Fifth Annual Rainbow Ball Alternative Prom Planned at UMM
MACHIAS, Maine – More than 130 youth and their supporters are expected to attend the 5th Annual Rainbow Ball Weekend, held April 13–15 at the University of Maine at Machias. The weekend of events will include educational workshops, a highlighter party, a drag show competition, an admissions campus preview, and the Rainbow Ball prom.
The Rainbow Ball is an open and affirming chem-free prom evening that includes dancing, pictures, food, and friends. It is offered as an alternative prom for youth who may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and their allies. All associated high school and college students, youth groups, and community members, including allied support groups, are invited to attend the casual, fun, safe, supervised, and friendly community celebration.
This year’s Rainbow Ball has an “Under the Sea Masquerade” theme. Professional photographer and UMM graduate Jen Reynolds will take prom pictures (covered in the price of the tickets). Machias-area musicians Hurricane Bertha, winners of the 2009 WUMM Battle of the Bands, will entertain guests with their eclectic set of LGBTA friendly tunes. Dress can be formal, fabulous, or casual.
Voluntary support groups will be offered throughout the weekend for a wide variety of orientations and identities (including allies), as well as several educational workshops on topics such as activism, Safe Space training for young people and educators, healthy relationships, and more.
The prom and associated events have been made possible by financial assistance from the Catawamteak Foundation and the University of Maine System Diversity Committee. UMM’s 100% Society, a student club, coordinates and plans all of the weekend’s activities. Co-sponsors of the event include UMM’s Admissions Office, Diversity Committee, Omicron Delta Pi fraternity, Residence Life, Student Activities, the Office of the President, and Machias PFLAG.
The Rainbow Ball is free to high school youth and chaperones. Ticket prices for others are $15 for one and $20 for two. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance at UMM’s Murdock Bookstore, the First Stop in Powers Hall, or at Riverview Video in Machias. All ticket proceeds and donations will be used to support next year’s Rainbow Ball.
Organizers of the weekend’s events hope to increase public awareness of how inclusiveness can be incorporated around adolescent rites of passage, such as the prom. Students who attend the Rainbow Ball will have the opportunity to participate the way they wish with their friends at this important social event.
For more information, contact Lois-Ann Kuntz, associate professor of psychology and advisor to the 100% Society, at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Rainbow Ball” in the subject line.