SUMMER OF SASS RECEIVES 5TH ANNIVERSARY DONATION TOTALING NEARLY $4 MILLION
Funds have purchased a permanent residence and operational headquarters for future generations of LGBTQI program participants.
PROVINCETOWN, MA (August 24, 2022) – Moved by 5th anniversary fundraiser for the Summer of Sass program, a non-profit supporting LGBTQI young adults, a private family has provided necessary funds for the group to purchase a single-family home in the town’s East End neighborhood. The donation will additionally provide 25 percent of the program’s annual budget up to $100 thousand a year in perpetuity. Though they wish to remain anonymous, the family challenges other longtime Provincetown residents to follow their example in financial support of disadvantaged LGBTQI youth.
The brainchild of comedian and activist Kristen Becker, Summer of Sass offers a critical intervention for young people struggling in oppressive areas of the country and helps to stabilize them on the shores of Provincetown, MA, a summer tourist destination known for its acceptance and celebration of those things that make each of us unique. The not-for-profit organization subsidizes travel costs and initial housing as participants get settled in, connects them with local employers and offers overall support as they build confidence and widen their perspectives.
The Victorian 5-bedroom, 7-bathroom property purchased is located on a third of an acre and dates to 1880. Becker sees the $3.7 million home as symbolic of the way Provincetown must pledge to care for its own future. Since annual operational expenses now increase fourfold with the addition of permanent housing and meeting space, she hopes community members will be similarly inspired to commit to recurring tax-deductible donations. Agent Nathan Butera of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty contributed his commission fees upon the close of sale.
“This incredibly generous donation is a gamechanger for us and will save the lives of young queers for generations to come,” says Summer of Sass founder and director Kristen Becker. “Provincetown’s storied history as a supportive destination for queer people is well established but at a time when access to affordable housing has become a critical issue and LGBTQI rights are under increased attacks across the country we need to be doing more to honor and build on that history and ensure that the opportunity to experience Provincetown is accessible to those who need it most.”
Summer of Sass started as a simple idea to show young adults what “Better” looks like and has rapidly grown into an opportunity to radically transform the lives of LGBTQI 18- to 20-year-olds. Now in its fifth year, the program has already had a significant impact at an individual, community and national level with current and past participants using the program as a foundation to address; important healthcare needs, set and realize new educational and career goals, and even go on to use their experience and voice for advocacy and activism at a national level.
Summer of Sass was also recently featured on the Welcome to Provincetown podcast that enjoyed the Number 1 spot on Apple Podcasts’ “New & Noteworthy” page and was highlighted on NPR’s All Things Considered. The series is hosted by Mitra Kaboli, an award-winning documentarian and producer for ESPN’s 30 for 30 franchise. It introduces listeners to characters residing in a seaside town that grows in population from three thousand to sixty thousand over the course of the summer.
Onstage and off, performer/producer/activist Kristen Becker’s role is that of creative instigator. Raised in conservative Shreveport, Louisiana, the longtime comedian has opened for Ani DiFranco, contributed to The Advocate, and served as first general manager of Helium Comedy Club, a position that saw her featured on the cover of Buffalo News’ entertainment section as “Buffalo’s Queen of Comedy.”
With Pastor Jay Bakker (son of Jim and Tammy Faye), in 2015 Becker embarked on an ideological exploration of the Deep South. Their Loosen the Bible Belt variety tour emphasized humanity over hypocrisy, offering unifying voices to bridge the gap between religious groups and LGBTQI communities.
2016 saw her founding the Summer of Sass, a nonprofit collective freeing young LGBTQI adults from damaging religious climates to live, work, and personally thrive in the liberal haven of Provincetown, Massachusetts. Vice called the experiment “the kind of formative experience that can change – or save – lives.” The Boston Globe agreed, lauding the environment as one where “gender is not an issue, where the specter of being bullied is not a daily fear.”
Website: SummerOfSass.com Facebook: Facebook.com/SummerOfSassTwitter: @Summer_of_Sass
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