip to Chicago for the dedication. The ceremony will feature invited guest speakers Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and 44th Ward.

Alderman Tom Tunney — all of whom endorsed the Legacy Project and the Legacy Walk early on — and will conclude with an orchestrated street ceremony where all eighteen (18) historic markers will be revealed simultaneously. The ceremony will be followed by a private reception at Sidetrack.


VIP pre-event gather: Sidetrack Cherry Bar 2 p.m - 2:45 p.m.

Visiting Dignitaries to include:

Dr. Wilhelmina Perry, partner of Dr. Antonia Pantoja, famed Puerto Rican activist

Mr. Walter Naegle, partner of Civil Rights Pioneer Bayard Rustin

Mr. Michael Bedwell, Leonard Matlovich estate, escorting the Matlovich Family

Mr. Nathen Steininger, representing the Two Spirit Nations of North America

Dr. Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, Biographer of Dr. Margaret Chung, World War II Patriotic Icon

Ms. Anne Moore, Univ. of Mass., representing Kay Lahusen, Barbara Gittings's partner

Mr. Vernard Gilmore, Principal Dancer of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Special Invited Guests:

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Alderman Tom Tunney

Special Guest Attendee:

Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter Matt Alber

Tented Ceremony: 3347 N. Halstedm 3 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.


Guest speakers

Video about the creation of the Legacy Walk

Closed-Circuit broadcast of the outdoor reveal

Keepsake Program Book Street Guides

Free outdoor reveal: Halsted from Melrose to Bradley. 4 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Individual gatherings around each pylon for the simultaneous reveal

Keepsake Program Book Street Guides will be distributed by volunteers at each pylon

Post-ceremony reception, Sidetrack, Glass Bar, 4:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Sponsored bar by Halsted Vodka

Catered buffet by J&L Catering

Special music and video selections

Featured Performer: Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter Matt Alber

$100 general admission includes:

General Seating at the Tent Ceremony

Keepsake Program Book Street Guide

Post-Ceremony Reception

Commemorative Pin

$200 VIP admission includes:

Pre-ceremony gathering with dignitaries and special invited guests

Reserved seating at the tent ceremony

Keepsake Program Book Street Guide

Post-ceremony Reception

Commemorative pin

VIP Gift Bags

Gold Level corporate sponsorships

Levi Strauss & Co.

Orbitz Travel — The Official Travel Partner of the Legacy Walk

Sidetrack, The Video Bar

Halsted Vodka

Windy City Media Group


The Legacy Walk has been endorsed by dozens of educators, historians, community activists, business

leaders, youth advocates and elected officials — including Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Sponsors of the 2012 dedication inductees :

OSCAR WILDE: Tom Chiola and Drew Jemilo



ALVIN AILEY: Fifth Third Bank

BARBARA GITTINGS: Adler School of Professional Psychology

LEONARD MATLOVICH: James Darby and Patrick Bova

REINALDO ARENAS: Arthur Johnston and Pepe Peña

ALAN TURING: Joseph Coray and Victor Salvo


ALFRED KINSEY: Northalsted Business Alliance

BAYARD RUSTIN: Equality Illinois

KEITH HARING: Highfield Group

MARGARET CHUNG: Levi Strauss & Co.

HARVEY MILK: Levi Strauss & Co.

BARBARA JORDAN: Levi Strauss & Co.

FRIDA KAHLO: Highfield Group

JANE ADDAMS: Heartland Alliance


NOMINATION AND SELECTION: All Legacy Walk Inductees were part of a two-year-long nomination process which produced over 160 nominees. After passing initial academic screening to confirm sources, all nominees were subjected to extensive analysis so that a suitable biographical text could be generated to capture the highlights of their contributions. In the summer of 2011 qualifying nominees were submitted to a demographically-balanced Selection Committee made up of community leaders, academics, researchers, biographers and PhD historians who voted to arrive at the first list of Candidates for induction. Biographies for sponsored candidates were forwarded

to an independent body of over twenty (20) international historians for verification and certification before being submitted to the City of Chicago for final approval as the project's Co-Sponsor.

SPONSORSHIPS: Each Candidate for Induction is available for sponsorship by individuals, groups, organizations or businesses for a fee of $10,000. Candidates are paired with sponsors, based on a binding interest, and are guaranteed placement on the streetscape for a minimum of two years.

FUNDING: The Legacy Project and the Legacy Walk are funded entirely by a combination of individual donations, community-based fundraising, philanthropic monies, corporate underwriting and plaque sponsorships.



3018 N. Clybourn, Ave.

Chicago, IL 60618


From news release