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Announcing the 2013 Leppen Award Recipients!

Friday, March 29, 2:30 PM written by EmilyHaha

Named for About Face Youth Theatre supporter Michael Leppen, the annual Leppen Leadership Awards recognize those whose efforts on behalf of About Face Theatre and the LGBTQA community empower youth leaders to take action and encourage LGBTQA adults and youth to create intergenerational dialogue and understanding.

We”re excited to announce that the 2013 Leppen Leadership Awards are being awarded to Mary Morten, the President of Morten Group, as well as The Office of 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman and Uptown United.

Mary F. Morten is the President of Morten Group (MG), a consulting firm specializing in social change through skills development, public policy and advocacy. Mary has been an activist in the LGBTQ community for over 20 years including serving as Mayor Richard Daley’s liaison to the LGBT community. She is also a co-founder of CESO, the Coalition for Education on Sexual Orientation and founding board member for the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance. Recently, Mary and her team conducted the LGBT Needs Assessment for the Chicago Community Trust LGBT Community Fund.

The needs assessment resulted in data collection efforts from over 2000 community members and allies. This represents one of the largest community needs assessments of its kind in the country and the only one conducted in Chicago in almost 10 years. Over 200 community members, activists, researchers and scholars around the country, have reviewed the report. Thanks to her assessment, About Face Theatre has launched a

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new project to look at issues of loneliness among youth and older members of our community.

Office of Alderman Cappleman and Uptown United spearheaded Uptown Proud in 2012 to celebrate the contribution of LGBTQ individuals in the Uptown neighborhood and honor the new route for the Pride Parade beginning in the neighborhood About Face Theatre is proud to call home. Both organizations have been instrumental in About Face Theatre coming to the table as a partner in making Uptown more vibrant and celebrating the diversity that makes this neighborhood so unique. As we move to more firmly root ourselves in this neighborhood, we look forward to continued partnerships that will yield unexpected fruit.

About Face Youth Theatre MVP: Nemo Serges
Nemo has been involved with About Face Youth Theatre (AFYT) since the summer of 2009, when she was an avid participant in the summer intensive development workshop for QUEERTOPIA. Since then, Nemo has played a number of roles with the company, including Sheila in the upcoming remount of WHAT”S THE T. Nemo”s work in the outreach department this past year is a first for About Face Youth Theatre. As part of the cast of It”s For Real, she travels to schools and organizations all around Illinois, performs her story, and co-facilitates talk-back discussions with student audiences. All of these elements have painted a dynamic picture of leadership that Nemo has taken on whole-heartedly, and successfully negotiated with other responsibilities such as full-time work. We are very excited to celebrate her leadership and growing roles in About Face Theatre.

You”re invited to join us at the Wonka Ball Ringmaster”s VIP Cocktail Reception to see the awards ceremony and meet the recipients! An additional $100 donation grants you exclusive access to the VIP reception and .