My Friend's Place Launches Star-Studded Virtual Festival To Support Homeless Youth

Event Series to Include 'A Night United' hosted by 'Grey's Anatomy' Star Giacomo Gianniotti, and 'Standing Together: A Virtual Concert' Benefiting Youth Experiencing Homelessness in Los Angeles featuring Pop Sensation JoJo and R&B Hitmaker Mario

Tickets and Sponsorship Packages Available Now at


My Friend's Place

LOS ANGELES, July 22, 2020 -- My Friend's Place has created a virtual gala model to replace their annual "Ending Youth Homelessness" gala, which was cancelled due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the importance of keeping all in our community safe and healthy during this especially trying time, this year's virtual event, "My Friend's Place Summer Festival," will expand the reach of a single in-person event, into a multi-day series of online events. The festival kicks off on Sunday, August 9, 2020, with "Standing Together: A Virtual Concert" benefiting youth experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. The festival will close with "A Night United," hosted by "Grey's Anatomy" star and My Friend's Place champion, Giacomo Gianniotti, on Thursday, August 13th. Tickets and more information for the My Friend's Place Summer Festival are available now on the organization's website,

Since its inception in 1988, My Friend's Place has assisted tens of thousands of youth experiencing homelessness between the ages 12 and 25 discover a path to wellness, self-sufficiency and a permanent exit from homelessness.

"Over the past few months, we have all felt the tremendous impact of COVID-19, including young people and adults experiencing homelessness," says My Friend's Place Executive Director, Heather Carmichael. She went on to say, "While we may not be able to gather in-person at this time, we are excited to virtually connect with longtime advocates and new friends, in an effort to raise support for youth experiencing homelessness and ensure that My Friend's Place can continue being a place of safety and support through this pandemic and beyond."

The "My Friend's Place Summer Festival" will include a number of ticketed and free events throughout its inaugural run. The kickoff event, "Standing Together: A Virtual Concert" benefiting youth experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles, takes place on Sunday, August 9, at 5 p.m. Streaming across all of the organization's social platforms and Youtube channel, the concert will feature performances by JoJo, Kenzie Ziegler, Mario, Scott Helman, Pete Molinari, Pinegrove, Drew Vision, Steve Reich; with appearances by NBA superstar Chris Paul, actress and dancer Maddie Ziegler, "The Orville's" star Mark Jackson, among others.

Ticketed workshops and events, including virtual yoga classes, family friendly art workshops and curated wine tastings with longtime My Friend's Place sponsor Tabula Rasa, will be held throughout the festival, with funds raised supporting services and programming at My Friend's Place.

The festival concludes on Thursday, August 13th, with "A Night United," a virtual celebration of the champions making transformative opportunities possible for the youth at My Friend's Place. Hosted by "Grey's Anatomy" star and previous My Friend's Place Champion of the Year recipient Giacomo Gianniotti, the event will honor actress and activist Rosanna Arquette, CAA agent and My Friend's Place Board Member Ann Blanchard, and will feature performances by My Friend's Place youth, among other surprises.

To purchase tickets and for more information, please visit

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Event Hashtag: #mfpsummerfest
Agency Website:
Festival Website:
Twitter: @MFPLA
Instagram: @myfriendsplace

Rosanna Arquette—Soon to be seen in Ryan Murphy's Netflix series RATCHED alongside Sarah Paulson, Vincent D'Onofrio, Judy Davis, Don Cheadle, Corey Stoll, Sharon Stone amongst others. In addition, Rosanna has completed a movie that Eleanor Coppola has directed, alongside Rita Wilson. Rosanna is in the feature film HOLY LANDS with Jonathan Rhys Meyers for Studio Canal. She also played the female lead in the movie "Etruscan Smile" produced by Academy Award winner Arthur Cohn starring alongside Brian Cox… In addition, she was one the leads on the Youtube Originals series SIDESWIPED with Carly Craig in which Jason Sudeikis produced. Among some of the artists included Thomas Lennon, Springfield, Tyler Posey, Christopher McDonald and others are doing appearances.

Ann Develin Blanchard—Ann Develin Blanchard is an agent in the TV Literary and Packaging department at leading entertainment and sports agency, Creative Artists Agency (CAA). A veteran agent, Blanchard represents many of the most prolific, creative, and diverse artists working in television, ranging from writers, directors, playwrights, and writer-performers, to showrunners and production companies. Blanchard has worked in the television business since 1990 and spent 15 years at William Morris, where she served as a Senior Vice President and became one of the industry's first-ever female television packaging agents. Blanchard is a long-term board member of My Friend's Place. Each spring, she hosts an event for My Friend's Place with a relevant theme, such as "WE ARE ALL IMMIGRANTS," which featured a diverse group of Hollywood writers performing their autobiographical tales, using storytelling to promote inclusion and understanding while benefiting homeless youth.


About My Friend's Place

On January 8, 1988, two friends working in Hollywood were compelled to help the homeless youth who populated the sidewalks just outside of their office door. Determined to effect change, no matter how small, the co-founders of My Friend's Place, Steve LePore and Craig Scholz, began spending their break time making and distributing sack lunches to the young people living on the streets. Soon, this simple act became a grassroots movement and Steve and Craig had assembled a group of kind-hearted volunteers who traversed Hollywood delivering meals. After countless hours of interactions with these young people, the duo realized providing meals only addressed a small portion of the issue. Within a year, the idea was born for creating a judgment-free, "safe place" where intangible needs such as physical and mental health services, creative outlets and employment and education assistance could be met. Thirty years later, My Friend's Place has grown into a dynamic resource center that offers a comprehensive continuum of services to more than 1,350 homeless youth between the ages of 12 and 25, and their children, each year. Through the expansive programming offered at its Hollywood location, My Friend's Place provided more than 30,000 meals last year, in addition to engaging nearly 500 young people in more than 700 creative and living arts workshops across 21,000 individual visits.

About My Friend's Place Executive Director Heather Carmichael

Heather Carmichael L.C.S.W., (Executive Director) has been with My Friend's Place for 20 years. Before moving into the Executive Director position in 2009, she served as the organization's Clinical Director and Associate Executive Director, bringing over 21 years of experience serving high-risk youth. As the ED, she provides leadership to this thriving organization working closely with the management team, which possesses a collective 49 years of dedicated service at My Friend's Place. For more than 15 years, she has been a strong participant and has held leadership roles with the Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership and is an active member of multitude of advisory boards. Prior to her work at My Friend's Place, Heather worked on staff at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Larkin Street Youth Services, a nonprofit serving youth experiencing homelessness in San Francisco.

July 22, 2020 12:43pm ET by Pressparty  

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