When considering LGBT non-profits, don’t forget arts organizations adding to Atlanta’s rich fabric
By Mike Fleming
What is art? While you ponder bringing it up at your next gay gathering, let us add that in Atlanta, art is so much more than just entertainment and stimulation.
When we did a rundown of Atlanta’s LGBT social justice and aide charities last month, it proved one of our most popular posts of the year. People contacted the listed organizations to make donations, and to find out more on how to get involved.
That got us thinking. What about all the worthy gay arts non-profits our fair city has to offer? They certainly contribute to the local zeitgeist, and in fact, they directly support LGBT equality by keeping our lives at the forefront in a time when arts are severely underfunded in Georgia. Currently, our state ranks 48th in arts funding, says Paul Conroy, founding artistic director of Out Front Theatre, which produced its inaugural show, ‘Priscilla: Queen of the Desert: The Musical,” in 2016.
“I really believe that supporting LGBTQ+ non-profits is vital to advancing social awareness,” Conroy says. “I just wish that the arts weren’t usually relegated to second tier charities.”
We at David Atlanta wholeheartedly agree, so we decided to expand the concept so you know who some of our favorite LGBT-led music, movie, theater and literary non-profits who are more than worthy of your time and money. Here they are in alphabetical order.
Actor’s Express. While not specifically gay, this respected, long-running theater company is a gay-go-to for LGBT and inclusive content, not the least reason for which is talented artistic director Freddie Ashley. actors-express.com
Atlanta Freedom Bands. These LGBT instrumentalists may be best known for their marching band in the Atlanta Pride Parade, but they also feature stage and orchestra concerts throughout the year, as well as feature a color guard. atlantafreedombands.com
Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus. Now in its 36th year, this chorus of some 100 voices added a sister act, Atlanta Women’s Chorus a few years ago. Both feature concerts throughout the year, including popular Pride and Holiday shows. Together, they are now Voices of Note. voicesofnote.org
Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra. This volunteer orchestra was founded in 2004 when members sought to establish a fully LGBT-inclusive orchestra and programming series that features a full season of concerts throughout the year. atlantaphilharmonic.org
ART Station. Known as much for hosting diverse events as for their progressive exhibits and products, this inclusive contemporary arts center and theatre company in Stone Mountain needs to be on your radar. artstation.org
Charis Circle. The non-profit arm of the lesbian-feminist bookstore Charis Books & More, this Little 5 mainstay recently announced a move to Decatur to continue its 45-year history championing women’s issue. chariscircle.org
OurSong. What do you get when you combine gay and lesbian voices in a co-ed chorus? Correct: You get OurSong and an annual slate of performances to soothe your soul. oursongatlanta.com
Out on Film. Now in its 30th year, Atlanta’s LGBT film festival brings year-round events and gay-cinematic advocacy alongside September’s signature 8-day festival featuring the latest in LGBT movies. outonfilm.org
Out Front Theatre. After a huge splash with ‘Priscilla,’ Out Front has a slate of gay-specific 2017 productions planned, including ‘A Kid Like Jake’ in February, and ‘The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told’ in April. outfronttheatre.com