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#MeaningfulMonday - Isaac, Caroline, Marshall, and Jalen Plan a Virtual Cabaret!

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It's #MeaningfulMonday! Learn about how these college freshmen planned a virtual cabaret with their college class to raise funds for causes important to them.

#MeaningfulMonday - Isaac, Caroline, Marshall, and Jalen Plan a Virtual Cabaret!

As BroadwayWorld previously reported, we're featuring high school and college students that are giving back to their communities through the arts as part of #MeaningfulMonday!

Meet Isaac, Caroline, Marshall, and Jalen, first-year students at Boston Conservatory, who came together to host a virtual cabaret that raised over $1,500 for the Trans Women of Color Collective!

Want your work to be recognized? Want to shout out the charity/foundation you're proud of? Fill out the form HERE to be featured on BroadwayWorld!

What is the mission of Trans Women of Color Collective (TWOCC)?

"To uplift the narratives, lived experiences and leadership of trans and gender non-conforming people of color, our families and comrades as we build towards collective liberation for all oppressed people"

How did you get involved?

My friend Caroline Herbert and I are both entering the Boston Conservatory Musical Theatre Class Of 2024. We were so excited to start the next chapter of our lives with these extremely talented people. To bring our class together and start bonding virtually we decided to host weekly cabarets that showcased our talent and brought us together as a class. It started off small but then we began to see audiences of almost two thousand people! With the sparked events of the BLM movement, I recognized the responsibility we had with this platform to the BIPOC students in our class and others around the country. We decided to conduct a BLM cabaret and raise money for the TWOCC. Caroline and I stepped to the side and let Marshall Mabry IV and Jalen Bunch host the event, while I ran the technology behind the scenes. Marshall brought in special guests such as Douglas Lyons, Brandon Michael Nase, and Mykal Kilgore. Each one of these educated performers and artists shared their stories and experience with us. Marshall and Jalen interviewed them and fostered some really good conversations around the movement. In the end, we raised over $1500 for the TWOCC. Our original goal was just a few hundred.

#MeaningfulMonday - Isaac, Caroline, Marshall, and Jalen Plan a Virtual Cabaret!What inspired you to join this opportunity?

Marshall: "There's a side of black performers we never get to see. A side that doesn't operate in trauma or pain and it's important to show that black joy is one of the brightest things on this planet. This is an incredible platform to share and spread exactly that."

Jalen: "The cabaret took place during a time when it was important more than ever for the black voices of black people to be heard. However, in the midst of COVID-19, there were (and still are) very little opportunities to do so without having to go out on to the streets and protest, which can be harmful to, not only myself, but my family. So, I was left at place where i felt trapped because I wanted to be able to do my part and fight as a black, queer man but I also don't want this fight to hurt the ones I love. The cabaret gave me the chance to make some sort of effort to help trans black women, the people living in the margins of the margins, while still keeping myself distant and safe from the dangers of the virus. "

Share a fond memory from your time working on the Cabaret!

Marshall: "Watching the total rise to 1500 for the trans women of color survival fund during our cabaret was one of the most beautiful things we could've asked for. It meant a lot to highlight black voices in the cabaret and we had to follow up that spirit in service of something bigger than us."

Jalen: "My fondest memory of hosting the cabaret with my co-host Marshall is without a doubt getting the chance to speak with Mykal Kilgore. Mykal has not only been a substantial influence for me, but a song he sung, "I Loved You Too Much" from I Could Use a Drink by Drew Gaspirini, was the song I used to get into my dream school, the Boston Conservatory. So, to get the chance to interview him and hear his inspiring words and phenomenal voice brought joy back to my heart that I had thought I'd lost since the breakout of the virus and the passing of George Floyd and many of other black men and women."

What are your plans for the future?

This was a one time fundraising event, but I am sure Cabaret '24 will be at it again in the future.

What does giving back mean to you?

Marshall: "Giving back specifically as artists means leading directly in service of something bigger than your craft or a show. To intentionally invest time and resources into the betterment of an idea or a community. For us, it was creating a space for black performers to be FIERCE and receive wisdom from veteran performers while potentially saving the lives of trans women across the country"

Jalen: "Giving back means using the opportunities and privileges I have in front of me to benefit those who aren't as blessed as I am. It means opening a door and holding it open for others to pass through, because I am a huge believer in the saying, "We are only as strong our weakest link."

What does performing arts mean to you?

Marshall: "Performing Arts is my favorite type of service. What we do onstage is great! Everyone loves a good turn sequence, a good high note, and acting a song so well that one little tear falls at the bottom, but what we do is a service. Performing is creating a space where an audience gets to run away for 2.5 hrs and the only story they're concerned with is yours. It's the greatest escape there is. From watching Alexander and Eliza fall in love to watching Jack and Rose, our stories can and do expand hearts and minds onstage and off"

Jalen: "Performing arts means sharing and telling stories. Through dance, song, writing, I am allowed to show who i am, where I came from, and what I believe in. It also allows us to feel. Through dance particularly, performing arts supplies us a way to express how we feel when words aren't enough."

Learn more about the Trans Women of Color Collective HERE.

Watch the highlights of the event below or watch the full stream HERE!

Here are some clips from last Saturday night's cabaret which centered around amplifying black voices and experiences. This cabaret was filled with joy, passion, and FLAVOR like no cabaret in the history of cabarets. • On top of the excellent performances, we surpassed our fundraising goal of $300 and closed out the night having raised $1,545 for the Trans Women of Color Collective. We could not be more grateful to everyone who donated ? • If you are interested in watching the full cabaret (which I very highly suggest), you can find it on Cabaret '24's Facebook page!! • HUGE thank you to @marshallwmabryiv & @jalenbunch for being INCREDIBLE hosts. Thank you also to our phenomenal guests: @chocolatehipster, @mykalkilgore, & @brandonmichaelnase, and to our equally phenomenal student performers @roryshirley, @_elijae_, @abriel_coleman, @kaylanroyston, @dashawwnn, @jalenbunch & @marshallwmabryiv.

A post shared by CABARET '24 (@cabaret.24) on Jun 23, 2020 at 2:55pm PDT

Are you a high school or college student involved in arts-related charity work? Want our readers to learn more about the foundation/charity you're doing work with? Share your story with us and you'll be featured on BroadwayWorld!

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