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Pride Festival

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

This year’s Sixth Annual Druid City Pride Festival will be October 10, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama! Joining the amazing line up of musicians, entertainers, and vendors will be headliner - Ryan Jamaal Swain and our host - ABC 33/40 News Reporter Stoney Sharp! There will also be a fantastic children’s area for the little ones and pets are welcome!

(See Ryan and Stoney's bios below)

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Ryan Jamaal Swain

A breakout star of FX’s Golden Globe-nominated series, Pose, Ryan Jamaal Swain is a triple-threat actor, dancer, and singer who was named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list for his LGBTQIA+ activism. He has won critical acclaim for his portrayal of Damon, an ambitious aspiring dancer who, after being kicked out of his home for being gay, becomes part of a self-selected family in New York City’s 80s-era queer ballroom scene. Pose, which has been widely praised for its portrayal of queer and trans people of color, catapulted the frequent off-Broadway actor into the media spotlight. Swain was named by PAPER Magazine as “100 People Taking Over 2019” and has been featured in publications such as Vogue Online, Nylon, GQ, The New York Times, Flaunt Magazine and WWD. Following the success of Pose, Swain made his Broadway debut in “Choir Boy,” directed by Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney. He is currently writing a book for young adults that is based on his own life experiences growing up queer in the South.

Known for his inspiring “rags to riches story” of heading to New York City with only $50 in his pocket to pursue his dreams, Swain’s passion for performing began at an early age. He started tap dancing lessons at age four, expanding to ballet, jazz, modern and hip hop. He honed his craft at local dance and theater companies in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama and began acting during his first year at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. A first- generation college graduate, Swain earned a B.F.A. from Howard University and trained at the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, U.K. In 2014, Swain wrote and starred in “A Negro Writer”, a one-man show about Langston Hughes and his life. His other credits include a World Premiere Off-Broadway production of the critically acclaimed “Kill Move Paradise” (National Black Theatre, New York) and “13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey” (American Theatre of Actors, New York). His favorite theater roles include “Six Degrees of Separation” (‘Paul,’ Keegan Theatre, Washington D.C), “295N” (‘Jasen,’ Signature Theatre, Washington, D.C., World Premiere), “Thoughts of a Colored Man” (‘Wisdom,’ GALA Hispanic Theatre, Washington, D.C., World Premiere) and “Spring Awakening” (‘Moritz,’ City Equity Theater, Birmingham, AL).

As an activist, Swain is a Stonewall Ambassador. He notably partnered with the nonprofit It Gets Better Foundation on the “#48HoursOfLove” campaign, sharing uplifting messages of hope, empowerment and support to LGBTQIA+ students during the stressful back to school season.

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Stoney Sharp

Stoney Sharp is a Host of ABC 33/40’s Talk of Alabama at 9:00 AM and Breaking News Reporter for ABC 33/40’s Good Morning Alabama from 5:00 - 7:00 AM. He has filled several roles during his decade-long television news career including anchor and entertainment TV host. Jimmy Fallon, Dolly Parton, Liam Hemsworth, and multiple other celebrities have graced his microphone.

 

He won an Associated Press award for Breaking Sports News after Lane Kiffin’s departure sparked a student-led riot at The University of Tennessee. Stoney has also snagged an Emmy nomination for his news reporting.

 

Before an 8-year stretch at WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Stoney’s TV career began in his hometown of Columbus, Mississippi at WCBI-TV. He is a graduate of The University of Alabama’s Department of Journalism & Creative Media.