May 1, 2024 - News

Utah Pride Center to reduce spending on upcoming festival

Chad Call speaks at a podium.

Chad Call of the Utah Pride Center. Photo: Kim Bojórquez/Axios.

Utah Pride Center leaders plan to rein in spending at the annual pride festival after the LGBTQ+ advocacy group has dealt with financial turmoil and two rounds of layoffs in the past year.

State of play: The center will scale back on staging and production planned for the 2024 event and hire local talent to "mitigate some of the performance fees," the nonprofit's new executive director Chad Call told reporters Wednesday from its new downtown Salt Lake City headquarters.

  • Call also announced the festival's theme will center around building unity in Utah.

Between the lines: Call was previously announced as the center's interim director in March after Ryan Newcomb said he was stepping down six months into the job due to health concerns.

Follow the money: Last year's pride festival ran "hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt," The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

  • An audit examining the spending is in the works by an outside group and the findings will eventually be released to the public, Call noted though he did not provide a timeline.
  • He told reporters the center is "stable right now, financially."
  • The center is in the process of selling its old location near Smith's Ballpark. The sale is expected to close by the end of the week and will help pay for debt accrued in 2023.

What they're saying: Call said he empathized with community members frustrated by the center's constant changes and turnover.

  • "It's clear to me that despite all the turmoil and change that this organization is still wanted," he said. "It's still needed by the community and I'm hoping that we could still provide that stability."

What's next: The Utah Pride Parade is slated for June 1-2.

  • Single-day tickets and two-day packages are available.

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