Monday, December 13, 2010

Camaraderie: OutLook Theater Project Fundraising Appeal

As I get ready for The S. Kitchen presents...A Year in Review, I will be sharing appeal letters from the guestperts that will be in attendance. Next up is OutLook Theater Project. Lynn Johnson was our featured Guestpert at The S. Kitchen presents...The Kitchenless Cook in March 2010. If you would like to donate to OutLook Theater Project, click here (please make sure to SELECT OutLook Theater Project in the "Please choose where you'd like to direct your donation" field.

Or...Attend The S. Kitchen presents...A Year in Review (RSVP on Facebook or Socializr) on Wednesday, December 29th at 5pm and donate to the "pot" to maximize your contribution across four fabulous organizations: The S. Kitchen, OutLook Theater Project, Urban Sprouts, and Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir.

For the sake of full disclosure, I am a part of OutLook Theater Project's ensemble.

2010 was a big year for OutLook! The full production of This Many People, a play based on the stories of local LGBT Seniors, was a huge success. We played to sold-out houses at CounterPULSE and garnered rave reviews from audiences. Once audience member said that This Many People “opened my eyes, my understanding of how much more our society, our world and our human family have yet to overcome in order to be one family. Thank you for putting together one of the most beautiful and powerful plays I’ve seen”. Many members of the LGBT Senior community shared how honored they were to see their experiences onstage, and audiences loved the themes of the play and the intergenerational cast. We were thrilled with how the production turned out and the community response to it: it confirmed for us that making professional theater about LGBTQ experiences through a truly community-based process results in meaningful and engaging art that both reflects diverse audiences’ experiences and exposes them to new perspectives. We believe that theater can change people’s lives, and our two-plus years of work on This Many People supported that belief.

We are so grateful to all of the incredible people who have contributed their time and money to make OutLook Theater Project come this far. As we plan towards an even bigger 2011, we are asking you, our community, to support us with a tax-deductible, year-end contribution as we continue to create new and dynamic theater work that celebrates the LGBTQ experience.

OutLook is a community-based theater company. This means that engaging the community, LGBT identified and beyond, is absolutely essential to making our work. It also means that building community as we go is one of our core values. We have witnessed such magical evidence of that process this year: LGBT seniors finding community with each other as part of our activities; 20 year olds and 78 year olds making connections with each other across generations; and the incredible turnout of LGBT Seniors to see This Many People. We have been honored to be part of that relationship building, through all of the individuals and organizations we have collaborated with in the last year, especially our community partners. And we have been grateful for the support of each and every person we have met this year, both in the form of donations but also in resources, feedback and ideas shared, words of encouragement offered, and applause at the end of our performances!

And we will continue in 2011! OutLook will begin work on The God Project, a theatrical exploration of the intersections between faith/spirituality and sexual/gender identity. The development process of will include partnering with a diverse range of LGBTQ faith/spiritual groups and using theater as a tool for interfaith dialogue in the LGBTQ community. OutLook will share a first glimpse of this work-in-progress at The Garage in May and FoolsFury’s Fury Factory Ensemble Theater Festival in June.

All of this exciting work requires time and money. And with the economic downturn affecting foundation giving, it is harder than ever for emerging, grassroots arts organizations to secure financial support. So I am asking you to consider making an end of year, fully tax-deductible contribution to OutLook Theater Project.
Again, thank you for supporting OutLook, and our efforts to share the diverse voices of our community. Have a happy new year!

In Community,

Rebecca Schultz, Lynn Johnson, and Jason Wyman

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