Friday, July 17, 2009

Wingspan Leaving Current Building; ED Resigning

Posted By on Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Wingspan, Tucson's LGBT community center and advocacy organization, is going through some major changes due to the economy.

The Range confirmed some difficult news this morning with Wingspan Executive Director Jason Cianciotto, after the organization held an emergency stakeholder meeting at the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona last night.

Cianciotto confirmed he has resigned, but will remain until the end of the month without salary to help the organization in what will be a big transition and shift, involving further layoffs and moving the agency into a new space.

Caz Springer, the organization's media and communications director, was let go, but will continue on until the end of the month. Alison Davison, the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance coordinator, remains, as does the organization's commitment to the transgender community.

The remaining staff also includes Courtney Jones, program director, as well the anti-violence program staff and Eon Youth staff that work with LGBT kids ages 13-23.

Evidently, the biggest challenge for Cianciotto and Wingspan was the unexpected collapse of the economy. Cianciotto joined Wingspan last year, coming onboard after an almost year-long search for the right ED. Unfortunately, the timing wasn't right for Cianciotto and his ideas had to be placed on hold while the organization had to figure out how to survive this downturn.

Wingspan's rent of almost $8,000 a month is a factor in the organization making a physical move. The Range was told that the landlord wasn't interested in renegotiating the lease agreement, but the lease doesn't end until 2010. Cianciotto says he can't comment further on the lease. However, the remaining staff will be moving across the street from its 425 E. 7th Street location into the Eon Youth Lounge space.

Wingspan's rent of almost $8,000 a month is a factor in the organization making a physical move. The Range was told the lease doesn't end until 2010. Cianciotto says he can't comment further on the lease negotiations, but told The Range that he talked to a landlord representative as recently as yesterday. However, the remaining staff will be moving across the street from its 425 E. 7th Street location into the Eon Youth Lounge space.

We'll have more information in next week's Tucson Weekly.

UPDATE: Cianciotto contacted The Range to correct our entry regarding Wingspan. Cianciotto said the organization has been in contact with a landlord representative as recently as yesterday. Lease negotiations, he said, are ongoing.

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