Get Yasmin to her MA/PhD in Austin, Texas

$1,130 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 33 people in 2 months
Hello friends, loves, colleagues, fans (lol), new and weathered!

I recently accepted my spot in the University of Austin’s MA/PhD in Performance as Public Practice. I am NEARLY fully-funded and need some help to make this dream happen. This fundraiser will support the remaining costs of my tuition, and potentially my move to TEXAS from CHICAGO this July. I appreciate anything you’re able to give. As the daughter of a single mother, I’ve been taught independence and tenacity. It’s incredibly difficult for me to ask for financial help since I’ve always worked as much as I can to make ends meet, but I know I can’t do this alone. If you can’t donate, I ask that you please share this and STAY TUNED for an ARTSY LIVE EVENT I am producing. I believe we are what we need, and I hope you see value in helping a femme of color get her PhD.

Love and light,

Who is she?
Yasmin Zacaria Mikhaiel is an oral historian, writer, and dramaturg. She hails from the northwest suburbs and calls Chicago home. She received her BFA in Dramaturgy & Dramatic Criticism from DePaul University. Yasmin is interested in breaking narratives out of the archive and repurposing them into mixed-mediums including theatre, poetry, and digital humanities. As an oral historian, she’s worked with the Chicago History Museum, National Indo-American Museum, National Hellenic Museum, MacArthur Foundation, and more. Yasmin also covers arts and culture for the Chicago Reader, Rescripted, and Scapi Magazine. As a multidisciplinary artist, she works toward amplifying narratives that are viewed as “lost” or “forgotten.” Select dramaturgy credits include work at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Strawdog Theatre Company, Prop Thtr/RhinoFest, Free Street Theater, and Timeline Theatre Company. She loves listening to Vocalo and pretending she knows how to handle her curly hair. Raised by a single mother, she knows the value of a dollar but still operates on a sliding scale, financially and emotionally. (Yes, she’s an Aries.) Yasmin is a proud and brown, queer, fat, femme making and taking space for other POCs and folks on the margins.

Why University of Austin?
I am interested in further developing an inclusive and civic methodology for generating community-driven work based on lived experiences. In this ambitious program, art not only inspires thought, but also compels societal change through tangible means. Rather than producing work that is constrained to a stage, this work lives and breathes alongside the people for which it is made. Inherent in this program is an approach that takes into consideration the myriad ways in which cross-disciplinary practice can result in work that is more socially minded and well-rounded. What excites me about Austin's program is the presence of both theory and practice as they relate to the mechanics of creating and producing work with societal consequences. The core curriculum of classes ranging from scholarship, policy, and entrepreneurship provide for a fuller understanding of where art has been and where it could go.

The Work
Over the summer, I felt compelled to pen my first piece of criticism after almost a year of distancing myself from theatre. Though I never saw someone with my experience on stage, I never thought there would be issues with who was covering this work journalistically. I experienced such a rush in documenting work that was sorely misunderstood. I soon applied for a young critics program that allowed me the resources to see theatre and develop my voice. I’ve gotten where I am because I have a community (and great editors)  behind me. Through writing on the arts, I gained fierce collaborators and a new understanding of how our community functions. Now, at any given time, I’m working on 7 - 10 freelance pieces, projects, productions, or interviews on top of my museum day job. The work is exhilarating, yet underpaid and unsustainable without a terminal degree. (#PhDby30, amirite?)

The Cost
This dual-program consists of a 2-year MA that will prepare me for the (fully-funded) PhD. So far, I have received a scholarship that makes me eligible for in-state tuition at an annual cost of $9,962. With my Teaching Assistantship appointment(s), I will also receive tuition reduction benefits. This leaves my annual out-of-pocket for tuition between $4,000 - $6,000. No other MA program is this nearly fully-funded. My goal is to avoid loans, since I am still in big debt from undergrad though I graduated early while working 3 jobs. I will definitely be working in Austin, but I want to be able to give more attention to my studies and not overload with freelancing. With any donation toward my goal of $6000, you would be directly contributing to my first year of tuition. Over the course of my first year in Austin, I hope to save enough to cover the second year on my own. 

But what if I can’t donate money?
As an artist among artists, I know we are all strapped for cash. I am producing a live fundraising event that will take the shape of reading series turned curated open mic and mixer. If you are interested in volunteering, please reach out! More details to follow. 

Learn more about me at www.yasminzacaria.com  or follow me on Instagram @yasmin.zacaria.

Thank you for your time and energy!
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Hello wonderful people following and supporting my grad school journey! I've been so grateful for the support I've received thus far and I can't wait to demonstrate how much power there is community.

I am producing an event to bolster our efforts here. On June 4th from 7pm - 10pm, I will be hosting a new play reading, curated open mic, and artist market + mixer at Prop Thtr. Contributing to this campaign secures your ticket with a suggested donation of $5.

The evening's theme is on TRUTHTELLERS and what it means to make art now. We'll be hearing Kristiana Rae Colon's WHITE NOISE followed by Chicago artists manifestoing on their dreams and demands. Will I see you there?

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/410488302867049/
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$1,130 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 33 people in 2 months
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