Champagne & Poetry: A Celebration of Creative Legacy

The inaugural Champagne & Poetry Cocktail Reception is a fundraising event celebrating the legacy and love of two architects of a global youth voice movement: Joan Osato and Chinaka Hodge.

Friday, May 19th, 2023

Join us in the beautiful ‘Ohana Floor at Salesforce Tower in SF to honor Joan and Chinaka, and celebrate the urgency of Youth Speaks in its next era.

What to Expect

  • Red Carpet attire
  • Hors d’oeuvres, champagne, wine & beer bar
  • DJ and live poetry performances
  • Interactive exhibits
  • An evening to vibe with creative, like-minded people who care about youth voice and investing the Bay Area’s arts and culture scene

Salesforce Tower
415 Mission Street
SF, CA 94105

Due to Salesforce's high security, government-issued photo IDs are required for entry. No entry substitutions allowed, as ticket names must match government-issued ID.

Joan Osato

has played a pivotal role in local and national theater for over a decade and has been an indispensable part of Youth Speaks / The Living Word Project since 2001. She has brought her multiplicity of producing and design talents to LWP Repertory works such as The Break/s, Word Becomes Flesh, Scourge, Tree City Legends and Mirrors in Every Corner, and plays for Campo Santo including The River by Richard Montoya, and Alleluia, by Luis Alfaro, directed by Jonathan Moscone. In 2014 she produced plays Chasing Mehserle, by Chinaka Hodge, Spiritrials by Dahlak Brathwaite; both directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and Nogales by Richard Montoya and Sean San Jose. Her current projects include a state-wide community engagement project called Califas (recipient of the Rockefeller MAPFund), Reflections of Healing with muralist Brett Cook, and Life is Living, a project in neglected parks in urban centers around the country.

Chinaka Hodge

is a poet, educator, playwright, and screenwriter. Originally from Oakland, California, she graduated from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in May of 2006. In 2010, Chinaka continued her studies at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. She has an MFA in Writing for Film and TV. She is currently the head writer for Disney+’s new Ironheart series.

For over a decade, Hodge has worked at Youth Speaks/The Living Word Project. During her tenure there, Chinaka served as Program Director, Associate Artistic Director, Brave New Voices Festival Director and worked directly with Youth Speaks’ core population as a teaching artist and poet mentor. She has acted in comparable capacities in New York and Los Angeles at Urban Word NYC and Get Lit: Words Ignite.