2:26pm PT by Chris Gardner
Rosanna Arquette, Swae Lee Set for Honors at My Friend's Place Gala for Homeless Youth
My Friend's Place is in the process of finalizing its annual gala, Youth Homelessness: A Benefit for My Friend's Place, and this year's program will include honorees Swae Lee, Rosanna Arquette, CAA's Anne Develin Blanchard and longtime corporate partner Universal Studios Hollywood's Discover a Star Program.
As part of Tuesday's announcement, executive director Heather Carmichael revealed that Alanna Ubach — coming off a big 2019 that included starring roles in Euphoria and Bombshell — will host the event, which is scheduled for March 28 at the Hollywood Palladium.
"This year's honorees are creating change across a wide range of issues facing our young people — from Swae's own lived experience as a young person experiencing homelessness, Rosanna's fierce opposition to sexual harassment and exploitation, Ann's unwavering commitment as a longtime board member at My Friend's Place and Universal Studios decades-long support and commitment to creating employment opportunities for our youth," said Carmichael.
Homeless remains an epidemic in Los Angeles, and the city's youth are some of the most vulnerable in the crisis. Since its founding in 1988, My Friend's Place has assisted tens of thousands between the ages 12 and 25 on their journeys to wellness, self-sufficiency and a permanent exit from homelessness. Currently, the organization provides a continuum of services to more than 1,350 homeless youth between the ages of 12 and 25, and their children, each year. At its Hollywood location, My Friend’s Place provided more than 30,000 meals last year, in addition to engaging nearly 500 young people in more than 700 creative and living arts workshops across 21,000 individual visits.
Arquette will soon be seen in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series Ratched alongside Sarah Paulson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Judy Davis, Don Cheadle, Corey Stoll, Sharon Stone and others. She recently has been visible as part of the Silence Breakers, speaking out over Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct and subsequent conviction.
Lee is a Grammy-nominated rapper-songwriter and who was born in Inglewood to a single mother. Per his bio, Lee and brother Slim Jxmmi were homeless at one point, during which they squatted in an abandoned house. Eventually, they channeled their passion for music into a duo group and got signed to Mike Will Made It’s label Ear Drummers Entertainment as Rae Sremmurd.
Blanchard is an agent in the TV literary and packaging department at CAA. She has worked in TV since 1990, when she started in the mailroom of Triad Artists, later acquired by the William Morris Agency in 1992. Blanchard spent 15 years at William Morris, where she served as a senior vp and earned the distinction of being one of the industry’s first-ever female television packaging agents. In 2007, she became a television literary manager at Mosaic for four years, prior to joining CAA in 2011. Blanchard is a long-term board member of My Friend’s Place and recently joined the board of the Independent Shakespeare Company. Each spring, she hosts an event for My Friend's Place with a relevant theme (example: "We Are All Immigrants") and a cast performing works inspired by their lives.
Universal Studios Hollywood Discover a Star Foundation was established in 1995 to support local organizations and projects that empower individuals and families to lead productive and fulfilling lives with a focus on addressing issues surrounding poverty, homelessness and children facing critical illness. Since its inception, the foundation has raised over $9.5 million.
More information about the event can be found here.