Registration Now Open For 2016 HOT ROD Drag Weekend™ West March 31 – April 3, 2016

3 Days of Racing | 2 Tracks | One Epic Weekend

The 2016 HOT ROD Drag Weekend™ West presented by Gear Vendors Under/Overdrive brings participating drivers to drag strips in Chandler, Ariz., and Tucson for three days of competition Thursday, March 31 through Sunday, April 3, 2016. With many highly competitive cars already registered – double the number compared to last year – this event is guaranteed to be bigger and better than ever.001-drag-weekend-west

Following a successful inaugural event last October, the second annual HOT ROD Drag Weekend™ West will feature 100+ street-legal drag-race cars for three days of quarter-mile racing and 300 miles of street driving. The car with the lowest average elapsed time over the weekend of racing is the overall winner.

It’s not just about clocking the quickest elapsed time on the strips; these drivers will also have to follow a specified route from city to city. The crew at HOT ROD will require photographic evidence from each entry that drivers are adhering to the prescribed route. Thus, drivers will be on the clock for three straight days and must remain alert to all rules. To make this even more of an adventure, competitors will not have the luxury of having chase vehicles, support, nor their vehicles towed or trailered. However, entrants can tow their own trailers, within HOT ROD’s guidelines, but they must work alone.

The 2015 Hot Rod Drag Weekend™ brought together some of the top drag racers from across North America including Jeff Lutz, Joe Barry, Dave Schroeder and many more. Join the excitement as they continue their quest for 5-second quarter-mile runs.

Hot Rod Drag Week has become such an international phenomenon that we launched Drag Weekend last year so that more people could get involved,” said David Freighburger, The Enthusiast Network’s senior vice president of content strategy. “I’m thrilled to see the concept grow so quickly in just the second year. I’m going to come race, myself!

The 2016 HOT ROD Drag Weekend™ West will kick off Thursday, March 31 at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz., with registration and vehicle Tech, Test and Tune opportunities for all participants. It’s here that spectators will have the first chance to check out the competition. HOT ROD Drag Weekend™ West then moves on to racing 

  • Race Day One: Friday, April 1 at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz.

  • Race Day Two: Saturday, April 2 at the Tucson Dragway in Tucson, Ariz.

  • Race Day Three and Award Ceremony: Sunday, April 3 at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz.

Experienced drag race drivers and enthusiasts alike are encouraged to register and join
HOT ROD Drag Weekend™ West. Pre-Registration (limited to 350 participants) is now available at on a first-come, first-served basis at $250 per vehicle for all three days, including the driver, one passenger and one goody bag. Vehicles may only compete in one class. If there are fewer than 350 entries when on-site registration concludes on Thursday, March 31 at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz., wait-list entries present on site will be accepted. Locals interested in racing alongside the competitors can do so at each track for a daily fee of $50, which includes an event t-shirt. (Drivers interested in participating can get more information at ( )
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Stars To Light Up Oscar Night®: Six Oscar® Winners Join Presenter Line Up For the 88th Annual Academy Awards Telecast

Oscars® producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin announced today a third slate of presenters for the 88th Oscars telecast. The Oscars, hosted by Chris Rock, will air live Oscar® Sunday, February 28, on ABC.88thOscars_Key_Host

The presenters, including several Oscar winners and previous nominees are Patricia Arquette, Abraham Attah, Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt, Louis C.K., Common, Russell Crowe, Chris Evans, Jennifer Garner, Louis Gossett, Jr., Michael B. Jordan, Rachel McAdams , Dev Patel, Eddie Redmayne, Daisy Ridley, Sarah Silverman and Sofia Vergara.

Previously announced presenters and performers include Steve Carell, Priyanka Chopra, Benicio del Toro, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Ryan Gosling, Kevin Hart, Quincy Jones, Lady Gaga, Byung-hun Lee, Jared Leto, Julianne Moore, Olivia Munn, Margot Robbie, Jason Segel, Andy Serkis, J.K. Simmons, Sam Smith, Charlize Theron, Jacob Tremblay, Kerry Washington, The Weeknd, Pharrell Williams and Reese Witherspoon.

The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

ArtsWestchester to Debut Spring Art Exhibit, SHE: Deconstructing Female Identity in March, Women’s History Month

Opening Reception to be Held on Sunday, March 13; Exhibit Runs Through Saturday, June 25

As Mattel reimagines the look of Barbie with the release of new dolls that have diverse physical appearances, ArtsWestchester, exploring what it means to be a woman today, has announced its 2016 spring exhibition, called SHE: Deconstructing Female Identity.

Mari Ogihara, “Underthing”

Mari Ogihara, “Underthing”

The contemporary art exhibition will open in March, during Women’s History Month, and run through the end of June, providing an artistic exploration of issues related to gender and female identity.

Laurel Garcia Colvin, “Beyond a Room of Our Own,” detail

Laurel Garcia Colvin, “Beyond a Room of Our Own,” detail

Modern American women are struggling to redefine themselves in the face of shifting societal values, changing perceptions of femininity and the choices between domesticity and executive leadership. These issues will be explored in a new exhibition, SHE, in which 11 artists will weigh in on the role of gender in society today,” said ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam, adding that with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the exhibition presents ideas by a selection of both well-known and emerging New York artists.

Debbie Han, Season of Being I

Debbie Han, “Season of Being I”

Mari Ogihara, Strip and Dismantle

Mari Ogihara, Strip and Dismantle

For more than 50 years, ArtsWestchester has been the community’s connection to the arts. Founded in 1965, it is the largest, private, not-for-profit arts council in New York State whose mission is to provide leadership, vision, and support, to ensure the availability, accessibility, and diversity of the arts. The arts organization provides programs and services that enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County, which includes helping fund concerts, exhibitions and plays through grants; bringing artists into schools and community centers; advocating for the arts; and building audiences through diverse marketing initiatives.

Nancy Davidson, installation view with “Maebe” and “Netella,” Prague 1999

Nancy Davidson, installation view with “Maebe” and “Netella,” Prague 1999

22.Tricia Wright, “Vir Domesticus”

Tricia Wright, “Vir Domesticus”

Kathy Ruttenberg, “The Nature of the Beast”

Kathy Ruttenberg, “The Nature of the Beast”

The opening reception for SHE: Deconstructing Female Identity will take place on Sunday, March 13 from 3:00 pm to 5:00PM. at ArtsWestchester, located at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains, N.Y. The exhibition will be on view through Saturday, June 25.

The following artists will be featured in SHE includes Nicole Awai of Brooklyn, Laurel Garcia Colvin of Chappaqua, Nancy Davidson of New York City, Marcy B. Freedman of Croton-on-Hudson, Debbie Han of New York City, Rebecca Mushtare of Oswego, Valerie Piriano of Brooklyn, Mari Ogihara of White Plains, Kathy Ruttenberg of New York, Barbara Segal of Yonkers and Tricia Wright of Kingston Continue reading

San Francisco Celebrates Black History Month

Black History Month celebrations fill the month of February in San Francisco with events commemorating the contributions of African Americans in San Francisco and throughout the United States. The following events, on the calendar at the San Francisco Travel Association, describes the length and breadth of what’s on tap in the city’s cultural scene in San Francisco in February and through into March.

San Francisco stock

Golden Gate Bridge – Marin Headlands: The Marin headlands afford a spectacular view of the San Francisco skyline through the red-orange superstructure of the Golden Gate Bridge. Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Travel Association/Scott Chernis

Experience the Power of an Anointed Sound – Meditate To The Music And Wisdom Of Legendary Jazz Saxophonist John Coltrane
An American jazz saxophonist and composer,
John Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and was later at the forefront of free jazz. He led at least 50 recording sessions during his career, and appeared as a sideman on many albums by other musicians, including trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Thelonious Monk. Celebrate Coltrane’s genius by experiencing “A Love Supreme Meditation” which will help calm your mind and tune into the spirit as visitors are guided through a meditation on the testimony and music of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.” Saint John Coltrane Church, 1286 Fillmore St., every Sunday at 10:30 a.m.


Who Among Us … The Art of Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle – Featuring Artwork From Three Projects That Hinkle Worked On Concurrently Over The Past Six Years
Interdisciplinary visual artist, writer and performer,
Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle presents “Who Among Us” as a tool to undo the imaginings placed onto the colonized body and its movements throughout space and time. Hinkle’s work remixes and re-imagines these perceptions and seeks to invent new possibilities of engaging visually with the black female body respectively. Concerned with the historical present, Hinkle’s research-based practice is a collision of mediums. Through April 3, 2016 at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), 685 Mission St., Mon.-Tue. Closed; Wed-Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 12-5 p.m.

I Am San Francisco” – Capturing The Home And Soul Of Native Black San Francisco
Created and curated by
Kheven LaGrone and hosted at the African American Center at San Francisco’s Main Library, the “I Am San Francisco” exhibition collects the personal stories of several African Americans from San Francisco featuring stories that were assigned to various artists, from various places, to interpret using various media. “An African American born in San Francisco? I’ve never met one before. You must have been one of the few,” a native Black San Franciscan often hears. For many, these type of questions conjure up the feelings of marginalization and the loss of home and remind us that African Americans are being written out of San Francisco’s past and present. Through March 10, 2016 at the African American Center, San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St., Sun. 12-5 p.m.; Mon. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Tues.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday 1-6 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Pop-up Talk: Judy Juanita on Virgin Soul and the Black Panther Party – Reflecting on Black Panther History 
Join the
Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) for a Black History Month-inspired pop-up talk with guest speaker Judy Juanita, a novelist and playwright based in Oakland in the Gallery of California Art. Juanita is a former member of the Black Panther Party, one-time editor of the Black Panther Party newspaper and was an instructor in the first Black Studies program in the nation at San Francisco State University. Juanita’s talk will draw upon her novel, “Virgin Soul,” which is set in Oakland and reflects upon Panther history. Included with Museum admission and happening during Friday Nights @ OMCA, from 5 to 9 pm, admission is half-price for adults, free for ages 18 and under. Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., Oakland, Feb. 19, 2016, 7-7:30 p.m.


The Colored Museum” at the African-American Shakespeare Company – A Poignant, Socially-Conscious, Satirical Comedy That Will Delight Audiences Of All Colors
The Colored Museum” is a depiction of black culture in America, which is especially relevant in today’s world of “Black Lives Matter.” The African-American Shakespeare Company has enlisted Tony Award-winning playwright, George C. Wolfe, to take audiences on a journey of black culture with a take no prisoners satire that electrifies, unsettles and delights audiences of all colors. “The Colored Museum” redefines our ideas of what it means to be black in contemporary America as the various exhibits depicts old and new stereotypes. Feb. 13-March 6 at the Buriel Clay Theater, African American Art & Culture Complex, 762 Fulton St., Sat. 8 p.m. and Sun. 3 p.m.

San Francisco at dusk

Skyline-San Francisco at Dusk: San Francisco cityscape, shot at a cloudy dusk. @San Francisco Travel Association/Can Balcioglu

Paula West at Feinstein’s at The NikkoWinner of Three New York Nightlife Awards for Outstanding Female Jazz Vocalist
A Bay Area favorite known for her rich, powerful contralto voice,
Paula West will present an all new show backed by a four-piece band and an eclectic set list with her unique interpretations of songs by Bob Dylan, Glen Campbell, Pearl Bailey, Ethel Waters and more. West has performed nationally and internationally at prestigious venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Maison de la Musique and the White House. Feb. 11-March 6, 2016 at Feinstein’s at The Nikko, Thurs.-Sun.; times vary, check the events calendar. Continue reading

Bond No. 9 Introduces Madison Avenue, The World’s First Shopping Scent Named After New York’s Most Celebrated Street Of Boutiques.

Bond No.9 has introduced a great many classic fragrances over the years, all named after neighbourhoods in New York City. The company created the first civic-minded eau de parfum (the beloved, best-selling Scent of Peace). For spring 2016, when we’ll all need a fresh new wardrobe, it is debuting the first-ever shopping scent.

And where better to do that shopping than on the stretch of Madison Avenue between 57th and 96th Street, with block after block of the most fabled and exalted fashion meccas in the universe.

Bond No. 9 introduces the world’s first shopping scent. We named it Madison Avenue, after New York’s most celebrated street of boutiques

Bond No. 9 introduces the world’s first shopping scent. We named it Madison Avenue, after New York’s most celebrated street of boutiques

So of course Bond No. 9 named its new shopping scent Madison Avenue—even though, as devotedly faithful clientele well knows, Bond No. 9 already has a Madison Avenue namesake scent: sultry gardenia-jasmine laden Madison Soiree, one of their classics, designed for evenings out. The new Madison Avenue, meanwhile, has strictly daytime intentions: one spray, and you’ll be transported to style-shopping nirvana.

Madison Avenue New York Body Silk

Madison Avenue New York Body Silk

The scent itself is a fresh chypre, that citrusy-woody-mossy fragrance breed that’s long been favored by fashionistas, and which, like all chypres, has its own uniquely haunting couture signature. Its sparkling fruit topnotes—crisp apple, orange-y bergamot, tangy, raisin-like blackberry—will automatically raise your energy level. Then come the heart notes:a bouquet of roses as rich as silk charmeuse; jasmine with the shimmer of shantung; and magnolia as smooth as satin. And last but hardly least, the base notes, with enough long-lasting sillage to get you through to late afternoon: earthy patchouli; that creamy-nutty-sugary pastry confection, praline; and ambroxan—contemporary ambergris that’s regarded as a prism through which a perfume’s other facets can shine.

For such a modish fragrance, the Bond No. 9 superstar bottle is covered in a soft, springtime lilac-pink, and adorned it, dressmaker-style, with a button-like repeat of the logo token running down the front and a pert black grosgrain bow around the neck. Consider it a fashion shopper’s dream flacon.

Madison Avenue debuts April 2016 (100ml, $300; 50ml, $200; Body Silk, $135; Swarovski Limited Edition, $375) just at the height of the spring shopping season and will be available at Bond No. 9 New York Boutiques, Saks Fifth Avenue nationwide, select Nordstrom stores, Harrods UK, and

Students and Graduates from The Art Institutes to Debut Fall/Winter 2016 Collections During New York Fashion Week

13 Up-And-Coming Fashion Designers To Experience Career-Defining Moments On New York City Runway

New York Fashion Week is an event attended by the fashion elite, celebrities, and designers working to prove that their hard work and dedication can make an impact in the fashion industry. For 13 designers from The Art Institutes system of schools, Fashion Week is a chance to showcase the talent, determination, and creativity they’ve transformed into their Fall/Winter 2016 collections.

Stephanie Castanon sketch

Stephanie Castanon sketch

These designers—both current students and recent graduates—understand that fashion is more than buzz-worthy garments. It’s a process that involves inspiration, sketching, fabric selection, garment construction, and endless revisions before a creation can be shown. They’ve overcome challenges and pushed their creative limits. Along the way, they’ve proven that they have what it takes to design and present a collection on one of fashion’s most prestigious runways. This marks the seventh season that The Art Institutes has partnered with New York Fashion Week to provide a career-starting platform for its budding designers. These promising designers will debut their Fall/Winter 2016 collections on Tuesday, February 16, at 8:30 pm, at The Arc, Skylight at Moynihan Station.

Alejandra Isunsa sketch

Alejandra Isunsa sketch

Since their selection, the 13 finalists have stretched their personal boundaries and worked closely with faculty mentors to finalize their collections. The designers were born as far away as Iran, Vietnam, and Haiti. Yet each shares a common bond—a love of fashion and the determination to pull together a collection within a demanding timeframe. The designers are current students and graduates of Art Institutes locations in Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, and Vancouver.

Bahareh Memarian sketch

Bahareh Memarian sketch

We are excited to once again showcase our students’ and graduates’ work at New York Fashion Week. This is a true career building experience for them, in which their passion, skills, and creativity can shine through in front of an international audience,” said Tim Moscato, Chief Operating Officer, The Art Institutes.

Get a front row view of the show during the live stream runway event, 8:30 p.m. on February 16. Visit to watch online alongside viewers from across the globe. Additional information about the designers’ backgrounds and the inspiration for their collections is featured on The Art Institutes’ blog, (Follow The Art Institutes On Facebook TwitterTumblrInstagram, and YouTube.)

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra Unveils Its 2016/17 Season


This past week, at the Roy Thomson Hall, Music Director Peter Oundjian unveiled the Toronto Symphony Orchestra‘s 95th performance season, reconfirming the TSO’s status as one of Canada’s leading ensembles and outstanding presenters of live music. The TSO 2016/17 season will spotlight 58 Canadian artists (48 being Canadian guest artists and 10 from within the ranks of the TSO). No less than 33 artists will make their TSO début as part of the 2016/17 season–comprising 55 different programs presented in 102 concerts, and featuring 9 World Premières, 12 TSO Commissions, 2 Canadian Premières, and 18 works by Canadian composers. More World Premières/TSO Commissions will be announced at a later date.


By Torsymph – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s most important cultural institutions, recognized internationally. Music Director Peter Oundjian leads the TSO with a commitment to innovative programming and audience development through a broad range of performances that showcase the exceptional talents of the Orchestra along with a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. The TSO also serves the larger community with TSOUNDCHECK, the original under-35 ticket program; the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra; and music-education programs that reach tens of thousands of students each year.

The 2016/17 season–a fusion of genres encompassing future masterworks, hidden gems, and familiar yet relevant masterpieces–is filled with many noteworthy TSO débuts and awaited returns, new commissions, cross-genre performances, exciting collaborations, and, quite simply, music to live and to love. When Canada’s 150th birthday arrives in January 2017, the season will be punctuated with programs and works that pay homage to Canada’s musical riches. Reflecting diversity and originality, the 2016/17 season offers time-honoured classics, novelties, cross-disciplinary events, and partnerships, with music that modulates from one era to another, spanning centuries. Often enhanced by ancillary events such as informative chats, lobby activities, and post-concert parties, TSO concerts become immersive experiences.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra strives to be the world’s most innovative orchestra in the world’s most ethnically diverse city,” says TSO President & CEO Jeff Melanson. “We aim to do so through presenting the best artists and artistic works of the present and past. We also seek to engage the diversity and creative potential of our wonderful city. We pull out all the stops to present works that stretch and have stretched us, that redefine what is musically possible. These brilliant works spring forth from the human imagination and express the wide range of human emotion and musical possibility. This next season will be tremendously exciting as we head into Canada’s 150th birthday as a nation in 2017. This is a year full of exploration of the best of what Canada has been, is currently, and will be. As it is with Canada, everyone is welcome on this journey.”

To the delight of symphonic music fans, the season will showcase the power of the Orchestra with some big, satisfying classical works such as Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, featuring mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton–both under Peter Oundjian’s direction–Mahler’s Symphony No. 10, conducted by Thomas Dausgaard; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral”, conducted by Hannu Lintu; and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, conducted by TSO Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis.

The TSO’s bespoke concert series–including Masterworks, Light Classics, Casual, Exposed, and Special Performances–feature several highlights: Opening Night: Renée Fleming; the continuation of The Decades Project*; an expanded series of Films with Live Orchestra, including the first installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy; the 13th annual New Creations Festival*, curated by Owen Pallet; the Mozart@261 Festival at Koerner Hall; Canada Mosaic* (and many events to highlight Canada’s Sesquicentennial); and the return of the popular Chinese New Year Celebration*, which will include a new work for pipa and orchestra (World Première/TSO Commission) by Canadian composer Vincent Ho.

Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke returns to lead the Pops series, which includes a brand new Christmas show with Canadian songstress Jann Arden; The Music of ABBA with the spectacular Finnish a cappella ensemble, Rajaton; A Tribute to Ella Fitztgerald, starring the dazzling vocalist Capathia Jenkins; and a concert dedicated to the Best of Rodgers & Hammerstein.

Families and youth will enjoy the reprisal of The Hockey Sweater (music by Abigail Richardson-Schulte/story by Roch Carrier, who will be narrating); Lights, Camera…Orchestra!*, an exploration of the magic of movies and music, presented in collaboration with the Toronto International Film Festival; and other entertaining events as part of the Young People’s Concert series. Continue reading