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Vision Statement: The Geek Partnership Society (GPS) is a group of geeks working in cooperation with other organizations to better serve the geek community of the Saint Paul/Minneapolis area through:
- Providing a venue & other infrastructure to deliver programs to our community;
- Celebrating all that is geek through year-round programs and activities designed to inspire and connect individuals with the broader geek community;
- Encouraging creativity, curiosity and volunteerism while maintaining a sense of humor;
- Giving back to the greater St. Paul/Minneapolis community through organized activities, fundraising events and school interaction;
- Collaboration with schools and other local agencies, with a focus on connecting kids to the powers of science and literacy;
- Promoting a spirit of community which encourages creativity, diversity and a sense of partnership; and
- Building partnerships with a broad array of local geek organizations to help us accomplish together what none of us could do alone
Founded in 1998 as MiSFiTS (the Minnesota Society for the Interest in Science Fiction and Fantasy), we have established a tradition of year-round programs by and for local geeks. From our educational initiative of bringing science into local classrooms, to a movie club, to things as simple as an ice cream social, we’ve always believed that there are great opportunities for service and fun, even if we have to create them.
As 2009 drew to a close, we determined we could and should become more. We believe it is time for a community institution dedicated to serving the local geek community. That means providing a facility for work and events to happen. That means building more programs and events to host in that facility. That means networking with the geeks around us to do all of this in new and exciting ways. What it really means is a community center.
The idea is hardly new, but in years of dreaming, nobody has put together something like this before. There are a couple very successful science fiction clubhouses out there, and they helped inspire us to take the idea beyond the next level. Now, we think, the time is right. We’re committed to making that happen, and this website will show you our progress as we go forward. The Twin Cities are, by many measures, one of the geekiest places to live in the world. It can be done, and it will be done here. Want in?
GPS today is alive, growing, and breaking new ground. We have more opportunities for you to have fun than ever before. We’ve more than doubled our volunteer base. We’re expanding our funding sources. We’re operating out of a facility that hosts over 3,000 square feet of event space, and is capable of hosting more than 200 people at once. We’re reaching out to our community to add more programs and more resources all the time.
We operate as an all-volunteer community organization under IRS section 501(c)3 - a fancy way of saying we’re a charity. We have some of the best volunteers we could want, but that’s not quite enough...
Our Membership are the core of our society. In the end, it’s about people, and we promise never to forget that. They attend our events, participate in our programs, or those of our partners. Only slightly less important are those thousands of geeks who aren’t yet plugged in to all the great stuff going on in this town. Membership is yours for the asking, so hop on!
Partnerships are the key to how we operate. Through a series of groundbreaking agreements, GPS is working with other local geek organizations to fulfill not only our mission, but to support the missions of our partners. First, with Convergence Events, we committed to a program partnership that represented an unprecedented level of cooperation and support between two organizations in our community. Just a few months later, Anime Twin Cities stepped up and again with Convergence Events made possible the facility that will help us all make this real.
But we’re far from done. We’re in touch with more groups about working together, and if we haven’t reached everyone yet, we plan to. Partnerships are flexible things, what we each need and can offer one another varies widely, so we’re committed to finding creative ways to support each other that fit each partner’s independent mission and identity. Collaboration can make great things happen.
- Alfredo Lorente
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