The Jacksonville Symphony’s First Pride Night: Celebrating Love Through Music
Written by Sara Albertelli, Engagement and Communications Manager
Partnering With JASMYN
On May 26, 2022, the Jacksonville Symphony will conclude its Symphony In 60 series for the 2021/22 season by hosting its first ever Pride Night. The Symphony will partner with JASMYN, an organization dedicated to promoting the empowerment of LGBTQIA+ youth through a variety of supportive services.
“The Jacksonville Symphony is thrilled to partner with JASMYN to host our very first Pride Night and mark the evening as an exciting moment in our organization’s history,” said Steven B. Libman, President and CEO of the Jacksonville Symphony. “We are proud to pair our mission of enriching lives through symphonic music with JASMYN’S mission to make the community a more welcoming place for its youth.”
Symphony In 60 Program
At 6:30 p.m., Music Director Courtney Lewis will conduct the Symphony in a one-hour performance in Jacoby Symphony Hall titled Mozart & Juliet. Giovanni Bertoni, the principal clarinetist of the Jacksonville Symphony, will perform the first piece on the program: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. The concert will then conclude with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s beloved Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy.
To purchase tickets for Mozart & Juliet: Pride Night, please visit the event page.
50/50 Raffle Donation To JASMYN
Prior to the concert, the Symphony will host a cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m. in the Times-Union Center of the Performing Arts lobby where patrons will raise their glasses both to a spectacular season of music and LGBTQIA+ pride. In this celebration, the Symphony will hold a 50/50 raffle and donate the proceeds to JASMYN.
“At JASMYN, we know that the LGBTQIA+ community is part of every aspect of life from classical to pop music, across party lines, in the military and in every business in America today,” said Cindy Watson, CEO of JASMYN. “To have an institution in Jacksonville like the Symphony create this safe space and acknowledge their support of the full spectrum of queer people here is a bellwether for others.”
JASMYN will direct all funds raised at the Symphony In 60 Pride Night to its Youth Pride Fund, which directly benefits LGBTQIA+ young people by making programs, events, and special opportunities possible at JASMYN.
In the past, the Youth Pride Fund has helped make JASMYN’s Storybook Prom possible when it was cancelled elsewhere as well as JASMYN’s Pride Parade float and the Summer Art Series where professional artists work with young people to foster meaningful and creative expression.
Over the last 28 years, JASMYN has supported the empowerment of LGBTQIA+ young people through leadership, advocacy, resources, and a safe and affirming community. JASMYN has partnered to help create the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality, which was responsible for leading the push for the Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) to pass in 2017 that gave LGBTQIA+ employees equal rights in the workplace and for housing.
In the organization’s 15 years of producing the Coming Out Day Breakfast each October, JASMYN has also assisted businesses with creating safe and affirming workspaces in the area. In its ongoing effort to create safe space for the LGBTQIA+ young people who visit, JASMYN has recently started work on their Safe Place Project to expand and complete their Brooklyn campus.
Jacksonville Symphony Pride
In its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, the Symphony engages in culturally responsive performances, education, and community initiatives. These core values are reflected in the makeup of its patrons, orchestra, professional staff, and board as the organization mirrors the community it serves.
Watson notes the significance of an event like the Symphony’s that brings people together to celebrate LGBTQIA+ pride.
“Love is the great constant through all of JASMYN’s work, and we love to see and hear it echoed throughout the community,” said Watson. “Music is one of the languages of love that can be understood by everyone, so it seems fitting that on Pride Night, the Jacksonville Symphony embraces its many powerful qualities to spread a message of appreciation and acknowledgment of the LGBTQIA+ community.”