As we are confronted with the senseless, tragic, unjust death of George Floyd, and the riots that have ensued, we are heartbroken. It is a tragic reminder that we, as humans, can do better. Racism has existed for far too long, and we must work towards finding lasting solutions.
The mission of CYT states: Christian Youth Theater develops character and creativity in kids of all ages through quality theater arts training that brings families and communities together while reflecting the Creator. Now more than ever we are wholeheartedly committed to bringing families and communities together. That means speaking out against racism, and standing up for peace. It means developing character in our youth founded in love and kindness, while celebrating and embracing diversity.
Our love and prayers are with all those affected by the events facing us during this time. We are committed to teaching our students to use their God given talents to glorify God, and today that means using our voices to speak up to dissolve all types of prejudice and saying, ‘Love thy neighbor’.
We strongly believe in the power of theater arts and that it unites the universal language of music, dance, and storytelling that transcends generations, cultures, and boundaries. But we realize real change for equality only happens when the human heart has been transformed by the Creator. So we collectively stand together as a CYT family against injustice, and will continue to keep listening, including, and loving for the long haul, day after day.
To all members of our community that are affected by racism, we stand with you. You matter. We love you. Jesus loves you. We’re praying that God would do a work in our hearts to bring about wisdom, humility, and empathy so that we can learn to love like Jesus in word and deed. We encourage everyone to listen, learn, and act. And to be gracious and patient with those that we disagree with.
We want to hear from you. How do you think CYT can support, advocate, and contribute to various solutions? Please click HERE to share your voice with us.
Colossians 3:14 Beyond all these things, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
CYT is a family and when one of us hurts, we all feel it. CYT Nashville has experienced loss and heartache that require the prayers of our entire Christian Youth Theater community to lift them up. Two students in particular are weighing heavy on their hearts, Treven and Noah.
Noah Evans, CYT Nashville student, had been battling with episodic migraines since late July of 2019. An MRI, in September, revealed he has a 5 cm x 5 cm tumor in his brain in his right ventricle. A team of Neurosurgeons and Oncologists worked together to come up with a plan, one which includes surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Noah is currently on a treatment plan to assist his earthly body by maintaining growth of the tumor. CYT Nashville Artistic Director, Katie Whigham, was eager to express how each boy specifically and uniquely impacted the CYT community in their town and here is what she had to say about faith-driven Noah,
“Noah is the most insanely encouraging, faithful 12-year-old you will ever meet. We refer to him often as Pastor Noah. We are blessed with having the entire Evans family a part of our CYT community. Older brother Nathan and younger brother Elijah were quickly brought in to CYT and rarely took breaks from classes and shows. Noah, in the beginning, was more invested in sports but he loved to come and watch his brother’s shows. Finally, we won over the soccer battle and got him to join in on a session and a show and he, till this day, will always say “why didn’t I join sooner?!” Noah is the type of kid you can count on for a hug, a heart-felt compliment and just overall the most encouraging words that are customized to fit your heart’s needs.” ‘Pastor Noah’ continues to change lives and bring more people closer to Christ by simply living out the gifts God has given him. Join us in prayer as we continue to pray for a miracle for Noah’s earthly healing. His family and community request continued prayers that God heals Noah’s body and rids all abnormal cells.
Treven Lenox, CYT Nashville student, was diagnosed with Pre-B All Leukemia back in September of 2017. Since his diagnosis, he and his family have been flooded with community support surrounding his battle. Here is Treven’s CYT story through his AD Katie’s eyes,
“Treven is not your typical CYT-er where they join, willingly, fall in love and then become a lifer. Nonetheless, Treven found a way to make his mark in the community by being someone who embodied the culture and mission of CYT. Treven is very much a go with the flow ‘sure, whatever, I’ll do it’ kind of kid. He was inseparable from his best friend, Cole Bronleewe, who happened to be big brother to Grace who had been in CYT Nashville shows since the start (2012). I imagine that the conversation about how the two of them joined CYT was “I mean, if you do it, I will do it.” And just like that Treven came into our lives. Treven brought an energy to the room like no other. You know that student that you just can’t get to stop goofing off or talking…..that was him, but had this way about him that you could be so frustrated and yet you couldn’t help but laugh. Treven’s energy was unmatched by many. He was the best at welcoming newcomers, lightening the mood when times were stressful, and he had such a way with the younger students. He played the big brother role to many. Treven wasn’t there to improve on his theater skill sets, he was there because he belonged. We needed Treven, whether it was to lighten the mood, make us laugh or roll our eyes, or for him to subconsciously remind us why, as leaders/staff, we continue to show up and lean in, he was there. Treven never wanted people to worry about him, he was always more concerned for others.”
Treven left his earthly body after 2 years and 8 months of Leukemia treatment. The Nashville community is grieving the loss of this beautiful soul but prays that they continue to honor Treven in the way that he would want to be honored: by reminiscing on a hilarious memory of him or by crying tears if you need to, but always ending with a belly laugh. His family stated their prayer is, “that Treven will impact this world, and the kingdom of God even more through his death than through his life.”
Did you see what’s happening on CYT HQ’s Instagram? It’s CYT Q&A Time! Go follow @cythq and play along!
Comment your favorite CYT role you’ve ever played on our Instagram post today. Then tag/mention 3 of your friends to play along. It’s time to celebrate how much CYT Shows have changed our lives over the last 40 years. 💙
DID YOU KNOW: We have officially completed 2 full weeks of the CYT National Talent-Thon. We only have 25 days left! Enter now @ www.cyt.org/talent ⭐️
Giving Tuesday Now is a new global day of giving and unity that is taking place today, May 5, 2020 – in addition to the regularly scheduled Dec 1, 2020, Giving Tuesday – as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. Let’s come together to create a wave of generosity. On this Tuesday, May 5th, GIVE TO CYT by participating in our 1st National Talent-Thon.
Share your talent for CYT and you could win a virtual Meet & Greet with Film Director of Crazy Rich Asians and In the Heights, Jon M. Chu!
CYT is celebrating 40 years of character building through theater arts and is calling ANYONE of all ages, from across the nation, to share your talent for CYT! COVID-19 has hit the world hard, and CYT is no exception. With a total goal of $1,000,000, this nationwide fundraising event will benefit ALL CYTs around the country as we look forward to the next 40 years with jazz hands lifted high!
Today is DAY 13 of the 40 DAY COUNTDOWN. Check out how many contestants have entered so far! Are you going to be next? Can you beatbox? Can you juggle? Can you stand on your head for 10 minutes? We want to see it ALL. Upload your headshot and talent video at: www.cyt.org/talent and VOTE for your favorite contestants!
Get excited EXPO 2020, because Tyler Hutchinson is coming all the way from Dallas, TX to be our morning speaker! We took a few minutes to ask Tyler some questions so you can get to know him just a little bit better.
Q: In the words of the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, who are you?
A: My name is Tyler Hutchinson and I grew up in Indianapolis, IN where the fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high. I’m the Artistic Director for CYT Dallas and the Creative Arts Director for my church.
Q: How did you come to work for CYT?
A: So, I was actually working a photoshoot for my old job and one of the kids would not stop talking about CYT. She was so excited about it that I had to learn more about it. So, I jumped on the interweb and looked up CYT Indy and the rest is history.
Q: What would you say you are most passionate about in life?
A: Wow. That’s a deep question. I’m really passionate about food. Probably in an unhealthy way. I even have a few songs on iTunes about it. I wish I was joking. In addition to my food passion, I love all things creative. Music. Theater. Art. Dance. Spoken word. Whatever. I truly believe that God is creative in nature and he created us to create things that bring Glory back to Him. It’s just what we do.
Q: Give us a highlight about what’s in store for our morning devotions at EXPO with you as our speaker.
A: Celebration! Fun! Money! And lots of props……
Q: Why do you think people are crazy if they don’t come to CYT EXPO?
A: People are crazy if they don’t come to EXPO because I’m the morning speaker. If that’s not reason enough, I’d check their logic.
Q: As we celebrate CYT in its 40th year, what is your Birthday wish for CYT?
A: My wish is a CYT in all 50 states. I will be a part of the launch of CYT Hawaii.
Q: If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: Pizza – Because you could have a ton of different kinds of Pizza. It’s basically like any time of food you want, but on a Pizza. You gotta learn to bend the rules.
Q: Finally, what’s a secret code word that people can say to you when they see you at EXPO which would let you know they read this interview to the end?
You heard it here first everyone! Register for CYT EXPO now and don’t miss out on meeting this super fun, creative songwriting, pizza loving, Hawaii bound, CYT fanatic, Tyler!