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GAYFEST NYC, Inc.'s Annual Gala to Benefit Harvey Milk High School Honors Thomas Krever, 10/22

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GAYFEST NYC, Inc.'s Annual Gala to Benefit Harvey Milk High School Honors Thomas Krever, 10/22

Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, producers of GAYFEST NYC, Inc., the country's premier arts organization devoted to the discovery, development and production of new LGBT-themed plays, have announced their Annual Gala, "Fall For Harvey Milk," benefitting the students of Harvey Milk High School, to be held Monday evening, October 22, 2012 at Robert Restaurant (2 Columbus Circle, 9th Floor). Lily Tomlin is the Event Chair. The evening's activities will feature cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, celebrity entertainment, a live auction and a raffle beginning at 7:00 p.m.

The Gala will honor Thomas Krever, the Executive Director of The Hetrick-Martin Institute, who will be presented with the 2012 GAYFEST NYC Community Service Award. Special guest stars, to be announced, will perform at the event.

GAYFEST NYC, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation, operates year-round and functions as a clearing house for new LGBT and other minority plays and their playwrights who address our lives, our issues and our concerns. Its 2010 Festival production of the musical This One Girl's Story, book by Bil Wright, music & lyrics by Dionne McClain-Freeney, is the recipient of a 2011 GLAAD Media Award nomination for Best Off-Off Broadway production. The next GAYFEST NYC Festival is scheduled for May 23 – June 16, 2013 at the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex.

GAYFEST NYC, Inc. is committed to sharing its gifts and its dollars with the next generation and does so by supporting the students of the Harvey Milk High School in Manhattan, a fully-accredited, inclusive, voluntary New York City public high school focusing on the educational needs of students who are in crisis or at risk of physical violence and/or emotional harm in a traditional educational environment.

GAYFEST NYC, Inc. works throughout the year to fund its programs and once each year hosts a major benefit for the school. This event helps to pay for in-school education and mentoring programs at HMHS and contributes to the scholarship fund for the graduates.

The education program, now in its fifth year, provides an accredited playwriting class as part of the school curriculum. GAYFEST NYC, Inc. administers the program and pays two teaching artists throughout the year to facilitate this class. At the end of the second semester each year professional Equity actors (12 this past June) are engaged to read the work developed by the students in class. This is done as an assembly for the entire student body of HMHS.

The mentoring program has several facets. Throughout the year GAYFEST NYC, Inc. arranges and pays expenses for business and industry leaders (doctors, lawyers, authors, bankers, etc.) to speak to the students as part of the school's assembly program, providing guidance and inspiration to the students and serving to educate them to the fact that one can be extremely successful and productive as a member of the LGBT community. Many students, because of environment and familial attitudes, do not believe this is possible. The GAYFEST NYC, Inc. team also serves as mentors themselves by encouraging the students, with full support of the school administration, to participate as interns in its various theatrical projects and productions, for which the students receive school credit.

Since June 2007, GAYFEST NYC, Inc. has presented 40 scholarships to graduating seniors of Harvey Milk High School and has initiated and financed programming, including the current professionally-taught Playwriting class that has become one of the most popular accredited elective classes at the school. A full list of recipients is available online at www.GAYFESTNYC.com.

Tickets are $175 and are available at www.GAYFESTNYC.com or by calling 212-352-3101.

Thomas Krever has worked in the nonprofit field for over two decades bringing quality services to at-risk and fringe-youth populations throughout the nation as well as training the organizations and communities that support them. His experience includes program design; implementation and evaluation; community mobilizing; and non-profit direct service and executive management training. He has spent significant time during his career defining the elements needed to build comprehensive program models and agency support structures ready for replication within various communities across the United States. As the Executive Director of The Hetrick-Martin Institute, he has carried this work through to helping Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning youth find a safe haven of support where they are free to develop their own strengths and resiliencies to interact in a world that can be overtly hostile and even questioning of their basic human rights. Thomas authored the agency's first Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP) – a blueprint that expanded the then "Harvey Milk School" program into a fully functioning, independent public transfer high school in New York City for at-risk youth, and is now working to expand HMI into a national model with various program sites beyond New York City. Thomas holds a BFA in from the Conservatory of Music, Brooklyn College, an Executive Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College and an advanced Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Hofstra University.

Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman are Tony Award-winning Broadway and West End producers and have been producing partners since 2005. Since that time they have presented 25 plays and 13 musicals for Broadway: Clybourne Park – Tony Award for Best Play, Pulitzer Prize, Four 2012 Tony Award nominations; Nice Work If You Can Get It – Two Tony Awards, Ten 2012 Tony Award nominations; Bonnie & Clyde – Two 2012 Tony Award nominations; The Scottsboro Boys – Twelve 2011 Tony Award nominations; London (My Trip Down The Pink Carpet, By Jeeves), Off-Broadway (The Judy Show, My Trip Down The Pink Carpet – Drama League nomination, Clean Alternatives, The Jesus Factor), OOB (Bag Fulla Money), regional theatres and national and international festivals. In addition, they are founding producers of GAYFEST NYC, Inc., a not-for-profit arts organization that discovers, develops and produces new theatre works arising out of the LGBT experience and, as its mission, underwrites and supports in-school elective and mentoring programs and college scholarships for students of The Harvey Milk High School, a fully-accredited, voluntary NYC public high school focusing on the educational needs of children who are in crisis or at risk of physical violence and/or emotional harm in a traditional educational environment. Since June 2007, GAYFEST NYC, Inc. has provided 40 scholarships to graduates of the school. For GAYFEST NYC they have produced: Revolution, Competing Narratives, A Kiss from Alexander, The Casserole Brigade, Edward the King, Spill the Wine, Jumping Blind, The Wrath of Aphrodite, Steve Hayes' Hollywood Reunion, Mother Tongue, The Legacy, Romeo and Hamlet, Steve Hayes: Tired Old Queen at the Movies, This One Girl's Story (2011 GLAAD Media Award nomination), Mommazons and The Loves of Mr. Lincoln. For the White Plains Performing Arts Center they produced two seasons of major musical revivals: Man of La Mancha, Ragtime, Ain't Misbehavin', How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Camelot, Oliver! and a highly acclaimed production of A Little Night Music, directed by Sidney J. Burgoyne and starring Tony nominees Penny Fuller and Mark Jacoby. They are in pre-production for a new play Caught by David Lee Ray that they will be bringing to Broadway in spring 2013. They met at and are graduates of the Commercial Theater Institute.

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