I hope everyone survived February's blowout of events and happenings that should everyone taking a well deserved breather. I certainly needed one after trying to either attend or at least mention the many going on's that were taking place. If we didn't give you a shout out, please charge it to our heads and not our hearts. Therefore, I am getting ahead of the infor curve with a community "this -n-that" overview. Without further delay, get ready, get set, go....
Banquet 101: The 1st Annual African American HIV/AIDS Community Awareness Banquet was held, February 24, 2007 at The Little Rock Club. Delightfully hosted by KARK's Kim Betton, the evening was a fundraiser for Arkansas AIDS Foundation's newly established, Commmunity Awareness Planning Committee. According to Dr. Dean Blevins, Board President this project, chaired by AAF's Yolanda West, has been initiated to enhance community HIV/AIDS awareness through a variety of statewide free events. Overall, the evening was a rousing success, despite a few oddities such as why wasn't interm director, Chiquita Munir, listed in the program or introduced, since she's suppose to be running things. But, most notably, the listing of "awareness events" included Capitol Pride, to be held at Alsop(sic) Park on 6.3.2007. Does the Pride committee know this, since they have made a much to do about the event being held in the Pavillion at the Rivermarket?
HIV Tested Parolees: The Arkansas Democrat reported that House bill 1444, sponsored by Rep. Fred Allen, D- Little Rock, requiring HIV testing for immates leaving prison gained approval of a house panel and now moves to the House for consideration. Prison officials estimate about 130 immates have tested positive for HIV. If mandated, the program could cost upwards of $300.ooo with overruns covered by state Health Divsion. Seven other states including Utah and Alabama, have required testing.
Gala 101: The Northwest Arkansas GLBT Community Center from it's February board meeting, has announced The Clarion as the site of their annual gala, June 8, 2007. Tymythy Aieran, Vice President stated that the group is seeking donations for there silent auction as well as community imput. Tickets are $30.00. For more info call: 479.422.8402 or 1.888.391.9222 or www.nwaglbtcc.org
Equality Riders: Amanda Harris, Kourt Osborn, Adam Brit and Jeremy Gabbard are off to be apart of the Soulforce Equality Riders from Arkansas, March 1, 2007. The group will be traveling to 32 colleges discussing GLBTQ issues and policies. Our hats are off to these student activist and there efforts to make a difference.
The Split: Plans are underway to upgrade "The Split" Party Room, at Asher and Wright Avenue. This Lesbian haven has been packing them in on weekends from around the state and is poised to offer there clientele better surroundings. Owner, known as "Angie" has produced the weekend parties for the last year as a means to filling a community void. A full range of entertainment, including Drag Kings ( female/male impersonators), local female impersonators and hitting urban music await patrons. This joint is for the 21 and beyond crowd. Beverage service is available. Admission $10.00 Hours: 11 p.m. until it's over. Smoking is allowed.
Party wit a Purpose: Local organizers are brainstorming the idea of a possible urban "spring fling" circut party featuring the latest dance craze of J-setting. In the past, community picnics(remember the Swiss Mocha affairs?) and gatherings have occured with great results. As more info develops we will keep you posted. If you've got imput... share it with us here first!
Help Wanted: Local community groups are desperately seeking volunteers and committed Board members to help with projects. Contact them directly to offer your expertise or services. These organizations require people power and positive revenue streams for there respective missions. If you are a local business, individual or social groups that can help let's hear from you.
CARS ( Center for Artistic Revolution): 501.244.9690 or ArtchangesU@sbcglobal.net
Little R0ck Pride Committee: www.littlerockcapitolpride.org
Got Backtalk, we are ready to hear it here first...so what are you waiting for!