June 21, 2018

Topanga Documentary to Help Benefit Young Adults with Autism, February 27


The Los Angeles Vocational Academy of the Arts (LAVAArts), a new employment training model for young adults with autism that focuses on "the art of connection" as its guiding principle, and Autism Unites will be the beneficiaries of an evening of music featuring Robby Krieger of the legendary rock group, The Doors, and master percussionist and Oud player Hani Naser who has played with Jackson Browne, Santana and Steve Miller.

Acclaimed performance artist Norton Wisdom will create an original masterpiece during the performance and poet Michael C. Ford will read. Other celebrity guests are yet to be announced.

The evening includes hors d'oeuvres, a live auction featuring Robby Krieger's own artwork and autographed guitar and autographed drumheads by Hani Nasir, as well as a Silent Auction by Signature Events. The live auction will allow those music and die-hard Doors fans to bid on an actual guitar jamming session or play the maracas or tambourine on stage with Robby and Hani.

Hosts are Les Joseph, Elena Alexandra, Lana David, Barbara Hollander, George Paige and Susan Osborne at a lovely Mandeville Canyon estate in Brentwood.

The event will also announce the collaboration between LAVAArts and George Paige and GPA Entertainment on a feature-length documentary, Topanga, about the culture of Topanga Canyon during the 1960s through the 1980s as examined through the music of the time.

John Hartmann, author, educator and music industry expert is the writer of the film. He is the former manager of Peter, Paul and Mary, Crosby Stills and Nash, Eagles, America, Poco, and many other others including the legendary Topanga band, Canned Heat. Hartmann is a longtime Topanga resident.

The making of the film will be an opportunity for adults with autism to work side by side with industry professionals. GPA and LAVAArts will carefully match the film's production heads to young adults with autism, as well as with a companion who will help them navigate the workplace and make meaningful connections to the members of the film crew.

George Paige is the veteran producer of numerous award-winning documentary films including The Doors: Dance on Fire (HBO/Universal Studios), Michael Jackson The Legend Continues (CBS/Showtime) and the mini-series Motown (Showtime), a chronicle of the history of Berry Gordy and the stars of Motown including Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and the Four Tops.

Tickets are $500 per person. For those craving a V.I.P. experience with Robby Krieger, $2,500 per person will allow a "Meet & Greet" and wine tasting one hour prior to event. Anyone contributing $500 or more will receive a "Thank You" credit in the documentary. Admission is only with proof of purchased ticket, which will be checked by valet upon arrival.

All proceeds will directly benefit LAVAArts and Autism Spectrum Integrated Services, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to helping adults with autism connect to their communities.

Your generous donation will be helping to create a new model of community, social and employment integration for young adults with autism so they can reach their fullest potential. Adults with autism have the highest rate of unemployment of any disability category and your support will be making a positive impact to help reverse this trend.

For more information on the event: (310) 569-9308; or sosborne.asis@gmail.com; or Barbara Hollander of Autism Unites, (516) 376-8109; or George Paige at (310) 456-6363.