Center on Halsted's Community and Cultural team creates and hosts a wide array of fun, interactive and engaging programs enjoyed by members of the entire community. Events range from volleyball games in our gymnasium to dance recitals in our theatre. We host regular receptions showcasing local LGBTQ artists and special events for LGBTQ families and friends.
Keep reading to find out about the different events and programs offered at Center on Halsted. And be sure to check out our calendar to find an upcoming event that's right for you.
Children's Space & Family Programs
Center on Halsted provides a safe and inviting place for all families to play and celebrate with one another. The Butler-Vanderlinden Child Center on the second floor is a space completely devoted to children's activities. You're invited to bring your little ones here anytime. Toys, books, and games are all available—just bring the fun!
Additionally, we host regular events and programs for LGBTQ families and we partner with area organizations including the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois and PFLAG, as well as children's festivals and theaters to host local family events. Check out the calendar for upcoming events for your family.
These include a number of trans-related community events, social gatherings, and other opportunities throughout the year, such as TQI Lounge, Community Cave, T-FEM, T-MAC, GenderQueer Chicago, Parents of Trans Individuals, Trans Turning Point, our Trans Ice Cream Social during Pride Month, Transgender Day of Visibility, Transgender Day of Remembrance, as well as a number of trans-focused workshops, trainings, and additional events. All of these program offerings are designed for trans*-identified and/or questioning individuals. Check the calendar for upcoming transgender related events.
The Women's Action Committee is a group of dedicated Center on Halsted volunteers who plan and host regular fundraising and social events—“By Women, For Women”—throughout the year to benefit local women’s organizations. The organization also hosts women’s speed dating and in the winter we have a Women’s Art program that brings women together to socialize and learn to paint. Each week we host a peer led women’s game night where several dozen women gather to socialize and play board games and a women’s discussion group called the L Lounge. Check the calendar for upcoming women's events.
Center on Halsted has a full-size gymnasium on the third floor which hosts a number of athletic events and programs like open gym volleyball, floor hockey, and basketball. More than 500 people come to Center on Halsted every week to enjoy the athletic facilities and team sports. Additionally, we regularly host yoga, ballroom dancing, board game nights and fitness classes. Check out our calendar of events for more information.
Open Gym Volleyball
Prior to the pandemic, Center on Halsted hosted Open Gym Volleyball every Monday and Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. There was a $7 fee per night or the option to pay only $30 for a monthly pass. Open Gym Volleyball is currenly closed due to the pandemic. The Center continues to follow City, State, and CDC guidelines. Once we have the capacity to do so and it is safe to do so, we will return to hosting Open Gym Volleyball. We are hopeful we will be able to do so in the Fall but time will tell. When open gym returns: Click here to purchase your pass for upcoming open gym volleyball.
Sponsored Sports Teams
We are home to five recreational leagues that play regularly at Center on Halsted throughout the year.
Center on Halsted is proud to offer on-site GED programming to help LGBTQ individuals and allies to continue their education and to seek better job placement opportunities. The GED program is a comprehensive community learning course in collaboration between Center on Halsted and Truman Community College. Students and teachers meet twice a week to prepare for the GED test. GED program participants have the advantages and ease of continuing as a Truman College student upon passing the GED test. Enrollment and assessment is necessary for the GED program. Tutoring is available.
Interested? Contact GED@centeronhalsted.org.
LGBTQ Artists Gallery
Center on Halsted is home to two art galleries which showcase different LGBTQ artists from the community. You can view the galleries on the second and third floors during normal business hours or join us for our opening night reception where you can mix and mingle with other community members and meet the featured artists.
If you are an LGBTQ artist based in Chicagoland and interested in being considered for a show, please contact our curator David Joseph at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Center on Halsted's Silver Fork Program is a nine-week vocational training program for LGBTQ and allied adults who are unemployed or underemployed. Participants receive hands-on training from local chefs in the culinary arts, including cooking, knife handling, sanitation, and etiquette. Graduates receive two certificates and receive job placement assistance. For more information and to apply, please visit click here.
Career Development Workshops
Through corporate partnerships, Center on Halsted is able to provide career development workshops and trainings to assist individuals in the job market. Topics and skills covered include things such as résumé building, networking, job searches, and interviewing skills. Check the Calendar for upcoming workshops.
Hosting Your Own Community Event
Space at Center on Halsted—including our gymnasium, theatre, and meeting rooms—is available for rent to community groups and corporations. Non-profit organizations receive discounted prices.
If you would like to rent a space for an event, please check out this page.
Have an idea for an event or program? We want to hear from you! If you would like more information about our Community and Cultural Programs, you can reach us at email@example.com.
If you have an idea for a program, please submit a proposal that provides an overview of your idea, including the who, what, when, where, and why of your program to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have marketing materials, including imagery and promotional videos, please include them.