New leadership at the Utah Pride Center, overspent on 2023 Pride Festival

Nov 15, 2023, 12:30 PM

New leadership at the Utah Pride Center...

Ryan M. Newcomb, new Executive Director of the Utah Pride Center. (Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio Reporter)

(Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio Reporter)

SALT LAKE CITY — A relaunch of new leadership is taking place at the Utah Pride Center to continue serving the LGBTQIA community throughout Utah. 

The UPC announced in a press release yesterday the relaunch includes a new board, and a new path forward to serve the community and to continue providing affirming programs. Most importantly, to provide the 2024 Utah Pride Parade and Festival sustainably. 

According to the release, the 2023 Pride Festival spent $1.5 million more than the prior year. This left UPC hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. As a result, two dozen employees experienced furloughs and layoffs. 

Utah Pride Center lays off staff, suspends September programming

The center appointed Ryan M. Newcomb as the new Executive Director. The release explains Newcomb is a longtime social justice advocate with 16 years of non-profit development and executive experience. 

The new Executive Director began his role at the end of September 2023 and has charted a sustainable path forward for UPC. 

“The new board leadership and I join public calls for full accountability and take full responsibility for correcting the mistakes of the past. We are charting a new, clearer path with a relaunched organization that will ensure this never happens again,” said Newcomb in the release. 

Utah Pride Center 2023 Pride Festival

To get to the bottom of the overspending at this year’s Pride Festival, the center will review all finances. Once reviewed, the public will have access to all information. 

In addition to updating policies for UPC, Newcomb will work to build a focused organization. Ensuring next year’s festival has a strategic plan, the release explains. 

“We aim for 2024 Pride to be much more inclusive, welcoming, and affordable than in 2023—and we will do all we can to address the concerns some members of our community have had around policing, inclusion, diversity and more,” Newcomb said in the release. 

Furthermore, the UCP aims to be in alliance with other organizations that provide similar work. For example, the center plans to stop duplicate programming that may compete with other nonprofits. 

The release explains the center will not do direct programs for seniors or direct mental health services going forward. 

To gain feedback from the community, the UPC and Newcomb will conduct a series of round tables.

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New leadership at the Utah Pride Center, overspent on 2023 Pride Festival