Hamilton, Ohio – Feelings were as warm as the weather when people visited the Fitton Center booth during Hamilton Pride.
Scores took the time to create customized affirmation bracelets marking the occasion of the city’s third annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community June 3 in Marcum Park.
“It’s a more subtle craft we’re doing this year,” said Caroline Digiovenale, Fitton Center education and community experience coordinator. “Not everything has to be rainbow to be pride. This is something people can make and wear that’s really personal to them. Pride is an everyday thing, not just one Saturday in June.”
Guests used miniature letter-stamping tools - each 1/8th-inch letter stood in reverse relief at the end of a pin like a drill bit – to hammer their messages onto circular steel washers. Washers sat on a heavy metal disc serving as an anvil. Crafters picked out pins, oriented them and used varying degrees of force to make their impressions.
Some swung hard, once.
Others tapped lightly, often.
All made the washers their own, stamping them with names, initials, pronouns, meaningful phrases, dates and more. Staff and volunteers banged out a rolling stock of common phrases - “pride,” “be kind,” “ally” – for visitors who didn’t want to risk whacking their thumbs (for the record, nobody did) or spend time hammering.
They looped their washers with colorful twine to be the center of their bracelets - and decorated the strings with beads and baubles – before tying them off with an adjustable knot and wearing them out into the festival.
“I love the energy,” Digiovenale said “It’s so colorful. It’s a very happy event and people are glad to be there and really celebrate this incredible community.
“There have been so many years and decades the LGBTQ+ community has been treated as an ‘other.’ To have an event specifically for them that’s safe and fun and appreciative – and a craft that specifically celebrates their impact – that’s really important.”
Enjoy some photos from Hamilton Pride 2023 in the gallery below.
The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.
Building Community Excellence through the Arts and Culture