NEWS RELEASE: Project Girls perform at the White House

Project Girl Performance Collective, a nonprofit founded by Dyson alumna Ashley Marinaccio ’07, Theater and Sociology/Anthropology dual major, performed at the White House this past Friday at the request of First Lady Michelle Obama. Dyson student Dominique Fishback, a current junior BFA Acting major, also performed with the group.

Friday, June 24, 2011, Washington, D.C. –Project Girl Performance Collective (projectgirlperformance, a non-profit organization dedicated to the empowerment of young women (ages 12- 21) through the performing arts, today performed their show Project Girl: Congo at the White House. The event coincided with the First Lady’s trip to Africa. Project Girl: Congo raises awareness about discrimination and violence against women in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Guests heard stories from the ground and participated in activities organized by the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign. Jocelyn Frye, Deputy Assistant to the President, and Director of Policy and Special Projects for the First Lady, hosted the event.

Lynn Nottage, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright for ‘Ruined,’ lauds the work of Project Girl Performance Collective. “It is incredibly moving to see Project Girls using their creative talents to raise their voices in support of women struggling against gender specific human rights abuses in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo. It reminds us that no voice is too small or weak to make a difference.”
“The honor of performing at the White House is beyond our wildest dreams,” professed Jessica Greer Morris, Executive Director of Project Girl Performance Collective. “With humble beginnings, Project Girls started by rehearsing in Washington Square Park and performing on the streets of New York City.” Founder and Artistic Director Ashley Marinaccio added, “In addition to raising the status of women, President Obama and The First Lady are acknowledging the power of performing arts in educating, organizing and creating lasting social change.” Project Girl company member Dominique Fishback, age 20, of East New York who grew up amidst “shootouts and killings” in Brooklyn, added, “Now my hood has something big to be proud of. One of their own is performing in the White House! Thank you Michelle Obama for opening your home and giving a voice to girls like me.”

The Project Girl Performance Collective empowers young women (ages 12-21) to write and perform their own work by creating a safe space to address contemporary social, political and cultural issues through the performing arts and written word. Collective members are extremely talented songwriters, choreographers and prolific spoken word poets who write about human rights issues affecting girls both at home and abroad. Project Girl Performance Collective is committed to using theatre and performance to build awareness, trigger action and social change and to raise the status of women worldwide.
For more information about Project Girl or their performance at the White House, contact: Diane Mancher, One Potata Productions,; 212-353-3478 or visit the Project Girl website

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