O&AN birthday treat – enjoy two free days at the Frist

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 Out & About Newspaper will turn six-years-old this month and the Frist Center is helping celebrate the milestone by offering free admission to O&AN readers for one weekend.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at the offices of O&AN, One-in-Teen Youth Group and the Tennessee Equality Project, is scheduled for Oct. 13, at 5:30 p.m., to coincide with the birthday milestone.

"Out & About is such an important part of the Middle Tennessee community and has been tremendous in helping us spread the word about our exhibitions, programs and activities," said Ellen Jones Pryor, Frist director of communications. "At the Frist Center, we think of ourselves as a place to see and learn about great art, to be sure, but we also see ourselves another way: as a resource for the community."

Aside from free admission, O&AN coupon holders will also receive special discounts in the Frist Center Gift Shop and a $5 discount on regularly-priced membership. Members attend the Frist Center free of charge and receive other benefits through the year.

Look for a special coupon in this edition of O&AN and at outandaboutnewspaper.com offering free admission to the Frist on Friday, Oct. 17, and Saturday, Oct. 18. Click here to print off the coupon.

The exhibitions on view include: Rodin, A Magnificent Obsession Sculpture from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation; the Best of Photography and Film from the George Eastman House Collection; the photographs of Lalla Essaydi; and 2008 Statewide Advanced Placement Studio Art.

Guided tours will be provided in the galleries at 1:30 p.m. on both days.

The milestone for O&AN comes six years after Publisher Jerry Jones created the newspaper to fill a void in the GLBT news media. There were two GLBT publications in Nashville at the time, but each of them provided mostly entertainment content.

"Tennessee needed a newspaper that provided readers with hard news directly impacting the GLBT community," Jones said. "O&AN serves the purpose of giving its readers the news they need, and there is a lot of it."

With the distribution of O&AN came the immediate closure of one gay weekly newspaper, the redesign and revitalization of another GLBT publication, and, some three years later, the creation and quick-demise of a third.

Though O&AN is still in its infancy as newspapers go, many community leaders recognize the positive impact it has had and continues to provide the GLBT community. Chris Sanders, president of the Tennessee Equality Project, said O&AN helps advance political issues by raising GLBT awareness across the state.

"When I go in the Kroger in Bellevue or on Charlotte and I see a copy of Out & About, I know that the visibility of our community has grown in profound ways since the first edition was published," Sanders said. "Out & About‘s print edition, Web site and cable program have helped Tennessee become acquainted with our community.  That is a prime factor in the growing success of our efforts to organize politically and expand GLBT rights in our State." 

Managing Editor Joey Leslie said the people behind O&AN have fought tough battles in past years and prevailed, including the infamous struggle to continue to be distributed from inside Kroger stores.

"I’ve heard amazing stories of O&AN‘s humble beginnings and the stumbling blocks that have been overcome in the past six years," Leslie said. "I am honored, at this point in its history, to be a part of the GLBT-news machine that Jerry Jones, (former editor) Brent Meredith and a handful of others established six years ago. Now, we strive to grow stronger each month and continue to advance GLBT issues."