Queer as Folks

Laura Smidzik Leaving Project 515

Project 515 Executive Director Laura Smidzik has decided to step down from her position at the end of 2009 to pursue a career in ministry. She will begin studying at United Theological Seminary in January. She was tapped in 2005 to provide leadership and oversight to the then-new organization, which strives to highlight that 515 Minnesota laws discriminate against the GLBT community. Project 515’s Board of Directors has formed a search committee, and will post the position soon. Board Chair Lee Anderson said, “Project 515’s success over its first years would have been impossible without Laura’s leadership, and we will really miss her. Laura has chosen an exciting new life direction, and we wish her all the best.”

Thebe Street Receives National Advertising Nomination

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has nominated Thebe Street for an advertising award. It created a quit-smoking campaign that features a GLBT-friendly component. It will compete with other advertising campaigns from Cadillac and Hyatt Resorts to Allstate and Progressive Insurance. Thebe Street developed creative concepts visually embodying “support” (literally one dancer holding up another) from avant-garde Ballets Russes. The multimedia quit-smoking campaign includes print ads; out-of-home advertising (billboards and bush shelter ads); and online and guerilla marketing. All these advertisements were geared to include GLBT smokers.

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