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Harvey Milk Institute

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Arts Education, Civil Rights, Education, Educational Services, Lesbian & Gay Rights, LGBTQ

Mission: The mission of the Harvey Milk Institute (HMI) is to foster the development and examination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer culture and community in the SF Bay Area and beyond. HMI conducts programs that present and interpret works by contemporary and historical queer artists and critical thinkers that explore community and personal issues within the context of queer culture.

Founded in 1994, the Harvey Milk Institute is a community based institution which seeks to fulfill the goals of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in California. After serving only 11 months, and at the peak of his influence in city, state and national civil rights, Harvey Milk was assassinated by fellow Supervisor Dan White on November 27, 1978.

Programs: The Harvey Milk Institute (HMI) began offering classes in the spring of 1995 with the simple goal of providing a greater number of people access to diverse themes in queer studies. HMI now embarks upon its eigth year of offering cultural events, workshops and courses with this, our sixteenth full catalog of classes. Through its work, HMI supports and recognizes the work of artists, photographers, poets, writers, activists, comedians, performance artists, dancers, historians and dozens of Bay Area queer organizations.

HMI offers two semesters (fall and spring) of workshops, classes and special events. Programs serve queer and non-queer audiences aged 16-76 of extrememely diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

For the past three summers, we've also coproduced the National Queer Arts Festival with the Queer Cultural Center (Qcc) and showed thousands of people from around the globe why the Bay Area truly is a queer Mecca for queer arts, culture, education and politics.

HMI is a small, grassroots, community-based organization that has been nurtured by countless individuals. Our board of directors, advisory board, volunteers, event planners, conference organizers, interns, webmasters and web mistresses, Sisters and Saints, and most importantly, our instructors and students have made HMI what it is today - the world's largest center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer studies.

HMI's programming is developed by and for our own community; we intend to keep it that way. HMI has become more than a place to take fun and challenging classes. It is a place to examine our history, our present and our future.

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