Gender Expressive Arts and Blue Ridge Pride Pageant: Ida Carolina Passes Baton TO Sol Wagner and James King

Well, it had to happen eventually.  Ida Carolina, our Director of DRAG Performance Art and the Blue Ridge Pride Pageant, has passed the baton on to a new generation of leaders. Meet Sol Wagner and James King.

 

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.

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Mental Health Providers

Eric Davis  MS, LCPA, NCC, Counselor

Willow Wellness and Recovery, PC 9 All Souls Crescent  Suite B, Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 490-4137 | Website I am a firm believer in empowerment and self-determination. In the past, I have worked well with folks experiencing a range of issues, such as anxiety, depression, substance-use, sleep disturbances, relationship issues, and issues unique to the LGBT community.

Scott Thomas,  Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, LCAS

Silver Lining Therapy 70 Woodfin Place  STE 21, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 705-3084 | Website I believe humor can be a powerful tool for healing and seek to incorporate this into our time together. Unique to my practice is an approach that truly puts you at the center of the counseling experience, and I draw from a wide variety of techniques to help you see and experience real change in your life. To see if therapy might be a good fit, I offer free phone consultations.

James Harrison, PhD Psychologist

12 Westridge Dr , Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 348-6300 | Website I enjoy helping people achieve physical and emotional intimacy whether they are young or old, straight or gay, in healthy, responsible, and mutually affirming ways. I also enjoy helping people improve their earning and manage their assets. And I like working with older people. I offer free phone consultations.

Judy Maris, Counselor, LPC, LCPC, MA, MS

Maris Psychotherapy 41 Clayton St, Suite 301, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 537-4489 | Website We can explore troublesome patterns that tend to repeat themselves in your life or look at new issues that have just come up. The important thing is for us to work together to get to the bottom of your difficulties and resolve them. I will assist you in becoming more aware of what you are feeling and thinking in the present moment. The untapped wisdom within you is a powerful healing force. Let me help you gain access to your full inner resources. I offer free phone consultations.

Elizabeth Heaney, Counselor, MA, LPC 

166 E Chestnut Street, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (520) 447-3319 | Website I work with individual adults with concerns like: family history issues, relationship concerns, life satisfaction issues (related to jobs, living situations or relationships), anxiety and depression. I’ve had a particular focus on working with couples, addressing every aspect of relationship challenges – relationship dissatisfaction/boredom, affairs, sexual/intimacy issues, etc. And I was a civilian counselor on military bases for several years, so I have a clear understanding of the unique pressures and challenges facing service members and families. I offer free phone consultations.

Siljoy Maurer

Holistic Perspectives P.O. Box 333, Enka, NC 2872  Phone: (828) 333-0103  | siljoy@me.com or  www.HolisticPerspectives.com For many years now I have been mentoring men and women from all walks of life. It continues to be my greatest joy to accompany someone from “just being ok” into thriving! As a Mentor & Healer I partner with my clients in creating authenticity, wellness and deep contentment, in whatever area of their lives they are seeking change. The combination of giving very practical, livable tools for direct “next steps” while “holding the big picture” and then manifesting that big picture often feels like this: a new client brings me their life or life situation in a jigsaw puzzle box, they lost the lid and forgot what the picture on it looked like. I am good at knowing that picture and then guiding my clients/mentees to put all the puzzle pieces together.  

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Email: Hello@BlueRidgePride.org

MailPO Box 2044, Asheville NC 28802-2044

Packages: 33 Coxe Avenue, Unit 2044, Asheville NC 28801 (note different zip code).

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