David R. Parks Lending Library experiences continuous growth thanks to community donations

When The Center moved into its previous home in Commercial Center, a small room was dedicated to establishing an LGBTQ-focused library in Las Vegas, named in honor of openly gay State Senator David R. Parks. The shelves were soon stocked full of books generously donated from our community. After The Center moved downtown in 2013 and became more visible, the number of books donated each month steadily increased. Located in The Center’s spacious MGM Resorts International Great Room, the library shelves are now full of nearly 5,000 paperbacks and hardbacks as well as hundreds of DVDs. The David R. Parks Lending Library is a little-known treasure that covers every corner of our LGBTQ community.

Sign Language Class

The Center will present a free, four-week sign language class in July, meeting at 5 p.m. every Thursday. The class will teach the basics of American Sign Language as well as the secrets of deaf culture. Only ten individuals may attend the class, so anyone interested must RSVP to nmcnee@thecenterlv.org immediately.

Mama Dragon Story Project Comes to The Center May 23



The community is invited to join us next Monday evening, May 23 at 6:30 p.m., to hear the Mama Dragons tell their stories of love and acceptance for their LGBT+ children.

About the Mama Dragon Story Project:  Twenty women, many with LDS or Mormon ties, share essays of love and support to their LGBT+ children. Portraits of each mother show her fiery resolve as each of them bears the title of Mama Dragon. Loving our LGBT+ children within a strict religious environment poses some challenges. Reconciling those challenges and moving forward in peace is the focus of this book. Showing mothers, and other allies, that they can wrestle with these challenges, soften attitudes in homes and openly accept their LGBT+ child is the reason for these essays and portraits.

All are welcome to come and be affirmed regardless of category, creed or belief.

Designer Picnic Tables and Baskets Up for Auction Through April 25

In partnership with Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA), The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada (The Center) will host the second annual Picnic by Design fundraising event, themed “Parasols in the Park,” at Symphony Park on Saturday, April 30. Fifty-six local designers have created over-the-top picnic baskets and tables currently being auctioned at www.thecenterlv.org/picnic, which will then be enjoyed with a gourmet style buffet picnic dinner in the shadow of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts (361 Symphony Park Ave.).
 
Songstress Toscha Comeaux, Gary Fowler, Rick Arroyo and male quartet These Guys will provide live entertainment throughout the evening. Lawn games and a VIP cocktail hour begin at 4:30 p.m. with the buffet-style dinner and live entertainment to follow at 5:30 p.m. Catering is provided by downtown restaurants Chow and Rock’N’oodles as well as Palms Casino Resort favorite N9NE Steakhouse.
 
“Since DIFFA directly targets the design community, Picnic by Design is a chance for us to show how we can use our craft and creative problem-solving abilities to bring awareness to the cause of HIV/AIDS education. DIFFA's events all celebrate design and create an opportunity for us to focus on the positive side of fundraising," said Executive Chair Cray Bauxmont-Flynn.
 
“It is important for the design community to support one another and come together. DIFFA provides this outlet and allows us to also support an important local organization with a focus on HIV/AIDS outreach and testing,” said Co-Chair Cory Sadler. “Because of the generosity of our sponsors, almost all proceeds will go to The Center and DIFFA to support their work.”
 
Gold Sponsors for the 2016 Picnic by Design event are Wynn Las Vegas, The Roger Thomas Collection and Las Vegas Design Center. Additional top sponsors include Christopher Guy, JBA Consulting Engineers, Robert Allen, Elan Collections, Shawmut Design and Construction, The Ascot Group and Forma Design & Architecture. Along with Bauxmont-Flynn and Sadler, International Market Centers President and CEO Robert Maricich serves as Honorary Chair.
 
To purchase baskets, tables or tickets to Picnic by Design, please visit www.thecenterlv.org/picnic no later than midnight on Sunday, April 25. Picnic baskets that serve two are being auctioned starting at $300 each, and picnic tables that seat and serve eight start at $1,500 each. Exclusive VIP chef tables are also available for purchase. For $125 per person, guests may also enjoy the dinner and activities without purchasing a basket or table. All guests must be 21 and older.

The Center Brings DIFFA’s Popular Picnic by Design Event to Las Vegas for Second Year at Symphony Park April 30

In partnership with Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA), The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada (The Center) will host the second annual Picnic by Design, themed “Parasols in the Park,” at Symphony Park on Saturday, April 30. Local designers are creating over-the-top picnic baskets and tables to be purchased online at www.thecenterlv.org/picnic and then enjoyed with delicious food and fine wine in the shadow of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts (361 Symphony Park Ave.). Songstress Toscha Comeaux, Gary Fowler, Rick Arroyo and male quartet These Guys will provide live entertainment throughout the evening. Lawn games and a VIP cocktail hour begin at 4:30 p.m. with the buffet-style dinner and live entertainment to follow at 5:30 p.m. All proceeds will benefit The Center and DIFFA.

“Our vision was to create a fun event that exudes a casual elegance and celebrates design,” said Cray Bauxmont-Flynn, Picnic By Design Chair. “We were aiming to target a cross-platform demographic of talented individuals and it was important for us to keep ticket costs low and bring in new awareness to DIFFA and The Center. In past events only interior designers and architects have participated — for the picnic, we invited floral designers, graphic designers, culinary masters, event designers and producers, set designers, stylists and photographers to participate, bringing a whole new audience to the event!”

"We are very excited to have such a committed and dynamic group of creative individuals and sponsors on board for Picnic By Design 2016," said Bauxmont-Flynn. “With this group of talented individuals DIFFA and The Center will be able to raise significant funds to provide preventive HIV/AIDS education and direct care services — the fight is not over.”

Along with Bauxmont-Flynn, International Market Centers President and CEO Robert Maricich serves as Honorary Chair. Cory Sadler, a member of The Center’s Associate Board, serves as co-chair. A number of nationally recognized Star-Chefs and name brands have signed on as participants and sponsors of the event.

For more information about Picnic by Design’s mission and ways to support the event, or to purchase tickets to the event, please visit www.thecenterlv.org/picnic. Designer picnic baskets that serve two are $300 each, and designer picnic tables that seat and serve eight are $1,500 each. Exclusive celebrity chef tables will also be available. For $125 per person, guests may also enjoy the dinner and activities without purchasing a basket or table. All guests must be 21 and older.