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Power 2 the People of Color stage returns to Twin Cities Pride Festival

For over 20 years, the stage has been a safe space for people of color to gather.

MINNEAPOLIS — June 1 is the start of Pride Month and a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. 

A well-known event right around the corner is Twin Cities Pride Festival at Loring Park. But we can't mention Pride Fest without talking about the unique stage situated on the corner of 15th and Willow in Minneapolis. 

The area is home to the Power 2 the People of Color Stage during Twin Cities Pride. The space has live music, art, vendors, and food.

For over 20 years, the stage has been a safe space for people of color to gather.

"People come and set up all day and just hang out all day, watch the music, interact with the folks," said Roxanne Anderson, founder of RARE Productions, an art, and entertainment media production company. 

In 2000, an incident on one of the main stages was how this stage came to be.

"A trans woman of color was performing on a stage. In the middle of her performance, the DJ cut the music. She was asked to leave the stage. The stage manager didn't like their performance," said Anderson.

The performer demanded people of color get their own stage; so incidents like that don't happen again.

"It hasn't always been easy, especially in those first formative years of Power 2 the People," said Anderson. "Sometimes the community has a feeling that we've been pushed to the side."

But many people of color who have experienced the stage feel quite the opposite. They say they're thankful that they can be themselves in the space.

"People of color are always going to want and need their own spaces. Always and forever, because we don't have to deal with explaining things," said Anderson.

The stage is pulling out all the stops this year, with a "Summer of Soul" theme, looking back at the 70s.

"We're going to have a soul train that's gonna be our float," said Anderson. "And then we're going to have some artists who performed on soul train and did fashion and design."

Anderson tells us there are already about 20 confirmed artists and about 15 vendors ready to grace the space for the weekend-long Pride festival.

"I see that space being embedded with Twin Cities Pride as long as people of color that are queer-identified in the Twin Cities want that space just for them," said Anderson.

Twin Cities Pride Festival is free and runs June 25-26 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Loring Park.

Click here to learn more about the Power 2 the People of Color Stage and other festival details.

Watch the latest coverage from the KARE11 Sunrise in our YouTube playlist:

    

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