qFLIX Worcester: New England’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival is proud to announce that this year’s Harvey Milk Community Service Award recipients will be Stacy Lord and Laura Marotta, two strong leaders in the Worcester community who have dedicated themselves to both the advancement of our youth and the arts.

Harvey Milk once said, “All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.”

As the co-founders of Creative Hub Worcester, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable and accessible opportunities in the Arts for all Worcester area community members, with a focus on at-risk and underserved youth, Stacy and Laura epitomize this statement.

We see them as beacons of what can be done and achieved with a vision and some heart.

Stacy and Laura are both working artists, painting and sculpting that are frequently exhibited in local shows and sold for charitable auctions. Both are heavily immersed in Worcester’s LGBTQ+ community, working on a consistent basis with Worcester Pride, Safe Homes, and Love Your Labels to make Worcester a more inclusive, a safe place for all its residents and visitors.

The goal for Creative Hub’s future arts community center, which is planned to open in 2021, is to develop a sustainable model through which people can explore their passions, self-expression, identity, make connections, and become engaged through the arts.

Stacy and Laura have dedicated their lives to serving communities by using creativity and the arts to foster empathy, acceptance of diversity, and civic engagement.

Stacy is an active member of the National Art Education Association, having presented over the past several years at the national conventions. She has been the Eastern Region Director Elect for the middle level of NAEA, and she has served on the board of the Massachusetts Art Education Association for many years. Stacy also serves on the board of Love Your Labels.

Four years ago, Stacy co-founded Creative Hub Worcester with her partner, Laura, and they are working to renovate the former Ionic Avenue Boys’ Club to become a fully accessible and dynamic community arts center that will include artist studios, a makerspace, childcare and youth programs, events, and more.

Laura currently serves as President of the Massachusetts Art Education Association. She serves on the board of Love Your Labels, and is the Executive Director of Creative Hub Worcester, running a capital campaign to renovate a former Boys’ Club to become a community Arts center, and she also runs the Creative Hub After School Program, an Arts-focused program for school age youth that may be at-risk or underserved.

Stacy and Laura are rare examples of community advocacy in action.  Like Milk once said, “Hope is never silent.” This is so true when it comes to the hope our two recipients share with others.

The Harvey Milk Community Service Award will be presented on opening night, Thursday, October 10, 7:30 PM, at 55 Pearl Street, Worcester, Massachusetts, followed by the film “From Zero to I Love You.”