July 24, 2008

huffington post hit today

The Huffington Post
July 24, 2008
Sam Stein
stein@huffingtonpost.com HuffPost Reporting From DC

GOP Insider Eviscerates Bush And Party: Just "Phenomenal Arrogance"

There is wide-spread acknowledgment, even within the party itself, that the Republican brand is currently poisonous. Faced with massive losses in November, GOP leadership has green-lighted a save-yourself mentality, allowing its endangered members to go against the party line if it means helping their electoral chances.

But if the situation seems bad on the electoral level, insiders warn that it's even worse when you get down to infrastructure and machinery. Facing an avalanche of losses, the GOP is stuck with an antiquated system of fundraising, a tired leadership, and a president many Americans loathe.

"There is a phenomenal arrogance like a fog that has clouded people's thinking and ability to see what is real," said Nicole Sexton, a longtime Republican fundraiser and former Director of Finance for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "We have to go down in history as some of the worst messengers. And President Bush has been horrible. Everything he does deems calculated and insincere. The same was true with Bill Clinton but he at least had the ability to seem sincere. With Bush, people are throwing stones and tomatoes at him [and he hasn't changed]."

Sexton, the author of the new book, "Party Favors" (a fictionalized look at the life of a GOP fundraiser), offered a fairly dire assessment of the party in which she used to be a major figure. A native of New Orleans, much of her scorn was saved for Bush, who she derided for his ignorance of the scope Hurricane Katrina's devastation.

"He should have been in a row boat in the middle of the 9th ward, helping families," she said before adding, when prompted, "like Sean Penn... Instead, there were all these resources put to his press conference."

As the chief financial officer for the NRSC, Sexton did not put the blame for the GOP's current problems strictly at Bush's doorstep. She talked openly (later admitting that her former colleagues weren't too pleased with her frankness) about how political figures she had once admired had become consumed by the prospect of reelection.

"We need some new blood in the party," she said. "But the problem is that the younger candidates, like John Sununu, are real in danger of losing their seats."

The GOP's outreach is also aging. "We are a direct marketing and a direct mail party and that's a dinosaur in the fundraising world," she said. "Just look at our presidential candidates [this cycle]. Huckabee was the only one that came close to have an Internet presence like Obama. All his money came from the web and he was able to stay in the race till the final hour. Giuliani, I don't know if he was seeing straight... For McCain to literally have imploded twice and still be the candidate is a phenomenal statement about the party."

If anyone should know about the intersection of money and politics it is Sexton. Starting as an intern for the White House Office of National Service she quickly rose to prominence within the sometimes-sordid world of political fundraising. At her post at the NRSC from 2002 through 2005, she played an instrumental role in helping the GOP regain control of the Senate, only to grow disillusioned. "I realized I really didn't know these people," she said. "I was a cog in the machine and hadn't connected with any of the candidates I was helping elect."

She also grew wary of the role that fundraising played. Noting that politicians were spending disproportionate amounts of time raising cash, she called for the system to be scrapped in favor of caps on the amount candidates could raise as a whole (not to be confused with a cap on the size of the individual donations) and restrictions on the time period during which they could raise cash.

Now employed by the ONE Campaign, Sexton still is connected to, and eagerly following, the GOP. Before ending the interview she predicted that her party would lose five seats in the Senate this cycle -- an optimistic estimate in a down year. She also projected that McCain would eventually best Obama though her admiration for the latter's political prowess were clearly evident.

"Usually the youth will go to politically rallies and concerts and never show up and vote and they certainly never contributed" she said of the Illinois Democrat's appeal to younger voters. "These people now are leaving college and giving to Obama. It is phenomenal. If you are giving up your beer money for three nights it means you are invested in the guy."


July 23, 2008

fundraiser for edinburgh shows in LA

3 by 1
A One-Time-Only Benefit Performance

Solo works by:
E. Amato
Esther K. Chae
Lucia Marano

Saturday, July 26th
3:30pm Show
4:30pm Reception

After-show Reception hosted by Judy Holiday
with performances by Joshua Silverstein, Sam Golzari

Tickets $20 cash at the door or via paypal to zestyfilm@yahoo.com (before Saturday 10am)
Additional donations may be made via paypal

Proceeds benefit the soloists' performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Unknown Theater
1110 Seward Street
Free parking corner of Seward and Lexington

For more info: zestyfilm@yahoo.com; http://myspace.com/eamato

party favors in variety blog today

Please check out the latest article in today's Variety Blog "Wilshire & Washington"


Lifting the Lid Off the Money Trail

The plot of the new novel "Party Favors" doesn't seem so unusual when weighed against other fish-out-of-water tomes like "Devil Wears Prada": A young and ideal Midwestern woman who rises to the top of the world of D.C. fund-raising, then realizes what such a powerful world is really like.

But "Party Favors" is written by Nicole Sexton, who from 2002 to 2005 was at the GOP's money source: She served as director of finance for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

The book is fiction, not a tell-all, but D.C. insiders surely will read the tome trying to connect the dots, for it's not a very flattering look at senators and their tactics for soaking up campaign dollars.

What's more, Sexton's alter ego, Temple Sachet, encounters a cast of characters that include a small army of closeted gay Republicans, and a 70-year-old senator who is also a pervert, and other lawmakers who seem to love being wined, dined and coddled by lobbyists. The most amusing of the figures is Senator Griswold, "old Blubberboy," an incompetent Ivy Leaguer who is dangerously overweight yet fancies himself as a "modern-day toupee wearing Roy Rogers." It doesn't take too much head-scratching to figure out who she's referring to when she writes, "People were whispering that Senator Ogburn had a penchant for public bathrooms."
But the book is really about the insanity of campaign finance, the endless drive for the next donor check and the overall corruption of the system.

"My intention was to entertain and to cast a light on this world," says Sexton, speaking by phone earlier this month.

She has since moved on to more altruistic circles as part of Bono's ONE campaign, but she says that her novel, written with Susan Johnston, has received "some negative rumble from a few fund-raisers who I worked with" who felt that it attacked the business of raising political money too broadly. Other fund-raising friends have told her they "cringe at how realistic and truthful you were." Among other things, Sexton is up front about how fund-raisers take a percentage off the top of each contribution --- 10%, even 15% in some cases --- often unknown to those donors who write a check.

"I saw the middle men, the gross waste and the overwhelming greed, and the blinders were really ripped off," she says. "I was angry with myself and disappointed and subsequently left."
It's clear from Temple's story that Sexton found herself lost in the world of campaign cash. As she says, the book attacks an entire sector of government that "is supposed to be based on reality and telling the truth, but there is a real clouded view of what should be and what matters."

It wasn't just that it became a "numbers game" and how many seats the GOP was winning rather than its ideological stances, as Sexton has said. In the book, Temple struggles with supporting a "party of 'family' when most of the senators were divorced (one on his eighth wife!) having affairs, or otherwise living by a different set of rules than they espoused."

Sexton supports some serious measures at reform: Limits on the time that candidates raise money and on the amount that can be spent, as well as requirements to that TV and radio stations provide free airtime to campaigns.

Although she would have liked to have seen Barack Obama participate in public financing for the general election, she's encouraged by his ability to raise huge sums of small contributions over the Internet, eliminating the middle man, and is anxious to see how his 1.5 million contributors translate into votes. "He didn't come in with this huge war chest and spend through it," she says.
"I think there is something to be said for your ability to get out your message and inspire people," she says.

And she notes the irony that John McCain, hobbled by dismal fund-raising throughout 2007, came out on the top of the heap, and that Mike Huckabee, who didn't even have a finance director, made it so far.

Still, she finds fault with the lack of disclosure of campaign bundlers. Campaigns aren't required to disclose their names, and although Obama and McCain have following a great deal of pressure, the information is still scant, she says. Also troubling are the 527 committees, the independent expenditure groups that amount to a campaign finance loophole, where individual donors can contribute unlimited amounts of money.

"There is a place for fund-raising," she says. "But fund-raisers have to be held accountable to the donors they raise money from and the candidates they work for."

Sexton says she sensed even back in 2004 that things were coming apart. She left right before Duke Cunningham and Jack Abramoff --- two of the most notorious scandals that preceded the GOP's loss of both houses in 2006. She believes that the GOP faces the loss of "a lot of house seats" and five Senate seats.

"That is a big reason why I wanted to get out," she says. "I could see it coming."

Her next step, naturally, is the "Prada" route: Selling the film rights to the book.

Posted by Ted Johnson on July 22, 2008 at 10:39 PM in Current Affairs

Book Signing for "Party Favor" Author Nicole Sexton

Check out this post about Nicole's upcoming book signing on Pamela's Punch:

As someone who has lived in the Washington area since 1990, I am fascinated by books that are set in this community and expose it openly from all sides (which is one of the reasons David Baldacci is one of my favorite authors). There’s a feeling of familiarity, of "oh, I know where that building/street/restaurant/movie theater/dark alley is!" Certainly, I am not alone in that thought, as more and more talented authors are exploding out of DC to our delight.

One such author is Nicole Sexton. In her former life, she was the 2nd ranking GOP fundraiser. In her current and probably, if I may, cooler life, she now works for the Bono and just finished her first novel entitled "Party Favors". Thursday the 24th, she will be at Capitol Hill’s Trover (221 Pennsylvania, SE) from 12pm-1pm for a book signing.

The novel "Party Favors" gives readers a delicious taste of what it’s like to move up through the ranks on the Hill from intern to the most powerful fundraiser for the Right party and all the "hi-jinks" that go with that experience. As this was written with Susan Johnston, a published playwright, the book will certainly provide a juicy and fun summer read.

Just who is Nicole Sexton? She is quite the insider of Washington’s life, had been the finance director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and several President’s Dinners, so she knows her stuff inside and out. Best of all, she can articulate it extremely well. Her book is already selling like ice cream on a hot summer day in DC and shhh… could eventually be seen on the silver screen (think major Hollywood studios, folks).

Nicole is currently a top executive at Bono’s global advocacy organization the ONE campaign. She splits her time between DC and NYC and has an East Side restaurant in NYC.

If you can’t make it during your lunch hour Thursday-so sorry-but you can pick up your copy at any local bookstore or online.

July 22, 2008

party favors cover story in the hill today

The sexy side of campaign finance
By Kris Kitto
Posted: 07/21/08 05:56 PM [ET]

Nicole Sexton made political fundraising look easy when she helped raise $95 million as National Republican Senatorial Committee finance director. It’s her post-NRSC endeavor that seems more like fitting a square peg into a round hole. Sexton has written a novel — not a how-to book, but a novel — about campaign finance.

The book jacket of Party Favors doesn’t feature a beastly man in tight, ragged shorts and work boots but a silhouette of the Republican elephant inside a sun-shaped silver ornament. Not exactly the stuff of tawdry romance, but Sexton’s book does promise to recount juicy stories of “politics and greed.”

Sexton acknowledges that “when you say campaign finance … people glaze over,” but that didn’t stop her from using her 15 years in political fundraising as inspiration for a story that follows protagonist and narrator Temple Sachet’s similar career track and personal life.

Sexton’s book released earlier this month; she signs copies at the Trover Shop Thursday from noon to 1 p.m.

Sexton left her post at the NRSC in October 2005 after three years in the position, and while she was reflecting on the career she walked away from, a plotline emerged.

“I didn’t really start off to write a book,” she says. “It was about cataloguing or keeping together some sort of memory or journal of experiences that had been poignant for me. As I was going through that process, it became apparent to me that I had a story to tell,” Sexton says.

She conquered the first hurdle of writing on a topic that might elicit yawns by adopting a tone that conjures a happy-hour blab session among girlfriends.

“Donors love themselves some houses,” reads one of the opening passages, which describes a fundraiser at a fictitious Senate majority leader’s residence. “They will pay out the a-double-s to see if there’s a hamper with dirty clothes, if the fridge is covered in family pictures.”

Sexton, 38, says the chatty tone fits the main character, Temple, who is based on her and fits the style in which she would relay the story. There’s a point in the novel where she gets stuck in a closet with the president of the United States while he is waiting to get presented at a fundraiser.
"At the core of it, below the layers of [Temple’s] physical comedy and her embarrassing moments and her tragic love life, is a look at a very serious subject. If we’re going to be able to draw people in enough to pay attention, it had to be really light and entertaining,” she says.

Sexton, who now works in government relations for Bono’s ONE campaign, says she sees a great need for reform in political fundraising. She left a year after she hit a nadir, on election night 2004, and hopes her book will open other people’s eyes to her belief.

“I would like for there to be a real shakeup, and I have no delusions that my book is going to do that,” she says, adding: “But maybe there’ll be some conversations around dinner tables.”
Another obstacle was turning Sexton’s real-life memories into a fictitious plot that wouldn’t compromise the people or situations that served as inspiration.

The book opens with a note to readers explaining that the story’s contents to be purely fiction and that any likenesses to real-life events or people are “coincidental.”

This balancing act was the hardest part of writing the book, Sexton says. “It was OK for me to give as much of myself to Temple’s character,” she says, but she didn’t want to expose anyone else to that kind of scrutiny.

Overall, Sexton says, friends, family and former colleagues have received the book warmly, but some have registered complaints with her.

“They worry that the book will have an impact on fundraising and candidates’ ability to raise money, and frankly, that was the whole point,” she says.

July 21, 2008

press for party favors

Check out the PARTY FAVORS shout out in the Asbury Park Press (New Jersey):

By DAVE WILLIAMS • Books Editor • July 20, 2008

Books that caught our eye in passing:

"Santa vs. Satan: The Official Compendium of Imaginary Fights," Jake Kalish, Three Rivers Press, $13.95. Think Batman vs. Superman is interesting to debate? Try Han Solo vs. Indiana Jones. Or Barbie vs. Ken. Or Aunt Jemima vs. Uncle Ben.

"The Man Who Forgot How to Read," Howard Engel, Thomas Dunne Books, $18.95. A novelist has a stroke that destroys his reading ability, starts over from scratch, and emerges triumphant (that's not a spoiler — he's the guy writing the book, so it's not hard to guess how it comes out).
"Party Favors," Nicole Sexton and Susan Johnston, Lyons Press, $24.95. GOP fundraiser Sexton's first novel (you know what they say about first novels) spins a yarn about a GOP fundraiser (told you so) and her adventures in Washington.

"Swan Peak," James Lee Burke, Simon & Schuster, $25.95. The cover says all you need to know: "A Dave Robicheaux Novel." New twist: the New Orleanian detective is in Montana this time out.

"Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys," edited by Melissa de la Cruz and Tom Dolby, Plume, $16 (paperback). A collection of essays described as a "literary celebration of one of the most important relationships in a straight girl's life — her gay best friend."

"The First Queen of England: The Myth of "Bloody Mary,' " Linda Porter, St. Martin's Press, $27.95. British scholar Porter tries to salvage the reputation of the monarch who (Porter says) paved the way for Elizabeth I's highly regarded reign.

vitality productions call for submissions

Dear Friends,

We at VITALITY Productions are starting a Monday night reading series. We are in search of new work by playwrights, actors, producers, gymnasts, trash truck drivers and anyone who would like to hear their work read aloud by a group of deliciously dope actors. Not only are we looking for our next theatrical / cinematic production, but are excited at the idea of coming together with a fresh ensemble every week to keep the muscle warm and expose ourselves to innovative artists who are trying to "make it happen."

If you have a play, a screenplay, a one-person show, a short, a narrative or are interested in participating as an actor and/or listener, please let us know. This Monday night will be our second reading. Even if you're on the other coast or in the middle of the country, we'd still love to read your work aloud and give you feedback on the experience.

Thank you in advance. Hope you're all well.

With gratitude,

Nick Mills

teaching the arts

* Director of the School of Theater
Ohio University (Ohio)
(date posted: 7/21/2008)

* Lecturer/Costume Shop Supervisor
Dixie State College of Utah (Utah)
(date posted: 7/16/2008)

July 14, 2008


Please join us this August, for an advance look at

a new play
by Susan Johnston

directed by Casey Stangl

James Denton
Erin J. O’Brien
Stewart Calhoun

scheduled for a world premiere production at
The El Portal Theatre
in October 2008.

One-night only.

Monday, August 4, 2008

7:00 pm Reading
8:30 pm Reception

The El Portal Theatre
11206 Weddington Street
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(street parking on Lankershim Blvd.)

Limited seating.
Industry welcome but no reviews.

RSVP required:
caseystangl8@aol.com or 310.902.0516


How Cissy Grew was developed while in residence at The MacDowell Colony. It received developmental readings through The Echo Theatre and NYU Writer’s Lab West and a development workshop was provided by The NYU Grad Actors Collective.

December 2008 Artist Application

Artists of 2D, Mixed Media, Photography and Sculpture are invited to apply to The Artist Project, December 4-7, 2008.

The $1500 booth package includes:

- Approximately 100 square foot booth
- 8' High hard walls
- Interior Lighting
- Drayage costs

Please apply by September 15, 2008. All applications will be reviewed by The Artist Project selection committee (members to be announced in July) and notification will be sent by early October.


Congrats to Lucy Wang!

Lucy writes:

Just a quick note to let you know "The Art of Bullfighting" has been released for print. It is currently available via the JAC Publishing website, http://www.jacneed.com/JAC/One-Acts/Wang_ArtOfBullfighting.html as well as on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1605130117).

Playwrights Talk About Writing For Film and Television

Thursday, July 24th at 5pm
The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY
Free Panel Discussion

This panel, part of our Careers in Theatre series, will look at the challenges and dynamics that playwrights face when writing for film and television. Produced by the Summer Play Festival and the NYC Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, this discussion will provide unique insights into different mediums, disciplines and industries.

Playwright Panelists

The panel features:

Adam Rapp (TV: "The L Word"; Film: Blackbird; Theatre: Red, Light Winter; Essential Self Defense)
Beau Willmon (Film: Farragut North; Theatre: Lower Ninth; Farragut North)
Keith Bunin (Film: A Home At The End Of The World; Theatre: The Busy World Is Hushed, 10 Million Miles)

Limited Tickets Available - RSVP Today!

For tickets to this free event, please email rsvp@spfnyc.com with your name and the number of tickets.


Manhattan Community Arts Fund Offers Funds for Local Arts Organizations and Artists
Deadline: September 23, 2008

Administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Manhattan Community Arts Fund supports local arts organizations and artists that have little access to other government funding sources. MCAF seeks to provide small grants for arts projects and local artists serving Manhattan communities. An MCAF grant is often one of the first grants an artist or group receives and can help recipients to eventually leverage financial support from other sources.

The program is designed to prepare applicants for the process of obtaining public funds. The program awards grants ranging from $750 to $5,000 each to individual artists or nonprofit organizations. LMCC will award approximately $250,000 in total grants through MCAF this year. LMCC expects to award approximately 150 grants.

Last year the average grant amount was $1,200. Applications will be accepted from Manhattan-based individual artists or nonprofit organizations. To be eligible to apply, organizations must have had an operating budget of less than $100,000 for two of the last three fiscal years, and individual artists must live in Manhattan. First-time applicants are required to attend an information session. Returning applicants are also encouraged to attend to help them develop strong applications.

See the LMCC Web site for dates and locations of information sessions ( http://www.lmcc.net/grants/infosessions.html ).

Program guidelines and application materials are available at the LMCC Web site. RFP Link: http://fconline.foundationcenter.org/pnd/15014143/lmcc


Mockingbird Foundation Offers Support for Children's Music Education Programs
Deadline: August 1, 2008 (Letters of Inquiry)

The Mockingbird Foundation ( http://www.mbird.org/ ) offers competitive grants to schools and nonprofit organizations in support of music education for children. Mockingbird is particularly interested in projects that encourage and foster creative expression in any musical form (includ- ing composition, instrumentation, vocalization, or improvisation), but also recognize broader and more basic needs within conventional instruction.

The foundation encourages applications associated with diverse or unusual musical styles, genres, forms, and philosophies. Education may include the provision of instruments, texts, and office materials, as well as the support of learning space, practice space, performance space, and instructors/instruction. The foundation is particularly interested in projects that foster self-esteem and free expression.

Mockingbird is interested in targeting youth 18 years old or younger, but will consider projects that benefit college students, teachers, instructors, or adult students. Mockingbird is particularly (though not exclusively) interested in programs that benefit disenfranchised individuals, including those characterized by low skill levels, income, or education; by disabilities or terminal illnesses; or living in foster homes, shelters, hospitals, prisons, or other remote or isolated situations.

Grants, which range in size from $50 to $5,000 each, are typically made only to nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, to organizations that have a sponsoring agency with 501(c)(3) status, or to public schools.

Visit the foundation's Web site for complete application information. RFP Link: http://fconline.foundationcenter.org/pnd/15014144/mockingbird

For additional RFPs in Arts and Culture, visit: http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/rfp/cat_arts.jhtml

teaching the arts

* Entry Level Assistant Professor-Dance
California State University at Sacramento (California)
(date posted: 7/14/2008)

* Choral Music Educator
Chapman University (California)
(date posted: 7/14/2008)

* Assistant Professor of Music, Percussion
Chapman University (California)
(date posted: 7/14/2008)

* Assistant Professor of Music Education
Glenville State College (West Virginia)
(date posted: 7/11/2008)

July 11, 2008


I'm in need a graphic designer to create the flyer for the show in Edinburgh. If you have any leads, I'd be very grateful! Need someone deadline-respectful and reasonably priced with a good eye.



Diane sends us this opp:

Letting you know of a way to make money for an excellent cause, if you are feeling energetic and are gifted at sales.I am the Event Director for Celebrate Ballona!, a year long festival being organized by Ballona Institute to celebrate the public acquisition of the Balllona Wetlands near the Marina and LAX. We need salespeople to find folks to buy images in this gorgeous, collector's edition tribute book showpiece Ballona Institute is creating about the wetlands. People or companies who buy images will have their name elegantly printed beneath their photo. All proceeds from the book will go toward offsetting legal fees from helping to save the wetlands and toward ongoing stewardship, advocacy, and educational programs about Ballona.

In case you don't know, 91% of California's wetlands have been destroyed, a greater percentage than any other state in the nation. So Ballona is a real jewel--right in Los Angeles.There is no salary, but there is a 12% commission for all deals sealed by the salesperson from start to finish. And there are a ton of beautiful images to sell, ranging in price from $1000-$20000 a piece.So if you need some work and have the salesperson's touch, give me a shout! .



In preparation for our performances in Edinburgh, and in order to raise some funds to help us with the trip, Esther, Lucia and I are planning to do a one-night fundraiser! We'll each be performing a section of our solo show and there will be a reception afterward with performance.

We are looking for a space. We'd like a space with 80-100 seats, that is available one night during the last week of July (roughly 24th - 31st), or possibly beginning of August. We're hoping it will have a theatre space as well as a space for a reception. If you know of any spaces, would you pass the information along to us? We'd really appreciate it! Feel free to contact any of us!

Esther- contact@estherchae.com
Lucia - lucestella@mindspring.com
Beth - eamato@mac.com

We also hope you'll be able to come out and support us and send us on our way!

Thanks so much!

July 09, 2008

check me out on GMA Now

Check out "Good Morning America Now" this Wednesday morning at 9am and 2pm, July 9th. The lovely host Taryn Winter Brill did an entire seven-minute segment interviewing my former roomie Stephanie McWilliams who is now the host of HGTV's "Fun Shui" which airs every Friday. The segment features two feng shui success stories -- it's not to be missed!

Here's the official blurb:

Joan Gugliotta, the super-star single mother from the "Fun Shui" series, talks about her experience over the past year since her living room redesign--and how her home, body and spirit have all blossomed throughout the process. Her inner transformation has been truly breathtaking to watch over the past many months--she's a feng shui inspiration if I've ever met one!

Susan Johnston, co-author of the new hit book "Party Favors", discusses her more recent feng shui transformation as her love life and finances got an overnight boost through her dramatic home makeover. Swept up in a sudden romance whirlwind, as well as an unexpected income-avalanche, Susan's barely had a moment to catch her breath from all the exciting changes happening in just the past 3 weeks!

If you don't happen to get the "Good Morning America Now" program through your cable company or mobile device, just go to http://abcnewsnow.com to find out how you can catch the segment in your area. You can also click on "Good Morning America Now" to watch the clip online.

a passionate cause in Laos

Leilani Chan writes:

Dear Friends,

As you many of you know Ova and I have been working passionately with Legacies of War to raise awareness about the UXO's (unexploded cluster bombs) in Laos and advocate for their removal. We are excited to be joining Legacies in August on a learning trip that will take us to view the areas still affected by UXO's where 1 in 6 are amputees as a result of touching or being near an accidentally detonated cluster bomb.

I am writing to ask for your support of an exciting campaign that Legacies of War has undertaken. The Schools Not Bombs Campaign aims to build preschools for children in impoverished Laotian villages which have been affected by unexploded cluster bombs. Our goal is to raise enough funds to cover the cost of building a preschool in one of the affected areas before we arrive in Laos.

To make a donation in support of Ova and I please go to https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?aid=17379 and select "Legacies Preschool in Laos" when making your donation. We would like to make a total donation to Schools Not Bombs of $1000. Please help us make this goal by donating today. For more information please read more below. Thank you all so much for our continued support of our work.

Me ke aloha,
Leilani & Ova

***A new generation of Laotians continues to suffer from the enduring legacies of cluster bombs leftover from three decades ago, when Laos became the most bombed country in the world. Preschools will replace bombs on land that have been cleared, providing a safe environment for children and educational opportunities to overcome the barriers of poverty. Through this campaign, we seek to transform a tragic past into a hopeful future for the people of Laos.

For more information about Schools Not Bombs Campaign, visit http://www.legaciesofwar.org/news-room/news-releases/333.

We are working with Give Children a Choice(www.givechildrenachoice.org), a nonprofit organization that has built 18 preschools in Luang Prabang, Laos to help us identify the village for our first school. Our inaugural school will be in Xieng Khoang Province, one of the most heavily bombed areas and the origins of the historic illustrations featured in the Legacies of War National Traveling Exhibition www.legaciesofwar.org.

The school will be in Lathsene Village, home to 500 people and 80 families, with preschoolers who are descendents of bombing survivors.We have already raised $12,500 of the $17,000 needed to build a preschool in time for the new school year this fall. Please help us to meet our fundraising goal of $4,500 in the next month to build the school. Nearly 100 people have given – from $1 to $7,500. Every dollar raised is one step closer to helping Laotian children have a safe environment to learn and grow. Send a check or Donate on-lineEvery dollar raised goes towards the school. Your name will be listedas a generous donor on our website and in the school.--

Leilani Chan
Artistic Director
TeAda Productions

July 08, 2008

free reading at black dahlia theatre

Dear Friends,

After a short break, we are back with our monthly readings at the Black Dahlia Theatre! We'd like to invite you to:

By Corey Patrick
Starring Tasha Ames and Bill Heck
Sunday, July 13
7 PM

Black Dahlia Theatre
5453 W Pico Blvd (at Hauser)

As always, this reading is free and open to the public, but seating is limited, so reservations are required. RSVP to: Literary@thedahlia.com

Hope to see you there!

Ruth McKee
Literary Manager

ARC Grant


Third Quarter Postmark Deadline is Tuesday, August 5, 2008.

ARC grants provide rapid, short-term assistance of up to $3,500 to individual artists who live in Los Angeles County. Funds must be used to enhance work that is near completion and scheduled for presentation between September 9, 2008 and February 3, 2009.

Artists in any discipline mayapply. Applicants must have a secure invitation from an established organization to present their work. There are four grant cycles per year.

For more information, application, or guidelines visit: http://www.durfee.org/programs/arc/index.html

party favors ad debuts at national review

The first ads for PARTY FAVORS are starting to go up and you can check out our banner ad that is in rotation on the National Review website: http://www.nationalreview.com/

July 07, 2008

teaching the arts

* Director of Choral Activities
Chapman University (California)
(date posted: 7/7/2008)

* Technical Director-Theatre
North Dakota State University (North Dakota)
(date posted: 7/7/2008)

July 03, 2008

back from ny

Was in NYC for the last week plus but am now back and will be posting more regularly, promise. Check back later this week for more grants, jobs, shows, etc.

party favors hit the bookshelves on tuesday

Ladies and Gents:

Let the fun begin.

We are officially launched as PARTY FAVORS hit the bookshelves on Tuesday. I saw us in the Union Square Barnes & Noble and actually jumped up and down like a teenager. What an amazing feeling to have a tangible, hard-cover book in hand after almost two years of work and near isolation in front of a computer screen!Now, it's in the ether and what we need is buzz. Which is where YOU come in. I need your help.

Help, you say? But Susan, whatever can I do? So glad you asked. Try one of these simple steps to help make PARTY FAVORS a best-seller.

1. Go to Amazon and write a review of us, rate us, buy us, create keywords, etc. Here's the link:http://www.amazon.com/Party-Favors-Nicole-Sexton/dp/1599214598/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1214927178&sr=8-1

2. Add us to your Facebook READING NOW section or your MY SPACE page.

3. Blog about us. Tell your blogger friends to blog about us.

4. Put us on your TV show! (Some of you are bigwigs - throw a girl a bone!) Contact: Marina Ein, Ein Communications: maein@aol.com or 202.775.0200

5. Call your local bookstore and ask them to stock the book. Or walk into random bookstores and ask for them to order it.

6. Buy the movie or TV rights! (A whole other bunch of you are bigwigs too - you know you want it!) Contact: Maura Teitelbaum at Abrams: maura.teitelbaum@abramsartny.com or 646.486.4600. We're taking meetings at end of July in LA.

7. Pitch us as a magazine story to your editor. Pitch us as a segment on your website. Pitch us, pitch us, pitch us!

Okay, enough from me.
For more information, check out our website: http://partyfavors2008.com

If you need press kits, copies of the book, etc, see Item 4 and call Marina. If you need book copy for rights, see item 6 and all Maura. Tell both of them Susan sent you.


I am eternally grateful for all of your support as I continue down my path as an artist and a woman pursuing JOY!