This spring, following her incredibly successful DRAG show production at the LEAF 2022 Retreat, Ida Carolina turned over the reins to a new generation of leaders, both of them past winners of the annual Blue Ridge Pride Pageant.
- Sol Wagner (Natasha Noir Nightly) will be directing Blue Ridge Pride’s overall program for Gender Expressive Arts. Our DRAG community has played a major role locally in freeing people to creatively express their own gender identity while educating and entertaining the community at large.
- James King (Euphoria) will be directing our annual Blue Ridge Pride Pageant, scheduled this year for September 4 at the Grey Eagle Theatre.
Blue Ridge Pride believes that people should be able to freely explore and express their gender identity. Sol and James have both played a leadership role in advancing people’s understanding of gender while fighting for LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance. We look forward to seeing where they take us next!
Sol Wagner (Natasha Noir Nightly) – Director of Gender Expressive Arts
As an activist and performer, Sol has been involved in the local Asheville community since their arrival to the Blue Ridge in 2014. Sol started to perform in drag while attending school at UNCA as Natasha Noir Nightly. Their professional performance career kicked off in 2016 with the start of Party Foul of which they were an original house cast member. In 2018 Natasha went on to win Mx. Blue Ridge Pride and was the first bearded entertainer to win a pride title on the East Coast. During their reign as Mx. Blue Ridge Pride 2018 and after stepping down, Sol/Natasha have been committed to bringing drag off the stage and into other aspects of the community. Sol has made numerous appearances as Natasha on panels and podcasts including Vino and Vulvas where they discussed aspects of Sex and Sexuality and Embodied Radio Show where they were interviewed on makeup and how drag as a performance art plays with gendered aspects of cosmetics.
Sol and Natasha both are excited to further their mission of expanding the definition of drag and gender expressive arts with Blue Ridge Pride and to help foster a tight-knit community of artists in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
James King (Euphoria) — Blue Ridge Pride Pageant Director
James King has been in Asheville, North Carolina for 16 years. Cosmetologist by day and performer by night, James is a very creative and driven individual. As Euphoria Eclipse, his drag persona, he has created and assisted in several platforms for Newcomer entertainers. James is new to the Blue Ridge Pride family and is eager to share new and fresh ideas with how to better and help the community. Using his drag platform, he loves to help and assist any entertainer to find drag and express themselves through the art. After 15 years of performing, he is eager to be a part of an organization where he can assist in helping the community. As a Cosmetologist, he works in a very LGBTQ friendly and accepting workplace at The Beauty Bar in Asheville, North Carolina. Working with his salon owner, they have hosted Drag Queen Story Hour within their salon to raise awareness of the art and promoting acceptance to the youth of tomorrow. He is eager to help with the Blue Ridge Pride Pageant to continue its legacy. Coming from a pageant background in drag, he is excited to bring his knowledge to the Blue Ridge Platform.