New Orleans Writers Housing Outreach Project

All about progress on the New Orleans Writers Housing Outreach and New Orleans Writers Museum projects and LA Writers Foundation.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball was easily the social event of the year. The gala, held in the Grand Ballroom of Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel on November 28, 1966, was modeled after the Ascot scene in the musical and movie, "My Fair Lady." Capote’s 540 invited guests were among the wealthiest and most powerful individuals from the realms of politics, publishing, and the arts: Andy Warhol, Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow, Norman Mailer, William F. Buckley, Jr., Tennessee Williams, and assorted Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Rothschilds. Invitees to what was dubbed "The Party of the Century" were required to wear black and white evening clothes and masks, and women had to carry fans. Capote was fond of saying he invited 500 friends – and made 15,000 enemies.

Throughout his career, Truman Capote remained one of America's most controversial and colorful authors, combining literary genius with a penchant for the glittering world of high society. Though he wrote only a handful of books, his prose styling was impeccable, and his insight into the psychology of human desire was extraordinary. His flamboyant and well-documented lifestyle has often overshadowed his gifts as a writer, but over time Capote's work will outlive the celebrity.

Born in New Orleans in 1924, Capote's mother stayed at the Hotel Monteleone ( before he was born at Touro Infirmary. In childhood he was abandoned by his mother and raised by his elderly aunts and cousins in Monroeville, Alabama. As a child he lived a solitary and lonely existence, turning to writing for solace. Of his early days Capote related, "I began writing really sort of seriously when I was about eleven. I say seriously in the sense that like other kids go home and practice the violin or the piano or whatever, I used to go home from school every day and I would write for about three hours. I was obsessed by it."


What: A recreation of Truman’s Capote’s 1966 Black & White Ball

Who: An interesting mix of New Orleanians, celebrities, politicians, media and writers

When: Tuesday, November 28, 2006, 8 PM - 11:30 PM; (40th anniversary of the actual event)

Where: Hotel Monteleone, French Quarter, New Orleans (Queen Anne Ballroom)

How: Recreate the ball itself – with the same invitation style, masks, Taittinger champagne, the same midnight unmasking and buffet, and even an appearance by a Truman Capote look-alike !

Why: Fundraiser for the Louisiana Writers Foundation to build affordable housing in cooperation with New Orleans Habitat for Humanity for poets and writers wishing to stay in or return to New Orleans & also the planned New Orleans Writers Museum

Dress: Gentlemen: Black Tie and black masks; Ladies: white or black dress, white mask, fan. Jewelry: diamonds only.

Cost: $250 per ticket for couples; $150 individuals.

BY INVITATION ONLY - GET on THE LIST!! email to CapoteBlackand


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