Movers & Shakers: Raleigh Center is growing, reaching out

Shared office space and regional programs introduce new center to community

The LGBT Center of Raleigh has a new home!
Get out the moving boxes. Be sure to call U-Haul. The LGBT Center of Raleigh announced Wednesday it has found a location for its first-ever public location. Triangle Community Works, with which the Center recently teamed up in a “strategic partnership,” will be joining them. Read more…

The dream of an LGBT community center in Raleigh and for the Triangle is fast becoming more reality than dream.

Last fall, organizers with the LGBT Center of Raleigh kicked off their initial fundraising stages and made their public debut at their first Coming Out Day event.

Board member Glenn Medders told qnotes in October he viewed the Center as a community catalyst. Its board and

supporters are working now to reach out to other organizations and increase awareness across the area.

In December, the board announced a new partnership with Triangle Community Works (TCW). The two groups will share office space and work together on creating and maintaining programs benefiting the Triangle LGBT community.

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Center board member Anthony Garcia-Copian is pleased and excited about the new working relationship with TCW.

“They are such wonderful people and they already have such wonderful programs,” he said. “We are able to help them and they are able to help us and together we can work for the community.”

Q Night at Steel Blue

The LGBT Center of Raleigh will host its first Q Night at Club Steel Blue in Durham on March 5 at 7 p.m. The event included live entertainment, a luxury raffle and speed dating.

Want to go?
Club Steel Blue
1426 S. Miami Blvd.
Durham, NC 27703
919-596-5876
clubsteelblue.com
lgbtcenterofraleigh.com

The Center and TCW are working together but will remain independent in the foreseeable future. At some point, the two groups might discuss further the possibility of a merger.

“We have talked about that, because we’re both striving to do the same thing — create programs to do outreach for the community,” Garcia-Copian said.

In March, the Center will host one of its first major outreach programs. They’ve established “Q Nights” which will take place monthly at LGBT and LGBT-friendly establishments across the Triangle region. The group will use it as a chance to familiarize itself with community members and needs and allow the community to get to know them.

“It is importnat to bring people together and sort of connect people with other people,” Garcia-Copian said.

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Bobby Hilburn, another Center board member, said the new Q Night events will create opportunities to reach out beyond Raleigh.

“We want to use them to really reach out to the outlying areas, too,” he said.

Garcia-Copian agreed: “We want to go to Chapel Hill and Durham and other places. The idea is to keep things going every month, get feedback and help people. I feel the community is just too spread out.”

The Center is continuing to encourage folks to join its Founder’s Triangle fundraising campaign. They are seeking 1,000 people who will make a one-time donation of $100 or more. Those initial donors will be honored in a permanent artistic display inside the new Center’s home.

“The Founders’ Triangle really creates a grassroots effect,” Hilburn said. ‘It feels like everyone has a stake in the Center.”

As of now, 100 community members have met the Founders’ Triangle $100-plus contribution goal. Garcia-Copian and Hillburn encourage others to join the cause. Donations can be made online at lgbtcenterofraleigh.com. : :

This article was published in the Feb. 20 – Mar. 5 print edition.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer is a staff writer for QNotes. He previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015.