Spotlight: The Center for Artistic Revolution in Little Rock, Arkansas

We’re starting to send out copies of The Power Within to schools, churches, teachers and youth groups, and are starting to hear back from some of the organization about the great work that they do. I’m going to post some of their stories to the blog so that you can find out more about these great resources for LGBT youth, especially ones in places you might not expect!

First up, I want to shine the spotlight on The Center for Artistic Revolution in Little Rock, Arkansas: a 501(c)3 community-based organization that provides a wide variety of services and also advocates for LGBT youth. We heard from Executive Director Randi M. Romo:

We were very surprised that someone in Washington had heard about us down here. But we were also very excited to receive your comics here at CAR! We all think they are a wonderful tool and we’d love to have more of them.

We currently have a roster of a little over 200 youth. We also give new members a small backpack with the DYSC (Diverse Youth for Social Change) program logo on it with resource materials inside. We’d like to be able to add this comic to those bags!

FYI – DYSC is a structured weekly meeting program with a curriculum that we here at CAR have developed and the Center is the free time space for them.

What do we do? I often think not enough and then I start listing it and I get tired. Yet, there is still so much more to be done. Organizing here in the south is tough, yet we are tenacious.

CAR has been around since 2003. It was founded by LGBTQ and ally community members, many of whom were artists/activists—thus our name. Cultural work based on the creative process is very important to us in how we message, relate, build bridges, etc.

CAR works with the principals of education, organizing, advocacy and cultural work. We have organized on many campaigns in AR such as opposing efforts to ban LGBTQ from adopting or being foster parents, opposed the marriage amendment, and saw to it that Clint McCance the vice-president of a school board in the state who advocated for gay kids to kill themselves, resigned from his position.

In addition to the Center and the DYSC program we also have the La Salsa Rainbow Camp, the only organized camping experience for LGBTQ youth in the South. We are currently building a permanenet infrastructure for the camp. Then there’s the Safer Schools / Safe Spaces program where we develop materials and workshops for educators, and other school personnel, the GEAR program for our trans and gender variant community members. We also provide adult community center space.

Visit The Center for Artistic Revolution website at artisticrevolution.org. You can also find them on Twitter at @CAR4Equality and on Facebook.

You can support CAR by making a donation of money or supplies. Please support this organization that’s working so hard to support kids!

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