Orlando Shakespeare Theater (The Shakes) in Partnership with UCF permanently relocated the “Angel Action Wings for Orlando” to The GLBT Community Center of Central Florida (The Center). The “Angel Action Wings for Orlando” were originally constructed by volunteers from the community to shield mourners from anti-gay protesters during the funerals of Pulse massacre victims. They have since been used at the "Beautiful Together" benefit concert held at the Dr. Phillips Center and other local and national community events, including the recent Orlando “Come Out with Pride Parade” on Saturday, November 12, 2016.
The wings were first used to block a hate group after the Matthew Shepard murder in 1998. After Pulse, the Shakespeare Scenic Shop built 49 Angel wings. “Orlando’s Angel Wings have become an inspiring image of love and unity in our community,” said Jim Helsinger, Artistic Director at Orlando Shakespeare Theater. “We have been honored to use them to pay tribute to those who lost their lives because they chose to love openly and wholly. In the end, love always wins.”
Due to the demanding performance schedule of Orlando Shakes, The Center has graciously agreed to assume responsibility of the “Angel Wings.” With this transition, the Center will manage the future use of the “Angel Wings.” All funds raised to support the care of the “Angel Wings” have been passed along to the Center as well.
“The Center is very honored to accept responsibility for the “Angel Action Wings for Orlando,” said Terry DeCarlo, Executive Director of The Center. “Personally knowing the history of the wings, what they stand for, and their specific mission, The Center is prepared to take on this assignment and will treat the wings with the utmost respect. The Center will also be creating a community “Angel Force” made up of individuals who will be trained and dispatched to special events where the wings are needed.”
In addition to the 49 sets of “Angel Wings” provided to the Center, two sets of “Angel Wings” were also donated to the Orange County Regional History Center today for a new community display.