Last Friday, Alloy 26 was pleased to host a Creative Mornings talk with Adil Mansoor. Creative Mornings is a breakfast lecture series held on one Friday morning of every month. Anyone is welcome to attend and the entire event is free. While this concept had started in New York by Tina Roth Eisensberg (Swissmiss), it has since expanded to 173 cities around the world. Each city’s chapter has its own volunteer team working hard to make the events possible. The topics of each talk are the same in every single city, each choosing a speaker to discuss the global theme. Before the lecture begins, attendees are welcomed with coffee, breakfast, and networking.
The global topic on the morning of July 28th was equality. Invited to speak on this important and immensely relevant topic was Adil Mansoor. Mansoor is a teacher and director in the Pittsburgh area. He is a founding member of Hatch Arts Collective, directing socially engaged theater. His productions with Hatch include Walldogs, Driftless, Reasonable Assurance, and Chickens in the Yard. He works passionately to achieve equal rights for the LGBTQA+ Community while providing guidance and support to its members. He is the Artistic Director of Dreams of Hope, a youth organization using the arts to provide a safe environment for young LGBTQA+ members to express themselves and grow. He directs play, leads workshops and trains and educates. In addition, Mansoor is a member of the Heinz Endowments’ Transformative Arts Process, working to advance arts education in black communities around Pittsburgh. This fall, Mansoor will further his education at Carnegie Mellon University as a John Wells Fellow to receive his MFA in Directing.
This morning after enjoying breakfast in the lobby, the guests took their seats in the auditorium area to listen to what Adil had to say. Adil shared with us that he finds the best way to deal with hard topics is through artwork so he put together a slide with art pieces to help him talk about the topic. He used Felix Gonzalez- Torres’ “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.), as well as LJ Roberts’ We Couldn’t Get In. We Couldn’t Get Out. Adil explained why these pieces of art were important to him and what they reflected in the sense of equality. Torres was a gay Cuban artist and Roberts is a genderqueer American, both reflecting the importance on equality for all in itself. Mansoor spent much time speaking passionately on the children and teachers he works with and how much it means to him. Adil wrapped up his lecture with a quote from Mia McKenzie that really encompassed his talk. The quote was this, “The idea that being the same as you is what gives us the right to exist is the problem,” and he went on to explain that equality is not about all being the same but accepting everyone’s differences.
The lecture was followed by questions for Adil and more mingling in the lobby afterwards.
Creative Mornings happen at different locations in Pittsburgh! Check out the website to register yourself for a spot at the next one!