SFGMC launches campaign to support National LGBTQ Center for the Arts

Photo courtesy SFGMC.

week, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus launched a public campaign to raise
funds for the National LGBTQ Center
for the Arts

On Wednesday night, January 15, SFGMC announced the launch
at a reception, held at the organization’s new home, a historic four-floor 1930
property near the Castro neighborhood where the chorus began four decades ago. The
evening featured remarks from Mayor London Breed, California State Senator
Scott Wiener, Honorary Chair Sharon
Stone, SFGMC Artistic Director Dr. Timothy Seelig, Campaign Chair Edward
Sell, and SFGMC Executive Director Chris Verdugo. There were also performances from members of
SFGMC, San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company, Opera Parallèle, San Francisco Philharmonic,
and Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, along with docent-led tours of the
building, and more.

According to SFGMC, the three-year, $15 million campaign “will
secure and refurbish the new building and create a long-term financial
foundation for SFGMC with a permanent endowment. To date, more than $9 million
has been raised, with leadership gifts of $5 million from founding Chorus
member Terrence Chan, $1 million from the Chorus Board of Directors, and $1
million from Zendesk Founder and CEO Mikkel Svane, along with $250,000 from the
city of San Francisco and $500,000 from the state of California. The remaining
$6 million will be raised through the generous support of individuals,
foundations and businesses. Naming opportunities for iconic spaces within the
new building include the auditorium, production studio, main lobby, second and
third floor lobbies, conference rooms, offices, dressing rooms, the roof, and
the building itself.”

San Francisco Mayor Breed remarked, “Creating a space
for the National LGBTQ Center for the Arts and a foundation for the San
Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus will help ensure these important organizations can
operate for generations to come. This new space with help inspire greater
advocacy through art, which, given the current political environment at the
federal level, is more important than ever before.”

“As the Chorus has grown, our mission has evolved,”
said Campaign Chair Sell. “Today the Chorus aspires to play a larger role,
offering programming that serves the entire nation… There are few organizations
like SFGMC with the history and power to unite and transform, and there has
never been a more critical need for the uplifting sounds and unifying messages
of SFGMC.”

Executive Director Verdugo commented, “The Arts Center
will not only be SFGMC’s home, it will be home to countless artists and arts
organizations nationwide who often find it a challenge to merely exist, much
less have a physical space…As pioneers of the LGBTQ choral movement, we will
inspire and challenge the next generation of leaders and creators to create art
that not only keeps our stories alive, but moves us all forward as one
collective human community.”

SFGMC purchased the National LGBTQ Center for the Arts in
April 2019. The organization plans “to expand and enhance its leadership role
by opening the building to composers, librettists, choreographers, and other
performing artists as an incubator and workshop space for the creation of new
works and collaborations.”

Additional details about SFGMC’s upcoming plans for the Center will be announced on January 21.

Published at Sat, 18 Jan 2020 01:37:37 +0000