The Academy Announces Foundation Gift From Walmart

unnamedThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today a $250,000 gift from Walmart to the Academy Foundation in support of the organization’s educational and outreach initiatives. Walmart, a Proud Sponsor of the 89th Oscars®, continues its commitment to encourage and support emerging talent in the film community.

Walmart’s gift will allow the Academy to meaningfully advance its ongoing efforts to reach out and build a more diverse and inclusive talent pool of participants in all Academy programs, and begin to position promising young people for success in their respective fields.

The Academy Foundation manages two of the most prestigious competitions for emerging talent in the motion picture industry—the Student Academy Awards, an international film competition for university students, and the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, an international writing competition for aspiring screenwriters. Past Student Academy Award winners include acclaimed filmmakers Pete Docter (“Inside Out“), Cary Fukunaga (“Beasts of No Nation“), John Lasseter (“Toy Story“), Spike Lee (“Do the Right Thing“), Trey Parker (“South Park“) and Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump“).

Altogether, Student Academy Award winners have gone on to receive eight Oscars and 51 Oscar® nominations. Past Nicholl Fellows include Destin Cretton (“Short Term 12“), Jeffrey Eugenides (“The Virgin Suicides“), Susannah Grant (“Erin Brockovich“), Ehren Kruger (“Transformers: Age of Extinction“) and Andrew Marlowe (“Air Force One“).

This summer, the Academy will also launch a groundbreaking entertainment industry-wide summer intern and mentoring program that will expand opportunities for young professionals from under-represented communities.

We would like to thank Walmart for this generous gift, and are grateful for their support of our educational initiatives and shared commitment to mentor the next generation of storytellers,” said Academy CEO, Dawn Hudson.

Our Oscars campaign celebrates creativity and storytelling, and we felt it was important to not only support filmmaking on the industry’s biggest night, but to lend support to future filmmakers,” said Tony Rogers, chief marketing officer, Walmart U.S. “Every day our customers are telling stories with their receipts. We are proud to support the Academy’s educational programs to further empower film students from diverse backgrounds to tell their stories.”

As a Proud Sponsor of the 89th Oscars®, Walmart will unveil its new campaign, “Behind Every Receipt, There’s a Great Story,” during the retailer’s first-ever sponsorship of the Oscars. The concept for the campaign is based on a single six-item receipt—when seen through an artistic lens—can tell an infinite number of stories. Walmart teamed with directors Antoine Fuqua, Marc Forster, and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to create three short films, each with their own unique spin, that will premiere during the telecast’s commercials on Oscars® Sunday, February 26, on the ABC Television Network.

New York & Company Launches Customer-Inspired Capsule Collections

The #IAmNYandCo Campaign Launched Online and in Atlanta Stores on February 22nd

Specialty women’s apparel chain, New York & Company, Inc. has announced the launch of collections inspired by customers. These collections will derive inspiration directly from New York & Company’s most loyal shoppers to create diverse styles that attest to the brand’s dedication to empowering women.

The first collection of this kind is inspired by long-time New York & Company customer, Dr. Roblena E Walker. Walker, a Research Scientist and Public Health Professor, has been a loyal New York & Company client for over 20 years. Since her first purchase of white-washed boot cut jeans, Walker has believed in the clothing and the brand. “The thing I love most about this brand is that the pieces are more than just clothes – it’s a way of life. I am New York & Company,” Walker expresses. “When I slip on a beautiful dress and statement necklace, I can conquer any obstacle I may encounter. More importantly, I immediately obtain a huge boost in confidence that further positions me to empower other women.”

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Dr. Roblena E Walker, a Research Scientist and Public Health Professor, has been a loyal New York & Company client for over 20 years and the inspiration for New York & Company’s first Customer-Inspired Capsule Collection.

Walker stars in the brand’s newest campaign, where she styles each look herself. “It’s always exciting to see how our clients style each piece in their own way,” states Greg Scott, CEO of New York & Company. “We will continue turning to them for inspiration while in doing so, #IAmNYandCo will give women who share a love for fashion a chance to inspire each other.”NYCo logo and web

To celebrate, New York & Company is hosting in-store launch parties for Walker in her hometown of Atlanta, GA on February 24th and 25th at Cumberland Mall and The Shoppes at Webb Gin, respectively. The capsule collection will consist of 9 styles, which is now available online and in select Atlanta stores.

Parsons School of Design Announces New Couture Course Inspired by Iconic Designer Norman Norell

The New School’s Parsons School of Design announces the “Norell x Parsons” course as part of the spring 2017 couture curriculum. A creative collaboration conceived in partnership with Parsons, Parlux Ltd., and Neiman Marcus, the unique program addresses the emerging, modern day challenges facing a new generation of fashion industry talent, inspired by the legacy of American designer, Norman Norell.parsons_logo

Fusing the worlds of fashion, art, and commerce, “Norell x Parsons” challenges students to interpret the Norell brand heritage through a contemporary couture approach, practice, and development over the course of one semester. Students will design and create a piece based on Norell’s classic designs, while also learning the necessary skills to creatively lead a fashion house in the current fashion industry.

The Parsons School of Design, founded in 1896, is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines, as well as online courses, degree, and certificate programs. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century.

A Selection Committee including Fashion Designer and Parsons Alumni, Jason Wu, Parsons Dean of Fashion, Burak Cakmak, The Fashion Group International President, Margaret Hayes, Fashion Designer and Author, Jeffery Banks, CR Fashion Book Online Director, Ray Siegel, Parlux Ltd. President and The Fashion Group International Chairman of the Board, Donald Loftus, Neiman Marcus Senior Vice President & Fashion Director, Ken Downing, photographer Michael Avedon and Parsons Faculty will evaluate the creative concepts of each student designer.

Renowned for his legendary aesthetic that revolutionized American ready-to-wear and the American designer fragrance industry, Norell was one of the first American fashion designers to launch a namesake fragrance. Following the 2015 launch of the re-mastered iconic scent, Norell New York, Norell Elixir launched in fall 2016 exclusively at Neiman Marcus.

This course aims to arm students with the knowledge needed to succeed in today’s ever-challenging fashion and retail environments,” said Loftus.Norell’s legacy highlights the evident synergies between designer fashion and fragrance, and the value of a brand embracing both style and scent to effectively position itself among today’s luxury lifestyle powerhouses.”

Creating the future of fashion can only be achieved with a passionate understanding of the past,” said Downing. “I’m excited for the next generation of the industry’s great talents to uncover the brilliance of Norman Norell, as they forge a new path in fashion history.

At the conclusion of the couture course, the Norell New York’s leadership team will select one winning design that will be showcased in the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, a longstanding retail partner, and made available to sell as a special order.

Creative directors at today’s fashion houses often look to a company’s archives for history, inspiration, and creativity to understand a brand’s DNA before establishing their own, modern imprint for the brand,” said Cakmak. “This course will offer our students important hands-on industry experience, and help prepare them to enter a new era of creative direction in the fashion industry.”

The student winner will be announced in May 2017.

Havana, Cuba, To Be Featured on Select Carnival Paradise Cruises from Tampa Beginning in June 2017

Following the history-making launch of cruises from the U.S. to Cuba on Carnival Corporation’s Fathom brand last year, the company’s namesake and largest cruise brand — Carnival Cruise Line — has now received approval to sail to Cuba. The Cuban capital of Havana will be added to select Carnival Paradise voyages from Tampa beginning in June 2017.

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Carnival Cruise Lines’ new 130,000-ton Carnival Breeze in Venice waiting to set sail on its inaugural cruise. Photo by Radu Ursu.

The overnight visits to Havana will be featured on 12 four- and five-day cruises aboard Carnival Paradise departing from the Port of Tampa starting June 29, 2017, providing vacationers with a rare and exciting opportunity to explore this fascinating and previously off-limits destination.

Four-day cruises will depart June 29, July 13, August 24, September 7 and 21, and October 5 and 19, 2017 as well as May 3, 2018 and include a daytime and overnight visit to Havana. Five-day voyages will depart August 14 and 28, September 25 and October 9, 2017, and include a daytime and overnight visit to Havana as well as a stop in either Cozumel or Key West.

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Carnival Paradise at Sea 

 

Carnival Paradise guests will be able to choose from a range of exciting shore excursion experiences that showcase Cuba’s vibrant culture and majestic beauty, along with the island’s warm and friendly people and centuries-old architectural landmarks.

Cuba is an island jewel unique from anywhere else in the Caribbean and we are thrilled to have this rare opportunity to take our guests to this fascinating destination,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “The opportunity to visit Havana, combined with the fun, relaxed ambiance and wide variety of amenities and features offered on Carnival Paradise, will make for a truly one-of-a-kind vacation experience,” she added.

Aboard Carnival Paradise, guests can enjoy an array of amenities and a full schedule of daytime activities and nighttime entertainment. A variety of dining options includes two full-service main dining rooms and expansive poolside choices. The ship also features a 12,000-square-foot Spa Carnival health and wellness facility and an exclusive Serenity adults-only retreat. Popular family-friendly programming includes Seuss at Sea in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises and featuring the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with The Cat in the Hat and Friends and fun, supervised activities for kids in three age groups. Four swimming pools and an 115-foot-long water slide are additional features.

The visits to Havana comply with regulations of the U.S. Department of Treasury that permit travel operators to transport approved travelers to Cuba to engage in activities as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Foreign Assets Control.

The new voyages can currently be booked via travel agents or by calling 1-800-CARNIVAL. The cruises will also be available on carnival.com. Please note that a passport is required for cruises that call in Cuba. Additional information on all special requirements for these voyages can be found on carnival.com.

Los Angeles LGBT Center Expands Services for Homeless LGBTQ Youth With Support From S. Mark Taper Foundation

This week the Los Angeles LGBT Center announces it has received a $100,000 grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation to support The Center‘s Homeless Youth Services. The S. Mark Taper Foundation, founded in 1989, is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of people’s lives by supporting nonprofit organizations and their work in their respective communities.2b6088cc959028b4289c4dd619d45523

The grant will help fund holistic services including food, showers, emergency shelter, transitional housing, education, college access services, employment training, job placement assistance, addiction recovery and other health and wellness support.

On any given day or night, there are several thousand homeless youth ages 24 and younger living on the streets of Los Angeles. At its Youth Center, which is open seven days a week, the Center provides three meals per day; clothing; support group; a charter high school, GED, and college prep program; an employment preparation, training, and placement program; and more. The Center also offers a place to stay at its emergency shelter and longer-term housing at its transitional housing program.

In 2016 the Center served more than 74,000 meals at its Youth Center and provided more than 22,858 bed nights to homeless youth. Additionally, more than 109 homeless youth secured jobs through the Center’s Youth Employment Program.

With a staggering 40 percent of youth living on the streets in Hollywood identifying as LGBT, the Los Angeles LGBT Center will be able to expand its life-saving services to homeless youth because of the S. Mark Taper Foundation’s generosity,” said Center Director of Children, Youth & Family Services Simon Costello. “No organization offers a wider range of services for LGBT and questioning youth than the Los Angeles LGBT Center. We are honored to work with the S. Mark Taper Foundation to provide whatever support and services that youth need to get off the streets and become healthy, equal and complete members of society.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center does exceptional work in helping homeless youth find a better quality of life, and we are proud to help the Center continue its mission,” said S. Mark Taper Foundation Executive Director Adrienne Wittenberg. “Too many youths find themselves trying to survive on the streets of Los Angeles, but with our relationship with the Center, together we will transform and uplift the lives of these youth for the better.

Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center’s nearly 600 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. The Center is an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; the world in which LGBT people can be healthy, equal and complete members of society. Learn more at lalgbtcenter.org.

Styx, REO Speedwagon And Don Felder Set To Launch “United We Rock” U.S. Summer Tour June 20 In Ridgefield, WA

Rock legends REO SPEEDWAGON and STYX, along with very special guest star DON FELDER—formerly of the Eagles—will join forces for the “United We Rock” U.S. summer tour, which kicks off in Ridgefield, WA on June 20. Produced by Live Nation, tickets for various cities will go on sale starting February 24. 

(Check out this video to learn more about the “United We Rock Tour”: https://youtu.be/_ZbGMz6YGFE)20170216_222809_9443_969321

Midwest rock heroes REO Speedwagon and Styx have a rich touring and recording history together. In 2000, the bands recorded a live album and DVD called Arch Allies: Live at Riverport at Riverport Amphitheatre in Missouri. In 2009, the bands embarked on the “Can’t Stop Rockin'” Tour and marked the occasion with a single, “Can’t Stop Rockin’,” co-written by Styx’s Tommy Shaw and REO Speedwagon‘s Kevin Cronin. In 2012 and 2013, REO Speedwagon and Styx hit the road together with the wildly successful “The Midwest Rock ‘n Roll Express” tour.

Most recently, in January, Styx and Don Felder shared the Las Vegas stage for an unforgettable five-night limited engagement, “Styx & Don Felder: Renegades In The Fast Lane,” at The Venetian Theatre inside The Venetian Las Vegas. And, on the Rock Legends Cruise in February, Felder invited REO Speedwagon’s Dave Amato up for an amazing performance of “Hotel California.”

Everyone on the tour is ecstatic to criss-cross the U.S. together again.

I called up Tommy Shaw last summer and we were both thinking the same thing: let’s get the boys together, make some music, and have some fun. REO Speedwagon and Styx together is a head first plunge into the fountain of youth, an unstoppable force of nature. Add the amazing Don Felder to the mix and it’s a thundering slam dunk!” says Kevin Cronin, REO Speedwagon (vocals, guitars, keyboards)

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REO Speedwagon (photo credit: Randee St. Nicholas)

Formed in 1967, signed in 1971, and fronted by iconic vocalist Kevin Cronin since 1972, REO Speedwagon‘s unrelenting drive, as well as non-stop touring and recording, jump-started the burgeoning rock movement in the Midwest. Platinum albums and freeform FM radio staples followed, setting the stage for the release of the band’s explosive Hi Infidelity in 1980, which contained the massive hit singles “Keep On Loving You” and “Take It On the Run,” and spent 15 weeks in the No. 1 slot. To date, REO Speedwagon has sold 40 million albums around the globe, with Hi Infidelity approaching ten times platinum status in the U.S. After nearly five decades since forming, Cronin and bandmates Bruce Hall (bass), Neal Doughty (keyboards), Dave Amato (guitar) and Bryan Hitt (drums) are still electrifying audiences worldwide with concerts featuring their timeless, two number one singles, the aforementioned “Keep on Loving You“, “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” along with hits and fan-favorites including, “Take It on the Run,” “Time for Me to Fly,” “Roll With the Changes,” “Ridin’ The Storm Out,” and more. Continue reading

Carnival Cruise Line Expands ‘Carnival Journeys’ Program With 13 Additional Voyages Departing In 2018-19

12- to 14-Day Voyages Visit Spectacular Destinations Throughout Central and South America, Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean and the Panama Canal

Carnival Cruise Line has expanded its popular Carnival Journeys enrichment cruise series with 13 new 12- to 14-day seagoing adventures departing from homeports along the East and West Coasts and the Gulf of Mexico in 2018 and 2019.

The new voyages are in addition to a number of previously announced nine-to 15-day Carnival Journeys cruises departing in 2017-18.carnival-journeys

In addition to visiting some of the world’s most beautiful destinations, guests sailing on Carnival Journeys cruises can participate in unique onboard activities where they can sample local cuisine and enjoy entertainment and cultural opportunities within the various ports of call. Activities focusing on a broad range of topics – everything from photography and cooking to arts and crafts and social media – along with a 1980s-themed “Throwback Sea Day,” are also offered.

Our Carnival Journeys cruises have proven enormously popular with guests who enjoy both unforgettable landside experiences and one-of-a-kind onboard enrichment activities that this unique program offers,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival president. “We’re thrilled to expand Carnival Journeys with these 13 new voyages that showcase some of the world’s most captivating destinations,” she added.

The 13 new Carnival Journeys voyages include:

  • Carnival Splendor: a 14-day Alaska cruise round-trip from Long Beach Aug. 25 to Sept. 8, 2018, visiting Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau and Sitka, Alaska, as well as Victoria, British Columbia.
  • Carnival Breeze: a 14-day Southern Caribbean voyage departing Galveston Sept. 16 and arriving in Port Canaveral Sept. 30, 2018, calling at Grand Cayman, Aruba, Curacao, Grenada, Barbados, Dominica and St Maarten.
  • Carnival Splendor: three 14-day Hawaii cruises round-trip from Long Beach departing Oct. 13, 2018, Dec. 1, 2018, and Jan. 12, 2019, visiting Maui (Kahului), Honolulu, Kona and Hilo.
  • Carnival Freedom: a 14-day Panama Canal voyage round-trip from Galveston Oct. 27-Nov. 10, 2018, visiting Montego Bay, Aruba, Curacao, and Cartagena prior to a partial transit of the Panama Canal followed by Limon (Costa Rica) and Cozumel.
  • Carnival Breeze: a 14-day Southern Caribbean voyage operating round-trip from Port Canaveral Nov. 3-17, 2018, with stops at St Thomas, Antigua, St Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, St. Maarten, Tortola, and San Juan.
  • Carnival Pride: a 14-day Southern Caribbean cruise round-trip from Baltimore Nov. 4-18, 2018, calling at Grand Turk, Aruba, Curacao, Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Maarten.
  • Carnival Ecstasy: a 12-day Southern Caribbean cruise round trip from Charleston Nov. 10-22, 2018, featuring Amber Cove, Aruba, Curacao, St Maarten and San Juan.
  • Carnival Miracle: a 14-day Panama Canal voyage round-trip from Tampa Dec. 2-16, 2018, visiting Cozumel and Limon prior to a partial transit of the Panama Canal followed by Cartagena, Aruba, Curacao and Ocho Rios.
  • Carnival Pride: 14-day Southern Caribbean voyage round-trip from Baltimore Jan. 6-20, 2019, visiting St Thomas, Antigua, Grenada, Dominica, St. Maarten, San Juan and Grand Turk.
  • Carnival Sunshine: a 13-day Southern Caribbean cruise round-trip from Port Canaveral, Fla., Jan. 12-25, 2019, calling at Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, San Juan and Amber Cove (Dominican Republic).
  • Carnival Freedom: a 14-day Southern Caribbean sailing round-trip from Galveston Jan 19-Feb. 2, 2019, featuring Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire, and Cartagena prior to a partial transit of the Panama Canal followed by Limon and Cozumel.

Carnival Journeys activities are tailored to each itinerary in the areas of dining, entertainment, team member connections and enrichment, all infused with the line’s spirited brand of fun. These experiences include: Continue reading