Harvey Milk's speech on Real Audio

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Posted by Elaine Carol on June 08, 1999 at 01:50:02:

Dear Mr. Kelley:

I am an "out" dyke Canadian artist in receipt of a Canada Council for the Arts grant to make an experimental radiophonic work about Pride or Freedom Days in North America.

The Canadian sections will focus on the contemporary and the U.S. sections will focus on the historical/archival.

Last year I travelled to San Francisco and spent some time digging through the archives at the Gay & Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California. In a box was what seemed to be a copy of the actual typed speech Harvey Milk made at the 1978 Freedom Parade in San Francisco. I have been trying to find out how I would obtain the audio portion of this speech. After seeing the QAR web-site, it seems to me that the speech you have on Real Audio is what I am looking for.

I have also recently travelled to New York where I interviewed Stonewall Veterans and found archival footage of what may or may not be from the actual rebellion in Greenwich Village of June 1969. There is quite a debate among the vets as to whether or not it is real, which makes it all the more interesting for me!

Would you know how I would go about obtaining the audio and the rights to use Harvey Milk's actual coming out speech? It is so fabulous and archivists at the Society told me that Mr. Milk used the same speech in various formats over the last year of his life, including at the Pride Parade Rally. I also checked with a number of radio broadcasters including Randy Alfred and archivists including Guy Morrison and individuals at KPFA, but no one had the speech on tape. Some have told me to check with Rob Epstein, but I am not certain, after checking with a number of local, professional film documentarians, if the audio tape is necessarily his to sell. It would depend who actually is in control of Mr. Milk's estate, which is obviously something you would be up on.

Please keep in mind I have limited resources for this project - in fact after all the travel, interviews and taping including NYC, SF, Toronto, Prince George (a small northern community, quite "red neck," in British Columbia with a particularly fierce Pride Day in the light of all the dangerous and blatant homophobia up there), and Halifax in 2 weeks - there is actually no grant money left, but I would be willing to go out of pocket if the rights are reasonable.

Being a radio art piece, there is little chance of me actually making any real money off of it.

Thanks for your attention to this matter.

I look forward to your response.


Elaine Carol
#310-1016 East 8th Ave.
Vancouver, BC
V5T 1T9

Ph: 604-873-6522
Fx: 604-873-2909

E-mail: elaine-c@mdi.ca

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