‘Grace’ production addresses life’s journey

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Land of the Sky United Church of Christ and Different Strokes Performing Arts Collective will present “Listening for Grace” on Sept. 26, 6 p.m., at Kenilworth Presbyterian Church, 123 Kenilworth Rd.

The Ted & Co. Theatre Works Production’s mission is to speak to the critical struggles of one’s life in a dialogue about how faith intersects with sexual identity. The play confronts social issues head first.

The production shares the story of a father’s journey, a church’s struggle and a search for commonality, producers shared. It is comedic, yet gives the audience an opportunity to glimpse at the fears and hopes of a faith community engaged in questions surrounding same-sex relationships. The play’s goal is to encourage the audience to engage in conversation, share stories and expand thinking while one listens for grace.

Tickets are $15/adult and $7.50/student with ID. Child care is optional at a small fee.

info/tickets: landoftheskychurch.org/listeningforgrace. tedandcompany.com. differentstrokespac.org.

Anniversary soiree planned

HICKORY, N.C. — OUTright Youth and David Zealy-Wright will host a fifth anniversary celebration, “Say I Do for OUTright Youth,” on Oct. 2, 7 p.m., at 74 South Moretz Mills, 74 8th St. S.E. Additionally, it will celebrate the first anniversary of marriage equality in North Carolina.

Music will be provided by DJ SevenOne. Enjoy crafts beers, wine, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a photo booth and other surprises throughout the evening.

Attendees are encouraged to dress up in campy wedding wear. Prizes will be awarded for Best Dressed Individual and Best Dressed Couple.

Tickets are $25 and are available online.

Sponsorships are being sought. Contact organizers to learn more.

info/tickets: outrightyouthcv.org.

Festival seeks vendor applicants

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Blue Ridge Pride Festival slated for Oct. 3, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., in downtown Asheville is searching for business, community, organizational and other vendors for its celebration.

The theme this year is “Color Our World with Pride!” Volunteers and sponsors are being recruited, as well.

info/applications: blueridgepride.org.

Coming out programs slated

SWANNANOA, N.C. — In honor of LGBT History Month in October, The Center for Gender and Relationships at Warren Wilson College and the LGBTQJew at the Asheville Jewish Community Center, along with community partners at the Center for Diversity Education and Western North Carolina AIDS Project, are hosting programs on Oct. 11, 6:30 p.m., at Warren Wilson College, Bryson Gym, 701 Warren Wilson Rd., targeted at coming out.

The annual event brings Warren Wilson’s “The Coming Out Monologues” and the JCC’s “Doors Wide Open” to lift LGBT community members’ voices while sharing coming out stories.

An open-mic style sign up will give 6-10 individuals the opportunity to tell their stories.

Planned monologues will be scattered throughout the evening with a few student stories in between each of these. The event will close with a communal celebratory ComingOut Party including cake and some dance tunes.

info: jccasheville.org.

New chair named

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Youth OUTright has named Anneliese Schombs-Fish as new chair of its board of directors. She replaces Keith Bramlett who had stepped down.

Schombs-Fish is an advocate for LGBT youth and is a wife and mother of three children. She has lived in Asheville for 20 years and is assistant manager at a Bank of America branch. Two of her children identify as LGBT, one of whom came out last year. Youth OUTright was a pivotal resource for her family during that process.

info: youthoutright.org.

Partnership yields bonus

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Blue Ridge Pride Center has entered into a partnership with The EqualityCard Project.

Interested individuals or companies can apply for the EqualityCard Visa card online, using a special code, 2069, to link back to Blue Ridge Pride Center.

Users will be able to support the center with their purchases.The EqualityCard is a traditional Visa credit card that contributes an amount equal to one percent of all of the cardholder’s purchases to the center. There are no out-of-pocket costs for the cardholder and no annual fee to use the card. A hundred percent of the amount donated to the center on the cardholder’s behalf is provided by The EqualityCard Project and is tax deductible.

A full list of features and benefits are detailed through a link on the center’s website, as well as more information on the inner workings of the card.

Additionally, the center has partnered with the AmazonSmile Foundation. Operated by Amazon, it allows customers to make purchases just as it does on Amazon.com. However, contributions of 0.5 percent of price on eligible purchases will be given to the center as a way to augment its fundraising efforts. To sign up or to learn more, visit the website. Other member organizations across the Carolinas include: LGBT Center of Raleigh, Equality North Carolina Foundation, Carolina Theatre of Durham and Alternative Resources of the Triad.

info: blueridgepride.org. equalitycardproject.com/blue-ridge-pride.html. smile.amazon.com.

Tech safety curriculum unveiled

ASHEVILLE, NC. — Our VOICE has announced the implementation of its “Own Who U R,” its Teen Tech Safety Project curriculum for area schools.

Kickoff for the initiative was held on Sept. 9 at Lenior Rhyne University of Asheville.

Program highlights include teen and tween education regarding unintended consequences of texting sexually explicit photos and posting them online. It also addresses strategies for deflecting cyberbullying.

The project was developed as part of a Women for Women grant issued through the Western North Carolina Community Foundation. Through print and other campaigns, Our VOICE hopes to reach its target audience, while encouraging behavioral changes from misuse of social media and mobile devices.

info: ourvoicenc.org.

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

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988,...