The Richmond Football Club has become the first AFL club to sponsor Midsumma Festival, highlighting the club’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Held in summer each year, Midsumma is Victoria’s premier LGBTI arts and cultural festival.

It also provides year-round support to artists and culture-makers from the community.

“Midsumma Festival does a fantastic job of breaking down social barriers through art and cultural expression,” said Richmond CEO Brendon Gale.

“As a club we are committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive culture welcoming all people regardless of sexual orientation, cultural background, age and abilities.

“We have a proud history of embracing a broad range of diverse communities and this is evident in our commitment to our continuing work with both Indigenous and multicultural communities.

“We look forward to partnering with Midsumma Festival and all it has to offer.”

Midsumma Festival CEO Karen Bryant applauded Richmond’s commitment.

“Midsumma is a festival that intrinsically creates safe and inclusive places for communities, with diversity at its very core,” she said.

“It provides an intersection between people, ideas, stories and experiences—a focal point for connections and belonging, and strengthens cultural voices of its communities.

“We are thrilled to welcome Richmond Football Club as an important partner in assisting the festival to share important stories and provide vital development opportunities.”

Richmond hopes to incorporate the 2017 Premiership Cup into one of the festival’s three signature outdoor events.

This summer’s Midsumma Festival kicks off on January 14.

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