HOLYOKE, Mass. – A grand opening event for the LGBTQIA community will be held on Saturday, June 3 at 3:00 p.m. to celebrate the settlement of the Sexual Minorities Archives (SMA) in its permanent home in Holyoke, Massachusetts and to inaugurate the Leslie Feinberg Library within the SMA.
The Sexual Minorities Archives is a 43-year-old, grassroots community repository of LGBTQIA literature, history, and art located in curator Ben Power’s residence at 135 Lincoln Street in Holyoke. After a hard-won struggle through displacement from its former home in Northampton, the SMA relocated and is experiencing new growth in Holyoke as one of the largest LGBTQIA archives and educational research centers in the United States.
The Leslie Feinberg Library
Transgender author and activist Leslie Feinberg donated their entire personal research library to support the SMA a few months before s/he passed away. By doing so, Leslie gifted the entire LGBTQIA community with access to the powerful body of intersectional knowledge s/he had assembled in hopes it would be useful to generations of researchers.
In addition to the SMA’s vast archives of more than 12,000 books, periodicals, subject files, multi-media and art, the SMA is now also home to the 1,250 books and archival materials in the library that Leslie Feinberg created and studied, and which formed the basis for author’s historical and theoretical analyses of oppression and resistance.
The June 3 celebration will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new, trans-dedicated Sylvia Rivera Room in the SMA where the Leslie Feinberg Library is housed, a poetry reading by lesbian poet and activist Minnie-Bruce Pratt, stories and history sharing about Sylvia Rivera and about Leslie Feinberg by SMA curator Ben Power and a delegation from Workers World Party, Boston; as well as a Mayor’s Proclamation given by Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse.
Books written by Minnie-Bruce Pratt and by Leslie Feinberg will be available for purchase. Light refreshments will be served. Wheelchair-accessible event but the restroom is not. All proceeds will benefit the Sexual Minorities Archives. Suggested donation at the door: $20 (sliding scale: $5 to $40). SMEF, Inc. is a federal 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; donations are tax-deductible.
[From a News Release]