Allison Kenny is an author, actor, producer and co-founder of Spotlight:Girls. – a certified B Corp that inspires, educates, and activates girls & women to take center stage. A multi-media platform and summer camp called Go Girls! ™, Spotlight: Girls gives girls the skills to step into their light and become the leaders we’ve all been waiting for.
As an author, Allison has written and published Starring Celia, a chapter book about a fictional Go Girl!, and Go Squirrel!, a series of coloring books aimed at teaching young readers complex social/emotional lessons through fun and accessible social stories. She expects her next book in the series to be released Spring 2020 and will feature an LGBTQ family like her own.
Growing up in Phoenix, AZ in a house with 3 other sisters, Allison built her values through active engagement in softball teams, theater productions, show choir, and youth ministry programs. She was a natural leader from a young age who was particularly influenced by her role in WomanStory, a Phoenix-based organization that supports the spiritual and emotional development of women and girls in intergenerational, arts-based camps and retreats.
Prior to moving to San Francisco in 2002, Allison earned her B.A. in Theater Performance from Northern Arizona University. Performing and directing with Theater Outreach for Social Change, Allison traveled throughout the Southwest, touring a series of vignettes that depicted social issues central to the lives of teens and young adults. It was here that Allison’s passion for creating meaningful theater emerged.
Since 2002, Allison has worked in the Bay Area as a theater teaching artist with kids ages 2-18. For 5 years, she studied Floortime Play Therapy with Dr. Ilene Lee and worked as an inclusion facilitator with kids on the Autism Spectrum. Allison served as a Youth Development Trainer and specialist with the YMCA of San Francisco and The Children, Youth and Families Minister at First Congregational Church of Oakland and an ECE Trainer to Preschool Teachers across Alameda County. In 2012, she became a Certified Instructor with Kidpower, Teenpower, Fullpower International and leads safety workshops for kids and families all over the Bay Area.
Allison studied Self Revelatory Theater, Expressive Arts and Drama Therapy with Armand Volkas, MFT and the Living Arts Counseling Center. For twelve years, she’s been an ensemble member of the Living Arts Playback Theater Ensemble, a troupe of improvisational actors and musicians who “play back” personal stories of audience members in ways that both honor and illuminate the original experience. Most recently, Allison Co-Founded Oakland Freedom Theater as a response to our country’s growing need to stand up to hate through art, empathy and anti-racist work using playback theater and diversity/equity/inclusion frameworks.
Allison and wife, co-founder Lynn Johnson, adopted their daughter through the foster care system in 2015 in Oakland, CA. As a new mom, Allison wrote about her family’s adventures as a queer, multi-racial family on the award-winning blog RaisingAGoGirl.com. As a blogger, Allison has been recognized by SheKnows Media as an Experts Among Us and has received awards from BlogHer’s Voices of the Year Award (2016) and HealthLine.com for Best LGBT Parenting Blog (2016 and 2017). Now, she produces, So Get Me: the Alphabet Rockers podcast for families making change. Mashable and Common Sense Media recently recognized this podcast (2019) as a key support to young activists and children claiming their diverse racial and gender identities.
As a Girl Advocate, Allison believes women and girls are the world’s greatest natural resource. We bring creativity, compassion, nurture, resilience, reliability and love to any challenge and situation. When we forget that, the whole world suffers. Allison’s work is to create art, experiences, and books for girls, women and gender-non-confirming folks to remember who we are and why we have value.