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OUTLOUD: Stories from the Gayborhood Showcases New Short Plays, Raises Funds for 1Voice LGBT Community Center in Phoenix

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Most of us don't have a spare Benjamin or two nowadays to drop on a fundraising gala, even for those causes dear to our hearts, even if it's deductible at the end of the year. Also, it's usually no picnic (literally) to nosh on banquet food or stand around in pretty shoes half the night.

So the board of 1Voice LGBT Community Center, which provides social, educational, and wellness programs and services ranging from yoga classes to free HIV testing to bingo with the Grand Canyon Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, decided to present a fun, affordable event that highlights some of the great stuff going on at 1VCC. Kind of a meatspace crowdfunding where you get an immediate entertaining, enlightening experience instead of an eventual DVD or T-shirt for your contribution.

(Although, speaking of T-shirts, See also: ASU Alum Brad Reed Nelson Brings LGBT Rights Awareness to Winter Olympics)

Opening last night at Phoenix Center for the Arts and continuing through Saturday, February 8, OUTLOUD: Stories from the Gayborhood is a program of four short plays by local LGBTQ and straight writers that run the genre gamut from musical to sci-fi, with a healthy helping of romance. The evening is directed by Richard Schultz, an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society who is also a member of 1VCC's board and leads its twice-monthly Writers Collective Group, which develops more material to share the community's narratives for public performance.

Admission to tonight's 7:30 p.m.show is $10, and there'll be a talkback afterward with authors Ben Gill, B.D. Heywood, Lori Hicks, Vaughn Treude, and Arlys Holloway and the large, adorable cast. For $25 on Saturday, February 8, also starting at 7:30, you'll get the VIP treatment with raffles, door prizes, and the opportunity to stroll down the street to Bliss/reBar for an afterparty.

Using art to raise not just consciousness but also the necessary cash to accomplish social good is a way cool endeavor, and OUTLOUD: Stories from the Gayborhood is a way to squeeze yourself into this movement as part of your weekend socializing.

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