Offering programming for LGBTQ young adults (ages 18-24) is an important part of the mission of Easton Mountain. The intention of the programming geared towards this demographic is to create opportunities for queer young adults work on personal growth; to create community with their peers; and to engage with the larger extended intergenerational Easton Mountain community. These programs are offered at little or no cost to the participants in an effort to make them accessible to all.
There are two main programs that are currently being offered for LGBTQ young adults at Easton Mountain. One is Arts in the Woods - a 5-day arts based camp serving homeless and at-risk LGBTQ young adults that happens every summer. Young adults work with professional queer artists to develop their artistic skills and tell their unique queer stories. The second main young adult program is called the Easton Mountain Leadership Academy (EMLA). This camp has various modules throughout the year and serves young adults from all backgrounds and experiences. The focus of this camp series is for participants to develop a wide range of leadership skills to potentially use for queer advocacy and social justice work.
More programs are currently in development and will be announced when they are ready to launch.
Arts in the Woods
Arts in the Woods is a 5-day summer camp that invites homeless and at-risk LGBTQ young adults to experience the arts in the nature setting of Easton Mountain. Easton partners with local service providers (like the Ali Forney Center, Boston Glass, and Sylvia’s Place) who work with this demographic and who bring groups of their clients to the camp.
With the help of a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and individual donations, all participants attend this camp free of charge. Practical, hands-on workshops are offered to the participants by professional LGBTQ artists. Arts offered include visual arts, creative writing, theater, dance, and music. In addition to art classes, participants are part of small groups that meet daily to process some of their experiences. Additionally, full group process sessions are facilitated that focus on creating a safe and healing space and developing a loving community. Through these processes and through the arts, participants often have life transforming experiences during their 5-days together. This community is supported throughout the year with programs in the cities the young people come from, including a weekly family-style dinner at Sylvia’s Place and a weekly art making workshop at the Joan Mitchell Foundation.
EMLA (Easton Mountain Leadership Academy)
The Easton Mountain Leadership Academy (EMLA) creates opportunities for young queer adults to step into their power as leaders for positive social change in the world. The participants are selected based on their leadership potential and intentions around LGBTQ advocacy.Working with a qualified staff of teaching professionals, the young adults are skillfully led through 3 and 4 day retreats where they have opportunities to discuss issues that are important to them and to the larger LGBTQ community like homophobia, gender, and discrimination. Through classes, group dialogue, processing, story-sharing, skill building, games, and activities, EMLA participants form a community of powerful youth facilitators.
Upon completion of the program, select youth leaders are invited to help lead and facilitate future Easton Mountain produced retreats as Junior Hosts. Junior Hosts work side-by-side the weekend producers as they plan and execute the weekend, assisting them along the way and taking on leadership roles including public speaking and organizing activities. Furthermore, select participants are invited to serve as peer leaders and facilitators for Easton’s summer youth program, Arts in the Woods. Additionally, working with EMLA staff, participants are also given opportunities to guest facilitate at institutions and communities interested in addressing issues relating to sexuality and gender.
Are you 18-24 and interested in participating in one of our LGBTQ young adult programs? If so, please contact Wil Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you interested in helping the LGBTQ youth programs at Easton in some capacity by volunteering? If so, please email Wil Fisher at email@example.com
If you’d like to donate to the LGBTQ Young Adults Programming at Easton Mountain, please do so by clicking here and notating in the comments section that your donation is intended for this program.