Community Briefs: DVLF grants; Thanksgiving meals; Holiday concerts

Illustration by Ash Cheshire.

DVLF awards Emerging Needs Grant to local LGBTQ organizations

Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) recently announced the latest organizations to receive its 2022 Emerging Needs Grant, which is awarded to Philly-area nonprofits that cater to the needs of LGBTQ+ people. DVLF prioritizes programs that meet emergent needs and advocate for creative solutions to existing needs, with a particular emphasis on QTBIPOC communities. 

This year’s grantees include Ark of Safety, Black and Latinx Community Control (BLCC), Black Visioning Group, Colours Organization, Hearts on a Wire, Independence Business Alliance (IBA), Prevention Meets Fashion, Qunify, Uplift Center for Grieving Children, and Walnut Wellness.  

“We are thrilled with this fall’s slate of grantees,” DVLF Executive Director Michael Grosberd said in a press release. “We have a diverse group of organizations each tackling a prevailing need in our community.” 

Prevention Meets Fashion will use the grant for its Sex Worker Prevention Project, a paid internship for Black trans and gender nonconforming people. IBA’s grant will go toward its TransWork program, which connects job-seekers and business-owners to a network of culturally competent employers. Walnut Wellness will use its grant for a scholarship program that provides psychotherapy sessions for trans people of color who live in poverty. Uplift Center for Grieving Children will use its funds for LGBTQ-centric grief groups for youth 11-13 years old, accompanied by an adult. Hearts on a Wire’s grant will go toward providing outreach to incarcerated community members in the form of letters, visits and quarterly newsletters. Colours will use its funds for a life skills and job readiness program, and BLCC will funnel its grant into producing the Michael Hinson Legacy Symposium 2022. Hinson, who passed away earlier in 2022, co-founded BLCC with José de Marco. 

William Way holiday meals and Trans Oral History Project

In keeping with tradition, the team at William Way LGBT Community Center will be giving out holiday meal boxes on Thanksgiving day and Christmas day from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m., or when supplies run out. 

The community center is also partnering with students and interviewers from the University of Pennsylvania to create the Trans Oral History Project (TOHP) an initiative designed to amass and make accessible unheard stories of trans, nonbinary and gender nonconforming people.  

The team that runs the TOHP will hold a listening session at William Way on Nov. 30 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. Anyone who identifies under the trans umbrella is welcome, though the event is currently sold out, according to its Eventbrite page.

“The TOHP is invested in redressing how histories of trans folks have been medicalized, commodified and erased,” according to a press release on Eventbrite. “Through a collaborative interview process creating accessible content, the TOHP hopes to create lasting intergenerational bonds and foster radical community healing.”

The TOHP will begin by interviewing people who have significant connections to Philadelphia. The finished interviews will be posted online in the form of digital recordings and transcripts. The team is also open to holding listening sessions for those who want to share their story, but who do not want their story to be audio recorded or made public.

Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus holiday concert

To ring in the holiday season, Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus (PGMC) will perform a holiday show at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre from Dec. 1 to 3, led by Artistic Director and Conductor Joseph J. Buches. The show, entitled “Happy Holigays and a Queer New Year,” will feature a selection of traditional holiday songs like “O Holy Night” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” as well as contemporary classics like “Christmas Canon,” “Night of Silence” and a song from “Elf the Musical.” Members of PGMC will preview the show at LOVE Park on Nov. 26 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

“This year, we focus on songs that light up and lift your spirits, celebrating all the gayness of the season,” PGMC said in a press release.  

The shows on Dec. 1 and 2 will take place at 8 p.m., and the shows on Dec. 3 will start at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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