Theater Offensive Recognized for Work Promoting HIV/AIDS Awareness in Communities of Color

banner ad

theateroffensive_logoAward Presented by AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts at the 25th Annual Bayard Rustin Breakfast

BOSTON—The Theater Offensive, which for 25 years has worked in Boston neighborhoods to create original, groundbreaking works by, for and about the LGBT community, and its founder and executive artistic director Abe Rybeck, have received the Belynda A. Dunn Award of Recognition at the 25th Annual Bayard Rustin Breakfast. This award, presented by the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, recognizes TTO and Rybeck for their work promoting HIV/AIDS awareness in communities of color.

The Belynda A. Dunn Award of Recognition is named for the beloved HIV activist who passed away in 2002. TTO and Rybeck were cited as using a combination of edgy art and activism to show the diversity of the LGBT community, break down personal isolation, challenge the status quo and build thriving communities.

“We are honored to receive this award to recognize our 25 years of creating cutting-edge AIDS activist programming for local communities of color,” said Rybeck. “From the beginning, AIDS Action has been a great partner and supporter in our grassroots efforts. We are so proud that they are recognizing the crucial role that neighborhood cultural work has played in stemming not just the AIDS epidemic but the bigotry, poverty and racism that fuel it. It’s humbling to be honored and it also pumps us up to face immediate challenges. Our programs, like True Colors: OUT Youth Theater will redouble our efforts to support gay men of color in our neighborhoods, who are disproportionally affected by AIDS infection and deaths. Gay Black men like the Pomo Afro Homos put us on the map 25 years ago. We are honored to carry on the work and enjoy the growth with each incoming generation.” [pullquote]”…We are so proud that they are recognizing the crucial role that neighborhood cultural work has played in stemming not just the AIDS epidemic but the bigotry, poverty and racism that fuel it. It’s humbling to be honored and it also pumps us up to face immediate challenges. Our programs, like True Colors: OUT Youth Theater will redouble our efforts to support gay men of color in our neighborhoods, who are disproportionally affected by AIDS infection and deaths. …”—Abe Rybeck, ED, Theater Offensive[/pullquote]

The Bayard Rustin Breakfast is named after an African American gay man who worked closely with Martin Luther King, Jr. in the political movements for social justice and civil rights. The Breakfast serves to reflect Rustin’s activism, humanitarianism and artistic ideas by creating a multicultural, spiritual and educational celebration that recognizes the roles of LGBT people from communities of color in the fight against the AIDS epidemic.

For more information about the Bayard Rustin Breakfast and the Belynda A. Dunn Award of Recognition, visit www.aac.org/media/releases/bayard-rustin-community-breakfast-marks-25-years.html.

For more information about The Theater Offensive, visit www.thetheateroffensive.org.

The Theater Offensive: OUT in Your Neighborhood works with and within Boston neighborhoods to create original, groundbreaking works by, for and about the LGBT community. Their year-round community-based workshops, intensive engagement with at-risk youth to end bullying, and free street theater performances are focused in Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain and the South End. OUT in Your Neighborhood expresses the diversity of the city of Boston, gives voice to underserved LGBT community members, creates avenues for cross-cultural dialogue and breaks down the barriers of homophobia, bigotry and hate.

ABOUT THE BAYARD RUSTIN BREAKFAST

The Bayard Rustin Breakfast is named after Bayard Rustin, an African American gay man who worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr. in the political movements for social justice and civil rights. The Breakfast strives to reflect Rustin’s activism, humanitarianism, and artistic ideas by creating a multicultural, spiritual, and educational celebration that recognizes the roles of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from communities of color in the fight against the AIDS epidemic.

[From a News Release]