2013 Conference

Published on July 2nd, 2013 | by LGBA


AFB wins grant for LGBA concert

GA Council for the ArtsATLANTA – The Georgia Council for the Arts has awarded Atlanta Freedom Bands a $5,000 matching grant. The funds will assist in production of a massed band concert with over 200 musicians from over 30 different bands during the Lesbian and Gay Band Association international conference taking place during the Atlanta Pride Festival in October. This award marks the second time AFB has received funding from the State of Georgia for its artistic programming.

“We are very thrilled and very grateful!” exclaimed AFB President Cliff Norris. “The funds from the Georgia Council for the Arts will help us produce an event that has a significant impact in our community. We are so excited to bring a musical ensemble of this size and quality to Atlanta during the most festive time of our LGBT calendar. What a great way to celebrate our band’s 20th year!”

The massed band concert will take place Saturday, October 12, at 8 PM on the stage of the Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech. To celebrate the Atlanta Pride Festival, the concert takes as its theme the rainbow flag, created 35 years ago by Gilbert Baker. Each musical selection on the program will represent the meanings behind the original 8 colors. The concert also features the world premiere of a new work that AFB has commissioned from Atlanta composer Tim Jansa.

In total, the GCA distributed just under $1 million to 66 organizations across the State of Georgia. Grant recipients include theaters, dance companies, museums, literary organizations, libraries, cities, schools colleges and arts entities from many disciplines. Funds awarded by GCA include appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“This year’s grant cycle was exceptionally competitive and the funded organizations provide some of the most outstanding programming and services in the state,” said GCA director Karen Paty. “The extraordinary quality work done by these organizations has a meaningful economic and community impact at both a state and local level. We are pleased to be able to support this work and look forward to working in partnership with these institutions over the next 12 months.”

Formed in 1982, the Lesbian and Gay Band Association consists of 38 LGBT concert and marching bands in cities across the United States, Canada, Australia, England and Ireland. The Association last gathered in Washington, D.C., in January to march in President Obama’s Inaugural Parade.

“All our member bands are looking forward to our first-ever conference in Atlanta this fall,” said LGBA President Adam DeRosa. “Our hosts in Atlanta Freedom Bands have been planning the event since 2010. The funding from the Georgia Council for the Arts is a great recognition of the quality of programming AFB offers Atlanta and the dedication and energy of its members.”

About Atlanta Freedom Bands

Atlanta Freedom Bands represents Atlanta’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community through music. Atlanta Freedom Bands started in 1993 with a marching band, which has appeared in every Atlanta Pride parade since as well as numerous neighborhood festivals, community events, and pride events in other cities. The band has appeared at Atlanta area events such as the Inman Park Festival, the Dogwood Festival and the Salute to America Parade.

AFB has expanded its mission over the years to include several different groups. The MetroGnomes jazz ensemble appears at fundraising events and other gatherings. The Atlanta Freedom Concert Band, now in its eighth year, has professional direction from Dr. Kathleen Nicole Fallin, Ph.D. Music Education from the University of Georgia. AFB’s newest group, the Color Guard, adds a dash of panache to the band’s outdoor performances, parades and even concerts.

AFB members have traveled the country and the world to perform in events with other gay and lesbian musicians through the Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA). AFB has sent musicians to Gay Games events in Amsterdam, Sydney, Chicago and Cologne; the inauguration of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama; the 2000 March for Equality on Washington; the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade; the Southern Decadence Parade and yearly LGBA conferences and gatherings. AFB is a 501 c(3) non-profit arts organization. AFB will also host the international LGBA band conference in October 2013 during the Atlanta Pride Festival.

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