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News Briefs: SF LGBT center reopens Sunday

by compiled by Cynthia Laird

Bright colors adorn the rear exterior of the San Francisco<br>LGBT Community Center, which reopens Sunday. Photo: Rick Gerharter
Bright colors adorn the rear exterior of the San Francisco
LGBT Community Center, which reopens Sunday. Photo: Rick Gerharter  

The San Francisco LGBT Community Center will celebrate its grand reopening and 15th anniversary Sunday, April 9 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m., followed by an open house.

The center has completed a $10.3 million renovation that includes new offices for nonprofits as well as refurbished community spaces. It will also house the offices of Theresa Sparks, Mayor Ed Lee's senior adviser for transgender initiatives. As previously reported, the renovations were done to provide financial sustainability for the center.

According to a news release, the ribbon-cutting will be attended by civic leaders, elected officials, nonprofit partners, and the LGBT community. The open house will include entertainment by local LGBTQ artists and musicians.

The event is free and open to all ages.

On Saturday, April 8, the center will hold its 15th anniversary Soiree benefit at Terra Gallery, 511 Harrison Street.

The dinner portion of the evening is sold out. Tickets are still available for the party that starts at 8:30 p.m., which includes a hosted bar and hors d'oeuvres.

Drag queen Juanita More returns as entertainment director for an evening of dancing and fun. A live auction will be called by CBS-TV and KCBS personality Liam Mayclem.

All proceeds will directly benefit the center as it expands its youth services, arts and culture, and anti-violence programs.

Tickets are $95 for the party. To purchase tickets, visit


Pacific Center expands services for seniors

The Pacific Center for Human Growth has expanded its services for older adults.

According to a news release, Alameda County Behavioral Health Services is funding an expansion of the center's services and it is launching a program to provide topical therapeutic peer support groups for isolated LGBTQ older adults in the north, east, and central regions of the county.

The "Older and Out" groups are meeting Fridays at 3:15 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Avenue, and Mondays at 1:15 p.m. at the Hayward Area Senior Center, 22325 N. Third Street. Meetings are also planned at the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District Senior Services, although a start date and time has not yet been determined.

Pacific Center officials said the groups are free and new members can join at any time. Refreshments will be provided.

Groups will be run on a rotating eight-week cycle for up to a year and will be facilitated by a team of Pacific Center clinicians with trained peer specialists assisting. Participants will decide what topics to cover, which could include dating, loss of friends, and loneliness.

For more information, contact the Pacific Center at (510) 548-8283, ext. 126 or


Library teen center now open everyday

The Mix at SFPL, an innovative, youth-designed, 21st century teen learning space located in the main San Francisco Public Library, has announced new expanded hours.

Previously closed on Sundays and Mondays, the Mix is now open seven days a week. Teens can drop by for coding classes, cooking demonstrations, open mics, songwriting sessions, poetry slams, drum lessons, and more.

The Mix provides 4,700 square feet of space and equipment for youth from the city and the Bay Area. Outfitted with state-of-the-art digital media, video and sound recording, and computer and creative maker equipment, teens are able to expand their imaginations as well as their technology and literacy skills and engage in individual and team projects that promote critical thinking, inventiveness, and skill building.

All activities and services are free.

The main library is located at 100 Larkin Street. The Mix's hours are as follows: Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; Monday, 1 to 6 p.m.; Tuesday-Thursday, 1 to 8 p.m.; Friday, 1 to 6 p.m., and Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.

For a complete list of programs and activities, visit


EQCA to honor Capehart, Jennings

Equality California will honor gay Washington Post opinion writer Jonathan Capehart and trans teenager Jazz Jennings at its San Francisco Equality Awards Saturday, May 6 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell Street.

Capehart, also an MSNBC contributor, has written on various LGBT, racial, and other social justice issues. Jennings is a TV personality who received national attention several years ago when she was interviewed by Barbara Walters. She stars in the TLC reality program, "I am Jazz."

California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will be the evening's special guest speaker.

Individual tickets are $400. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit


Alice Austen House gets NEH grant

The Alice Austen House on Staten Island, New York, was recently awarded a $250,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support updating the display of early American photographer Alice Austen's photographs and the historic museum that was once her home.

Austen (1866-1952) was the topic of a Bay Area Reporter story last fall during LGBT History Month.

Austen lived in the house, called Clear Comfort and now formally known as the Alice Austen House, with her mother when she was growing up, and later, with her longtime partner, Gertrude Tate. That the women didn't consider themselves lesbians is not lost on historians, who are now working to reinterpret Austen's story to more fully include Tate.

A team of scholars has been selected to provide expertise from a variety of perspectives to guide the museum's interpretation. These include lesbian Lillian Faderman, a scholar of lesbian history and professor emerita at Fresno State University.

The two-year NEH grant is a Public Humanities grant for Historic Places and is part of $21.7 million for more than 200 humanities projects nationwide.

The Alice Austen House is on the National Register of Historic Places.

To read last year's B.A.R. story, see







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