Established in 1983, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (The Center) has grown to become the largest LGBT multi-service organization on the East Coast of the United States and second largest LGBT community center in the world. The Center is located in the West Village at 208 West 13th Street, an historic building which formerly housed the High School for Food Trades.
Every week, 6,000 people visit the Center, and more than 300 groups meet in the building. These groups range from political activist organizations to social clubs. The Center also frequently hosts speeches, performances, workshops, and commercially sponsored information sessions. ACT-UP arose from discussions held at the Center, and it continues to serve as a spawning ground and/or incubator for new groups.
Numerous Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and other twelve-step recovery groups meet at the Center. The Center's Mental Health and Social Services division also sponsors support groups focused on coming out, transgender issues, bereavement, and other topics of concern to the LGBT community.
The Center also houses Y.E.S., the Youth Enrichment Services Center. This organization provides services and support for queer and questioning youth. Programs such as both a young men's and a young women's discussion group, a gender exploration group, a safe schools network, and a variety of support groups are available to youth free of charge, offered by a friendly and supportive staff.
Another important part of the Center's mission is to host and document the artistic and historic contributions of members of the LGBT Community. This includes the Center’s museum program, including the Campbell Soady Gallery that provide space for artwork that celebrates the diversity of LGBT life and supports the work of emerging queer artists.
The Center is also home to the National Museum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender History, a repository of manuscripts, personal papers, organizational files and records of the Center itself. Archivist Rich Wandel oversees this all-volunteer project.
Can't make it to the Center? The Center can come to you. Out At The Center is a monthly half-hour TV show and podcast produced by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community Center of New York City with support from the Manhattan Neighborhood Grant. The program features the full show, segments, specials and promos created and produced by Out at The Center. The show is made entirely by volunteers. Executive producers are Richard Davis and Barbara Warren, production supervisor is Marianna Moneymaker. The show airs on the fourth Thursday of the month at 10pm on MNN - Time Warner 34 and 78 (digital), RCN 107 and 83 (digital) and on fourth Tuesday at 6:30pm on BCAT channel 68, Time Warner channel 35. New episodes air online the 4th Thursday at www.gaycenter.org/out or download the weekly updated iTunes podcast.
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