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June 17, 2021

MoPOP Announces New Exhibition: Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement
Opening June 26

Exhibition explores U.S. and Seattle LGBTQIA+ history and its intersection with pop culture through artifacts, photographs, videos, and more

SEATTLE (June 17, 2021) — As Seattle’s annual Pride celebrations get underway, the Museum of Pop Culture will open the touring exhibition Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement beginning June 26. Rise Up explores the cultural transformation that propelled an underground movement into an intrinsic element of who we are as a nation. With stories as diverse as the LGBTQIA+ community itself, Rise Up looks at the pop-culture touchstones, political battles, creative luminaries, enduring challenges, and joyous victories that mark an ongoing period of change in American history. Tickets are on sale now and are included with museum general admission -- learn more >> 

“Pride commemorates an uprising and we’re excited to show how the road from Stonewall has spurred the LGBTQIA+ community to use tools from protest to pop culture in demanding equal rights,” said Amalia Kozloff, MoPOP’s curator for the exhibition. “As we continue to break down barriers based on people’s gender identity and expression or sexuality, we can look to our community’s rich history to reinvigorate our resolve.”

First appearing at the Newseum in Washington, DC, Rise Up uses powerful artifacts, images, and historic print publications to tell the story of the modern LGBTQIA+ rights movement from its nascent days in the 1950’s and 60’s to the watershed moment of the Stonewall rebellion to more recent political and cultural battles. With much so much of that progress happening right here in Seattle — the early passage of statewide marriage equality and representation in city and state government by trans and queer individuals, to the long-standing and vibrant community of LGBTQIA+ artists, creatives, performers, and activists — unique to the Seattle run, a portion of the exhibition will be dedicated to the local community and its intersection with creative expression and popular culture.

“Seattle has long been a magnet for LGBTQIA+ people with pop culture as an integral part of the community’s history and present,” added Kozloff.

Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement was developed by the Newseum, an affiliate of the Freedom Forum, which fosters First Amendment freedoms for all.

Exhibition Highlights Include:
  • Early issues of One, Mattachine Review, and The Ladder magazines
  • Historic photos and stories of pioneering activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera
  • Picket sign used in a June 1965 protest at the Civil Service Commission in Washington, DC
  • Harvey Milk campaign poster from his successful 1977 run for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • An 8-color flag designed by Gilbert Baker, the originator of the pride flag that has spawned numerous evolutions (pictured)
  • Suit jacket and skirt worn by Tammy Baldwin for her first swearing-in to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1993
  • Martina Navratilova’s tennis racket and Greg Louganis’s Gay Games medal
  • The gavel Nancy Pelosi used to announce House passage of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
  • Local community members and icons, including rock band Thunderpussy performance costumes and photos, Lampshade crown worn by Aleksa Manila at the Imperial Sovereign Court of Seattle and the Olympic and Rainer Empire coronation (2016), original comic artwork by Ellen Forney, and a video installation by J Mase III
  • A community resource wall for information on how to access assistance and get involved

Now in its 20th year, MoPOP is a leading-edge nonprofit museum in Seattle, dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary pop culture. With a mission to make creative expression a life-changing force by offering experiences that inspire and connect our communities, MoPOP reaches multigenerational audiences through our collections, exhibitions, and educational programs. At MoPOP, artists, audiences, and ideas converge, bringing understanding, interpretation, and scholarship to the pop culture of our time. For more information, visit




Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Movement explores the June 1969 police raid of the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village as the flashpoint that ignited the modern gay rights movement in the United States. Through powerful artifacts, images, and historic print publications, the exhibit explores key moments of LGBTQIA+ rights history, including the 1978 assassination of Harvey Milk, one of the country’s first openly gay elected officials; the AIDS crisis; Rep. Barney Frank’s public coming out in 1987; the effort for hate crime legislation; the implementation and later repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell;” and the fight for marriage equality.

Rise Up also looks at popular culture’s role in influencing attitudes about the LGBTQIA+ community through film, television, and sports, and explores how the movement harnessed the power of public protest and demonstration to change laws and shatter stereotypes.

Museum of Pop Culture
325 5th Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

June 26 - September 12, 2021

Key Dates
  • Tickets Now on Sale
  • Press Preview: June 23, 2021
  • MoPOP Member Exclusive Preview: June 25, 2021
  • Exhibition Open to Public: June 26, 2021

Rise Up is included with museum general admission. For details and tickets, visit >>

For available exhibition photography, please visit our online press room here >>

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Michelle S. Leyva, Michelle Sanders Communications
(206) 595-1151