News

Honey Dijon Curates Jukebox At Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center

Pride Live, a leading LGBTQIA+ advocacy and community engagement organization, has unveiled a jukebox exhibit set to open at the new Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center (SNMVC) in New York City, featuring curated selections from community advocate and house music legend Honey Dijon.

The SNMVC will open as the first LGBTQIA+ visitor center under the stewardship of the National Park Service on Friday, June 28—the 55th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. 

Inside the visitor center, the jukebox, a replica of the original that was playing on the night of the uprising in 1969, will showcase songs selected by Honey Dijon that capture the rebellious spirit and collective joy of the Stonewall Community, arranged in categories such as “Stonewall Favorites,” “Revolution” and “Our Love,” according to a press release.

Visitors will be able to select tunes with special-edition tokens that replicate the beloved bar’s jukebox experience.

In a video interview, Honey Dijon said her song choices attempt to reflect “the temperature of the time,” explaining how Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” speaks in code about life in the underground and how Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” captures the joy of the queer dancefloor, among other meaningful tunes. Watch the full conversation below.

“When I think of Stonewall, I think of liberation, rebellion and owning your own narrative. I hope this curation gives a peek into the soundtrack of an inspiring era and the trailblazers who changed history forever, and the fact that the Visitor Center is the vision of two queer women of color, makes this project even more meaningful,” Honey Dijon said in a press release. 

She continued, “I wanted to contextualize what queer people experienced during the Stonewall Rebellion—the oppression, but also the hard-fought happiness and freedom. These Queer people had the music—and they had each other. These songs are a way for us to better understand their story.”

The full collection is now available for listening on Amazon Music’s REDISCOVER Stonewall playlist. The playlist includes mint-condition records pulled from the archives at Sony Music and ABKCO Records, including Stonewall favorites like The 5th Dimension’s “Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In” and The Isley Brothers‘ “It’s Your Thing,” and Sam Cooke’s hopeful “A Change is Gonna Come.”

Culminating nearly six years of development and a $3.2 million investment, the SNMVC will serve as an educational resource on LGBTQIA+ history and culture with tours, informative lecture series, exhibitions, a dedicated theater space, and visual arts displays.

Entry for the public is free of charge. For more information, visit stonewallvisitorcenter.org.

Featured image courtesy: Press.

Written by
Peter Volpe

Journalism student at The Ohio State University with a passion for culture and fat basslines.

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