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Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement

Entered in LGBTQ+


Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement is an exhibit exploring the modern gay rights movement in the United States, marking the 50th anniversary of a June 1969 police raid of the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village. Protests following the raid are considered the catalysts that inspired the modern gay liberation movement and ongoing fight for LGBTQ civil rights.

Over the years, activists have used their First Amendment freedoms to demand an end to discrimination against LGBTQ Americans in housing, employment and public accommodations.

Through powerful artifacts, images and historic print publications, Rise Up explores key moments of gay rights history.

Strategy and Execution

Our goal was to raise awareness of the history of members of the LGBTQ community using First Amendment freedoms to create lasting change and to share that story with Newseum visitors.

The Newseum celebrated the opening of Rise Up by partnering with mix107.3 for a Family Pride Weekend, which included programming and LGBTQ organizations. Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared March 8 Family Pride Day as a result of the event and opening of the exhibit.

A Rise Up programming series coincided with the exhibit. Highlights included:

The Newseum partnered with Hamilton Hotel and actor and activist Alan Cumming to launch “The Newsroom: Rise Up” suite. Alan Cumming curated this signature suite, thoughtfully selecting artifacts and images from the exhibit that showcase key moments in the ongoing fight for LGBTQ civil rights.

A Rise Up sweepstake included a trip for two to Washington, D.C., two-night stay in the “The Newsroom: Rise Up” suite at Hamilton Hotel, two tickets to see the Newseum’s Rise Up exhibit and more. The sweepstake was promoted on social platforms for both the Newseum and Hamilton Hotel.

The Newseum also celebrated with the LGBTQ community at this year’s Capital Pride Festival, which took place in front of the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue. The Newseum hosted an activation featuring Rise Up-themed temporary tattoo giveaways. Festival-goers wearing Newseum temporary tattoos received 25 percent off general admission Newseum tickets to see the Rise Up exhibit.

The Newseum also extended invitations to notable LGBTQ figures including the cast of Queer EyeChasten Buttigieg, husband of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, Nina West, drag legend and contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s prime minister.


During the first two weeks of March, the Newseum increased social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by 33 percent to promote the launch of Rise Up. During this same period, the Newseum experienced an increase of 49.1 percent in tags, mentions, direct messages and comments from social media audiences. There was an increase of 16.9 percent in engagements on social channels and a large spike during Rise Up’s opening weekend. Impressions increased 35.5 percent, totaling more than 1.3 million on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Newseum experienced a 10 percent increase in attendance compared with the same period in 2018. This coincided with the opening of Rise Up and Family Pride Weekend. The Newseum also enjoyed attendance of 1,200 for Rise Up evening and weekend programs.


“Really enjoyed meeting with the stellar folks over at @Newseum to tour #RiseUpTheExhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. An extremely timely and informative exhibit. The fight continues.” — Chasten Buttigieg, Twitter.

“The story of equality is being told right now @newseum in Washington DC … This exhibit is both a celebration and a sobering reminder that we have so much to lose if we don’t stay united, together, in this continued fight for equality … Thank you @newseum.” — Nina West, Instagram.

In D.C. and absolutely floored by the #RiseUpExhibit at the @newseum. So much of our lgbt history represented here.” — BigDogNYC, Instagram.


Video for Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Newseum, Newseum


Entry Credits