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As We See It

The LGBT center’s new arts and culture series aims to unify the community

Awareness through entertainment: The Centerpiece lineup includes a performance by Andrea Gibson.

When the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada was planning the move to its new Downtown location, the nonprofit had a goal of becoming a “community center” in every sense of the word. In an effort to reach more of the local LGBT community, the organization aimed to increase and diversify its programs and services.

On June 29, less than three months after cutting the ribbon at its grand opening, the Center is already delivering with the launch its new arts and culture series, aptly titled the Centerpiece.

Such a series could not be staged at the organization’s previous Commercial Center location, where space was so tight only necessities such as health and wellness services, a youth group and HIV prevention program could be offered, says Candice Nichols, senior director of programming and community partnerships. But with an event hall that accommodates 617, a full-service kitchen and a café, the new building is more or less designed for the organization to put on series like the Centerpiece. “The concept, as a building, was really to be not just a service provider any longer,” Nichols says.

Nine events have been confirmed so far for the Centerpiece’s summer and fall lineup, which culminates October 12 with a performance by genderqueer singer-songwriter Chris Pureka. Other events include documentary screenings followed by Q&A sessions with the films’ directors or subjects, book signings with excerpt readings, and a spoken word show by award-winning poet Andrea Gibson. While the acts aren’t all local, Nichols says most of them come from the LGBT community.

The Centerpiece seeks to attract a diverse cross-section of the LGBT community—though it should be something for local LGBT allies to consider attending. “It gives people a little more insight and education on some of the issues and concerns that we have as a community,” Nichols says. “So it’s a great educational forum, also.”

Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen Documentary screening and Q&A with director. June 29, 1 p.m., free. 401 S. Maryland Pkwy., 733-9800,

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