The motto for Spectrum is “All ages, one bond”, which in a nutshell describes the people who meet at Harmony Café in Appleton Monday nights from 7:00-9:00 P.M.
Spectrum could be considered to be the third generation of group associated with Goodwill industries over the past decade. The GLBT Youth Partnership was the first organization, giving youth an opportunity to meet socially, and find acceptance within themselves and from others. Several years later group members who were graduating from High School still wanted a group which met to socialize and share concerns, and Etcetera was born. Etcetera eventually became a group of individuals ages 18-24. This created a need for a group for older individuals to meet on a weekly basis.
In 2007 several older members of Etcetera met and brainstormed what this new group would be like. With the support of Harmony Café, “Spectrum” was born. “Spectrum” refers to a prism of glass, in which a single beam of light becomes a variety of diverse and beautiful colors. It was decided that Spectrum would be open to all individuals from 18-98 years old. This wide range of ages allows individuals from different generations to know each other and learn from one another. Spectrum also allows individuals from the Fox Valley to socialize outside of a bar setting.
In early 2008 Spectrum began meeting on Monday nights at Harmony Café in Appleton. What began as a group of several individuals who had a vision to create an opportunity for the GLBT community in the Fox Valley, has grown into a group of 20-25 individuals who gather at Harmony Café on Monday nights and has over 100 friends and members on Facebook. Individuals range in age from 18 to 65, and people from Green Bay, DePere, Shawano, New London, Berlin, Oshkosh as well as Appleton and the surrounding communities come for coffee, conversation and camaraderie.
While the majority of gatherings are social, Spectrum members have had potlucks at individual’s homes, held book discussions, gone out for dinner, attended the PAC for “Avenue Q”, and have an occasional game night. Unlike the GLBT Partnership and Etcetera which came before, Spectrum is hosted by adult group members and not facilitators. The group continues to welcome new members of all ages, whether someone is new to the valley or a lifelong resident.
Credits: History and description by NE Wisconsin LGBT History Project,
Paul "Cricket" Jacob and Lloyd Schaefer;
Web site design and layout by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: July-2009.