Columbia and Local Nonprofit Collaborate to Showcase Valuable LBGTQ+ Community Resource 

In January, the windows at 618 S. Michigan Avenue feature examples of clothing available at the Brave Space Alliance, a place where members of the LGBTQ+ community can find free gender-affirming clothing and more.

Over the years, the windows at 618 S. Michigan Avenue have exhibited the work of Columbia College Chicago alumni and students working in fashion design, giving those strolling down Michigan Avenue a visual treat and offering young designers valuable visibility.  

During the next few weeks, though, these windows will feature items available at the Brave Space Alliance, a center located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood that provides affirming and culturally competent “for-us-by-us” resources, programming, and services for LGBTQ+ individuals on the south and west sides of Chicago. Brave Space’s Dignity Suite is a place where community members can find free gender-affirming clothing as well as wigs, binders, tucking underwear, and even smaller items like shaving cream. 

For Brave Space, the window collaboration helps the organization connect to the community, encourage clothing and monetary donations, and promote the organization as a valuable resource to Columbia students, says Jae Rice, the organization’s deputy CEO who worked on the window installation.  

“Brave Space is for anyone who is looking for intentional community and intentional joy, while it’s also for those looking for clothing, groceries, or housing security,” Rice says.  

Noelle Bushman, an administrator in Fashion Studies who oversees the window displays, hopes this is just the beginning of partnering with local groups to use the window space in impactful ways and is excited to partner with Brave Space. 

“At Columbia, we have a large LGBTQ+ population. This partnership helps show our students that Brave Space can be a resource for them,” she says.  

Learn more about the Brave Space Alliance. 


Other stories about Fashion Windows at Columbia:  

Columbia College Chicago’s Window Fashion Exhibit Turns Heads on Michigan Avenue 

Art Institute Contest Awards Columbia’s Cezanne Window Exhibit