MOXIE’s Fundraiser & Awards Gala

MOXIE’s Fundraiser & Awards Gala

MOXIE Theatre’s Annual Fundraiser and Awards Gala The MOXIES

Honoring San Diego Women with Grit and Determination


An unforgettable evening in the Lafayette Hotel’s Mississippi Ballroom honoring truly remarkable women in San Diego. Join MOXIE Theatre, Southern California’s only theatre dedicated to producing women’s work, for our annual fundraiser and awards gala “The MOXIES.” Witness a director’s cut performance of the upcoming MOXIE premiere, The Revolutionists, enjoy food and libations and then get to your feet as we applaud women who are making a profound impact on our city.

The MOXIES will be emceed by Dr. Jennifer Gunsaullus and Jenni Prisk, and feature a live performance by Besos de Coco; jazz meets performance art with this incredible trio of three strong female artists including bass, guitar…and tap dance!

Learn About Sponsorship


Sunday May 21, 2017 6pm
Tickets $100 before May 1st/$125 after May 1st
Groups of 6 or more receive Priority Reserved Seating!
The Lafayette Hotel
2223 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104

Online ticket sales are closed for this event. Please contact our box office at 858-598-7620
to purchase tickets. 

Meet the Honorary Committee Chair


Dea Hurston is a longtime arts advocate, patron and philanthropist and a dedicated fan and supporter of MOXIE and female artists everywhere. Although she is now a retired teacher and former commissioner of arts for The City of San Diego, Dea is still very active in the local arts and culture community. She has been a member of, or supported, the following theatre and arts organizations: MOXIE, Mo`olelo, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, Ion Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, North Coast Rep, Common Ground Theatre, Ira Aldridge Players, Mainly Mozart, Fern Street Circus, San Diego Museum of Man, Playwrights Project, San Diego Ballet and Malashock Dance.

The MOXIES Committee: Eve Alita, Sandra Baule, Karen Begin, Beth Goodman, Dr. Jennifer Gunsaullus, Dea Hurston (Chair), Sheri Kraus, Jenni Prisk, Shannon D. Sweeney, Mansi Thakar & Jan Carpenter Tucker


Meet the Honorees

We received an incredible number of submissions from all over San Diego. We believe a MOXIE Woman shows tremendous ability to impact her community through her professional or volunteer accomplishments. She consistently demonstrates strong leadership and dedication to help others along their path. The women selected by our committee do just that and more. 


State Sen. Toni Atkins – is a champion for affordable housing, workers’ rights, and neighborhood revitalization. She grew up in poverty in southwest Virginia in a home with no running water and developed a passion for community organizing. She went on to attend Emory & Henry College, then relocated to San Diego in 1985. She was elected to City Council District 3 in San Diego, served as Interim Mayor, then as State Assembly member and Speaker of the CA State Assembly. Currently, she is the State Senator from CA District 39 which encompasses much of the city of San Diego. She is one of the eight members of California Legislative LGBT Caucus.



Evelyn Diaz Cruz – is a professor in the Department of Theatre at USD, who is committed to diversity, inclusion, and equality. Professor Cruz’s study and practice of theatre is focused on community engagement by addressing issues of social justice through art. She works with the Change Maker Hub’s Impact Linda Vista Initiative and is a leader in USD’s study abroad program in Jamaica inspiring her students to participate in community engagement with an orphanage for young girls. Her non-traditional approach to theatre garnered her the prestigious KPBS Hispanic Heritage Month Local Hero Award in The Arts.



Laura Fink – is one of the co-founders of Run Women Run which inspires, recruits, trains, mentors and supports women running for elected and appointed office. She also sits on the Board of Directors for Coalition of Reproductive Justice and is the founder of Rebelle Communications which is a strategic communications firm specializing in message development, media training, speechwriting & coaching and social media strategy. Ms. Fink has been a finance director for a national congressional campaign and is a highly respected political analyst for both television and radio.



Kristin Gist – is Senior Director of Developmental Services at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. She is responsible for the creation and success of a number of programs at Rady Children’s. She established the Developmental Evaluation Clinic (DEC), a neuro-developmental clinic specifically for premature and sick infants graduating from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Rady Children’s. 



Leah Goodwin – is the Director of Museum and Education for the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. A proud member of the faculty for RISE San Diego ‘s Urban Leadership Program and a Commissioner on the Status of Women and Girls for the County of San Diego. She recently created the San Diego Experience of the Civil Rights Movement a banner acknowledging the anniversary or the Voting Rights Act which has been displayed all around San Diego.



Merryl Goldberg – is a Professor of Music at California State University San Marcos and Director of the ART=OPPORTUNITY campaign, a research based initiative providing leadership training, literacy residencies, workshops, and anchor events for educators, parents, youth and teens, and arts providers.  A professional musician herself, Goldberg knows first hand the powerful role arts play in students’ ability to excel in education, attain better jobs, and become empathetic citizens.



Sabrina Martucci Johnson – Sabrina is the Founder and CEO of DARÉ Bioscience, a healthcare company committed to the development and commercialization of innovative products in women’s reproductive health. In the community she serves on the board of organizations that advance the economic well-being of women and girls and promote education, including being President of Women Give San Diego.



Rev. Beth Johnson has served Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Vista for about 10 years. During that time, she has also served in the leadership of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, on the board of Unitarian Universalist Refugee and Immigrant Services and Education (UURISE), and has been outspoken in San Diego as an advocate for workers’ rights and women’s rights. She is particularly committed to partnering with communities of color and other marginalized groups.



Elizabeth Lou – came to the United States with her family as a refugee and resettled in San Diego in 1999, fleeing the civil wars in South Sudan. Drawing from resources in both her personal background and profession as a community organizer and health educator, she founded Nile Sisters Development Initiative in 2001. The organization’s mission is to educate, support, and offer training to refugee and immigrant women and their families to help them overcome barriers to social and economic self-reliance.



Sarah Dolgen Shaftel – was a lead organizer for San Diego’s Women’s March which attracted 40,000 marchers who joined together in support of women’s rights. She has chaired events for Voices for Children and served on the board of The New Children’s Museum. Sarah founded and operated Body Sculpt by Sarah, a physical wellness services company in La Jolla before choosing to become a full time stay at home mother. Sarah lives in San Diego with her husband and two-year old daughter.


Corporate Sponsors

MOXIE Theatre would like to thank the following sponsors for supporting MOXIE Theatre’s Annual Fundraiser and Awards Gala: The MOXIES.


Premier Sponsor






Gold Level Sponsors






Silver Circle Sponsors