About the Scholarship
In honor and memory of Larry Lamar Yates, we at Selah Theatre Project would like to introduce the Larry Lamar Yates Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Larry was a dear friend, mentor and advocate in the Shenandoah Valley. His love for the arts and youth made Larry a remarkable Theatre Angel even before he earned his wings.
Every year, Larry donated a significant amount of funds toward scholarship opportunities for our young actors to participate at the Virginia Theatre Association Conference, classes and summer camps. He never asked for recognition or praise. Knowing that young people were able to thrive in a safe and creative environment was enough reward.
Since Larry's passing, Selah Theatre Project wants to continue to ensure that no child, teen or young adult will ever have to worry about finances in order to participate.
We are still on the mission to make arts education and experiences affordable, accessible and available regardless of ability to pay.
About Larry Lamar Yates
Larry was born on April 7, 1950 to Margaret Ann Buchanan Yates and Warren Grice Yates. During his childhood, his father’s work as a linguist took the family to Germany, Vietnam, and Thailand, giving Larry and his sister Jenny experience in living in other cultures and interacting with diverse people, especially at Bangkok Patana School.
The family returned to the US to live in 1964. Larry attended and graduated from McLean High School, in Fairfax County, Virginia. While there, he worked in organizations opposing racial housing discrimination, and in the Democratic Party opposing the Byrd Machine.
Larry then completed one year at the University of Michigan, but went into the anti-imperialist movement, working in the Washington DC Regional Office of SDS and then in the Weatherman organization. Participation in the Venceremos Brigade in Cuba moved his political development forward, and he left Weatherman. Though eligible for the draft, he informed the local draft board that if drafted, he would organize in the military, and would refuse service in Vietnam. At his physical, he was found medically unfit.
In 1973, Larry moved to Richmond, Virginia, where he was involved in many community and cultural groups, especially the Cornucopia Trading Company, a natural foods cooperative. He worked in furniture delivery and warehousing for several years, and then worked in the library of the Richmond City Jail. He went on to be the first staffer of the Virginia Housing Coalition, and to work with Richmond United Neighborhoods. He also owned a home in the Oregon Hill neighborhood and was active in supporting that community. While in Richmond, Larry learned a lot from a good therapist, from intelligent strong women, and from the Black community.
In 1988, Larry moved back to the Washington DC area, first to work for the National Low Income Housing Coalition for seven years, and then on to various other nonprofits, inlcuding the Center for Health, Environment and Justice. His focus was always on reaching out to grassroots people and helping them with advice and resources to empower themselves.
During this period, Larry met and married Carol Stroebel, who was also committed to change and to using the political process effectively. They lived in South Arlington, Virginia, and were active in the the housing cooperative that Carol had bought into. Carol also bought a second home in Shenandoah County, Virginia, and they began to spend weekends there. In 2003, they moved to that home fulltime, and lived there until 2009, working from home. Carol worked for the Children’s Environmental Health Coalition; Larry worked for some of that time for the Virginia Organizing Project. They also became involved with the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Shenandoah Valley. Their successful and fulfilling marriage had the valuable support of a skilled therapist.
Larry also worked on issues in the Valley, gaining many longtime friends, especially the late John “Bo” Flynn and Charceil Kellam and her family, as well as Victoria Kidd.
In 2013, Larry ran for the 29th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates as an independent but was defeated.
In 2014, Carol was diagnosed with stage 4 bile duct cancer. Carol, supported by Larry, worked hard to find and benefit from the best possible treatments. She died from the cancer in January, 2016.
Larry sought to establish a “second best life” without his beloved wife. During this time, he wrote a book, Not Just Monuments: The War for Whiteness in Virginia 1680-2020, and briefly opened the Virginia Museum of Veiled History. He was active on Facebook, where he expressed his ideas as Notes, and he continued to express himself under the title Social Justice Connections on the web, and in letters to the editor.
Larry passed away on December 30, 2020.
Donating to the Scholarship Fund
You can donate online using the recurring or single-time donations below or you can send a check to the theatre:
Selah Theatre Project
811 S. Loudoun Street
Winchester, VA 22601
Memo: Larry Yates Scholarship
We now can accept recurring donations! If you want to make a donation amount - single time or recurring - and the amount you choose is not available below, email Clinton Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org.