Current TCP Monthly Newsletter

TCP updates: March 2023

Hi friends and supporters!

February was another busy month for TCP, with programs in full swing, fun open hours hangouts, and lots of new volunteers going through orientation.

At the same time, we’ve been tracking the dozens of anti-LGBTQIA+ bills in the state legislature and doing what we can to offer the community support and resources to get through this stressful time.

I said this in my message last month, and I’ll say it again today:

To our community: We are here, we stand with you, we care about your well-being. And we aren’t going anywhere.

Next year is The Center Project’s 20-year anniversary, and we are keenly aware of the generations who preceded us in the fight for equity, inclusion, and basic human rights for queer people. Clearly, that fight isn’t over yet, certainly not in Missouri.

Like our predecessors, we won’t back down or give up. We invite you all to join us in the important work of providing safe spaces and resources for LGBTQIA+ people in Mid-Missouri. Whether it’s volunteer time, funds, or other donations, we are so grateful for any and all support. See below for some ways to pitch in!

Thanks for your partnership and support!

Christi Kelly (she/her)
President, Board of Directors

(Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest on all things TCP!)

Ways to Support TCP

As a small, all-volunteer nonprofit, we depend on the support and generosity of individuals like you! We rely heavily on individual donations and fundraisers to keep our programs and resources going.

There are lots of ways to contribute!

  • Donate once or set up a recurring donation on TCP’s Paypal

  • Venmo @thecenterproject

  • Mail a check to The Center Project, PO Box 521, Columbia, MO 65205

If you’re interested in donating clothes to The Clothing Closet, email us at

If you’d like to donate snacks for Prism or other supplies for the community center, email us at

  • We welcome individually wrapped snacks (like chips, cheese crackers, Goldfish, and granola bars), frozen snacks (pizza rolls, chicken nuggets), canned drinks, bottled water, and paper supplies (TP, paper towels).

  • We also love art supplies (art paper, coloring books, markers, glue, washable paint, craft kits, etc) for our programs and family events.

Of course we’re also grateful for all our volunteers! Check out the volunteer section below for more details and current opportunities.

LGBTQIA+ Business Directory

Did you know we have a directory of local, LGBTQIA+ owned businesses on our website? From law firms and realtors to cleaning services, restaurants, entertainment and more … we love highlighting queer-owned businesses and connecting them to the community.

Check it out! LGBTQIA+ Owned Business Directory

If you’re an LGBTQIA+ business owner and would like to be included in the directory, click the Add to Directory link on the main directory page.

We’re also currently doing a weekly series interviewing LGBTQIA+ business owners, live on Facebook. The next Live is tomorrow, Tuesday 3/7 at 1p.m., featuring Voycetress Media!

Visit the TCP Facebook page for info about lives and recordings of past interviews!

Programs for all ages

Rainbow Family Alliance (L) and Coffee with Queers (center and R)

Over the past year, it’s been amazing to watch the programs and events at TCP grow and expand, allowing us to serve even more of the community.

Our programs now reach youth (Prism), parents and families (P4P and Rainbow Family Alliance), trans and nonbinary people (Gender Blender), and LGBTQIA+ adults (Game Night and Coffee with Queers).

We also partner with Prime Timers Mid-Missouri, a group for mature gay and bisexual men. They recently held an event at TCP about safety.

If you’re interested in joining us for community social time, check out Game Night (2nd Fridays, 6-10 p.m.; 18+) and Coffee with Queers (3rd Sundays, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.; all ages).

Even more programs are in the works … stay tuned!

Volunteer Opportunities

The Center Project is entirely volunteer-run and community-driven, and we’re always looking for more volunteers!

If you’re interested in volunteering, join us for a volunteer orientation to learn more about TCP and the opportunities currently available. To sign up, search for the “TCP Volunteer Group” on FB or email

Here are some of TCP’s current volunteer opportunities:

  • Development Committee / Rainbow Ride planning: This group drives fundraising efforts and builds community connections, as well as the annual Rainbow Ride bike ride fundraiser. We’re working on some major projects and welcome any interested volunteers to help with planning, grant research, communicating with donors, brainstorming, planning small events, and anything/everything in between! No experience required.

  • The Clothing Closet: We’re still in need of coordinators to oversee this important resource. This is a trans and nonbinary space, so we especially need trans volunteers for these roles. Coordinators help manage donations, volunteers and/or communications.

  • Emergency Fund Planning Committee: We’re in planning stages of this resource and need more volunteers to help develop the Fund, including creating an advisory board and building out guidelines and processes. We’re especially seeking volunteers with experience in financial services and/or community programs.

  • Open Hours: By popular demand, we’re starting to offer open hours on a regular basis and need volunteers to help staff them. Current Open Hours events include Coffee with Queers, Game Nights, and more.

We welcome all volunteers, especially those who identify as LGBTQIA+. We are committed to diversity and equity in our leadership and programming. Black, indigenous, and other people of color; trans people (especially transwomen and transfemmes); people in rural areas; and people with disabilities are warmly invited to join us!

Remodel Progress

Spring is in the air, which hopefully means we’ll get scheduled for construction soon on our two big upcoming projects!

Renovating the detached garage will give us more usable space, including breakout or overflow space during larger events and room for the youth group to expand.

Rebuilding the deck will create a wheelchair accessible entrance and enhance our outdoor space for events and gatherings.

We’ll keep you posted!

Note: With the community center coming along, we’re opening the space to other groups in the community who need a spacious, comfortable, welcoming place to meet or hold an event. If you’re interested in using the space or would like a tour, please email us any time at

News Roundup

  • The Rainbow Family Alliance is a social group for LGBTQIA+ parents and their kids. This group meets on the second Sunday of most months, with quarterly parents-only events. Our March events include a parents-only Game Night on Saturday 3/11 from 6-8 pm and our regular monthly meetup on Sunday 3/12 from 1-3 pm. Email if you have questions or want to volunteer!

  • Gender Blender is a community-led social / supportive space for transgender and non-binary adults (18+). A new series of events called “Breakfast at Walmart” features a hot breakfast at TCP, followed by shopping in pairs or groups. The Breakfast event is offered on all first, second, and fourth Sundays at 10 a.m. Email for details or to join and/or volunteer!

  • Building Respect and Inclusion through Training and Education (BRITE) is our inclusivity training offered to any group, organization, or workplace that recognizes the importance of intentionally creating welcoming, safe, and supportive spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community. Our trainings are tailored to each group’s needs, and the information and conversation can range from introductory to advanced. In 2022 BRITE trained over 700 people in 18 trainings! We’re currently building out the 2023 calendar. If you’d like to sign up or have questions, email

  • Parents 4 Parents is a community for parents and adult family members of LGBTQIA+ identified people of all ages. They currently meet in person on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. Reach out via the P4P Facebook page for details.

  • Prism, our youth group for ages 11-18, continues to meet in person at TCP on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of every month. For more information, email

  • The Clothing Closet is excited to announce Open Hours on Fridays from 12-2:30 p.m.! We’re also finally ready for new volunteers, and donations can be dropped off anytime on Fridays before 3 p.m. If you’d like more info, want to set up a time to stop by, or you’re interested in volunteering, email us at

  • Our partners at Mid-Missouri PrideFest are working hard to plan this year’s September event! If you’re interested in volunteering with PrideFest, they meet on 4th Wednesdays from 6-8:30 p.m. @ TCP.

  • Scout Troop 626 meets on the 2nd and 3rd Wednesday of every month at Locust Street Expressive Arts Elementary in downtown Columbia. Contact Howard Hutton at 573-823-1868 if you have questions or would like to join.

  • Check out the Trans-Affirming Healthcare Provider list for an updated list of local providers!

  • Interested in learning more about our long-term goals and plans? The TCP 3-Year Strategic Plan is available online!

Our Mission

Our mission at The Center Project is to provide a safe, affirming space to learn, grow, build community, and access support and resources. Historically, our programming has focused on LGBTQIA+ youth, families, and people living in rural areas; as we grow and expand our services and impact, we are committed to equity, justice, inclusion, and representation in our programming and leadership.

TCP is an all-volunteer community center focused on serving the needs of LGBTQIA+ people in Columbia throughout Mid-Missouri. Located at 805 Fairview Ave. in Columbia’s beautiful First Ward, we are within walking distance of the bus line, downtown, The Loop, all 3 college campuses, and local food and shelter resources.

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