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Rainbow Honor Walk

Rainbow Honor Walk To Be Dedicated

Rainbow Honor Walk

Rainbow Honor Walk To Be Dedicated 11am, Tuesday, September 2, 2014

All funds, over $100,000, for first 20 plaques raised privately
AT&T leads efforts with $25,000 Gift
$ 22,000 donated by Ron Collins during Beth Van Hoesen Exhibit Benefit

29 August 2014–San Francisco, CA: Over 20 years in the making and commemorating centuries of historic LGBT contributions, The Rainbow Honor Walk (, will be unveiled at 11am on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 in the sidewalks of San Francisco’s Castro District .

“These people courageously stood up as openly and self-expressed members of the LGBT community and made the world a better place through their work,” said David Perry, Rainbow Honor Walk co-founder and board chair. “They have walked the walk for human dignity and equality and so created a pathway the rest of us are humbled to tread.”

Envisioning the Rainbow Honor Walk, a volunteer committee of community leaders received the unanimous support of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to create the sidewalk monument. Each phase of construction will honor twenty individuals. The walk will eventually extend from the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy on 19th Street at Diamond down to Castro Street—the LGBT community’s “Main Street”—and will continue up Market Street with additional extensions on 18th Street. On Market Street, San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, the Walk will continue to the LGBT Center at Octavia Boulevard. All funds for the Walk’s design and manufacture – over $100,000 for the first 20 plaques — were raised privately.

“AT&T has a long history of celebrating the contributions of the LGBT communities,” said Kenneth McNeely, AT&T California President, who contributed the lead gift of $25,000 to the manufacture of the Walk’s first 20 bronze plaques. “The Rainbow Honor Walk commemorates not only the lives of these 20 extraordinary individuals, but also will inspire the next generation of community leaders.”

Comprised of 3 foot x 3 foot bronze plaques embedded in the sidewalk, the Rainbow Honor Walk salutes the groundbreaking achievements of noted LGBT individuals throughout history. The first 20 honorees were announced in 2011, and last year The Rainbow Honor Walk solicited design proposals from around the world. A jury of artists and cultural leaders selected the winning design by architect Carlos Casuso of Madrid, Spain. The plaques were manufactured by Mussi Artworks of Berkeley, California with creative oversight of the process spearheaded by Lawrence Noble, head of the sculpture department at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University.

“This permanent and growing contribution to the City of San Francisco is a fine example of how public and private partnerships can contribute to a more livable city,” said Tom DeCaigny, Chairman of the San Francisco Arts Commission which has been heavily involved in the project from its inception. “I am proud to represent everyone in the City Family — its artists, workers and construction crews — by officially dedicating the Walk.”

Earlier this year, the Rainbow Honor Walk received the bequest of original artworks by the late Castro neighborhood artist Beth Van Hoesen from the E. Mark Adams and Beth Van Hoesen Adams Trust to benefit construction of the monument. The artworks, drawings, watercolors, and prints portraying colorful personalities from the Castro, were featured in a fundraising exhibition in January 2014 at the George Krevsky Gallery in downtown San Francisco. The exhibition, Beth Van Hoesen: Portraits from the Castro, likewise generated funds for the Walk’s construction, including a $22,000 donation from Ron Collins of Marin in loving memory of his brother, Donald O. Collins.

“This is the gift that gives twice,” said Collins. “The art now hangs in my home and reminds me of my brother, and every time I see it, I know that the funds generated by their sale continue an educational and historic legacy.”

A full list of donors can by found online at

The first 20 honorees on The Rainbow Honor Walk are:

· Jane Addams (1860-1935), Social worker, first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, 1931.

· James Baldwin (1924-87), American novelist, playwright, essayist, poet, civil rights activist.

· George Choy (1960-93): Activist for Asian & Pacific Islander youth and people with AIDS.

· Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936), Spanish poet, playwright, political activist.

· Allen Ginsberg (1926-97), American poet. San Francisco Beat poet/Free speech activist.

· Keith Haring (1958-90), American artist and AIDS activist.

· Harry Hay (1912-2002), English born writer, gay rights activist. Founder of The Mattachine Society, 1950.

· Christine Jorgensen (1926-89), Pre-eminent American transgender pioneer and advocate.

· Frida Kahlo (1907-54), Mexican artist whose work has been celebrated as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition.

· Yukio Mishima nee Kimitake Hiraoka (1925-70), Japanese playwright, poet, actor, film director.

· Del Martin (1921-2008), American feminist, gay rights activist. Founder Daughters of Bilitis.

· Bayard Rustin (1912-87), American civil rights leader.

· Randy Shilts (1951-94), San Francisco journalist, biographer.

· Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), American novelist, essayist, playwright.

· Sylvester James (1947-88), American disco star, soul singer, San Francisco performer.

· Alan Turing (1912-54), British scientist who broke the Nazi’s Enigma Code and father of the modern computer, cryptanalyst, logician, mathematician.

· Tom Waddell (1937-87), American athlete, physician, founder of the Gay Games.

· Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish playwright, poet, novelist, essayist.

· Tennessee Williams (1911-83), American dramatist, poet, novelist.

· Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), English novelist, essayist, publisher.

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