the next service is in Los Angeles on June 11

Monthly Archives: September, 2015

Our New NYC Choir Director

So excited about this Sunday. It’s the KICK OFF to our 9th season – the theme is COLOR and so it’s going to be a bright, beautiful day. And, another reason I’m excited is that we have a new NYC choir director – Charleigh Parker is a wonderful performer, singer, comedian, writer – and, she’s leading our choir! We met doing a show in Baltimore right before I founded The Secret City and she’s taken part in a number of different ways over the years. I’m thrilled to have her on board for REAL.
Join us for the service this Sunday, September 27th at 11:30 am at Dixon Place.

Here’s her bio:
Charleigh E. Parker’s career has crossed classical theatre, musical theatre, TV, film, improv, and Stand-Up Comedy. Favorite experiences include working with August Wilson on Seattle Repertory Theatre’s production of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”, playing with Philadelphia’s Pig Iron theatre company to experiment on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”, and touring Southeast Asia with Lea Salonga in Broadway Asia’s production of “Cinderella”. TV: “Blue Bloods”, “Unforgettable”, “Boardwalk Empire”, “The Good Wife”, “All My Children”, and the upcoming Netflix series, “AKA Jessica Jones”.



Alex Avans | Food Offering


We needed something special for this Sunday’s food offering. The theme is COLOR – right? So, we reached out to Alex Avans, our dear friend and Secret City community member and owner of YummyBakes kitchen. And, guest what? She’s going to make RED VELVET CUPCAKES for us! I literally can’t even.

Here’s the facebook page for YummyBakes Kitchen:


Dana Levin | Featured Poet


I’m delighted to present another wonderful artist taking part in this Sunday’s service–The kick off to our 9th season–the celebrated poet Dana Levin. Dana happens to be a dear friend from high school. We both grew up in Lancaster, California and I’m thrilled to say we’re still pals and she’ll be presenting a new poem at the service this Sunday. Dixon Place at 11:30. Here’s her bio:

About Dana Levin

Dana Levin is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Sky Burial, which The New Yorker called “utterly her own and utterly riveting.” The Los Angeles Times says of her work, “Dana Levin’s poems are extravagant…her mind keeps making unexpected connections and the poems push beyond convention…they surprise us.” The Boston Review says, “In Levin’s hands … it’s as if the very idea of the sentence has to be rethought from the beginning.” Levin lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and teaches each Fall at Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri, where she serves as Distinguished Writer in Residence.


Calvin Royal III | Featured Artist


This Sunday, September 27th at 11:30 at Dixon Place we will kick off our 9th season. The theme is COLOR and, we have a beautiful treat – ballet dancer Calvin Royal III will perform for us. Calvin comes to us by way of his friend and ABT co-member, Zhongzhing Fang, who danced The Dying Swan for us last winter for SOLITUDE. Calvin is going to dance a blues number for us (get it, BLUES?) and I couldn’t be happier. Join us for the big kick-off – and check out Calvin’s bio below.

Calvin Royal III began his formal training under the direction of Suzanne Pomerantzeff and Patricia Paige at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was a finalist at the Youth America Grand Prix in New York City in April 2006 and joined the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in September of that year. Royal was the recipient of the Ethan Stiefel Scholarship in 2006 and 2007. While at the JKO School, Royal appeared in original works by Raymond Lukens and Jessica Lang.

Royal joined ABT II (now the ABT Studio Company) in December 2007 and danced leading roles including Prince Siegfried in the White Swan and Black Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake, George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, Jerome Robbins’ Interplay, Antony Tudor’s Continuo, and works by Edward Liaang, Aszure Barton, Jodie Gates, and Brian Reeder.

Royal joined the main Company as an apprentice in October 2010 and the corps de ballet in April 2011. His repertoire with the company includes a Cavalier in Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella, the Recruit in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, the Spanish Prince and Prince Fortune in The Sleeping Beauty, Spanish Dance in Swan Lake, Jaseion in Sylvia, Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, and principal and soloist roles in Twyla Tharp’s Bach Partita, Paul Taylor’s Black Tuesday, Stanton Welch’s Clear, Merce Cunningham’s Duets, Alexei Ratmansky’s Piano Concerto #1 and Seven Sonatas, Jiří Kylián’z Sinfonietta, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Thirteen Diversions.

In January 2014, Royal was nominated for the Clive Barnes Award, and named one of Dance Magazine’s “Top 25 to Watch”. In addition, Royal was also the winner of a grant from the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund.

Mr. Royal’s performances with American Ballet Theatre are sponsored by Harlan M. Blake.


Jennifer Orkin Lewis | Featured Artist


Here we go into our new season – we kick things off this Sunday, September 27th at Dixon Place at 11:30. The theme is COLOR – a central aspect of our gatherings. For this month, we have a wonderful visual artist named Jennifer Orkin Lewis – Jennifer’s been working on original color studies just for the service and I can’t wait to see them. Her work is fanciful and charming and, yes, COLORFUL. Jennifer has a project to paint every day – so inspiring, right – which she documents on her instagram account.

Check out her bio below, with links to her site and instagram account. And join us this Sunday for COLOR – it’s gonna be bright.

I am an artist and illustrator based in a beautiful little village just north of New York City on the Hudson River. I’ve loved drawing and painting for as long as I can remember and I’m thrilled to get to my little attic studio every day and paint! My work is inspired by the everyday small things I see, a bird in a tree, a garden, crowds of people, a beautiful table with luscious food. I mostly paint with gouache but I also use acrylics, markers, pencils and pen to create mixed media. I spent many years after graduating from Rhode Island School of Design as a textile stylist designing prints for children’s clothing and lingerie.

You can see more of my work at
and follow my daily painting project on instagram



It’s our first service of the new season and we’ll kick it off in bold style. The theme is COLOR, one of my greatest fascinations and joys.
Those of you who take part in our events know that we love to use color to set a mood and raise the vibration. So we’re gonna lean into all that and explore the idea with intention. We’re already knee deep in wonderful art and performers and can’t wait to have our community in the mix.
Join us Sunday, September 27th at Dixon Place in NYC for COLOR – here’s the link to the facebook invite:


2015/2016 Season

Here it is, folks, the big line-up for the year. Very excited about the themes and the venues and the few changes – note the Winter Solstice event at Judson Memorial Church on December 20th. It will be our first evening service and a much bigger venue.

Thanks to all who helped out with suggestions of themes.

  • Sunday, September 27th – NYC/Dixon Place – COLOR
  • Sunday, October 11th – LA/Bootleg Theater – FANTASY
  • Sunday, October 25th – NYC/Dixon Place – EVOLUTION
  • Sunday, November 22nd – NYC/Dixon Place – DIRT
  • Sunday, December 13th – LA/Bootleg Theater – SUGAR
  • Sunday, December 20th – NYC/Judson Memorial Church – STARDUST
  • (Winter Solstice event – starts at 5:30pm)
  • Sunday, February 21st – NYC/Dixon Place – THE FORBIDDEN
  • Sunday, March 6th – LA/Bootleg Theater – PROPHECY
  • Sunday, March 20th – NYC/Dixon Place – ENERGY
  • Sunday, April 24th – NYC/Dixon Place – RISK
  • Monday, May 23rd – NYC/Dixon Place – Secret Admirers
  • Our annual benefit to support the work of The Secret City
  • Sunday, June 12th – LA/Bootleg Theater – FREEDOM
  • Sunday, July 31st – Woodstock – PLAY

So, you can see, it’s going to be a LOT OF FUN. And, because it’s The Secret City, it will also be deep and meaningful and beautiful and rare. And it will be so much richer and better if you’re a part of it.

See you at The Secret City




What a magical summer it has been! Swimmin holes and lots of friends. The Woodstock event was a big success with a packed house and people coming in from far and wide to join in.

Since then, we’ve had just enough time to chill out before the big-ol freakout of fall. We’ll be launching our new season with our first service on Sunday, September 27th – the theme will be COLOR. Watch for a separate post of all the dates/themes.

It’s going to be a big new adventure for us this year – we have 2 new staff members, a bunch of fabulous new volunteers joining our wonderful crew of die-hards, a growing board of directors, and we’ll be expanding things with our Winter Solstice event on December 20th at Judson Memorial Church – our first evening service ever!

I’m so excited about it all – and to see so many of our friends and community gather. It never gets tired.

See you very soon.

Yours in Art and Community –