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Dan Kirsch papers

Identifier: MS0358

Scope and Contents

This collection consists largely of material generated during Kirsch's work in the theatre from 1970-2019 in the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, Zeiterion Theatre and Diversionary Theatre. There is also a large amount of material related to Kirsch's work in the LGBT community, particularly with OutCharlotte and the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. There is also a small amount of material related to Dan's high school years, job searches and personal correspondence.


  • Creation: 1990 - 2000


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Dan Kirsch papers are the physical property of J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections. Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical Note

Daniel Leander Kirsch was born in Marshfield, Wisconsin on August 25, 1953 to Jerome and Mary Lou Kirsch. Kirsch began his work in theater in the 1970s and received his first major job of Managing Director of the Zeiterion Theatre in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1982. He then become the Administrative Director of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania in 1985, where he remained until he made the move to Charlotte in 1989 to become the director of the Charlotte Shakespeare Company.

Upon Kirsch's arrival in Charlotte, he founded One Voice Chorus, a gay, lesbian and gay-affirmative chorus, along with four others. In 1991, he then became the editor of Q-Notes, an LGBTQ arts, entertainment and news publication based in Charlotte, produced a major conference for PFLAG and helped found the Charlotte Business Guild (now the LGBT Chamber of Commerce). In 1994, Dan brought NC Pride to Charlotte for the first time and hosted the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA) Leadership Summit in the city. In 1995, Kirsch founded and served as Executive Director of OutCharlotte, an annual LGBT cultural festival that includes fundraising events, FilmOut, OutMedia and ReachOut. In 2003, Dan built and opened the first Lesbian and Gay Community Center in Charlotte on Central Avenue. In 2004, he helped spearhead the efforts to create the Charlotte Lesbian & Gay Fund at the Foundation for the Carolinas, which has awarded over a million dollars in assistance to LGBT organizations and programs. Beginning in 2005, Kirsch moved from Charlotte to San Diego to serve as Artistic & Executive Director of Diversionary Theatre. In 2012, Dan moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia to become the Cultural Arts Director of the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia. While there, he commissioned the play Redder Blood and established the ReelAbilities Film Festival in Northern Virginia.

In 2016, Kirsch returned to Charlotte and helped lead Time Out Youth's capital campaign to raise 3 million dollars for its home on Monroe Road. He produced a reading of Dear Harvey, played the role of Uncle Willie in the Philadelphia Story at Theater Charlotte and founded Charlotte LGBT Elders. At the time of his death, Dan served as Interim Executive Director of The Choir School at St. Peter's. Dan Kirsch died in Charlotte on February 21, 2020, a great loss for Charlotte's LGBT community and the city at large.



1 Linear Feet

2.84 Gigabytes (Mac)

Language of Materials



Papers documenting Kirsch's work in the LGBT community as well as his work in theatre throughout the country. Includes press releases, brochures, newsletters, correspondence, playbills, CDs and VHS tapes.


The collection is arranged into the following five series: Activism, Theatre, Personal, Assorted and Audiovisual and Photographs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Dan Kirsch, 23 November 2005. Additional materials acquired from Kimberly Melton, executor of the estate of Dan Kirsch, in 2021.


Forms part of the King-Henry-Brockington LGBTQ+ Archive.

Processing Information

Previously titled Charlotte Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Collection. Additions were processed by Andrew Pack in 2021.

Dan Kirsch papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

Special Collections and University Archives
J. Murrey Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
(704) 687-1170
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