The Matthew Shepard Foundation will hold a 20th anniversary kick-off event on November 16, 2017, with a benefit. A cabaret-style evening of entertainment dedicated to the Shepard family and the work of the Foundation, will follow paying tribute to Matthew.
The Foundation fundraiser will host drag queens, readers, and live musicians. The performances will all be songs from 1998 –the year that Matthew Shepard was murdered and the year that Judy and Dennis decided to create the Foundation in his name and speak out on behalf of the LGBT community.
“We’re thrilled to hold this event at the historic Stonewall Inn,” said Joshua Anderson, the Foundation’s Development Director. “The history of the Stonewall Inn, now rightly a national historic monument, is an inspiration to the work we are doing today. We know that Matthew would have appreciated the history and symbolism of kicking off the organization’s next decade of work here,” said Joshua Anderson, the Foundation’s Development Director.
Judy and Dennis Shepard, the parents of Matthew Shepard–whose brutal and homophobic murder was the impetus for the Matthew Shepard Foundation as well as the Hate Crimes Prevention Act–will be speaking at the event. Jaimie Wilson, transgender country musician who recently won the Foundation’s Spirit of Matthew Award, will be performing that evening along with a number of other LGBT community members and allies.