Juneau’s Pride Week, hosted by the Southeast Alaska LGBTQ+ Alliance, is going smoothly despite its new virtual format. (Courtesy art / SEAGLA)

Juneau’s Pride Week, hosted by the Southeast Alaska LGBTQ+ Alliance, is going smoothly despite its new virtual format. (Courtesy art / SEAGLA)

Organizers: Despite challenges, virtual Pride week is going smoothly

And there’s stil a few days to go.

Juneau’s virtual Pride Week is going smoothly despite the new format and possible technical snags, said performers and organizers.

“We started out with our speed friending on Friday night, and we had no idea what to expect. There were about 30 people who zoomed in, and it went great,” said James Hoagland, part of the Southeast Alaska LGBTQ+ Alliance’s planning committee for the events and performer. “The technology all worked fine, but it also had this really connected feel, which was really hard to capture.”

With the coronavirus events pushing all the events online, organizers were concerned that technical difficulties could ground the event before it could hit its stride. But planning and technical focus steered them clear of the shoals, said Richard Carter, another one of the organizers and hosts.

“I think that we have some very thoughtful and technologically adept people on the committee and the board thinking about how to run these events,” Carter said in a phone interview. “I think at the same time ,we’ve been reminding ourselves not to break our backs to do something out of this world.”

The focus is on the community and carrying on the spirit of Pride Week, Carter said, rather than trying to do anything extraordinary technically. Despite that, they’ve been successful and hit few glitches so far.

By the numbers: Primary election turnout

“I hope that everyone sees the reason why we’re insistent and tenacious about continuing the tradition of Pride Week is to spread community building and provide a connection,” Carter said. “It’s a new set of obstacles and a new set of mistakes but we’re doing well, I think.”

The virtual format has also allowed for a more inclusive format for people who might not necessarily be able or want to go to bars, the traditional host for many Pride Week events, Hoagland said. It also allows performers from places like Los Angeles and New York City to video in.

“One of the cool things about these comedy events is it would be incredibly hard to get these performers here in person,” said Hoagland, who has been instrumental in organizing performers coming to visit Juneau in the past, Carter said. “Bringing folks to Alaska can sometimes be cost-prohibitive.”

Three out-of-town artists, Staceyann Chin, D’lo and Dewayne Perkins, have or will be performing for the week, videoing in from out of state.

“Watching her perform, it was as if she (Chin) was in the room,” Carter said. “The warmth of her voice, there was a strength there. It felt like we were at a live event.”

D’lo and Dewayne Perkins will be performing a comedy set on Friday, after a trivia night hosted by Abi Spofford on Thursday and preceding the week’s final even, the Glitz Drive-In Drag Show on Saturday evening.

“I hope it works for the broader vision of outdoor performance and new and innovative ways of live performing. Obviously outdoor performances in Juneau are difficult because we live in a rainforest,” Hoagland said. “We’ve got all the pieces there. It’s just getting on the same page and getting the motivation.”

The drive-in drag show is cohosted by University of Alaska- Southeast and the Gold Town Theater.

“I’ve been keeping my finger on the pulse on what’s been going on the performance world and especially the drag world,” Hoagland said. “The stage is covered. I’ll be hiding out in the box truck to host so we only have one performer on stage at a time. We’re gonna have a minimum crew to reduce risk. The university’s COVID safety committee has been involved every step of the way.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, Hoagland said, there were only 20 tickets left for the performance’s 7 p.m. showing and no tickets at all for the 9 p.m. showing. Hoagland said he was working on getting the technical wherewithal in place to broadcast the show, and hoped to have a go/no-go by Wednesday.

“I am definitely keeping tabs on what software is evolving and keeping up with our needs. I’m knee deep in trying to figure out how to livestream our Glitz drive-through,” Hoagland said. “Cords. There’s a general shortage of cords. This is my task today is figuring that out.”

Interested in watching?

The full schedule and many of the events are available on SEAGLA’s Facebook page.

More in News

Personnel from the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska load a front-end loader aboard the vessel Frontrunner for transit to Haines to provide relief and assistance in recovery efforts in Haines following catastrophic rainfall-fueled landslides, Dec. 3, 2020. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
State, local organizations respond to Haines disaster

Everyone from SAR specialists to tribal organizations to uniformed services are helping out.

Has it always been a police car? (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
Police calls for Friday, Dec. 4, 2020

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
COVID at a glance for Thursday, Dec. 3

The most recent state and local numbers.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
COVID at a glance for Wednesday, Dec. 2

The most recent state and local numbers.

Rep. Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage, speaks during the House Finance Committee meeting as they work on SB 128, the Permanent Fund spending bill, in the Bill Ray Center in 2016. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Razor-thin state House race gets a recount

Recount starts Friday morning.

Gordon Chew uses a GoPro on a pole to assess the humpback entanglement while Steve Lewis carefully negotiates the full circumference of the whale. (Courtesy photo / Rachel Myron)
‘Small town’ residents rescue big animal

Nearly 20 people braved choppy seas and foul weather to free the snared whale

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
COVID at a glance for Tuesday, Dec. 1

The most recent state and local numbers.

Most Read