Keats, Fundraising Letter 11 12


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Keats, Fundraising Letter 11 12

  1. 1. The Kathryn Keats Show Contact: Keats Publishing 7 Tralee Way, San Rafael, CA 94903 W: E: Telephone: (415) 686-8171 Press Kit: Greetings! I am writing this letter to ask you for your help in sponsoring an original Holiday Concert starring Kathryn Keats and her award winning all-star band. Your donation will allow for the continuation of our theatrical production and implementation of our Community Outreach: Music Therapy Program for the survivors of domestic violence and abuse. We are counting on supportive people like you to help us reach our goal of raising $15,000. Can you help us? Every category is open to your donation. I am pl ease d to announ ce tha t we h ave re ceiv ed the en do rsemen t of the Ma rin Arts Coun cil. In addi tion to our o th er promo tions , spons ors will rec eive reco gni tion for thei r con tributi on to the 1 1,000 m em bers o f the Ma rin Arts Council . Kind Regards, Kathryn Keats Make your check payable to: Keats Publishing 7 Tralee Way San Rafael, CA 94903 Donate by phone: (415) 686-8171 Online payment: Paypal: xclick&hosted_button_id=9453191 Receipt: The Kathryn Keats Show Questions? Contact: Keats Publishing 7 Tralee Way, San Rafael, CA 415 686 8171 Thank you for your support! Name: Address: City: ZIP/Postal code: State/Province: Telephone: Total amount: Signature: Date:
  2. 2. The Kathryn Keats Show Contact: Keats Publishing 7 Tralee Way, San Rafael, CA 94903 W: E: Telephone: (415) 686-8171 Press Kit: A suggested type of donation and donor benefits are as follows: Group Rate: Trying to plan a memorable Holiday Party for an unbeatable price? • $15 per person ticket price for groups of 10 or more (a 25% discount!) Advocate Level: $250 gift • Includes 2 open seating tickets to performance • Complimentary beverage • Supports Theatrical Production and ongoing Music Therapy Program Bronze Level: $500 gift All the benefits of the Advocate Level, plus • Includes 4 open seating tickets to performance • Complementary beverage • Your name / brand recognition in performance program Silver Level: $1000 gift All the benefits of the Bronze Level, plus • Includes 4 open seating tickets to performance • Complementary wine and hors d’oeuvres reception • Your name / brand recognition in performance program Gold Level: $2500 gift All the benefits of the Silver Level, plus • Includes 6 reserved seating tickets to performance • Complementary wine and hors d’oeuvres reception • Your name / brand recognition in promotions and performance program • Special group rate discount for additional guests • Invitation for you and 5 guests to a “meet and greet” with the Artists after the show Platinum Level: $5000+ gift All the benefits of Gold Level, plus • Receives 10 reserved front row seating tickets • Complementary wine and hors d’oeuvres reception • Your name / brand recognition in promotions, performance program, and during the theatrical performance • Special group rate discount for additional guests • Invitation for you and 9 guests to a “meet and greet” with the Artists after the show • Personalized Autographed CDs by the Artists
  3. 3. Upcoming Performances & Community Outreach Projects: December 2009 The Kathryn Keats Show Feat uring Joe Venegoni, Mic hae l Manring, C els o Albe rti, Jeff Oste r and Ke lly Pa rk 8:00 pm Thursday, December 17th, 2009 Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley Tickets on sale 415-383-9600 Produced by Joe Venegoni & Michael LeValley Gerzevitz, Else, Keats, Alberti, Venegoni, Manring 142 Throckmorton Theatre. Mill Valley, California
  4. 4. Community Outreach: Music Therapy Program YWCA North Orange C ounty, Full erton, Cali forni a 92832 Keynote Speaker: Kathryn Keats Musical Director: Joe Venegoni Board Certified Music Therapist: Barbara Else, MPA, LCAT, MT-BC Senior Director of Research / Special Projects Consultant for the American Music Therapy Association Kathryn Keats – NYC – Symphony Space Joe Venegoni and Barbara Else
  5. 5. Above - Kathryn Keats – Readers Digest Below - Kathryn Keats and Montel Williams
  6. 6. W e l o o k f o rward to s e e i n g y o u a t o ur c o nc e r t s . Ka t hr y n K e a t s Thur s da y , D e c e mb e r 1 7 t h 1 4 2 T hr oc k m o r t o n T h e a tr e Mi l l V a l l e y , C a . 8 PM
  7. 7. Tha n k y o u f o r y o ur g e n e r o u s s u ppor t . All Photos – Cynthia Smalley Photographer For Readers Digest – Tim Tadder Photography For Montel Williams – Property of Montel Williams Show
  8. 8. Kathryn Keats Bay Area Sound Studio – Teaching a class for teens in composing Kathryn Keats at Jeans for Justice Rancho Sante Fe, California Readers Digest Cover May 2007 Missing Pieces featured Kathryn Keats 2008
  9. 9. Kathryn Keats writes often for www.counsellingresourcecenter in London Kathryn Keats speaking Los Angeles, Ca. for LGBT community Psychology Convention
  10. 10. Kathryn Keats at Coast Recorders Paul Stubblebine and Pete Sears
  11. 11. Reclaiming an abandoned life Elizabeth Fernandez, Chronicle Staff Writer Sunday, May 20, 2007 As she sat on the witness stand testifying against the man she loved, a man who'd tortured and humiliated her, Ellen Munger's eye caught his. He winked. In that gesture, Munger felt an iciness that cut to her bones. Kenneth Ford would never let her go. [Podcast: Emerging from 20 years of silence.] Not after the jury trial that found in her favor, not even after her batterer was sent to a mental hospital. Ford wanted her dead. He was schizophrenic. And he'd vowed to kill her, a promise he made repeatedly, demonically. "He wants to kill his girlfriend,'' said court records, "by cutting her in pieces and hanging the pieces in trees along the beach.'' Once Ford was released from psychiatric lockup, once he was back out on the streets, Munger knew her life was in peril. There was only one thing for her to do. She had to wipe herself out of existence. With the help of the Alameda County victims assistance program, she legally changed her name and became Kathryn Keats. She cut ties to everyone she knew, apart from her father, sister and one close friend. And she gave up the highly promising career she'd launched as a singer. It was an excruciating loss. Later, when she married, she told her husband little about her past life. When they had two children, they, too, knew nothing of their mother's secret. Always she looked over her shoulder. And not for a minute did she stop wishing she could once again sing professionally. For 22 years, Ellen Munger did not exist.
  12. 12. Then she learned that Ford had died. Now she's reclaiming her life at age 48. Ellen Munger was just 5 when she made a big announcement to her family: "I'm going to be a singer when I grow up,'' she said. Clad in patent leather shoes and a poufy dress, she'd performed for the first time -- "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star'' -- at her grade school in Evansville, Ind. There on stage, she felt at home. For the next decade, she single-mindedly pursued music -- singing in school talent shows, nursing homes, the local theater; she also studied tap dance and ballet. The summer of her freshman year of high school, she performed six shows daily at Nashville's Opryland, the youngest on stage. She appeared several times on "The Mike Douglas Show." In her junior year, she was accepted to the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, but less than two years later was sent home. "I wouldn't eat,'' she says. "I didn't have anorexia, I just didn't want to eat.'' In 1975, just before her 18th birthday, she persuaded her parents to send her to New York. There, she studied music and won enough minor roles to help pay the bills. The following year, she auditioned for a radical theatrical production, "Let My People Come.'' The show called for onstage nudity. Munger was dubious, but signed on because she'd earn her Equity card. The show's musical director was Ken Ford, 13 years her senior. Munger was quickly smitten with the long-haired, green-eyed musician. "He was very talented, and he thought I was really gifted,'' she says. Before long, they were living together. Munger did a thousand performances of the show, living in Philadelphia and touring in the United States and Canada for five years. She and Ford also wrote
  13. 13. four shows together; two were produced. Ford was a gifted musician, but during this time a psychosis was seeping in. He started hearing voices, would become agitated and paranoid. For hours he'd recite a series of numbers, believed that shadows on the wall were spirits. When he struck Munger the first time, he readily apologized. "I was in complete shock,'' she says. "I didn't know anything about mental illness or domestic violence. So I got ready for the show. I thought it would never happen again.'' But it did, over and over, and each time she forgave and tried to forget. "I loved him,'' she says. "It is horrible to watch someone struggle with mental illness. Plus, my future was invested in our partnership. I decided I was going to save him from his demons.'' Ford's mental illness worsened, and he developed various personalities. He used illegal drugs, had sudden flares of depression, anger, incoherence. The abuse became frequent, ritualistic. He'd sexually assault her, put her in the bathtub and urinate on her, tie her up and beat her with a belt, cut himself and smear blood on her, she says. Twice she left him, but he would pull her back in. "He was very good at seduction. He told me that I was the only one in his world that he'd ever loved, that he felt such a kinship with.'' In 1983, the couple moved to Oakland, down the block from Munger's sister. There, for 54 days, Munger says, he held her captive, tying her up at times, feeding her tomato soup and forcing her to eat cigarette butts, threatening her and her family. Munger spent her days paralyzed by fear, convinced that if she tried to run, he'd kill her. Her concerned sister showed up, and promptly called police. That May day, Ford was taken to Highland Hospital in a straitjacket. He
  14. 14. was later released after telling medical officials he'd go home to Pennsylvania to get help. Munger's family flew him back East. On Aug. 2, Ford called Munger from a Philadelphia bus station. He told her he was coming to get her. "Finally,'' she says, "I woke up and decided to fight for my life.'' Her case was assigned to Leo Dorado, a young deputy district attorney. On Aug. 7, Ford showed up at Munger's sister's home dressed in a long white robe, white wig and no shoes. Forewarned, Oakland police took him into custody, returning him to the psychiatric unit at Highland Hospital. He was initially kept on a 72-hour hold, then on a 14-day commitment. Now an Alameda County Superior Court judge, Dorado sifts through a stack of yellowing documents in his chambers. When he became a judge in 1988, Dorado retained few files from his days as a prosecutor. But Munger's he kept. "I've never had a case like this before or since,'' he says. The task was unique for the felony prosecutor: to prevent a potential tragedy from occurring. The hospital had determined that Ford was sufficiently stable, and therefore was required to release him. At the time, it was not a criminal violation to stalk or make a threat of great bodily injury or death. Ford presented himself as an intelligent person, calm and well spoken, Dorado said. "But it was so clear what he was capable of doing and what he would do. The jury would have to understand the real danger he posed.'' Dorado had just a few weeks to prepare his unprecedented case: a civil proceeding with a criminal standard. Numerous people filed affidavits attesting that Ford was dangerous
  15. 15. and violently insane, including the director of the C.G. Jung Center of Philadelphia. Ford was fixated on Munger, they wrote, and vowed to disembowel her. "Domestic violence was not recognized by the law back then -- there wasn't a phrase for it," Dorado says. "It was a considerable hurdle not only to make the jurors understand, but also to empathize. "I didn't know if she would be strong enough to go through it, not just the dreaded cross-examination, but the formality of the courtroom, to tell in graphic detail about her abuse to 12 strangers.'' The Superior Court trial lasted 31/2 weeks. "Every day I'd look at her and wonder if she'd hold up,'' says Dorado. "She's a very tough lady, a classic survivor.'' Albert Wax, Ford's public defender, says Munger was a "very good'' witness. "She convinced the jury that he was a danger to her,'' says Wax, now in private practice in the East Bay. But for Munger, testifying was the hardest thing she'd ever done. "It was torture,'' she says. "This was a time of drugs, sex, rock 'n' roll. My father heard every word. All the things you'd never want your parents to hear, he heard. And I was in a room with Ken, trying to take his freedom in order to save my life.'' The jury believed her. On Sept. 20, Ford was remanded into the custody of the state Department of Mental Health for treatment. "At least for the time being, she is safe,'' Dorado thought. "I hoped that over a longer time, he would stabilize. Still, it was an unresolved situation. I knew the mortal danger she was in." Ford's commitment was for only six months. Munger saw only one solution: to go underground. The Alameda County district attorney's victim/witness assistance
  16. 16. program helped her legally change her name to Kathryn Keats -- Kathryn because it was her grandmother's name and Keats because she liked the poet. She moved to a tiny apartment under Interstate 580. She quit singing, walked away from every facet of life she'd known. She got a paralegal degree from Samuel Merritt College, but wasn't really interested in that line of work. Briefly, she worked as a political canvasser, then for a few years as an assistant for famed photographers including Herb Ritts and Mary Ellen Mark. "I literally disappeared from the face of the earth as Ellen,'' she says. "I disappeared as a singer and composer and performer. No one who knew me knew who I was.'' In 1989, while managing a San Francisco acting studio, she met actor Richard Conti. In 1993, they married. They had two sons, Andrew, now 12, and Lorenzo, 10. Keats spent their younger years as a stay-at-home mother. These days she shuttles them to swim practice and skate parks. The backyard pool at their home in San Rafael is the gathering place for the neighborhood kids. The family enjoys playing music together and making home movies. Until recently, her children didn't know her real name. Conti, too, didn't know much about her past. "There were times we'd be out and she would see someone she'd known as Ellen and it would freak her out,'' says Conti. "She'd abruptly say she had to go home -- she never explained why. Or if a car was parked too long in front of her apartment, I'd have to go check it out. She would also have major night trauma, she'd wake up crying and shaking. I didn't really push her on it. I felt she would tell me when she was ready. I'm kind of easy that way. I just was accepting.''
  17. 17. Periodically, Keats phoned an acquaintance back East to ask about Ford, who eventually became a street person. In June 2005, she learned he was dead, apparently of lung cancer. For hours, she cried, relieved but sad. Then she walked, walked for miles thinking of loss, her own lost years, Ford's as well. She'd wanted to save them both, but in the end could save only herself. She started coming out, first to her family. "I was like, shocked, but I got over it in about two weeks,'' says her son Andrew with the equanimity of youth. "I didn't realize the enormity of it until Ken was dead,'' says her husband. "Since she got the monkey off her back, it has been wonderful and crazy. Watching her perform -- this is her life and for so many years it was taken from her.'' She's completed her first CD, "After the Silence,'' which traces her journey. Eager to help other survivors of domestic abuse, she's headlining a May 23 benefit at the Fairmont Hotel on behalf of Partners Ending Domestic Abuse. She's reclaiming what was hers -- her identity -- but as Kathryn Keats, not as Ellen Munger; there's too much pain wrapped up in her real name. "For me the greatest lesson is do not give up your dream, not if you are 47 or 67 or 87. I had to stop my life for a long time, but no dream should ever be lost,'' she says. "Now I am back in music. I'm back in my real life.''
  18. 18. Readers Digest By Ellen Sherman When the man of her dreams descended into madness, she became his victim Kathryn keats awoke in a panic, convinced she’d heard the curtains in front of her bedroom’s French doors swaying. In the dim glow from a bathroom night-light, she made out a ghostly shadow on the wall and froze, terrified. The suburban wife and mother had spent much of her adult life eluding a man bent on killing her, and now she was certain he had finally found her. I am going to die, she thought. The figure lunged toward her. But instead of the assault of a murderous stalker, Keats, 43, felt her seven-year-old son wrapping his arms around her. Frightened by a bad dream, he’d come to his parents’ room for comfort. “All I could think was, If I’d had a gun, I would have shot him,” Keats says today. “No one could understand how scared I was.” No one could understand because not even her closest friends knew that Keats’s true name was Ellen Christian Munger, and that for 21 years, she’d been in hiding from a man who had worked with her, loved her and ultimately become bent on destroying her. Munger grew up in Evansville, Indiana, the youngest of three and “the star” of the family. By her late teens, she was an accomplished singer and musician who had performed at the Grand Ole Opry. In 1978, at age 18, she moved to New York to pursue a career in theater and was soon called to audition for the successful off-Broadway show Let My People Come. At the audition, she watched a man play the piano with impressive virtuosity. He was Ken Ford, the show’s 32-year-old musical director, a compelling presence with long black hair and piercing green eyes. “I thought he was not only beautiful,” Munger recalls, “but also the most mysterious and talented person I had ever met.” That day, the two began a musical collaboration that would continue for years. Munger joined the show’s Philadelphia company, and soon she and Ford were living together. Raised in Philadelphia, Ford had served in Vietnam and, upon his return in the early 1970s, had immersed himself in the world of musical theater, composing and writing shows that gained little notice until a producer brought him in to direct Let My People Come. When Ford
  19. 19. and Munger weren’t working on the production, which played to packed houses in both New York and Philadelphia, they successfully teamed up on other musical compositions and performed at cabarets. But in the couple’s second year together, Munger noticed a troubling shift in Ford’s personality. He was distracted and moody and increasingly seemed to mutter to himself. Back in their apartment one rainy night after the show, Ford hurled Munger against a wall, shouting that he didn’t like the way other male cast members were looking at her. He then grabbed her by the shoulders and repeatedly slammed her head against the wall. Breaking free, Munger tried to calm him, but he cornered her and threw her to the floor. She felt him rip off her jeans, and the man who had been her partner, confidant and lover brutally raped her. When it was over, Munger retreated to the bedroom, where she spent the night huddled in a corner trying to make sense of what had happened, while Ford paced in the living room. When morning finally arrived, Ford went to her and begged forgiveness. “You’re the only one I love, the only one who can help me,” he said. “This will never happen again.” “I was young and in love,” she says, “and I believed him.” The pair continued to tour with the show and enjoyed weeks of tenderness and creativity together. But Ford eventually admitted to Munger that he was hearing voices whispering stories about her and other men, and outlining elaborate conspiracies being set to trap him. When the voices came, episodes of beatings and sexual abuse followed. “I didn’t know anything about mental illness,” says Munger. “I did know that you’re supposed to take care of people you love, so when the voices came, I tried to calm Ken by taking him on long walks and talking. Sometimes it worked. We’d start working on a song. As long as we had the sanity of our work, I could stay.” Munger covered her bruises with makeup and long sleeves and told no one about her plight. In 1981, Ford finally saw a psychiatrist, who prescribed medication for schizophrenia, and for a while, the pills seemed to work. Then Ford stopped taking them. One day that April, Munger returned to the apartment after auditioning for a New York talent agency interested in signing her as a solo client. Oddly silent, her boyfriend grabbed her and twisted her arm; he threatened to break it in retribution for Munger’s “sabotaging” his career. When she tried to flee, he held up a bottle he’d broken in the sink. He used the
  20. 20. glass to cut himself, then spread blood on Munger’s arm. “See what I can do to you?” he shouted. That night, Munger stayed with friends. But she went back to Ford the next day—as she would, again and again. “I know how crazy it sounds,” she says, “but like most victims of abuse, I thought I could be the one to save him.” In the spring of 1983, Munger and Ford left the tour and moved to Oakland, California, where Munger’s sister, Ann Carlin, had settled with her family. Munger hoped that, without the pressures of the show, Ford would stabilize. Instead, his delusions worsened. One day as Munger headed out for groceries, Ford blocked the door, saying Zen gods inside him were refusing to release her. Munger realized that her boyfriend had finally had a total break with reality. For the next 54 days, Ford held her captive in their apartment. He told Munger she had the spirit of a woman from the 1800s living inside her and that he needed to exorcise her. He bound her hands and feet with leather belts, and when she struggled, beat her. Eventually Munger stopped fighting back. “I was numb,” she says. Ford, who disconnected the phone lines, allowed her to eat only tomato soup, which he would crush cigarette butts into. “He’d blindfold me and throw a glass at the side of my head to see if I trusted him,” Munger recalls. “If I flinched, he would do it again.” He repeatedly raped and beat her. “In my mind,” says Munger today, “I was a dead person.” Finally, one afternoon in the spring of 1984, Ann Carlin, who had assumed that her sister was on an extended tour out of town, drove to Munger’s apartment and rang the bell. When Ford opened the door a crack, Carlin caught a glimpse of her sister, covered in blood. She ran to a nearby pay phone and called the police. When the officers arrived, it took five of them to haul Ford off in a straitjacket. Munger was taken to a safe house run by the Alameda Victim/Witness Assistance program, and Ford was committed to Oakland’s Highland Hospital for 72 hours. Afterward he was flown back to Philadelphia, where his parents were waiting. Soon Munger moved to her sister’s home to recuperate. But her nightmare was not over. One afternoon just two weeks after Ford flew East, the phone in Carlin’s kitchen rang. It was Ford, who told Carlin that Zen gods had instructed him to return to Oakland, dismember and kill Munger, hang her entrails from a tree and then kill himself. Munger contacted police, who took up watch outside Carlin’s home. Two weeks later, the officers apprehended Ford as he approached the house; he was
  21. 21. dressed all in white, wearing a white wig. Charged with being a danger to himself and others, Ford was found guilty and committed to Napa State Hospital for six months. To Munger, all that meant was Ford would be free in just 180 days to make good, once again, on his promise to kill her. In desperation, she met with Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Leo Dorado, who suggested a plan. Ellen Munger, he told her, would have to disappear for her own safety. The singer who’d dreamed of seeing her name in lights would have to become someone else—someone who didn’t have a career that would put her in the public eye. Worse than giving up her name, Ellen Munger would have to abandon her music. “It meant losing the one thing on earth I had lived for,” she says today. “I was devastated.” But she also realized there was no other way and that she didn’t have much time. Her father moved to Oakland to be nearby and hired a bodyguard for her. With the help of the Victim/Witness Assistance program, she legally changed her name to Kathryn Keats. She started training as a paralegal, and by the time Ford was released, Ellen Munger was gone. All that remained was the fear. As long as Ken Ford walked free, Keats believed her life was in danger. Months turned into years, and Kathryn Keats began to emerge from her cocoon. She spoke to no one from her past aside from family members and a few trusted childhood friends. She got a job in film financing and slowly made new friends, always keeping her background vague. In 1988, she met a man who interested her—Richard Conti, a printing executive. “She was so dynamic and yet very stable,” says Conti. But there was something unsettled about her. “She’d wake up scared to death, shaking, and couldn’t tell me why,” he says. “All I could do was just be there for her.” After a year, Keats told him the truth about her past. She and Conti married in 1993 and had two sons, Andrew, now 11, and Lorenzo, 9. Early in her new life, Keats contacted Barbara Crawford, a Philadelphia psychologist who had befriended Ford years earlier. While she didn’t provide her new name or location, Keats learned from Crawford that Ford was living on the streets of Philadelphia. Crawford told her she had once invited Ford into her residence and that he set fire to her piano. She also said Ford had told her that he remained obsessed with killing
  22. 22. his former lover. To outsiders, Keats appeared to be thriving at work, raising her family and getting involved in her community. “But inside,” she says, “I was still a hostage.” One afternoon, she glanced out her front window and saw someone sitting in a parked car with tinted windows. Minutes turned into hours, and the driver remained, waiting and watching. “I broke out in a cold sweat,” Keats says. “I thought, Why would anyone sit outside my house for so long? I was sure Ken had found us.” She frantically called police, but before they arrived, the car door opened and a woman emerged. It was a neighbor’s baby-sitter, doing some homework before going to work. “She always thought he could find her,” says Conti, “yet she remained devoted to me and our children as a wife and mother. I don’t know how she did it—feeling it would never end.” But end it finally did. In May 2005, after returning from a shopping trip with her sons, Keats had an overwhelming urge to reach out for news of Ford. Alone at home the following morning, she called one of the producers of Let My People Come and learned that Ford, who’d still been living on the streets of Philadelphia, had died more than a year earlier of lung cancer. She sat down at her piano, put her hands on the keys and, for the first time in years, composed a song. She sang it out loud to the empty living room, tears rolling down her cheeks. “I cried because I knew I would finally sing and write again,” Keats says. “And I cried out of relief, because I was finally free. My hell was finally over.” Since learning of Ford’s death, Keats, now 47, has written a host of songs and performed them in cabarets in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. She has completed a CD, After the Silence, which will also tour as a show with a nine-piece band. But her favorite audience of all is her husband and two sons, who often join her at the piano. Though she hasn’t shared all the details with them, her boys now know that their mother had to change her identity for her safety. And they know that, after so long, Ellen Munger and Kathryn Keats have finally become one.
  23. 23. From Judge Leo Dorado for Kathryn Keats about the San Francisco Chronicle feature – The Law Leo Created I was thinking about the Chronicle article and I was wondering about whether I clearly explained to Ms. Fernandez your (Kathryn Keats’) then existing grave danger as a result of the then existing legal gap between the hospital's determination that Ford was sufficiently stabilized at that time that they were required to release him according to their standards and the fact that at that time there was no criminal violation for giving death threats (currently a violation of 422 of the California Penal Code). - Leo