Nashville Pride will honor two GLBT community leaders with new awards at the 2011 Nashville Pride Festival hosted by Volkswagen Hallmark, the group announced today.

The two new awards – the Mark Middleton/Bianca Paige Pride Volunteer Award and the Mark Manasco Community Service Award – serve to honor two leaders in Nashville’s GLBT community as well as the two late GLBT icons for which the awards are named.
"We are thrilled to be able to bring back this aspect of Nashville Pride's mission, as well as honor two vitally important GLBT community members that we lost so recently," said Jason Hunt, Nashville Pride vice president and festival director.
The Mark Middleton/Bianca Paige Pride Volunteer Award will be given to a Nashville Pride volunteer who embodies Mark Middleton's passion for and commitment to the GLBT community and Nashville’s annual Pride Festival. Middleton, who passed away on June  4, 2010, and was perhaps best known as Bianca Paige “The Pantomime Rage,” donated his time and talents to many GLBT groups including Nashville Pride, Nashville CARES, Vanderbilt’s HIV Vaccine Trials, Vanderbilt Children with AIDS, The Conductors, Human Rights Campaign and the Comprehensive Care Center. He also served as spokesperson for “The Bianca Paige Awareness Network,” an organization dedicated to AIDS awareness and prevention.

Nominations for the award will be submitted by Nashville Pride board members and the winner will be chosen by the group’s executive committee.
The Mark Manasco Community Service award will be given to a member of the GLBT community who demonstrates Mark Manasco's devotion to community service and GLBT organizations. Manasco, who passed away this year on January 12, was a long-time member of the choral group Nashville in Harmony and a board member of the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce.

Nominations for the award will be submitted by the GLBT community and allies and the winner chosen by the 2011 Pride Board. Nominations for the award are being accepted at
The award winners will be honored at the Nashville Pride Pre-Party at Hard Rock Cafe on Thursday, June 16, and during the 2011 Nashville Pride Festival at Riverfront Park on Saturday, June 18. They will also be profiled in the 2011 Nashville Pride Guide in June, distributed by Out & About Newspaper

The purpose of the Nashville Pride is to maintain a sense of community and awareness of, about, and for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people and culture throughout Middle Tennessee.

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