Check out those smiles! In his nomination for the 2017 PYTA Awards, Adil Mansoor was described as the "personification of PYTA values", and his work in encouraging youth leadership and activism was particularly highlighted. It was so exciting to give him this award for his work and now we get to follow up with him to find out about how receiving the award has impacted him and hear his thoughts on the program. These are his answers:
What are your feelings, in general, about the PYTA Award?
"I think is is such a wonderful addition to the PYTA conference. It celebrates our work, highlights individuals, and bring people together in joy and recognition."
How did the award contribute to your work?
"The award helped me reflect on my own practice. It built my confidence. It helped me realize that I am doing good work and energized me to push forward.
The cash prize was also crucial in my life. I started graduate school last fall and the money went straight to books, supplies, and fees. I would have had to taken out more loans without this award. The lower debt will directly impact my ability to work in this field in the future, so this award drastically impacted my work in a very practical way. "
Is having a physical recognition something that feels important or validating in any way?
"If by physical you mean the trophy, I would say that isn't the most important thing. I appreciate the symbol, but it doesn't have a tangible affect. Mine is still sitting in it's box on top of my book shelf. The recognition and the funds are the pivotal parts of this experience."
What are your thoughts, as an award recipient?
"Just so much gratitude."
Adil's plaque may be in a box on a bookshelf, but it's clearly made its mark. We're excited to see the continuation of his work and wish him the best in his studies!
Adil is artistic director for Dreams of Hope: Queer Youth Arts in Pittsburgh, PA
The Director of the Year Award recognized Adil for his commitment to PYTA's values of youth voice, liberation, queerness, artistic expression, and community. Know another amazing leader in queer youth theater? Nominate them for the 2018 PYTA Awards!