Students raise money for Prairie Pride Coalition

By Katie Fata Nov 15, 2019
Photo Credit: Katie Fata

Students raised $60 in donations through $1 bundles of fake drag show cash for Prairie Pride Coalition at the Nov. 9 Phoenix Charity Drag Show. 

Seniors Taylor Coduto and Maxwell Kleve started the biannual show in the fall semester of 2017. 

“We’re both big fans of drag and wanted to provide more opportunities for students to perform,” Kleve said. 

Coduto and Kleve transform IWU’s student-run Phoenix Theatre every year from an empty black-box space into a space with the atmosphere of a drag show. 

Cudoto is entirely responsible for designing the show’s environment. 

Every show, she has a different design concept for the space and Kleve said that is truly amazing what Cudoto creates with very little time and money. 

Kleve said that one of his favorite parts of organizing the show is working with the performers. 

The show included many performers who have participated in other shows and Kleve said that “it’s been great watching them hone their craft and get better and better with every show.” 

Performers included Emo Knievel, Miss Demeanor, Paris Texas, Constance Langtree, Cici Astrologíque, Jonbenét Wayne Gacy, Miss Shambles, Crystal Pockets and Trashíque La Croix. 

Kleve and Cudoto chose to donate proceeds from the event to Prairie Pride Coalition (PPC) in 2017. 

The PPC is a local organization dedicated to equality for the LGBTQ+ community of Bloomington/Normal and the McLean County area. 

The PPC works towards the implementation of civil rights of LGBTQ+ people and helps individuals file complaints or discuss incidents 

“We picked this organization back in 2017 because they are local and we wanted our show to contribute to making Bloomington/Normal a friendlier and more understanding community for LGBTQ folks,” Kleve said.

The show concluded with a Lizzo-themed dance party for both performers and audiences members. Students claimed to be able to hear the music all the way from Pfieffer Hall. 

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