Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Faces and Places - The Center Project

The Center Project is mid-Missouri's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and ally community space. Located at 300 St. James Court in downtown Columbia, it offers a friendly, safe, and inviting space for the community. 

Maintained entirely with community financial and volunteer support, The Center Project offers hosting and facilitation support for a wide range of activities striving to encourage respect and inclusion among people of all sexual orientations and identities. They provide educational outreach, community activities, a resource center, and a variety of support services. 

Drop-in hours are 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays. The space features a book and media resource library, art exhibits by local community artists, and an inviting community space. Scheduled activities include the Men's Leadership and Activities group on Wednesday evenings, PRISM (LGBT support group), PFLAG, and a Thursday night fiber craft group. 

PRISM provides a safe, supportive environment for LGBT youth ages 13-18, according to Jamie Lenz, PRISM facilitator. “We accept referrals and keep the group relatively closed to protect the participants,” according Mr. Lenz. Inquiries regarding the program are welcome; Mr. Lenz can be contacted through the center at (573) 449-1188.

The Center Project assists in coordinating a number of other community activities including Gay Pride and a number of themed social events including Drag Brunch as fundraisers. Upcoming event information is available on the calendar at their website

In addition to their programming, the center provides free- to low-cost space for groups and organizations in furtherance of their mission. A list of these groups and programs is available at the group's website. 

The Center Project reflects the unique organizational culture of Columbia. They advocate through integration, education and communication. These are goals difficult not to support.

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