It Gets Better Tour http://www.itgetsbettertour.org Presenting Partner: AT&T Sun, 13 Apr 2014 14:14:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 itgetsbetter Tour Visits Milwaukee, Wisconsin #itgetsbettertour http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/milwaukee/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=milwaukee http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/milwaukee/#comments Fri, 28 Feb 2014 03:18:58 +0000 http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/?p=1079 GMCLA’s it gets better Tour is currently in Milwaukee Wisconsin through Sunday March 2nd.  The cast travelled to Milwaukee on Monday, checked into their hotels,  and that evening participated in the Community Chorus Rehearsal at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. On Tuesday they presented the IGB Experience at Pulaski High School and later that afternoon […]

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GMCLA’s it gets better Tour is currently in Milwaukee Wisconsin through Sunday March 2nd.  The cast travelled to Milwaukee on Monday, checked into their hotels,  and that evening participated in the Community Chorus Rehearsal at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

On Tuesday they presented the IGB Experience at Pulaski High School and later that afternoon for students who attend UWM.

On Wednesday, February 26, the it gets better Tour presented the IGB Experience at The Alliance School. The school was chartered in 2005  ”…with the goal of providing a safe and accepting environment for all students. The Alliance School is a place where it’s okay to be black, white, gay, straight, gothic, Buddhist, Christian, or just plain unique!”

In the afternoon the group presented the IGB Journey to the local Community Sponsors at an event held at 88.9 Milwaukee Radio.

Thursday morning saw the tour making a major presentation to the Milwaukee Tour’s sponsor,  Northwestern Mutual via their new LGBTA Employee Resource Group. Then in the afternoon a smaller, more intimate, dialogue followed with students at UWM.

Friday saw the tour making two stops. In the morning we presented at South Milwaukee High, followed by Case High School in Racine, WI. The students at both schools fielded great questions and were completely engaged.

Saturday was a very busy day. In the morning the tour conducted the World Cafe sponsored by Marquette University’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center at the Alumni Memorial Union. In the afternoon the entire Community Chorus rehearsed with the cast, followed by musical run throughs by the cast. In the evening, the BoomBar hosted a karaoke event!

The full production of the it gets better Tour occurred on Sunday evening. Despite it being “Oscar Sunday,” about 800 braved bitter cold weather to come to the Marcus Center to enjoy the performance.

Here are images from the it gets better Tour’s Facebook page:

From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, posted by it gets better Tour on 2/24/2014 (64 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2

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itgetsbetter Tour Visits Oxford, Ohio #itgetsbettertour http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/itgetsbetter-tour-visits-oxford-ohio-itgetsbettertour/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=itgetsbetter-tour-visits-oxford-ohio-itgetsbettertour http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/itgetsbetter-tour-visits-oxford-ohio-itgetsbettertour/#comments Thu, 14 Nov 2013 22:02:06 +0000 http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/?p=1000 From November 11th through the 16th 2014, the itgetsbetter Tour visited Oxford, Ohio. Read an article (PDF) published in the Oxford Press by Brian Revelee about the tour visiting Oxford! Here are up-to-the-minute photos from stops along the way. “November 11 to 16, 2013 Oxford, Ohio — Hall Audi­to­rium at Miami Uni­ver­sity Tickets are available at […]

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From November 11th through the 16th 2014, the itgetsbetter Tour visited Oxford, Ohio.

Read an article (PDF) published in the Oxford Press by Brian Revelee about the tour visiting Oxford!

Here are up-to-the-minute photos from stops along the way.
“November 11 to 16, 2013
Oxford, Ohio — Hall Audi­to­rium at Miami Uni­ver­sity
Tickets are available at http://goo.gl/FvF0fY”

From Oxford, Ohio, posted by it gets better Tour on 11/04/2013 (35 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2

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itgetsbetter Tour Visits Whitewater, Wisconsin #itgetsbettertour http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/itgetsbetter-tour-visits-whitewater-wisconsin/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=itgetsbetter-tour-visits-whitewater-wisconsin http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/itgetsbetter-tour-visits-whitewater-wisconsin/#comments Sun, 10 Nov 2013 22:12:32 +0000 http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/?p=1002 The itgetsbetter Tour visited Whitewater, Wisconsin from 11/4/13 to 11/10/13, and presented at the Young Audi­to­rium at Uni­ver­sity of Wisconsin-Whitewater. “University of Wisconsin — Whitewater and the Young Auditorium — UW-Whitewater on November 7.” From Whitewater, Wisconsin, posted by it gets better Tour on 11/04/2013 (17 items) Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2

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The itgetsbetter Tour visited Whitewater, Wisconsin from 11/4/13 to 11/10/13, and presented at the Young Audi­to­rium at Uni­ver­sity of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

“University of Wisconsin — Whitewater and the Young Auditorium — UW-Whitewater on November 7.”

From Whitewater, Wisconsin, posted by it gets better Tour on 11/04/2013 (17 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2

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itgetsbetter Tour Visits Ogden, Utah #itgetsbettertour http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/itgetsbetter-tour-visits-ogden-utah/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=itgetsbetter-tour-visits-ogden-utah http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/itgetsbetter-tour-visits-ogden-utah/#comments Thu, 10 Oct 2013 21:19:15 +0000 http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/?p=1011 From October 7, 2013 to October 10, 2013 the itgetsbetter Tour visited Ogden, Utah and performed at Peery’s Egypt­ian The­atre. “The @[420636874650621:274:it gets better Tour] is coming to @[111605825522148:274:Ogden, Utah] . We hope to see you at @[104291632974175:274:Peery’s Egyptian Theater] on October 11. More information at http://goo.gl/oJ0cnF” From Ogden, Utah, posted by it gets better […]

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From October 7, 2013 to October 10, 2013 the itgetsbetter Tour visited Ogden, Utah and performed at Peery’s Egypt­ian The­atre.

“The @[420636874650621:274:it gets better Tour] is coming to @[111605825522148:274:Ogden, Utah] . We hope to see you at @[104291632974175:274:Peery’s Egyptian Theater] on October 11. More information at http://goo.gl/oJ0cnF”

From Ogden, Utah, posted by it gets better Tour on 10/03/2013 (21 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2

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itgetsbetter Tour Visits Austin, Texas #itgetsbettertour http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/itgetsbetter-tour-visits-austin-texas/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=itgetsbetter-tour-visits-austin-texas http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/itgetsbetter-tour-visits-austin-texas/#comments Sun, 22 Sep 2013 21:27:14 +0000 http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/?p=1016 From September 16, 2013 through September 22, 2013 the itgetsbetter Tour visited Austin, Texas and performed at The Long Cen­ter. “September 16–20, 2013″ From Austin, Texas, posted by it gets better Tour on 9/03/2013 (41 items) Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2

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From September 16, 2013 through September 22, 2013 the itgetsbetter Tour visited Austin, Texas and performed at The Long Cen­ter.

“September 16–20, 2013″

From Austin, Texas, posted by it gets better Tour on 9/03/2013 (41 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2

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Announcing our New Music Video — The Solution by Julian Hornik http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/announcing-our-new-music-video-the-solution-by-julian-hornik/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=announcing-our-new-music-video-the-solution-by-julian-hornik http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/announcing-our-new-music-video-the-solution-by-julian-hornik/#comments Wed, 19 Dec 2012 18:38:22 +0000 http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/?p=597 We are proud to announce the world premiere of our new music video, the Solution, written and performed by 16-year old Julian Hornik of Palo Alto and featuring students from City High School in Iowa City. Julian was one of two winners of the “It Gets Better Song Contest” last spring. He was flown to […]

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We are proud to announce the world premiere of our new music video, the Solution, written and performed by 16-year old Julian Hornik of Palo Alto and featuring students from City High School in Iowa City. Julian was one of two winners of the “It Gets Better Song Contest” last spring. He was flown to Los Angeles to develop and arrange his song with our project music director, Morten Kier, and director Liesel Reinhart. Julian submitted a video of his live performance of the song in September, and students at City High School filmed scenes to accompany his performance as part of our visit to their community in October.

We will continue to create videos with young people around the country as part of our ongoing work. Please check back in 2013 for more great performances!

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it gets better in Iowa — A Summary of Activities http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/it-gets-better-in-iowa-a-summary-of-activities/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=it-gets-better-in-iowa-a-summary-of-activities http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/it-gets-better-in-iowa-a-summary-of-activities/#comments Sun, 09 Dec 2012 22:01:31 +0000 http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/?p=516 Hancher — The University of Iowa — October 15–19, 2012 MONDAY, OCTOBER 15   Meeting with Hancher staff The Company met with area leaders for the Hancher team to learn more about why they brought us to Iowa City and their goals for the week. The team was unbelievably helpful and eager to share their […]

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Hancher — The University of Iowa — October 15–19, 2012

MONDAY, OCTOBER 15

 

Meeting with Hancher staff
The Company met with area leaders for the Hancher team to learn more about why they brought us to Iowa City and their goals for the week. The team was unbelievably helpful and eager to share their ideas and thoughts. Executive Director Charles Swanson told us he even recruited singers from his church chorus to be part of our community chorus.

GMCLA Rehearsal
Company rehearsal time to review music, script edits, and adjusted arrangements for Friday’s show.

State-wide Meeting with GSAs
We met with a very diverse audience that included GSA students, GSA advisors, high school and college faculty, graduate students, and members of the Iowa Pride Network. Tod and Liesel presented a slideshow with video to review the origins of the It Gets Better Project and GMCLA’s involvement, leading to the development of the current production. Cast members shared personal stories and performed three numbers from the show. We also had time to sit in smaller groups for table conversations in which we learned more about the participants and LGBTQ life in Iowa City and the surrounding communities. This was a rewarding way to begin our trip and we were so pleased to see many of the same faces from this session as we continued activities throughout the week.

First Rehearsal with Community Chorus
Jason, Drew and Sacha worked with our small but strong chorus of 21 singers to learn music for the production. The singers came from 7 different vocal groups and were unaccustomed to singing together, so we all enjoyed the process of making new friends.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16

 

Meeting with Local Video Creators
Company member Jason met with two local students who participated in the making of the University Health Services video for the It Gets Better Project. They prepared for their appearance on stage during the upcoming performance.

Promotional Video Recording for Social Media
Company members Tod and Mario created a short promo video for Friday’s performance for the Hancher Facebook page.

First-Year Seminar: College Outside the Classroom: Being a Community-Engaged Student
Liesel, Mario, Tod and Lee visited this interesting freshman seminar class and discussed social empowerment through the models of the It Gets Better Project and GMCLA. We were surprised that so few students were familiar with Kickstarter, though a large number of them had visited the It Gets Better Project site. Students participated in the discussion by contributing their analysis of the rhetorical appeals within It Gets Better (they are studying rhetoric as one of their course topics). The students and faculty seemed very pleased with the presentation and many asked about attending the performance on Friday.

Kickstarter Video Update
Cast members created a short video on the University of Iowa campus as a thank you for the Kickstarter supporters who funded the show.

Rehearsal
Company rehearsal time focused on local show elements.

Activity with GLOW, City High’s GSA
This was an energized and fun event with a group of 25–30 students from GLOW (Gay, Lesbian or Whatever) – a GSA at City High School. The students went wild for the cast – literally in a few cases – and were excited to learn that we wanted to make a video with them for one of our project songs. Students split into five groups – each with a different focus: choreography, literal imagery, figurative imagery, lyric performance, and text. The video segments were all shot on ipads and iphones (courtesy of our Kickstarter community) and scenes were shot to accompany the song, “The Solution” by our 16 year-old song contest winner Julian Hornik. The video was later edited and is being shared on our website.

The students also made a moving presentation to the company, giving us t-shirts created to memorialize a tragic event involving one of their peers. The faculty adviser for this group, Maureen Hill, is outstanding, supportive, and inspirational. We loved our time with these students and were delighted when a group of them arrived with Maureen at the Friday performance where the company was able to reciprocate by giving our t-shirts to the students.

Second Rehearsal with Community Chorus
For tonight’s session, the group worked on the song “More Friends than you Know” by Jeff Marx and Mervyn Waren. Liesel and Tyler assisted with blocking the scene and adding theatricality. Solosists were also selected at this time. One of the two selected was a 12-year old boy who recently came out at home and school. His mother told us she was a bit lost about how to help him to do but got an email about the community chorus opportunity and decided they could participate together. She was so thrilled when he was asked to sing a solo.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17

 

Introduction to Student Affairs with Professor Cassie Barnhardt
This group of bright, diverse graduate students welcomed Liesel, Lee, and Tod with open arms for a great discussion. The class topic for the day was “Pluralism, Diversity, and Inclusion” so we engaged them in a dialogue about heteronormativity and whether or not it constitutes a form of tacit bullying. Since these are educators currently working in student service positions as part of their graduate work, we focused on ways to improve climate for LGBT (and other) students by building community. The model of GMCLA as a 34-year community organization was shared and students posed excellent questions to the panel about strategies that can be effective in strengthening community both within and among LGBTQ organizations.

GMCLA rehearsal
This rehearsal focused on music performance.

Discussion with Colors, West High School’s GSA
We were all so impressed with the West High GSA group. This very supportive club of about 25 students has clear bonds and trust with one another and, especially, with their wonderful adviser. We decided to focus on listening to students in this session and asked each student to share something as we talked (the session lasted an extra hour, and was really worth it). Student stories ranged from painful to empowering. It was especially impressive to see how the students were so encouraging toward one another.

While there are many regulars who attend their weekly meetings, students expressed that there are others who won’t attend for fear of being associated with them. There is still a stigma there. Some students have issues at home, often with just one parent. Students and cast members shared stories about people in their lives, including parents, who grew and changed – and we had a great talk about how things improve drastically after high school for many – especially in college. We asked students to think about coming back to their high schools after they graduate to let them know how life is different for them. We also made an It Gets Better video with the students and took time for one– on-one conversations at the end of the main discussion.

Community Round Table Event
On a rainy night, attendance was not very good – so we changed plans and brought in two show choirs from West High into our auditorium and sang songs for one another. The students gave Sacha an extended standing ovation for his performance of Jamey’s Song, and we spoke with them briefly about our show and about ways that they, as artists, can find ways to turn their interest in music into a tool of change and community engagement. The company also attended a bit of the students’ rehearsal to see them perform additional music. They were great!

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18

 

Technical Load in and Setup
Company members prepared for the upcoming performance in Memorial Hall. The Hancher technical team did an amazing job transforming an old ballroom into a theatrical space.

College of Education’s Anti-Bullying Training: Event Kick-off
This was the opening event for a series of anti-bulling training sessions by the University for students studying elementary/secondary education as well as faculty and staff in the College of Education. The cast was joined by Chris, Lee and Jason from GMCLA and Jimmy Nguyen for a dynamic discussion that included personal stories and performances of a few songs from the show, as well.

Mini-show with Q&A for College Transitions Program
About 350 students attended our technical rehearsal for the show and stayed for a powerful Q&A with the cast immediately afterward. Despite some problems with the audio system and microphones, the students were very attentive and appreciative.

Technical Rehearsal with the Community Chorus
Our community chorus rehearsed blocking on stage and our soloists practiced with the headset microphones for the first time. The chorus members were extremely professional and easy to work with, and their emotions really started to emerge after they saw the scenes leading up to their appearance in the show for the very first time.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19
PERFORMANCE DAY

 

Media Updates
The cast participated in many media interviews leading up to this engagement. They were delighted to see so many prominent features about the show, including print and television.

Public Performance
Our 7:30pm show brought in a large and very appreciative audience. The age of audience members ranged from junior high to seniors and included many of the people we met with throughout the week in our outreach activities, including a group of students from City High School’s GLOW group and the entire Introduction to Student Affairs class, as well. The cast received huge laughs and big applause throughout the show – including a standing ovation from about half the audience during the show for Drew’s moving monologue and song. The performance by the community chorus generated an extended ovation, as well – easily the most moving moment of the night. A the end of the show, the crowd leapt to their feet in appreciation and support.

Post-show Talk Back
Well over a hundred people stuck around after a short break to speak with the Company and comment about the show. The discussion was co-facilitated by Liesel and Erin Donohue, Hancher’s outstanding education specialist. The cast were joined onstage by songwriter Jeff Marx (Avenue Q) as well as Anna Laris and J.P. Horn (makers of the previously noted local It Gets Better video). Many audience members cried as they shared their responses to the show, including some members of the cast.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 

The it gets better company members of GMCLA would like to thank the University of Iowa, especially the incredible team at Hancher.

We are also so appreciative for the warmth and kindness of the entire Iowa City community, from the great staff at the Heartland Inn to the energetic folks at Studio 13. Our community chorus members were particularly inspiring – and fun! We loved the small town feel and the progressive spirit of this community.

As we settled in on the small plane to head home and sleepily discussed our week, we realized that each of us were fundamentally changed by our experience. We will never forget our conversations with and our performances alongside the people of Iowa City The Company emerged more determined and more inspired than ever to continue our it gets better journey.

–Liesel Reinhart, Director

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Featured on Advocate.com — Sacha Sacket http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/wait-im-doing-a-musical/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wait-im-doing-a-musical http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/wait-im-doing-a-musical/#comments Thu, 18 Oct 2012 22:30:10 +0000 http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/?p=478 Op-ed: Wait, I’m Doing a Musical? Sacha Sacket never thought he’d do a musical, but when the opportunity to help bullied or depressed LGBT youth came along, he couldn’t say no. Read the full article on Advocate.com by clicking the link.

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Op-ed: Wait, I’m Doing a Musical?

Sacha Sacket never thought he’d do a musical, but when the opportunity to help bullied or depressed LGBT youth came along, he couldn’t say no.

Read the full article on Advocate.com by clicking the link.

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City High School, Iowa City — after school GLOW meeting (Gay, Lesbian, or Whatever) — October 16 http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/city-high-school-iowa-city/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=city-high-school-iowa-city http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/city-high-school-iowa-city/#comments Wed, 17 Oct 2012 03:10:25 +0000 http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/?p=411 Liesel Reinhart The it gets better cast and I were welcomed with unbelievable enthusiasm by a large group of students from GLOW, a school group at historic City High in Iowa City. We learned about their group’s history and enlisted the students to help us create a music video for one of our song contest […]

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Liesel Reinhart

The it gets better cast and I were welcomed with unbelievable enthusiasm by a large group of students from GLOW, a school group at historic City High in Iowa City. We learned about their group’s history and enlisted the students to help us create a music video for one of our song contest winning-songs. When one of the students found out that cast member Mario was a cast member of “Dance Your A%# off on Oxygen, she screamed “I knew I recognized you!!!!” and raced up to hug him. After that, the ice was broken and we had an amazing time together. Jason’s group of students created visual messages for their part of the music video, and I snapped a pic of some of the phrases that they were considering for their signs. Their discussion about what the signs should say was powerful, as you can imagine (based on the photo). Some of the student begged us to stay longer but we had to get to our next session, though I have a feeling we will hear again from that incredible (and energetic) club. We’re very proud of the students of City High for being so positive and supportive of one another. Way to make it better for one another!

What Iowa students want us to know

What Iowa students want us to know

 

Cast of it gets better at City High in Iowa City

Cast of it gets better at City High in Iowa City

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Press Release http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/press-release/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=press-release http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/press-release/#comments Fri, 05 Oct 2012 19:55:44 +0000 http://www.itgetsbettertour.org/?p=354 GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF LOS ANGELES AND IT GETS BETTER PROJECT PARTNER ON MUSIC AND THEATER PROJECT KICKING OFF IN IOWA THIS OCTOBER Theater Project Features Week of Community Education and School Outreach About Bullying, Culminating in an Original Musical Performance Collaboration is the Top Funded Theater Project in Kickstarter History LOS ANGELES (September 25, […]

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GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF LOS ANGELES AND IT GETS
BETTER PROJECT PARTNER ON MUSIC AND THEATER
PROJECT KICKING OFF IN IOWA THIS OCTOBER

Theater Project Features Week of Community
Education and School Outreach About Bullying,
Culminating in an Original Musical Performance

Collaboration is the Top Funded Theater Project in Kickstarter History

LOS ANGELES (September 25, 2012) — The acclaimed Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) announced it will kick off its nationwide touring production inspired by the It Gets Better Project™ on October 19 at the University of Iowa. With LGBT youth four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, It Gets Better is a music and theater production aimed at energizing community awareness and support around the issues of bullying and harassment. Offered in collaboration with the Emmy® Award-winning It Gets Better Project™ and Speak Theater Arts, It Gets Better is presented in tandem with a week of local outreach and education.

Since September, 2010, more than 50,000 ‘it gets better’ videos aimed at inspiring LGBT youth have been viewed more than 50 million times, including GMCLA’s contribution, a performance of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.” The overwhelmingly positive response to that video laid the groundwork for It Gets Better, which was funded through a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly $80,000 for the project.

Read the full article here.

 

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