This is how we do it! The Gala...

Kirsten Wise, Executive Director/Cayuga Museum, Doug Curry, featured poet, Howard Nelson, featured poet, Karen Faris, featured poet, Tamara J. Madison, featured poet, "Sweet Daddy Beaujolais" MC, aka bill berry, Jr., CEO/Publisher/aaduna Inc., Chris Wilbur, artist/Boneheads exhibit, "Cruella De Vil" aka Lisa Brennan, Manager/Visual Arts Editor/aaduna Inc.
So, if you wondered what it was like and you were not there, well, you may never know what it was really like. I guess it is similar to not making it to the original Woodstock festivities. You hear stories. Read after the fact narratives. See documentaries and video clips.  Yet, you will never know the emotional rush. The costumes and swagger; the laughter and spirited conversations; the joyous and festive reactions to the musicians, sisterhood, artwork, poets, writers and Sweet Daddy Beaujolais meshed to create a magical evening that will never be duplicated.

The aaduna Halloween Gala Fundraiser, an annual event but not on Halloween, except for this year, 2019, marked the organization's formal transition from the prior annual theme, "Spirit of the Harlem Renaissance" to other themes that mark celebrations convened by people of the African Diaspora who have settled in distinct regions of the world. aaduna readings will now take on the cloak of colorful, festival dress and/or costumes, dances, music and most importantly diverse words that weave in and burst out; inspire; cause purposeful reflection, and enrich if not stimulate the imagination to explore possibilities not yet realized. 

Berny Williford's trio, "Biscuit" kicked the party off at 6 PM and provided a 60 minute set that launched the ambiance for the evening - partying.

"The Biscuit" [left to right] Chris Jones on drums, Berny Williford, Keyboard and Ken Burke, guitar
aaduna's penchant for multicultural explorations and quite natural and free-flowing manifestations of that diversity were exhibited and exuberantly heard as "Biscuit" rocked the house with a blend of toe-tapping, finger snapping, head bobbing music that journeyed over different genres of popular music. Leader and keyboardist Berny Williford was enthusiastically joined by dynamic musician colleagues Ken Burke on guitar and Chris Jones on drums and percussion.   


And not content to settle for just one singular kick-off, aaduna staged a second one with a rollicking dance performance by The Sisterhood of the Traveling Broom, a non-profit volunteer dance troupe of theatrical "witches" {not practicing!} based in Auburn, NY.  Inspired by Wolfshagen Hexenbrut, the German Dancing Witches, The Sisterhood provided an exuberant series of dances where they actively engaged the audience to dance and shake along with them. With rattles, spider rings and other assorted audience goodies, The Sisterhood matched Biscuit in revving up the audience and further created an uproarious atmosphere to party to words. And then...


The Chris Wilbur "Boneheads" watched and patiently absorbed the frivolity and gaiety as they maintained their "watch" positions throughout the nooks and crannies, stage and hallways of the Carriage House Theater. And then...


And then came the esteemed poets/writers, the soul and essence of the evening.







Our Guests:

Dracula  and  his  Bride - Boneheads by artist, Chris  Wilber

Our host and hostess at the door, Nate Bennett and Carrie O'Grady

Featured Poets:  Cyd Charisse Fulton, Doug Curry & Tamara J. Madison

Geoffrey Starks, Director of Development and Outreach/Cayuga Museum and Kirsten Wise, Executive Director/Cayuga Museum

Rose Quartz, aka Sheila Applegate/aaduna board member, Lumberjack Zac and Cruella De Vil aka Lisa Brennan, Manager/Visual Arts Editor/aaduna Inc.

Cruella causing trouble!

Sweet Daddy Beaujolais trying his hand  at  DJing

Sweet  Daddy Beaujolais and  Bonehead artist, Chris Wilbur

Sweet Daddy Beaujolais introduces the  2nd round poetry performance







In Appreciation

A multitude of thanks to Kirsten Wise, executive director of the Cayuga Museum of History and Art and especially Lisa A. Brennan, aaduna’s visual arts editor & executive manager of administration and marketing for their gracious collaboration and generosity of spirited work that went “above and beyond…” And Lisa, your daily wise counsel enabled “the unexpected” to happen. As always, without our Creatives -  this evening’s poets, writers, musicians, dancers, visual artist, and staff this fifth annual fundraiser may still be a concept waiting to be manifested. And rousing applause to our audience, fan-base and supporters.

A special thank you to Javier Moran Llanes and Auburn’s Don Juan Café Restaurant for culinary expertise in preparing the Puerto Rican meal for performers and your overall support. A salute and thank you to Carlos Bernal for his congeniality, goodwill and spur of the moment assistance in arranging accommodations for our out of state readers at Inn At The Finger Lakes. Bonnie Marcus and your Poets & Writers Readings and Workshops colleagues, thanks much for your ongoing support fueled by NYS’s cultural agency, governor and Legislature. Thanks to all! 

~~~~bill berry, jr.

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aaduna - an online adventure with words and images - a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at where we put measurable actions to our words.

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