Sunday, September 16, 2012




Benefit Helps Get Lit Players Keep Culture Alive for At-Risk Youth

The Get Lit Players have built a launch pad for literacy among at-risk youth with innovative programs that blend memorizing classic poetry and original free-form spoken-word slams. Many minority teens on the edge of dropping out have regained self-confidence and reconnected with reading through exposure to great poets of diverse cultures and the prospect of becoming poets themselves. Semi-finalists in the 2008/2010 Brave New Voices International Teen Poetry Slam, the Get Lit Players have been featured in the LA Times, on HBO, NBC and PBS and were invited to the White House by Michelle Obama last year.


With California's brutal budget cuts about to further devastate arts programs at LAUSD and in local charter schools -- hundreds of music, theatre, visual arts and dance teachers no longer have gigs --- it's vital to bring arts aid to these culture-stripped communities. Get Lit has taken root in almost 40 area high and middle schools to date, touching over 10,000 SoCal teens. Its Adopt-a-School program will expand that reach.


All Funds from this event, sponsored by Ashgrove Music, will bring Get Lit to Animo Inglewood High School, where desperate teachers welcome this life support. They know that arts -– the oasis where students can find their own voice -- are the prime reason many young people remain in school.


While last fall's Get Lit benefit featured a poem written specially for the event by David Mamet and performed by Helen Mirren, this event will showcase the Players themselves, plus performances by their outstanding musical confreres from Brave New Music.  


Headlining the afternoon of poetry and music is blues and gospel icon Bettie Mae Fikes, who will be joined by the Bernie Pearl Blues Band. Alabama-born Fikes made her gospel debut as a 4-year-old. At just 16 she enlisted in the Civil Rights Movement, mobilizing music against segregation and for voting rights through the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Freedom Singers. Ms. Fikes has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Newport Jazz Festival, the Library of Congress, numerous Blues Festivals and clubs (debuting at the Ash Grove) and two Democratic National Conventions, and has performed with Lightnin’ Hopkins, Albert King, James Brown, Bob Dylan, Mavis Staples, and others. Her throaty but velvety voice can vibrate a room until the walls beg for mercy.



FOR MORE INFO on the event, call 323-930-0857


WHEN:                      Sunday, September 30, 2 – 5 PM 

WHERE:                    Home & garden of Jan Goodman & Jerry Manpearl,

                        939 San Vicente Blvd., Santa Monica 90402  

WHO:                      Poetry performances, classic and urban, by the Get Lit Players;

                                Music by Bettie Mae Fikes & Bernie Pearl Blues  Band   

Brave New Music by Get Lit Players, musical classmates and Ashgrove friends 

WHY:                          Sponsor a poet -- save a student 

DONATION:              $15, adults, $5 students, tickets online at

HELP:                          Please pass this on to friends, especially those who live west of the 405.  

                                    This great event is on Carmageddon day and likely, many, if not most attendees

                                     will be West-siders.  Actually, the last carmageddon didn't phase our audience, but....



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