Movie fest judge named

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. —  Author and filmmaker Mark Spano will take a chair as a judge for the 2017 OUT at the Movies International LGBT Film Festival which will be held from Oct. 5-8.

“Being asked to be a judge for the OUT at The Movies Festival is such an honor,” Spano said “There is so much going on in film and the arts in general across North Carolina. I’m always pleased to contribute in any way I can.”

He wrote the “Midland Club” mystery novel and produced and directed the “Reimagining Sicily” documentary. Spano is owner/operator of Mark Spano Communications Inc. and Thunderfoot Press. His work in film and television spans decades.

A jury will judge films and will award Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Festival Short, Best Actor and Best Actress categories.

Venues will be the Aperture Cinema, 311 W. Fourth St., Wake Forest University Welcome Center, 1834 Wake Forest Rd., and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts ACE Film Complex, 1533 S. Main St.


Prom date set

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The 2017 Alternative Prom will be held April 21, 8 p.m.-12 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winston-Salem, 4055 Robinhood Rd. It is open to those who identify as LGBTQ individuals and allies.

Now in its 15th year, the Alternative Prom hosts anywhere from 150 to 200 high school students from 11 different local high schools.  The theme this year is “The Roaring Twenties” — the era of flappers, gangsters, bootleggers and The Great Gatsby. Organizers said, “Come out and celebrate with other local high school students in a safe, fun and supportive environment.”

To chaperone or provide snacks, contact Pam Lepley at

Tickets are $5 and are available for purchase at the door. Attendance is restricted to those currently in high school (9th through 12th grades) and all youth must sign in.


Young Dems elect board

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Young Democrats of North Carolina elected new officers at its recent convention on March 26 and the organization said that it was the most diverse in its history.

Those elected were: Ebony West, Chapel Hill (president), Anne Evangelista, Greensboro (executive vice president), Colby Moore, Greensboro (national committeeman), Rebekah Whilden, Asheville (national committeewoman), Anniken Williams, Greenville (secretary), Aja Gaul, Swannanoa (western regional vice president), Vonnie Brown, Charlotte (Piedmont regional vice president), Kriss Gomez, Raleigh (eastern regional vice president), Matt Hughes, Hillsborough (treasurer), and Khaetlyn Grindel, Winston-Salem (communications director.)

The new leadership includes the first black woman ever elected president of the board. Other officers come from a variety of backgrounds representing differences in religion, ethnicity, sexuality and national origin.

The convention was one of largest and most well attended in recent history with over 150 in attendance. It was held in conjunction with the College and Teen Democrats of North Carolina.


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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 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.