Holliston native raises backing on line for her new album
KICK-STARTING CAREER: Holliston native Erica Leigh Stenquist, who performs as Erica Leigh, recently turned to Kickstarter.com for funds to finish her first album, “Puzzle Heart.’’
After exceeding her $6,000 goal in two weeks, she is continuing to raise money to hire a band, promote the album with a CD release show, produce music videos, collaborate with industry professionals, enter songwriting contests, enhance her website, and record more music in the future.
She has raised $6,696 from 122 backers. Pledges will close on March 30.
In exchange for donations at various levels on Kickstarter.com, Stenquist will provide a personal acknowledgement on social media sites and the CD’s liner notes; prerelease a download of “Puzzle Heart;’’ autograph her CD; give passes to her CD release show; provide a self-designed Puzzle Heart songbook; cover any song with a personal dedication; conduct a voice or songwriting lesson; complete a custom painting; write and record a custom song; or perform at a wedding or private concert.
Stenquist, a 2010 graduate of Berklee College of Music who now lives in Quincy, said creating an album has been a lifelong dream. In addition to the cover art, she has paintings corresponding with each of the six tracks. Boston resident Max Esposito, a fellow 2006 graduate of Holliston High School, helped record her first music video.
Stenquist describes her songs as “soulful’’ snapshots in time, reflecting upon romantic relationships as well as those with friends and family. Stenquist said she feels privileged to produce an album with sole creative control.
“I’ve never felt more nervous than when I launched the site. . . . I wasn’t prepared for all these people to show me their support. It’s been such a cool journey so far.’’
BOOK RELEASE PARTY: Singer, songwriter, vocal coach, and music career coach Jennifer Truesdale of Arlington will host a book release party and music industry networking event on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant and Music Club, 17 Holland St. in Somerville’s Davis Square.
In her new book, “Get Paid to Sing: The Singer’s Guide to Making a Living Making Music,’’ Truesdale provides readers with the tools to develop the skills and confidence needed to take advantage of a wide variety of professional singing opportunities.
In addition to performing and serving as a singing coach, Truesdale is a published songwriter who has written, produced, and performed on recordings for television shows including “All My Children,’’ “Soul Food,’’ “Melrose Place,’’ “Sunset Beach,’’ “One Life to Live,’’ and “The Young and the Restless.’’
For more information, visit www.getpaidtosing.com.
FESTIVAL HONORS: Natick resident Leslie Siegel will be honored as Festival Honoree of the Year at the Israel Folkdance Festival of Boston, which is taking place Sunday at 3 p.m. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kresge Auditorium in Cambridge.
The annual showcase of Jewish and Israeli dance features hundreds of performers from across North America. Its Honoree of the Year program recognizes individuals who have dedicated significant time and effort to the festival.
Siegel said she feels “truly blessed’’ to be part of the Boston festival dance community.
“I’ve been through life-cycle events with these friends and grown dramatically in so many areas,’’ she said.
Siegel performed in her first Boston Festival in 1990, as a member of Hamakor and Ruach Aviv. The following year, she started her ongoing role as director and choreographer of Ruach Aviv.
In 2000, she broke new ground by bringing children to the stage with Ruach K’tana. She continued her work with children performers at Jewish Community Day School with Keshet and Shemesh in 2005, and she assumed leadership of Kesheroked, a children’s troupe based in Newton, in 2007.
For more information, visit www.bostonfestival.org.
“LOST BOY’’ IN WAYLAND:Gabriel Bol Deng of Syracuse, N.Y. will share his story as one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan’’ as the featured speaker at the next Walden Forum at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the First Parish in Wayland’s 1815 meetinghouse, at the intersection of routes 20 and 27 in Wayland.
At age 10, Deng fled his village of Ariang in south Sudan after it was attacked by Murahileen militiamen from northern Sudan in 1987. He is among more than 20,000 boys who were displaced or orphaned during the civil war, which killed about 2.5 million people before a comprehensive peace agreement was signed in 2005.
A graduate of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, Deng is founding director of the HOPE for Ariang Foundation.
In his presentation, “Africa, South Sudan: Rebuilding With the Power of Hope,’’ Deng will describe the civil war that devastated his country for nearly 20 years; the current political state of the Republic of South Sudan; his efforts to build schools and health clinics in his homeland; and what it means for him to live in America.
“PEACH’’ PERFORMERS: Seven local actors are performing in the Boston Children’s Theatre’s upcoming production of the Roald Dahl family classic “James and the Giant Peach.’’ They are Alex Aroyan of Belmont; Alec Shiman,Nicholas Cook, and Evan Williams, all of Brookline; Alexa Niziak of Dover; Jessica Lewis of Needham, and Nolan Murphy of Sherborn.
“James and the Giant Peach’’ will be performed at 2 p.m. Sunday, as well as Saturday and next Sunday, at Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St. in Boston. Tickets cost $25. For more information, call 617-424-6634, ext. 222, or visit www.bostonchildrenstheatre.org.
PARALLEL CONNECTIONS: Acton artist Sunanda Sahay coordinated and organized the exhibition “Parallel Connections: South Asian Visual & Performing Arts and Their Healing Touch,’’ which runs through April 30 at Harvard University.
The show features photography, contemporary art, and traditional folk art forms such as Madhubani, Warli, and Patachitra.
A reception will take place Friday from 6 to 7 p.m. at the university’s CGIS Knafel Concourse, 1737 Cambridge St. in Cambridge, to be followed by a panel discussion, “Parallel Connections: Music and Dance in South Asian Art,’’ from 7 to 9 p.m. in Tsai Auditorium, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge St.
A second panel discussion, “Parallel Connections: The Healing Touch of South Asian Visual Art,’’ will take place on April 4, 6 to 8 p.m., in Belfer Case Study Room, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge St.
People items may be submitted to Cindy Cantrell at cantrell@ globe.com.