Local Briefs • 07.30.10

OL Library Friends holding information meeting on budget

Oak Lawn Library Friends will hold an information meeting on the city of Dallas budget reductions and their impact on library users from 6-8 p.m. Thursday August 5th at the library audtorium, 4100 Cedar Springs Road. The meeting will offer details on a proposal to organize volunteers to save library services.

Women’s Chorus of Dallas inviting interested singers to rehearsals

The Women’s Chorus of Dallas will hold open rehearsals for women interested in joining the chorus on Monday, Aug. 9, and Monday, Aug. 16, beginning promptly at 7 p.m. both evening.

Interested singers are invited to sit in on a rehearsal, meet with members of the chorus and learn more about becoming a member.

The Women’s Chorus of Dallas offers women the opportunity to sing classical choral repertoire, as well as popular music and songs from many other genres. Neither prior experience nor the ability to read music is a requirement for membership.

Regular season rehearsals are held every Monday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Sammons Center for the Arts, 3630 Harry Hines Blvd. Members are expected to attend every rehearsal.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 30, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Youth First Collin County needs a new home

Organization seeks new space for Plano youth center, or at least somewhere to temporarily store furniture and other items

John Wright | Online Editor
wright@dallasvoice.com

PROM PREP | Volunteers and youth get ready for the Gayla Prom at Youth First Texas Collin County in June. YFT-CC will have to move from its current location by mid-July. (Courtesy of Jeanne Rubin)

PLANO — Collin County’s organization for LGBT youth is looking for a new home — or at least a place to store its stuff.

For the last 18 months, Youth First Texas-Collin County has been utilizing, free of charge, some vacant commercial space on Avenue K just south of East Park Boulevard in Plano.

But the landlord recently found a paying tenant, and YFT-CC will have to move by mid-July.

It marks the third time the six-year-old organization has had to move, according to lead volunteer Jeanne Rubin.

This time, YFT-CC has accumulated several large items, such as sofas, a pool table, a TV and computers — some of which were hand-me-downs from its parent organization in Dallas, Youth First Texas.

YFT-CC has found a location in Frisco where it can meet temporarily if necessary, but the organization would still need to store the items somewhere while it looks for a more permanent home.

“The real issue is that we need a space, and it would be nice if we could have a space that we would have forever, but I understand that because we want it for free, that’s not always going to be the case,” Rubin said. “We would like to take this opportunity to move a little further north. Collin County is a huge county, and we have kids from Denton and Flower Mound and Lewisville and other place besides Collin County.”

Rubin said anyone who knows of space available in Collin County is asked to contact her at CollinCounty@youthfirsttexas.org.

Donations will also be accepted to help pay for storage or to cover utilities if a space is found.

“Obviously our first choice would be to pick up our pool table and sofas and plop them in another place,” she said. “Donations are always helpful. If we end up at the Dairy Queen once or twice, we’ll have money to buy everybody ice cream.”

James Nunn, a board member at Youth First Texas in Dallas who lives and works in Frisco, said his employer, Big Brothers Big Sisters, has offered a space where YFT-CC can hold its big group meetings on Sundays.

Nunn serves as liaison between YFT-CC and the Dallas parent organization, which have been attempting to work together more closely of late.

While the parent organization is experiencing its own financial challenges, Nunn said the long-term goal is to lease a permanent satellite somewhere in the northern suburbs.

“We want to be in a position where we don’t have to rely always on somebody providing us a free space,” Nunn said. “There is a level of uncertainty when you rely on that.”

YFT-CC began as a partnership between YFT in Dallas and the Collin County Gay and Lesbian Alliance, according to Rubin.

YFT-CC meets every Sunday, in addition to twice-monthly “hangout nights” and a monthly movie night.

Rubin said about 20-30 youth typically attend the Sunday meetings in the summertime.

Collin County, more conservative than Dallas, has only three high schools with Gay Straight Alliances, Rubin said. At one of those high schools, school officials won’t allow the group to call itself a GSA, and instead it’s known as the Tolerance Alliance.

“What a lot of them say is that while the high school they go to may be cool, in terms of people don’t care they’re gay, lots of times they’ll be like the only gay kid,” Rubin said. “Even though some people don’t have a problem with that, it’s nice to come to Youth First and be

John or Jeanne, not the gay kid. Here they can come and just sort of be themselves.”

For more info, go to http://youthfirsttexas.org/collincounty/ or look for the organization’s Facebook page.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 02, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Volunteers needed for Creating Change

I was at Best Friends in Fort Worth last Friday night and I met Julie Walker, who had a table set up at the bar there to recruit volunteers for Creating Change, the national conference for LGBT activists being held Feb. 3-7 here in Dallas.

Julie told me they still need about 80 volunteers for the conference, and if you volunteer you do get something in return, other than the satisfaction of knowing you helped with a good cause.

If a volunteer works for four hours, they get to attend the rest of that day’s conference events for free, and the four-hour shift can be split up however you want. Julie said: “We are suggesting people take a look at the list of workshops and sign up to be room monitors; that way they get to attend the workshop of their choice and fulfill their four-hour requirement at the same time.”

You can find the full list at CreatingChange.org.

She said room monitors are responsible for making sure the speaker(s) for that workshop have everything they need (like a glass of water), that the room temperature is ok, and so on. At the end of the workshop, the room monitor passes out surveys for participants. Easy work!

Volunteers are also needed to work the registration desk and the information desk, as well as for running errands and stuff like that. There is a volunteer orientation set for Sunday, Jan 31, from noon to 6 p.m., but volunteers only have to attend one hour of that time, with tours of the hotel starting each hour on the hour. Even if you can’t attend orientation, you can still volunteer.

There will be a Conference Kick-Off Party on Saturday, Jan 30, at 7 p.m. at Illusions, with food and a small show. The United Court of the Lone Star Empire is hosting the party and it is open to all that want to come party and meet the Creating Change staff members along with the local Host Committee.

Want more information, e-mail Julie at juicyjuliebear@yahoo.com

—  admin