Verna Gillis is a world traveler, entrepreneur, raconteur and, as of just recently, an award winning solo performer. A free-lance producer who has gained recognition for her work promoting and producing music from various cultural backgrounds, Verna now performs “sit down comedy” – Tales from Gerriassic Park- On the Verge of Extinction and has published a book called I Just Want To Be Invited, I Promise Not To Come. We’re thrilled to have Verna take part in this Sunday’s service in NYC – VISION.
Monthly Archives: December, 2014
It’s been a wonderful year for The Secret City – we’ve got a new board and a strategic plan for growing our organization over the next 2 years. We held 9 services in New York; 4 services in LA; and we expanded into Woodstock (!!).
Approximately 150-250 attended each event for a total of 2,700 attendees. 12-25 artists participated in each event by performing, presenting or creating work – that’s about 280 artists from the greater New York and LA areas. And, we did all this with funding from our community.
The most exciting thing is that, for the first time in our history, we’re becoming stable. As in, building for the long-term. That’s because we have a lot of really wonderful people pitching in and helping out. This next year is crucial to our long-term vitality – we’re going to be hiring 2 staff members, working to pay more artists per service, putting plans in place to move out into other parts of the world, expanding our website with more artist generated content and much, much more.
All of this is possible with the generous support of our community of donors. Please consider making a year-end contribution. Simply visit the paypal link on our homepage and use your cc to make a secure, tax deductible contribution.
I’m so excited for the momentum, and for the visions for the upcoming year. Thanks for being a part of this beautiful community.
Ayun Halliday is a multi-hyphenated wonderment of talent, expression and vitality. A mainstay of our New York Secret City community – she occasionally graces our monthly events with a performance. For this Sunday’s service on VISION – she’s going to make a special community-collaborated performance. Don’t miss it!
Roswell Rudd is a jazz legend – a trombonist who has worked with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry and longtime collaborator, Archie Sheep, Rudd is known for his free-jazz and avant-garde jazz performances. With a career spanning over 50 years, Rudd is a national treasure and we’re thrilled he’s going to play for us.
Kate Rigg is a comedian, pundit, writer, speaker, Asian American actress and half of the music/comedy duo, Slanty Eyed Mama. She’s appeared on stages all over the world and on lots of TV shows, from Dr. Phil to Family Guy to Law and Order SVU. We’re delighted she’s going to be part of our upcoming service this Sunday in NYC, the theme is VISION – a perfect fit for this visionary performer.
Our food offering this Sunday in NYC, for our service on VISION, is from Chef Emmet Moeller, a soon-to-be graduate from the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Chef Training Program. Emmet focuses on local, seasonal and health supportive foods, experimenting with new approaches to traditional preparations.
In the meantime, I’m still in LA – where we celebrated SPACE on Sunday. What a great time we all had. Check out the gallery of photos. And, if you’re in the NYC area on December 21st, please join us. Let’s all see what comes into view that day – what our VISION is, and what we sense is behind what we see.
What a beautiful gathering we had on Sunday in LA – the theme was SPACE and, as you can see from the great pics by Kim Zsebe, it was a white and silver and sparkly affair, filled with SpaceLords fighting, songs about the Moon, the choir covering Bowie, a great game about Space Movies and TV shows and Astronaut Ice Cream. Fun, deep and lovely.
Larry Fink is one of the most celebrated photographers of our time. With solo shows at MoMA, The Whitney, SF MoMA, two fellowships rom the Guggenheim and NYFA, Larry has been making incredible images with his camera for the past 45 plus years. I’m exhilarated that he’s going to share his work with us on Sunday, December 21st for our solstice service, the theme of which is VISION. Perfect, right? Bobby and I were lucky to meet him at a dinner party a couple of months back and he seemed really excited about The Secret City – so, he’ll be with us on the 21st. AND, in addition to sharing his work, he’s also going to shoot the service – so, we’ll have shots of The Secret City by Larry Fink. Thrilling.
Wow! It’s a Secret City Whirlwind! We had our most recent LA service this past Sunday and the theme was SPACE – what a fantastic day it was. Great performances, energy, games, artists, food and music. The choir was fantastic! And, Patrice Quinn blew it up with two great jazz standards – Fly Me To The Moon and East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Felt as if we all took off on an astral plane together for a while there. Just beautiful. I also LOVED the food offering on Sunday – Astronaut Ice Cream. Freeze dried. So perfect for the theme. The Choir did Space Oddity – a fantastic arrangement by Laural Meade and Fred Cassidy. Lots of tears in the house with that one. Oh, the game was really great, too. So fun.
Now, I’m staying in town for another week to teach an intensive of WRITING LIFE – that’s this weekend. Then, it’s back to NY for our next NYC service on Sunday, December 21st. The theme will be VISION – inspired by the solstice.
The community is really blowing up right now – so many great people and wonderful connections being made. There’s also a LOT of behind the scenes stuff taking place – board development and infrastructure building and planning for the future. I’m excited that we’re getting more organized than we’ve ever been.
These past 7+ years have really been sort, well, if not seat-of-the-pants then purely instinctual – it’s amazing to thing about what we can do with some strategies and the addition of a bunch of smarty-pants helping out.
In the meantime – we continue to gather in the ways we always have – grassroots, person to person, looking for the present moment with each other and celebrating the creativity that runs through us all.
Here’s to now, and to the great new year.