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Local LGBT Arts Organizations Launch ‘Our Night Out’

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A Knight Foundation grant is funding a new audience development campaign by the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida, pictured, and other local LGBT arts and cultural organizations. Credit: Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida.

Three local LGBT arts and cultural organizations formally launched an innovative program this week to attract new audiences.

Related: SFGNites

The initiative, “Our Night OUT,” a collaboration between the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida, Island City Stage and Stonewall National Museum and Archives will include community-based performances, collaborative programming, educational workshops and joint marketing efforts over the 2017-18 seasons.

“We have become more interconnected so that we can effectively promote the idea to our community that we are as vital a resource to them as are the many terrific social services, political and health-related organizations,” explained Island City Stage’s artistic director Andy Rogow.

The organizations, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors, received a $40,000 Knight Arts Challenge matching grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in Miami in 2015. After months of planning, the campaign was formally launched on Tuesday. 

The organizations are currently seeking partners and donors to meet the required Knight Arts Challenge match, according to Mark Kent, executive director of the chorus.

“We are certainly looking for other visionary funders to join the Knight Foundation in building the future of LGBT arts in South Florida,” said Kent.

First-time patrons to any of the participating arts organizations can receive a 30 percent discount on admission to upcoming concerts and performances. The grant also funds efforts to provide access to low-income and disadvantaged audiences.

“We know LGBT artists contribute substantially to the overall cultural fabric of South Florida.  Thanks to the generosity of the Knight Foundation, we can bring those contributions to the forefront of the region’s cultural identity and celebrate them,” added Chris Rudisill, executive director of the Stonewall National Museum & Archives.

A performance and exhibition calendar, along with an online form to register for the discounted admission offer, can be found at OurNightOut.org.