the next service is in Los Angeles on June 11

Monthly Archives: June, 2016


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For this Sunday’s service in LA–June 12th at noon at The Bootleg, the theme is FREEDOM. And, our featured musical guest is a personification of freedom–a tap dancer, percussionist, instrumentalist and all around, pure jazz expression. Aaron Williams was sent our way by friends in Woodstock who happened to see him perform in LA and wrote me, saying, “This guys amazing! And, SO perfect for The Secret City.” We love a great recommendation–and, so–ladies and gentlemen, Aaron will be performing for us this Sunday.

Here’s his bio:

Aaron Williams is an accomplished percussionist, tap dancer, pianist, composer, jazz musician, vocalist and teacher, originally from Kansas City, Missouri. After receiving his BA in Commercial Music & Percussion Performance from Missouri Western State University, Aaron moved to Los Angeles where he has been teaching and performing since. Some of his recent work includes headlining the 2015 International Jugglers’ Association (IJA) Cascade of Stars show in Quebec City, Canada with Collision of Rhythm; tap dancing in Coca-Cola’s America the Beautiful commercial, which premiered during SuperBowl XLVIII and aired during the Winter Olympics in Sochi; teaching college-level tap courses at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa; and performing at the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater in New York with Bronkar Lee, “the world’s only rhythmic juggling beatboxer!” Currently, Aaron teaches music at Children’s Community School, is a company member of Linda Sohl-Ellison’s Rhapsody In Taps, and
continues to teach, create, and perform in L.A. and abroad.

For more information:




What a treat we have this Sunday–our final LA service of the seson is June 12th at noon at Bootleg Theater–the theme is FREEDOM and we have the wonderful Amy Hill coming to read the Cultural Calendar! I first met Amy years back in downtown LA as part of an evening of short pieces–she’s blast and a marvel and a great performer and writer. I’m thrilled she’s coming to take part in our service.

Here’s Amy’s bio:

Amy Hill is an American character actress known for often playing Grandmother or motherly type roles in both live action and voice roles. Hill’s first major role was as Yung-Hee “Grandma” Kim on All-American Girl where her character became the breakout character of the short lived, but ground breaking television series.
Hill has been a mainstay on American television in her work, many of her roles being recurring roles the most notable roles being, Mrs. DePaulo on That’s So Raven, Mama Tohru on Jackie Chan Adventures, Mrs. Hasagawa on Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Ah-Mah Jasmine Lee in The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, Judy Harvey in Enlightened, American Dad! as Mah Mah, UnREAL as Dr. Wagerstein, and now Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as Lourdes Chan.

In film, she is perhaps best known for her roles as Mrs. Kwan in The Cat in the Hat, Sue in 50 First Dates, and Miss Hyo-Kim in Next Friday.




For this Sunday’s gathering in LA–June 12th at noon at Bootleg Theater–our featured visual artist is Cat Gwynn. Cat is a photographer who has been developing a piece called 10 mile Radius, documenting her odyssey with cancer diagnosis and treatment–and, specifically, the period of time when she was confined to a 10 mile radius. The project documents how she used her art form to find a way out and through her situation. A perfect thing to share at The Secret City and a thrilling take on the idea of FREEDOM, which is our theme for this Sunday.

Here’s Cat’s bio:

Cat Gwynn is an award-winning photographer. Educated in photography, film, and fine-arts at Otis­-Parsons Art Institute, she also completed master workshops with such esteemed artists as Mary Ellen Mark, Joel Peter Witkin, and Barbara Kruger. Her works have been collected and exhibited in such international galleries and museums as the Lishui Museum of Photography in China, the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, the Drawing Center in New York City, and sold through the Susan Spiritus Gallery.

Cat’s images have appeared on the cover of Artweek, and in numerous other publications including Artforum, Newsweek, and Texas Monthly. She is one of the founding members of Six Shooters, a collective of 6 photographers engaged in a daily online photographic conversation.

Cat lectures at numerous institutions including Otis College of Art and Design, New York University, and Art Center College of Design. She is currently developing a transformational narrative program marrying art-making into a daily mindfulness practice she calls “10 Mile Radius: Creating a Personal Map for Wellness”. Piloted for patients, she teaches the program at numerous recovery and wellness centers, and it is soon to expand into larger healthcare facilities.


Joe Hernandez-Kolski | FEATURED PERFORMER

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For this Sunday’s service in LA–June 12th at noon at Bootleg Theater–the reading will be delivered by Joe Hernandez-Kolski, a wonderful LA theater artist, spoken word artist and all around magical performer. Joe is a longtime member of the Secret City community and occasional Secret City Singer–and I’m thrilled he’s going to bring it to us all on the theme of FREEDOM.

Here’s Joe’s bio:

Joe Hernandez-Kolski is an Emmy award-winner and two-time HBO Def Poet. A graduate of both the School at Steppenwolf and Second City, he takes great pride in his Chicago heritage. He has a show NOW in the Hollywood Fringe Fest! A mix of comedy and spoken word poetry with his professional beatboxing partner Joshua Silverstein. For more info:



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This Sunday, June 12th, we have our final LA gathering of the season. The theme is FREEDOM and I’m thrilled to share a wonderful friend and artist who’s going to present some of her work for us. Laura Nix is a filmmaker who works primarily in documentary, altho I first met her when her feature film, The Politics of Fur, just came out. I was taken by her talent and style and LOVED her film–since then, we’ve become friends and mutual supporters and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to present her and a bit of her work. She’s going to screen a scene from her current project, a work-in-progress documentary about ballroom dancing. That’s this Sunday, at noon at Bootleg Theater. Come get FREE with us!!

Here’s Laura’s bio:

Laura Nix directed and produced The Yes Men Are Revolting, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2014, and the Berlinale 2015. Previously she directed and produced the documentary The Light in Her Eyes about a Syrian Qur’an school for women that premiered at IDFA, was broadcast on the series POV on PBS, and toured the world as part of Sundance’s Film Forward program. Her other feature directing credits include the fiction feature The Politics of Fur, which played in over 70 festivals internationally and won multiple awards including Outfest’s Grand Jury Prize, and the feature documentary Whether You Like It Or Not: The Story of Hedwig, for New Line Cinema. Nix also co-wrote the Emmy-nominated California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown. Nix’s nonfiction work has appeared on HBO, IFC, New York Times Op-Docs, Planet Green, and the History Channel. A Macdowell fellow, her work has received support from the Bertha Foundation, BritDoc, Cal Humanities, COBO Fund, the Danish Film Institute, and the Sundance Documentary Fund. She has served as an advisor for the Sundance Institute, Hot Docs Blue Ice Fund, East Africa’s Docubox and is currently a film expert for the U.S. State Department’s American Film Showcase.


Naomi Pitcairn | FOOD OFFERING

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For this Sunday’s gathering–June 12th at noon at Bootleg Theater–the theme is FREEDOM and we have an interesting twist on our food offering. Naomi Pitcairn is a designer and social activist who first came upon The Secret City in New York in April. She’s volunteered to make the food offering and was interested in the idea of Freedom of Choice–to that end, she’s making something surprising and unlikely with the act of choosing built right in. Join us this Sunday for FREEDOM and have a taste of choice on Naomi. I’m delighted to have her with us–here’s her bio below:

Naomi Pitcairn is a designer and social activist. She received 2 traveling scholarships from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts as well as a BA from NYU and an MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons School of Design.
She has worked as a Times Square billboard painter, a draftsman for neon spectaculars, a set painter, graphic designer, programmer, adjunct professor, photographer and lecturer. She has illustrated several books including NYT best sellers: “She Comes First” and “Passionista” by Ian Kerner. She writes for the arts website “Times Quotidian.”
She has volunteered for and served on the boards of several NGOs. She is on the advisory boards of Expose Facts and International Modern Media Institute. When George Bush inadvertently forced her to become an activist, she began using her skills to create publicity for a variety of causes. As a divergent creative disrupter she has pioneered several “in your face” attention-getting techniques including singing the Bradley Manning protest song at a Presidential fund-raiser, throwing an “Orange Ball” going to jail party for CIA torture whistleblower John Kiriakou, creating “The FUBAR” (a mutilated chocolate soldier that comes in its own, flag covered coffin) and billboard sized Chalkupy protests.
Her political actions have been covered by almost every major publication in the US and some around the world including NYT, WSJ, Die Zeit, India Abroad, The Herald Times, Yahoo! News, San Jose Mercury News, Washington Post, LA Times, John Stewart, Huffington Post, SF Chronicle, Baltimore Sun, Al Jazeera, CBS News, National Review, NY Daily News, Gawker, Daily Kos, KPFA, KQED, The Bay Guardian, The East Bay Express, Politico, Truth Dig, Wired Magazine, Oakland Tribune, CBS, KCLA 9, Alternet, Truth-Out, Democracy Now! and many more.
She has collaborated with the Institute for Policy Studies and performers Joey Skaggs, Reverend Billy Talen, Annie Sprinkle, Elizabeth Stephens, Code Pink, Robbie Conal, VisionLA Fest, Occupy Oakland and others on political theater and hoaxes. She organized a Whistleblower’s Conference in Berkeley, Ca in 2012.