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August 28, 2018

This month Peter was a guest on the radio show "The Mystical Positivist" which is broadcast on KOWS-LP FM 107.3 in Occidental, CA. You can listen to what Peter had to say via a podcast at this link.

California resident Matteo Troncone spent years collecting the footage for "Arrangiarsi (Pizza and the Art of Living)", a documentary which made its debut at last year’s Mill Valley Film Festival. The movie screens Thursday at the Sebastiani Theatre at 7 p.m., with complimentary wine and authentic Neapolitan pizza served at 6:30. Peter, who mentored the filmmaker throughout his process, will join Troncone onstage for Q&A after the show. Tickets to the screening are $20 in advance, available at www.sebastianitheatre.com.

"The ideas in the film felt familiar to Peter. He really relates to the idea of arrangiarsi," Troncone said.

Napa Valley Museum Yountville continues its popular "In Conversation" series of speaking events with "Compassionate Action," a discussion of how to turn our individual compassion into positive action for the benefit of others, our world and ourselves. Coyote will join his friend, vintner and humanitarian Dick Grace, for a frank and lively exchange of ideas about channeling frustration into renewed energy, turning anger into empathy, and how to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the scope of the challenges facing us by making small steps individually, or as part of a larger movement, to build the foundation for lasting change.

Coyote and Grace are longtime collaborators in compassion who have travelled and participated in philanthropic projects together in China, Mongolia, Tibet and Nepal. Coyote, an ordained Zen Priest, comes at compassion from a more structured approach based on extensive study and rigorous practice. Grace, by contrast, although also a Buddhist, relies more on instinct and emotion. Says Coyote: "I think Dick’s practice is a total immersion in compassion." The two share a profound commitment to kindness, to being present, and to carrying their spiritual commitments forward into concrete positive action. Says Grace: "A lot of Buddhists spend their time sitting on cushions staring at flames, but what you do with your life is much more important. Too many of us keep our spirituality as an abstract thing rather than living it." Through this "Compassionate Action" event, these two men will share their experiences and insights on lives lived with a commitment to compassion, and answer questions from those seeking to do the same.

The event will take place in the Main Gallery on Friday, September 21 from 6 to 8:30 pm. Admission is $20 for Museum Members and $35 for Non-Members. Capacity is strictly limited. Tickets are available via the Museum’s website (www.napavalleymuseum.org) and at the direct ticket link: www.eventbrite.com. Proceeds from the evening benefit the Museum’s arts and education programs.

"THE MAYO CLINIC: FAITH - HOPE - SCIENCE" is a new two-hour documentary executive-produced by Ken Burns and directed by Burns, Erik Ewers and Christopher Loren Ewers, narrated by Peter and featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Sam Waterston, Kevin Conway, Blythe Danner, Josh Lucas, Carolyn McCormick and Gene Jones. The film tells the story of William Worrall Mayo, an English immigrant who began practicing medicine with his sons Will and Charlie in the late 1800s in Rochester, Minnesota. When a deadly tornado tore through their small community in 1883, the Mayos took charge of recovery efforts, enlisting the help of the nearby Sisters of Saint Francis to care for patients. Afterwards, Mother Alfred Moes, the leader of the convent, told Dr. Mayo she had a vision from God that instructed her to build a hospital, with him as its director. She believed it would become "world renowned for its medical arts."

Blending historical narrative with contemporary patient stories, this documentary is a timely look at how one institution has met the changing demands of healthcare for 150 years—and what that can teach us about facing the challenges of patient care today. It will premiere Tuesday, September 25, 2018.

August 10, 2018

In the summer of 1967, San Francisco’s first all-female rock band burst onto the scene. But despite their success during the Summer of Love, no record label ever signed The Ace of Cups. 50 years later, they’re coming out with their debut album on November 8th. Album guests include legendary players and long-time friends of the band, including Peter singing "As the Rain".

Flashback! Here's a very young and handsome Coyote strumming his guitar.

June 17, 2018

On June 10, 2018, the Press Democrat published an excellent article on Peter called "Peter Coyote on a Life Lived Aloud". You can read it at this link. Included were these wonderful photos of Peter at his home in Sebastopol, CA.

May 31, 2018

Peter has a couple more documentaries to add to his long list of voice-overs. The first one is called "25 Steps" directed by Steffan Tubbs. The film tells an amazing story of two WWII Stalag POWs who meet for the first time 70 years later. It will have its premiere on June 6 in Centenniel, Colorado. Peter will also narrate an upcoming documentary about former San Francisco mayor and Pacific alumnus George Moscone '53. Director Nat Katzman told the press, "Peter brings to the project a wealth of experience as the narrator of some of the most significiant documentaries in television history." The project is being produced by Pacific and will highlight the life and political career of Moscone, who strongly advocated for the rights and protections for all people, regardless of color, gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation or age. The progressiveness of his San Francisco mayoral campaign helped give the city its contemporary identity.

April 14, 2018

On March 5 I posted a youtube link to Peter's talk - "Lifting the Fog of Fake News" at the Commonweal Gallery in Bolinas, CA. You can now access that speech via this podcast.

April 10, 2018

WGN America Picks Up Canadian Mystery Drama with Peter Coyote! WGN America has announced  that it has secured the U.S. rights to the crime series "The Disappearance". The six-part mystery series, directed by Peter Stebbings, was created and written by Normand Daneau and Genevičve Simard.  Peter plays a retired judge plunged into despair when his beloved 10-year-old grandchild goes missing. The script for the series had to pass his "must surprise me in the first ten pages" test. It did. He also liked that it was a limited run series. Filming took place in Montreal in November 2016 and was aired on Canadian televsion last year. The release date is still TBD.

In an interview, Peter told the press that the scenario is one he can relate to as a father. He said, "I think for any parent, it must be the top of their list of phobias to imagine their child being kidnapped. My mother told me that I grew up in a town where Charles Lindbergh’s child was kidnapped seven years earlier, and she told me my father stalked the house with a pistol every night after I was born because he was so afraid of kidnappers. You can imagine if a child is kidnapped, you are unable to protect them from whatever. Your imagination will run crazy. I think that is why it is such an enduring theme. The characters are beautifully etched. They are complicated and the actors are all phenomenal. A mix of American, Canadian and Australian actors - they are all spot on."

Here are more publicity shots from the series:

Upcoming event! In Conversation: Clemantine Wamariya & Peter Coyote. Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when more than 800,000 people were murdered in her home country of Rwanda. Raw, urgent, yet disarmingly beautiful, her book, "The Girl Who Smiled Beads", captures the true costs and aftershocks of war. Join author Clemantine Wamariya and Peter Coyote in conversation about this important and timely topic. This event will be held on May 12 at Copperfield's Books in Sebastopol, CA from 7:00 - 8:30 PM.

The world premiere of the documentary "Olompali", narrated by Peter, will be held on May 6, 2018 at the DocLands Film Festival. Written by Greg Gibbs and McCoy, the 83-minute film will be shown  at the Sequoia Theater in Mill Valley at 4:30 PM. The synopsis reads: "Nearly 100,000 youth migrated to San Francisco during 1967’s Summer of Love to turn on, tune in, and drop out. A short time later, a group of kindred spirits calling itself the 'Chosen Family' built a satellite base camp 30 miles to the north on a pastoral piece of land once home to Coastal Miwok. Like so many utopian experiments, this one included highs—all kinds of them—and lows, tragic ones. Social currents passed through the Olompali commune in ocean waves: clothing was optional, authority disdained, and weed widely distributed. Peter Coyote narrates this warmly reflective story, which crosses paths with the Grateful Dead, Hells Angels, the Diggers, and a guru given the title 'father.' It also drops in key chords from the era’s soundtrack. Resisting judgment, and powered by the perspective of the commune’s children, Olompali celebrates the 'hippie' spirit and one man’s effort to invent a new world in Novato."

March 5, 2018

On February 24, 2018, Peter gave a talk on "Lifting the Fog of Fake News" at the Commonweal Gallery in Bolinas, CA.  You can watch the event at this youtube link.

The following is a review of Peter's talk:

On Saturday at Commonweal the New School presented Peter Coyote in conversation with Steve Heilig. The subject was fake news and the talk began by citing the recent Ken Burns documentary on the Vietnam War which Coyote narrated.

During the war the trumped-up boy counts on the nightly news were a glaring example of governmental lying - fake news. Coyote went on to trace the tragic decline of our political system from Reagan to the present day.

He proposed four steps to stop fake news and fix our broken political system:

1. All news must have an agreed upon basis in fact
2. People pay for the electoral process
3. Eliminate gerrymandering of election districts that are balkanizing our country
4. End non-person corporations spending their booty to influence elections.

At the end of Coyote's talk, there was a question and answer period. Most of the questions were actually comments that echoed our current sad state of affairs.

I had prepared a more philisophical question and when called upon asked, "We've lost our moral compass. Do you think it's the fault of technology?"

Coyote's face changed as he heard the phrase "moral compass". He spoke with an open heart about his practice of Zen and the way he set his own moral compass. Before my eyes, Peter Coyote, the famous actor/author/activist transformed from an angry leftist into a humble Zen Buddhist monk (he has taken vows).

"I'd rather make a sandwich for a hungry guy than make a speech on world hunger," he said. "The truth of it is what you do do every day. How do you treat every person you come into contact with? Do you practice being universally kind? Do you pretend you don't have shadows and all the evil in the world is on them?"

"That's the moral compass. The moral compass is to understand that there's an invisible, pregnant energy in the universe that creates everything. It throws up human beings and solar systems and hummingbirds and dolphins and we're all made of the same stuff."

"So the salient question is 'How did you come to believe that way? It's so different than my experience.' But if I talk to you that way, you know I'm not judging you, and we can have a conversation. We can become friends with differences."

I expected more depressing news about fake news, but instead received a teaching about "engaged Buddhism". It was a beautiful transmission of truth in the Big Room at Commonweal. A slogan from the 60's popped into my mind: "Make love, not war."

We can become friends with differences.

Thank you, Mr. Coyote.


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