Jai Ho! Flash Mob – Times Square

Ajna Dance RehearsalTimes Square, an area of the city already bustling with people, was the perfect location for Ajna Dance to surprise New Yorkers with a Flash Mob! Their dance, to the song Jai Ho from the film Slumdog Millionaire, was choreographed by Minila Shah and the participants were ready to go after only 2 rehearsals.

Ajna Flash Mob Dance



The JME team, who love supporting the international arts world, were very excited to work with the Ajna Dance Company again after having first met them at the International Day to end Obstetric Fistula at the United Nations. For those of you who weren’t able to perform at Times Square don’t worry – you have another opportunity to volunteer for the Flash Mob on April 26 which will be held at Union Square!

Flashmob Times SquareThe dance was to promote the upcoming 14th annual New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) being held May 5 – 10. This five-day festival presented by the Indo-American Arts Council will include movie and documentary screenings, post-screening discussions, industry panels, special events, and networking parties around New York City.

Times Square Dancers

For more information about the next Flash Mob, contact Minila Shah, info@ajnadance.com. Rehearsals start on April 20 – and you don’t have to be a professional dancer!

For more info on the New York Indian Film Festival you can check their schedule here, and purchase tickets here.

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Scoundrels hit London!

J Marshall Events UK logoSavoy TheatreChampagne at the SavoyHaving an office in two culturally vibrant cities like London and New York definitely has its perks!

This week, I received an invitation to attend Press Night for the musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels now showing at the West End! However, with the NYC office being so busy I had to pass on the invitation to an associate in our London office. Jerry Mitchell’s “anti-musical” was well received by the Londoners on Press Night and even got a standing ovation!

Robert Lindsay and Rufus Hound make a perfect team of swindlers and the two have an infectious chemistry with their female co-stars Samantha Bond and Katherine Kingsley. The musical and comedic talent of these actors was superb and kept the audience giggling right up until the final
scene of the show.

I was a huge fan of the Tony Award Winning show in New York and was privileged to see it several times and meet many of the actors. I can’t wait to see the London version and sip a glass of champagne at the Savoy!

Unfortunately, I have to wait until my trip to London in August to see the show but if you’re lucky enough to be in the area now you should definitely check it out!

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Ladies

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The Anglo Files with Sarah Lyall

The Anglo FilesSarah Lyall, an author especially famous for reporting on the curious habits of the British was the guest speaker at the National Arts Club, a beautiful historical landmark building near Gramercy Park this past Monday. The event hosted by John F. Andrews OBE, President of the Shakespeare Guild, was to discuss her return to the States and her book from 2008 The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British. Lyall and Andrews covered everything from current affairs, the royal family, cricket, hedgehogs and her experience as a correspondent for the New York Times while living abroad in London. Lyall is a born and bred New Yorker, which allowed her to relate to many of the audience members who had also spent extended periods of time living in the UK after growing up in the US.

The conversation was followed by a lively Q&A between Lyall and the attendees who eagerly discussed topics ranging from US and UK politics, Prince Charles and, of course, British pubs!

Sarah Lyle and John F Andrews

I think everyone agreed that “England and America are two countries separated by a common language,” – George Bernard Shaw.

After 18 years in London Sarah Lyall is now adapting to life back in New York, along with her English family.  We hope a follow-up book is soon in the works!

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“Teenage” – A film by Matt Wolf

Adolescence is a new birth.” – G. Stanley Hall 1904

Tommie Scheel - Ben Rosenfield

This week we were lucky to have been invited to an advance screening of “Teenage”. Director Matt Wolf’s historical documentary is an adaptation of the book by Jon Savage. Without spoiling the entire plot I can tell you this film follows the stories of four inspiring, radical, and progressive teens who live in the US, UK, and Germany during the first and second World Wars.

Brenda Dean Paul - Leah Hennessey

Watching this film was a dreamlike experience as director Wolf seamlessly weaved archival and new original footage. He begins the story at the end of the child labor era explaining how teens fought for recognition as a respectable and unified community of agents of social change.

Warren Wall - Malik Peters

During the Q&A after the screening an audience member asked Wolf who his target audience is, he laughed and said “Hmm well, myself. You know… people who take pleasure in delving into the obscure, and of course, our present day alternative teenagers like New York City kids”.

Melita Maschmann - Ivy Blackshire

If you fall into this category of people or are simply a lover of enlightening documentaries I highly recommend checking out this film! “Teenage” will officially open March 14th and is exclusively showing at New York’s Landmark Sunshine Cinema on the Lower East Side.

Watch the trailer on youtube!


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Tea Time Talk with Hannah Godefa…

Hannah at microphoneHere at J Marshall Events, we often have the privilege of sharing a cup of tea with exceptionally interesting people.  We were particularly dazzled by 17 year old Hannah Godefa who has dedicated much of her childhood to raising awareness and funds for several noble causes. We first met Hannah when she delivered a beautifully written speech at the International Day of the Girl Child. Our second encounter was when she moderated a discussion between UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and global pop superstar Katy Perry, at Perry’s induction as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.Hannah Godefa in Ethiopia

Ethiopian-born Godefa was deeply inspired by a journey to Africa to visit family and soon after founded the Pencil Mountain Project. This organization is a resource mobilization project that delivers supplies to Ethiopian children. The first shipment to Ethiopian students included 25,000 pencils and since then nearly half a million school supplies, including wheelchairs for handicapped children have been distributed.  Hannah continues to travel the world speaking out about the need for equal access to education for all children and was appointed UNICEF National Ambassador to Ethiopia in January of 2013.

Hannah in Africa

Hannah washing child's handsHannah as UNICEF Ambassador in Africa Recently, Hannah Godefa and Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg co-authored and submitted to CNN World an article titled Teach a girl, enrich the world. These two voices while powerful on their own are quite a force to be reckoned with when combined. One of the most memorable assertions from this article is “…you can teach a man to fish to feed himself for a lifetime. But if you invest in a girl, she feeds herself, educates future children, lifts up her community and propels her nation forward – charting a path that offers dignity for all in the process.”  Without a doubt Hannah will continue to be an important voice in the movement to provide equal education to women and young girls worldwide, and we can’t wait to see what she will do next!

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Spex in the City

JAM & Sherlock BobbyFor my last day off in London I decided to spend the day in town with a friend.  Nothing too strenuous, just mooching around, visiting some vintage stores, having an afternoon glass of champagne and finishing with dinner at Bill’s. Since it was a lovely day, I thought I’d pop by Mr. Holmes flat and get the obligatory photo in front of 221B Baker Street, before starting the shopping and champagne. Sherlock wasn’t home, but I met a very nice bobby!

The next stop was Alfies – a labyrinth of everything vintage from furniture to clothing.  There were so many floors and nooks and crannies, that it was easy to get lost.

JAM and Gillian Caplan


Alfies was followed by Spex in the City - highly recommended by our friend Lydia.  I spent a lot of time in the shop trying on frames and talking to Gillian Caplan about charity work – she donates glasses for Kids in Kenya.


I found a cool pair of specs designed by Gillian, and she put lenses in for me while I waited. After all this excitement it was time for an invigorating glass of champagne before moving on to the next place.


My final stop was Blackout 2, where I bought a necklace, but surprisingly, resisted yet another handbag!  David and Fumi were lovely and very helpful. The store was laid out nicely and everything was easy to find. I’ll definitely be going back!


Inspired by all my fabulous findings,  I visited Can’t Buy me Love and Cha Cha Cha in Muswell Hill the next day – by now my suitcase was packed to capacity!

Can't Buy Me LoveCan't Buy Me Love

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BAFTA Awards 2014

BAFTAAs I was planning to be in London for a month, I had BAFTA screeners delivered to my London address so I could catch up on movies I hadn’t seen in 2013. I also managed to catch up on many documentaries that hadn’t been shown in New York. I’m ex-BBC and have a particular fondness for a good doc!

Union Flag Mug of TeaThe weather in London was perfect for hours of viewing – it hadn’t stopped raining for days! So I hunkered down with mugs of tea and happily viewed 17 movies and 5 documentaries over the Christmas and New Year holidays. The first BAFTA nominations have just been announced and I’m happy to say that many of my favorites are through to the next round!


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Unconditionally Katy Perry

Unconditionally Katy Perry

On December 3rd, UNICEF inducted pop sensation Katy Perry as their newest Goodwill Ambassador. This invitation-only press event took place at UNICEF House and was moderated by 17-year-old Hannah Godefa, Ethiopia National Goodwill Ambassador, who was accompanied by her proud dad.

Tony Lake, Hannah and Katy PerryThe press included youth bloggers, KIDSDAY members, and local NYC students who got an exclusive peak at the #unconditionallyUNICEF video featuring Katy Perry’s trip to Madagascar.  Executive Director, Tony Lake, tapped his foot along to the song and commented later, “I was trying very hard not to lip synch”.  Below is the video with lyrics inspired by Perry’s work with UNICEF.

Perry commented that being in the public eye enabled her to reach a vast number of people and shine a light on issues that need to be addressed.

We at J Marshall Events admire how Katy Perry is using her fame to shine the spotlight on global issues such as providing maternal health care, incorporating children with disabilities into society, and securing access to clean water.


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The World goes Pink
for International Day of the Girl Child

Pink Empire State Building

Photo © Plan-International

The J Marshall Events team and the rest of Manhattan were excited to see the Empire State Building turn pink on October 11th in honor of International Day of the Girl Child. Not only did the United States go pink but countries around the world, including Australia, Spain and Guatemala, lit their national monuments in celebration of this special day.  Plan International, and UNICEF held several events in New York to spotlight the global issue of protecting a girl’s right to education.

JAM working - Girl PowerAs you can see Julie-Ann and the UNICEF team also put their girl power into action as they focused the lights at UNICEF House. The event featured a ‘Girl Roar’ video clip with Katy Perry, several inspiring speeches, and special guest Freida Pinto, actress and Global Ambassador for Plan International. After the program Tulsi Thapa, Global Youth Ambassador, and Freida invited guests to gather around a Fresco and erase the image of girls in a sweatshop to reveal girls sitting in a classroom.

Girl Board

While some progress has been made, the International Day of the Girl Child recognizes that children in many countries are still unable to attend school or complete their education due to safety, cultural, financial or institutional obstacles. UNICEF and Plan International are exploring how technology can increase access to education for out-of-school girls and improve the quality of learning for every child. The girls of J Marshall Events were happy to be part of their efforts!

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Global Interfaith WASH Alliance

On September 25, the J Marshall Events team and I were thrilled to be part of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) at UNICEF House.

The Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA)This was the first global interfaith initiative to promote safe water and limit the amount of people without access to sustainable drinking water. The panelists, representatives from various faith-based organizations from around the globe, were enthusiastic, hopeful and moving in their statements.

GIWA Martinez BrothersA highlight of the event was the foot tapping and smile inducing live rap performance by 13 year-old environmental activist and youth director of Earth Guardians, Xihutezcatl Martinez, and his 10 year-old brother.

GIWA water ceremonyThe program culminated with a water ceremony performed by all the advocates. Each panel participant brought water from their home country to be symbolically mixed in a large vessel, confirming the commitment to work together to ensure safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene.

The task of providing and securing clean drinking water and sanitation on a global scale is an ongoing struggle with more than 768 million people lacking access to safe water. You can find more information on WASH at www.unicef.org/wash.

See our Gallery.

Photos © Stephanie Berger

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