LGCC and Pride’s Merger Delays Festival Planning
January 9, 2013
by John Long
In the October issue of Camp, our editorial (“What’s Happening with LGCC?”) asked why the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of Kansas City’s fall OutFest event had been canceled with little warning and asked about the lack of communication to the community. A representative from LGCC called back and said that an imminent LGCC/Pride merger was the reason for this and that they would let us know when they would make news of the merger public.
On Jan. 4, we received this press release, which we are printing in its entirety:
Please see the below information regarding the LGCCKC and Show Me Pride, LLC.
Who: LGCCKC & Show Me Pride, LLC
What: Merging of organizations to form KCDC
When: The process started October 2012
Where: Kansas City, Missouri
Why: The organizations worked very closely on many events and fundraisers. The organizations evaluated goals and objectives and decided that both organizations performed many of the same tasks. The organizations decided that not for profit would be the best role for both of the organizations to continuing moving forward with the mission of the new organization Kansas City Diversity Coalition.
LGCCKC and Show Me Pride, LLC has merged together to become the nonprofit called Kansas City Diversity Coalition (KCDC). KCDC a not for profit organization that will handle the events, fundraisers, and community outreach that were put on by LGCCKC and Show Me Pride, LLC including Pride Festival, Outfest, Gay Days at Worlds of Fun, and the Educational Symposiums. The mission of the organization is: To Promote and educate LGBT+ diversity and civil liberties. The goals of the organization are to partner with other LGTB organizations for fundraising and awareness and to provide community outreach including Save, Inc. cleanup day, working with Aidswalk, Outfest, and the scholarship fund. Both of the previous organizations websites are still up and running until the new website is finished for KCDC. The organization has an opening for chairperson. If interested please forward resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be having a community meeting on Wednesday, January 30th at 7pm at the MCC Church 3801 Wyandotte Kansas City, MO 64111. At the Community meeting we plan to discuss the new organization including board structure, open positions, events for the year and open the floor to questions. Please attend the community meeting for more information, apply for a position, or sign up to be a volunteer.
Thank you for your continued support.
Sent by Michael Blanton on behalf of Kansas City Diversity Coalition
In many ways, forming this new organization, the Kansas City Diversity Coalition, makes sense. The Lesbian and Gay Community Center shut its physical location in July 2009 and became a website portal rather than an office space, which may have been confusing to many. When the LIKEME Lighthouse LGBT community center, 3909 Main St., opened in March 2012, there was also some confusion about duplicate “centers” in the city.
There are still many unanswered questions regarding how the merger will affect the Pride festival in June. The 2011 and 2012 Pride festivals were run by Show Me Pride LLC. The KCDC/LGCC/Pride merger will make this their first year managing the festival as a nonprofit.
At a Dec. 5 community meeting of many organizations, facilitated by Clinton Bradley at the LIKEME Lighthouse, Michael Kelly of KCDC/LGCC announced that KCDC had, in his words, “bought out Pride.” This was the first official word of the merger for many.
Normally, Pride begins planning for the next year’s event within a month or two after the previous year’s event. Holding the first Pride meeting to elect officers on Jan. 30 for an early June event will make planning the 2013 festival even more challenging.
Last year saw some successful alternative bar events on Pride weekend, and we have been told that will continue in 2013. For the 2012 weekend, Hamburger Mary’s had a Friday and Saturday street festival, Bistro 303 had a Millennial League Tea Dance on Sunday, and Missie B’s had a Pride event on Saturday and Sunday. With an increasing diversity in the Kansas City LGBT community, it seems there are more reasons that the Pride festival as we have known it will be evolving.
I wish we could tell you more now. As plans develop and we learn more, we’ll keep you informed in the February issue of Camp and beyond.
If you have ideas or would like to volunteer for the Pride festival, contact organizers at email@example.com and/or attend their Jan. 30 meeting at Spirit of Hope MCC. If you have ideas you’d like to share with the community in Camp, send us a letter to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.