NEW WEBSITE – thelaramieprojectproject.com

#LPPFamily!

Incase you’re still visiting this site we want to make sure that you know that we are no longer operating on this one!

We have our own domain (with a relevant title now)…thelaramieprojectproject.com

So until we figure out how to make a redirect so all visitors of this site end up on the other one…there’s that.

I guess this is signing off!

With love,
LPP Leader Alyssa

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11/26: This week in the LPP–MSF Weekend Recap, PHASE 3 Announcement, Holiday Season of the LPP Pin, and more!

LPP Team Leader Alyssa here. A quick check-in as November wraps up…
#BMTAD17
 
I have not yet written a full update about my time in Colorado at the Matthew Shepard’s Foundation Bear to Make a Difference Gala. My family visited this remarkable city for the first time Oct 13-Oct 16, thanks to the generosity of The Matthew Shepard Foundation and those who supported me on my journey to being honored with the Spirit of Matthew Award.
This trip defies words, but I will post some pics to highlight a few of the myriad of life-changing moments.

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Meeting Sara Grossman, MSF and The Dru Project Communications Director, my advocate hero.

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Meeting Louis Sisneros, who was one of my first connections with the MSF back last February, a champion of the LPP since day one.

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Meeting Julie Marie Chavez, the CEO and founder of Chavez for Charity, a jewelry line that benefits charitable causes, like the MSF. Purchasing a Chavez bracelet back in Freshman year was my first exposure to Matthew’s story. I didn’t get a picture with Julie, but I did get a picture with some Chavez bracelets I spotted at a bookstore hours before the gala…see, I’m even wearing a Chavez bracelet in the picture…#onbrand

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Meeting Michele Josue, a friend of Matthew’s, who shared his story in the Emmy-Award winning documentary Matthew Shepard Is a Friend of Mine. (I got to HOLD THE EMMY). I also got to met Zeina Barkawi, another friend of Matthew’s. Both of these women were so beautifully kind. I jammed out with them at the Gala Afterparty! (See another trend in this photo? I’m wearing another Chavez bracelet.)

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Meeting Mr. and Mrs. Shepard, and being able to give them a hug and thank them for their activism.

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And last but certainly not least, meeting Jaimie Wilson, my fellow SOM honoree. I got to hear him sing two times that weekend, and they will be two of the best performances I have ever seen.
(I gave out SO MANY LPP PINS to SO MANY COOL PEOPLE!!!)

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Every single employee and friend of the MSF were paragons of goodness. My family was welcomed into theirs immediately, a moment of validation that will never leave my heart. I felt such pride wearing the LPP pin and announcing to the Foundation that I will carry out operations as Team Leader for as long as I’m kicking.
The Tectonic Office
 
My autumn only got better as I was graciously invited to visit the NY office of The Tectonic Theater Project at the start of the month. I was able to meet the brilliant staff members and take a look around at all of the Tectonic artifacts at their office. Then I got to see Uncommon Sense at the Sheen Center, the new Tectonic piece by Andy Paris and Anushka Paris-Carter about the autism spectrum. This was my first time seeing another Tectonic piece other than Laramie, so being there for its NY premiere was a true privilege.
This was one of the most life-affirming nights of the arts. Tectonic is my role model theatre company, so to have connected with them still blows my mind. Zena Hinds, the TTP Development and Communications Manager, has let me share all the LPP journey with her, and she has shown me the true definition of an artist.
(This FB post shows my four best pictures of the night :D)
 
ANNOUNCING PHASE 3!

the dru project
We are on track to close up Phase 2 within the next five months, and then we will open up Phase 3: The Dru Project Project.
We are proud to partner with  this incredible organization that fights in the name of Christoper Andrew “Drew” Leinonen and his boyfriend Juan Ramon Guerrero, who were victims of the Pulse shooting. Drew was an out-advocate who inspired his friends to carry his legacy. The Dru Project promotes Gay Straight Alliances in Florida schools, which are safe haven clubs for all teens.
Our mission with Phase 3 is to spread awareness of The Dru Project by connecting 32 LPPs for Drew’s 32 years of life. We will honor the lives of the loving couple by modeling their bravery and compassion. We are looking forward to sharing the story of The Dru Project throughout the world, as we cultivate lifelong supporters of the initiative.
Two groups are already on board with this initiative–Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, FL, and Baruch College in NYC. We will share their LPP stories with you and other Phase 3 groups so that we can make sure we are spreading the word about The Dru Project in the most effective way.
After Phase 3, we will open up Phase 4, which is our longterm continuation of the project. We are unsure about the length of Phase 3, but we expect that Phase 4 will open up in either the middle of Summer ’18 or towards the end of that year.
LPP USA
 
There will be on LPP2 taking place this week, performed by Thespian Troupe 8118 Members of Noblesville, Indiana. They will present their production of Laramie to fellow classmates before they perform at Indiana’s Thespian Regional Competition. Break a leg, Noblesville, as they educate audiences about the victim of anti-gay hate crime described on page of this report (  link ).
Website
Please note that this website is still under construction, as we create pages for our two new phases.
LPP Holidays
The perfect holiday gift for that special advocate in your life is an LPP pin! We sell these at the lowest price possible in lots of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30, and utilize any and all profits to creating more. Order the pins that have been to the Eiffel Tower and back today!
LPP Team
We welcomed back Team Member Kelly today and she will be helping me out with logistical LPP things as we open up this new chapter of a Project-Without end…looking forward to seeing how this project grows!
Registration for the LPP is always open at this link here.
Happy almost December…we’ll be updating more regularly, but be sure to follow the LPP on social media to be the most informed about our happenings!
With love,
LPP Team leader Alyssa

11/19/17: We’re Still Here!

LPP Friends,

LPP Team Leader Alyssa here. Just wanted to post a quick update to share an apology for the inactivity of our blog. We look forward to making a grand update during Thanksgiving Break. It’s certainly been a formative autumn for the LPP Team and the Project itself, as we make strides on Phase 2 and develop Phase 3.

The best way to connect with what’s happening for the LPP is on our social media accounts–we post almost daily about events within our project as well as related LGBTQ+ and theatre news.
Our Twitter
Our Instagram
Our Facebook Page

Please send your love and light to LPP Team Members as the older ones wrap up their first semesters of college and the younger ones submit applications to their dream programs.

To give you a sneak peek of our goals as 2017 wraps up…we are aiming to have 25 states on our team. Only two more states to numerically have half of the USA repped in the LPP. We’ll keep you updated on this.

And to share the coolest photo of the month, and maybe the best LPP pin pic of all time, tied with the pic of the pin at the Matthew Shepard Foundation gala:

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*squeals*

More on this in the upcoming week.

With love,
LPP Team Leader Alyssa

 

ANNOUNCING LPP’S PHASE 2!

At the end of the Matthew Shepard Foundation Gala Weekend, we would like to debut our second Phase of the Project!

As can be viewed on the blog page PHASE 2 Groups on Board, we have already welcomed 8 groups on board to this initiative and we are eager to build a new beautiful chart and map of our new groups!

As the instrument of Phase 2: Hate Crime Prevention Education, the Matthew Shepard Foundation has generously allowed us to utilize the most recent report of cases convicted and prosecuted under the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crime Prevention Act.

The Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into law by President Obama in 2009. James Byrd Jr. was a victim of a racially-motivated hate crime that occurred in 1998. In a terrifying act of violence, the African-American man was tied by three perpetrators to a vehicle, which they then drove around, horrifically injuring and eventually murdering Byrd.
The work of the foundation is to ensure this act is upheld. We are grateful that the families of James and Matthew are creating legacies of equality.
The report can be accessed on the Foundation’s website at this link.
All future LPP groups will be assigned an event described in the report. We encourage our groups to educate their casts and audiences about this hate crime.
While this Phase will have more instances of education rather than memorializing, as many of these hate crime victims are still living, we still ask that our groups perform in honor of the victim of the hate crime, and with the intention of fighting for justice.
There are 36 cases that will be utilized in this Phase of the LPP.

Registration for the LPP is always available on our site on the page “Get Started.” We look forward to embarking on this journey to explore the impact of Hate Crimes Legislation. We remind grateful for the activists who are fighting for an end to this violence.

Please note that if you are prospective group and you wish to honor a member of the Pulse shooting for any reason, we would be happy to welcome you on to Phase 1. Please register on our Get Started page and email us at actingout4peace@gmail.com to explain what you wish.

We are enthralled to continue our initiative. Thank you so much for remaining a friend of the LPP!

With love,
LPP Team Leader Alyssa

Our LPP Pin Shop is NOW OPEN!

At this link you can find our new shop!

Please allow one week for shipping, as we are operating out of our team leader’s house!

Make sure to take pics with your LPP pin wherever you go, and share them with us on social media!

Maybe we’ll even have a contest to see who takes the best LPP pin pic…

Much Love,
LPP Team Leader Alyssa

9/30 – This week in the LPP – October Events, Fighting for Ally Steinfield, Pins shop, and more

Hello, artist-activists! While the LPP Team Class of 2018 celebrates the return to GCIT, the Project continues on.

LPP Local:
October is a big month for the LPP. We have four upcoming LPPs definitively planned.

Downeaster Theatre
Lansing, MI
Honoring Enrique L. Rios, Jr.
Oct 6-8, 10

Overbrook High School Troupe 6052
Benefitting The Dru Project
Pine Hill, NJ
Honoring Edward Sotomayor, Jr., as well as Christopher Andrew “Drew” Leinonen
Please contact LPP Team Leader at our Project email for more information
Oct 11

PFLAG Collingswood and the Unitarian Universalist Church in Cherry Hill
Cherry Hill, NJ
Honoring Luis Daniel Conde
Oct 15

Glencoe High School Thespian Troupe 7125
Hillsboro, OR
Honoring The Families of the Victims of the Pulse Shooting
Oct 21-22, 28-29

Marymount Manhattan College
New York, NY
Honoring The Surviving Partners of the Victims of the Pulse Shooting
Oct 27-29

There are two other events from two other states tentatively occurring this month!

Our Calendar of Events page is always available to see what LPPs are happening around you!

LPP General:
Registration is always available at this link. While we are approaching the day where we will have all of the names assigned to a group, we will begin to maneuver names that have not yet been honored to the groups with upcoming performances. No matter what, if you have registered, you will remain on our list of participants, and will receive a name to honor, whether it be from Phase 1 or Phase 2.

LPP USA:
A terrible hate crime occurred recently. A trans teen, Ally Steinfield, was tortured and murdered. However, the Missouri police are not considering a hate crime. This is unacceptable–the murder was most definitely a hate crime.
This article, while it can be very upsetting, shares more about the murder and the response.
Transgender women are at a daily risk of violence. This is why we are creating this network of Laramies–to call out these horrific hate crimes and teach our communities that hate can kill.
Please spread this story among your friends and family. It is extremely disturbing, but we need to continue to spread awareness to make it clear that the fight is not over yet.

Ally Steinfield
Ally, rest in power!

LPP Pins:
The Etsy shop to buy pins will be open at the end of this weekend! Stay tuned for the link, where we will sell pins (tentatively) in lots of 5, 10, 20, or 30, for a low price.
Please allow about a week for shipping, since we are operating out of the Team Leader’s house!
Note: proceeds from the pin purchase is going toward covering the cost of designing and ordering pins. The LPP Team is not accepting personal profit from this sale.

LPP Team:
So many LPP pins were beautifully shining at the Educational Theatre Association’s event, Broadway Back to School, at 54 Below. On September 27, current Thespians, alumni, and Broadway performers came together to raise money for arts education in high school. Check out the pins on the thumbnail of this video!

LPP Team Leader Alyssa was able to meet up with four other Thespians who have been a part of the LPP at their own schools!

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Representing, clockwise, Tom’s River North High School (NJ Troupe 7455), Flushing High School (NY Troupe 7892), LPP’s Home GCIT (NJ Troupe 5480), Barnegat High School (NJ Troupe 7363), and Robbinsville High School (NJ Troupe 7161)


We’re also gearing up to represent the LPP in Colorado at Matthew Shepard Foundation’s Bear to Make Difference Gala. There, we will be able to give pins to the figures who have carried our Matthew’s legacy, including his parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard. We are counting down until this incredible milestone for the team!

The team just welcomed aboard our first Florida high school to the project, and will be adding their name to the website. This means, including GCIT, there are 20 Thespian troupes on board with our project.
We perform our LPP work in honor of beautiful souls like Ally. We must use what we have–our compassionate hearts–to make a statement.

Much love,
LPP Team Leader Alyssa

9/2 – This week in the LPP – Happy Birthday to the LPP Team, LPP Pins Shop, Help our Texan Friends, and more

LPP Milestones:
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Top: 9/2/16, Bottom: 9/4/16

On August 31st, 2016, I pulled one of my best friends and first member of the LPP Team, Dylan, into one of the alcoves of lockers in our Drama Classroom during one of the quiet moments of our Thespian Board meeting. My drama teacher had just suggested to me that, in tandem with our own Laramie, that we united 49 productions in honor of the 49 Pulse victims. Somehow in my spilling out with this news, I stumbled upon the name The Laramie Project Project. Then, I declared: “I want Bowe and Bagby.”

One year ago today, on a ride back from a day at the shore with my best friend Julia, Dylan and I created a group chat with Kelly and Kayla. We asked them to come on board with our newfound initiative. Pretty sure the first text we got back was Kayla’s YES, and then Kelly’s Woah. I really wish I saved that chat or sceenshotted it.

That night, we hopped on Skype with Kayla, and immediately started a draft of a play about our own cyber travels, as if we could predict what they would bring. Two nights later, we Skyped Kelly and made a list of counties in New Jersey.

To the OG LPP Team–you were the first people in our lives to know about LPP, and the first to say yes.

All of our thanks to the 48 groups that have since signed on with our initiative, keeping the LPP alive, allowing us to arrive at this first birthday milestone.

LPP Local:
Soon, ANYONE can purchase an LPP pin! We are setting up an Etsy shop to sell them for a low price that will be determined soon. Updates about the shop will be coming soon.
If you get a pin, we want your pictures of #LPPAroundTheWorld! Tweet them and tag @theLPP2017, or post them on Instagram and tag @thelaramieprojectproject.

LPP USA:

We highly encourage all of our friends of the LPP to make a donation to help our Texan friends! Here is a link to an LGBTQ+ shelter in Houston, the Montrose Center.

Phase 2:
It’s our goal to be as open as possible with our LPP friends about the future of our initiative. At this point in time, it is looking like it will take one more month to launch Phase 2 of the LPP, as we close up the Pulse Memory Project.
Registration is ALWAYS open for any performance/reading at ANY time at this link.

LPP Blog:
Be sure to keep checking the LPP Calendar of events to see if there are any LPP events near you! https://actingout4peaceblog.wordpress.com/calendar-of-events/

Much love,
LPP Team Leader Alyssa Sileo