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First "Alternative Homecoming" Dance Has Big Screen Inspiration

“We accept the love we think we deserve," is perhaps the most famous line from the recently released movie, “The Perks of Being A Wallflower”.  The film was the inspiration for Pittsburgh’s first “Wallflowers and Wildflowers: An Alternative Homecoming”.  The event welcomes local high school students who find it difficult or intimidating to attend their own school dances and will be held at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History Saturday, November 10.

Joanna Doven, press secretary to Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, said the dance aims to tackle one of the most serious issues among teenagers.

The Mayor’s Youth Council worked with TEEN program coordinators at the museums and the library to develop ways to curb bullying and provide events and resources for students,” Doven said.

The dance will be held in the museum’s Hall of North American Wildlife and Botany and will offer a judgment-free zone for all students in grades 9-12 or between the ages of 14-17. Food and drinks will be served and raffle items, arts activities, and a live green screen “homecoming portrait” highlight the night.  A silent screening of “Perks” will be ongoing throughout the dance.

The mayor’s office reached out to the LGBT community, cyber-school students, and students who attend high schools that do not hold traditional dances about the event.  Doven said this could be first of many dances of this kind both locally and beyond.

“I would expect that this something that would be caught on by other districts throughout the state, perhaps other mayor’s offices throughout the state and nation would look at this as an example of how to make their young people feel more safe and more welcomed in their city,” Doven said.

Tickets can be purchased at the TEEN desk at the museum for $3 or at the door the night of the dance for $5.  All proceeds will benefit free teen programming at partnering organizations.