It’s time Austin had an LGBTQIA+ Community Center.
Gallup says Greater Austin has the nation’s third-largest LGBTQIA+ population.
Austin has a reputation as an LGBTQIA-friendly City, as well as a strong ecosystem of nonprofit organizations working to improve LGBTQIA+ wellbeing.
However, Greater Austin’s more than 112,000 LGBTQIA+ residents are geographically dispersed and difficult to reach because of our community’s lack of communications infrastructure.
Moreover, many LGBTQIA+ Austinites are struggling with some aspect of their wellbeing, whether their Physical Health, Mental Health, Community Connectedness, Living Environment, Learning Opportunities, or Economic Situation, as QWELL learned from the more than 2,250 participants in our recent research study, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Phillip Schnarrs at Dell Medical School.
How can we best serve the needs of our large, diverse, spread-out community?
QWELL Community Foundation’s mission is to:
ENGAGE every LGBTQIA+ and Ally resident of Greater Austin;
CONNECT each with whatever affirming resources they think they need to improve their wellbeing; and,
SUPPORT our partner organizations and businesses in growing to meet our community’s needs, rather than duplicate their work.
The “Austin Outpost” pop-up LGBTQIA+ community center designed through this competition will provide a delightful draw, attracting LGBTQIA+ and Ally residents when it pops-up in each Austin City Council District.
The Outpost will engage those residents in community-building activities and other programming provided by our partners, including regular meetings, special events, and educational workshops.
QWELL and the Outpost will provide vibrant new communications channels enabling LGBTQIA+ community members and organizations to connect, increasing service use, donations, volunteerism, and civic engagement as we build a queer culture of health in Greater Austin.
Volunteers will also use the Outpost as a hub from which to identify LGBTQIA-affirming employers, businesses, and organizations in every Austin neighborhood, making it easier than ever to connect with resources near you, and reducing your need to travel to access services.
QWELL will also use the Outpost to expand our research into the LGBTQIA+ community’s strengths and needs, so that, when we are able to establish permanent “Austin Outpost” LGBTQIA+ community centers in each City Council District, programming can be customized to meet the unique needs of that neighborhood.
COMMUNITY INPUT IS VITAL TO OUR SUCCESS
The “Austin Outpost” pop-up design competition is your opportunity to use your expertise and ideas to help shape how the portable LGBTQIA+ community center will look and operate.
To design an extraordinary experience that is attractive and accessible to Austin’s diverse LGBTQIA+ community, we need your help to fill our competition design teams with:
Youth and Elders
Participants in the design charrette on Saturday, June 22, 2019 will be asked to work in teams of two to seven people. Teams will develop a concept for the “Austin Outpost” Pop-Up and present it to jurors that afternoon. After receiving feedback from the jury, teams will be given five weeks to develop their designs. Teams will digitally submit their final presentation board by Friday, July 26, 2019.