A nonprofit that assists professional writers needing financial aid to pursue treatment services will host an event with a light touch next week. The second annual Festival of Laughs will be “a celebration of the benefits of clean and sober living and the importance of humor in the recovery process.”
The March 8 event at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles also will have a serious side. Actor Lou Gossett Jr. will receive the Experience, Strength and Hope Award for his artistic achievements and his efforts to carry a recovery message. In the 2010 book An Actor and a Gentleman, the Oscar-winning actor discussed a lifelong struggle with substance use along with his encounters with racism.
Writers in Treatment targets anyone who derives at least one-quarter of total income from writing, with a goal of placing one person a month into treatment. Scholarships are available to individuals with or without health insurance, and individuals who receive aid agree to participate in a relapse prevention program along with their primary treatment services.
Next week’s event, featuring a performance by comedian Barry Diamond, is made possible by sponsors such as Pasadena Recovery Center, Hazelden Springbrook and Sierra Tucson. For more information, visit www.writersintreatment.org.