In October, students from the Riverland Community Gay-Straight Alliance (RCGSA) will begin traveling to perform their stage presentation STAGE LEFT (Straights and Gays for Equality - Listening, Entertaining, Facilitating, Teaching) throughout the state and in Fargo, North Dakota. Last year, RCGSA partnered with the community group Q&A to produce STAGE LEFT. They presented evenings with music, excerpts from plays, personal stories, poetry, and readings themed around diversity and inclusion. Some of the upcoming presentations are open to the public.
STAGE LEFT" includes scenes and monologues from "Bent," "The Laramie Project," and other plays along with poetry and accounts written by local GLBT persons about growing up/coming out. Music will include songs from "Avenue Q" and "Honk!" Songs and drama include serious as well as humorous material.
The tour in October coincides with National Coming Out Day on October 11. National Coming Out Day is an internationally-observed civil awareness day for coming out and discussion about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.
STAGE LEFT/RCGSA Scheduled Events: Friday, October 3, 2008; League of Minnesota Human Rights Commissions Conference, Rochester: presentation for opening session
Monday, October 6, 2008, 12 p.m., Lecture Hall C100, Austin East Building; Riverland Community College Diversity Series, Austin Campus: presentation and discussion; open to the public
Saturday, October 11 and Sunday, October 12, 2008; OutFront Minnesota conference, North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo: presentation incorporating students from NDSU sexual minorities campus support group.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008, 7 p.m., Conference Center B; South Central College Diversity Series, Mankato Campus: presentation; open to the public
Saturday, November 1 and Sunday, November 2, 2008; Itasca Community College, Grand Rapids: presentation incorporating students from Itasca Community College sexual minorities campus group.
RCGSA at Riverland Community College exists to actively support the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning population; to advocate for respect, dignity, and basic civil rights for everyone, regardless of sexual identity; and to educate the college and its communities regarding these issues. The RCGSA is open to all students, faculty, and staff who are interested in supporting and advocating for the GLBTQ community.
Q&A, formerly SMAC (Sexual Minorities Advocacy Council) is a community group based in Austin. They have been active for approximately 10 years. Members include parents of GLBT children, heterosexual allies, and GLBT persons from Austin, Albert Lea, Rochester, and smaller towns around Austin.
Riverland Community College, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is a regional comprehensive community college inspiring learning for living through a personalized educational environment. Approximately 4,000 students are served, annually, through a wide range of credit-based educational opportunities. An additional 4,800 students are annually served in non-credit courses. Facilities are located in Albert Lea, Austin, and Owatonna, Minn. Riverland may be found on the Internet at www.riverland.edu.
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprises 32 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 240,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 130,000 students in non-credit courses.