An organization that raises funds to place professional writers into addiction treatment will honor the writer of an honest memoir at a star-studded charity event in Los Angeles on Feb. 15.
Writers in Treatment’s fourth annual Experience, Strength and Hope Award will go to John Taylor, a founding member of the popular 1980s band Duran Duran. Actor Robert Downey, Jr. will present the award to Taylor.
Taylor’s memoir, In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran, covers in part his difficult journey to treatment and recovery. Taylor states in the book that he wanted to address this subject publicly because “a lot of people are struggling and a lot of people still don’t believe that sobriety is possible for them.”
Other celebrities participating in the Feb. 15 event at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles will include actor Ed Begley Jr., actress Ione Skye and comedian Bobcat Goldthwait. Writers in Treatment describes the event as “a celebration of the benefits of clean and sober living and the importance of humor in the recovery process.”
Writers in Treatment founder Leonard Buschel, a former publisher, says that for an organization devoted to helping those who craft in the written word, it is somewhat ironic that the group’s annual film festival events in several cities have grown to become its signature happenings. “I started the film festival more to highlight the organization, and that took on a life of its own,” Buschel says.
In 2013, festivals showcasing films with a connection to addiction and recovery will take place in Los Angeles, New York City, Vancouver and Florida. Many of these festivals have grown into robust weeklong events. “At first, I was happy if we got 75 people total to attend. Now we’re getting audiences of 50 six times a day,” Buschel says.