– Delivered at QSpot Town Hall on September 24, 2016
Good afternoon everyone, thank you for being here. I know the news of QSpot facing eviction has been very upsetting. It seems unbelievable, after all we’ve fought for and won, that QSpot, an LGBT Community Center, could be facing eviction under highly questionable circumstances in 2016. The reality is, despite all we’ve accomplished, we still have a long way to go. So our fight continues. READ MORE
STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT
These individuals and organizations have made statements of support for QSpot. If you’d like to add your name/organization to the list, please email email@example.com
Pride Center of New Jersey
Public Relations Chair
Gay Activist Alliance of Morris County (GAAMC)
Social Justice Chair
Pride Center of New Jersey
Hi, my name is Hayden Greyson. I am a member of the Pride Center of New Jersey’s social justice group. I am here today on their behalf to stand in solidarity with the QSpot. The Jersey Shore Arts Center, according to their mission statement, is devoted to engaging community groups in the arts.
Queer folks need a safe space to experience the arts that is queer friendly: in other spaces, we may face the perception or even the reality of being unwanted. Queer folks are artists, comedians, filmmakers, musicians and more. We have a deep love of the arts that has often been hidden from history or pink-washed, because our very existence was unwanted.
Let us not have to hide yet again. It is 2016. Let the wonderful resource called the Q Spot, along with its community of queer artists, patrons of the arts and audience for the arts, flourish. Thank you very much.
Garden State Equality
Pride Center of Staten Island
Deputy Chief of Staff Asw Downey and Asm Houghtaling
GLSEN Central New Jersey
“GLSEN Central New Jersey is grateful for the space at QSpot in the Jersey Shore Arts Center. We have been very happy to host our Student Honor Award presentations, a film showing, and other important meetings at this welcoming space. We are most hopeful that the question of a continuing lease is resolved because we foresee additional educational events in the future benefiting our members and the young persons they serve being held at this QSpot location.”
Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster
Ocean Grove United
I am here today with a heavy heart. After all the progress we have seen in this state on marriage equality and civil rights, I would not have believed that I would be standing here today in support of one of the most enriching arts programs and community centers in NJ; Qspot. All they want is to renew their lease here at the Jersey Shore Arts Center.
In just 4 years, Qspot has developed a rich history of presenting performances by musicians, comedians and spoken word performers; it sponsors the annual NJ Gay film festival and provides educational opportunities and training for some of our communities most at risk youth.
One would think that the Jersey Shore Art Center would be proud to have QSPOT as a resident. After all, the mission of the Jersey Shore Arts Center is… And I quote from their mission statement which you can find on their web site.
“The Mission of the Ocean Grove Historic Preservation Society, Inc. is twofold: to save and restore the beautiful and historic building (the “old” Neptune High School) that is currently home to the Jersey Shore Arts Center, and to operate the Arts Center in support of local artists and arts educators. The Jersey Shore Arts Center provides professional opportunities and work space for artists, educators and community groups who in turn develop opportunities for the broader Jersey Shore community to experience and engage with the Arts.”
I am calling on Mr. Herbst and the board of the Jersey Shore Arts Center to reconsider their decision; to recognize that Qspot is completely in keeping with the Ocean Grove Historic Preservation Society’s stated mission, and that the Jersey Shore Community is enriched by the presence of Qspot. I respectfully ask that the Jersey Shore Arts Center renew the Qspot lease.
Lillian G. Burry
Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders
…I am fully supportive of the efforts set forth at the QSpot. It is truly an asset to both the community and the arts community.
Former QSpot Board Vice Chair
Former QSpot Board Treasurer
“I’m standing here today as a former board member and still volunteer and supporter of this wonderful center. I wanted to tell you of the toil and sweat put into making this space our home (broken fingernails and all) but I was stopped in the other room and asked where all the youth are. Here then, is my answer to that. They are out doing what all youth do, partying and enjoying their freedoms which were won on the backs of our predecessors, who put their selves on the line to gain those freedoms. As they grow older and the party/bar scene gets old also, they will be looking for those programs we are now putting into place and a place to attend those programs, etc. That then is our legacy to them, to have a safe place to join with people of like minds and hopefully become a more active member of the community center. Thats all we can hope for. Those comng out, regardless of their age need a place to experience that safety, answer questions and help in any way we can. We have been diligent in following the guidelines presented to us under our current lease, paid our rent on time and even promoted the arts (Qfest, showcasing local artists, etc). The reasons cited for the eviction from our center are not true and we need to do all we can to stand firm and hold JSAC’s feet to the fire. I am behind John and the board 100% and will do whatever I can to support our fight to Keep the center. John, I have your back. Lets show them that we are together in this. Thank you for listening.”
Garden State Equality
Monmouth LGBTQ Democratic Caucus