Entertainers, Writers Come Together for Students
A rare intersection of television, film and the written word occurred recently when philanthropist and businessman Avi Oster organized “Speaking in Tongues,” an event designed to celebrate student literature and the young writers who create it. With the help of New York City’s world-famous WordTheatre, the evening saw an unprecedented amount of collaboration between such an eclectic group of individuals.
The other main focus of the evening was the Puschart Fellowship Prize in Literature, a prestigious educational grant established in 1976, and awarded to such luminaries as Charles Baxter, Susan Minot, and Jayne Anne Phillips. Avi Oster, under the banner of his media organization, hosted the gala alongside his sister, Jane, both of whom were recently included in George Wayne’s “50 Most Fabulous People” list.
The long-standing principle of Oster’s public ventures has been to bring all walks of talent together in order to influence positive change, and “Speaking in Tongues” was no exception. Actors from various HBO television series (True Blood, Entourage), former Puschart Prize Fellowship recipients, and Guggenheim Fellows were just some of the groups represented in the night’s celebrations.
Several prominent attendees read poetry, journalism and creative writing selections from this year’s edition of the Puschart Prize, an annual compendium of literature chosen from publications around the world. Also featured was the awarding of a $1,000 college scholarship for one student found to emphasize the creative ideas and artistic values embodied by WordTheatre and Avi Oster Media.