Issue 155 | December 2017

December 2017

In This Issue:

  • Director's Notes
  • Message from Allison


  • Featured Member Posting: Entertainment Development Coordinator (Vox) - LA
  • Do your holiday shopping in the Harvardwood Silent Auction
  • Make merry with Harvardwood from coast to coast
  • Participate in the 2nd Annual Harvardwood Founders' Challenge
  • Updates from our 2017 Harvardwood Heroes


  • 2017 Harvardwood Volunteer of the Year: Daniel Gale-Rosen AB '10
  • Industry Successes
  • New Members' Welcome
  • Alumni Profile: Sarah Manguso AB '97 (Poet, Essayist, & Novelist)


  • Calendar
  • Program Spotlight: Harvardwood Helps
  • Give a Harvardwood certificate this holiday season

Director's Notes

So much to do before the end of the year, and so little time! Roll up your sleeves and volunteer with Harvardwood Helps at the LA Clothing Giveaway this weekend. We've got a great crew of volunteers signed up, but we'd welcome more!

Nutcracker.pngTickets are still available for Harvardwood's excursion to the LA Ballet's Sunday matinee of The Nutcracker—made extra special because it will be followed by a private backstage tour with LA soloist & Harvard alumna Elizabeth Walker! But tickets will go fast (they're nearly sold out via the LA Ballet in our section, Orchestra), and only Harvardwood ticket holders will be invited to the backstage tour.

And finally, we still could use a couple volunteers for our Dec. 14th Holiday Hurrah! Volunteers get a comp ticket + a comp drink ticket. Otherwise, admission includes a drink ticket for the first 75 to RSVP. 

Happy Holidays!

— Dona

Message from Allison

It's the Season of Giving, and Harvardwood is grateful to all of our generous donors who have gotten our end-of-year fundraising off to an auspicious start!

We are immensely appreciative of everybody who donated to Harvardwood for #GivingTuesday! These donations will make a meaningful impact and help us to meet our goals in 2018, including (1) the creation of the Harvardwood Prize to recognize talented high school juniors who are making an impact at the intersection of the arts and community service, and (2) the funding of an annual fellowship program that supports diverse, up-and-coming creative voices. If you haven't yet, please consider giving.

We also want to give a special shoutout to David Alpert and Mia Riverton Alpert for their especially generous donation to Harvardwood this year! I am personally so grateful to have the Harvardwood community in my life and I know so many other artists who feel the same. Your generous donation and all your time and dedication have made it possible and I want to share our deepest thanks.

Onwards and upwards!

— Allison

Featured Member Posting: Entertainment Development Coordinator (Vox) - LA

Vox Entertainment is a division of Vox Media focused on developing and producing long-form content for distribution on linear television and over-the-top platforms. Vox Entertainment is seeking a Development Coordinator, a position that will serve a dual and highly integral role within the rapidly expanding Vox Entertainment team, both:

  • Supporting key company executives — coordinating related items between the Vox Entertainment and Vox Media offices in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C.
  • Performing creative development duties — research, attending internal creative meetings, maintaining the company’s development slate, and supporting the development team in building creative pitch documents and materials (sizzle reels, casting materials, decks, one sheets, etc.)


Do your holiday shopping in the Harvardwood Silent Auction

Mark your calendars now: our 2017 Holiday Silent Auction goes live on Monday, December 11th and ends Thursday, December 14th! Bids will be accepted online AND by text. When the auction page goes live in a couple of weeks, you'll get all the instructions on how to place bids on your computer or mobile device.

This year's great items will include leatherbound, autographed scripts from Mudbound, The Disaster Artist, Lady Bird, and Battle of the Sexes; special memorabilia from hit movies and TV series of 2017, such as LoganDunkirkGuardians of the Galaxy, The Good Place, and This Is Us; and a lot more. So keep your eyes and ears peeled for announcements about the silent auction, and prepare for a bidding war! 

Make merry with Harvardwood from coast to coast

In celebration of this month's holidays, Harvardwood is partying it up from Los Angeles to New York! So if you're in one of these areas, mosey over to the festivities to get into the holiday spirit with fellow art, media, and entertainment lovers from the Harvard community. 

The #HarvardwoodNYC party is on Tuesday, Dec. 12th at the AC Institute. It's FREE to attend—but be sure to bring some goodies to share with the revelers. The party is potluck-style, and wine, beer, salad, chicken, cheese, pizza, pasta, brownies—everything will be welcome! RSVP and let us know what you're bringing here.

A couple days later, Harvardwood is hosting our annual Holiday Hurrah in Los Angeles at The Parlor! Bring a toy for the Harvardwood Helps toy drive, and enter the raffle to win fun memorabilia and other prizes. Silent auction items will also be on display for bidding at the holiday party. The first 75 folks to register will get a free drink ticket, so grab your friends and colleagues and RSVP now!

Participate in the 2nd Annual Harvardwood Founders' Challenge

Harvardwood needs YOU to continue expanding our programs and supporting fresh voices in the arts, media, and entertainment. Membership dues, which are just $3.75/month, cover only a small fraction of what it takes to keep Harvardwood's events and programs running. And we're aiming higher than just maintaining status quo; we want Harvardwood to GROW—without having to increase your membership dues.

ANY amount ($1, $5, $50, or more!) will make an immense impact on Harvardwood's budget. Our Founders' Challenge is less about dollar amount and more about participation rate! Harvardwood's mission statement is:

Harvardwood is a nonprofit organization for members of the Harvard University community who believe in the power and purpose of the arts, media and entertainment. By providing professional resources and service opportunities, Harvardwood strives to utilize the creativity and leadership of our diverse members as forces for positive social change.

Wondering where exactly your donation will go? Read the rest of this edition of the Highlights, starting with the Heroes updates below. We strive to uphold our mission statement in our array of program and event offerings. It takes a village to run our programming slate—Salons, Masterclasses, the Writers Program, Harvardwood 101, the Mentorship Program, to name a few—and develop new initiatives, such as providing a travel fund for Harvard College interns who spend their summer in Los Angeles to participate in the Harvardwood Summer Internship Program.

Please consider making a contribution to Harvardwood in 2017, and thank you!


Updates from our 2017 Harvardwood Heroes

Earlier this year, we awarded Harvardwood Heroes grants of $500 each to Harvard alums and Harvardwood members who are dedicated to using the arts to engage in meaningful service with four organizations worldwide. Now that it's been half a year since we selected our Heroes, we caught up with them recently to find out how the Harvardwood Heroes grant has impacted their amazing and diverse community service projects.

From Shaun Chaudhuri AB '15 of UN Women Global Voices Film Festival (San Francisco, CA):

"This was my first time leading a film festival as I served as a volunteer at the 2016 film festival. My passion for gender equality and the transformative creative power of film served as inspiration for the year-long planning process and countless hours I put into running this event and managing the sponsorships, events, film screening and virtual reality committees. With 235 submissions there were a lot of challenges going through the films in timely manner and making the final selections (I watched 200 of the films). Additionally as a 100% volunteer role with limited funds, the Harvardwood donation helped immensely in the operating costs and allowed us to offer free and discounts tickets to local women’s groups. Additionally, Harvardwood helped promote the event to members in Northern California leading to a sellout on both days."

From Juliana Han AB '03, JD '08 of the Piedmont Chamber Music Festival (Oakland, CA):

".... The performances were successful, not because the sound quality was recording-worthy, but because we brought our musical language, undiluted, to a new audience, and connections were made. The program at each center included Beethoven, Schubert and Taiwanese folk songs. At the men’s shelter, after the Schubert Rondo, one participant raised his hand and asked how many songs were in that last bit. We answered that it was just one piece, but he was right in hearing so many different parts, as that is exactly the form of a classical rondo! Many at that shelter had never heard Schubert or Beethoven before, a fact that not only astounded us but highlighted the gap between what we take for granted and the experiences of others.  That gap, and the opportunity to bridge that gap with the music we love, perfectly illustrated the reason for the Initiative.

"We thank Harvardwood for the grant that helped us carry out the 2017 Community Engagement Initiative. Our experience this summer reinforced how important it is to use whatever means we have to bridge divisiveness in society, to see and reach out to the communities which are merely miles away in geography but much more distant in personal experience. We are committed to undertaking this Initiative in future years of PCMF and hope that other funders will join us."

From Betsy Storm AB '14 of Better Angels (Los Angeles, CA):

"Since receiving Harvardwood’s generous grant this spring, Better Angels has continued to guide our Scholars on their college applications, and as they share and refine their stories of hardship, resilience and hope through their essays. Our Scholars have opened their hearts about their challenges – from being abandoned by both parents at age eight, to enduring verbal and physical abuse, to unsuccessfully attempting to revive a sibling after her sudden death. As Scholars have revised their stories week after week, not only have they become stronger writers in preparation for college, but also light has overshadowed darkness as they recognize the power and hope they carry for themselves, their families, and their communities.... We are deeply grateful to Harvardwood for supporting our work as we encourage these special students to share their stories, receive healing, and push past obstacles to reach for their dreams."

From Sara Lynne Wright AB '09 of Living History (Los Angeles, CA):

"Thanks to the Harvardwood Heroes grant, the Living History Program at UCLA was able to provide its volunteers with better tools to write up one page biographies of patients in the palliative care, geriatrics, oncology and med-surg units at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica. Those biographies have not only helped treatment teams get to know their patients as people rather than only as medical cases but also provided each patient with a valuable keepsake: a written life story to share with their families and whomever they like....

"These biographies are brought home by the patients, kept as keepsakes by the patient’s family members, and become part of the patient’s legacy. UCLA Medical Center Volunteer Services deeply appreciates the Harvardwood Heroes grant, which has provided the physical resources necessary to create these high-quality biographies. The staff plans to do its best to continue making the type of positive changes it has enabled."

We commend and thank the Harvardwood Heroes for their dedication to upholding Harvardwood's mission of leveraging the arts, media, and entertainment as forces for positive social change!

2017 Harvardwood Volunteer of the Year: Daniel Gale-Rosen AB '10

Since 2010, Harvardwood has identified and honored a volunteer who has demonstrated outstanding service and dedication to our organization. This year, we're excited to announce that the HARVY winner is Daniel Gale-Rose AB '10, Associate Director of Harvardwood Salons! As you must have noticed, Daniel has done an amazing job organizing unique Salon opportunities throughout the year, hosting events featuring Nancy Cotton, Daniel O'Keefe, Colleen McGuinness, Dustin Thomason, and upcoming, Felipe Tewes. Thank you for all that you do for Harvardwood, Daniel!

More about Daniel:

Transplanted from the Boston area, Daniel has somehow managed to adapt (mostly) to the Californian climate of warm weather and, you know, being nice to other people. He currently works in digital marketing, telling people how to use Facebook, and gets his creative fix by participating in writers' groups, which was his real introduction into the Harvardwood community. He's usually working on a few writing projects at once, mostly based on source materials that were written a while ago and are thankfully in the public domain so no one can sue him. Also, he eats brunch a lot. He graduated from Harvard College in 2010 with a degree in History and Science, mainly because he couldn't decide.

Industry Successes

Alexandra Petri AB '10, Sam French '12, and Yara Shahidi '21 are among the Harvard folks featured in this year's Forbes 30 Under 30 list! Also inspiring to see Anjali Sud MBA '11, Sarah Wick AB '11, and Ashley Zalta AB '07 named to The Hollywood Reporter's list of Hollywood's Up-and-Coming Execs 35 and Under!

The latest from Dan Lin MBA '99: Lin Pictures has a family drama from Albert Kim in development at NBC with Warner Bros. TV. Dan is also a Harvardwood Advisory Board member.

Arranged Marriage, a comedy by Vali Chandrasekaran AB '03 (Executive Producer, Modern Family), has been acquired by Netflix. From Deadline: "The premise is almost a reverse of The Big Sick. After decades of repeating the relationship mistakes she learned from her divorced parents, a white woman from small-town Pennsylvania enlists her Indian best friend’s family to give her an arranged marriage."

Tim Plaehn EDM '96 is a 2017 Academy Nicholl Fellowship finalist with his screenplay entitled The Reconstruction of Huck Finn (Over Mark Twain's Dead Body!—congratulations!

The 2018 Sundance Film Festival lineup has been announced! We're thrilled to see all the Harvard filmmakers who will be there, including John Aboud AB '95 and Michael Colton AB '97 (Writers, A Futile & Stupid Gesture), Mynette Louie AB '97 (President of Gamechanger Films; Producer, The TaleNancy), and Cole Wiley JD '07 (Co-Writer, Monster). Heading to Sundance next month? Let us know!

New Members' Welcome

Harvardwood warmly welcomes all members who joined the organization over the past month, including:

  • John Alexander, College, LA
  • John Ayroso, Ext., Other U.S.
  • Aditi Banga, College, NY
  • Hagar Barak, Staff, NY
  • Gyu Young Chang, College, Boston/Campus
  • Sandy Climan, College/HBS/HSPH, LA
  • Shankar Desai, College, LA
  • Keziah Douglas, College, Boston/Campus
  • Canan Erez, Ext., Boston/Campus
  • Shaun Gohel, College, Boston/Campus
  • Lucy Golub, College, Boston/Campus
  • Philippe Guy, College, LA
  • Chrissy Horansky, HGSE, DC
  • Penn Javdan, GSAS, Toronto
  • John Keefe, College, NY
  • Ke'Andra Levingston, HLS, Other U.S.
  • Lynx Marks, HBS, LA
  • Matthew McCalla, College, Boston/Campus
  • Ashley Monet, A.R.T., NY
  • Danu Mudannayake, College, Boston/Campus
  • Suzanne Nossel, HLS, NY
  • Monica Palos, College, LA
  • Andrew Poretz, FOH, NY
  • Irina Rodriguez, FOH, NY
  • Vicki Stivala, FOH, NY
  • Richard Tong, College, Boston/Campus
  • Monica Ukah, College, LA

*FOH = Friend of Harvardwood

Alumni Profile: Sarah Manguso AB '97 (Poet, Essayist, & Novelist)

By Adrian Horton AB '17

Sarah Manguso AB '97 did not dream of writing while growing up in Wellesley, Massachusetts. She didn’t write creatively in high school. In fact, the first time this poet, essayist, and soon-to-be novelist remembers writing—or, as she says, “consciously writing in a directed way, thinking about myself as engaging in ‘writing,’”—was in college, when she began composing short poems. The shift to poetry was part of an unexpected course change for Manguso, who arrived at Harvard from Wellesley High School with pre-med ambitions. As a “middle class townie girl,” she recalls, “the only greater achievement than getting into Harvard that my family or I could imagine [was] becoming a doctor. So I set out to become a doctor.”

Luckily for fans of precise prose, she soon switched to studying literature, after getting “kicked out” of Chem 10 and nearly failing Calculus. But it wasn’t until her final semester of college, when she enrolled in Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney’s introductory poetry workshop, that Manguso’s writing life jumpstarted. The class, she remembers fondly, was “unlike any other course that I had taken in college. It engaged a part of me that had not previously been engaged at school. I really loved it. I really loved the work that I was doing. It was in that class that I thought, ‘Ok, well, this is maybe an alternative to all the other bad ideas I have about what to do after college.’”

Inspired by the poetry workshop, she applied directly to the poetry MFA program at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop—a bold move for someone who, by that point, had published one piece in the now defunct Boston Book Review (“not to be confused with the Boston Review”) and “had sent some poems to the Harvard Advocate, but they had never been printed.” Asked where the confidence to apply came from, she offers a characteristically brief explanation: “absolute ignorance.” At the time, she explains, “There was no internet yet, so I didn’t know what one did. I had a friend who was four years older, whom I had met as a freshman—she was a senior—and she had gone to Iowa. She was the only person I had ever met who had gone to creative writing school. I didn’t really realize that there were those programs.” Following the friend’s lead, she applied to Iowa in the weeks before her off-cycle graduation from Harvard. By the next August, just over half a year removed from her first creative writing seminar, Sarah Manguso was studying for an MFA in Iowa.  

After feeling as though she “spent all of Harvard really scrambling,” she found her groove in Iowa—writing poetry, reading voraciously, and “borrowing” from the bookstore. “I would go to the bookstore and buy books and read them overnight,” she remembers, “then return them the next morning and make up some story about how my sister didn’t want the book. I don’t have a sister. It was great. I loved it. Everything about [Iowa] was easier than what I had dealt with in college.”

Yet Manguso still wasn’t sure, in the years honing her craft at Iowa, whether she would or could make a living as a writer. Even now, the question of when she knew she could make a living at it induces a wry laugh—“Actually, I still haven’t had that thought yet, and I’m 43.” Even so, after graduating from Iowa and spending six months recovering in Wellesley from chronic illness and depression, she moved to New York City to build a life around writing. Her first collection of poems, a refined version of her MFA thesis titled The Captain Lands in Paradise, was published in 2002, followed by another collection of poems and short prose, Siste Viator, in 2006. In between books, she pieced together work as a copy editor, creative writing teacher, and freelance writer. “I lived very cheaply,” she recalls of that period. “I had no partner, I had no dependents, I had no car. It was a life designed around just getting to sit around and write as much as I could or as much as I wanted to, and copy editing was the easiest way for me to obtain enough income to do that.” 

Despite the many pressures of her life as a writer—from chronic illness to paying the bills—Manguso managed to keep writing a priority by staying true to her intrinsic motivations. “I don’t do well if anything feels like homework,” she explains. “I just won’t do it. I just write what I want. That sounds so superior”—she pauses to qualify this motivation, lest she fall into the myth of the creative muse—“I prioritize what is important. I can’t say this enough: for me, writing is not really forcing myself to apply a discipline that I don’t naturally want to apply. Writing is just one of the things that I want to do. I don’t even want to give it a tinge of ‘I’m meant to write, I was born to write.’ It’s not like I’m inspired by some superior religiosity that leads me to this noble calling. I just kind of like doing it, so I do it.” 

Writing precisely what she wanted weaves a common thread through Manguso’s work, including a shift from poetry to short-form prose with her third book, Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape. (She maintains, however, that “there was no shift” between poetry and prose. “My second poetry collection is almost entirely in prose, and my first poetry collection is about half in prose,” she says).  At the question of whether she thinks of herself now as a poet or a prose writer, she quickly identifies as the latter. “I think I was only masquerading as a poet,” she says, “I think I was a short form prose writer all along.”

It’s this short, sharp prose—“twice distilled,” as fellow Graywolf Press author Leslie Jamison AB ‘04 puts it—that separates Manguso’s work from legions of memoirs and essays. She deflects a request to self-describe her style, though when I mention that she has remarked that she “abhors filler,” she agrees with a similar terseness: “I don’t enjoy writing long.” She may not enjoy writing long, but she does write adamantly, taking a razor sharp and darkly funny pen to such complicated, dense topics as long-term illness, suicide, and the passage of time.

For example, she revisits episodes from her struggle with a rare autoimmune disorder—one that required chemotherapy and sidelined her from Harvard for a year—in The Two Kinds of Decay, a book that began as an essay about social class and “being a townie at Harvard” but turned into a collection of short prose pieces on spending your 20s with a chronic illness. Following a yearlong fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, Manguso wrote The Guardians (2012), a meditation on grief and an elegy for a friend, Harris, lost to suicide.

After moving to Los Angeles and becoming a mother, Manguso confronted her voluminous diary, a trove of over 800,000 words kept religiously since she was eighteen years old. Her book Ongoingness, published in 2015, explores her “vice” of ritualized remembering and a changing relationship with time. “It is about changing my mind,” she says, “about a way that I was that changed. I don’t worry about that diaristic record in the way that I used to, and it’s not as complete as it used to be.” She comments that the process of writing the book helped with “coming to understand that I was inhabiting time in a way that was different than the way I thought I had been inhabiting it during my need to obsessively catalog every goddamn thing that ever happened.” The pieces in Ongoingness confront the diary’s obsession with time and memory but, typical of Manguso’s concision, do not quote from the diary itself.

Her most recent book, this year’s 300 Arguments, refines her prose even further into pithy pieces of wisdom, ranging from a sentence to a page in length, on longing, ambition, and failure. Manguso strives for the perfect sentence, writing three hundred aphorisms that could, she has stated, constitute “a long book’s quotable passages.” 

Now based in Los Angeles with a spouse and a young child, there is no average day for Manguso. She balances writing with parenting, teaching, lectures, masterclasses, and various responsibilities that have, she says, “changed a lot of the entrenched work styles that I had developed up until the point of becoming a parent.” Manguso teaches at Cal Arts while she continues progress on her next two books, the aptly working-titled Book 8 and Book 9Book 8 is a novel (though the prose, she reports, “feels the same”) and Book 9is an essay similar in form to 300 Arguments. 

While she openly acknowledges that she’s still figuring life out—navigating a balancing act of “always holding all these threads in my hand at once”—her advice to aspiring writers is, naturally, short and clear: “just write.” She specifies: “Don’t write what you feel obligated to write—like if you think a serious writer is supposed to write a certain type of book or in a certain genre or form, but you actually just want to draw these weird pictures with symbols inside of them, do the pictures, because you’re going to write what you want to write eventually, anyway, and you might as well skip all of that dutiful good student shit that comes out before that.”

You probably won’t get rich, she admits, but “there’s a wonderful pleasure in [doing whatever you want] and not a lot of people get to do that in any pursuit.”

And with that, she’s off to a “writing day,” followed by a non-writing day, coupled with a kid’s birthday party on Saturday and a potential writing day on Sunday—just another week in the balancing act, before it starts all over again.horton.jpg

Adrian Horton is a freelance writer who graduated from Harvard College in May 2017 with a degree in History and Literature. Following graduation, she worked as a researcher-writer for Let’s Go 2018 in Greece and Italy. An avid traveler, she’s currently based in Cincinnati, Ohio, though that could change tomorrow. 


FEATURED EVENT The Nutcracker Ballet + Backstage Tour/Q&A with LA Ballet Soloist Elizabeth Walker AB '11 - Sun., Dec. 10

Los Angeles Ballet’s The Nutcracker is LA’s ultimate family holiday tradition, perfect for celebrating the season. Set to Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, this original production takes place in 1912 Los Angeles. You will be captivated as Clara and her beloved Nutcracker battle a most memorable Mouse King, encounter dancing Snowflakes and travel to the Palace of the Dolls.

What's more—Harvardwood members, friends, and guests are in for a one-of-a-kind experience after this Sunday matinee of The Nutcracker at Alex Theatre on December 10th, when we will be treated to an exclusive backstage tour and Q&A with Los Angeles Ballet soloist Liz Walker AB '11 (pictured to the left with the LAB Ensemble, photo by Reed Hutchinson/LAB). This will be a spectacular holiday treat for you and your friends, kids, and families. Bring your ballet aficionados and aspiring ballerinas!

Tickets in our section (Orchestra) are nearly sold out online, so get your tickets via Harvardwood before we sell out!

Boston, MA

Harvardwood Salon: Film Financing with Vinca L. Jarrett, Esq. - Mon., Dec. 11

Come learn about the ins and outs of film financing from Vinca L. Jarrett, an entertainment lawyer and president of FilmProFinance, a financial consulting service for investors and producers. Vinca will talk about what it takes to get movies financed and the role of state film tax credits.

Vinca L. Jarrett, Esq. is an entertainment lawyer and president of FilmPro Finance, a financial consulting service for investors and producers for funding one-off films and building film slates. She is currently writing the non-fiction work SHOW ME THE F#©K!NG MONEY (SMTFM): HOW TO INVEST, RAISE AND RECOUP MONEY IN THE FILM INDUSTRYand launched the TV web series of the same name in 2014 in which she interviews A-list financiers, distributors, bankers, investors, attorneys, casting agents, and producers from around the world.

Read Vinca's complete bio and RSVP here.

New York, NY

Our Hot in December Happy Harvardwood HOLIDAY PARTY - Tues., Dec. 12

The wind is blowing. The temperature is dropping. Who can be hot in December? WE CAN! That's right—it's time for our Hot in December Happy Harvardwood HOLIDAY PARTY!! And this will be a great one, and a wonderful opportunity for you to meet more of our incredibly smart, sexy, and scintillating Harvardwood members! Major jubilation alert!

And although we, all by ourselves, are more than special enough, the location will be special as well!  We're being hosted again by one of New York's smartest and most sophisticated non-profit (no selling) art venues, the wonderful AC Institute.

Admission is free, but you must bring something to eat or drink! If you work in, or are passionate about, the Arts, Media, and Entertainment, join our celebration!

Los Angeles, CA 

Harvardwood Helps at the NCJW​|​ LA Annual Clothing Giveaway - Sun., Dec. 3

Pitch in with Harvardwood Helps to give away ​more than​ 75,000 pieces of clothing and children’s books to more than 3,000 in-need and at-risk ​members of our community​. The event will take place Sunday, Dec. 3rd—rain OR shine! Volunteers​ are​ especially needed for the early shift, and you can sign up for one or both shifts. Bring your friends, colleagues, and family—the more the merrier!

Harvardwood Heads To... Winter Ball with IVY Entertainment - Thurs., Dec. 7

You are invited to an exclusive Winter Ball with IVY Entertainment. For the first time, we will be celebrating with exclusive discount cocktails at downtown's newest speakeasy channeling 1950's swank. L.A.’s love affair with speakeasies just got a blast of creativity. Birds & Bees, Downtown’s newest and hardest-to-find watering hole, eschews the traditional Prohibition-era decor for a fresh, 1950’s spin on this most celebrated bar style. B&B makes you work to find it. When standing in front of 207 South Broadway Street, ignore the office building and turn left to find the parking lot next door. In the lot’s back corner, a cheery bouncer will emerge from the shadows and lead you down a narrow stairway. Once the door on your left will opens to a cavernous, industrial-chic expanse, you’re now crashing a 50's cocktail party in the ritziest, tri-leveled New York apartment on Fifth Avenue.

Harvardwood Heads To... The Ivy Plus Society's Winter Wonderland Holiday Party - Fri., Dec. 8

Let’s celebrate the end of the year with some holiday cheer! The Ivy Plus Society’s annual Holiday Party is back and this year we’ve invited some friends. We’ll be joining UChicago Alumni Club of Los Angeles and Room to Read at the most photogenic venue in Los Angeles, Apt. 503. Step inside this invite-only immersive art gallery to mix & mingle with over 150 of your closest Angelenos! This party will be private from 8-10pm.

⛄ Harvardwood's Annual Holiday Hurrah ❄ - Thurs., Dec. 14

Three hurrahs for Harvardwood! Come revel in holiday cheer and happy festivities with your fellow Harvardwood members, friends, and volunteers on December 14th. This year, we'll be at The Parlor on Melrose, where you'll rub shoulders with entertainment's favorite Harvard alums. One free drink ticket per person to the first 75 people to RSVP!

Food will be available for purchase. Cash bar. In addition to the holiday festivities, join Harvardwood Helps in a toy drive for the holidays!  The Los Angeles County Fire Department's "Spark of Love" drive collects new toys and sports equipment for the Department of Children and Family Services for distribution to the foster children of Los Angeles County.  Any remaining toys are then distributed to non-profit charitable organizations within Los Angeles County.  New, unused, unwrapped toys and sports equipment for every age are appreciated.  Every year, however, there is an extra need for "Toys for Teens" and "Infant Toys. 1 DONATED NEW TOY = 1 RAFFLE TICKET

Harvardwood Salon with Felipe Tewes AB '06 - Tues., Dec. 19

Come grab a bite and learn about Netflix, production, and the international market with Netflix's Director of International Originals, Felipe Tewes AB '06! From William Morris to Focus Features, HBO to the streaming giant, Felipe has had a fascinating career in the industry. Sit down to chat and learn more!

Felipe Tewes currently serves as Director of International Originals at Netflix, focused on growing the company's series production efforts across Europe and the Middle East. Previous to Netflix, Felipe worked in acquisitions at HBO and HBO Latin America, licensing international film and tv series for the services. Felipe started his career in the William Morris training program before joining Focus Features as assistant to the CEO. He holds a BA from Harvard College. 

Chicago, IL

Harvardwood Chicago Writers' Meet-up - Tues., Dec. 5

Launch your holiday season in style​ with friendly Harvardwood ​writers​! Join us​ on Tuesday, December 5th at the newly renovated Deca Lounge & Rooftop Bar of the Ritz Carlton at Water Tower Place. ​All writers, genres and specialties are welcome!. Free to attend. Cash bar, optional menu, sparkling conversation. ​Bring your friends—forward this event link!

Washington, DC

Harvardwood Meet-up at the Black List DC Happy Hour - Wed., Dec. 6

The Black List is creating social hubs for writers around the world where they can meet other screenwriters and discuss the craft and the reality of the screenwriter's life. So join your fellow writers at the DC happy hour! Come to enjoy the drinks and the company. You never know who you might meet! This event is free and open to the public (cash bar). 

Program Spotlight: Harvardwood Helps

From Director Stacy Cohen AB '89

Harvardwood Helps is the organization's community service initiative, providing Harvardwood members, friends and family with opportunities to connect and bond with each other while participating in activities that benefit the communities in which we live. Harvardwood Helps events have included blood drives, tree plantings, school painting and beautification, hiking trail restorations and holiday toy drives, among many other events. Upcoming events include volunteering at a holiday clothing distribution for families in need and assembling packages for veterans and active duty service members. For guaranteed fun and a chance to hang out and do some good with fellow Harvardwoodians, please join us at a Harvardwood Helps event soon.

More about Stacy:

Stacy Cohen, a film industry veteran who held multiple senior executive positions at studio-based production companies, and developed and produced feature films in both the independent world and within the studio system, quite suddenly and unexpectedly transitioned to a career in politics in 2010, joining President Obama’s field team at Organizing for America for the midterms and going on to serve as California State Field Director for the 2012 reelection campaign. Cohen next served as CA State Director for Organizing for Action, harnessing the massive grassroots movement inspired by President Obama to support the White House’s second term policy agenda. Cohen then applied Obama campaign organizing principles and practices in the private sector, as Organizing Director in the public policy efforts at Airbnb. In 2017, Cohen joined California YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard), a new statewide nonprofit with the mission of solving the Golden State's housing crisis, as Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy Officer.

Before her transition to public service, Cohen spent four years as Head of Production at Warner Bros.-based Roserock Films, subsequent to serving five years as a producer and Senior Vice President of Production at Gaylord Films/Pandora, a co-financing, co-producing partner based at Warner Bros. Pictures, where she oversaw development and production of a slate of feature film projects. 

During her tenure there, Cohen produced the critically acclaimed family film DUMA (Warner Bros., 2005). Directed by Carroll Ballard (The Black Stallion, Fly Away Home), and starring Hope Davis, Campbell Scott and Eamonn Walker, DUMA was shot on more than 75 locations on every type of terrain across South Africa, and Cohen had the great fortune to direct 2nd Unit on the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan and in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, some of the wildest and most remote places on earth. DUMA was named the “Best Film of 2005” by LA Times film critic Kenneth Turan, and won multiple industry awards.

Cohen also served as Executive Producer of DREAMER (DreamWorks, 2005), starring Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Kris Kristofferson, David Morse and Elizabeth Shue, and of Warner Bros.' WHITE OLEANDER (2002), starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Renee Zellweger, Robin Wright Penn and Alison Lohman.

Before her time on the Warner lot, Cohen worked for four years at a Disney-based production company as Vice President of Development. Cohen began her film career in the independent feature world in various production capacities on such films as Robert Altman's THE PLAYER and Bryan Singer's Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury prize-winning PUBLIC ACCESS.

Cohen hails from Queens, NY, grew up in Great Neck on Long Island, and graduated from Harvard College, where she studied the history of architecture and wrote her thesis on Frank Capra and IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

As the Director of Harvardwood Helps, Cohen is responsible for deepening Harvardwood’s commitment to community service. She raises awareness about causes of interest and seeks out opportunities to provide community service events to Harvardwood members.


Give a Harvardwood certificate this holiday season!

Scrambling to think of the perfect gift idea for the artist, writer, filmmaker, musician in your life? Look no further! Now you can purchase Harvardwood gift certificates for a year (or more) of Harvardwood membership, event tickets (e.g., admission to three masterclasses in 2018), the Writers Competition application fee, or the new Script Review Service, to name a few examples. Ready to give the gift of Harvardwood this year? Contact us to tell us what "item" you want to gift, or we can also help you put together the ultimate Harvardwood gift package!


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