The world premiere of the musical It’s Not OK was performed April 9 at the Lobero Theatre to benefit Child Abuse Listening & Mediation, the Santa Barbara-based organization whose mission is, like the musical, to end all forms of abuse. The performance helped kick off April’s Child Abuse Prevention Month and CALM’s “I Will Not Be Silent” campaign.
Written, directed and performed by Linda Newlin, It’s Not OK is a thought-provoking musical journey that documents the personal growth of Newlin through video sequences, singing and dialogue.
The one-woman musical delves into the complex, universal subject of why It’s Not Okay to abuse ourselves or to allow others to abuse us. Newlin feels that it’s also “not OK” not to live our dreams or become who we are truly meant to be. Mixed with laughter and words of wisdom, the show encourages and inspires us to find our dream and soar.
Newlin, a singer, songwriter, coach and educator, also just released her new CD, Love Your Self. CALM volunteers sold copies of the new CD at the event, with proceeds also benefiting the charity. Click here to view the music video of the title tune on YouTube.
“I was fortunate to work with amazing local talent who supported my passion for authenticity and encouraging people to live their dreams by breaking free from all forms of abuse,” Newlin said. “It’s not just physical and sexual violence. It’s all the ways we abuse ourselves with negative self-talk, staying in empty relationships, working in unfulfilling jobs and not allowing ourselves to be who we truly are.”
West, producer of Love Your Self, stated: “Linda’s new CD, Love Your Self, is a beautiful and courageous wake-up call. It is a long-overdue proclamation that at least one woman will no longer tolerate society’s tacit acceptance of the many faces of child abuse, domestic violence and self-abuse. Nor will she allow those afflicted to recede into the shadows of ‘victim-ness.’ Within this amazing album of songs is a highly motivational lesson in just how to Love Your Self.”
Sound and multimedia design were created by Annie Dahlgren of Over 40 Productions.
Although it was a weeknight, parents, children and CALM supporters remained after the show for the post-performance reception in the tented Lobero courtyard, where guests enjoyed delightful desserts donated by Andersen’s Restaurant & Bakery.
First on the scene at the reception was Johnny, Newlin’s young son. He was running around after the excitement of seeing his mother’s performance. At one point on the stage, when Newlin was lamenting about herself, Johnny shouted out from his seat, “I think you’re great!” That is just the kind enthusiasm and forward-thinking that CALM is all about this month.
During April, rather than host a gala event, CALM is speaking up by holding an “I Will Not be Silent” silent gala. Instead of spending resources on a party, all proceeds from the silent gala will be used directly for the assessment, treatment and prevention of child abuse. So far, the many supporters have already stepped up to donate. The top donors to date are:
» Roar level (teach 5,000 children to roar “NO!” and get help for themselves or others; provide child abuse prevention education in 160 classrooms next year, and help teachers and administrators build a safe and open school community):
Kevyn de Regt
Patricia and Larry Durham
» Howl level (howl for 100 percent effective prevention and early intervention services for 30 at-risk families; when we reach families early, we can be sure that not one ends up “in the system”):
Alice Gillaroo and Susan Jorgensen
Anna and Petar Kokotovic
Elizabeth Ewers and Jeffrey Lovelace
Susan and Ron Morrow
The Towbes Foundation
» Bellow level (bellow to stop the cycle of violence; provide treatment for 20 children exposed to violence in their own homes, so they learn they are not alone or responsible):
Carol Ostrow and Michael Graff
Mary and Rowland Hanson
Peggy and Richard Lamb
Maryan and Richard Schall
Susanne and Gary Tobey
» Yell (yell in support of victims of sexual abuse; provide a series of sessions with CALM’s certified art therapist to begin the healing for one sexual abuse survivor):
Rosa and Michael Alvarado
Margo and Jeff Barbakow
Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf LLP
Bourke Wealth Management
Business First Bank
Bridget and Mark Foreman
Mary and Raymond Freeman Jr.
Giffin and Crane General Contractors
Lori and Rabbi Evan Goodman
Stephen Blain and Paul Guido
Rick Erickson and Neil Korpinen
Cassie Murray and William Plapinger
Riviera Insurance Services
Marianne and Norman Sprague
Cecilia Rodriguez and Bob Stanley
Michele and David Tappeiner
Marcia and Jim Wolfe
CALM was founded in 1969, when Claire Miles, a local nurse, learned that an overworked and emotionally stressed father who, in a moment of desperation, had shaken his infant son to death. Miles took immediate action and put a phone in her living room, then took out classified ads in the local newspaper urging parents in need to call for help, The phone rang nearly 40 times that first month. She and her friends took turns answering the calls, with the hope of helping stressed parents before they hurt their children.
More than 40 years later, that single phone has grown from a small, mostly volunteer organization to a widely recognized, strong agency. The vision of Miles has become the vision for hundreds of CALM’s professional staff, volunteers, trustees and auxiliary members. CALM’s mission has never wavered, to serve and protect the most vulnerable in the community — children.
CALM continues to prevent, assess and treat child abuse in Santa Barbara County by providing comprehensive, culturally competent services for children, families and adults. CALM offers a safe, non-judgmental, caring and strength-based environment to heal and increase family well being.
For more information or to donate, click here or contact CALM 4 Kids at 1236 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.