the next service is in Los Angeles on June 11

Featured Performer | Audry Jane Pfeifer

Audrey Jane Pfeifer

I have known Audry Jane Pfeifer since she was born! And now she’s grown up and is a fantastic person and performer. She is going to hoop for us–meaning, perform with her hula hoop–and it’s gonna be a magical. Join us this Sunday, 12 noon at Bootleg Theater for TWISTS and TURNS.

Here’s Audry’s bio:

I have been hooping for 3 years. It’s a thrill to be able to express myself so freely and exceptionally through prop manipulation. The circle has taught me that, with persistence and dedication, the possibilities are infinite.

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Food Offering | Inma Moreland

Inma Moreland

Our event this Sunday–TWISTS and TURNS at 12 noon at Bootleg Theater–will feature some special surprises and unlikely treats. Only fitting, right? One of them is the food offering–Inma Moreland is making fried milk–I don’t know what that is but I’m eager to try! Inma and her family are a wonderful part of our LA community–I’m thrilled to have her take part.

Inma Moreland is a Spaniard that came 26 years ago to do a post grad course at UCLA and met the sexiest, smartest and funniest guy on earth! So she stayed. Inma worked as an assistant film editor, at the Spanish consulate in LA–where she translated, translates and will translate–and taught Spanish for 16 years at an elementary school. This is the first year of freedom and she’s enjoying every minute of it!!!

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Featured Performer | Fran de Leon

Fran de Leon

This Sunday we celebrate the theme of TWISTS and TURNS in Los Angeles–12 noon at the Bootleg Theater–and we have a beautiful group of artists and performers taking part. One such talent is Fran de Leon, whom I’ve admired for years! She’s a Los Angeles native and a great performer and she’s going to read the Cultural Calendar for us.

Here’s Fran’s bio:

Fran was born in Downtown Los Angeles, lived her early years in Manila, Philippines, then moved back to Hollywood for a relatively normal childhood. She learned the entire soundtrack of “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the age of six, but it wasn’t until her senior year of high school and a couple years of college, that she went full tilt theater.

Not long after dropping out of college, she decided to return to school, just not as a student. Orientation programs for incoming freshmen became her forté, with Playfair, an interactive ice-breaker and team building comedy show. The requests started pouring in for her to create her own show to address issues of diversity. With her husband and artistic partner, Colin Cox, “Faces of America” premiered at the Los Angeles Theater Center, hailed as a “Best Bet” and took the country by storm. To date, the show has been performed at over 600 colleges, corporate trainings, and community events in 49 states. Of all the stops, Fran is most proud of performances for the United Nations Associations in New York and Los Angeles, and for the good people of Couer d’Alene, Idaho when the Aryan Nations attempted to thwart her appearance with a bomb threat. (Don’t worry, no one was hurt.)

In the Los Angeles theater scene, Fran has performed with the Center Theater Group, South Coast Rep, East West Players, Playwrights’ Arena, Critical Mass Performance Group, and LA Music Center On Tour. Past credits include the critically acclaimed “Dogeaters,” “Ruby, Tragically Rotund,” and “Sea Change.” Festival credits include “The Third From the Left” at the New York Fringe, “The Merchant of Venice” at the UK/LA Festival, and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the 6th World Shakespeare Congress.

Fran has taken the storytelling mic at the Funny Women Festival, Expressing Motherhood, WordNow, Laugh Riot Grrrl, and Back Story.

And she still knows all the words to the JCS soundtrack.

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Grand Poobah | Celebrating The Solstice

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CELEBRATING THE SOLSTICE/From Our Grand Poobah

It’s that time of year again—and I couldn’t be more excited. This Sunday is our 2nd Annual Winter Solstice celebration at Judson Church. We had such a big, glorious celebration last year and I’m excited to see what will happen this year as we apply what we learned from the year before. It was our first evening service ever and our biggest service ever, too. This year’s theme is SPACE and, in characteristic Secret City fashion, we aim to explore the theme in all of its many dimensions—outer space, personal space, performance space, the space between people, safe space. It’s a rich, rich theme. Our colors are Silver and White and, my outfit is being finished as I type—I promise to deliver sequins and platforms and spectacle. And, my hope is that we will create an evening that brings people together, providing joy to all in these scary times. A service that focuses on community and kindness, creating a tonic against the darkness. I know I take solace and great comfort from knowing the Secret City exists—and happiness in knowing we will all gather together in just a few days, to celebrate the greatest aspects of being human: art, cooperation, kindness, community, creativity, music, food—I hope to see you there.

Sunday, December 18th at 6:30 at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South. Bring a treat to share for coffee hour afterward, dress up in silver and white if you like. There’s a $20 suggested donation. No one is turned away.

The Secret City. We worship art.

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Featured Performer | Clayton Dean Smith

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CLAYTON DEAN SMITH/Featured Performer

This Sunday, December 18th we have a 2nd Annual Winter Solstice celebration. The theme is SPACE and, to read the Cultural Calendar, we have one of my favorite actors—and, he’s now an award winning filmmaker as well. Clayton Dean Smith is a lovely, talented guy and I’m always happy to have him in our midst. Join us Sunday, December 18th at 6:30pm at Judson Memorial Church for SPACE.

Here’s Clayton’s bio:

Clayton Dean Smith is an actor and director, known for 30 Rock (2006), Louie (2010) and Off Track Betty (2016).

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Food Offering | Cassie McDuffie

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CASSIE MCDUFFIE/Food Offering

This Sunday is our 2nd Annual Winter Solstice celebration at Judson Church. The theme is SPACE. And, we have a delicious treat for the occasion. Our dear pal, master chef and fantastic baker is contributing her glitter truffles! We had these truffles at last year’s event so—looks like we have a tradition on our hands! Not only are these sparkly orbs beautiful and celestial but, they are DELICIOUS! Join us this Sunday, December 18th at 6:30pm at Judson Memorial Church for SPACE and get your glitter truffle on! Thanks to Cassie for this incredible treat.

Here’s Cassie’s bio:

Cassandra Meaux (pronounced Mo) McDuffie. Cajun-born, brown-eyed girl observes and experiences cooking and food as a celebration of life in all of its funky and glorious forms……even, and especially, in the low rice/high sugar cane fields of Southern Louisiana. She leaves home early (and often) to explore. She discovers cooking and food as an art form and yet it’s still a funky, glorious celebration! She mustn’t and can’t resist. She cooks. She celebrates. She can’t help it.

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Featured Performer | Simi Stone

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SIMI STONE/Featured Performer

Ok, friends, prepare yourself for the magic, joy and sparkle that is Ms. Simi Stone. Simi’s a wonderful singer, performer and songwriter and she’s someone we met when we moved to Woodstock—she was our neighbor for the first three years and we just adore her. She performed at the first Woodstock gathering of The Secret City and, when I was putting together the Solstice service, I immediately thought of her to be our featured musician. We’re putting together a special number that is right up her alley, and I know it will be right up yours, too. Join us for our 2nd Annual Winter Solstice Celebration this Sunday, December 18th at 6:30pm at Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square. The theme is SPACE.

Here’s Simi’s bio:

Simi is a violinist, guitarist, pianist, composer, and singer. Born and raised in Woodstock – the magic of the mountains is in her blood. She has performed and toured with Simone Felice, Connor Oberst, Dan Zanes, Elizabeth Mitchell, Natalie Merchant, Amy Helm, and Duke and the King. Her album

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Featured Performer | Carson Elrod

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CARSON ELROD/Featured Performer

This Sunday at Judson Memorial Church we hold our 2nd Annual Winter Solstice Celebration. And, we have a beautiful group of artists and performers taking part. For the reader portion of our program, we have the dynamic, charming and talented Carson Elrod, who’s been a member of our community for some time now. Carson’s a celebrated actor and a beautiful guy and I’m always delighted to have him in our midst and I’m thrilled he’s going to read a piece by Carl Sagan in honor of the theme of SPACE. That’s Sunday, December 18th at 6:30pm at Judson Memorial Church.

Carson’s Bio:

Carson Elrod was born in Kansas. He went to school at Potwin Elementary, Robinson Middle School, Topeka High School, University of Kansas and NYU’s Graduate Acting Program.

He was called to acting in college when, in the midst of taking on a truly enormous amount of activities (DJ, columnist, classes, etc.) I auditioned for Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins. The magnanimous Ron Willis cast me in the play and from the moment he first felt the supernatural glow of the white spotlight, that was it. I was in.I believe that acting in film, television, and theatre is the most visceral and relatable form of storytelling the planet has. His many titles include Talented Actor, Improvisor, Teacher,Coach, Director, and Writer.

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Featured Performers | BATALA

batalia

BATALA/Featured Performers

I am SO EXCITED! About this Solstice service in general, all of the wonderful performers AND, that Batala is going to be part of it all! I first heard Batala at an outdoor event on the pier in the city—I think it was Christopher Street in the village? I didn’t know who they were but when one of our community members suggested them I looked at video on YouTube and said, “That’s the drum corps I heard! I love them!” One of their members has been coming to our services for a while now and we’ve talked about connecting. For those who don’t know, Batala is a fantastic Brazilian drum corps made up of mostly women and they’re fierce and wonderful. We’ve been wanting to get them to be part of The Secret City for some time now and I am so happy that it’s going to happen for our Solstice celebration. Join us for the explosive, joyful rhythms of Batala—Sunday, December 18th at 6:30 pm at Judson Memorial Church.

Here’s their bio:

Batalá New York is a chapter of the global arts project known as Batalá Mundo, made up of over 30 mostly co-ed bands around the world. Led by Musical Directors Laura Torell and Deinya Phenix, the ladies of Batalá New York play music written by the project’s Maestro Giba Gonçalves and heard in Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia, in northeastern Brazil. Batalá has maintained a presence in New York since 2012; the current band was formed in September of 2016 of 49 players who chose to continue the Batalá Mundo tradition locally, restructuring as a non-profit to better serve and access the community. Many of our drummers have traveled internationally to perform in carnaval in Salvador and have played for the Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary Tour, at the Mayoral Reception for the US Women’s National Team, on Saturday Night Live performing with Disclosure and Lorde and as extras in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. More information can be found at our website http://batalanewyork.love/ We can be found on Facebook under www.facebook.com/batalanewyork/ and on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Snapchat as @batalanewyork

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Featured Artist | Jeanne Fleming

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For this Sunday’s event—our 2nd Annual Winter Solstice celebration—the theme is SPACE. And, our featured visual artist is someone who works in space on a large scale. Jeanne Fleming is a Celebration Artist and Producer who’s been the artistic director of the West Village Halloween parade for the past 30 years. A puppeteer and community organizer whose work has engaged and inspired millions of people—in addition to the annual parade, Jeanne has created festivals and happenings all over the world. She was the producer of the Centennial Celebration of The Statue of Liberty, and Walking on Air, the festival of the opening of the Walkway Over the Hudson. For SPACE, Jeanne will be displaying some key pieces from her Sinterklass Festival, an annual holiday event in the Mid Hudson Valley, inspired by the Dutch holiday tradition. Join us and experience this legendary art maker as she shares her work and her thoughts on making large-scale spectacles. Sunday, December 18th at 6:30pm at Judson Church.

Here’s Jeanne’s bio:

Jeanne Fleming has been the artistic director and producer of the Village Halloween Parade in New York City since 1981. A renowned celebration artist, she has also designed and directed numerous rituals, ceremonies, and events in New York and internationally, including the centennial of the Statue of Liberty and New York’s River to River Festival.

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