ENC wins Give Out Day competition

RALEIGH, N.C. — In a clear show of discontent with the North Carolina legislature and the passage of HB2, the most stringently anti-LGBT law in the country, the Equality North Carolina Foundation received the highest number of donations of any national mid-size LGBT organization in the U.S. and any LGBT organization in the entire South over the 24-hour Give Out Day campaign held on Aug. 2.

“We are incredibly thankful and honored for the significant donations our organization received over Give Out Day,” said Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro. “North Carolina has been the focus of national attention every single day since HB2 was first brought up. The support received is a clear sign that the LGBT community, and the country as a whole, unequivocally reject this law and understand North Carolina isn’t defined by this appalling legislation.”

With the passage of HB2, North Carolina has become the epicenter of the debate around transgender rights and LGBT non-discrimination protections. Countless shows have been cancelled in the state and numerous businesses have expressed concerns that the law will jeopardize the safety and comfort of their employees and clients. The NBA officially announced it would be pulling the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, N.C. as a result of the legislation. In an effort to prevent further damage, Equality NC has been at the forefront of the fight against HB2, working for a singular demand: full repeal of HB2.

“Initiatives like Give Out Day are extremely important for the success of our foundation,” said Sgro. “Thanks to the help of grassroots donations such as this one, Equality NC will be able to continue educating North Carolinians on LGBT news and stories, and mobilizing the community in our effort to repeal HB2 and any other anti-LGBT legislation.”

Equality NC will receive $10,000 for being the top mid-size national organization and $5,000 for being the top in the South. This award was given by an anonymous donor.

info: equalitync.org. giveoutday.org.

Stage plays mounted

RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh Little Theatre has announced the staging of two adult plays during its 2016/17 season launch during August and September.

First on the calendar is “Memphis,” a musical inspired by actual events in which the story is told of a white radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black club singer who is ready for her big break. It will be presented from Aug. 19-Sept. 4 in the Cantey V. Sutton Theatre, 301 Pogue St.

Tickets are $27/adult, $23/students and seniors and $15 for all on the first Sunday and are available for purchase online.

Next up will be “Mothers and Sons,” slated for Sept. 23-Oct. 9 in the Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre.

This play is a contemporary drama in which a woman pays an unexpected visit to the New York apartment of her late son’s partner. He is now married to another man and has a young son. This mother is challenged to face how society has changed around her. Generations collide as she revisits the past and begins to see the life her son might have led.

A panel discussion will be held after the Sept. 29 performance moderated by the show’s director, Timothy E. Locklear. Panel members are Patsy Clarke, co-author of “Keep Singing;” James Miller, the LGBT Center of Raleigh’s executive director; and Lee Storrow, NC AIDS Action Network executive director.

Tickets are $24/adult, $20/seniors and students and $15 for all on the first Sunday and are available for purchase online.

info: raleighlittletheatre.org.

Justice honorees announced

RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Justice Center has announced its 2016 Champions of Justice and Award for Service recipients who will be honored at the organization’s 20th anniversary celebration on Sept. 10, 6 p.m., at the Raleigh Convention Center, 500 S. Salisbury St.

Justice honorees are N.C. State ALF-CIO president James Andrews, former Gov. Jim Hunt, Rep. Mickey Michaux, former Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation executive director Tom Ross and former state senator and retired Reynolds Foundation executive director Leslie Winner.

The Executive Director’s Award for Service to North Carolina will be given to Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake, Jr. for his work on criminal justice reform.

Tickets are $150 and are available online at bit.ly/2asQBOy. To pay by check made payable to North Carolina Justice Center, send to Melissa Wiggins, N.C. Justice Center, .PO. Box 28068, Raleigh, NC 27611. Tickets should be purchased by Aug. 26.

Additionally, sponsorships are still available at varying levels from $500-$10,000 and may be secured online at bit.ly/2aRGiRM.

info: ncjustice.org.

Film fest rolls out

DURHAM, N.C. — The North Carolina Gay + Lesbian Film Festival (NCGLFF) begins on Aug. 12 and continues through Aug. 20.

Showcasing a cornucopia of films ranging from a variety of genres, the festival will screen at Fletcher Hall at Carolina Theatre, Cinema One and Cinema Two, 309 W. Morgan St., at varying times throughout the day. A complete list of films, descriptions, locations and times is available online.

Tickets can be purchased individually (online, in-person, phone) at $10 each or in a 10-Pass (online, in-person) at $85.

The festival is the second largest LGBT-focused event in the Southeast. It celebrates a worldwide glimpse of today’s LGBT life, helps bring the community together and features films and filmmaking.

info: carolinatheatre.org/films/festivals/ncglff.

Chairs announced at gala

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Crape Myrtle Festival (CMF) held its 36th annual event, “On the Brink of Change,” on July 30 at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences where it raised money for organizations within and beyond the local LGBT community. The previous evening, attendees were treated to the organization’s Queens Ball, held at Fifteen.

The theme is a “profound statement about how far we have come in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” organizers said.

During the evening’s festivities, the chairs and court for the 2017’s 37th event were announced. Co-chairs are Justin Natvig and Kasey Ashton. Joining them on the court are Benjamin Blackmon, Jessie Brandes, Alicia Brandes, Thomas Chancey, Kenny Coates, Micah Deasis, Randi Lee Eattock, Dillan Gay, Jason Holliday, Dan Hollis, Hannah Jacobson, MaRanda Kiser, Freddie Livingston, Jonathan McKee, Shia Morton, Daniel Portee, Brandon Pressley, Bryan Rawls, Spencer Rivers, Brian Senter, Dave Severence, Alex Stallings, Benjamin Stull, Cal Thompson and Tabor Winstead.

Tallies will be made available once all of the accounting has been audited and reconciled.

info: craptemyrtlefest.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.