On a recent weekend evening, while many in Kansas City were filling themselves with football fare or enjoying the nearly perfect late-summer weather, the members of PerformOUT KC were woodshedding the parts to the Spider-Man theme song in preparation for their upcoming Heroes Concert.

Founded in 2008 by members of the Heartland Men’s Chorus, POKC is a nonprofit organization that provides a safe, inclusive atmosphere for youth of all identities, aged 14 through 20. The group fosters positive identity development through excellence in music performance and creative expression.

In July, as a member of GALA Choruses, PerformOUT sang along with four other youth choruses (from Seattle, Denver, Pittsburgh and New York City) at GALA’s Festival 2012 in Denver.

New members may join at any time. Auditions are conducted for placement only; all are welcome. Although PerformOUT KC’s repertoire is mostly an eclectic mix of classical and popular vocal music, the group also ventures into spoken word/poetry, dancing and acting.

You can find the troupe’s latest video, “OUT with PerformOUT KC,” on its YouTube channel; it’s an outreach to youth of all orientations. Other video offerings include themes of trans support, Shakespeare, suicide prevention and the call for a new artistic director and conductor.

That call was answered by Michelle Allen McIntire, a GALA veteran who had served as artistic director for Crescendo, the Tampa Bay area Women’s Chorus. POKC’s business manager, Elven Hickmon, is a founding member of Heartland Men’s Chorus.

In addition to being highly trained, dedicated volunteers, all adults who regularly interact with youth are cleared through background checks.
Community: If you’d like to help PerformOUT financially, you can contribute to its 20 for 12 campaign. See the website for details.

Youth: If you want to have fun, grow confidence and express your true self while performing, contact POKC at info@performoutkc.org.

Upcoming Events
7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 — Open Rehearsal
Center for Spiritual Living, 1014 W. 39th St., Kansas City, Mo.
Public performance/benefit
6 p.m. Nov. 17 — Fine Arts Educator Collaboration
Center for Spiritual Living, 1014 W. 39th St., Kansas City, Mo.
Outreach to local high school fine arts instructors to advance diversity and inclusion

7 .m. Dec. 21 — &quot

Whether you're spreading truth, information, or love, traveling abroad for humanitarian reasons can have risks. Detained American journalist in Myanmar, Danny Fenster, is to be released from jail, and to fly home soon. But it doesn't always end well for every foreign national attempting to do good in a foreign country.

The missionaries consisting of sixteen Americans and one Canadian kidnapped by the Haitian “400 Mawozo” gang on October 16, is extremely scary. The gang has threatened to kill the humanitarian Christians if a million dollar per person ransom is not fulfilled. The group consists of men, women, children and an eight-month-old baby.

Keep reading Show less

The Black Trans Fund, incubated at Groundswell Fund, and Grantmakers for Girls of Color launched the Holding a Sister Initiative, the first-ever national fund explicitly dedicated to transgender girls and gender-expansive youth of color.

Dr. Monique W. Morris, president and CEO of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, and Bré Rivera, program director of the Black Trans Fund are together spearheading the Holding a Sister Initiative to bring attention and resources to organizations supporting trans girls of color, normalize concern and investment in their success, and create learning opportunities for cis and trans girls of color to move in deeper community with one another.

Keep reading Show less