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OUTFest celebration returns to Braun Court

By |2012-08-23T09:00:00-04:00August 23rd, 2012|Michigan, News|

Ann Arbor, MI –
The 18th OUTFest returns to Ann Arbor’s history Kerrytown District Saturday, September 29 with a multiplicity of activities and entertainment for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and allied community of Washtenaw.
This annual celebration begins in the evening at Braun Court, across from the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market. This year’s event will spill into both the Braun Court parking lot as well as the block of N. Fourth Ave. between Catherine St. and E. Kingsley. OUTFest is a longstanding tradition of Braun Court, in honor of National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.
“National Coming Out Day is so important because it encourages people, young and old, to come out as LGBT, ally, queer or questioning” explains OUTFest Committee Co-Chair Ashley Schwedt. “But what is most vital about celebrations like OUTfest is that people are literally coming out into a community that already supports and affirms who they are.”
The celebration includes music, dancing, entertainers, food (vendors and Braun Court restaurants), a beer tent, the Grassroots stage with local musicians, speakers, representatives of political campaigns, a children’s play area, raffles and a NECTO-sponsored Dance Pavilion with DJ Mark Johnson.
OUTFest began as a project of Jim Toy Community Center (Previously the Washtenaw Rainbow Action Project) in 1995. The Jim Toy Community Center is a resource for the LGBT residents of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and greater Washtenaw County seeking to provide information, education, social events and advocacy for the community.
Since it’s conception, JTCC’s OUTFest has been hosted and produced with the assistance ” and at times leadership ” of autBar co-owners Martin Contreras and Keith Orr, large supporters of the center. This year, OUTFest has been organized by a number of JTCC volunteers working in collaboration with the center’s board of directors.
OUTFest 2012 current sponsors include:Necto, autBar, MillerCoors, Trillium Real Estate, Google, Between The Lines Newspaper, and Out Post Magazine. For sponsorship information, email Terry McGinn at TerryM@JimToyCenter.org or call 734-834-0598.
OUTFest 2012 is 5 p.m. to midnight, September 29 at Braun Court, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. This event is free and open to the public, though a small fee is necessary for access to the celebration’s beer tent. For more information go to http://www.JimToyCenter.org or search Facebook for “Jim Toy Community Center”.
Volunteers are still needed to help with setup, decorating, check-in, etc. To sign up to volunteer, contact Ashley Schwedt at Aschwedt@umich.edu.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.