Very few people make an impact on visitors to the LGBT Center of Raleigh as much as our Volunteer of the Year, Kim Chapin.
“Kim dedicates a large chunk of her personal time to help build the Center and bring our community together that is often invisible to the general public,” said Executive Director James Miller. “Her contributions range from First Friday coordination, to SoFFA organizer and facilitator, to serving on the Out! Raleigh planning committee. Her dedication shows in many aspects of the Center’s programming and events.”
Center’s Art Gallery
Kim is the Curator of the Center’s Art Gallery. The Gallery adds to the warm, hospitable, and inviting atmosphere that visitors find, and the exhibit changes frequently enough to give people a reason to come back to visit often.
Kim interviews potential artists about artwork for the exhibit and manages the installations every month. She seeks variety in the types of work displayed during the year. It might appeal to women one month and another month it may appeal more to men. Kim strives to find artists of various ages during the year and seeks a balance of the mediums that artists use, so we are treated to exceptional diversity in photography, sculpture, painting, and mixed media. “Installation day is the most fun,” says Kim. “I really enjoy arranging the pieces so they help convey what the artists are expressing."
Kim looks for established and emerging artists in our community who want to display their work. The Center gets a portion of the proceeds from any pieces that are sold. Kim says, “The only requirement is that artists be allies of our community, so anyone can be included.” Our website records the history of all the artists who have exhibited at the Center. Click or tap here to review them.
First Friday Art Reception
Kim also coordinates our First Friday Art Reception every month. Along with loyal volunteers who she credits for the event’s success and popularity, Kim provides an assortment of treats and beverages for visitors to enjoy while they mingle with the artists and each other. Every month, First Friday draws around a hundred visitors to the Center. It is the only regular Center event that appeals to the whole community.
The Center holds an annual Artist Retrospective in December. Kim invites a number of the most successful artists back, along with craftspeople in our community, to create an amazing pre-holiday event enjoyed by all.
SoFFA Support Group
Kim is also the monthly organizer of the Center’s SoFFA Support Group. SoFFA stands for Significant Others Friends, Family, and Allies, a group formed to create a peer support and social network for significant others, friends, family, and allies of people in transition or questioning whether transition is appropriate, as well as gender fluid or gender queer individuals.
Kim is married to one of the founders of the Center’s Transgender Initiative, so she understands how gender expression can impact the lives of the loved ones of Trans* individuals. Kim convenes and facilitates the group every month. She encourages everyone to be allies of people in our transgender community. Kim and Rebecca celebrate their ninth wedding anniversary in September.
Out! Raleigh Decorations Coordinator
Kim is an accomplished artist herself. In May of each of the last four years and for the foreseeable future, Kim makes Out! Raleigh inviting and festive. Kim designs the Out! Raleigh decorations and, in a flurry of activity that begins a few days before the Festival, she leads a team of folks who transform Fayetteville Street into Out! Raleigh.
We are pleased to announce that Kimberly Chapin is the LGBT Center of Raleigh’s Volunteer of the Year for 2015. The Award was presented to her at the LGBT Center’s 7th Annual Awards Gala on Friday, October 16th, 2015 as a part of our celebration of National Coming Out Week.