Tia Douglas, designer Michael Kuluva and Candis Cox chat backstage at Tumbler and Tipsy’s “Equally Tipsy” collection runway show. Photo Credit: Candis Cox, Facebook

Model makes Carolina history

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Transgender Model Candis Cox hit the runway on June 18 when she sported Tumbler and Tipsy fashions at the Le Meridien Hotel as part of North Carolina Fashion Association Style Week.

The clothing collection, “Equally Tipsy,” created by Michael Kuluva is replete with pop culture influences.

The new “Equally Tipsy” pop fashion collection was inspired by the ongoing equality issues running globally, specifically the HB2 bill in North Carolina plus the tragic recent shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Tumbler and Tipsy partnered with Equality North Carolina (ENC). Having a transgender spokesperson walk the runway this season was history in the making, bringing this issue to the fashion forefront.

“Equality NC is grateful for the support of Michael Kuluva and Tumbler and Tipsy in this crucial time,” said Ben Graumann, ENC director of communications. “House Bill 2 [HB2] is a deeply discriminatory bill that does not represent North Carolina values. We applaud Michael Kuluva and Tumbler and Tipsy for standing up against discrimination and championing inclusivity and diversity in such a creative way.”

Candis Cox, NC Equality spokesperson, was chosen specifically to represent the transgender community in walking the finale of the Tumbler and Tipsy show.  The “Equally Tipsy Gown” was designed by Kuluva. The inspiration of this handmade tulle dress came from the transgender flag colors (light blue, pink, and white), the yellow colored tulle bustier for human rights, plus featuring a slash of hot pink tulle as it is the signature color of the brand’s aesthetic. The dress featured over 50 meters of tulle plus over 100 hand-sewn gold sequins strategically placed around the front and back of the bustier.

“Tumbler and Tipsy has casted transgender models since we have hit the New York Fashion Week runway back in 2012 as we are an all inclusive pop fashion brand.  Since debuting in New York, we have had the amazing privilege of having iconic transgender women grace our runways such as Candis Cayne, Amanda Lepore and Yasmine Petty,” Kuluva said.

As for the future, the Tumbler and Tipsy brand commits to supporting LGBT causes, initiatives and issues plus looks forward to creating other empowering fashion runway collections to bring awareness.

info: tumblerandtipsy.net.

Annual cookout slated

CONCORD/KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Concord/Kannapolis will hold it annual cookout and celebration on Aug. 28, 4 p.m., at a members’ home.

For those who wish to attend, email ckpflag@gmail.com to sign up for a dish.

At the chapter’s July 12 meeting, a presentation by Laura Levin and Becky Stamler focused on straight and cisgender privilege.

info: pflag.org/chapter/pflag-concordkannapolis.

Arts council makes investment

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Arts and Science Council (ASC) has announced on July 5 that it has set its initial and planned investments for the 2017 fiscal year.

The organization is the Charlotte/Mecklenburg County’s regional cultural arts group which advocates for and serves as a resource hub and steward for the community.

ASC plans to use a combined $13.6 million to help ensure “Culture For All.” Pooled public and private dollars given to ASC provide the economic resources to spearhead such a vital undertaking, its organizers shared.

“These investments align with the tenants of the Cultural Vision Plan, the Cultural Life Task Force recommendations and ASC’s Strategic Plan,” ASC President Robert Bush said. “All of these plans imagine the impacts of arts and culture on our region’s quality of life, prosperity and lifelong learning. Once again, the community has rallied together to provide resources to attain that vision.”

The initial investment of $6.5 million includes support of diverse cultural festivals, cultural projects, arts and cultural experiences in all six Mecklenburg County towns, along with operating support for established and emerging cultural organizations. In addition to continuing support for 20 organizations, 11 cultural groups that did not receive operational funds in 2016 will receive them in 2017. Those groups are: A Sign of the Times of the Carolinas, Carolinas Latin Dance Company, Charlotte Art League, Charlotte Folks Society, Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte, Historic Rosedale, Jazz Arts Initiative, Mint Hill Arts, On Q Performing Arts, One Voice Chorus and The Light Factory.

Grant awards were bestowed by the ASC and its board of directors after engaging a panel of national and local financial and arts agency leaders to evaluate requests for support.

info: artsandscience.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,...