An Evening with Three Authors:
Weds. April 12 530-9pm
ASC 150 * FREE
Musician Alice Bag – LA, CA
Violence Girl: East LA Rage to Hollywood Stage—A Chicana Punk Story
Music Journalist Tony Fletcher – Woodstock, NY
Boy About Town; In The Midnight Hour: The Life & Soul of Wilson Pickett
Editor and Entrepreneur Zhena Muzyka – Ojai, CA
Life By The Cup: Inspiration for a Purpose-Filled Life
As part of Ventura College’s two day Diversity in Culture event, three authors tell their inspiring stories, read from their books, and speak about how writing and passion shown a light and led the way through life’s challenges. Q and A and book signing follows each presentation. With a dessert reception with treats from Ojai Coffee Emporium thanks to a student who works there, the event is hosted by Adjunct Professor Gwendolyn Alley & her English 1A Classes.
Entrepreneur, author, and editor Zhena Muzyka speaks at Ventura College 530-630p Weds. April 12 — FREE
The evening opens with Ojai’s most famous Gypsy, Zhena Muzyka founder of Zhena Gyspy Teas from 530-6:15pm. Zhena Muzyka is an award-winning, purpose-driven social entrepreneur, teacher, author, executive coach, public speaker, and the publisher of Enliven Books, a new Mind-Body-Spirit imprint from Atria/Simon and Schuster. Her mission is to inspire her audience to uncover their purpose and live in ways that heal themselves and our world.
Zhena’s critically acclaimed book, Life by the Cup, chronicles her experience growing a multimillion-dollar fair trade tea company, Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, as a single mom with $6 to her name in hopes to inspire others to achieve their most audacious dreams. Life by the Cup is in development for a TV series by Mark Wahlberg’s production company, creators of HBO shows Boardwalk Empire, Entourage, Ballers, and In Treatment.
Celebrated for her products and work in conscious business practices, Zhena has been on the Inc. 5000 list for several years, has been named a Country Living Women Entrepreneur Honoree, a Top Woman in Business by Pacific Business Times, 20 most inspiring women in Coco Eco Magazine, and has received Enterprising Women’s Enterprising Women of the Year Award, and the Natural Products Expo Socially Responsible Business award, among others. She has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire, Inc., Entrepreneur, and on Bloomberg, FOX NEWS, Lou Dobbs, and others for her unique point of view on mission driven business.
Music Journalist Tony Fletcher speaks from 630-730p Weds April 12 at Ventura College
Next up is best selling author and music journalist Tony Fletcher from 6:30-7:15pm. Music journalist Tony Fletcher’s bestsellers include In The Midnight Hour: The Life & Soul of Wilson Pickett (2017), A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths (2012), Perfect Circle: The Story of R.E.M. (2010). from
Driven to write at a young age, the fortunate circumstance of punk rock in London in the late 1970’s afforded Tony Fletcher the opportunity to start a music fanzine and to find the audience to read it. But none of it came easy. In this discussion, Tony shares his journey from amateur teenage fanzine writer to middle-aged professional book author, and the pitfalls and struggles along the way. What are the drivers and distractions to keep writing over the years? Tony will address the Ventura College Diversity in Culture theme by reading and sharing from his 2011 memoir Boy About Town, about growing up in London in the late 1970s at a time that immigration had led to widespread racism and potential fascism, about the struggle within popular music to promote and defend multi-culturalism, about living in a demographically shifting New York City and writing a book about how its immigration patterns have impacted on American music, concluding with his current biography about the great African-American soul singer Wilson Pickett.
Tony Fletcher is the bestselling author of several major music biographies, among them In The Midnight Hour: The Life & Soul of Wilson Pickett (2017), A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths (2012), Perfect Circle: The Story of R.E.M. (2010), as well as Boy About Town: A Memoir (2013), Hedonism: A Novel (2003), and All Hopped Up and Ready To Go: Music from the Streets of New York 1927-77 (2009). Born in northern England, and raised in South London, where he started his own music magazine at the age of thirteen, he emigrated to New York City in the late 1980s. When not traveling with his family, he makes his home near Woodstock in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. A contributor to Salon and the Wall Street Journal, his writing has also appeared in Mojo, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, Spin, and Newsday, and he has contributed to a host of other publications, radio, and television shows worldwide. Website: iJamming.net; he can be found on social media at twitter.com/tonyfletcher facebook.com/pages/theTonyFletcher
Musician Alice Bag of The Bags will read and perform to close out the first day of Ventura College’s 2 day Diversity in Culture Festival
Closing the evening is seminal punk rock figure, Alice Bag who will read and perform with band mate Angie from 730-8:15pm. Alice will be reading from her books, speaking about her life, and performing from her CDs with a backup musician.
Alice Bag is a singer/songwriter, musician, author, artist, educator and feminist. Alice was the lead singer and co-founder of the Bags, one of the first punk bands to form during the first wave of punk rock in Los Angeles. The Bags are considered one of the key bands of the early Hollywood punk scene that centered around the Masque in 1977-78. In 1981, members of the Bags appeared as the Alice Bag Band in the seminal documentary on punk rock, The Decline of Western Civilization. Alice went on to perform in other groundbreaking bands, including Castration Squad, Cholita, and Las Tres.
Alice Bag Photo by Martin Sorrondeguy at the Masque, 2014.
Alice has published two books: the critically acclaimed memoir Violence Girl in 2011 and the 2015 self-published Pipe Bomb For the Soul, based on her teaching experiences in post-revolutionary 1980’s Nicaragua. Alice’s influence on popular music is highlighted in the Smithsonian exhibit, American Sabor. Alice’s self-titled debut solo album was released on June 24th, 2016 on Don Giovanni Records. Alice Bag features all original material written by Bag and includes performances by some of her favorite LA-based musicians.
In 2014, Alice Bag and Tony Fletcher wowed audiences with their stories at Ventura College’s Earth Day Festival. We are excited to welcome them to our campus again along with Zhena Muzyka for this year’s Diversity in Culture Festival.