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OK2BX Festival Celebrates the Inclusive Spirit of the Late Eleanor Bolding

A little more than a year after Eleanor Bolding died, the foundation her family created in her honor embarks on its first family-friendly festival.
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Courtesy the Bolding Family

Not quite a year after Eleanor Bolding died by suicide, the foundation her family started to honor her legacy of inclusiveness awarded its first two scholarships.

We first introduced readers to the Bolding family in April as they were planning the OK2BX Foundation’s first film festival. Next month, the foundation—which is family shorthand for “It’s OK to be extraordinary,” something Brent Bolding reminded his children of every day as they left for school—will host its first OK2BX Festival. 

Seventeen-year-old Eleanor first told her family she was trans on New Year’s Day in 2021. When she died, her family chose to embrace her spirit of inclusiveness by creating a lasting memorial to it. 

“This whole idea that she was this beautiful, inclusive person resonated with us,” her mother Chris said in April. “We want to support her trans story as well, and the foundation allowed us to do both by highlighting the inclusivity and diversity that she really fostered in her own life, and then saying, ‘Everyone should be that way.’”

The organization in April awarded two scholarships, one to Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts graduate Kristi Lee, and another to Breanna Ross, a School of Science and Engineering at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center graduate. These students exhibited what the Boldings call Eleanor’s desire to “call people in, rather than call them out.” To keep the momentum and continue issuing scholarships, fundraising from events like the film festival and the upcoming Aug. 13 OK2BX Fest will be key.

The foundation has planned a family-friendly event that “celebrates the uniqueness and individuality that makes each of us extraordinary.” In addition to games and hands-on art activities, local artists including Argentinian dancer Alma Salvaje, Coyote Rock, comedian Crist Guzman, singer-songwriter XYZSA Love, magician Eddie Ruiz, and the Laughter League will perform. Food vendors include Cafe Momentum, Break Bread Break Borders, Blake’s Snow Shack, Locura, and Love, Liv Bakeshop.

Tickets for the event, which will be held from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Deep Ellum Art Company at 3200 Commerce St., are free. But guests are encouraged to make a $20 donation to the foundation for each adult ticket and a $10 donation to the foundation for each ticket for children under 12. Attendees can reserve tickets here.


Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson

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Bethany Erickson is the senior digital editor for D Magazine. She's written about real estate, education policy, the stock market, and crime throughout her career, and sometimes all at the same time. She hates lima beans and 5 a.m. and takes SAT practice tests for fun.

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