Upcoming LGBT events highlight diverse interests

Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra Concert
Saturday, Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.
14th Street Playhouse
173 14th St., Atlanta, GA 30309

Out on Film Opening Night
Friday, Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m.
Landmark Midtown Arts Cinema
931 Monroe Drive, Atlanta, GA 30308
Festival runs through Oct. 7

MEGA Family Conference
Saturday, Oct. 2, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta
1911 Cliff Valley Way, Atlanta, GA 30329

ALHI Fall Garden Party
Sunday, Oct. 3, 4-8 p.m.
Einstein’s, 1077 Juniper St.
Atlanta, GA 30309

Music for the season

The Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra welcomes the new season with “Shades of Autumn,” a concert set for Sept. 25 at the 14th Street Playhouse. The performance includes selections from Vivaldi, Dvorak, von Weber, Morricone and Glinka.

“The orchestra has worked very hard at tackling Dvorak’s Symhony No. 9, known as the ‘New World,” and we’re very much looking forward to presenting it to the community,” says James D. Goodwin Jr., the orchestra’s president.

The Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra has 55 members, who are all either LGBT or supportive. They perform four concerts per year. According to Goodwin, the orchestra is always accepting potential members, with a particular need for brass and string players. At minimum, members need high school-level orchestra experience.

“I’ve played flute with the orchestra for five years,” Goodwin says. “A friend of mine signed me up for the orchestra at Pride just before I arrived there that day. I was looking to start performing again, and thought that playing with the APO would be a unique and fulfilling contribution to the LGBT community.”

Tickets to the concert are $20, with $15 tickets available for students and seniors.

Big screen visibility

Out on Film, Atlanta’s 23rd annual LGBT film festival, kicks off Friday, Oct. 1, with a screening of “You Should Meet My Son!” Opening night also includes the humorous short films “Tech Support” and “Don’t Tell Me You’re Gay.”

Out on Film Director Jim Farmer calls “You Should Meet My Son!” the “perfect opening night film” for the festival.

“For most of the programming committee, it was this year’s most pleasant surprise — warm and genuinely funny, with a wonderful performance by Joanne McGee as the kind of Southern mother we’ve all known,” Farmer says. “The director, Keith Hartman, is a former Atlantan, so it was an obvious choice for opening night.”

Hartman will be in attendance for the screening, which is set for 7:39 p.m. at the Landmark Midtown Arts Cinema. An after-party will follow on the rooftop of the Hotel Palomar.

Out on Film continues through Oct. 7, screening a total of 31 feature-length films and 25 short films, with an expected total attendance of up to 4,000. Screenings are scheduled for the Landmark Midtown and Ansley Park Playhouse.

See the Oct. 1 issue of the Georgia Voice for full schedule and film reviews for Out on Film. An all-access pass for Out on Film is $95. Tickets for opening night are $20 and include admission to the after party.

‘LGBT families rock’

Are you an LGBT parent, prospective parent, or someone with an interest in advocating for LGBT families? The MEGA Family Project hosts its second annual Family Conference on Oct. 2, with the theme of “LGBT Families Rock!”

The daylong event at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta features workshops on a variety of tracks — including prospective parents, parenting, schools and social justice — with more than 25 topics represented.

Dr. Shannon Miller will provide the keynote speech on “Creating Strong & Resilient Families in an Intolerant World.” There will also be a special teen panel about growing up in an LGBT family and a resource fair with more than 50 vendors.

Children are welcomed at the conference with age-appropriate activites. Those ages 2 ½ to 8 will participate in a fun Kids Camp, while those 9 and older can participate in COLAGE (Children of Lesbians & Gays Everywhere) activities, including a rock-climbing trip. Childcare is also available for babies and toddlers with advance registration.

Registration is $40 for adults and $20 for children (no cost for infants who will remain with their parents).

Garden party for lesbian health

The Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative holds its popular fall garden party Oct. 3, returning to Einstein’s restaurant for the Sunday afternoon event.

“I always love the party and the energy it generates,” says ALHI Executive Director Linda Ellis. “Though I’m not a dancer myself, I’m particularly excited about the addition of the ‘dance floor under the stars’ that we’ll add to the Einstein’s patio. It’ll be a wonderful sight.”

The event includes food, drinks, socializing, music from Kristin Hope Justice, a silent auction and a raffle featuring prizes including an iPad and a Wii fitness system.

Last year’s garden party netted just over $30,000 for ALHI, and with a crowd of about 350 expected, organizers hope this year’s event will do the same, Ellis says. Funds will support all ALHI programs, including the Health Fund, which pays for health screenings and medical care for people who are unisured or underinsured.

“As our signature annual event, the Garden Party is our primary source of unrestricted income, so it goes a long way toward keeping the lights on,” Ellis says.

The Garden Party also features the presentation of ALHI’s Healing Angel Award, with this year goes to Dr. Jason Schneider. He is a physician at Grady Hospital, an assistant professor at Emory’s medical school, and past president of the Gay & Lesbian Medial Association. He is a longtime supporter of ALHI, and Ellis says they will be working together to provide LGBT-competency training to area hospitals.

“I’ve always relied on the Health Initiative as the most comprehensive repository for LGBT-friendly providers in Georgia. ALHI provides resources for the everyday health needs of lesbians in a way that is safe and inclusive. And having the Health Fund to connect underinsured and uninsured women with providers and to help them navigate the system is critical,” Schneider says.

Tickets to the Garden Party are $50. Raffle tickets are $20.


Top photo: The gay-inclusive Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra performs its ‘Shades of Autumn’ concert Sept. 25. (Courtesy photo)