Nashville CARES hosts Avant Garde 2015

Nashville CARES held its fourth annual Avant Garde event, the Mad Hatters Ball, on Saturday, February 21, at the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. Presenting sponsor NPS Pharmacy and Event Chairs Wes Davis, Connie Ford, Bradley Pinson and Abby White hosted an evening of curious and magical entertainment. While full costumes were optional, but hats were required!

“Last year was Masquerade, and it was all about the mask,” Pinson, who is also a CARES board member, said. “When we were brainstorming for this year, we had the idea of hats. The Mad Hatter definitely fits this series, which began with Avant Gard, then proceeded to Under the Big Top and Masquerade. We have a very creative team behind these events.”

“Avant Garde is one of the best parties in Nashville, and this year it is going to be bigger and better than ever,” promised Ford leading up the event, and as you can see it lived up to the hype! “Mad Hatters Ball is a fun way to raise the much needed funds to fight HIV/AIDS in Middle Tennessee.”

The Avant Garde have engaged LGBTQ and ally party-goers alike. “That’s been the idea all along,” said Pinson. “We want to engage all of Nashville: HIV isn’t just a ‘gay disease,’ it touches everyone and this party is a great opportunity for people to come out and start to learn about CARES, but in a feel good, dress up, and network sort of environment.”

This year’s event featured impressive visuals, from Wonderland-themed, body painted characters to special guest Mad Hatter, Dee Ranged, and a wandering magician. Music was provided by DJ Ron, along with live performances by country artist and Broadway performer Rachel Potter and British musician, Katy Tiz, perhaps best known for her song, “The Bing Bang.”

The evening was emceed by Amanda Valentine, who competed on the eleventh season of Lifetime’s hit series Project Runway. She is also the founder of VALENTINE VALENTINE, a Nashville-based clothing and accessory collection, and a celebrity stylist. “I’ve wanted to find a way to work more with the LGBT community in Nashville,” Valentine said, “and I have a relative living with HIV, so when I was asked to participate it was a no-brainer. It’s nice to be able to use what little bit of notoriety I have to help shine a light on this issue and this organization.”

CARES Chief Development Officer Patrick Hamilton reports that last year’s event raised over $70,000, though he did not have exact figures on Masquerade on hand at the Mad Hatter’s Ball.



See also:

PHOTOS from Avant Garde 2015




WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less