The Colfax Ave. Utility Project

Public Installation Commemorating the History of the Stonewall Uprising

Students from the East High School National Arts Honor Society installed art on Colfax Avenue in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City that launched the modern era campaign for LGBTQ rights. The project is in conjunction with the Colfax Ave Business Improvement District (BID) and The Center on Colfax.

Working with The Center’s LGBTQ History Project, students learned about various aspects of LGBTQ civil rights history and the history of Stonewall. Inspired by The Center’s recent history exhibit about Stonewall and the activism it inspired, students created collages working with artist Adrienne Norris from Afro Triangle Designs.

The students’ artwork is displayed along Colfax Avenue. The artwork will also be displayed in the lobby of The Center on Colfax as part of the Stonewall 50 project.

Stonewall 50 - LGBTQ History Project

Online Gallery

Below, explore the art produced by students at East High School and the significant LGBTQ historical events that inspired their work. Click on the image or title for larger images and more information.

You can read more about this community project on our blog.

ONE, Inc.

Like many early activist groups, the Mattachine Society was not bound to last. Changes in how people wanted to live in their communities, including an increased desire for openness and more outright activism, precipitated major changes in activist groups...

Stonewall Timeline

The riot at the Stonewall Inn lasted for two nights, with many of the details of regarding the interactions between police and protesters coming from eyewitness accounts, including a reporter from the Village Voice who was trapped inside the bar...

Daughters of Bilitis

While other gay rights groups, such as ONE, Inc., were open to members of different genders, they often tended to be dominated by gay men. By 1955, however, there would be at least one formal organization dedicated solely to the rights of lesbian women: the Daughters of Bilitis...


Learn more about the 1960s and the historical context that lead to the Stonewall Inn riots in June of 1969. The United States was in a great period of transformation around social norms and civil rights issues...

The Lavender Scare

The Lavender Scare, coined by historian David K. Johnson from Senator Everett Dirksen’s use of the term “lavender lad,” was a series of mass firings in the US government, coinciding with the anti-communist purges directed by Joseph McCarthy known as “McCarthyism”...

Mattachine Society

Gay rights activist Harry Hay, along with his associates, held the first meeting of what would become the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles, in 1950. At the time, the small group was semi-satirically called the “Society of Fools”...