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PRIDE MONTH CELEBRATION

JUNE 23, 2024 | 10 AM - 4 PM

Join KID Museum as we honor, celebrate, and recognize LGBTQIA+ individuals and their communities for their making, invention, creativity, and the impact they have on all of us. KID Museum is proud to be a safe, supporting, and loving community where we accept everyone, no matter who they are or who they love.

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Event Details

Crafting Pride: Make Your Identity Flag with SMYAL

10 AM - 4 PM

Come together to create your own flag, celebrating who you are and everything that brings you joy and pride!

SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders) is a local organization that creates opportunities for LGBTQIA+ youth to seize each day and prepare for the future.

Meet a Maker: Maddie E. Potter

10 AM - 4 PM

Explore ento-fashion, where the worlds of beauty, functionality, and insects meet. You might even have the chance to get up close and touch and observe these fascinating creatures alongside the entomologist from the University of Maryland Extension, Home and Garden Information Center, Maddie E. Potter.

This activity is presented in collaboration with the UMD. University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class.

Meet a Maker: Les Talusan

1 - 4 PM

Immerse yourself in the art of vinyl record-making with Les Talusan, a talented local DJ, photographer, and curator. Unleash your creativity and learn how to use a record player to create new music together.

Meet a Maker: Arma Dura (Armando Lopez-Bircann)

1 - 4 PM

Join Artist Armando Lopez-Bircann (Arma Dura) to learn about eco-friendly 3D printing, wearable artwork, and make your own small plant-like sculpture by using a 3D pen to join 3D printed parts.

Meet a Maker: Dana Bolles

10 AM - 1 PM

Engage with a NASA Spaceflight Engineer Dana Bolles and discover her journey to space and how she makes information accessible to all.

DIY Activities

Celebrate Pride Month at home with our free DIY maker projects.

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Celebrating LGBTQIA+ #HistoryMakers

Mx. Lee Blinder

Founder & Executive Director of Trans Maryland

As the first openly transgender chair of a Maryland Commission, Mx. Lee Blinder is a proud, openly nonbinary, transgender, and queer Marylander, and the founding Executive Director of Trans Maryland. They served on Governor Wes Moore’s transition team and sit on LGBTQIA+ advisory boards around Maryland, facilitating transgender 101 and gender-affirming workplace training for government, medical organizations, and private companies. In addition, they lead Trans Maryland’s peer-to-peer name and gender marker change program, helping trans Marylanders get set up with IDs that truly represent them. Lee has been serving their community since they helped launch the Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) at Montgomery Blair High School in 1996. They enjoy spending time with their adopted animal companions, a cat named Basil Pasta Marinara and two dogs, Cupcake and Chickpea.

Pronouns: They, them, theirs.

Mx. Lee Blinder
Founder & Executive Director of Trans Maryland
They, them, theirs

Dana Bolles

Spaceflight Engineer & Science Communicator

Dana Bolles has always lived her life outside of the status quo. Even though she’s been working in the space industry since 1994, people see her disability first, making assumptions about what she can and can’t do, but that doesn’t stop her, saying “People need to get to know people first and appreciate all of our abilities.” Dana’s career in space has focused on safety and regulatory compliance, both for the astronauts as a payload safety engineer, and for our home planet as a member of an environmental compliance team. She’s also worked to research and minimize the risks of space exploration, ensuring better safety for her fellow humans as they venture deeper into space. Today, Dana manages the day-to-day operations of a science communications website, getting scientific information to as many people as possible.

Pronouns: She, her, hers.

Dana Bolles
Spaceflight Engineer & Science Communicator
She, her, hers

Phillip Alexander Downie

Visionary Advocate & Leader

Pride Month officially takes place in June, but for Phillip Alexander Downie, it’s a year-round commitment. Phillip is a visionary advocate and leader whose dedication and passion for justice has reshaped Montgomery County’s approach to inclusivity and equality. As the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the MoCo Pride Center, Inc., and leader of the Montgomery County Pride Family, he has pioneered programs that serve the most marginalized and underserved communities in the region and created beacons of advocacy. As a Co-Chair of the Coalition for Inclusive Schools & Communities, he has been instrumental in advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights within the educational system. Phillip even channels his advocacy through media, creating impactful, independent content like “Black LGBTQ Pioneers,” “Black Girl Magic Stories” and “The MoCo Pride show.” Through his local TV programs and live events, he continues to celebrate and spotlight the diversity and strength of the LGBTQIA+ populace. In 2024, his show “LIYT Nights & Drag Duels'' received DCTV’s first Emmy nomination.

Pronouns: He, him, his.

Phillip Alexander Downie
Visionary Advocate & Leader
He, him, his

Armando Lopez-Bircann aka Arma Dura

Multidisciplinary Artist

Under the pseudonym Arma Dura, artist Armando Lopez-Bircann uses innovative technologies to engineer sculptures that can be physically and digitally worn. Raised in the Dominican Republic and based in Washington, D.C, Armando describes themself as a "digital native," crediting their obsession with anime for their first foray into online communities. They work as an independent artist and have designed works in collaboration with dancers, circus performers, photographers, videographers, musicians, and other artists. They have even given a talk at the Hirshhorn Museum, received a Wherewithal Research Grant, and is a DC Commission of Arts and Humanities Fellow.

Pronouns: They, them, theirs.

Armando Lopez-Bircann aka Arma Dura
Multidisciplinary Artist
They, them, theirs

Lillian Martinez

Chemical Engineer & CEO of oSTEM

Out in STEM — also known as oSTEM — is one of the world's largest organizations for LGBTQIA+ people in STEM, with hundreds of chapters both abroad and in the United States. At the forefront of their work is Executive Director and CEO Lilian Martine. Lilian is a fierce community activist whose challenging experiences as a Queer Latina in STEM inspired her to pave the way for other queer scientists. Since joining oSTEM, she has instituted multiple scholarship programs and aid funds to alleviate economic barriers for LGBTQIA+ students entering STEM fields. Lillian also created a Professional Development Summit to provide concrete support networks for her fellow queer scientists.

Pronouns: She, her, hers.

Lillian Martinez
Chemical Engineer & CEO of oSTEM
She, her, hers

Dr. Nergis Mavalvala

MIT Astrophysicist & Dean

“Women can, must, and should do anything and everything,” is what Dr. Mavalvala believed as a child. Now, in her role as the first woman Dean at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), she makes sure that younger women believe the same. As an astrophysicist, Professor Mavalvala has long specialized in the physics of gravitational waves. She spent decades working on the problem of how scientists might observe these important forces, refusing to be deterred by the idea that something might be “impossible.” One day she succeeded, and in 2015 was part of the team of scientists who first observed the “ripples” of gravitational waves in the fabric of spacetime! Gravity isn’t the only invisible force Professor Mavalvala has observed: as an out, proud, lesbian from a family of Pakistani immigrants, she knows firsthand how various prejudices can impact aspiring STEM students.

Pronouns: She, her, hers.

Dr. Nergis Mavalvala
MIT Astrophysicist & Dean
She, her, hers

Madeline E. Potter

Entomologist & Outreach Educator

As a queer woman who considers herself “straight-passing,” Madeline Potter knows firsthand that first impressions can be deceiving. As a child, she thought insects were scary; however, after taking a college course with a passionate professor, her eyes were opened to the diverse world of insects. Since then, she’s strived to empower others to embrace the world around them through insect-themed education and outreach, saying, “I love to let people know they could be the one to find a new insect species or raise awareness for conservation through art.” Madeline is a Faculty Specialist for Entomology and Integrated Pest Management with the University of Maryland Extension where she teaches the public about better practices of insect conservation and sustainable pest management. Her favorite part of the job is showing off the University’s portable Insect Zoo.

Pronouns: She, her, hers.

Madeline E. Potter
Entomologist & Outreach Educator
She, her, hers

Mercury Stardust

DIY Educator & Activist

Known as the Trans Handy Ma'am, Mercury Stardust is a popular DIY and home repair TikToker combining their expertise in home maintenance with her dedication to trans activism. She embraces DIY because it allows everyone to take control of their own lives. Mercury takes the time to share clear, playful instructions on her social media to spread the message that anyone can start making their house their home. Mercury also uses her platform to advocate for her community. As a proud trans-femme person, she hopes to inspire young LGBTQIA+ makers to "live their truth boldly" and to educate allies on how to support their LGBTQIA+ family, friends, and neighbors, especially in rural communities like the one they grew up in. As she likes to say, “You’re worth the time it takes to learn a new skill.”

Pronouns: She, her, hers & they, them, theirs

Mercury Stardust
DIY Educator & Activist
She, her, hers, they, them, theirs

Les Talusan

DJ, Photographer, & Curator

Les Talusan immerses people in the joy of community-powered discovery. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines they moved to Washington, D.C. at age 20. They’ve since performed as a DJ throughout the U.S. and abroad. Fueled by their own story of resilience, liberation, and courage as an immigrant, parent and survivor, Les brings to the center the songs long cherished, remembered, and celebrated by people of the global diaspora. Les is also the co-founder and co-curator of SAMASAMA, an AAPI art collective, and the co-founder of Sampaguita Rock Camp for Filipinx Girls. Their photography has been featured in TIME Magazine and on NBC News. Les also volunteers with Girls Rock! DC as a DJ instructor and band photographer, using their talents to teach the next generation of history makers.

Pronouns: They, them, theirs.

Les Talusan
DJ, Photographer, & Curator
They, them, theirs

Access for Every Maker

KID Museum is dedicated to expanding access to STEM and maker learning opportunities for all by providing free and reduced-cost opportunities to participate in our programming.

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