7/29/2015 – Girl Be Heard in the Huffington Post!
The Power of Words…and Girls
by Deanna Lee
On a warm summer evening in Bedford, New York, surrounded by rolling hills and a warm audience of supporters, the girls introduced themselves, in all their diversity and honesty: “I’m yellow.” “I’m white.” “I’m caramel.” “I’m bi.”
The bullied girl who found school “the scariest place to be,” who “went to the blade because I felt afraid.” Jewel.
The girl who “just because I’m in seventh grade doesn’t mean I’m any less discriminated against.” Emma.
The girl whose dad “beat my mom for 15 years, [but though] she was down she brought herself up.” “Elizabeth.”
“Sticks and stones can break your bones,” finished one, but words can hurt you.”
Words are the currency, and the power, of the young performers of Girl Be Heard, artists and activists who bring global issues affecting girls center stage in cutting-edge theatre. The nonprofit company has performed at the White House, the United Nations, the State Department, TED conferences, and in underserved communities locally and globally. Major original productions have addressed homelessness, the rape epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, sex trafficking, and gun violence.
6/17/2015 – Girl Be Heard Featured at Lady Gaga and Tony Benett Cheek to Cheek Concert
Born This Way Foundation and Exploring the Arts are excited to announce that Eye to Eye, Little Kids Rock, Girl Be Heard, and Scenarios USA will be featured at upcoming stops of Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s Cheek to Cheek tour in New York on June 19th, 20th, 22nd, and 23rd, respectively. The initiative is part of a partnership between Born This Way Foundation and Exploring the Arts to highlight exceptional nonprofit organizations at Cheek to Cheek stops across the country. Organizations are chosen based on their demonstrated excellence in empowering young people to become compassionate, creative, and brave.
“Our community of performing artists stands on the shoulder of giants like Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett,” says Jessica Greer Morris, Executive Director of Girl Be Heard. “Our theatre company provides a stage for youth to share their struggles – from body image to bullying – rise above adversity, and become brave, socially- conscious leaders who inspire audiences in schools, community centers, faith-based organizations, the United Nations and even the White House. It is an honor to be recognized by the pioneers of Born This Way and Exploring the Arts, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, whom we hope to make proud at Radio City Music Hall.”
6/27/2014 Whitley Academy Plays Host to US Performers
Let’s hear it for the girls!
Very recently the Girl Be Heard (GBH) Theatre Group paid a visit to Whitley Academy to perform and talk to our Year 10 students. The event was supported by the US Embassy in London.
Girl Be Heard is a New York-based and non-profit theatre group that uses theatrical performances to bring global issues affecting girls to audiences worldwide.
Led by Jessica Greer Morris, Executive Director and Co-Founder of GBH, the group came to Whitley Academy to share their stories and say how they could help other girls to tell their stories and positively move on in their lives, while helping others.
Jessica started their performance with a PowerPoint presentation. We then came to realise that the group started in 2008 with only eight girls. Now they have more than 100 members.
12/5/2013 – Columbia Daily Spectator Local arts program for girls expands with West Harlem Development Corporation money
“This is one story in a series profiling the grant recipients of the West Harlem Development Corporation. Read all of the profiles here.
Through song, theater, poetry, spoken word, and dance, even more West Harlem girls will be able to raise their voices and speak up about the issues that are important to them.
Girl Be Heard, a nonprofit theater collective and educational program, was a second-cycle grant recipient of the West Harlem Development Corporation. The organization used the $44,552 in grant money to open an after-school program for high school girls in Manhattan Community District 9 earlier this month.”
10/11 – Girl Be Heard Sets Exclusive Performance for UNICEF Campus Initiative
“Girl Be Heard is honoring International Day of the Girl Child by directing global attention to gender inequality and engaging university students across the country in the conversation through theatre, song and dance. Whether they are telling the stories of survivors of sex trafficking in Thailand or forced child marriage in Ethiopia, these fearless ambassadors use their talent and heart to advocate for girls around the world.”
9/11 – Girl Be Heard’s Jessica Greer Morris Honored by SELF Magazine
“Girl Be Heard’s (www.girlbeheard.org)Co-Founder and Executive Director Jessica Greer Morris, is a recipient of SELF Magazine’s 2013 Women Doing Good Award which will also recognize Shakira, Padma Lakshmi, Scandal’s Katie Lowes at Apella, 450 East 29th Street, in New York City, hosted by The Today’s Show’s Hoda Kotb. Each year, SELF magazine honors women who have dedicated their lives to improving the lives of others: globally, nationally and within their communities. More info: www.self.com/women-doing-good.”
9/5 Huffington Post – A follow-up article and interview with Jessica Greer Morris and Ashley Marinaccio about the exciting future of Girl Be Heard.
“In June, I attended their production of 9mm America — A Theatrical Uprising Against Violence. Part of the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, it was staged at the Robert Moss Theatre. There was no platform stage, just a scuffed black linoleum floor. The backdrop was simple white canvas. In this space, the troupe delivered a raw and visceral 90 minutes of truth about the impact of gun hostilities in their neighborhoods. A soundtrack captured honking horns, buses and other street cacophony. Projected on the canvas were gun statistics. Four girls transported the audience into their worlds with a foot-stomping dance. They recited words that spoke of “gunshots outside my window,” and “telling my story to rise above the pain.”
8/12 SELF.com Mentor Award – 6th Annual SELF Magazine ‘Women Doing Good’ award goes to Jessica Greer Morris.
“Gun violence, sex trafficking and self-harm are just some of the horrific experiences the 115 young women who make up the Girl Be Heard theater company know about firsthand. And under the guidance of executive director Jessica Greer Morris, 45, the girls are empowered to write about and share their stories—which have been performed everywhere from high schools to the White House. Says Greer Morris: “If we don’t talk to each other, how will we change the world?”.”
8/4 Planet Connections 2013 Awards Gala – Girl Be Heard receives 4 awards at the 2013 Awards Ceremony and Party.
“On August 4th, 2013 Planet Connections held its 5th Annual Awards Ceremony, celebrating the achievements of ALL of the Planet Connections 2013 artists. This year the planet connections community honored: Renee Cafaro (Run For Cover/Music Fest) for raising copious amounts of money for the Joyful Heart Foundation. Chris Liedenfrost-Wilson for his entertaining auction after every Pirate Show which helped raise a lot of money for RESCU Foundation. Ashley Marinaccio for creating brilliant panels for the festivity including a panel on the student loan debt crisis and another panel on creating art in conflict zones.”
8/1 MTV Act Blog – Melanie David wages a personal fight against gun violence.
“Gun violence is a growing problem in our country, but for some people, the problem isn’t just national, it’s personal. Melanie David’s brother was shot and killed in 2010. When she found out about Girl Be Heard, a theatre company that brings social justice issues to the forefront, she knew she had to get on stage and share her story.”
6/22 NYPress – Nigel Barker Stands with Girl Be Heard to End Sex Trafficking: Nigel Barker leads talk back following sold out performance of Trafficked at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.
6/20 Stagebuzz – Interview with Ashley Marinaccio on Trafficked”>6/20 Stagebuzz – Interview with Ashley Marinaccio on Trafficked : Ashley discusses Trafficked and Girl Be Heard’s creative process.
6/7 Huffington Post – NY Theatre Gets Political: Girl Be Heard presents Trafficked in the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.
5/6 Lucille Lortel Women’s Visionary Award: Artistic Director Ashley Marinaccio receives Visionary Award from League of Professional Theatre Women.
3/28 Jewish Daily Forward: Stepping to Women’s Rights: Girl Be Heard performs at American Jewish World Services gala.
2/23 Daily News – It’s Girl Power, Brooklyn Style: Performance group travels city acting out women’s issues. They take on gritty topics like sex trafficking and domestic violence.
2/22 A Girl’s Guide to Swagger: Every Girl Deserves to be Heard.
1/2 NY1 – Empowered Young Women Spread Awareness Through Plays: Teenage girls belonging to Brooklyn group make a world of difference.
12/15 Hypervocal – Occupy Your Heart, 5 Great Ways to Give this Holiday Season: Girl Be Heard is selected as a top organization to donate to during the holidays.
12/14 TEDx Overview – Girl Be Heard is a featured performance at TEDx Women: Hosted by Jane Fonda, Girl Be Heard dazzles TED Audiences.
12/9 VITAMIN W, TEDxWomen in Conversation: Girl Be Heard performs at The Paley Center’s TEDxWomen event.
12/9 ROOKIE, TEDxWomen Adventures: Rookie discusses feminism and Girl Be Heard’s role at TEDxWomen.
11/24 Global Room for Women, Creating A Safe Space to Write and Perform: Girl Be Heard creates a safe space for girls to write and perform their own work.
9/19 Toms River Patch – Acting Troupe Explores Growing Up After 9/11: Cast wrote and performed personal stories about what it means to be the post 9/11 generation.
2/23 AAUW, UN Women Have Your Back: Girl Be Heard performs at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.