Jan/Feb 2014 | As usual, the holiday season was a busy time for outreach performances around town. In December, One Voice and our ensemble, Sotto Voce, performed seven of these “run out” engagements, bringing holiday cheer and an LGBTQ-affirming face and voice to local nonprofit organizations, community events, businesses and several assisted living and hospice communities. Here’s a look at two of those engagements.
December 2013 | This year’s holiday offering from One Voice-the Naughty & Nice concert-definitely delivered on both counts! Featuring both traditional and not-so-traditional Christmas fare, the performance touched audience members’ hearts and funny bones.
Look just about anywhere on the risers at One Voice’s upcoming holiday concert and you’ll see LOTS of new faces (both naughty and nice). That’s because a record number of new singers turned out for the chorus’s 2013-2014 season. In all, nearly 20 new singers have joined voices with our returning members, leading to one of the largest groups to take the stage for a One Voice holiday concert in nearly a decade. So who are these newbies, and what brought them to One Voice?
According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, as many as 42% of homeless youth in America identify as gay, lesbian or transgender. These youth are at greater risk for sexual and physical violence, mental health concerns, unsafe sexual practices and suicide. It is a national dilemma that requires attention, which is why One Voice—with funding from the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund (CLGF)—is focusing its creative energy this concert season on raising awareness and understanding of the issue.
We’re making our list and checking it twice because we want everything perfect for this year’s holiday concert, Naughty & Nice, December 6 & 7! As the name implies, you can expect both traditional and not-so-traditional Christmas fare at this event.
According to the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund’s literature, the Fund was created to positively impact the underfunding of nonprofit organizations serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. That’s accurate. But how would the recipients of the Fund’s support describe it? Says a member of one organization the Fund supported this year, “The Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund helps keep Charlotte’s LGBT organizations alive so that they can go about serving their missions. Since the Fund came on the scene, it’s become a source of nourishment and sustenance for the LGBT-affirming groups in town.”
The mission of the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund—a collective giving and endowment initiative of Foundation for the Carolinas—is “to cultivate one community that supports lesbian and gay individuals and families, with the belief that all people should be treated with equal respect and dignity in all facets of the community.” Toward that end, the Fund awards grants to organizations that support the LGBT community and to bridge-building initiatives that seek to cultivate alliances and support with the non-gay community in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
“Making our gay community healthy”
In the 10 years the Fund has existed, it has helped organizations such as Time Out Youth, the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte, Campus Pride, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte and many other organizations sustain their programs and mount special projects that strengthen the LGBT community and its connection to the community at large. One Voice has received seven grants from the Fund over the years. This year we received a grant to undertake a special project to call attention to the national crisis of homeless LGBT youth (more on that to come).
As Jenni Gaisbauer, Chair of the Fund’s Board of Advisors recently said in a video celebrating the fund’s work in the community, “We are supporting the groups that are making our gay community healthy.”
One Voice gratefully agrees.
Watch a brief video about the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund’s Impact below.