OutCentral announces honorees for its annual Autumn Honors

OutCentral Cultural Center has named the recipients for its annual Autumn Honors awards.

Autumn Honors will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23. The evening’s festivities, which also mark OutCentral’s sixth anniversary, will recognize individuals and organizations who have made — and continue to make — a difference in Middle Tennessee through visual and performing arts, literature and journalism, fashion, cuisine, philanthropy, education and athletics.

In addition to food and beverages provided by local restaurants, OutCentral hopes to offer a preview of “Cake or Death,” a locally written play opening Halloween night. “Cake or Death,” along with a summer run of “Southern Baptist Sissies,” represent the 2103 season from Kirk-Burgess Productions, who have named OutCentral their 2013 philanthropic beneficiary, and so will be donating a portion of the seasons’ proceeds to the center this fall.

Tickets for Autumn Honors are $20, and will go on sale in early September via the OutCentral website, as well as Now Playing Nashville. 

This year’s honorees are:

Mark Hubbard

Mark is locally and nationally renowned for his work in educating our communities about HIV treatment, prevention and research. He is the Education Liaison for the Tennessee Association of People with AIDS, and is serving on the organizing committee for an upcoming White House Office of National AIDS Policy summit on “HIV in the South,” which will take him to the White House for a second time. He also is consulting with the Tennessee Department of Health on the development of publicity materials to help Tennesseans living with HIV successfully deal with coming changes related to the opening of the Affordable Care Act Healthcare Marketplace.


Marisa Richmond, Ph.D. 

Marisa is the founder of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition and the first openly transgender person to hold office within the Davidson County Democratic Party. She has lobbied tirelessly locally and nationally for the rights the LGBT community, especially its transgender contingent, and continues to be an ongoing presence at the state Capitol when the legislature is in session.


Dwayne Jenkins

Dwayne is the founder of the Brothers United Network, and is that group’s Coordinator, and Prevention Education Manager of the Gay Male programs at Nashville CARES. He is the President of Nashville Black Pride, and currently the Board Chair of the Center for Black Equity. He is a longtime supporter of multiple other avenues of African-American LGBT outreach in Middle Tennessee and across the nation.


Mark Lopez

A charter member of OutCentral, Mark served on Nashville’s Metro Human Relations Commission for two terms. He has served on the local and national board of the Human Rights Campaign, advocating for the cause of equality in Middle Tennessee area. He also has served or is serving on many community agencies’ boards and committees.



MAC has served on the Nashville Pride Board of Directors for more than 20 years, served on the Nashville Black Pride Board for more than 10 years and also has been Coordinator for Sisters United (BASU) in Nashville, along with helping several other community organizations grow and thrive in the face of adversity. Mac is the owner of the longest-running male impersonator pageant in the Southeast, Mr. Esquire, now in its 17th year. She is also the owner of the only real female aka Diva pageant in Nashville, Ms. Tennessee Diamond Diva, now in its 8th year.  


Van Pond

Van is the president-elect of the board of directors for the Belcourt Theater. He has been involved in numerous community non-profits and fundraisers over the past decade, including Artrageous, the Brooks Fund, and Nashville Cares, among many others. 


Brian and Laura Rossbert

Brian and Laura, both Methodist ministers, lent their time, their connections and their moral authority to the drive that led to Nashville's nondiscrimination (CANDO) ordinance, and continue to work for inclusive policy changes within the United Methodist Church and other religious bodies. 


OutCentral will also be honoring outgoing and former board members, Kate Nelson, Vickie Davis and Del Ray Zimmerman for their years of service, as well as recognizing our many volunteers for their ongoing and invaluable contributions. 

OutCentral was established in 2008, and is Tennessee’s first cultural center dedicated to arts and education programming for the GLBTQIF community. OutCentral creates a positive and energetic environment for inclusive social functions, recreation, and a home for other groups and organizations to meet.

To become involved with OutCentral, visit our website at www.outcentral.org. There you can find out about our latest events and sign up to receive our weekly email newsletter. OutCentral cheerfully accepts donations to offset operating costs, and welcomes volunteer participation. To find out more, visit our website or speak with any board member.

For more information on Autumn Honors, as well as a link to purchase tickets, please visit www.outcentral.org.


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