Celebrating Diversity and Inclusivity: Riverland Youth Theatre's Alternative Prom!
Riverland Youth Theatre (RYT), a 2023 of the SA Power Networks Community Grant, recently held a celebration for queer and marginalised youth in the Riverland community. The Alternative Prom, held in Renmark, wasn't just a safe space; it was a party and victory lap for kids who have faced adversity.
This inclusive event, catering to those aged 15-26, addressed the exclusion felt by youth who couldn't bring their loved ones, faced accessibility challenges, encountered discrimination or bullying, defied conventional beauty standards, or lacked the means to attend a traditional school prom.
The night featured the Ally Awards presentation, corsages crafted in workshops with artist Calamity Tash, a DJ, photographer, sparkly host, food, drinks, photobooths, and a red-carpet entry. Attendees engaged in activities such as writing about queer joy, envisioning the future, defining a good ally, and expressing pride.
“The Alternative Prom was my prom. As a young person who doesn’t always feel safe at school, it meant a lot to me that a team was willing to put together this big event just for people like me.” - Rowen, 16 years old.
Fleur Kilpatrick, Artistic Director at RYT, expressed gratitude, stating, “SA Power Networks Community Grant enabled us to create a special night for some resilient, vulnerable, and valuable young people. We were able to celebrate the teachers and allies who had helped them through the year and remind our queer youth how many people were here to support and celebrate them.”
With approximately 30 attendees from ages 9 to adulthood, the Alternative Prom left a lasting impact. It provided visibility, safety, love, and acceptance for queer youth, showcasing RYT's commitment to hosting such events in the future. Participants danced freely without fear of judgment, marking a transformative experience for some. As one attendee expressed, "This was the first time I've danced in public!" The event facilitated connections between queer teens and confident, happy queer adults, reinforcing a sense of community and support.
The successful initiative was part of our 2023 Community Grants Program, which had over 200 applications for projects responding to four focus areas: keeping the community safe; supporting a sustainable SA; supporting SA Power Networks customers and community; and supporting innovation for future growth.
More about the Community Grant Program
Read more and register your interest for the 2024 Community Grant Program at SA Power Networks' Community Grants Program.
See the full list of grant recipients, Introducing our 2023 SA Power Networks Community Grant recipients.