Spark Notes
Celebrating Pride Month
Luci Creative
June 22, 2022
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This Saturday, Chicago will host its annual Chicago Pride Parade. To celebrate #PrideMonth, we asked our team members who are the people in the LGBTQ+ community who inspired us. Thank you to our team members for sharing.

Roxane Gay and Debbie Millman

Roxane Gay and Debbie Millman are a creative power couple, each with their own impressive careers, built over decades of work. Roxane is the best-selling author of Hunger and Bad Feminist. Debbie Millman is a design legend, and host of the award-winning podcast Design Matters…I honestly struggle to put Debbie’s influence into words. Her latest book, Why Design Matters, should be on everyone’s bookshelf, coffee table, or bedside.

-Jaime Hotz, Associate Director of Graphic Design

Jack Halberstam

Jack is a nonbinary queer and literary studies professor, author of Female Masculinity and The Queer Art of Failure. Jack is a popular speaker and gives lectures around the country and internationally every year. Lecture topics include: queer failure, sex and media, subcultures, visual culture, gender variance, popular film, animation.

-Laurel Overstreet, Exhibit Developer

Robyn Kanner

Robyn Kanner is the founder of the creative agency Studio Gradients and the former Senior Creative Director of the Biden-Harris Presidential campaign. Largely self-taught, she describes herself not as a designer, but a storyteller. Every detail of her work contributes to solving the larger problem, leading to the appearance of effortless design.

-Elissa Jacobsen, Marketing Graphic Designer

Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha P. Johnson was an activist, self-identified drag queen, performer, and survivor. She was a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. Marsha went by “BLACK Marsha” before settling on Marsha P. Johnson. The “P” stood for “Pay It No Mind,” which is what Marsha would say in response to questions about her gender.

-Agustin Guzman, Graphic Designer

Francis Cannon

Frances Cannon is a queer, multidisciplinary artist based in Melbourne/Narrm. They work predominantly in drawing and painting in ink, gouache, and watercolor. Frances is well known for their simple yet nuanced style of black and white illustration. I absolutely love their illustrations and art style; it is so whimsical and relatable.

-Olivia Mullenax, Project Coordinator

Keith Haring

I can remember watching a documentary about him as a teenager long ago and having an “ah ha moment” when the LGBTQ+ messages in his art became clear. I happened upon this program, coupled with a family member of a friend who had AIDS (but no one called it that or spoke of it in that way within their family), that really helped me to start to learn more about the whole PRIDE movement.

-Amy Bornkamp, Project Strategy Director

adrienne marie brown

brown is the author of one of my favorite books Emergent Strategy, which translates Octavia Butler’s fiction into a blueprint for making social change. One of the core principles that brown shares in the book is “Never a failure, always a lesson.” Working to internalize this principle has radically reframed the way I approach my work, relationships, and communities.

-Isabel Singer, Senior Exhibit Developer

bell hooks

bell hooks grew up between the hills and a segregated town. Her early schooling presented Kentucky as race-neutral, neither pro or anti-slavery. But school children routinely visited Jefferson Davis’s birthsite, a Confederate monument miles from her hometown. Some of my favorites of her writing are Appalachian Elegy and Belonging: A Culture of Place.

-Laurel Overstreet, Exhibit Developer

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