Atlanta INtown's own Manning Harris at the Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus Big Wig Fundraiser
Photo Courtesy Project Q Atlanta

By Manning Harris

Everyone knows these are tough financial times for the arts.  For a lesson in “how to give a fundraiser” look no further than the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus, now celebrating its 30th year.  Saturday night, March 26, the Big Wig Party III was the place to be, at Miami Circle’s Bradford Gallery.  All admission funds were for the chorus. “It’s bigger and better this year,” said AGMC’s interim director Russ Bralley, and he wasn’t kidding.

As reported by Project Q Atlanta: “Bradford Gallery is about 4,000 square feet; there’s a VIP area,  DJ Todd Skelton, and an open bar.  Ticket sales this year are through the roof.” There were hors d’oeuvres by fine Atlanta restaurants, raffle prizes, a gift bag, and free admission to Jungle for an afterparty.

And there were wigs.  And costumes.  They weren’t required, but they were great fun.  One woman was dressed as Sarah Palin and could have given Tina Fey some competition.  There were simple wigs, and wigs that towered beyond description.  My personal favorite was the “Grey Gardens” wig (based on Jacqueline Onassis’ “poor relations” ensconced in a decaying Long Island mansion):  It was a fearsome thing, with cats and rats in its tresses. I’m still laughing over it.

This is the third year for the Big Wig Party, and it was a smashing success:  hundreds of people, good music, dancing, and folks who were there truly for the “gaiety of the occasion,” as Amanda would say in “The Glass Menagerie.”  They were not disappointed.

The chorus is preparing for their next big concert,  “Divas 2: Opera Revisited.” April 29-30 at the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University.  AGMC has become known for their wit and theatricality, as well as their musicianship.  If you’ve never seen them perform, you’ve missed one of the ATL’s gems.  I’d check them out; and start making plans for Big Wig IV.

For more, visit To find out more about the party, check out Project Q’s wrap up of the event at this link. You can also see more photos (like the one of Manning Harris above) at Project Q’s photo gallery at this link.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.