Metro Weekly

A Decade of History

Rainbow History celebrates 10 years of preserving our past

There are times when something good comes from sheer frustration.

That’s the case with the Rainbow History Project, which came to being in 2000, founded by people who were frustrated by the lack of archives and sources of local LGBT history.

Since that founding meeting at 17th Street’s Cyberstop Café, Rainbow History has gone onto collect, archive and preserve the history, arts, and culture of the LGBT communities in the metropolitan D.C. area.

”Reaching the 10-year mark shows how much [of] a need the Rainbow History Project has filled,” says the organization’s incoming chair, Philip Clarke. ”There was a need for someone to archive community memories.”

To mark the occasion, the Rainbow History Project has planned a reception, which will be held at Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives on Tuesday, Nov. 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., where they will be displaying items from the Rainbow History Project’s archives. The event is free and open to the public.

Since 2000, Rainbow History has built a collection of taped oral histories, photographs and memorabilia from the LGBT community, giving the group ”plenty to celebrat,” says treasurer Jan Knode.

”Being a nonprofit, fully volunteer organization that has lasted for 10 years and has accomplished what we have is reason for celebration,” she says, adding that Rainbow History is looking forward to celebrating the anniversary by ”getting together with the members of the LGBT community.”

The host for the reception is the Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives, 1201 17th St. NW. For more info, to RSVP, or to volunteer, visit