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Protestors want Walton Arts Center's reversal of drag ban, stepping down of leaders, refunds to ticketholders

After their protest on May 20, the organizers of the protest gathered over 750 signatures in 24 hours.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansans for Social Justice organized a protest against the drag ban at the Walton Arts Center and has collected over 750 signatures on a change.org petition to "reverse their controversial ban on drag performances when minors are present."

The petition also asks for Peter Lane, president and CEO of the Walton Arts Center, and those who made this "harmful decision" to step down. It also asks for refunds to be given to ticketholders who request it.

The organization calls the decision "homophobic and bigoted."

According to a press release by the organization, they hope their petition will "allow community members to make their voices heard and ultimately lead to change within The Walton Arts Center.”

Caitlin Draper, co-founder of Arkansans for Social Justice, said the organization believes the censorship of art alienates the LGTQIA+ population and is not in line with the Walton Arts Center's mission and values.

"The drag ban at the WaltonArts Center perpetuates dangerous stigma around the LGBTQIA+ population, insinuating that performers who use drag as a medium are somehow unsafe," Draper said in the release.

The organization hopes to meet with executive leadership at the arts center but has not yet heard back from them.

The petition can be found here.

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