Dan Kirsch was an iconic theater arts creator and left an indelible mark on Charlotte’s LGBT community with his groundbreaking work. His artistic genius touched thousands of lives within it alone.
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Early Life and Education
Daniel Kirsch is a wealthy and powerful heir of a corporation, adopted into an influential family and living life trying to meet their unreal expectations and self-centered worldview. After encountering Vincent in Nightmare world, however, Daniel realizes he can be more selfless himself while helping others do the same.
At college, he began as a 17th century Cartesian philosophy major before shifting his studies towards medical sciences and acupuncture. While studying these fields he discovered the electrical properties of acupuncture points and eventually came up with Alpha-Stim, an innovative technology for pain management.
Later, he served as Artistic and Executive Director for Diversionary Theater Company, an LGBT theater pioneer. Restoring its financial health while increasing support for new work was his priority. He commissioned groundbreaking LGBT family musicals including The Daddy Machine and Dear Harvey: an homage to Harvey Milk.
Dan Kirsch was an extraordinary community builder and skilled manager of arts and cultural organizations. As Artistic & Executive Director of Diversionary Theatre Company in San Diego, where he restored it back to financial health as well as commissioning groundbreaking LGBT family musical Dear Harvey.
His career centered around his first love – theater. He directed six regional theater companies and performed in many productions before arriving in Charlotte in 1989, building and managing Charlotte’s first-ever lesbian and gay community center on Central Avenue before founding One Voice Choir as part of the LGBTQ movement.
Kirsch later established a college counseling service that contracts with seven area colleges to offer direct student care, consult with campus counselors, and access to additional clinical resources at UMMS. Kirsch was also instrumental in creating a national model to train psychiatry residents on how best to work with transition age youth.
Achievement and Honors
In 1989, Kirsch founded One Voice Chorus which remains active today. Additionally, he edited Q-Notes magazine, produced a major conference for PFLAG and helped found Charlotte Business Guild (now LGBT Chamber of Commerce). Kirsch introduced N.C. Pride for the first time to Charlotte that same year; also hosting the Gay & Lesbian Association of Choruses annual leadership conference and OutCharlotte cultural festival featuring elegant fundraising events as well as FilmOut, OutMedia and ReachOut educational programs – among many others – since 1994.
He was an avid consumer of plays and books, an attentive listener and idea generator, an outstanding problem solver and an exemplary friend. Additionally, he left behind an incredible legacy of groundbreaking work in Charlotte’s LGBT community.
He was an extraordinary community builder who touched thousands of lives. Additionally, he was known for his extreme generosity and love – often hosting dinner parties with his close circle of friends, playing games or enjoying an ice cream cone after long days at work.
He developed Alpha-Stim technology as a non-invasive alternative to needles for mental health regulation and normalization. Psychologists and psychiatrists embraced brain stimulation as an innovative, safer, more efficient form of intervention for mental illness care.
He founded and restored Diversionary Theatre Company, commissioning groundbreaking works such as Redder Blood for its world premiere co-production. Additionally, he served as executive director for Charlotte’s LGBTQ Chamber and founding board member of Time Out Youth – truly dedicating himself to supporting all forms of art as an advocate. His legacy remains strong within Charlotte’s theatre scene.
Dan Kirsch was a brilliant advocate, an effective community builder, an enthusiastic arts patron, and an extraordinary LGBT advocate. As Executive Director for Time Out Youth Charlotte and later founding ReelAbilities Film Festival of Northern Virginia. Redder Blood was an innovative theater arts project he co-produced at Theatre Charlotte and served on its founding team as its commissioning and co-producing partner. Additionally, he served on the Foundation for the Carolinas Board as trustee as well as Baruch College Fund’s board. He founded Jetro Cash & Carry in New York City as well as investments in the US, UK, Australia and Swaziland. He is survived by his wife, daughter and sister and his estimated net worth exceeds $50 Million. Additionally he served on several privately held boards of companies.