Arts and Cultural Programs at the DC Center

Arts and Cultural Programs at the DC Center
Arts and Cultural Programs at the DC Center
Arts and Cultural Programs at the DC Center

2017 was an exciting year for arts and culture at the DC Center.   For the first time ever, the DC Center appointed a Director of Arts and Cultural Programs.   Kimberley Bush, who was previously the Director of our film festival, Reel Affirmations, stepped into this new role and worked with our dedicated and amazing chairpersons and volunteers to coordinate all of our arts programming including:

  • Reel Affirmations: Washington DC’s International LGBTQ Film Festival
  • Reel Affirmations XTRA: Washington DC’s International LGBTQ Monthly Film Series
  • OutWrite: Our LGBTQ Literary Book Festival
  • DC Queer Theatre Festival
  • Center Arts Gallery: Our LGBTQ Visual Arts Space
  • Ignition: The Spoken Word Series

2017 brought the 24th Annual Reel Affirmations Film Festival which was held for the 3rd year at the historic Gala Hispanic Theater. We screened over 40 films over the course of 4 days ( up from 3 days in 2016) to hundreds of LGBTQ individuals, our allys and supporters. Over the course of the 4 days, over 10 filmmakers participated in Filmmaker TalkBacks/Q&A with a catered meet and greet reception. Ticket sales was not as fruitful as originally expected mostly due to the myriad of events occurring on the same weekend including Howard University’s 150th Anniversary/Homecoming and the Marine Corps Marathon just to name a few.

RA also held its first ever collaboration screening with The Studio Theatre of the film “Kiki” in conjunction with The Studio Theatre production “WigOut” in June as well as a LGBTQ film showcase during their “Taste Of Studio” celebration in August.

RA XTRA experienced huge success with 13 screenings, typically one per month and on one occasion two in one month. RA also held, apres film screening, a quarterly, multicultural director/producer Talkback/Q&A with catered cocktail reception. This year, RA introduced its’ Countries and Closets Sub-Series, which explores films that depict the lives of individuals who live in countries where to be LGBTQ is illegal or banned. We also held our first Reel Trans Film Festival during Captial Trans Pride and 2017 will mark our 3rd annual World Aids Day Film Screening.

Outwrite was extraordinarily successful with over 300 attendees over the course of 3 days in August 2017 with over 40 well received presenters/speakers and 25+ literary vendors. Many of our readings/presentations were sold out/at capacity.

The 5th annual DC Queer Theatre Festival took place October 13th and 14th at the Anacostia Arts Center and featured six talented performers in solo plays.   Our artists were Elizabeth McCain, Christopher Prince, DeLesslin George-Warren, XemiyuluManibusan, J. Scales, and Regie Cabico.

Center Arts Gallery opened in April 2017 featuring all genres of art created by LGBTQ Artisans. Our Grand Opening Reception of our first installation, in April, was free and open to the public. Our full-color exhibit showcased 14 pieces of visual art created by the group members The Art and Peer Support Group facilitated by Antonio Pineda. Mr. Pineda is a Treatment Navigator at the Infectious Disease Clinic at MedStar Health Research Institute at Washington Hospital Center, NW Washington D.C., where he specializes in helping clients who are living with HIV/AIDS.

Our next exhibit in Dec 2017, will feature the work of Jo Martinez. Jo’s art centers primarily on topics of sexuality, psychological and gender identity with recurring themes of power, vulnerability, domestic violence and the sway between them.

Finally this year’s Capturing Fire Poetry Slam took place June 9-11th.   The DC Center is proud to have been the first home for the Capturing Fire slam, founded by Regie Cabico.   We are equally excited that the slam will continue, now as an independent project, under Regie’s Leadership.

Our new spoken word initiative, Ignition, was developed in 2017 and will officially launch next year.   The Spoken Series seeks to empower Trans & Queer people through spoken word art culture. The genres include performance art, poetry slam, story telling. Ignition seeks to fuse the spoken word with all genres of expression. Ignition The Spoken Series programs are open to all Trans & Queer Allies. Look for more information about this new initiative soon.

Center Arts received generous support this year from AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the Cherry Fund, the Mayor’s Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.  We also received generous in-kind support from the Human Rights Campaign as well as Tito’s Vodka, Barefoot Wine and Lagunitas Beer.

And of course, none of this work would be possible without generous supporters like you.

Donate now to support Arts and Cultural Programs at the DC Center.

 

How We Support Survivors of Violence

Mental Health Services at the DC Center for the LGBT Community

Mental Health Services at the DC Center for the LGBT Community

Over the past year, the DC Center for the LGBT Community, has been able to provide vital mental health support services and outreach opportunities to individuals in the community that are both survivors and supporters of survivors of violence, crime, and trauma.

We provided individual and group therapy, case management, and intake assessments to over 50 survivors of violence, crime, and trauma. Sam Goodwin, LGSW, and Dr. Zelaika Clarke provided over 470 individual therapy sessions and provided case management to a total of 42 individuals through warm handoff referrals to trauma-informed providers and organizations.

The DC Anti-Violence Project, a program of the DC Center, has also lso focused on engaging and educating community members through presentations and outreach events, such as our ‘Taking the Stage, Taking a Stand: LGBTQ Voices Against Violence’ event, which uplifted the voices of LGBTQ individuals affected by violence and trauma through various artistic mediums of expression, including dance, song, slam poetry, storytelling and rap. In addition to the 5 ‘Taking the Stage’ events held over the past year, The DC Anti-Violence Project launched several presentations to increase awareness and educate community members, specifically around issues in the LGBTQ community.

One of these community presentations occurred on September 6th, 2017, when The DC Anti-Violence Project provided a community presentation training to rape crisis hotline trainee staff at The DC Rape Crisis Center. This presentation provided an overview of LGBTQ issues and terminology, which included interactive and experiential activities for participants to learn about the needs of LGBTQ survivors of violence, crime, and trauma. Role plays, videos, and didactic learning material were provided to trainee staff, and participants were invited to look at the differences between a negative experience for LGBTQ individuals in contrast to an experience in which service providers practice cultural competency and cultural humility. The DC Anti-Violence Project received a great deal of positive feedback from both participants and DCRCC staff, and have been invited back to train hotline staff in the next year.

Additionally, monthly meetings for The DC Anti-Violence Project are held on the 4th Thursday of every month, from 7-8:30 PM at The DC Center. These meetings attract members of the community searching for ways to get involved with local action to eradicate targeted violence against LGBTQ individuals, and over the past year, have focus on the following efforts: organizing action around local violence and hate/bias crimes against transgender women of color; working with Council Member David Grosso to support legislation for both increasing bystander awareness/intervention and for legalizing sex work in DC; writing community impact statements for LGBTQ-centered cases currently in the DC court system; and planning future community events and outreach with local survivor-serving organizations, such as Safe Bars, Defend Yourself, End Rape on Campus, and Casa Ruby.

Over the past year, The DC Anti-Violence Project has doubled in size of membership, demonstrating the draw and sustainability of this work, propelled forward by the deep passion and commitment of our increasing member base.
This year, The DC Anti-Violence Project was successful in referring over 122 unique individual clients to vital resources and trauma-informed services such as the DC Victim Hotline through the LGBTQ Violence Response Hotline, psychiatrists, medical doctors, and free legal aid services (e.g. The DC Volunteer Lawyer’s Project), Crime Victim’s Compensation, vocational and employment resources and classes, and law enforcement services.

Support this Work

If you would like to support work like this at the DC Center for the LGBT Community, make a donation here.

Find Out More

To find out more about this work visit www.dcavp.org.  You can also find us on facebook as facebook.com/dcantiviolenceproject or on twitter at twitter.com/dcavp.

 

 

Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony Continues Long Tradition

Veterans Day 2017
Veterans Day 2017
Veterans Day 2017

It has been a tradition continued in some form or fashion every Veterans Day since 1989.  LGBTQ Community members have gathered in the Congressional Cemetery at the grave of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich on Veterans Day to remember his service and sacrifice, and honor all our LGBT Veterans and Service Members.

Despite 12 years of exemplary service and receiving a Purple Heart, the Air Force demanded his discharge simply because he was gay.   Sgt. Matlovich made history when he came out and was the first LGBT person on the cover of Time Magazine in 1975.   This year’s service was organized by James Thonley, a USA and USMC Veteran who was himself investigated for “homosexual conduct” while serving our country.

Nearby the grave you can find the gravestones and markers of many notable LGBT activists including Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings.  Next to his grave, the LGBT Fallen Heroes Fund has purchased land to build a permanent memorial to all our fallen LGBT veterans and service members.

The Congressional Cemetery is believed to the world’s only cemetery with a LGBT Section.  In the 1980s and 1990s when the AIDS crisis gripped the LGBT Community, the Congressional Cemetery was one of the few cemeteries in the nation that would inter victims of the AIDS epidemic.

This year Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Ann Murdoch had the honor of laying the wreath.  Previous individuals who have had this honor include Lt. Dan Choi and David Merrill.

See video from the service below.  You can also see pictures from the event on the Center Military Facebook page at facebook.com/centermilitary.

Opening Remarks were provided by Luke Dier, Chairperson of Mayor Bowser’s Veterans Advisory Board.  The invication was provided by Bishop Allyson Abrams.   Readings were shared by Tiera Craig and David Mariner, Executive Director of the DC Center for the LGBT Community.   Taps was performed by SGM (Ret.) Ginger Turner.  Closing Remarks were provided by Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Eric Burns.

Thanks to everyone who made this year’s event possible.

SGM (Ret.) Ginger Turner
SGM (Ret.) Ginger Turner

Stay Connected

Center Military, a program of the DC Center, is a resource for LGBT Service Members, Veterans, and their families.  Find out more at thedccenter.org/military.  You can also find us on twitter at twitter.com/centermilitary or on facebook at facebook.com/centermilitary.

Support this Work

If you would like to support work like this at the DC Center for the LGBT Community, make a donation here.

Learn More.

Learn more about Frank Kameny here.

Learn more about Leonard Matlovich here.

Learn more about Barbara Gittings here.

 

 

 

Debrief from LGBT Health Report Meeting

DC LGBT Health Report Meeting
DC LGBT Health Report Meeting
DC LGBT Health Report Meeting

The DC Department of Health held an LGBT Health Symposium on Saturday October 21st at the Chevy Chase Community.   Community organizations in attendance included Casa Ruby, The DC Center for the LGBT Community, Smyal, and Whitman Walker Health.

Guillame Bagal took notes from the meeting.  Download Guillame’s notes using the link below.

District of Columbia LGBT Health Symposium 10.21.2017 – gb

More pictures and comments from the Symposium can be found on twitter using the hashtag #LGBTHealthDC.

If you would like to be part of the ongoing conversation about LGBT Health Equity in the District of Columbia like our facebook page at fb.com/lgbthealthdc or follow us on twitter at twitter.com/lgbthealthdc.

 

The DC Center Seeks Community Leaders

The DC Center for the LGBT Community is seeking local leaders interested in serving on its Board of Directors.
Board members’ primary duties include fundraising for and financial oversight of Center programs, active participation on one or more board committees, advocating for the diverse needs of LGBT peoples in the DC metropolitan area, and representing the Center at local events.  The Center is particularly interested in local leaders with skills in human resources, nonprofit law, events management, donor stewardship, communications, and accounting.
If you’re interested in joining an engaged and enterprising group of peers, have a deep commitment and involvement with the DC LGBT community (especially with the Center itself), and have experience in fundraising, please contact us at nominations@thedccenter.org for an informational meeting with a current board member. The Center strives for full and diverse inclusion, so candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Interested candidates should contact the Center by Friday, November 17th 2017 to be considered for a term beginning January 2018.

Former Intern Anna Coughlan Researching LGB Women and Long Term Care

Anna Coughlan
Anna Coughlan
Anna Coughlan

You may remember our amazing Intern Anna Coughlin.  While Anna was with us, she wrote this op-ed on LGBTQ Aging for the Washington Blade:  DC Office of Aging Failing our LGBT Elders.

Anna is currently working on her senior thesis which is on “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and same-gender attracted women who live in long term care”

Please read the announcement below, and if you can support Anna in this important work, you can reach her directly at accoughlan42@gwu.edu

Thanks everyone!

—————————————————————-

Hello! My name is Anna Coughlan and I am a senior undergraduate student at George Washington University. I am currently completing my senior thesis to research and understand the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and same-gender attracted women who live in long term care. As a way to expand the diversity of perspectives included in my research, I am currently reaching out to  long term care providers, long term care residents (LGBT and non-LGBT alike), and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and same-gender attracted women over the age of 60 who think they might need long term care in their lifetime. I would like to have an in person interview, about an hour in length, with these participants, and discuss their experiences and/or expectations about long term care.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact me by email at accoughlan42@gwu.edu, or by phone at 703-624-6983. You may also reach out to my professor and research supervisor Emily Morrison at Emily_M@gwu.edu, or call her office phone at 202-994-6167.

This research project has been approved by George Washington University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). Confidentially is a top priority for me while conducting this research project. Participants’ identity, and any identifying information about them, will remain confidential in all reports. I will ask to record our interview for my research notes, and the recording will be deleted after the study is concluded.

LGBTQ Aging Town Hall

LGBTQ Aging Town Hall
LGBTQ Aging Town Hall
LGBTQ Aging Town Hall

Thank you to everyone who came out to the LGBTQ Aging Town Hall.   Thanks especially to all the LGBTQ older adults who came out and made their voices heard!

To follow the discussion from the town hall, you can check out the hashtag #LGBTQAgingDC on Twitter.   Click here to see the discussion.  The Washington Blade also wrote a story about the town hall.  Click here to read the Washington Blade Story.

Here are a few quick follow up notes for folks who were at the Town Hall.

We remain steadfast in our requests from the Office of Aging.

  • Capacity building grants to LGBTQ organizations in DC that want to serve LGBTQ Older Adults
  • A congregant meal program for LGBTQ older adults in the District
  • Better data on LGBTQ older adults.

As always we encourage you to follow Center Aging on facebook at facebook.com/centeraging or on twitter at twitter.com/centeraging for updates.   You can also call the DC Center support desk during office hours at 202 682-2245.

LGBTQ older adults are welcome to join us for Coffee & Conversation, which takes place every Monday morning from 10:00 AM to Noon at the DC Center.   We also host a lunch for LGBTQ older adults on the fourth Friday of every month from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM.  Finally, we hope you will also join us on Thanksgiving Day starting at 1:00 PM (and bring your favorite board game!).

You all gave some great suggestions to the Office of Aging this week, and it remains to be seen what they will do with those suggestions.  Every older adult in the District deserves an equal opportunity to thrive in their senior years, and we know the Office of Aging is just not reaching our community the way they should be.   We will see what happens, but in the meantime, we will keep pushing for equity, I know you will keep pushing as well.  Thanks everyone!

-David Mariner

 

 

 

Strategy Sessions on Homelessness Among LGBTQ+ Adults

Mayors Office of LGBTQ Affairs
Mayors Office of LGBTQ Affairs
Mayors Office of LGBTQ Affairs

The Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs and the DC Department of Human Services (DHS) will host a series of strategy sessions on homelessness among LGBTQ+ Adults.

Homelessness disproportionately impacts members of the LGBTQ+ community. We’ve made incredible advances for youth in our city but adults experiencing homelessness also have important needs that Mayor Bowser and the government of the District of Columbia is committed to better understanding and serving. To that end, the Department of Human Services (DHS) is partnering with the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs to facilitate four community conversations about homeless services for members of the LGBTQ+ population.

In September, the first conversation will focus on the needs of single women experiencing homelessness in the LGBTQ+ community. Our goal is to create separate time and space to focus solely on key LGBTQ+ constituencies and engage expert stakeholders in identifying gaps in the existing service provision for those experiencing homelessness. Other sessions will focus on single men, LGBTQ couples and families and each session will look at addressing the needs of LGBTQ seniors.

With feedback from key stakeholders, service providers and other government agencies we can create a more informed vision and strategy for improving support to the LGBTQ community by January 1, 2018.

For more information please contact Deputy Director Terrance Laney at terrance.laney@dc.gov

The DC Center Team: Meet Lucius

Lucius

Lucius

Each week over the summer we will be highligbt a different member of our team.  First up is Lucius Campany.  Lucius is our summer Advocacy intern and will be working with several DC Center Programs including the DC Anti-Violence Project, the Youth Working Group, and Center Global.  Lucius is also taking the lead on organizing this year’s Veterans Day Memorial Service.

Lucius Campany

April 22, Taurus

Why did you start working at The DC Center?

I wanted to get involved in issues that affect people in the DC LGBTQ+ community, specifically working with issues in advocacy and representation.

What is music anthem?

Come on Eileen – Dexys Midnight Runner or anything by Carley Rae Jepsen the queen of pop

What is your favorite part about the LGBTQ+ community?

The culture that has grown among queer people #MakeNelliesQueerAgain

What is your favorite spot in DC and what do you do there?

Nellie’s Sports Bar…when they take my song requests.

What do you think the LGBTQ+ community needs to improve on?

We need to have more accepting views of gender presentation and expressions.

What is your favorite Queer movie?

The Way He Looks (2014)

What has been your favorite moment while working in The DC Center?

As corny as it sounds, getting to know the staff and marching in the Pride Parade with the center.

What clothing item is a staple in your wardrobe?

Anything and everything that is skin tight enough to start cutting off my circulation.

What color would you paint the White House, given the chance?

Millennial Pink

Who do you most look up to in the queer community?

Perfume Genius because I feel like in both their music and life they are a strong representation of what it means to be Queer.