The Kennesaw Pride Alliance will host its 10th Annual Charity Drag Show in the University Rooms of the Kennesaw campus student center from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on March 23.
Kennesaw Pride Alliance President Aracely Garcia said that the event will benefit the Pride School of Atlanta this year.
“[The Pride School of Atlanta] works like a regular school to serve kindergarten through 12th-graders,” Garcia said. “They help students who identify with the LGBT community so those who are being bullied can get their education in a welcoming environment. They provide a safe space to learn.”
In addition to the host, 10 participants will perform two songs each, including some KSU cheerleaders and Scrappy the Owl.
“There will be audience activities and free giveaways throughout the show, and a representative from the Atlanta Pride School will get on stage and talk about their organization,” Garcia said. “Following that will be more performances, activities and giveaways, and then a huge group performance to finish it all off.”
Garcia said that performances vary from person to person but that everyone puts on a good show. Some performers even jump off the stage to dance around and get the audience engaged.
“We do have three veteran performers doing an opening performance, so this might be their last ‘hoorah’ together,” Garcia said. “It will be their third or fourth year performing in the show.”
Auditions for performers were held in February, and Garcia said they paid plenty of attention to each performer’s comfort level.
“If they are able to perform in front of us at audition then we feel more comfortable putting them on a stage in front of a bunch of people,” Garcia said. “We also look at their style, but we haven’t gotten to the point we had to turn anyone away. As the years have progressed, the talent gets better and better.”
Garcia said the organizers like to have a good variety of music as well as talent.
“The performers have freedom of expression because we love that diversity,” Garcia said. “Quite a few performers made their own mixes and choreographed their own dances. Performers also provide their own clothing, with some more animated and others more risqué.”
There’s even one performer, she said, with a “Willy Wonka” theme. The event will also feature activities that encourage audience participation.
“In the past, we’ve done a ‘Twerk Off’ where we brought 10 to 15 people on stage and let them do their thing,” Garcia said. “We’ve also done a ‘Wigging Out,’ where participants got to choose from a pile of wigs and do their own performances. This year, we’ve got somewhat of a fashion show planned for anyone who wants to take part in that.”
She explained that the group wants to give back to students, so there will be free giveaways and other fun activities.
“We’ll have a camera set up in the hallways outside to take pictures that will print out a 4-by-6-inch image that people can take home,” Garcia said.
Since the goal is to raise funds for the Pride School of Atlanta, attendees can donate at the school’s information table or by tipping the performers on stage.
“The most money we’ve raised is $1500,” Garcia said. “This year, we’re hoping to pass $2000. Last time we did this in the University Rooms, we had about 300 people show up, so we’re hoping for that same turnout.”
The event is free to all KSU students and faculty, but there is a $5 charge for anyone not associated with the university.
Garcia said that Kennesaw Pride Alliance is a social organization, but the group also tries to help the LGBT community at KSU feel included and accepted on campus.
“Any time there is an instance that anyone in that community feels attacked, threatened or not welcome, we try to advocate for them,” Garcia said.
For those interested in getting involved with the alliance, general body meetings are held every four weeks on Tuesday nights. The next meeting will be held in room 2025 in the Social Sciences building on March 28 from 7 to 9 p.m.
For more information about the Pride School of Atlanta, visit prideschoolatlanta.org.