Alternative Resources of the Triad (ART) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to be actively involved with the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (GLBTQ) community of the Triad (Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, NC and surrounding communities). ART works to support the GLBTQ community by (1) serving as an information portal and referral source and (2) by maintaining an ongoing, visible, and positive educational and supportive presence in the community.
Alternative Resources of the Triad was established in 1988 by Katheryn Smith, former Executive Director of Triad Health Project. Receiving help from numerous friends and acquaintances, Katheryn also relied heavily on John Quillan of the Charlotte Gay and Lesbian Switchboard and Greensboro attorney Ron Johnson for guidance in obtaining nonprofit status for the organization.
An anonymous donation of $1,000.00 provided the seed that culminated in ART’s first event, the Lesbian Health Fair. Shortly thereafter, the Gay & Lesbian Hotline of the Triad was established. The hotline quickly became the primary activity of the organization during the late 1980s. Funding for GLBTQ support organizations was sparse in those days. As a result, the hotline was hosted in the spare room of a volunteer’s apartment. Donated phone equipment lead to the training of seven pioneers in Greensboro. The official opening of the hotline received coverage in several local media outlets, including Greensboro News & Record.
The explosive growth of the World Wide Web provided the impetus to discontinue the hotline in November of 2003, as most of the call volume centered on requests for information. It was deemed that these queries could be better served by a 24/7 web presence. First as OutGreensboro.com and then as OutTriad.org, the website continues to serve as a vital information link for the GLBTQ community.
In 2005 ART sponsored QCYNT (Queer College Youth Network of the Triad), the inaugural meeting held at the Board Room of the Biltmore Greensboro Hotel in May of that year. Representatives from UNCG, Guilford College, Wake Forest University and Elon University participated in the event. QYCNT’s mission was to connect college and university LGBTQA associations in the area to provide an efficient means to exchange information. To that end, QCYNT hosted bimonthly meetings that were open to all college and university students, alumni and faculty members.
On the entertainment front, Alternative Resources of the Triad initiated the Greensboro, Out at the Movies! series, which debuted to a theater packed with members of GLBTQA community. The success of the first film came as a surprise to all involved. ART, in conjunction with Warehouse 29, sponsored a different GLBTQ movie every other month.
ART produced the first Triad Pride festival in August 2007 at Festival Park in downtown Greensboro. Since then, ART has produced the festival every year at this location and is now planning for Triad Pride 2011 to be held on June 4, 2011. The festival includes vendors, community organizations, religious organizations, entertainment, speakers, community leaders, food, and much, much more.