Hermitage Artist Retreat announces that actor, author and social activist Ali MacGraw is keynote speaker for the 2019 Muse Luncheon


The Hermitage Artist Retreat announced that the keynote speaker for this year’s Muse Luncheon will be acclaimed actor, author, and activist Ali MacGraw. The event is Jan. 22, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Michael’s On East, 1212 S. E. Ave., Sarasota.

MacGraw will speak about her years in the film and fashion industry and her involvement in philanthropy and social issues. Since 2016, the Muse Luncheon features a well-known American artist as the keynote speaker whose career has served as an inspiration and beacon to others. All proceeds are contributed to the Hermitage’s Endowment Fund. Ticket prices begin at $125 and may be reserved online at HermitageArtistRetreat.org or by contacting Craig Badinger, development director, 941-475-2098, ext. 2, or development@HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

“The Muse Luncheon is about inspiration,” said Bruce Rodgers, executive director of the Hermitage, “and Ali MacGraw has been on an inspiring journey her whole life, much of which has been out of the glare of the Hollywood spotlight. I can’t wait for our community to meet who Ali is now, and to find their own inspiration in her story.”

Ali MacGraw graduated from Wellesley College and began her professional career in 1960 as Diana Vreeland’s assistant at Harper’s Bazaar. After leaving Harper’s Bazaar, she went to work as a stylist for fashion photographer Melvin Sokolsky in New York for six years. MacGraw’s acting career began when producer Stanley R. Jaffe and director Larry Peerce offered her the leading role of Brenda Patamkin opposite Dick Benjamin in the screen version of Philip Roth’s short novel, Goodbye Columbus. Her next film was Love Story, and it proved to be her major break. An original screenplay (and later a bestselling novel) by Erich Segal, the film earned MacGraw international fame, an Academy Award nomination, a Golden Globe award, and many additional honors worldwide. MacGraw’s third film, The Getaway, completed her trio of blockbuster films. After The Getaway, MacGraw took a five-year hiatus from Hollywood to raise her son Joshua, the son of Robert Evans. She returned to the screen to co-star in Sam Peckinpah’s Convoy, with Kris Kristofferson. Her other film credits include Players and Just Tell Me What You Want, and TV’s The Winds of War and Dynasty.

MacGraw’s autobiography, Moving Pictures (Bantam Books), climbed The New York Times’ bestsellers list and went on to become an international bestseller. She also teamed up with Warner Home Video to create the instructional yoga video, “Yoga Mind & Body.” MacGraw lives in New Mexico. She travels extensively, appearing in documentaries and working on behalf of numerous social, animal and environmental causes.

The Hermitage is a nonprofit artist retreat located in Englewood. It invites accomplished artists in all disciplines for residencies on its beachfront campus which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, visit www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.


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