National Geographic Teams Up with GovMint.com to Develop Limited Edition of Collectible Coins to Benefit Africa’s Big Cats

For the first time ever, National Geographic and the South African Mint have partnered to release limited-edition sets of legal-tender coins. The National Geographic Big Cats Coin Program will benefit the Big Cats Initiative (BCI), a long-term effort supported by National Geographic that aims to halt the decline of big cats in the wild. GovMint.com, one of the world’s leading sources of collectible coins, has signed on as the exclusive distributor. The collection is available for purchase on GovMint.com or by calling 1-800-642-9160.BigCats_SlvGold-634x370

The collection will feature on its coin face the cheetah, a native species of South Africa. Famously the world’s fastest land animal, cheetahs can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just three seconds. Their keen eyesight and ability to make quick and sudden turns also make them a fierce predator. The cheetah’s distinct spotted coat allows them to blend easily into high, dry grasses. Sadly, their population is dwindling due to human encroachment on the wide, open grasslands in which they live. It is estimated that only 7,000 to 10,000 of these big cats remain in their native eastern and southwestern Africa.

Struck at the South African Mint in 99.9 percent pure gold, each gold proof set contains four coins in tenth-ounce, quarter-ounce, half-ounce and one-ounce weights. All obverses feature the year and South African Coat of Arms depicting an eagle with a rising sun at the top and their motto. Each of the coins features four distinct cheetah designs created by the master artists at the South African mint. Coins are displayed in a beautifully crafted wooden case along with an official mint certificate of authenticity and booklet.

Since 1984, GovMint.com has been one of the world’s leading sources of collectible coins. Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, GovMint.com is an official distributor for seven major world mints and offers collectible coins from over 120 countries. (More information at www.GovMint.com/bigcats or call 800-642-9160.)

When we consider new editions, we try to choose subjects that we think will not only resonate with our collectors, but that also represent a direct connection to the countries issuing the coins,” said Bill Gale, founder of GovMint.com. “South Africa is proud to feature the cheetah on its gold and silver coins, and shine a spotlight on such a beloved, iconic species.

Big Cats in the wild are disappearing at an alarming rate,” said Andy Reif, head of licensing for National Geographic Partners. “It is the goal of National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative to halt this decline through on-the-ground conservation and education projects. We are happy to support this work through the Big Cats Coin Program, through GovMint.com.”

GovMint.com also offers a one-ounce Sterling Silver Crown 2 Rand (R2) proof. Each silver proof includes the official languages of South Africa surrounding the South African Coat of Arms. Each comes encased in original packaging from the South African Mint, accompanied by an informative booklet.

Proceeds from the National Geographic Big Cat Coin Collection supports National Geographic’s programs, including the conservation of animals and their habitats. National Geographic Society receives funds from National Geographic Partners LLC, funded in part by your purchase. To learn more, visit www.natgeo.com/info.

National Geographic Partners LLC, a joint venture between National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox, combines National Geographic television channels with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic Studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, catalog, licensing and e-commerce businesses. A portion of the proceeds from National Geographic Partners LLC will be used to fund science, exploration, conservation and education through significant ongoing contributions to the work of the National Geographic Society. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com. To find out more about the Big Cats Initiative’s work to stop the decline of lions, leopards, tigers and other big cats, visit www.causeanuproar.org.

Danny Lyon: Message To The Future Debuts At The Whitney This Summer

The most comprehensive retrospective of the work of American photographer, filmmaker, and writer Danny Lyon in twenty-five years debuts at The Whitney Museum of American Art on June 17, 2016. The first major photography exhibition to be presented in the Museum’s downtown home, Danny Lyon: Message to the Future is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, where it will make its West Coast debut at the de Young Museum on November 5, 2016.

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Self-portrait, New Orleans, 1964.

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Self-portrait, New Orleans, 1964. Vintage gelatin silver print. 7 3/16 × 4 13/16 in. (18.2 × 12.2 cm). Collection of the artist. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

The exhibition is organized by Julian Cox, Founding Curator of Photography for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Chief Curator at the de Young Museum. The installation at the Whitney Museum is overseen by Elisabeth Sussman, Curator and Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography.

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Tesca, Cartagena, Colombia, 1966.

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Tesca, Cartagena, Colombia, 1966. Cibachrome, printed 2008. 10 1/8 × 10 1/8 in. (25.7 × 25.7 cm). Collection of the artist. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Shaped in collaboration with the artist, the exhibition provides a fuller understanding of Lyon’s motivations and accomplishments. The exhibition assembles approximately 175 photographs and is the first to assess the artist’s achievements as a filmmaker as well as a photographer. The presentation also includes many objects that have seldom or never been exhibited before and offers a rare look at works from Lyon’s archives, including vintage prints, unseen 16mm film footage made inside Texas prisons, and his personal photo albums.

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Self-portrait, Chicago, 1965.

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Self-portrait, Chicago, 1965. Gelatin silver prints montage. 12 1/4 × 10 15/16 in. (31.2 × 27.8 cm). Collection of the artist. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Bill Sanders, Tattoo Artist, Houston, Texas, 1968.

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Bill Sanders, Tattoo Artist, Houston, Texas, 1968. Vintage gelatin silver print. 8 3/16 × 8 3/16 in. (20.7 × 20.7 cm). Collection of the artist. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), John Lennon and Danny Seymour, The Bowery, New York, 1969.

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), John Lennon and Danny Seymour, The Bowery, New York, 1969. Gelatin silver print; printed later. 11 × 14 in. Collection of the artist. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

A leading figure in the American street photography movement of the 1960s, Lyon has distinguished himself by the personal intimacy he establishes with his subjects and the inventiveness of his practice. With his ability to find beauty in the starkest reality, Lyon has presented a charged alternative to the vision of American life presented in the mass media. Throughout, he has rejected the traditional documentary approach in favor of a more immersive, complicated involvement with his subjects. “You put a camera in my hand,” he has explained, “I want to get close to people. Not just physically close, emotionally close, all of it.” In the process he has made several iconic bodies of work, which have not only pictured recent history, but helped to shape it.

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Weight lifters, Ramsey Unit, Texas, 1968.

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Weight lifters, Ramsey Unit, Texas, 1968. Vintage gelatin silver print. 7/8 × 13 1/16 in. (image). Collection of the artist. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Occupy Oakland, City Hall, Oakland, 2011.

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Occupy Oakland, City Hall, Oakland, 2011. Archival pigment print. 9 3/4 × 13 in. (24.6 × 33 cm). Collection of the artist. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Continue reading

Stuart Davis: In Full Swing Opens at The Whitney Museum of American Art, June 10–Sept 25, 2016

Stuart Davis: In Full Swing features 100 artworks by an artist whose formal brilliance and complexity captured the energy of mass culture and modern life. The exhibition is unusual in its focus on Davis’s mature work, from his paintings of consumer products of the early 1920s to the work left on his easel at his death in 1964, and in exploring Davis’s habit of using preexisting motifs as springboards for new compositions.

Davis_ColonialCubism

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), Colonial Cubism, 1954. Oil on canvas, 45 1/8 x 60 1/4 in. (114.6 x 153 cm). Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; gift of the T. B. Walker Foundation, 1955. © Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

The exhibition departs in significant ways from earlier presentations of the artist’s work, in that it omits Davis’s decade of apprenticeship to European modernism (following his introduction to it at the 1913 Armory Show) in favor of the series of breakthroughs he made beginning in 1921 with his paintings of tobacco packages and household products, and continuing into his last two decades in which he employed abstract shapes, brilliant color, and words to evoke the ebullience of popular culture.

31.170

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), Place Pasdeloup, 1928. Oil on canvas, 36 3/8 × 29 in. (92.4 × 73.7 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney 31.170. © Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Davis_ReportfromRockport

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), Report from Rockport, 1940. Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 in. (61 x 76.2 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Edith and Milton Lowenthal Collection, bequest of Edith Abrahamson Lowenthal, 1991. © Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

One of America’s leaders of abstract art, Stuart Davis was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His mother was a sculptor and his father was an art editor of the Philadelphia Press, working with Luks, Glackens, Robert Henri, and other members of the Eight. Inspired by the artistic environment at home, Davis left high school in 1909 to attend the Robert Henri School of Art in New York until 1912. Robert Henri was a liberal teacher, encouraging students to be spontaneous in their art. Davis responded to this progressive approach, which permitted him to absorb the new styles that were emerging at the time. Spontaneity in art extended to life, and Davis and his fellow students became fans of jazz, resulting in Davis’s lifelong sensitivity to both musical and visual rhythms.

Davis_SwingLandscape

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), Swing Landscape, 1938. Oil on canvas, 86 3/4 x 173 1/8 in. (220.3 x 400 cm). Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington; museum purchase with funds from the Henry Radford Hope Fund. © Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

59.38a-b

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), The Paris Bit, 1959. Oil on canvas, 46 1/8 × 60 1/16 in. (117.2 × 152.6 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art 59.38. © Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Between 1912 and 1916, while supporting himself as an illustrator for several magazines, he began experimenting with cubist abstraction. Davis introduced a new style of cubism in the United States, basing his compositions on combinations of flattened forms, often abstracted from the urban scene. Drawing on familiar structures and objects, he he would reduce them to flat, sharp-edged shapes arranged in broad, colorful patterns and active lines that punctuate the composition.

Egg Beater No. 2_1928_Amon Carter

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), Egg Beater No. 2, 1928. Oil on canvas, 29 1/4 x 36 1/4 in. (74.3 x 92.1 cm). Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth. © Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Davis exhibited five watercolors at the 1913 Armory Show, unusual recognition for a young artist, and in 1917 he had his first one-person exhibition in New York. His first solo museum exhibition was held in 1925 at the Newark Museum. The following year he was included in the “International Exhibition of Modern Art Arranged by the Société Anonyme for The Brooklyn Museum.”

In 1927 Davis’s abstract style reached its culmination in his Egg Beater series. Davis wrote to Duncan Phillips, who had purchased Egg Beater No. 4 (1928): “The ‘Egg Beater’ represents the best example of this series which enabled me to realize certain structural principals [sic] that I have continued to use ever since.” At the same time, Edith Halpert, a proponent of modern art and owner of the Downtown Gallery, became his dealer. ”

Tropes de Teens_1956

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), Tropes de Teens, 1956. Oil on canvas, 45 1/4 x 60 1/4 in. (114.8 x 153 cm). Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. © Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photograph by Cathy Carver

From 1928 to 1929 Davis lived in Paris, where he created many paintings and lithographs of cafés and street scenes. Upon his return to America in 1929, he moved to Greenwich Village and spent most of his summers in Gloucester, Massachusetts. From 1931 to 1932, Davis taught at New York’s Art Students League. He was a muralist for the Public Works Art Project from 1933 to 1939. Though Davis had an active and successful career as an artist, he continued his teaching, notably at New York’s New School for Social Research (1940-50) and at Yale University (1951).**

Davis_TownSquare1929

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), Town Square, c. 1929. Watercolor, gouache, ink, and pencil on paper, 15 1/2 x 22 7/8 in. (39.4 x 58.1 cm). The Newark Museum; purchase 1930, The General Fund. © Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Stuart Davis has been called one of the greatest painters of the twentieth century and the best American artist of his generation, his art hailed as a precursor of the rival styles of pop and geometric color abstraction,” remarks Barbara Haskell. “Faced with the choice early in his career between realism and pure abstraction, he invented a vocabulary that harnessed the grammar of abstraction to the speed and simultaneity of modern America. By merging the bold, hard-edged style of advertising with the conventions of avant-garde painting, he created an art endowed with the vitality and dynamic rhythms that he saw as uniquely modern and American. In the process, Davis achieved a rare synthesis: an art that is resolutely abstract yet at the same time exudes the spirit of popular culture.

Art Work at PA Home

Stuart Davis (1892–1964), Fin, 1962–64. Casein and masking tape on canvas, 53 7/8 x 39 3/4 in. (136.8 x 101 cm). Private collection. © Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Co-organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the exhibition will be on view at the Whitney from June 10 through September 25, 2016, and at the National Gallery of Art from November 20, 2016 through March 5, 2017. It will subsequently travel to the De Young Museum in San Francisco from April 8 through August 6, 2017, and to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, from September 16, 2017 through January 8, 2018.

**(Sourced from http://www.phillipscollection.org/research/american_art/bios/davis_s-bio.htm)

Experience Authentic Japanese Culture Through A Program Of Activities At The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

Located in the heart of a city famed for its Zen temples, historic palaces and beautiful gardens, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, the city’s first international luxury branded resort, invites guests to uncover its best kept secrets and hidden gems. Providing more than meets the eye, guests will witness the property’s dedication to the destination and unparalleled attention to detail through all-encompassing guest activities and innovative keepsakes.

THE RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL COMPANY, L.L.C. LOGO

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC logo. (PRNewsFoto/The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC.)

HARMONIOUSLY ZEN: First developed during the 8th century to mimic the gardens of China’s Song Dynasty, Japanese Zen gardens combine the basic elements of moss, rocks, and white stones, representing the pure beauty of Japan and a place of quiet contemplation. Surrounded by many of these gardens, the property features a special white gravel garden neighboring the oldest lantern on site – a nod to the past blended with a contemporary minimalist aesthetic. To ensure the gravel garden is kept in its pristine appearance, Master Gardner, Suzuki-san meticulously rakes the white gravel each week, taking one hour every time to complete the task with expert precision. Learning from the master himself, guests are also invited to discover the art of garden-making by participating in his class, ‘Your Own Zen Garden,’ and create a miniature Zen garden – allowing their creativity to draw the lines of their own personal landscape.068

A FAN OF SCENTS: From the moment guests step foot inside The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, they are embraced with a sense of calm and tranquility, due in large part to the resort’s signature scent – a custom-blended green tea aroma. Exclusively designed for the property, the original fragrance features soft, refreshing notes of lemon, bergamod and cardamom, with hints of rose, thyme, and jasmine. A culinary master and surprisingly skilled artist, Chef de Cuisine Masahiko Miura of the property’s Japanese restaurant, Mizuki, has invented a unique way to allow guests to enjoy this scent long after they leave the property. Extending his creativity outside the kitchen, Chef Miura has become known for his colorfully decorated traditional Japanese fans which he presents to guests infused with the resort’s signature scent. Another option for guests to take home this unique aroma is by purchasing it in the form of aroma oil and room spray.

AN ODE TO SOAP: Unbeknownst to many, Kyoto is where the first Japanese soap was produced. Situated on the land where the soap was first made, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto honors the inaugural craftsmen by featuring special gold-flecked Kyoto Shanbon-ya handmade soap in every guest room.

Inviting guests to embrace the storied history, the property offers a ‘Handmade Soap Workshop’ where guests can try their hand at soap-making at Shabon-ya, Kyoto’s famous purveyor of natural, organic soap. In the process, guests can enjoy a relaxing foot bath in the shop or sample sweets and green tea in the in-store café while waiting for their soap to set.

A CULINARY MATCH MADE IN…KYOTO: Once a two-story villa originally built in 1907 for Denzaburo Fujita, founder of the Fujita industrial group, a historic local structure was re-assembled within The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto as a private dining room in La Locanda and preserved as a spiritual space for diners. It contains wood that is over 700 years old, nearly impossible to find anywhere else in Japan today. Dining in Ebisugawa-tei while wearing traditional kimonos is an incredibly unique experience, which connects to the rich traditions and history of Japan juxtaposed with delicious modern flavors from another world entirely.

TIME FOR TEA: As the birthplace of the tea ceremony and with the city’s rich Zen connections, Kyoto has long been admired as the ideal place to experience all things tea. Commemorating the time-honored tradition, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto seamlessly incorporates the celebrated drink into the guest experience. Upon arrival, guests are escorted to their room for a personalized check-in conducted over a cup of local Japanese tea to refresh the senses. At The Ritz-Carlton Spa, the sensory experience begins was matcha green tea is served. The spa’s signature treatment, Ryokucha Serenity Ritual, infuses rich anti-oxidant properties of green tea leaves from the nearby Uji region of Kyoto. Additionally, guests can learn about the world of tea with special tea brewing classes – offered seasonally – from a local tea master. Guests can also go the traditional route of indulging in Afternoon Tea in The Lobby Lounge, where seasonal teas, finger sandwiches, and sweets by French patisserie PERME HERMÉ PARIS delight the most discerning palette.

PARISIAN TREATS IN KYOTO: Known for revolutionizing modern pastry making, Pierre Hermé has invented his own original world of tastes and sensations, using pastry as a canvas to create stunning works of art. Home to the city’s only team of pâtissiers from PIERRE HERMÉ PARIS, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto showcases these tasty creations throughout the property. Most notably, guests have the opportunity to be in full view of the masters at work at the property’s Vetrina Della Boutique in its Italian restaurant, La Locanda. A testament to Pierre Hermé’s deep connection to the destination, a must-have for guests is the ‘Incontournable Kyoto’ souvenir macaroon box made exclusively for The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto. Featuring illustrations of renowned landmarks in Kyoto by famed French artist Soledad Bravi that Hermé himself believes guests should see including the Golden Temple and the philosophy’s path, guests can choose from a selection of macaroons that rotate seasonally. Guests also have the unparalleled opportunity to work alongside the pâtissiers through the ‘Sticky Fingers’ activity as part of the property’s Ritz Kids program.

For more information and to book a reservation, visit www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/japan/kyoto.

Relax. Refresh. Repeat: The Ritz-Carlton Launch “Cultural Experiences for Purposeful Moments” with New, Indivdualized Spa Concepts

With a brand name synonymous for exceptionally high levels of service and care, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has now extended its talent for crafting tasteful and personalized journeys into the realm of spas. A new concept for The Ritz-Carlton Spa is being implemented around the world beginning with 20 hotels and resorts that include New Orleans, Fort Lauderdale, Amelia Island, Moscow, Vienna, Cairo and Budapest. Tailored experiences that artfully integrate individual guest needs into treatments will be anchored in local culture, employing natural and organic solutions.

THE RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL COMPANY, L.L.C. LOGO

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC logo. (PRNewsFoto/The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC.)

The Ritz-Carlton Spa concept is designed to extend even more of the unique and personal opportunities for wellness and indigenous experiences that our guests and global travelers seek,” stated Hervé Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

(A selection of the artful moments brought to life can be seen on this newly released piece of film.)

Guests in the Middle East were among the first to experience the newly launched concept at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre. Drawing on the quintessential Dubai experience, The Desert Reviver treatment takes inspiration from the city’s desert landscape and climate. A stimulating sand-based exfoliation is followed by a hot-stone massage that evokes Dubai’s sunny climes. The journey comes to a close with a cooling ritual that brings to mind a dip in the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf.Spa-1

Treatments at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain are steeped in Middle Eastern traditions. Using regional ingredients such as Argan, Rose and Dead Sea salts, the spa pays homage to the sands of the East Arabian Peninsula, “the land where the sun rises” and the mystical, rugged ranges of North West Africa, “the land where the sun sets”, to create a selection of Arabian rituals that hark back to ancient beauty rituals and natural methods. Her Secret Sanctuary, features a series of age-old traditions, including the rose steam bath and black olive and lavender soap cleanse, to deeply cleanse, exfoliate and nourish the body whilst easing the mind. For a treatment that brings the sheen back to the skin, On The Banks of the Dead Sea, harnesses the highly re-mineralizing and detoxifying properties of Dead Sea salts to repair and restore.

Five new Russian treatments were developed for The Ritz-Carton, Moscow, with organic Siberian honey being used as the basis for the nourishing, signature experience. Utilizing its calming and moisturizing benefits, the Moscow Honey Treatment combines age-old Russian massage techniques, in a gentle body exfoliation, followed by a therapeutic full body massage using the golden honey itself, and finishing with an express facial and invigorating head massage.

Inspired by Vienna’s rose gardens and ‘Sisi’, the Empress Elizabeth of Austria who was renowned for her beauty, the Imperial Rose Ritual is available exclusively in The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna. Fragrant rose geranium and sweet orange oils are used to both calm and harmonize the mind, while moisturizing the skin. A salt and oil scrub is first applied to cleanse and exfoliate, followed by a hot stone massage.

Allowing guests to connect to their surroundings is a focus on the spa menus across North America. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami offers the Tequesta Ritual, a Native American detoxifying ceremony to purify and balance the body and mind with a cleansing algae wrap followed by a relaxing massage ritual. The Citrus Scrub offered at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota offers a full body exfoliation featuring apricot and orange oils and a sumptuous application of orange infused cream to complete the Florida journey – and in Half Moon Bay California, the Pumpkin Facial utilizes a nourishing pumpkin enzyme masque from a 100% natural plant-based line high in beta carotene and vitamins A and C.

There is an innovative new location outside of the traditional treatment room at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Amelia Island where guests can relax under the therapeutic benefits of zero gravity with a Heaven in Hammock massage. Time is the Essence at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples spa where a therapist will consult prior to the treatment and utilize a combination of services and locations to meet the guests’ needs and enhance physical and mental wellbeing. In Louisiana, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans’s Voodoo Massage evokes the magical and mystical soul of New Orleans by using aromas of incense and voodoo chants to set the mood. Experienced therapists perform more than 100 treatments, including indigenous therapies such as the Marie Laveau Voodoo Love Bath and the Essence of Lavender Mint and Massage. At The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee in Georgia, spa treatments are inspired by the natural surroundings. The Oconee Rain Vichy shower treatment uses the therapeutic benefits of water which the Creek Indians from the region believe, “washes everything new again”.

The Ritz-Carlton Spa experience should be exceptional and memorable. Each and every treatment has been designed to give our guests an experience that is suited to their needs and yet employs time-tested methods. We have packaged tradition, location and culture into the experience to map out a spa journey that helps our guests relax, unwind and truly enjoy The Ritz-Carlton experience,” said Michelle Kelthy, Spa Director at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Florida.

The Academy Focuses A “SPOTLIGHT On Screenwriting” In New York City

Screenwriting Series to Feature Films by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, An Evening with Walter Bernstein, and a Special Sneak Preview of “Ghostbusters”


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present “Spotlight on Screenwriting,” a summer series illuminating the art of writing for motion pictures, beginning May 15 at various venues in New York City. The programs include onstage conversations and screenings of acclaimed films spanning nine decades.

Hollywood’s Happiest Couple: Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett
May 15 and 16 at Film Forum, 209 W. Houston Street
The series launches with a two-day celebration one of Hollywood’s most famous creative partnerships. 
Jim Moore, biographer and grandson of writer, producer and former Academy President Charles Brackett, will introduce three films co-written by the legendary team: “Ninotchka,” “The Lost Weekend” and “Sunset Blvd.,” all of which won or were nominated for multiple Oscars®.

Hollywood’s Darkest Moment: “The Front” Screening and Q&A
June 7 at the SVA Theater, 333 W. 23rd Street

A 40th anniversary screening of “The Front” will be followed by an onstage conversation with screenwriter Walter Bernstein, who received a 1976 Oscar® nomination for his original screenplay.  Bernstein, who was among dozens of screenwriters blacklisted during the 1940s and ’50s, will discuss his personal experiences and the lasting legacy of one of Hollywood’s darkest periods with Michael Barker, co-president and co-founder of Sony Pictures Classics.

Ghostbusters: A Sneak Preview
July TBA at the 
SVA Theater, 333 W. 23rd Street

The series will conclude in July with a preview screening of this year’s much-anticipated summer release “Ghostbusters.”  Screenwriter Katie Dippold will discuss the process of adapting the screenplay from the 1984 film of the same name.

For more information on “Spotlight on Screenwriting” and to purchase tickets, please visit the Academy’s event pages at www.oscars.org/events 

National Park Service and National Geographic Society to host BioBlitz and Biodiversity Festival in Greater Washington National Parks

Explore the Wild Side of Your National Parks!

From northern leopard frogs to eastern red bats, Greater Washington’s national parks are home to incredible biodiversity. Join the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society on May 20-21 for BioBlitz, a fast-paced expedition to discover and document the species that thrive in 13 nearby national parks. This free public event, nationally sponsored by American Express, will bring together more than 200 leading scientists and naturalists, more than 2,600 students and even more friends, families and future scientists to explore and celebrate biodiversity.Print

The 2016 National Parks BioBlitz is the culmination of a 10-year series of BioBlitzes co-hosted by the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society at different national parks across the country, leading up the centennial of the National Park Service. The first in the series took place at Rock Creek Park in 2007. Other BioBlitz locations have included Biscayne National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, and Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. This year, 13 parks in Greater Washington and more than 100 national parks across the country will host BioBlitz events. A longtime partner of the National Park Service, the National Geographic Society helped draft legislation to establish the NPS in 1916. The Society has given many grants to create and sustain national parks across the United States, and has extensively covered the parks in its media for nearly a century.

The National Parks BioBlitz—Washington, D.C., is the cornerstone event for more than 100 BioBlitzes taking place across the country. The National Parks BioBlitz is the culmination of a 10-year partnership between the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society, in the run-up to the National Park Service centennial August 25, 2016.

At the first National Parks BioBlitz in 2007, 1,000 BioBlitz participants recorded species findings with pen and paper. Today, thanks to the iNaturalist app, thousands of BioBlitz participants can share their observations and crowdsource identifications of flora and fauna at the press of a button. Whether you’re a curious kid or an expert botanist, iNaturalist allows you to share information with citizen-scientists around the world and to directly contribute data to national park species inventories. Past BioBlitz participants have added dozens of species to park inventories and even discovered one species new to science!

Because most people associate D.C. with memorials and museums, it may be surprising to learn that this area provides important habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals—the biodiversity here is unexpectedly rich,National Park Service Regional Director Bob Vogel said. “BioBlitz is a great opportunity for people of all interests and skills to discover these species and to contribute valuable information to national park scientists. We invite the Greater Washington community to join us in this exciting adventure.

More than 3,000 students from across our nation’s capital will participate in BioBlitz during their school day! Students ages eight and above will work alongside leading scientists to discover and document the biodiversity of our region’s national parks. BioBlitz provides classes with an opportunity to experience national parks, to learn about the wide biodiversity of species that inhabit our world and to gain first-hand exposure to the work of scientists.

Nine years ago at the first National Parks BioBlitz in Rock Creek Park, we had about 1,000 people documenting species on paper,” said National Geographic Society President and CEO Gary Knell. “This year, for the National Park Service centennial, tens of thousands of people will join forces at more than 100 parks for the first nationwide BioBlitz. This massive effort to uncover the amazing natural resources in our parks dovetails with National Geographic’s longtime commitment to exploring and protecting our planet.”

To be part of a scientist-led inventory team, register online at www.natgeo.org/bioblitz-dc. Examples of species inventories include:

Early morning birding adventures on Theodore Roosevelt Island

Pollinator surveys in Piscataway Park

Meadow exploration and fish counts in Rock Creek Park

Wetland exploration in Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Spider surveys at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve

Butterfly surveys in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Discovery of stream insects at Manassas National Battlefield Park

Acoustic bat inventory at Constitution Gardens on the National Mall

A concurrent two-day Biodiversity Festival will be held at Constitution Gardens on the National Mall (17th and Constitution Avenue NW). The festival will feature hands-on science exhibits, food and art, yoga classes and family-friendly entertainment and activities. Constitution Gardens will also serve as base camp for the National Parks BioBlitz-Washington, D.C., and a connection to more than 100 BioBlitz and biodiversity events taking place at national parks across the country that weekend. The festival will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 20-21, 2016, with a special evening of science fun planned for Friday night.

American Express is committed to serving and preserving our nation’s parks and public lands,” said American Express Foundation President Timothy J. McClimon.As we gear up for the 2016 National Park Service centennial, we are excited to sponsor BioBlitz and empower volunteers across the country to discover and celebrate the wealth of biodiversity in our national parks.

American Express is a national sponsor of the National Parks BioBlitz and a premier partner of the 2016 National Park Service Centennial. To learn more, visit www.amex.co/goparks. Verizon, Southwest Airlines Co. and the Harold M. and Adeline S. Morrison Family Foundation are also providing support for the National Parks BioBlitz–Washington, D.C.

To learn more about BioBlitz and the festival, visit www.natgeo.org/bioblitz-dc.