San Francisco’s new Drag Laureate program will provide a drag performer with a platform and $35,000 stipend to participate and host community events, and serve as an ambassador for San Francisco to the LGBTQ, arts, nightlife, and entertainment communities
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced the creation of a new Drag Laureate program included in her proposed two-year budget. In the coming months, City agencies, including the Human Rights Commission, Library, Entertainment Commission, and Arts Commission, will create a working group made up of City staff and community members to establish the program’s design, with the goal of naming the first ever San Francisco Drag Laureate in the Fall of 2022.
The working group will develop the criteria and eligibility, as well as the requirements of the position during the selection process. To help support the chosen artist’s work and community engagement, the San Francisco Public Library will provide the chosen artist with a $35,000 yearly stipend, which was included in Mayor Breed’s proposed budget.
“San Francisco’s commitment to inclusivity and the arts are the foundation for who we are as a city,” said Mayor Breed. “Drag artists have helped pave the way for LGBTQ rights and representation across our city, and we must invest in programs that continue their legacies and create opportunities for the next generation of drag performers to thrive. I want to thank the drag community, Human Rights Commission, and Public Library for their work, and I look forward to crowning San Francisco’s first ever Drag Laureate this Fall.”
The idea for a drag laureate program stemmed from San Francisco’s LGBTQ+ Cultural Heritage Strategy, a community-driven effort to honor the legacy, nurture the well-being, promote economic opportunity, and ensure the longevity of San Francisco’s LGBTQ+ community. Then Supervisor Scott Wiener sponsored the ordinance to create the LGBTQ+ Cultural Heritage Task Force. The taskforce identified the needs and concerns of the LGBTQ+ community, articulated critical goals to address these needs, and presented a set of recommended actions to be undertaken by the City and local organizations.