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LGBT Rush Center expansion underway

Doug Carl at the Rush Center

The Phillip Rush Center, Atlanta’s LGBT community center, is negotiating to expand by 1,700 square feet, but organizers need to raise another $48,000 in the next six months to complete renovations on the new event space and additional offices for community organizations.

About 100 people attended a March 30 reception at the Rush Center to learn about plans to rent a space in the building located directly behind the current facility on Edgewood Avenue in Candler Park.

Donors pitched in $31,000 that day, including two $5,000 anonymous donations as well as many smaller donations, to help secure that new space and help with its build out.

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Phillip Rush Center to unveil expansion plan

Rush Center

Since the Phillip Rush Center’s inception, organizers have shied away from using the term “community center” to describe the Candler Park LGBT facility where dozens of groups meet and numerous town hall forums have been held.

Several attempts at an LGBT community center in Atlanta had failed and Linda Ellis, executive director of the Health Initiative, and Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, administrators of the Rush Center, wanted to avoid any kind of “curse” the title may have.

But now Ellis and Graham, after conducting a strategic planning process, are embracing the term because, well, that’s what the Rush Center has become.

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Atlanta Pride ED steps down to take job with the Health Initiative

Atlanta Pride Executive Director James Parker Sheffield is stepping down after more than a decade with the largest Pride fest in the Southeast, organization officials announced today. An interim manager will be named until an open search for a new executive director gets underway.

Sheffield is leaving the Atlanta Pride top spot to take a job as Director of Organizational Development a the Health Initiative where he will be working closely with the Health Initiative's longtime executive director Linda Ellis.

“It was not an easy decision, as I am emotionally invested in the Atlanta Pride Committee," Sheffield said today in a statement announcing the news. Sheffield began working for Atlanta Pride in 2000 and took over the helms at the executive director after the 2009 fest.