Plan B Theater Company’s 2017-2018 Season Announced

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Plan-B Theatre has been an important cause for Tami and me since 2001 when Plan B produced The Laramie Project.  Since then, we have supported Plan B, and Tami has been a long-time member of the Board of Trustees.  Plan B raises awareness and invites conversation about the important issues that are present in our community. Just announced, the 2017-2018 season has 3 incredible plays and the Script in Hand Series.  Tami and I hope to see you at some of the performances.  Tickets can be purchased here.

The Ice Front
By Eric Samuelsen
November 9-19, 2017

The actors of the Norwegian National Theatre find themselves in an uneasy truce with Nazi cultural authorities during the German occupation of Norway. When they are forced to perform a Nazi propaganda piece, conscience comes face-to-face with The Final Solution.

THE ICE FRONT questions what it means to be an artist, to be a patriot, to be human

The Weird Play
By Jennifer Nii
March 1-11, 2018
A co-pro with Sackerson

Whom do you love? What do you love? How do you love? And why?

THE WEIRD PLAY lives in the space between romance and devotion.

From the author of WALLACE, THE SCARLET LETTER, SUFFRAGE, RUFF! and KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

JUMP
By Austin Archer
April 5-15, 2017
A co-pro with Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory

How will you die? Will you see it coming? What if you’re given a second chance?

JUMP explores the impact of survival on those we love.

In partnership with The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists 

Script In Hand Series - Free readings of plays-in-progress

THE PRIESTHOOD
by Carleton Bluford
featuring Tyson Baker, Mark Fossen, Lonzo Liggins, Gray Mckenzie, Matthew Sincell & one other actor TBA
directed by Alicia Washington
Wednesday, November 15, 7pm

How do we choose to find ourselves? The LDS Church’s 1978 decision to ordain black men to the priesthood sends two young friends on a surprising and unexpected journey of personal revelation. From the author of MAMA (2015).

MOUNTAIN LAW
by Melissa Leilani Larson
featuring Calbert Beck, Matthew Sincell & Emilie Starr
directed by Cheryl Cluff
Wednesday, March 7, 7pm

In the fall of 1850, Tamson English has been alone with three young children on the Western frontier for more than a year. Isolated from civilization, abandoned by her husband, haunted by her past, Tamson’s mind begins to fracture… Until an old friend appears at her door. From the author of PILOT PROGRAM (2015) and THE EDIBLE COMPLEX (2016).

SELECTIONS FROM THEATRE ARTISTS OF COLOR WRITING WORKSHOP
playwrights TBA
directors TBA
Wednesday, April 11, 7pm

We hosted a gathering of Theatre Artists of Color in June of 2017. The desire to tell stories authentically came up multiple times throughout the gathering. So we organized a writing workshop with Utah’s most produced playwright, Julie Jensen, to be held in November and December of 2017. Julie will teach the basics of the craft; the writers will write; we’ll craft select pieces into an evening of short works

LGBTQ Community Endowment Fund Announces 2017 Grantees

Congratulations to all of this year's LGBTQ Community Endowment grantees! 

The LGBTQ Community Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of Utah was established in 2011, with an aim to strengthen Utah’s LGBTQ community and our state as a whole. This year, $34,000 has been awarded to 11 organizations that were selected from a record number of competitive applicants.

“From providing shelter and other resources for LGBTQ homeless youth, to mentoring through art, and much more, the grant recipients are making a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of everyone in our state,” said Jane Marquardt, one of the founding committee members and donor to the LGBTQ Community Endowment Fund. “Hearing of the work that these innovative organizations are engaging in is impressive. We are honored to support them with a modest, but hopefully significant, grant to help advance their efforts.”

2017 Grantees:

Comunidades Unidas, Community Promise/Promesa Comunitaria
Encircle, Youth, Family and Community Programming, and Therapeutic Services
Equality Utah, Wellstone Action Boot Camp
Plan-B Theatre, The world premier of THE ICE FRONT by Eric Samuelsen
Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC), 2017/2018 productions of HIR and FUN HOME
U of U College of Health - Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Utah Speech-Language Hearing Clinic, Giving Voice to the Person Inside: A Voice Therapy Program for Persons in Transition  
Utah Film Center, Damn These Heels
Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA), Out Loud
Utah Pride Center, Survivors of Suicide Attempts (SOSA) 
Utah Public Radio, A UPR Original Series - Off the Grid
Youth Futures, Program Operations 

The Fund Selection Committee members (Jane Marquardt, Jim Dabakis, Carol Gnade, Michelle Turpin, Jeffrey Mathis, and Lauryn Hansen) are hosting a reception on August 29th at the S.J. Quinney College of Law building at the University of Utah. Open to the public, the reception will help foster collaboration, raise awareness, and provide extra support for nonprofits serving the LGBTQ community in Utah. In addition to receiving their grant awards, the 2017 grantees will each have an opportunity to give a five-minute pitch to compete for a share of $10,000 in additional funding available.

RSVP for the LGBTQ Community Endowment Fund Grantee Reception on Tuesday, August 29th here.

Jane & Tami Marquardt are proud to support these great nonprofits that serve the LGBTQ community in Utah!


About the Community Foundation of Utah
The Community Foundation of Utah is a private, not-for-profit organization that works to be a catalyst for inclusive, visionary, and diverse philanthropy. They assist entities such as individuals and families, to organizations, corporations, and governments in establishing an array of charitable funds. Since its inception in 2008, over 200 funds have been managed and accounted for by the Community Foundation, which then deploys those funds through scholarships, grants, competitions, Program Related Investments, and other awards. For more information, please visit www.utahcf.org.

About The LGBTQ Community Endowment Fund
Established in 2011, the LGBTQ Community Endowment Fund pools donations from members and allies of the LGBTQ community. Leveraging individual donations to increase the impact of those individual donations, the fund has awarded over $318,000 in grants since its inception.

The Latest NCLR Supreme Court Victory

The Pavan Family, photo by NCLR

The Pavan Family, photo by NCLR

Congratulations and great work to Kate Kendell and the NCLR!

Justice for same-sex couples in Arkansas! In June, the National Center for Lesbian Rights won their most recent Supreme Court battle, Pavan v. Smith. NCLR represented two married same-sex couples who sued the state of Arkansas for refusing to put the names of both parents on their children’s birth certificates. NCLR argued that it was unconstitutional discrimination that violates Obergefel v. Hodges, the 2015 case that legalized gay marriage in the United States.

Pavan is a great victory for NCLR and for same-sex couples throughout the United States. In Pavan, the United States Supreme Court found that the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision defied Obergefel, by denying “married same-sex couples access to the ‘constellation of benefits that the Stat[e] ha[s] linked to marriage.’”

Kate Kendell, Executive Director of NCLR and a former guest speaker at Weber State University’s Peace & Possibility Lecture Series, said of this latest victory, “The Court’s ruling in Pavan is all the sweeter because it comes on the heels of a similar victory just last year. In V.L. v. E.L., NCLR won another summary reversal – this one unanimous – when the Supreme Court ruled that the Alabama Supreme Court had wrongly denied recognition of our lesbian client’s adoption of their three children.”

It is also interesting to note that our newest Justice Neil Gorsuch, nominated by President Donald Trump, filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito joined.

Jane and Tami Marquardt are proud supporters and fans of Kate Kendell and NCLR.

The application deadline for the LGBTQ Community Endowment Fund is July 5,2017!

The LGBTQ Community Endowment Fund’s goal is to strengthen Utah’s LGBTQ community, stakeholders, and state by supporting programs that create greater understanding and acceptance of people of differing backgrounds and beliefs. To do this, donations from the LGBTQ community and their allies are pooled to leverage those individual donations to make a more significant impact in the community. Since 2011, over $284,000 has been awarded.

Last year, the LGBTQ Community Endowment Fund awarded over $40,000 to twelve organizations, including the Utah AIDS Foundation, the Utah Pride Center, Spy Hop Youth Media Programming, UMOCA, Westminster College, OUTreach Resource Centers, Planned Parenthood, Plan-B Theatre, Bennion Community Service Center, Utah Film Center, Youth Futures, and Brigham Young Queer Alumni Association. The collective impact of these organizations cannot be overstated – thousands of lives have been impacted, and numerous even saved, because of the work of these organizations.

Healthcare

The Utah AIDS Foundation used their funding to provide PrEP services to their patients. PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a daily pill taken to help keep the HIV virus from taking hold within the body should it ever be exposed through sex or injection. In conjunction with other prevention strategies, PrEP can reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 92%.

Planned Parenthood funded their Safe at School Program with their endowment. This program mitigates the harmful effects of bullying and harassment. Students are taught how to foster better school climates and improve outcomes for LGBTQ youth in Utah.

The Arts

Plan-B Theatre Company shared the story of Abbess Hildegard, a twelfth century revolutionary, with their original production of Virtue. Hildegard wore the hats of composer, writer, poet, herbologist, midwife, and mystic. The play looked to answer some tough questions: In a battle between spiritual conviction and institutional rules, which should win? What counts for more – theology or experience? Who may we love?

Spy Hop used its funding for the Move the Dial imitative. In this video series, students tackled the issues of gender and gender relations within the community. The work of students, ages 15-18, is beyond what many would expect from people of such an age.

The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) allocated its award from the Endowment Fund for their Out Loud mentoring program. This program pairs students with a mentor and creates a safe space for youth to build their capacity for self-expression and importance through the medium of contemporary art.

Damn! These Heels LGBTQ Film Festival is an annual showcase of the diverse backgrounds of the human experience through expression and investigation of LGBTQ history, culture, ideas, struggles, and triumphs. The Utah Film Center has proudly hosted the festival since 2003, entertaining and challenging over 20,000 people over the years to illustrate the struggles and achievements of the LGBTQ community.

Resource Centers

Youth Futures, located in downtown Ogden, shelters homeless youth, many kicked out of their homes for simply being true to themselves. The shelter also provides street outreach programs, guidance, programming, and drop-in services for runaway, at-risk, and homeless youth in Northern Utah.

Similar to Youth Futures, OUTreach is a drop-in center located in Ogden, Utah dedicated to transforming communities and saving lives through comprehensive programming, community advocacy, and training designed to promote positive outcomes for undeserved populations.

Education

The Bennion Community Service Center used their funding for the Alternative Breaks Program. This program, hosted by the University of Utah, gives students the opportunity to spend their breaks volunteering, learning, and traveling. These immersive week-long opportunities push the importance of social and environmental issues facing communities.

Brigham Young Queer Alumni Association was awarded funds to throw a recognition banquet to honor and celebrate the LGBTQ community at BYU. Simply providing a platform for alumni to see fellow LGBTQ members of the BUY community and give them an opportunity to share their stories was a major step forward for the organization.

The Utah Pride Center put on a “Genderevolution Conference” during Transgender Education and Awareness Month (November 2016). The conference provided a full day of workshops and presentations for participants to learn and grow in their understanding of transgender history, struggles, and community relations.

Westminster College created the LGBTQ Programming internship - a paid internship under the direction of the Associate Provost of Diversity and Global Learning. The intern assisted in creating, running, and managing LGBTQ projects and programming on campus.


The LGBTQ Community Endowment Fund looks forward to looking over all applications and providing the funding necessary to continue to make a positive impact on our community and the lives of LGBTQ people across Utah. Be sure to submit applications here before midnight, July 5!

My Family's Expedition into Disconnection

To celebrate my turning 65 years young, earlier this month I convinced my family to go on a five-day rafting trip. Exploring the vastness of the Utah desert and the serenity of the Green River, my family of eight (my wife, our adult son and daughter, son-in-law, two grandsons and granddaughter (aged between 11-15)) survived a rickety plane ride to the middle of nowhere and set off. 

It was a trip of many laughs, self-discovery, family bonding, and the welcomed chance to unplug from the world for a few days. The experience of being outside, surrounded by red rock and family, surrendering ourselves to will of Mother Nature, reminded us while we can't control external events, we do have the ability to control our attitudes toward them.  

Power of Your Purse 2017 - Empowering Girls Through Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Every year, The United Way of Salt Lake hosts its annual Power of Your Purse Gala, raising funds for and celebrating the work of the Women's Leadership Council. The efforts of the Women's Leadership Council are focused upon Women for Education Achievement, which aims to help young girls and women reach their potential through education.

The Women's Leadership Council is a group of over 250 local women leaders with a goal of increasing the educational opportunity and achievement for all girls and young women in our community. Their focus, the Women for Educational Achievement, shoot to make a positive impact through tracking key metrics such as:

·       Increasing the percent of elementary students testing proficient or higher in math and reading by the third grade;

·       Pushing middle school students to play a more active role in engaging in their education by showing they understand its value and importance to their future success;

·       Measurably improved high school graduation rates; and

·       A major focus on the entrance to and completion of post-secondary educational programs such as technical training or college.

To influence students in pursuing these goals, the Women’s Leadership Council has made efforts to change the narrative and cultural factors regarding women’s place in education and the workforce. By coordinating with local partners promoting education in the community, progress has been made in all of these key areas, but a lot of work must still be done. Funding curriculum that highlights the importance of post-secondary education, as well as raising awareness of and addressing financial issues that impact the ability to pursue continued education remain top priority for the Council.

The annual Power of Your Purse event is held as the signature event to bring awareness and raise funds for these issues, and more. This year's focus will be on launching new science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) initiatives for low-income students across the Salt Lake Valley. Keynote speaker Reshma Saujani will discuss the importance of equipping young women with the technological and computing skills necessary to pursue high quality careers in the 21st century. She is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national leader on closing the gender gap in computer science and technology jobs. Her recent TED Talk on empowering girls and young women by teaching them bravery through risk-taking and the embracing failure, as well as the importance of mentorship, has over 3 million views.

While tickets to this event have sold out, you can still make a donation to support STEM initiatives for low income students by clicking on the button below.