2020 Festival Cancelled

We are sad to report the cancellation of the 2020 Blue Ridge Pride Festival.  

Public safety is our #1 priority.   We will provie additional updates shortly.  Stay safe!

Patrons of Pride

Small Businesses and Generous Families with Big Hearts

2019 Patrons of Pride

Become a Patron of Pride Today

We work hard to sustain a strong local flavor at our festival. We developed the Patron of Pride program to enable local organizations and individuals to show their support of our community, our programs, and our events.

Patrons do more than support our festival.  All net proceeds from the festival support other community-building programs.  During the past two years, patron support has helped us to expand into several new programs, projects, and events:

  • Community Partner Fund
  • WNC LGBTQ Oral History Project
  • WNC Virtual LGBTQ Center
  • Welcoming WNC Procession
  • Movies & Mixer Series
  • LGBTQ Story Slam

During its first year, the Partner Fund distributed $7,500 to WNC community organizations.  The Oral History Project has captured the lives of thirty area residents in its first six months.  Our 2019 Procession brought together hundreds of people and dozens of organizations to share a simple aspiration: a WNC community that is welcoming and equitable for all.

But, even by itself, the festival contributes significantly to our local community and economy:

  • An estimated 14,000 to 18,000 people attend.
  • Dozens of community service organizations and healthcare providers deliver services and information to visitors.
  • Local businesses and employers make contact with segments of our community that are often hard to reach.
  • Many non-profits and community groups rely on the festival to raise funds, reach new audiences, and to activate and educate their neighbors.

The festival brings people together for a day of celebration, action, education, commerce, and service.  In a world that seems to grow smaller and more divided with each passing day, what could be more important than that we learn to share space, ideas, and cultures together?

Patrons help to make this happen.  And we thank you! 

2020 Patron of Pride Packages

2020 Festival Cancelled

We are sad to report the cancellation of the 2020 Blue Ridge Pride Festival.  

Public safety is our #1 priority.   We will provie additional updates shortly.  Stay safe!

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Our Programs

 

Blue Ridge Pride traces its roots back to 2009, when the community banded together to hold its first festival on a public space in Martin Luther King Park. For the next ten years, the organization focused on two annual events: the Blue Ridge Pride Festival and the Miss Blue Ridge Pride Pageant.  In 2017, the board voted to expand our mission and our programs.   

Community-Building Events

While the festival remains core to our mission, we have expanded into many new types of events.  Public events play a crucial role in society.  They can unite or segregate. They can foster confrontation or encourage reconciliation. We believe that, as the world grows smaller, it is critical that we learn to share space together gracefully. We seek to create shared spaces that are welcoming to all. We seek to foster dialogues that are honest and challenging, but respectful and constructive. It’s a fine line to walk, but we believe that it is worth the effort.

  • Blue Ridge Pride Festival – Our annual, family-friendly fall celebration of WNC’s LGBTQ community and our wonderful allies. It attracts 14,000 to 18,000 people.
  • Welcoming WNC Procession – A parade of people rather than floats. We walk to give voice and visibility to all who aspire to a western North Carolina that is welcoming and equitable to all.
  • Movies & Mixer Series – A summer film series coupled with a community mixer.
  • LGBTQ Story Slam – Community members and allies share their most personal experiences.
  • MX Pride Pageant – Showcases people who explore and express gendered identity in all its wonderful forms.
  • Event Partnerships and Collaborations – We are working with other events, organizations, and communities in an effort to break down needless barriers.

Virtual Community Center

This year, we are launching what we believe to be the first 100% virtual LGBTQ center in the country.  We hope that it becomes a model for other rural communities.  Some of things it will feature in its first release:

  • Welcoming Calendar – A searchable calendar of events, meetings, seminars, and entertainment that target and/or welcome our community;
  • Welcoming Directories – Directories of welcoming service providers, support groups, social groups, employers, and organizations;
  • Welcoming Speakers – A catalog of locally available seminars and speakers that address issues of importance to our community and allies;
  • Welcoming Communities – Pages devoted to building a more welcoming WNC: Welcoming Faith, Welcoming Schools, Welcoming Sports, Welcoming Healthcare, Welcoming Workplaces.

Our goal is to keep this resource free to the community.  We want groups and non-profit service providers to be able to post their information without worrying about cost.

Community Partner Fund

In 2019, we launched the Blue Ridge Pride Community Partnership Fund.  All funds are set aside for local groups that demonstrably support western North Carolina’s LGBTQ and allied communities In our first year, we gave out $7,500 in grants.  The goal of the fund is threefold:

  • Make it easy for qualifying organizations – especially small ones – to apply for financial support.
  • Make it easy for local donors to support a greater variety of local groups and services.
  • Create a sense of shared community and a greater awareness of all the groups that support it.

We maintain a public posting of grants awarded.   We are starting small, but we hope to see this program grow considerably.  Local organizations have found creative ways to support this program.  Green Man Brewery committed all profits from one of its brands, LUV ALL, to the fund.  The Aloft Asheville Downtown and Fine Arts Theatre collaborated to support the fund through the Movie and Mixer Series.   This is the sort of coming together that we dream of.

Community Projects

We have started with a single project.  However, we are exploring other collaborations, such as a Safe Public Spaces project with area businesses.  We are also collaborating with Campaign for Southern Equality to support our local community of queer artists.

WNC LGBTQ Oral History Project

The LGTBQ Oral History Archive project is a collaboration of the Blue Ridge Pride Center and UNC Asheville, with generous seed funding from the YMCA of Western NC. We aim to document a richer, fuller, and more inclusive history of our region by recording the stories and memories of people in our community.  In the future, we plan to capture the history of some of our more storied LGBTQ institutions and events.

Help us grow our community ... together

Your support helps us to fund projects and programs that build our community

Virtual Community Center

Oral History Project

Community Events

Community Partner Fund

Become a Patron of Pride

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Submitting Graphics

For sponsors and patrons, we generally require at two versions of your logo: one for print media and banners, one for the Internet and email.

Electronic / Email

  • These files are commonly known as raster graphics.  Raster file formats include JPEG, PNG, APNG, GIF, and MPEG4.
  • Ideally, we want a file that is 400 by 400 pixels.  If it isn’t, we will add bordering to make it square.

Print / Banners

  • These files are commonly known as vector graphics.  Vector files formats include SVG, EPS, PDF and AI.
  • The advantage of vector graphics is that they will look good no matter how big your print them.

Zip Files

  • If you have hired a graphics designer to create your logo, chances are good that they have created a single zip file that includes all common formats in both types.  You can send this.

You can submit your graphics by emailing them to [email protected] or [email protected]

 

User's Guides - Welcoming Groups

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Mental Health Providers

Eric Davis  MS, LCPA, NCC, Counselor

Willow Wellness and Recovery, PC 9 All Souls Crescent  Suite B, Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 490-4137 | Website I am a firm believer in empowerment and self-determination. In the past, I have worked well with folks experiencing a range of issues, such as anxiety, depression, substance-use, sleep disturbances, relationship issues, and issues unique to the LGBT community.

Scott Thomas,  Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, LCAS

Silver Lining Therapy 70 Woodfin Place  STE 21, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 705-3084 | Website I believe humor can be a powerful tool for healing and seek to incorporate this into our time together. Unique to my practice is an approach that truly puts you at the center of the counseling experience, and I draw from a wide variety of techniques to help you see and experience real change in your life. To see if therapy might be a good fit, I offer free phone consultations.

James Harrison, PhD Psychologist

12 Westridge Dr , Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 348-6300 | Website I enjoy helping people achieve physical and emotional intimacy whether they are young or old, straight or gay, in healthy, responsible, and mutually affirming ways. I also enjoy helping people improve their earning and manage their assets. And I like working with older people. I offer free phone consultations.

Judy Maris, Counselor, LPC, LCPC, MA, MS

Maris Psychotherapy 41 Clayton St, Suite 301, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 537-4489 | Website We can explore troublesome patterns that tend to repeat themselves in your life or look at new issues that have just come up. The important thing is for us to work together to get to the bottom of your difficulties and resolve them. I will assist you in becoming more aware of what you are feeling and thinking in the present moment. The untapped wisdom within you is a powerful healing force. Let me help you gain access to your full inner resources. I offer free phone consultations.

Elizabeth Heaney, Counselor, MA, LPC 

166 E Chestnut Street, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (520) 447-3319 | Website I work with individual adults with concerns like: family history issues, relationship concerns, life satisfaction issues (related to jobs, living situations or relationships), anxiety and depression. I’ve had a particular focus on working with couples, addressing every aspect of relationship challenges – relationship dissatisfaction/boredom, affairs, sexual/intimacy issues, etc. And I was a civilian counselor on military bases for several years, so I have a clear understanding of the unique pressures and challenges facing service members and families. I offer free phone consultations.

Siljoy Maurer

Holistic Perspectives P.O. Box 333, Enka, NC 2872  Phone: (828) 333-0103  | [email protected] or  www.HolisticPerspectives.com For many years now I have been mentoring men and women from all walks of life. It continues to be my greatest joy to accompany someone from “just being ok” into thriving! As a Mentor & Healer I partner with my clients in creating authenticity, wellness and deep contentment, in whatever area of their lives they are seeking change. The combination of giving very practical, livable tools for direct “next steps” while “holding the big picture” and then manifesting that big picture often feels like this: a new client brings me their life or life situation in a jigsaw puzzle box, they lost the lid and forgot what the picture on it looked like. I am good at knowing that picture and then guiding my clients/mentees to put all the puzzle pieces together.  
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Email: [email protected]

MailPO Box 2044, Asheville NC 28802-2044

Packages: 33 Coxe Avenue, Unit 2044, Asheville NC 28801 (note different zip code).

Phone: 828-423-0655 (via Google Voice)

 

Specific Contacts:

 

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TARGET AUDIENCE: LGBTQ Community, Allies and Friends

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