In June 2019, Marianna Phillips and Amanda Kelly Espiritu worked together to produce a party for Olive B. Persimmon to celebrate both her birthday and the launch of her second book “The Coitus Chronicles.” They spent weeks inviting a select group of friends, spent hours painting abstract Georgia O’Keefe-esque vulvas and hanging them from staircases alongside mannequin parts, booked poet Tania Az from Ars Poetica and her typewriter, a guitarist that has serenaded Olive on her birthday the last three years, and even a magician to perform throughout the evening while guests mingled, danced to “Come On Eileen” (at Olive’s insistence), and eagerly took Olive’s book into the GIF photo booth manned by photographer Anna Kate from Crazy In The Rain Photography. Olive read excerpts from her book and provided additional commentary on each situation and signed copies of her book for guests.
Food was locally sourced by Ayuverdic chef Stephanie Wrights from The Wright Methods, who worked to get donations from local farmers and helped Marianna and Amanda partner with sponsors Local Roots and Aero Farms to create a custom menu including elixirs, dips, salads, and sandwiches. GT’s Kombucha provided plenty of drinks to go around to sate everyone’s thirst between bouts of dancing.
In the weeks leading up to the event, Amanda and Marianna tackled PR and Sponsorship outreach, coordinated deliveries, and led a team of volunteers to help stuff gift bags Olive put together for guests to take home. They designed collateral for Facebook and Instagram for friends and family to distribute across social media. The team partnered with the non-profit Stageless Arts to source art materials that were donated to Materials For The Arts in LIC, Queens, NY.
All above Launch Party photos on this page were taken by Chris Sparks, Marianna Phillips, and Amanda Kelly Espiritu unless otherwise noted.