The Column is a nonprofit LGBT media organization under the fiscal sponsorship of Springboard for the Arts.
Our mission has four key points: preserving and elevating the rich and unique history, arts, and culture of LGBT Minnesotans; confronting agents of intolerance who spread lies and misinformation about our community; holding government, businesses, and our own community institutions accountable to full equality for the entire spectrum that makes up our community; and promoting, and providing a platform for, LGBT and allied creatives.
The first goal will be accomplished by obtaining and publishing the old archives for Eleventh Avenue South and the Minnesota Independent, two online presences which have recorded much of Minnesota’s LGBT history in the last 10 years. In addition, the first goal will be accomplished by recording the myriad of artistic and cultural events that shape our community with an eye for issues and events that don’t get the media attention they deserve.
The second goal will be accomplished by monitoring anti-LGBT hate groups in Minnesota, and exposing their words and deeds. In addition, we will monitor Minnesota’s media organizations to ensure that the LGBT community and our issues are fairly represented. And we will follow the money to see who is bankrolling organizations that promote inequality.
The third goal will be accomplished by solid, objective, and thoroughly researched reporting on issues affecting our community. We will work to identify inequalities in the law, and expose politicians who seek to block equality. We will work to expose businesses who refuse to hire, provide services, and contribute funds to anti-equality efforts.
From drag and comedy to fine arts, slam poetry, music, theatre, and film, the LGBT community has been — and continues to be — leaders in the arts community. The fourth goal will be accomplished by covering events and installations by artists and creatives, providing coverage to new art movements, and offering artists and other creatives space on the web to feature their content.
Our writers have made a huge impact on the public debate in Minnesota and nationally. Just a few exemples include: Michele Bachmann hiding in the bushes. Stories of the struggles of LGBT students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District. Exposing the high school ministry of Bradlee Dean and You Can Run But You Cannot Hide. Bringing to light rampant discrimination against LGBT people in the jury selection process. The trial of Cece McDonald. Exposing the corporate funders of the Boy Scouts of America.
As we embark on a new path, TheColu.mn is producing Face Off HIV, a project that is bringing the rich and diverse stories of Minnesotans living with HIV and AIDS to a multimedia format including a documentary film and a coffee table book with a goal of ending stigma.
TheColu.mn is also producing a book documenting the history of the marriage equality debate in Minnesota from 1969 to the present.