Light Up the Night at Stanley Theatre Friday

Published Dec 7, 2017 at 4:00pm

YWCA Mohawk Valley and ACR Health are partnering to present a celebratory event, “Light Up the Night,” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8, at the Stanley Theatre on Genesee Street in Utica. This drag show will raise awareness for LGBTQ survivors of sexual violence.

“Across the country, LGBTQ people are victims of violence, especially sexual violence, at higher rates than others,” the two groups noted. “Transgender survivors of color are more vulnerable than white members of this community, with trans people of color being six times more likely to experience police violence; two times more likely to experience threats and intimidation from the general populace; and, nearly two times more likely to experience sexual violence.”

YWCA MV and ACR Health chose to present a drag show to underscore their commitment to and support of the LGBTQ community. “Drag events have long been a source of pride and a symbol for queer folks, and since their origins in the Harlem Renaissance, have had significant influence on the development of contemporary LGBTQ culture,” the two groups noted.

This free event is open to the public, 16 and older.

“YWCA MV has a reputation of being bold, and promoting change when it comes to issues of social justice,” said Chief Executive Officer Dianne Stancato. “Our mission embraces all people, regardless of gender or the color of their skin. Our focus is to not only protect people who are experiencing domestic and sexual violence in their lives, but to also educate the public about these issues and more, in an effort to eliminate racism and to promote peace, justice, dignity, and freedom for all.”

“ACR Health has a longstanding commitment to the health, safety, and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth,” said Executive Director Wil Murtaugh. “Our Q Center Mohawk Valley, a safe place for LGBTQ youth, their allies and families, offers HIV, STD, and Hepatitis C testing; after school drop-in programs; leadership and advocacy training; and special events. Case Management services are available for LGBTQ youth who need assistance with housing, advocacy, medical care, mental health services, and other special needs.”  

For more information on YWCA MV’s Social Justice program or this event, visit or email Laura Howard at 

For more information about ACR Health, visit or call toll-free, 800-475-2430.