L.A. NOW & THEN

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My life, your life, our lives inside and outside of Los Angeles and its angels.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

L.A. Bead Artist Lillian Todaro's Pandemic Panic Survival Plan

Lillian Todaro, Award-Winning Bead Artist

"Beading will save your life." 
— Lillian Todaro

"It's my Pandemic Panic Survival Plan," says Lillian Todaro. "Bead...Bead...Bead some more!"

The multi-award winning veteran bead jewelry artist and sculptor has been down crises roads before and knows whereof she speaks:


"During 9/11, beading helped me keep it together."



Necklace by Lillian Todaro: "Night Flyer"

In the midst of swirling COVID-19 anxieties, tragedies, shutdowns and stay-at-home orders, you can find Lillian serenely sitting in her “beading chair,” creating stunning wearable art pieces, with one eye on a Sci-Fi flick next to her author/educator husband of 29 years, Tony Todaro, who helms Todaro Communications,
the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (GLAWS), and the West Coast Writers Conferences (WC2).


"Beading will save your life," promises Lillian. "It takes care of everything."


Lillian Todaro is vice president of The Bead Society of Los Angeles and co-founder of the Facebook group, Confessions of a Bead Addict.

For the past 50 years, Lillian has found salvation, peace of mind, and the joy of creation in bead artistry.

"Handling the beads gives me a sense of connecting with the Universe, like chanting. They speak to me and it’s very comforting. Before I start work on a piece, I sit with my 50 bead jars that are full of various colors and shapes of crystals, wooden and vintage beads, and I listen for the ones that say: 'Use me!' When I touch them with my needle, they practically jump on."


Celestial Prayer Beads Necklace, Lillian Todaro Collection

The calming effect is not limited to the jewelry maker. "People tell me that wearing my pieces has a soothing, calming effect on them."




In non-pandemic times, Lillian Todaro can be found in the booth her husband made for her at festivals and bead bazaars, offering her beaded jewelry, DIY beading kits, and teaching manuals. Her creations attract an enthusiastic international clientele and collectors.

"Because of the lockdown, my spring shows have been cancelled," she says. "I'm really looking forward to participating in the Culver City Bead Bazaar in October."

Lillian's online market sites are still going strong at her LillianTodaro.com website and Bead Art Kits on Etsy. You can select ready-made jewelry or commission her to create a custom piece, choosing the colors and kinds of beads for a unique piece. "Emerald the Beaded Snake" was created for someone who asked for a beautiful snake sculpture.


Emerald, the Beaded Snake
Sculpture by Lillian Todaro

Spring Bead Jewelry Making Classes

It's not possible to talk with Lilly (as she's known to friends) for long and not have her ask if you're interested in learning to bead: "Why not try it and see if you like it?"



Bead Sculpture by Lillian Todaro: "Earth Bag"
A born teacher, she calls herself a "Creator of Beaders," and has penned numerous published books on the art of beading. 

Right now Lillian and Tony Todaro ("He's my roadie and my Zoom techie...") are busy preparing to launch virtual beading classes, and registering students who wish to learn bead embroidery (stitching beads to foundation material like fabric or leather), and other bead weaving and jewelry techniques. "The classes are small so I can give personal attention to each student."


Octopuses Garden
Beaded Embroidery Wall Hanging by Lillian Todaro

Her bead jewelry kits come with streamlined instructions because "I believe in beading, not reading."


Bracelet by Lillian Todaro

Lilly has one piece of very valuable advice for a newbie student who hits a pothole of frustration: "I remind them that it's just a little piece of glass with a hole in it, and that calms them down so they keep going and pretty soon they don't want to stop."


Interested in classes?

Contact Lillian at LillianTodaro.com for dates, times, and registration info.


More Info and Contact Information:
Lillian Todaro Website
http://www.lilliantodaro.com


Original Lilly’s Collections

Vintage Crystal Collections

Lillian Todaro Collection (Wearable Sculptures)
http://lilliantodaro.com/sculptures/index.html 



LILLIAN TODARO WELCOMES
ALL MEDIA INTEREST.

“I love to share my knowledge of the significance of beads and the beading world with all cultures," says Lillian Todaro. "It’s so important that this artistic practice be kept alive and continue.” She has appeared on Fox 5 San Diego KSWB-TV, and the Home and Garden Channel (HGTV) Carol Duvall Show.



Lillian Todaro on Fox 5 San Diego KSWB-TV

INTERVIEW WITH LILLIAN TODARO

Q - How did your love affair with beads start?

A - When I was very young, I was fascinated with the rocks and stones in the riverbed near my home in El Monte. I used to take them home. I'd even lick them. When I was three or four, I'd make my parents stop at Trading Posts on roadtrips from California to Texas, so I could look at the beadwork and make them buy me something.


My grandmother was a wonderful bead artist and one summer, she taught me how to make beaded jewelry. After that, I was hooked, and I spent a lot of time and money at Woolworth's buying beads.



Earrings by Lillian Todaro

Q- How did you get started with bead sculpture?


A- For about 20 years, I had been beading more traditional types of beaded jewelry like the beaded earrings. Then one summer in in the early 90's I saw an article on Joyce Scott, a bead sculptor artist and I was freed! No more counting beads and I started beading outside the lines. I did take a class on a few basic techniques and I have never looked back. I have since developed many techniques on my own and written several instruction booklets that have been called "The Blueprints for Bead Sculpture."


Q-  What's your most interesting teaching experience so far?

A- I've had many over the years, but there was one student with multiple sclerosis (MS) who could barely hold the needle. I got her to make a cube cuff bracelet. She was ecstatic.

I had another student who spoke no English and her daughter had to translate. We spoke the language of beads and we became friends.


Q- How long does it take you to make a piece? 

A- It varies. The Celestial Prayer necklace takes one to two days.


REDress Project Pin by Lillian Todaro

A- It takes me three or four hours to make a pin like the Red Dress brooch that I made for the non-profit campaign, “Missing Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG)" that was featured along with 100 other artists' creations in the REDress Project YouTube video made by Justine Sanchez to help raise MMIWG awareness on Mother’s Day Weekend in 2019. I made two—one for me and one for Justine to thank her, beading into the pins a "J" for "Justice" and "Justine."


YouTube Video: MMIW RAISING AWARENESS Bead Talkers 
Beaded Red Dresses Challenge May 5, 2019

More info about MMIWG and their campaign for this Mother's Day Weekend is below.*



The fastest stitch is the lazy pearl spiral because I can string eight beads at a time and make a bracelet in about an hour. This has been one of my most popular workshops.


Lazy Pearl Stitch Bracelets by Lillian Todaro

The Peyote Stitch is good for beginners because it's the most versatile for making necklaces and earrings. A cube cuff is fairly easy because you're just going back and forth with square beads. You can see a variation of it in my celestial prayer necklace called the "Peyote Spiral." I wrote a book about how you can make almost anything out of it.


Peyote Spiral (Peyote Stitch Variation)

Q- Is there a "community" of beaders?


A - Absolutely. It's big and growing. Our Confessions of a Bead Addict Facebook group brings us together. Everyone is welcome. Even if you've never touched a bead, but you're just curious. "Bead Talkers" is a large Native American group that is very active.


Beading is a kind of Zen mind-eye-hand practice, which can be tedious, and beading has always been an "outsider" art, so interaction with other beaders brings comfort.


Q- What would you say the rewards of beading have been for you?


A - Too many to name them all. You know the original money in Native American cultures was "wampum." I made a "wampum" necklace and earrings set featuring dentalium shells that I hand trimmed and polished. I've heard dentalium are still used as barter by some Pacific Northwest tribes. 


"Wampum" Necklace and Earrings by Lillian Todaro
I've bartered for all kinds of cool stuff: carpet cleaning, food, dental work, clothing, computer parts. I even gave a real estate agent beaded jewelry as part of the commission.

I love taking little tiny beads that are insignificant by themselves and transforming them into objects with arrangements of form, function, and color that didn't previously exist in the world. 


I'm creating tomorrow's collectible antiques. When I look at vintage beadwork, I wonder:


"Who made this?"

***
Note: Lillian Todaro's pieces are coveted by collectors. One has 30 pairs of earrings, and another five purses. Her custom jewelry is signed in beads and a Certificate of Authenticity is available.


#LillianTodaro #BeadSociety #LABeadSociety #LillianTodaroCollection #beadjewelry #beadmakingclasses #classes #ZoomClass #wearableart #CSVANW #MMIW #TonyTodaro #GLAWS #WC2

*About the REDress Project:







The REDress Project originated in Canada to spread awareness, raise money for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). In just one year, friends Carla Voyageur and Jeannine Lindsay raised $10,000 through this project that went toward the costs of creating and installing missing person signage on Vancouver Island.


Four out of five Native American women are affected by violence today. On Mother's Day Weekend, this project asks Canadians to take part in a striking one-day display of red dresses to represent the country's missing and murdered indigenous women.

A team of volunteers creates beaded red dress pins and earrings to bring awareness to MMIWG through the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native American Women (CSVANW).

More Info:

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

ARTIST/AUTHOR ERIC ABRAHAM INDUCTED INTO RUSSELL HALL OF FAME (Remembering Eric)


Artist Eric Abraham in Kansas [Double Exposure with L.A. Dancers*]
Photo ©Marlan Warren
Congratulations to my friend, the late great sculptor/author Eric Abraham, for your induction into the Russell County Kansas Hall of Fame by the Blue Hills Heritage Foundation of Lucas, Kansas. 

From their Website (where you can read more ):


Eric Joseph Abraham (1936-2013) was an accomplished artist with a national reputation. He was born in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, where his parents illustrated children’s books for the public schools. Eric served in the intelligence division of the U.S. Air Force prior to earning his Master of Fine Arts degree in ceramics. In the 1970s, he taught ceramics at several colleges and universities. He created two large fire breathing dragons which were featured presented on the “Today” morning news show and was a featured artisan on the Lynette Jennings Design Show on the Discovery Channel.



REMEMBERING ERIC ABRAHAM
By Marlan Warren

The rest is history—or at least it should be.
Frongo’s First Car, Eric Abraham


Eric Abraham’s imagination was beyond anything we mortals can imagine. His determination to march to his own drummer and live the life of an artist will always be an inspiration.

I’m very happy to hear that he has been awarded this Hall of Fame honor, and only wish he had lived long enough to see it. Eric’s passing was a shock to all of us because he was such a human dynamo and completely dedicated to constantly making art his profession, as well as his joy.

One of my most outstanding memories of Eric:

While I was living in Lucas between 2004 and 2006, I hosted a writing workshop. Everyone who attended was very talented, but Eric was the only one who wrote beginning pages during our writing session and returned two weeks later with a completed manuscript—Frongo’s First Car—complete with illustrations! His first book.


[NOTE: The wildly imaginative and entertaining Frongo's First Car has been edited by Von Rothenberger, and Eric's daughter and life partner are currently seeking a publisher. They welcome queries from bona fide publishers. Message me for details.]

The tale of how fast Eric could create anything is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to remembering his genius.

The brilliance and discipline that he demonstrated in writing was the same energy that he put into every aspect of his artistic life. I never heard him brag or put people down. He was simply his authentic self—a self that housed a shimmering interior fantasy life that he manifested in three-dimensional sculptures for our viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Meet Agents & Me: Digital Authors & Indie Publishers #WritersConference (11/9-10)




L.A. Writers Conference Alert! I'm excited to announce that I'll be speaking on expert panels at the Digital Author and Indie Publishing #WritersConference in Los Angeles on Nov. 9 and 10.

Come take advantage of all the information, education, and inspiration you need to succeed as an Indie Author. Plus you can meet and pitch literary agents looking for fresh talent with a polished manuscript.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Midwest Book Review: Judith Fein's Taboo-Busting Book of the Dead


Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Reviewer's Bookwatch
Volume 19, Number 9
September 2019



Marlan Warren's Bookshelf

"Communicating with the dead has been a secret part of my life for many years." –Judith Fein

Judith Fein’s fourth deep travel memoir, HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE DEAD AND HOW CULTURES DO IT AROUND THE WORLD, invites us along on her decades of investigations and explorations of the final frontier: Death.
For most of her life, Judith Fein has seen and heard dead people. Not all the time, thank goodness, or it would not leave much time for this prolific journalist to write about her soul-searching globetrotting with her ever-skeptical photojournalist husband, Paul Ross. "Judie and Paul" are the "Nick and Nora" of the travel adventure-supernatural set. She can see a ghostly figure in the middle of nowhere and believe it to be a specter. He can be right next to her, eyes huge, and afterward admit “maybe” it was real. Their yin-yang bonding and love adds to the delightful humor of this Odyssey.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE DEAD signals a coming out of the woo-woo closet for Fein. The Oxford dictionary defines "woo-woo" as "unconventional beliefs regarded as having little or no scientific basis, especially those relating to spirituality, mysticism, or alternative medicine…" Throughout her illustrious career as a journalist, Fein has occasionally penned articles about seeking healers and rituals in “exotic” locales; although mostly she has flown under the radar as a gifted intuitive herself. This book puts the spotlight on Fein’s spiritual truths as she has lived them, revealing how she has embraced and been embraced by others around the world who perceive those truths without shame.
There is no navel-gazing in these stories that take us from her father’s untimely death (and her first stunned awareness that she could hear him beyond the grave) to her late mother’s skepticism that she and her daughter could communicate after her transition (and how wrong that turned out to be) to various vortexes of cultures and religions that accept death as a fact of life that does not end the soul.
Fein’s passion to communicate with her living readers shines as an honest desire to help others move through their grief and fears to an understanding that death itself is not the final word on existence.
A discussion guide ends the book with such thought-provoking gems as:
"Would you like someone to contact you after you die? Why or why not?"

No matter what the answer, I’m willing to bet it won’t be boring. Fein invites readers to discuss the most taboo topic in America, as if to say:

"Hey, it couldn’t hurt!"


#JudithFein #TravelJournalist #Death #CommunicatingWithTheDead #GlobalAdventure #AuthorJudithFein


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Author Marlan Warren reads from her memoir "Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged" at the Annual Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference (8/16)





Los Angeles, CA, August 16, 2019 --(PR.com)-- Marlan Warren will read from her fictionalized memoir, “Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged [All’s Not Fair in Love or War]” as a featured speaker in a workshop entitled “Writing a Best-Selling Memoir” on the first day of the Annual Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference (AGLAW), Friday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m.

“It’s an honor to be included,” said Warren. “This will be my first public reading of this book.”

The e-book debuted as a "novel" on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) in 2015. "Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged" is set in Los Angeles in the mid-90s with the O.J. trial in the background and plenty of steamy sex. The story follows the hot romance of a divorcing Jewish American woman with a Japanese American man who still bears the scars suffered by his family during World War II. As both are on the rebound, the woman's girlfriends cheer from the sidelines, while issuing small craft warnings.

“A paperback second edition will be coming out this Fall,” said Warren, noting that the story has its roots in diary entries, which qualifies it as a fictionalized memoir. "I altered reality here and there, including scenes that let me say what I wish I had said.”

Warren is also a documentary filmmaker and playwright whose topics often involve couples of mixed races or cultures: “As a film writer/producer, I tried for years to bring racially mixed couples to the screen, and hit the wall every time in Hollywood."

Her “Japanese American Internment” documentary “What did you do in the War, Mama?: Kochiyama’s Crusaders” is in post-production. Two years ago, her play, “Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama’s Crusaders” debuted at Rogue Machine Theatre in Hollywood.

The panel will be moderated by writer/editor Robin Quinn, and also feature readings by authors Madeline Sharples and Herbie J. Pilato.

AGLAWC runs Friday, Aug. 16 through Sunday, Aug. 18, featuring best-selling authors, editors, publishers, literary agents, publicists, and film industry experts.

###

AGLAWC Info:

Venue | DoubleTree by Hilton | 6161 West Centinela Avenue, Culver City, California, 90230

Registration Details: http://www.wcwriters.com/aglawc/index.html
Program Details: http://www.wcwriters.com/aglawc/program.html
Contact: E-Mail: info@wcwriters.com | Phone: 310.379.2650

Book / Author Info:

Title: Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged [All's Not Fair in Love or War]
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TYKV5ZG
Author Website: http://roadmapsforthesexuallychallenged.blogspot.com

Video Author Interview: "How a Memoir Evolves into a Work of Fiction"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuTSVEGcuVQ

Marlan Warren’s Film IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm9545796/
Contact Information
Roadmap Girl Publications
Marlan Warren
323-347-6762
Contact       memoircity@gmail.com
http://roadmapsforthesexuallychallenged.blogspot.com

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

"APOCALYPSE BOOKS TALKS" AT PHILOSOPHICAL RESEARCH SOCIETY (7/1/19) (7:30p) #LosAngeles



Event: Book Talks and Signings Program

Apocalypse Blues: Two Authors, Two Views

Date: Monday, July 1, 2019

Time: 7:30pm – 9:30pm

Place: Philosophical Research Society, Auditorium

3910 Los Feliz Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Phone: (323) 663-2167

Website: http://www.uprs.edu/events.html

In the mood for a "Zombie Talk"?

Three days before Independence Day, on Monday, July 1 at 7:30 p.m., the Philosophical Research Society (PRS) of Los Angeles will host book talks by authors Thomas Allbaugh, author of the dark humor novel, Apocalypse TV, and Dahlia Schweitzer, author of Going Viral: Zombies, Viruses, and the End of the World, in the PRS auditorium.

Playfully entitled “Apocalypse Blues: Two Authors, Two Views,” the program will feature two views—one fiction and one nonfiction—of “Apocalypse Anxiety” in the 21st Century.

Apocalypse TV was recently named to Judd Apatow’s “Best Reality TV Show Books of All Time” list. The novel focuses on a mild-mannered intellectual professor at a Christian college who has to fight for his life as a participant in the reality TV game show, Race to the Apocalypse. Forced to struggle with reality, religion, and his own authenticity, will he take up arms against the troubles unleashed upon him by unseen production forces or end up slaughtered as the show's designated "sacrificial lamb"?

Going Viral considers how fictional outbreak narratives and official sources have influenced the ways Americans relate to their neighbors, perceive foreigners, and regard social institutions. This book examines how outbreak narratives both excite and horrify us, conjuring our nightmares while letting us indulge in fantasies about fighting infected Others. Going Viral raises provocative questions about the cost of public paranoia and the power brokers who profit from it.

The evening will include a Power Point presentation by Dr. Schweitzer, and Q&A session.

The books are now on sale at the PRS Bookstore, as well as at Vromans in Pasadena, Barnes & Noble in Rancho Cucamonga, and online at Amazon.

Reviews:

“Apocalypse TV argues against the extreme notion that only members of a certain faith are favored by God, while making a case for spiritual salvation through love, faith, hope, service...and the willingness to persevere." - Midwest Book Review


"Going Viral explores how popular cultural narratives in official media sources heighten and perpetuate the fears created through the outbreak narrative." – Rebekah Buchanan, New Books Network Review

YouTube Clip:




Apocalypse TV: http://apocalypsetv.blogspot.com

Going Viral: http://www.thisisdahlia.com

Tickets: FREE or $10.00 donation. Available at EventBrite or at the door.

To Book Book Talks:

Publicist | Marlan Warren | Book Publicity By Marlan | (323) 347-6762 | E-Mail memoircity@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Women of Color: Registration almost over! “Womb Doula” Cindy Bonaparte awarded grant from L.A. Department of Mental Health



Reiki teacher and womb doula, Cindy Bonaparte, will facilitate a free Reiki Level I certification class for lower-income “women of color” on Sunday, June 9 at Women’s True Healing (WTH), a center for holistic therapies for female reproductive wellness in Redondo Beach, Calif. The class is made possible by a Community Engagement Grant for Mental Health Awareness awarded to Bonaparte by the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health.

The class is entitled “Ubuntu-Care Reiki I: Mending the Heart-Womb Connection.”

Bonaparte (aka "The Womb Doula") credits a recent trip to Egypt with inspiring this project: “’Ubuntu’ is a South African word that means ‘I am because we are.’ This class is all about healing traumas that affect the womb, and healing that comes through mutual caring.”'


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

To Be or Not To Be: "Apocalypse TV" (My Midwest Book Review)

His whole life has been a sham because he can’t accept responsibility for his failure to live by his own convictions.—APOCALYPSE TV

What do reality TV game show contestants, religious fanatics, true believers, atheists, zombies, quarreling siblings, an FBI agent, Elvis impersonator, and an almost-fired English professor at a Christian college have in common?

They all come together to interlock as essential players in Thomas Allbaugh’s tightly wound, often hilarious, debut novel, APOCALYPSE TV.

Shakespeare today might muse that “All the world’s a reality TV game show, and all the men and women merely players in their quest for prizes amid layers of illusions and media hype.” It is upon this slippery platform that Allbaugh has built a metaphor for our contentious world as viewed through the lenses of good vs. evil, secular religion vs. spirituality, and love vs. indifference. 

The story kicks off when Christian intellectual, Walter Terry, takes a leave of absence from his conservative college in California to visit his dying father in Michigan. Walter has just been put on notice for allowing students to express non-conservative viewpoints, and fears his job is on thin ice. 

Walter and his sister are approached in a Midwestern diner by a talent scout for a new reality TV show that claims to be “an investigation into American religious ideas.” He describes himself to the pretty interviewer as an “outsider in terms of religion,” but sees her write down “soft and vulnerable.” This pigeon-holing is exactly what makes these shows maddening, but also makes them fun for the fans.

Seduced by the promise of money and his own rationalization that perhaps a show like this could use an educated analytical thinker, Walter embarks on what will turn out to be a character-building odyssey. After he is entrenched in “Race for the Apocalypse,” Walter hears the producer refer to him as the show’s “sacrificial lamb.” And after that…all bets are off.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

I'm on Panels This Weekend for Genre-LA Creative Writing Conference (3/29-31)(Culver City)

Marlan Warren at GLAWS Special Speaker Event
WC2 Presents Genre-LA Creative Writing Conference
(Culver City) (3/29-31)


Now in its 22nd year, WC2 West Coast Writers Conferences presents the Genre-LA Creative Writing Conference at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Friday, March 29 through Sunday, March 31. The conference features best-selling authors, editors, publishers, literary agents, publicists, and film industry experts.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Life After Hollywood: Artemis Craig's Firewalk Back To Salvation ("Inspirational Verse" Book Review)

Title: Inspirational Verse for Those Who Hunger and Thirst
Subtitle: A Book of Poems to Feed the Soul
Author: Artemis Craig
Genre: Inspirational and Religious Poetry
(Sale Sheet Info Below)
Reviewer: Marlan Warren

I have respect for anyone’s spiritual journey. And I have a lot of respect for the poet Artemis Craig, whom I met at USC, while we were both in film school studying screenwriting. We only met once, in the changing room of the gym, but her feisty humor made a lasting impression.

“Before they’re done, this school’s gonna own the drawers on my butt!” she said. I don’t know about her, but that school does own the drawers on my butt. The one thing I do know that we share is post-film-school depression. A not uncommon affliction in L.A.

Now, a couple decades later, Craig has risen out of the ashes of Hollywood as an evangelical poet who has walked through fire, and lived to tell her story in the form of Inspirational Verse for Those Who Hunger and Thirst: A Book of Poems to Feed the Soul.

With straightforward honesty and a gift for storytelling, Craig has arranged the poems in this anthology as an odyssey washed in the blood of heartaches, losses, and disappointments after returning home as the Prodigal Daughter. All the elements that make  “inspirational verse” inspirational are there (finding and praising the Grace of God), woven into searing moments from Craig’s life, told with her flair for dramatic prose and metaphor.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Is that a Confederate Flag Scarf or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: United Daughters of the Confederacy Tried to "Mend Fences" with Slavery History (2006 Picnic)


UDC Picnic at Pennytown: Photo by Marlan Warren

March 2006: Unpublished Feature for Newspaper in Marshall, Missouri by Marlan Warren
 
United Daugthers of the Confederacy visit first black settlement site in Missouri:
"Our mother told us if there was ever a fire, grab a box of records and run..."

   There isn’t much left of Pennytown anymore. But when Virginia Huston looks at its vacant landscape, she sees more than just meadows, a church and a house. She sees memories that must be preserved.

   Huston was the last person born in Pennytown, a black settlement located eight miles southeast of Marshall that was started by Joe Penny in 19871 when he managed to purchase eight acres for $160.

   “What is unique about Pennytown is that it was started by a freed-slave,” Huston said.

Monday, April 2, 2018

L.A. Artist Violetta Antonia Sorcini Will Show At La Galeria Gitana (4/21-6/1) Before Italy Art Trip For New Book

Echo Park DipTic by Violetta Antonia Sorcini
Violetta Antonia Sorcini
Artist: Violetta Antonia Sorcini
Gallery Website: http://galeriagitana.com/
Artist Website: http://www.sorcini.com/

If you've never experienced Violetta Antnoia Sorcini's passionate artwork, you will have this exciting opportunity starting Saturday, April 21 at La Galeria Gitana in the San Fernando Valley. The show, which features local artists, closes Friday, June 1.

Sorcini is a veteran artist whose paintings, photography and collages often show at local galleries, including ChimMaya.

Born and raised in East L.A., the half-Latino artist is now preparing for what she anticipates will be a life-changing Art Odyssey to Central Italy to meet and live with the Italian side of her family for a month.

"The whole reason I'm going to Italy is to create an art book about my experiences with my relatives and the communities that I'll be visiting,"
Violetta explained during our interview in her charming studio. Although she and her Italian relatives have often been in touch, they have never met in person.

Mixed Media Collage by Violetta Antonia Sorcini

The central theme of Sorcini's non-abstract paintings, photographs and collages is "story."

Señor El Sereno by Violetta Antonia Sorcini

"My artwork is composed of allegories that make statements about how I see the world," said Sorcini. "I invite contemplation while staying positive."

Sunday, March 18, 2018

"BITS OF PARADISE: KOCHIYAMA'S CRUSADERS" VIDEO CLIPS OF STAGED READING

Yes, it was in July 2017, and no, I don't know why I didn't  post any video clips or the gorgeous photos I received in January 2018 from actor/playwright/producer Ariel Kayoko Labasan's father before now. But they should not be invisible to the public.

For more video clips and photos of the play and the documentary that grew out of it, please visit:
BITS OF PARADISE WEBSITE


SUMMARY:
Excerpt from staged reading of the One-Act Play "Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama's Crusaders" by Marlan Warren with Ariel Kayoko Labasan at Rogue Machine Theatre (July 2017) featuring Labasan as human rights activist, Yuri Kochiyama, and Warren as a filmmaker who wants to document the little-recognized war effort of girls and women behind the barbed wire of the "Japanese American Internment" who called themselves "The Crusaders" as they embarked on a letter-writing campaign to boost the morale of the Japanese American soldiers who were fighting to prove patriotism while their families were held in U.S. concentration camps.

Warren adapted verbatim the letters and circulars sent out to "any soldier missing a letter" (the en masse correspondence was all written by Yuri) from The Crusaders scrapbooks in the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, and the Japanese American Museum of San Jose.

Videographer: Michael J. Labasan

These scenes from the play will be integrated into Warren's documentary film, "What did you do in the War, Mama?: Kochiyama's Crusaders" -- currently in post production.

NOTE: This show was also performed as a benefit for Founders Metropolitan Community Church at the invitation of Rev. Kevin Downer and FMCC Board. (July 2017).

[This play was originally produced in 2008 at The Marsh in a Reader's Theater version, "Bits of Paradise" by Marlan Warren.] Director: Marlan Warren Producers: Marlan Warren and Ariel Kayoko Labasan Special Thanks to Rogue Machine Theatre (Hollywood, CA) and to Founders Metropolitan Community Church (Los Angeles).

Cast: Ariel Kayoko Labasan............Yuri Kochiyama and Mary Nakahara
Douglas N. Hachiya..............Bill Kochiyama & Various Soldiers of 442nd Infantry
Jacky Jung..............Various Crusaders
Zoe Jean Kim..........Various Crusaders
Scott Shima............Various Soldiers of 442nd Infantry
Mack Wei...............Various Soldiers of 442nd Infantry
Marlan Warren.......Filmmaker
Theater Sound: Amanda Bierbauer (Tech) and Roger Owens (Sound Design)
Website: http://bit.ly/2tSXRto
Facebook: @YuriKochiyamaPlay and @CrusadersFilm




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