Fest over the mountain slated

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — The Blue Plum Festival will be held on June 5-7, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., in downtown along Main St. and in Founder’s Park.

Volunteers from Pride Community Center of the Tri-Cities will be on hand distributing information on its activities and progress, as well as selling merchandise.

They will hold a drawing for gift certificates to local businesses.

Musical acts will take to the stage starting on Friday evening and will continue on Saturday and Sunday during the day. Also, an array of arts and crafts will be showcased by exhibitors. No festival is complete without a wide assortment of food and beverage selections, including homemade lemonade, green tomatoes and more.

Special events on June 6 include Blue Hope Brew-Haha from 1-4:30 p.m. (featuring sampling of craft bears from regional breweries, food from Carrabba’s and Bonefish Grill, live music) for $40; Founder’s Park Concert from 1-11 p.m. (Ian Thomas & Band of Drifters, Grammy Award-winning Rebirth Brass Band, Shovels and Rope, plus food and craft beer purchase) for $30; and Blue Light Special from 5-11 p.m. (unlimited craft beer sampling, sampling from Carrabba’s and Bonefish Grill, concert in Founder’s Park) for $54.

Additional events slated are an Animation Festival, Blue Plum Fast 5K, Blue Plum Playhouse, 7S Rugby Tournament, Crossfit East 10 Competition, Omnium Criterium Bike Race and storytelling. Nearby Jonesborough, Tenn., hosts the National Storytelling Festival annually. A complete schedule, along with locations, is available online for the entire festival activities.

The festival is named for the 1800’s rural post office which served the East Tennessee area. It eventually evolved into what is now Johnson City, Tenn.

info: blueplum.org.

UMC Table makes big change

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The United Methodist Church’s Connectional Table voted 20-10 on May 18 to submit “compromised legislative proposal to the 2016 General Conference that removes prohibitive language from The United Methodist Book of Discipline concerning homosexuality, while making only minor changes to the existing Social Principles,” the United Methodist Reporter shared.

The proposal allows the church’s clergy to celebrate same-sex unions in their respective churches. It removes being an LGBT person or performing same-sex weddings from a list of chargeable offenses for its clergy, the Reporter added. It further “removes the language that says the church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers it incompatible with Christian teachings, while recognizing this has historically been the position of the church.”

The Table hopes that the action would provide a conduit to resolving its impasse on the issue, as well as putting an end to church trials, and other items related to the subject.

The proposal is among a number of petitions that will be presented at the 2016 General Conference with regard to human sexuality.

info: rum-nc.org.

Council hosts practices meeting

RALEIGH/CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The National Diversity Council Carolinas have announced that they will hold a best practices meeting during the month of August at two locations.

On Aug 20, 8:30 p.m., in Raleigh and on Aug. 21, 8:30 p.m., in Charlotte, the organization will highlight the importance of diversity best practices in the workplace. Company representatives will share their insights about diversity and inclusion practices and discuss the programs they have implemented in their own organizations, NDCC shared.

The event is a pre-approved through the HR Certification Institute.

More information about location and registration are available via email at kiara.fortson@nationaldiversitycouncil.org.

In other news, the council will present its DiversityFIRST Certification Program from Nov. 16-20 at the Westin Houston Memorial City, 945 Gessner Rd., in Houston, Texas.

This event prepares qualified professionals to create and implement highly successful diversity and inclusion strategies for organizational excellence and a competitive edge in today’s global marketplace, organizers said.

Upon completion, graduates will be recognized as an National Diversity Council Certified Diversity Professional.

The five-day program includes a focus on diversity and inclusion business cases, cultural competence, measurement and evaluation, diversity leadership, efforts and initiatives that support diversity and inclusion and a graduate network component.

For more information, including cost, or to register, email Senior Director Jim Penny at jim.penny@nationaldiversitycouncil.org.

info: nationaldiversitycouncil.org.

Parks seek grantees

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The 2015 grant cycle for communities underrepresented in the National Park Service National Register and National Historic Landmarks indices is now open.

Grant award minimum is $25,000 and does not require matching funds. Funding is available to State Historic Preservation Offices to help increase representation of targeted communities which includes the LGBT sector, Megan Springate, executive co-director of the Rainbow Heritage Network. The network is the national association for those concerned about the recognition and preservation of LGBT history and heritage.

Applications are due by June 15. Visit nps.gov/preservation-grants/community-grants.html to learn more.

The previous cycle awarded $500,000 to various projects. It offers a great opportunity for applicants to get to know their state historical preservation office staff and for them to understand the history of the LGBT community, along with the site available for nomination, Springate added.

info: rainbowheritagenetowrk.org.

Have news or other information? Send your press releases and updates for inclusion in our News Notes: editor@qnotescarolinas.com.

Share your news with us
Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to specialassignments@qnotescarolinas.com. In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

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.