Copyright 2005
Girl's Best Friend Foundation

Girl's Best Friend Foundation (GBF) closed November 2007. 
GBF’s records are archived with Special Collections of the University
of Illinois, Chicago.  In fall 2008, they will be made public:

Grantee Profile: About Face Youth Theatre

About Face Youth Theatre is Chicago's award winning arts-based program for LGBTQ youth and their allies. AFTY's innovative programs increase the safety, empowerment, and leadership capacity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth and their allies (LGBTQA) in order to catalyze youth-led civic dialogue and action within schools and communities.

For seven years, AFYT productions have premiered as part of the About Face Theatre main stage season, with a commitment to high-quality production values and innovation in form and content. The program has shown that engaging youth in the rigorous process of creating and performing an ensemble-based play in collaboration with both peers and adult artists and activists genuinely encourages youth development and supports youth to become agents for change in their communities.  Through the AFYT program, queer youth have opportunities to serve as writers, story collectors, storytellers, performers, technical staff, interns, facilitators, and members of AFYT's Youth Leadership Council. Up to five youth serve on the Youth Leadership Council, where they co-facilitate workshops and serve as liaisons between adult staff and youth participants.

In 2004, About Face Youth Theatre published and released the Youth Speak Out: Safe Schools Report, which was based on an extensive research project consisting of interviews and written accounts of high school conditions for youth who identify as LGBTQ. The final report has become a resource for teachers, administrators, youth service providers, and youth leaders across the country.

Every year About Youth Face Theatre tours schools and community groups throughout the region with plays that illuminate true stories from the LGBTQ community. This year, the theme for the performance is home, with a focus on homelessness and LGBTQ youth. The AFYT Outreach Tour also provides teacher trainings and workshops on ally building and play development.  

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