PYTA Announces 2015 Conference August 13-16 in Lexington, Kentucky

Boston, MA – The Pride Youth Theater Alliance (PYTA) a network of organizations from across the United States and Canada with theater programs focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, will be holding its sixth annual conference in Lexington, KY, hosted by Company Q. The Mukti Fund of Santa Clara, California is generously funding the cost of current PYTA member organizations’ registration, travel, and accommodations. The conference will take place August 13-16, 2015, at the Hilton Lexington/Downtown and the Gay & Lesbian Service Organization of Lexington.

Theo Meacham, Chair of the PYTA Conference Committee and Director of Company Q says, “Company Q could not be more excited to welcome the Pride Youth Theater Alliance to Kentucky. The Mukti Fund and PYTA have been so important in our history, and we are looking forward to sharing a little Southern hospitality with those who have given us so much. Our goal is to present a conference with a uniquely Kentucky flair, creating safe space for established and emerging leaders in our field to share, explore, and thrive.”

During the conference, PYTA members will share work and experiences from their respective programs, participate in peer-lead workshops on best practices in the field, and network during planned social events. Conference participants will also attend a performance by the youth of Company Q, a performance and social justice theatre troupe for young people focusing on queer issues in Lexington.

Sara Kerastas, PYTA Executive Co-Chair and Ground Floor Visiting Artistic Associate at the Berkley Repertory Theatre states, “Three years ago, Company Q received an Incubator Grant to start one of the first queer youth theater programs in Kentucky. This summer, Lexington will host upwards of 60 queer youth theater practitioners from around North America. This is a huge benchmark for PYTA and a testament to the success of the Incubator Program. The diversity and scope of PYTA continue to grow in the most exciting and unexpected locations. We cannot wait to convene in Lexington. On to Kentucky!”

Scholarships for members of PYTA-affiliated organizations, including youth, will be available for the second year. Non-PYTA affiliated educators, youth workers, and theater artists are encouraged to attend and submit proposals for workshops through the PYTA website; conference registration for individuals will open in March 2015; the deadline to register is July 1, 2015.

PYTA was formed to unite queer youth theater directors whose programs were developed as isolated responses to local pressures or interests. Today, this thriving alliance promotes successful models of queer youth theater programming through financial support, pedagogical resources, and advocacy for artists, activists, youth, and educators. Current PYTA member organizations are located in 19 U.S. states and Canadian provinces.

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