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LUSH Lounge & Theater starts nonprofit to honor, celebrate, and support LGBTQ,+ BIPOC artists

LUSH is pushing to make their space a safe haven and a place where people can be themselves.

MINNEAPOLIS — In this week's Communities that KARE, we're highlighting LUSH Lounge & Theater.

Just in time for Pride month, the space has announced it's launching a nonprofit to protect queer artists. The nonprofit is called the LUSH Legacy Fund.

The nonprofit was started to protect the art of drag and create a safe and inclusive space where LGBTQ+ and BIPOC artists can gather, perform, and feel appreciated. 

One board member we spoke to says right now, there are a lot of anti-drag and anti-trans bills that are being passed. That's why LUSH is pushing to make its space a safe haven and a place where people can be themselves.

"We need to protect this community and especially now more than ever, because the community honestly is under attack," said Jared Lawrence, LUSH Owner and LUSH Legacy Fund Board Member. "We're very fortunate to live in a state that really doesn't respond to some of the rhetoric, and we're very lucky. But that can change. So we want to make sure that we're doing what we can to build a solid foundation so that that doesn't sway our mission."

LUSH has over 50 drag performers that are featured in various shows throughout the week. One of the performers we spoke to says this nonprofit is a great way for LUSH to expand its reach.  

"This building specifically has so much character and I think utilizing the building and all it has to offer, I think can help serve the community both short term and in the future. I think it's a good thing to use this space for the community in a grander way then just drag entertainment," said Luna Muse.

The nonprofit has also partnered with the team at Rainbow Health. Rainbow Health offers in-person and teletherapy mental, chemical, and sexual health services for LGBTQ+ people, people living with HIV, and folks from communities that historically and currently face barriers to behavioral health support.

During Pride, LUSH is hosting many events. Click here for a rundown of events. You can also donate to the LUSH Legacy Fund here.

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