People and organizations across mid-Michigan are being honored as LGBTQ advocates on June 13th. The Midland Center for the Arts is one of those being awarded for its advocacy.
The Great Lakes Bay PRIDE awards are given to people and businesses that made strides for LGBTQ issues.
Officials say the Midland center partnered with advocacy organizations to host a number of events focused on LGBTQ issues. They hosted film screenings with panels made up of advocates. They showed a choir performance written in rememberance of Matthew Shepard, a gay man who was murdered for his sexuality. And they hosted storytelling nights that allowed people to share their personal experience with LGBTQ discrimination.
Katie Miller, Community Engagement Manager at the Midland Center for the Arts said LGBTQ programming helps people feel welcome at the Center.
“Part of the work that I do is really thinking about how we make the Center for the Arts open to everybody and make them feel comfortable here. Of course, everyone is welcome but they might not necessarily feel welcome or see themselves in our programming.”
Miller said the programs have had a positive impact on the community. However she said more still needs to be done to further the LGBTQ movement.
“The more we can tell these stories, the more we can make things personal things with housing discrimation, employment discrimination, things like that. The more we can personalize that the better off the movement will be.”
Miller said the arts are a perfect way to share LGBTQ stories and be at the front of social change. She said she plans to bring more LGBTQ programs and performers to the Center over the next few seasons.
In the interest of transparency, we note that Midland Center for the Arts is a financial supporter of this station.