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Posts Tagged ‘QSpot in Ocean Grove’

You may remember the 2017 to-do over efforts to force QSpot out of their Ocean Grove headquarters.  The QSpot location is at ground level on the Main Street side of the JSAC building (the former Neptune High School.)  They will be staying there.

 

Here is a link to our 9/20/17 Blogfinger article about the QSpot eviction dispute last year:  Blogfinger post about QSpot’s eviction dispute.

And here is another post on BF about this subject:

Blogfinger on QSpot legal tangle.

The late Herb Herbst, CEO of the Jersey Shore Arts Center,  was going to fight the law suit which tried to accuse him of discrimination as he tried to evict the QSpot.  But Herbst died suddenly last June, and then the dispute seemed to go underground—but during the legal wrangling, QSpot stayed put.

Yesterday a Blogfinger reader, Paul Weinstein, sent us an “announcement” written 3/27/18 by John Mikytuck, Q’s Executive Director who said, ” QSpot LGBT Community Center and the Jersey Shore Arts Center have come to an agreement to resolve their differences and move forward in a more productive direction.”

He said that  QSpot would “continue to serve the needs of the LGBT community at our welcoming center [in Ocean Grove] providing vital services and arts and culture programming including mental health and social support, QFest LGBT Film Festival, and many other important social and community events.”

The announcement thanked those who helped reverse the eviction including the Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest and the law firms of  DLA Piper LLP and Lowenstein Sandler LLP.

–Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net—Ocean Grove, NJ.

 

CAROLE KING:

 

 

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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In an on-line post yesterday, the QSpot LGBT Community Center of Ocean Grove, NJ revealed that they were filing an “additional retaliation claim in its pending discrimination lawsuit against the JSAC in New Jersey Superior Court today.”  QSpot is represented by a “national law firm Lowenstein Sandler LLP with support from the Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest.”

You may recall that the QSpot organization rents space (for the last 4 years) at the Jersey Shore Arts Center in Ocean Grove.  But Herb Herbst, President of the JSAC, would not renew the lease on the grounds that QSpot did not provide the requisite arts programming.  QSpot disagreed and filed a discrimination law suit last November.

QSpot claimed that the JSAC “acted out of bias towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and that they were in violation of New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination.”

The “retaliation claim” is about the alleged “threats of retaliation by the JSAC if QSpot holds its 2nd Annual  QFest NJ LBGT Film Festival on April 7,8,9.”

If our readers want to learn more about the  QSpot Film Festival, you can visit this link:    QSpot film festival link

They also have a FaceBook page at  QSpotLGBTCommunityCenter  http://facebook.com/QSpot/LGBTCommunityCenter

At Blogfinger we are always interested in unique cultural events in Ocean Grove as well as news of all sorts pertaining to our town. We will not get involved in presenting the QSpot legal tangle (after all, it takes two to tangle)  that continues to emerge, but we will keep our fingers on the pulse of this very interesting story, and I do know how to take a pulse.

Remarkably, for a tiny town, this is not the first time that Ocean Grove has been center stage regarding  issues with potential national impact having to do with gay rights and discrimination.

Thank you to the citizen reporter who alerted us to the latest chapter in the QSpot saga.  Please keep us informed–we are an information sharing website.

And, by the way, this is not the first time that a film festival was held in the Grove.  You may recall the 1st and 2nd Annual Blogfinger Film Festivals which ironically were almost held at the JSAC, but changed its venue to the Youth Temple in the Grove thanks to the generosity of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association.

MERLE HAGGARD  “It’s All in the Movies.”

 

 

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Ocean Grove , New Jersey. Seeking the truth in a small town. Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net

Ocean Grove , New Jersey. Seeking the truth in a small town. Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net

To the Editor:

After carefully reading the APP  article linked below as well as a detailed historical account of Jersey Shore Arts Center, it seems to me that QSpot is simply not congruous with the mission of JSAC. From JSAC’s inception, it has exclusively been about promoting the arts in every capacity. Even its newest addition of 2014, wherein a culinary institute was established for training the disabled for employment possibilities is geared towards the culinary “ARTS”.

It seems that anyone and everyone interested in learning about, participating in and generally being a part of the arts world are welcome regardless of race, creed, color or sexual preference. Even the culinary institute which is geared towards the disabled, while focusing on that rubric in particular, would certainly, it seems, welcome a gay or transgender student as well as any other, provided they were disabled. However, from what I gather, while QSpot is peripherally involved in the arts (e.g. – the LGBT film festival), it seems their primary focus and mission is directed towards counseling and serving the LGBT community with emphasis on things like HIV and TG awareness. While this kind of organization is certainly admirable and absolutely necessary, it is NOT in accord with JSAC’s primary mission of promoting the arts.

Even the debate about being asked to remove their rainbow flag hung in solidarity after the Orlando massacre at the gay club is comprehensible in this light because an arts center is for everybody and is about the arts, and any flag which particularizes attention to any group, whether LGBT or the Republican Party or supporters of Israel or Black Lives Matter, is inappropriate in the context of an apolitical organization or building which is about inclusivity for all in the interest of promoting the arts. As soon as flags are flying, no matter how justifiable the cause may be, it is no longer about the arts, it is no longer apolitical, and it is no longer inclusive. Flags are inherently exclusive by nature and can either intentionally or unintentionally alienate certain people, which unquestionably runs athwart of the objective of an arts center for ALL.

This whole conflict seems unfairly contrived against JSAC for the sake of a political agenda. QSpot should just be mature and honest about it and find a new headquarters. Just because society is finally beginning to acknowledge gay rights in a big way, as it should, does NOT mean that every issue involving gay people has to be about their rights or the ostensible impingement of their rights. As someone once wisely said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar” and sometimes a non-renewal on a lease is just a non-renewal on a lease.

www.app.com/story/news/local/communitychange/2016/09/23/qspot-lgbt-center-being-kicked-out-jersey-shore-arts-center/90901076/

LEONARD ZUBERMAN is a nom de plume of a writer who lives in Monmouth County.

October 6, 2016

GRIZZLY BEAR  “Easier”   From the movie Blue Valentine

“I know, I know
The doors won’t close
The pipes all froze
Just let it go”

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Jersey Shore Arts Center on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Internet photo.

Jersey Shore Arts Center on Main Street  in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Internet photo.  (For those of you smartiepants who think we made an error in this address, this side of the building is on Main Street;  the other side is on Main Avenue.)

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Ocean Grove.  September  16, 2016.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

About three years ago, a group called QSpot moved into the Jersey Shore Arts Center in Ocean Grove, NJ.  They put up a billboard in November, 2013,  on Main Street  to proudly announce their arrival.

This is what we said in Blogfinger about the photo below:

“We saw this banner today opposite the UPS store in the strip mall. I asked a gay friend about it, but she never heard of it. Consulting Google, I learned that this is a social group, founded in Asbury Park in December 2012. It will now be meeting in the lower level of the Jersey Shore Arts Center and its first open house was held last Sunday. It has about 100 members.

“If any of the members of this new Ocean Grove organization want to tell us about the Project, please contact Blogfinger.”

We never heard back from any of that group regarding what Q Spot was about.

Now we have received information that QSpot is an organization  which provides “services” to the LGBT community in this area.   The group thought it would have a long lease with the JSAC, but they were recently informed that the lease would  not be renewed.

Main Street sign announcing the arrival of QSpot in Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo Nov. 2013. © Click to read the sign.

Main Street, Ocean Grove,  sign announcing the arrival of QSpot in Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo Nov. 2013. © Click to read the sign.

The reason given by the landlord is that QSpot does not offer arts and education programs. That is the bottom line for those who get to rent space there.  John Mikytuck, the executive director of QSpot, disagrees regarding its programming.  He says that QSpot, founded in 2005, does offer such programs.

In an article by MaryAnn Spoto of NJ.com, she discusses the situation, but, as usual with the press, she fails to get the facts straight when speaking about Ocean Grove:

She said, “A community center providing services for gays and lesbians says it’s abruptly being thrown out of its office space in a Shore town that touts Christian beliefs but has had past struggles with gay couples.”

She also quoted Mikytuck as suggesting that the timing of the eviction notice indicates an anti-gay bias which he links to the Orlando shooting at a gay club.  This assertion is wildly out of order, and the reporter should have probed a bit before printing it.

After that she pursued the anti-gay, anti-Ocean Grove theory by saying, “Ocean Grove , a section of Neptune Township, has had past struggles with the gay community.”

She also mentioned the Camp Meeting Association as being guilty of bias regarding the Pavilion matter in 2007.  What in the world does the CMA have to do with this lease renewal situation, and certainly a good reporter would have determined the difference between the CMA and the town of Ocean Grove.

We will definitely  hear more about this situation, but hopefully, as they cover this story,  the press will do something about their muddled journalism.

MANDY HARVEY:

 

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