the next service is in Los Angeles on June 11

Monthly Archives: May, 2015

Helga Davis | Featured Performer


Oh, we’ve got a great treat this weekend. For our final service of the NYC season – this Sunday, May 31st at Dixon Place – our featured musical guest will be the wonderful Helga Davis, a supernova vocalist and all around fabulous presence. I’ve been wanting to have Helga in our midst for some time now and this is the moment. It’s going to be a lovely thing. See Helga’s bio below – she’ll be accompanied by Adam Klipple on piano, Mr. Klipple’s bio is below, too.

Helga Davis is currently starring in the 25th anniversary remount of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s seminal work Einstein on the Beach. In addition she is also featured in works by Shara Worden (You Us We All), Paola Prestini (Oceanic Verses), Missy Mazzolli_(Elsewhere), Ann Hamilton (The Event of a Thread), Peter Greenaway (The Blue Planet). She starred in The Temptation of t. Anthony, also by Robert Wilson with libretto by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon (Sweet Honey in the Rock). She is the recipient of the BRIC Media Arts Fireworks grant and presented her evening-length work, Cassandra, in April 2014. She is also a host on Q2 Music, and has conducted special live interviews with Judd Greenstein, Krzysztof Penderecki, The Kronos Quartet and John Luther Adams. She was awarded an ASCAP Multimedia Award for hosting 24:33: twenty-four hours and thirty-three minutes of the playful and playable John Cage.

Adam Klipple (piano, keyboards, MD) In addition to performing, Adam Klipple is also a composer, producer and arranger. He recently worked on Ghostface Killah’s latest, 36 Seasons. Adam has been involved in stage and recording projects with Lauryn Hill, Craig Harris, Graham Haynes, Joseph Bowie and Defunkt, Ron Affif, Vinny Valentino, Jason Marshall, and Michael Ray and the Cosmic Krewe. His credits also include performances with the Sun Ra Arkestra, Sekou Sundiata, Marc Ribot, John Medeski, Kurt Rosenwinkle, Carla Cook, Dave Fiuczynski, David Gilmore, Josh Roseman, Vincent Gardner, Peter Apfelbaum, Groove Collective, and Smokey Robinson.



photo credit: Hatnim Lee


From our Grand Poobah | MEMORY, FETISHES & CAMP

Bobby and I just got back from Maine! We took part in an informal artist retreat with some pals on a beautiful island in Penobscot Bay then we had a couple of days just adventuring along the coast. We left the morning after our benefit auction closed. Good timing! The setting was idyllic and the time away was crucial for recovering and rest and preparing for these next two months.

The 2014/2015 season is starting to come to a close. But it’s gonna be a big finish! Starting with our final NYC service of the year, this Sunday, May 31st at Dixon Place – the theme is MEMORY then our final LA service of the year will be Sunday, June 14th at Bootleg Theater, the theme will be FETISHES. We’ll wrap it all up in Wodostock on Sunday, July 26th at the Byrdcliffe Theater where the theme will be CAMP! In between all of these services we’ll also be presenting a couple of evenings of stories and music. We’re embarking on recording the stories so we can begin podcasting – which I’m very excited about. The first of these evenings will be Thursday, June 4th at Dixon Place. STORIES FROM THE SECRET CITY – I’ll read some stories and Jeremy will be along, too, playing music. The next evening will be July 10th and 11th at Franklin Stage Company in the Catskills – really excited to be performer there this summer.

It’s been a big, beautiful year of art and community – we’ve grown in lots of ways, many of which have been behind the scenes with our new board, new staff and lots of infrastructure. It’s been a season of stabilizing. Our recent benefit was an example of that – a beautiful night of support for the organization. Now, these final two months of the season feel jam packed and exciting.

I’m excited to share these final events with lots of wonderful folks – to experience the work and craft and joy of so many fantastic artists and performers. It gives life meaning and depth, to experience these things – and sharing them is one of the best parts of being alive.

See you at The Secret City.


Pamela Dunlap | Cultural Calendar


Our reader for this month’s Cultural Calendar – Sunday, May 31st at Dixon Place in NYC – will be the charming and wonderful Pamela Dunlap, a bi-coastal actress who’s been coming to The Secret City in NYC for some time now. I’m delighted she’s going to take part in the service. Here’s her bio:

Pamela Dunlap, native New Yorker, bi-coastal actress has appeared on and off Broadway, Regional Theatre, Film and Television. MAD MEN fans will recognize her as Pauline Francis, Betty Drapers new Mother-in-law with the questionable baby sitting skills. Pamela appears next season in GIRLS for HBO, starring Lena Dunham and can currently be seen in the very popular web series KITTENS IN A CAGE on HULU. Other notable Guest star appearances include a recurring role in DOLL AND EM for HBO written, produced and starring Emily Mortimer, THE MILLERS, MAJOR CRIMES, HOW I MET OUR MOTHER, LAW AND ORDER, COMMANDER IN CHIEF, AUSTIN AND ALLEY, HANNAH MONTANA etc. Film credits include THE CHANGELING, directed by Clint Eastwood, I AM SAM, WAR OF THE ROSES, THE HOLIDAY, MOTHERS OF THE BRIDE, SIXTEEN TO LIFE, MIND THE GAP, BLOODY MAMA. etc. Most recent theatre credits: OTHER DESERT CITIES, AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY, HEART SONG.
Broadway: Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, Redwood Curtain, Yerma,.
Off BWay: Early Girl, Sacrifice to Eros, Green Card
Off Off Bway: Circle East, Vital Theatre, Boomerang, Chashama etc.
New York Theatre credits: Lincoln Center, New York Theatre Workshop, New York Stage and Film, Circle Repertory Co.
Regional Theatres: LA Theatre Works, Pioneer Theatre, St. Louis Repertory, Hartford Stage, Arena Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theatre, South Coast Rep. Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Corpus Christi Symphony. Ms. Dunlap is a Graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse where she studied with Sanford Meisner. Pamela is a recipient of an OOBR award, Honoree of the New York Drama League, Winner of a collaboration award from WAM Coalition, and a three-time recipient of a Dramalogue Award. Ms. Dunlap was a member of Circle Repertory Acting Company.


Jamie Brickhouse | Featured Artist


Our reading this month comes from the charming and outrageous Jamie Brickhouse, longtime friend and former board chair of The Secret City. Jamie’s recent memoir, Dangerous When Wet, was published by St. Martin’s Press and he’s been traveling the country making appearances promoting the book. I’m delighted he’s going to share a bit of the magic with us on Sunday, May 31st for MEMORY.


Here’s his bio:

Jamie Brickhouse is the author of Dangerous When Wet (St. Martin’s Press), a darkly comic memoir about booze, sex, and his mother Mama Jean. Mary Karr calls it “blisteringly funny;” Paul Rudnick says it’s “intoxicating;” and Wally Lamb declares:
“Move over Augusten Burroughs. You’ve got company.” The book has been lauded by Vanity Fair, the Washington Post, Out, and Entertainment Weekly (“glamorously tragic and howlingly funny” A-). It was also named a Best Book of May 2015 by Amazon. Brickhouse has been published in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Lambda Literary Review, Publishers Weekly, and is a guest blogger for the Huffington Post. He is at work on a second book, a memoir about his relationship with his father Earl. You can visit him at, on Facebook, or follow on Twitter @jamiebrickhouse.


Kai Margarida-Ramirez | Featured Artist


I’m thrilled to announce that our featured visual artist this month is Kai Margarida-Ramirez. We’ve shown Kai’s work before and it’s always a delight to see on the walls and to hear her speak about her process and technique. Working in cut paper, Kai plays with memory using traditional materials in new and surprising ways, often exploring her own family lore.

Here’s her bio:

Kai Margarida-Ramirez is a mixed-media and mixed-heritage artist. Drawing from her Puerto Rican and New Mexican roots, she has been showing nationally since 2009. Her work is in the permanent collection of the National Hispanic Cultural Center in New Mexico, where she returned in 2014 for the exhibition Papel! Pico, Rico y Chico. In 2011 her work was exhibited alongside Pepón Osorio and Amalia Mesa-Bains in Latino/a Imaginary: Intersection of Word and Image at 516 ARTS in Albuquerque. That same year, Kai attended Emerging Indigenous Voices: A New Generation of Artists, an artist residency in San Francisco. In 2014, Kai was an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum, in partnership with the Galería de la Raza, for Paper and Blade: Storytelling Under the Knife. Other recent exhibitions include Before at The Kitchen in New York, I’ll Show You Mine: Contemporary Artists Explore Family Portraiture at the Palo Alto Art Center, Borderlands at the University of South Dakota Art Gallery, Art Not Without___ at Amos Eno Gallery in Brooklyn, Radiant Geometries at Skylight Gallery in New York, and New Work New York, the 1st biennial survey of work by New York City MFA students and recent graduates. Kai received her MFA in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design in 2014 and is based in Brooklyn, New York.

Kai Margarida-Ramirez | Featured Artist


The Secret City | 2014/2015


Here it is, folks, our latest Secret City video. A compilation of images from our current season. Put together for Secret Admirers, our annual NYC benefit, it features tons of great photos of performers, artists, food offerings, singers, dancers, and lots of glorious community. Thanks to Jason Speenburgh for putting this together and to Gabe Rowland and his great band Dreaming Bull for the use of their song, Smile On Your Face. And thanks to all the beautiful people who fill our rooms and our community and our photo frames month after month, year after year. Community lives!

Download the music from the video now on:


The Secret City Benefit 2015

The Secret City Benefit 2015



Wow! What a wonderful night we had at Secret Admirers, our annual NYC benefit. Special guests Rosanne Cash and Nancy Giles were wonderful and warm, and the NYC Flaggers topped off the night with some fantastic flag twirling. We had an amazing team of volunteers and committee folks and a beautiful, generous room of donors and supporters. The food was a delicious, the room looked great, the live auction was a blast and the raffle was a huge hit. We also had a Selfie Photo Booth in the lobby which was a riot. Oh, and the music! The band and singers were wonderful, too. All in all, it was a wonderful night of support. I’m so grateful to all who took part and helped out.


It’s time for Secret Admirers


It’s time for Secret Admirers – our annual benefit to raise money for The Secret City. The live event is Tuesday, May 12th at Dixon Place. In conjunction with the benefit, we have a slammin’ online auction with tons of art, performance, crafts, special events and one-of-a-kind experiences.

  • Tickets to the Broadway hit, Fun Home, (12 Tony nominations!) with backstage passes to meet Tony winner, Michael Cerveris.
  • Dinner at Empire Diner prepared by Celebrity Chef Amanda Freitag who’ll join you for dessert after cooking up a delicious meal
  • Tickets to Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live (tickets are not available for sale)
  • An unlimited annual pass to Laughing Lotus Yoga in Brooklyn (A FULL YEAR!?!?)
  • Tickets and backstage passes to Rosanne Cash concert (several cities available)
  • Portrait of your animal by Robert Lucy


Visit and let the bidding begin!