Queer arts are alive and well across the Carolinas. Illustration Credits: notes: nmarques74; drama masks, nezezon; movie camera, shorena ted; brush, wisannumkarng; maps,ad_hominem; via AdobeStock

If one can sing, play an instrument or share other gifted talents, the Carolinas are a sure spot to welcome volunteers who simply want to entertain.

From the shore to the mountains, the LGBT community is rich in its array of options and opportunities to enjoy and witness as musicality reaches the rafters to rejoice in simply being alive. Chorus groups, performance and marching bands sit alongside theatre companies in providing specialized programming that is not found elsewhere. When that list becomes exhausted, there are also artistic sanctuaries for those who represent the visual arts.

Here is a list of what is available for arts patrons:


Charlotte Pride Band
Charlotte, N.C.
Charlotte Pride Band provides an open, inviting environment for musicians of all ability levels while promoting the value and respect of LGBT and straight allied people in the Charlotte metropolitan area through quality musical performances.

North Carolina Pride Band – Defunct – See Update Below*
Greensboro, N.C.
The NC Pride Band, a non-profit organization, is an inclusive organization uniting communities through a shared love of music. Formerly known as the NC Pride Marching Band, the NC Pride Band is comprised of a marching band, a concert band and a jazz ensemble. Founded in 1987, band was formed as a lesbian drum corps using traditional Latin and African hand drums. In 1996, the band took a new direction and formed as a standard marching band with brass and woodwind instruments and marching percussion.

UPDATE 08/18*
Triangle Pride Band

Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, N.C.
Triangle Pride Band is an LGBTQ and ally community band program which was established in 2016. The Triangle Pride Band welcomes all interested adults (18+), regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, or ability, to join it in lifting up the community through music.

Chorus Groups

Asheville, N.C.
Cantaria is a voluntary, not-for-profit community chorus, organized to provide the opportunity for gay and gay-supportive men to sing together. They produce two primary concerts a year, one in the spring and the other in the winter. In addition to their own concerts, they also lend their voices to other events throughout the year.

Common Woman Chorus
Durham, N.C.
The Common Woman Chorus is a “progressive” voice and “vibrant” musical community based in the Triangle area that provides musical and theatrical productions that highlight the diversity and strength of our everyday lives and experiences while celebrating the local and global events that inspire and inform the community.

Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte
Charlotte, N.C.
Through artistic achievement, education and engagement, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte endeavors to create a society which values and respects its LGBT members. It supports a diverse cross section of the community through its community outreach programs, which include benefit performances, complimentary concert tickets and choral education programs. An emphasis is placed on persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, gay/lesbian youth, senior citizens, school and church choral programs and many more progressive causes. It’s ensemble performance group, 7th Son, is made up of eight men who perform at concerts and community events throughout the year.

One Voice Chorus
Charlotte, N.C.
One Voice is a gay, lesbian and gay-affirmative chorus of Charlotte. Through its artistry it works to increase understanding and acceptance of LGBT individuals. Its achievement in choral music enables it to reach diverse groups, to overcome misperceptions and to grow personally, both as performers and as leaders in the community. It also has its ensemble group, Sotto Voce, who sing with the larger chorus and/or alone in community settings.

Pride of Greenville Chorus
Greenville, S.C.
The Pride of Greenville Chorus is comprised of a men’s, women’s and community chorus. It is an inclusive, community-based organization of gay men and gay-friendly individuals who seek to inspire and change lives through the power of music. It strives to entertain its audiences with artistic excellence, to build community through socialization with and support of its members and to raise awareness of positive images within the gay community of South Carolina.

Triad Pride Men’s Chorus
Greensboro, N.C.
Triad Pride Men’s Chorus performs choral music to entertain, enlighten and enrich while promoting equality and social justice for all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity — fostering pride, understanding and acceptance.

Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus
Research Triangle Park, N.C.
The Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus is a non-profit performing arts organization that seeks to offer quality men’s choral music that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. It is committed to fostering an environment of professionalism, respect, pride and unity. Members are welcome regardless of orientation. Its goals are to strengthen the spirit and open presence of the gay community and to offer the public-at-large a positive image of this community.

Asheville, N.C.
Womansong is Asheville’s oldest and largest women’s community chorus, a welcoming 75-member community chorus and village.

Film Festivals

GayCharlotte Film Festival
Charlotte, N.C.
The GayCharlotte Film Festival is an annual event held in the Queen City. It is a non-profit program whose goal is to entertain, enlighten and build valuable bridges of understanding, support and acceptance within and between the LGBTQ and ally communities in the Charlotte region. During festival times, directors and others assemble to provide panel discussions, as well as incorporate educational and awareness presentations from various scholars across the country.

NC Gay + Lesbian Film Festival
Durham, N.C.
The North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is the second largest gay, lesbian and transgender film festival in the Southeast and features a diverse array of shorts, documentaries and feature films. The film festival celebrates a worldwide glimpse of today’s gay, lesbian and transgender life, helps bring the community together and features entertaining and sophisticated films and filmmaking. Some films have their premiere screenings at the festival and directors often are in attendance to share their thoughts on their film’s production and intent.

OUT at the Movies
Winston-Salem, N.C.
OUT at the Movies was founded in August 2004 by Rex Welton and Lee Mecum. Screenings are held on the second Saturday of every other month. Proceeds from screenings benefit the University of North Carolina School of the Arts School of Filmmaking and the Adam Foundation.

Theatre Companies

Queen City Theatre Company
Charlotte, N.C.
Queen City Theatre Company is a non-profit organization that exists to theatrically explore the human experience and celebrates the many different races, religions, genders and sexual orientations that exist in both Charlotte, N.C., and the world. It strives to create theatre that not only entertains, but enriches, educates and challenges its audience.

Visual Art

StillOut LGBT Photography Club
Charlotte, N.C.
StillOut is an LGBT and friends photography club who gather as the need arises. It caters to all levels of photographers, but most of its members shoot with a digital single lens reflex camera.

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For additions and corrections, email editor@goqnotes-launch2.newspackstaging.com. qnotes attempts to provide a thorough and accurate listing of resources for its readers.

Visit our website at goqnotes-launch2.newspackstaging.com to find out more about these groups and their activities throughout the years. Also, check out our calendar listings to get details on upcoming concerts or events. And, check back with us in print for more information.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.