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Auction of Limited NFT Art Series, Beacon of Hope and Action, to Honor Harvey Milk's Legacy and Kick Off PRIDE Month
[May 23, 2022]

Auction of Limited NFT Art Series, Beacon of Hope and Action, to Honor Harvey Milk's Legacy and Kick Off PRIDE Month

Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza (FHMP) - a San Francisco-based organization working to create a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community - has partnered with Grammy-nominated artist and LGBTQ+ activist Serge Gay Jr. and renowned photographer Danny Nicoletta to create an NFT digital art series that honors Harvey Milk's legacy. Proceeds from the NFT auction will benefit the development of the redesigned Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco's Castro District, an internationally recognized neighborhood for LGBTQ+ activism and home of the late Harvey Milk.

The auction is open from May 23, just following Harvey Milk Day, at 9:00 am ET to June 1, the start of Pride month, at 3:00 pm ET. The auction will be comprised of two unique collections - the first collection will run from May 23 at 9:00 am ET through May 30 at 9:00 am ET, and the second collection will run from May 25 at 3:00 pm ET through June 1 at 3:00 pm ET. Interested buyers can bid on the NFT art at

With hundreds of anti-queer bills filed over the past several years, from 41 in 2018 to 238 in just the first three months of 2022, the limited NFT series sets the stage for crypto, NFT and LGBTQ+ history enthusiasts and art collectors to invest in a one-of-a-kind piece of art that also advances the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community.

"As an artist, my strongest power is my craft, and I'm honored to lend that power to this movement and FHMP," said Serge Gay Jr., board member of Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza. "Digital activism, such as our NFTs, can be used to empower modern-day movements and create change. The fight for LGBTQ+ rights can often feel repetitive. Sometimes under the weight of all these attacks, it feels like we're moving backward. We must fight to break the pattern."

The NFT series - released a day after what would have been Harvey's 92nd birthday - is inspired by two of Nicoletta's original photos from the 1978 Castro Street Fair. These images were taken three months before Harvey was assassinated. The first photo is of gay icon Sylvester performing with Two Tons of Fun (later known as The Weather Girls), not far from the Castro neighborhood's Harvey Milk Plaza. The second photo depicts a group of fans watching the performance with exuberance from a fire escape. Using the images as inspiration, Gay hand-painted two illustrations as a nod to the historical significance of the times and then created a series of unique, digitally-edited NFTs.

"Since the 70s, I've seen immense victories for the LGBTQ+ community and felt our tremendous losses," said Danny Nicoletta, who worked in Harvey Milk's Castro Street camera store and was involved in Milk's victorious election as one of the first openly LGBTQ+ elected officials in U.S. history. "The only way to achieve success is through the endurance of these obstacles. Harvey's celebratory spirit was always an important reminder that we must take time to celebrate so that we're not weighed down by the heaviness of fighting."

This project honors Milk's legacy as FHMP challenges the rise in anti-queer bills, homophobia, and transphobia by advocating for a safe, public, LGBTQ+ space in the Castro and inspiring other communities to do the same.

"It feels like the closet is being rebuilt around us," said Brian Springfield, Executive Director of Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza. "We refuse to allow it. Places like Harvey Milk Plaza can serve as a beacon of hope to communities everywhere that they can create similar spaces of hope and action in service of a shared goal: total acceptance and equality for LGBTQ+ people."

More about Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza:

The Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza (FHMP) aims to reimagine Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood to become a beacon of hope for marginalized communities everywhere and to create a safe public space in Harvey's name to celebrate authenticity and inspire others at the iconic intersection of Castro & Market Streets in the San Francisco Castro community. FHMP was formed in 2016 in response to SFMTA's plans to install an elevator in the culturally sensitive Harvey Milk Plaza. FHMP's awareness of the community's 25-year journey to celebrate the slain LGBTQ civil rights leader's enduring message of hope and action at the iconic intersection of Castro & Market Streets led them to become advocates.

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