First Pride Picnic, June 11, 2018
Town's first Pride Picnic in June 2018.

The Rainbow Commission is planning Arlington's pride activities in June -- Porchfest on the Pride Stage June 8, and the main pride celebration will be at the Senior Center from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 9.

To volunteer at either event, contact us via email

The group is thrilled to have financial support for this year's pride festivities from a Boston Pride Community Fund grant.

Arlington's first Pride Picnic drew an estimated 150 people to the Whittemore-Robbins House garden on June 10, 2018. 

Pride picnic Sunday

Please join us for the Arlington, MA Lgbtqia+ Rainbow Commission's second annual PRIDE Picnic. Bring a blanket and eat in the fresh air, or head inside for tables and chairs away from of the sun. Be sure to pack a lunch (and bring your reusable water bottles).

Sign up to help here >>

We'll have plenty of frozen treats, water, and rainbow swag waiting for you. Be sure to check out our Pride buttons and rainbow bracelets, stickers, and temporary tattoos.

For the young at heart, a balloon twister will be there 2 to 3 p.m. to make you a balloon rainbow or other creation. The crafts room will have coloring books, yarn and crochet hooks, needlepoint kits, and more. Or hang out outside and play unicorn ring toss, blow bubbles, or hula hoop.

Most important, we hope you will join us in celebrating our wonderful LGBTQIA+ community and honoring the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising that inspired Pride.

Check out the Pride Stage for Porchfest on June 8, too! (In the event of rain Saturday, Porchfest Queeraoke will be combined with this picnic.) 

This event is supported by a grant from the Boston Pride Community Fund.

The event is cosponsored by the Arlington Human Rights Commission, the Council on Aging and the Robbins Library.

Boston Pride Community Fund grant

Boston Pride has awarded a 2019 Community Fund grant to the Rainbow Commission to support our work in providing opportunities for the rainbow population to gather in community—whether in solidarity, celebration, or just to relax in each other’s welcoming company.

Bostpon ProdeThe Rainbow Commission has operated for a year and a half without a dedicated budget. We're still waiting to find out if Town Meeting will approve our full budget request this year, and any funds won't be available until July 1. This $1,500 Boston Pride Community Fund grant makes our June pride activities possible and will also support other social gatherings this calendar year.

Since 2016, Boston Pride has awarded almost $100,000 to approximately 60 local organizations, supporting its mission of promoting social justice for the LGBTQ community. The announcement was made at Boston Pride’s annual Spring Open House held on April 9 at the Boston Pride office in Boston, where 24 grant recipients received a total of $43,610.

Check out the full list of Boston Pride events and find them on Twitter.

The Boston Pride Community Fund was established by contributions received at the Back Bay Block Party, Jamaica Plain Block Party, High Heel Dash and from sponsorships. The recipients of the Community Fund grants perform vital work within the LGBTQ community and Boston Pride’s support of these groups is valuable as they may not have the resources they need to otherwise carry out their missions. Since 2016, Boston Pride has awarded almost $100,000 to approximately 60 local organizations, supporting its mission of promoting social justice for the LGBTQ community.

Porchfest Pride Stage held June 8

PorchfestThe Rainbow Commission will be hosting Porchfest's first Pride Stage on Saturday, June 8, from noon to 2 p.m., at the Academy Street entrance to the Senior Center (rain date June 9).

The group seeks two LGBTQIA+ performers/bands. If no LGBTQIA+ performers are available, we're open to allies playing songs by LGBTQIA+ artists.

We're also looking for a visual artist to display work related to LGBTQIA+ and human rights issues (and/or rainbows!) at our Porchfest stage. Apply now

Rainbow Commission applications open

The Town of Arlington seeks to appoint 2 members to the LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission. The Rainbow Commission was created to promote equality-affirming policies regarding the full spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities, and to bring greater visibility and empowerment to the LGBTQIA+ population through education, advocacy, and collaboration with other Town agencies, schools, and community groups. The Commission also works to foster community and connection among Arlington's LGBTQIA+ population, from youth to families and elders.

The Rainbow Commission was created by Town Meeting in 2017 and began in March 2018. The expanded Commission will consist of 8 members appointed by the Town Manager and approved by the Select Board, and 1 member appointed by the School Committee.

The Town works to have Commission membership be equitable and inclusive. All are welcome to apply. If you reside in the Town of Arlington, are 18 years or older, and are interested in becoming a member of the LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission, please send your resume and letter of interest to: Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine, 730 Mass Ave., Arlington, MA 02476 or townmanager at

Local LGBTQIA+ events

March 21-Aug. 25: Exhibit on “Gender Bending Fashion at the MFA.

June 6: Rainbow Commission monthly meeting, 6:30 pm, Robbins Library fourth floor conference room, 700 Mass Ave.

June 8: Porchfest PRIDE Stage, 12-2 pm, Academy Street entrance to the Senior Center (27 Maple St.).

June 9: Lexington PRIDE, 11 am – 2 pm, Visitor Center Lawn, Lexington, MA.

June 9: Arlington PRIDE, 1-4 pm, Senior Center, 27 Maple St.

June 13: Reel Queer Watches Stonewall Uprising, 6:30-8:30 pm, Robbins Library, 700 Mass Ave. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, we’re screening the PBS documentary Stonewall Uprising. “In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. Such raids were not unusual in the late 1960s, an era when homosexual sex was illegal in every state but Illinois. That night, however, the street erupted into violent protests and demonstrations that lasted for the next six days.The Stonewall riots, as they came to be known, marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world.” This film is unrated and has a runtime of 1 hour and 23 minutes.

Many of these events were copied from LexPride’s weekly newsletter. Go to to sign up.

Rainbow Commission meeting info

Rainbow Commission meetings are generally the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm in the Robbins Library 4th floor conference room, 700 Mass Ave. All Rainbow Commission meetings are open to the public. Check the Town calendar to confirm meeting dates and locations and to see meeting agendas.

All Rainbow Commission meetings and events are open to the public. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need accommodations. We regret that we generally do not provide ASL interpretation or assistive listening devices, but if you let us know at least a day before the meeting, we can bring a laptop to help with communication. Because of a shortage of qualified interpreters, we need at least 2 weeks notice to line up an ASL interpreter.

Assistance programs in Arlington

If you are in Arlington and need help making ends meet, please see the Town's website for information regarding the Food Pantry, affordable housing, fuel assistance, sports and activities assistance, and other programs.

This news brief was published Tuesday, May 14, 2019, and updated June 9.