Panorama Europe Film Festival Returns for its Seventh Year, with a Slate of Sixteen Outstanding New Movies

FESTIVAL to Run from May 29 – June 14, 2015 at Museum of the Moving Image and Bohemian National Hall

Festival Kick-Off Event and Party at Tribeca Cinemas on Thursday, May 28

Panorama Europe Film Festival 2015, the seventh edition of this vital festival of new European cinema (formerly known as Disappearing Act), presented by Museum of the Moving Image and the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), returns to the Museum and the Bohemian National Hall with a slate of sixteen new features from May 29 through June 14. The NY Portuguese Short Film Festival (NYPSFF), who since 2011, has presented  an annual two-day showcase of short Portuguese films (arteinstitute.org/nypsff), produced and hosted by Arte Institute at Tribeca Cinemas. This is the first year the festival is partnering with unnamedPanorama Europe.

The festival continues its mission of showcasing the best in European filmmaking by introducing a wide-ranging selection of contemporary cinema in varying genres that cover many current social and cultural themes. Panorama Europe offers New York audiences what may be their only chance to see these acclaimed films on the big screen. Some of the highlights of this year’s edition include Petr Václav’s 2015 Czech Lion best film THE WAY OUT, Panos H. Koutras’s multiple award-winning XENIA (Greece), Virág Zomborácz’s AFTERLIFE (Hungary), Ignas Jonynas’s THE GAMBLER (Lithuania), with star Oona Mekas attending, and BREATHE (RESPIRE) (France), the sophomore feature directed by the actress Mélanie Laurent (INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, BEGINNERS).

Pictured: Greece's Xenia | Photo courtesy of Strand Releasing

Pictured: Greece’s Xenia | Photo courtesy of Strand Releasing

The festival informally kicks off on Thursday, May 28, at 7:30 p.m. with a screening of short European films at Tribeca Cinemas, followed by a party, as part of the NY Portuguese Short Film Festival (NYPSFF). The opening weekend includes special screenings of GODS (Poland, 2014), with director Lukasz Palkowski in person on Friday, May 29, and BOTA (THE WORLD) (Albania, 2014), with co-director Iris Elezi in person, on Sunday, May 31. Both screenings will be followed by conversations with the filmmakers, and receptions. Other festival titles include films from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Spain. The Closing Night film is Bas Devos’s award-winning VIOLET (Belgium, 2014), which screened as part of this year’s New Directors/New Films Series. The screening will be preceded by live musc by the Flemish band St. Grandson in the Museum’s courtyard and followed by a reception.

This year’s Panorama Europe lineup is exceptional,” said Chief Curator David Schwartz, who programmed the festival. “Many of the films are fascinated with questions of identity and history, on both personal and national levels. And this year, many films use humor, often dark, to explore their subjects.

The full lineup of Panorama Europe 2015:

 Bota (The World), Albania, Dir. Iris Elezi, Thomas Logoreci / Opening Weekend Film & Reception

Gods, Poland, Dir. Lukasz Palkowski / Opening Weekend Film & Reception

Violet, Belgium, Dir. Bas Devos / Closing Night Film & Reception

Afterlife, Hungary, Dir. Virág Zomborácz

Age of Cannibals, Germany, Dir. Johannes Naber

Breathe, France, Dir. Mélanie Laurent

Cowboys, Croatia, Dir. Tomislav Mrsic

The Gambler, Lithuania, Dir. Ignas Jonynas

I Can Quit Whenever I Want, Italy, Dir. Sydney Sibilia

In the Basement, Austria. Dir. Ulrich Seidel and the short film Exterior Extended

In the Crosswind, Estonia, Dir. Martti Helde

Magical Girl, Spain, Dir. Carlos Vermut

The Tree, Slovenia, Dir. Sonja Prosenc

The Unexpected Life, Spain, Dir. Jorge Torregrossa

The Way Out, Czech Republic, Dir. Petr Václav

Xenia, Greece, Dir. Panos H. Koutras

SCHEDULE AND DESCRIPTIONS FOR PANORAMA EUROPE, MAY 29–JUNE 14, 2015*

Unless otherwise noted, screenings take place in the Sumner M. Redstone Theater or the Celeste and Armand Bartos Screening Room at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue in Astoria, OR at Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73 Street, Manhattan.

*Program may be subject to change

OPENING WEEKEND FILM
Gods
With Lukasz Palkowski in person, followed by reception

FRIDAY, MAY 29, 7:00 P.M.

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Poland. Dir. Lukasz Palkowski. 2014, 120 mins. With Tomasz Kot, Piotr Glowacki, Szymon Piotr Warszawski. This enormously entertaining biopic chronicles the groundbreaking work of Zbigniew Religa, the pioneering Polish surgeon who defied the Communist bureaucracy of the 1980s to perform the country’s first heart transplant. Told with wit, verve, and a fastidious attention to period detail, Gods is an engrossing portrait of a larger-than-life personality.

Afterlife
SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2:00 P.M.

Also showing: Thursday, June 4, 7:00 p.m. at Bohemian National Hall
Hungary. Dir. Virág Zomborácz. 2014, 93 mins. With Márton Kristóf, László Gálffi, Eszter Csákányi. A pastor and son with a strained relationship get a shot at reconciliation—after the older man’s unexpected death. Part tender coming-of-age tale, part darkly comic ghost story, Afterlife is a surprising, poignant fable from one of the most distinctive new voices in Hungarian cinema.
The TreeThe Tree
SATURDAY, MAY 30, 4:00 P.M.

Slovenia. Dir. Sonja Prosenc. 2014, 90 mins. With Katarina Stegnar, Jernej Kogovsek, Lukas Matija. A mother and her two sons live as prisoners in their own home. But what is it about the outside world they fear? Told from three points of view, a riveting family tragedy gradually reveals itself in this acclaimed Slovenian chamber drama, which masterfully maintains an air of steadily mounting tension.

I Can Quit Whenever I Want
SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2:00 P.M.


Italy. Dir. Sydney Sibilia. 2014, 100 mins. With Edoardo Leo, Valeria Solarino, Valerio Aprea. A group of underemployed academics hope to earn quick cash by entering the drug racket. But when their new designer drug turns out to be all the rage, can they handle the success? One of the funniest Italian comedies in years, this ultra-entertaining box office smash plays like Breaking Bad meets Reservoir Dogs.

Xenia
SUNDAY, MAY 31, 4:00 P.M.

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Greece. Dir. Panos H. Koutras. 2014, 128 mins. With Kostas Nikouli, Nikos Gelia, Aggelos Papadimitriou. A gay teen and his older brother journey across Greece in search of their estranged father in this alternately surreal and stirring road movie. Juxtaposing the realities of present-day Greece with imaginative slips into dream logic, this bold coming-of-age saga swept this year’s Hellenic Film Academy Awards, winning Best Picture and six other awards. Continue reading

“YUJI AGEMATSU: WALK ON A,B,C,” MAY 6–MAY 11, 2015 AT THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

Location: Floor Three
Susan and John Hess Family Theater

Yuji Agematsu (b. 1956), Walk On A,B,C,, 2014–15 (detail). Ten-carousel slide installation with approximately 600 handmade 35mm color slides, soundtrack, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist

Yuji Agematsu (b. 1956), Walk On A,B,C,, 2014–15 (detail). Ten-carousel slide installation with approximately 600 handmade 35mm color slides, soundtrack, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist

Since the late 1980s, the obsessive and visionary artistic practice of Yuji Agematsu has included daily walks through Manhattan’s streets, during which the artist documents and collects the flotsam and jetsam that, though often unnoticed, comprises much of our urban experience. The Whitney commissioned Agematsu to survey the Museum’s new building and its surrounding neighborhood during the second half of 2014. The products of these investigations are highly choreographed sequences of timed 35mm slides. These sequences map three routes the artist followed, labeled as A, B, and C. Collectively, they form an extensive durational portrait of the Meatpacking District, the Hudson River, Gansevoort Peninsula (Pier 52, currently operated by the NYC Sanitation Department), West 14th Street, the High Line, Chelsea, and Hudson Yards.

In these images, Agematsu explores both extreme surface details and wide open spaces. He deliberately avoided photographing people, finding instead an animate quality in places and things in order to produce what he thinks of as a form of urban portraiture. Shot with a range of lenses including a microscope and telescope, the images are at once generic and specific. Buildings, flowers, construction materials, water, pavement, traffic, discarded objects, and sky coexist and interact. Some images are meticulously collaged or superimposed, and at times include actual dirt or objects found in the street. Agematsu’s schematic drawings, printed in an accompanying brochure, trace his routes and detail how they have been mapped onto the space of the Whitney’s theater, where images are projected onto freestanding wooden screens that recall public kiosks, subway maps, and temporary construction walls. Walk On A,B,C, considers the boundaries between design and nature, the qualities of administered public space, and the exigencies of a neighborhood and city in active redevelopment and fundamental flux.

During the run of the show, Agematsu will perform live sound improvisations, manipulating field recordings made by the artist in his native Japan.

Yuji Agematsu was born in 1956 in Kanagawa, Japan. He lives in Brooklyn, NY. He studied with Tokio Hasegawa, a member of the band Taj Mahal Travellers, and the jazz drummer and choreographer Milford Graves.

Yuji Agematsu: Walk On A,B,C, is organized by Jay Sanders, Curator and Curator of Performance, with Greta Hartenstein, curatorial assistant. (Research and artist assistance by Gregor Quack.) The artist would like to give special thanks to Robert Snowden and Mark Lewis at Yale Union; Artspeak, Vancouver; Ben Manley and Woramon Jamjod; James Cleveland; Real Fine Arts. Support for the Whitney’s Performance Program is provided in part by the Performance Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

MARY HEILMANN: SUNSET AT THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

Installation view of Mary Heilmann: Sunset (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, May 1, 2015–). Photograph by Marco Anelli © 2015

Installation view of Mary Heilmann: Sunset (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, May 1, 2015–). Photograph by Marco Anelli © 2015

To coincide with the opening of its new downtown home in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District on May 1, The Whitney Museum of American Art has commissioned Mary Heilmann to create a site-specific installation for its largest outdoor gallery, located on the building’s Fifth Floor. Mary Heilmann: Sunset comprises of three components: a pair of shocking pink geometric forms climbing the museum’s north facade, a group of forty sculptural chairs to be used by visitors, and a video Heilmann shot around the Museum’s neighborhood in 1982. The inauguration of the Fifth Floor Outdoor Gallery is sponsored by Deutsche Bank.

Miss Heilmann became known in the 1970s for vibrant paintings that married taut abstract forms with quivering line and vivid color. For more than thirty years, she has intermittently explored a stair-step motif brushed within rectangular fields or expressed through irregularly shaped canvases, which happen to rhyme with the dramatic setbacks and grid lines of the Whitney’s new building. This serendipitous connection inspired Heilmann to enlarge a detail of one such painting and print it on two large panels that playfully turn the building itself into her canvas and tweak its sharp geometries. Extending more than fifty feet up the facade, the panels are visible from the High Line, the streets to the north, and the West Side Highway.

Heilmann’s intervention extends to a group of sculptural chairs scattered on the terrace like a shower of confetti. Adapted from furniture she has displayed in homes and exhibitions, the chairs serve as elements in her larger composition and provide visitors with a space to lounge and chat with each other while taking in the majestic views of the Hudson River to the west and the Manhattan skyline. Looking down from the Museum’s higher terraces, the installation will resemble a a playful abstract composition on the paved floor below. “Museums are places to hang out,” Heilmann says, as are New York rooftops.

The final component of the installation is a large outdoor monitor that will screen the debut of Heilmann’s Swan Song. In 1977, Heilmann moved to Manhattan’s west side waterfront and documented the neighborhood the Whitney now calls home in her video Swan Song, made with Kembra Pfahler in 1982. Debuted here, this ode to a vanishing city provides glimpses of the light over the Hudson River, the destruction of the former West Side Highway, and the warehouses that dotted this ever-changing area and serves as a counterpoint to teh festive atmosphere created by the chairs; as well as offering a glimpse back in time of teh neighborhood the Whitney now calls its home.

Mary Heilmann: Sunset is organized by Scott Rothkopf, Nancy and Steve Crown Family Curator and Associate Director of Programs. The installation is Outside the Box programming which is supported by a generous endowment from The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation.

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA TO ATTEND WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART DEDICATION CEREMONY

First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama will be the special guest (and speaker) at the Dedication Ceremony and Official Ribbon-Cutting for the new downtown New York City home of the Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY 10014) on Thursday, April 30, 2015, at 11 am. The Whitney’s new building returns the Museum to downtown Manhattan where it was founded in 1930 by artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. The 220,000-square-foot building in the Meatpacking District doubles the Museum’s exhibition space, enabling the Whitney to present its innovative exhibitions and programs in the context of the world’s foremost collection of twentieth-century and contemporary American art. The building opens to the public on Friday, May 1, 2015.

A view of the building from the High Line, November 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

A view of the building from the High Line, November 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

A view of the High Line and the building’s eastern face, December 2014. Photograph by Ed Lederman

A view of the High Line and the building’s eastern face, December 2014. Photograph by Ed Lederman

The new building viewed from across the Hudson River, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The new building viewed from across the Hudson River, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

Other distinguished guests and speakers will include Bill de Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York; Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of American Art; Renzo Piano, architect; Chairman and Founding Partner, Renzo Piano Building WorkshopRobert J. Hurst, Co-Chairman, Whitney Board of Trustees; Brooke Garber Neidich, Co-Chairman, Whitney Board of Trustees; Neil G. Bluhm, President, Whitney Board of Trustees and Flora Miller Biddle, Honorary Chairman, Whitney Board of Trustees, and granddaughter of Museum founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. Other participants will include Matana Roberts, composer and alto saxophonist, performing a commissioned musical work, Incantation, The Wooster Group, renowned experimental theater company, performing the ribbon-cutting, and teens from the Whitney’s Youth Insights Program. Admittance to the ceremony is by invitation only but a live webcast will be available to the public at whitney.org/Dedication.

The Meatpacking District is a twenty-square-block neighborhood on the far West Side of Manhattan. Surrounding the meatpacking plants just north of Gansevoort Street are some of New York’s most notable restaurants, bars, fashion boutiques, clubs, and hotels. The neighborhood is bordered to the north and east by Chelsea, renowned for its art galleries, cultural organizations, and educational institutions. To the south is the West Village and its nineteenth-century townhouses, charming streets, and unique shops. To the west is the Hudson River. (Photography by Timothy Schenck)

The Meatpacking District is a twenty-square-block neighborhood on the far West Side of Manhattan. Surrounding the meatpacking plants just north of Gansevoort Street are some of New York’s most notable restaurants, bars, fashion boutiques, clubs, and hotels. The neighborhood is bordered to the north and east by Chelsea, renowned for its art galleries, cultural organizations, and educational institutions. To the south is the West Village and its nineteenth-century townhouses, charming streets, and unique shops. To the west is the Hudson River. (Photography by Timothy Schenck)

Situated between the High Line and the Hudson River in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, the new building will vastly increase the Whitney’s exhibition and programming space, offering the most expansive display ever of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art.

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph by Ed Lederman

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph by Ed Lederman

The High Line is New York City’s newest and most unique public park. Located thirty feet above street level on a 1930s freight railway, the High Line runs from Gansevoort Street  in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street in Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. It features an integrated landscape combining meandering concrete pathways with naturalistic plantings.

The High Line is New York City’s newest and most unique public park. Located thirty feet above street level on a 1930s freight railway, the High Line runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street in Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. It features an integrated landscape combining meandering concrete pathways with naturalistic plantings.

The fifth floor gallery’s east-facing window, seen from below, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The fifth floor gallery’s east-facing window, seen from below, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

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The new building in the evening, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The new building in the evening, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

Workers constructing the exterior stairs, December 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

Workers constructing the exterior stairs, December 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

Upclose exterior view of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District.  Photograph by Ed Lederman

Upclose exterior view of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District. Photograph by Ed Lederman

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph © Nic Lehoux

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph © Nic Lehoux

Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the new building will include approximately 50,000 square feet of indoor galleries and 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition space and terraces facing the High Line. An expansive gallery for special exhibitions will be approximately 18,000 square feet in area, making it the largest column-free museum gallery in New York City. Additional exhibition space includes a lobby gallery (accessible free of charge), two floors for the permanent collection, and a special exhibitions gallery on the top floor.

According to Mr. Piano, “The design for the new museum emerges equally from a close study of the Whitney’s needs and from a response to this remarkable site. We wanted to draw on its vitality and at the same time enhance its rich character. The first big gesture, then, is the cantilevered entrance, which transforms the area outside the building into a large, sheltered public space. At this gathering place beneath the High Line, visitors will see through the building entrance and the large windows on the west side to the Hudson River beyond. Here, all at once, you have the water, the park, the powerful industrial structures and the exciting mix of people, brought together and focused by this new building and the experience of art.”

The dramatically cantilevered entrance along Gansevoort Street will shelter an 8,500-square-foot outdoor plaza or “largo,” a public gathering space steps away from the southern entrance to the High Line. The building also will include an education center offering state-of-the-art classrooms; a multi-use black box theater for film, video, and performance with an adjacent outdoor gallery; a 170-seat theater with stunning views of the Hudson River; and a Works on Paper Study Center, Conservation Lab, and Library Reading Room. The classrooms, theater, and study center are all firsts for the Whitney.

A retail shop on the ground-floor level will contribute to the busy street life of the area. A ground-floor restaurant and top-floor cafe will be conceived and operated by renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group, which operated +Untitled+, the restaurant in the Whitney’s Marcel Breuer building on the Upper East Side, until programming there concluded on October 19.

Mr. Piano’s design takes a strong and strikingly asymmetrical form—one that responds to the industrial character of the neighboring loft buildings and overhead railway while asserting a contemporary, sculptural presence. The upper stories of the building overlook the Hudson River on its west, and step back gracefully from the elevated High Line Park to its east.

The campaign for the new Whitney goes far beyond the creation of a new museum facility that will showcase and safeguard the Museum’s irreplaceable collection. It is an investment in future generations of artists and the growing audiences who will engage with their work.  Continue reading

Las Vegas Celebrates The Return Of The King as Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition – The Show – The Experience at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino

On the 59th anniversary of Elvis Presley‘s first Las Vegas performance, Graceland opened the doors to a multi-faceted, authentic Elvis experience that showcases the man, the performer and the music that revolutionized popular culture around the world. “Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition – The Show – The Experience” opened on Thursday, April 23 at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, the same hotel where Elvis performed more than 600 record-breaking, sold-out shows between 1969 and 1976 when it was the International Hotel and then the Las Vegas Hilton.

Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley unveil their personal treasures from the family archives at the Las Vegas opening of Graceland’s first permanent exhibition outside of Memphis.

Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley unveil their personal treasures from the family archives at the Las Vegas opening of Graceland’s first permanent exhibition outside of Memphis. (Images courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

Lisa Marie Presley and husband Michael Lockwood attend the red carpet premiere of “The Elvis Experience” musical production with Lisa Marie’s son and Elvis’ grandson, musician Benjamin Keough.

Lisa Marie Presley and husband Michael Lockwood attend the red carpet premiere of “The Elvis Experience” musical production with Lisa Marie’s son and Elvis’ grandson, musician Benjamin Keough. (Images courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley preside over the formal blue suede ribbon cutting ceremony, officially opening “Graceland Presents: Elvis” on April 23, 2015

Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley preside over the formal blue suede ribbon cutting ceremony, officially opening “Graceland Presents: Elvis” on April 23, 2015 (Images courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

The first-ever permanent Elvis exhibition outside of Graceland encompasses more than 28,000 square feet and includes hundreds of artifacts from the Presley family’s treasured Graceland Archives. The exhibition takes visitors on an unprecedented journey through Elvis’ life and career, beginning with his early days in Tupelo, Mississippi through his first recording session in Memphis, rise to fame, Hollywood career, life at Graceland, the Las Vegas years and more. Graceland-produced videos immerse guests in the experience, concluding with a 26-minute retrospective film featuring Elvis’ greatest performances. Select artifacts will be rotated regularly with artifacts from the Graceland Archives to ensure the exhibit is constantly evolving and remains fresh. The exhibition is open seven days a week from 10 am to 10 pm.  Tickets are priced at $22 plus taxes and fees, and are available for purchase at www.Graceland.com/Vegas.

Exhibition Highlights:
—  Tupelo and Memphis. This collection of artifacts follows Elvis’ humble beginnings in Tupelo, Mississippi to his family’s move to Memphis, where Elvis’ discovery of gospel blues would influence his music and drive his rock & roll sound. Guests can peruse family portraits; the Presley family bible; Elvis’ 1950 and 1952 high school yearbooks, and graduation tassel; his mother Gladys’ poodle purse, dress shoes and social security card; family loan papers; and paystubs from Elvis’ first job as a delivery truck driver for Crown Electric.

The exhibit showcases Elvis’ beloved Graceland, with items such as Lisa Marie’s baby shoes, a silver tray etched with Elvis and Priscilla’s photo on their wedding day, their wedding china and more.

The exhibit showcases Elvis’ beloved Graceland, with items such as Lisa Marie’s baby shoes, a silver tray etched with Elvis and Priscilla’s photo on their wedding day, their wedding china and more. (Images courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

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Elvis’ colossal rise to fame is documented with a collection of his first singles on Sun record label, his 1955 RCA contract, gold record for his eponymous first album, and more. (Images courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

—  Elvis Mania. In 1956, Elvis released his first album on the RCA recording label and appeared on a variety of nationally televised shows, including the Ed Sullivan show. This is the same year that Elvis first graced the silver screen in his acting debut, “Love Me Tender,” and had a No. 1 hit by the same name. The Elvis Mania exhibit documents this rise to fame including personal copies of his first singles on the Sun record label,1955 RCA contract, a variety of Elvis Presley collectibles, his custom leather guitar case, the gold record for his eponymous first album, and wardrobe pieces from “Jailhouse Rock,” which was released in 1957.

— Elvis in the Army. From 1958 to 1960, Elvis took a break from his singing and acting career and proudly served his country in the U.S. Army. This marks a particularly poignant time in his life, as he met his future wife – Priscilla Beaulieu – while stationed in Germany. Guests in this exhibit see Elvis’ army fatigues, fan letters, a check written to Moulin Rouge from his time on leave in Paris, and iconic photos of his famous military haircut at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.

Graceland. At the young age of 22, Elvis purchased his first home where  he would live with his mother, father and grandmother. A 17,000-square-foot property sitting on 13 acres, Graceland was a place where Elvis could relax and get away from his busy life as a singer and actor. Later in life, Priscilla and Elvis would marry and raise their daughter Lisa Marie at Graceland, a home Elvis vowed to never sell.  Today, Graceland is visited by hundreds of thousands of people every  year. At the Las Vegas exhibit one area that showcases Elvis’ Memphis home allows guests to see baby Lisa Marie’s footprints and baby shoes, a silver tray etched with Elvis and Priscilla’s photo on their wedding  day, their wedding china and more.

Elvis’ Hollywood career is highlighted through movie scripts, posters and costumes including the coveralls worn in “Viva Las Vegas,” bomber jacket from “It Happened at the World’s Fair,” and more.

Elvis’ Hollywood career is highlighted through movie scripts, posters and costumes including the coveralls worn in “Viva Las Vegas,” bomber jacket from “It Happened at the World’s Fair,” and more. (Images courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

Elvis in Hollywood. Between 1958 and 1968, Elvis left live performance touring to serve in the U.S. Army and then focus on his movie career, starring in 31 feature films – such as “Jailhouse Rock,” “King Creole,” “Viva Las Vegas” and “Blue Hawaii” – and two theatrical musical documentaries, including Golden Globe winner “Elvis on Tour.”  This exhibit features a collection of scripts, movie posters, a pair of coveralls worn in “Viva Las Vegas,” his bomber jacket from “It Happened at the World’s Fair” and more.

—  Elvis in Las Vegas. For Elvis’ first stint in Las Vegas at the New Frontier in April 1956, Colonel Parker billed him as the “Atomic-Powered Singer.” This title would prove true as Elvis signed a deal with the International Hotel in 1969 and became the reigning king of live entertainment in Las Vegas, breaking all box office records for the city. Guests exploring Elvis’ Las Vegas history can see iconic stage costumes from Elvis’ live performances, Priscilla’s dress from Elvis’ opening night at the International Hotel, the suit Elvis wore when signing his 1969 contract, and never-before-displayed advertisements  placed by Parker throughout the city from bus stops to billboards. Of particular note is the gold-plated belt encrusted with diamonds, rubies and sapphires that Elvis received in 1969 for breaking Las Vegas breaking box office records and later wore for a meeting with President Nixon in the Oval Office; and a contract written by Parker on a table cloth – complete with coffee stains – when owners of the International Hotel agreed to initial terms on Elvis’ long-term engagement.

Guests to the Las Vegas exhibit can view can view cars from Elvis’ collection including a 1957 Harley Davidson motorcycle, 1962 Lincoln Continental and the 1971 prototype Stutz Blackhawk.

Elvis on the Road: Guests to the Las Vegas exhibit can view can view cars from Elvis’ collection including a 1957 Harley Davidson motorcycle, 1962 Lincoln Continental and the 1971 prototype Stutz Blackhawk. (Images courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

Elvis on the Road. Even before he became the king of rock & roll, Elvis loved anything with a motor that moved fast. This would become a theme in his life especially after he achieved fame. It’s estimated that Elvis purchased more than 200 cars – some for family and friends, others for strangers and dozens for himself – including Cadillacs, Rolls Royces, Mercedes and Harley Davidson motorcycles. Elvis was often behind the  wheel driving his band members for early tours and cross-country trips. Guests to this exhibit can view cars from Elvis’ collection, including a 1957 Harley Davidson motorcycle, 1962 Lincoln Continental and the 1971 prototype Stutz Blackhawk delivered to Elvis at the International Hotel. Continue reading

2015 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES IN COMPETITION AWARD WINNERS

VIRGIN MOUNTAIN, DEMOCRATS, MEN GO TO BATTLE, UNCERTAIN WIN TOP AWARDS IN JURIED WORLD COMPETITIONS; DOOR INTO THE DARK WINS THE BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® STORYSCAPES AWARD
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SWORN VIRGIN WINS THIRD ANNUAL NORA EPHRON PRIZE
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FESTIVAL AWARDS $175,000 IN CASH PRIZES

The 14th annual Tribeca Film Festival, co-founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff, and presented by AT&T, announced the winners of its competition categories at a party hosted by Michael Rapaport at TFF’s creative hub, Tribeca Film Festival at Spring Studios. This year’s Festival included 101 features, 60 short films, five immersive storytelling projects from 38 countries.

The winners of the narrative and documentary competition were awarded from the World Narrative and World Documentary sections of the official Festival lineup, which consists of 12 narrative and 12 documentary films from 19 countries. Best New Director prizes were awarded to first-time directors in the narrative and documentary categories, from a pool of 26 feature films. It was also announced that, beginning this year, the new name of the Best New Documentary Director Award going forward will be called The Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award, which was awarded at the ceremony by Philip Maysles and Sara Maysles, the beloved filmmaker’s children.

Awards were also given for the best narrative, best documentary, and student visionary films in the short film competition. In addition, the Festival announced The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Storyscapes Award, created in collaboration with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin, and the Nora Ephron Prize, sponsored by Coach. In addition to cash awards and in-kind services provided by sponsors including AKA, AT&T, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin, Citrin Cooperman, Coach, Inc., Company 3, CreativeFuture, The Walt Disney Studios, Freixenet, Paul Hastings LLP, Netflix, Shutterstock, and Soundtrack Film and Television–New York, the Festival presented the winners with original pieces of art created by eight contemporary artists: Daniel Arsham, Robert Bordo, Elizabeth Colomba, Stephen Hannock, Prune Nourry, Jean Pagliuso, Clifford Ross, and Piers Secunda.

WORLD NARRATIVE COMPETITION CATEGORIES:

The jurors for the 2015 World Narrative Competition sponsored by AKA, were Paul Attanasio, Sophie Barthes, Whoopi Goldberg, Dylan McDermott, and Burr Steers.

  • The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature Virgin Mountain, written and directed by Dagur Kári [Iceland, Denmark]. Winner receives $25,000, sponsored by AT&T, and the art award “Ash Eroded Film Reel” by Daniel Arsham. The award was given by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal joined by Marissa Shorenstein, President, AT&T New York.
Virgin Mountain

Virgin Mountain

Director: Laura Bispuri Copyright: VIVO Film

Director: Laura Bispuri Copyright: VIVO Film

  • Jury Comment: “With its mixture of humor and pathos, this film captured our hearts. Beyond the deceptively small frame of a mismatched love story, the film deals with the issues of bigotry, loneliness, bullying, mental illness, and ultimately the triumph of the human spirit and the meaning of love.
  • Best Actor in a Narrative Feature FilmGunnar Jónsson as Fúsi in Virgin Mountain (Iceland, Denmark). Winner receives $2,500 sponsored by Citrin Cooperman. The award was given by Dylan McDermott and Arnie Hermann, lead partner, Entertainment Practice of the firm Citrin Cooperman.

    Jury Comment: “The film was aided in no small measure by a performer whose mixture of comedy and sadness evokes Chaplin and Keaton, with a complete lack of tricks, pretense, or condescension. This performer relies instead on subtlety, timing, and naked honesty, creating an indelible portrait of a man fighting to be seen in a world that judges him by his appearance.

  • Best Actress in a Narrative Feature FilmHannah Murray as Sara in Bridgend (Denmark).Winner receives $2,500 sponsored by Citrin Cooperman. The award was given by Sophie Barthes and Diana Mahiques, Business Development Manager, Citrin Cooperman.

    Jury Comment: “An actress who captured the hopelessness of a lost generation. With bravery and guilelessness, this young actress led us in a descent into a world gone mad, as well as a journey into the protagonist’s own inner darkness.”

  • Best Cinematography – Cinematography by Magnus Jønck for Bridgend (Denmark). Winner receives $5,000 sponsored by Shutterstock. The award was given by Sophie Barthes and Derick Rhodes, Footage Marketing, Shutterstock.

    Hannah Murray (Sara) & Josh O'Connor (Jamie) Photographer CREDIT: Magnus Jønck

    Hannah Murray (Sara) & Josh O’Connor (Jamie) Photographer CREDIT: Magnus Jønck

  • Jury Comment: “Soulful and searing images, a daring use of composition and light, and an evocative sense of place.”
  • Best Screenplay Virgin Mountain written by Dagur Kári (Iceland, Denmark). Winner receives $5,000 sponsored by Freixenet. The award was given by Dylan McDermott and Tom Burnet President, Freixenet USA.
    Virgin Mountain

    Virgin Mountain

    Jury Comment: “The writer of this film is also the director, and is credited as one of the editors, and also performed the music, and runs the director’s program at the National Film School of Denmark, leading us to wonder when he has time to go to the bathroom. His intricately designed, beautifully observed, and bravely conceived screenplay consistently defies expectations, avoids sentimentality, and never strikes a false note.

  • Best Narrative Editing Bridgend edited by Oliver Bugge Coutté (Denmark). Winner receives $5,000 sponsored by Soundtrack Film and Television-New York, and $50,000 in post-production services provided by Company 3. The award was given by Sophie Barthes and Rob Cavicchio, owner Soundtrack NY.

    Jury Comment: “Impeccable rhythms and expert balancing of many divergent narratives.”

WORLD DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION CATEGORIES:

The jurors for the 2015 World Documentary Competition sponsored by Santander Bank, N.A., were Diego Bunuel, Tine Fischer, David Gelb, Joshua Rothkopf, and Gloria Steinem.

  • Best Documentary Feature Democrats, directed by Camilla Nielsson (Denmark), who received $25,000, sponsored by Netflix, and the art award “Immersion (From the Holy River Series)” by Prune Nourry. The award was given by Gloria Steinem.
    Director: Camilla Nielsson

    Director: Camilla Nielsson

    Mwonzora & Mangwana. Cinematographer: Henrik Bohn Ipsen

    Mwonzora & Mangwana. Cinematographer: Henrik Bohn Ipsen

    Jury Comments: “For its choice of an important, universal subject; for filming in conditions where simply to be present is a triumph; and for prioritizing dignity, courage, and our common struggle for humanity, we give this year’s Best Documentary Feature award to Camilla Nielsson for Democrats.”

Special Jury Mention: In Transit, directed by Albert Maysles, Nelson Walker, Lynn True, David Usui, and Ben Wu. (U.S.A)

  • Best Documentary Editing Palio, edited by Valerio Bonelli (U.K., Italy). Winner receives $5,000.  The award was given by Diego Bunuel.
    Palio, 2013

    Palio, 2013

    Director: Cosima Spender (Palio) photo CREDIT is Valerio Bonelli.

    Director: Cosima Spender (Palio) photo CREDIT is Valerio Bonelli.

    Jury Comments: “This film viscerally transported us into an event and turned life into art. For subtly placing us behind the scenes; and for general technical excellence, this year’s award for Best Editing in a Documentary goes to editor Valerio Bonelli for Palio.”

BEST NEW NARRATIVE DIRECTOR COMPETITION:

The jurors for the 2015 Best New Narrative Director Competition were Mark Boal, Minnie Driver, Don Hertzfeldt, Cobie Smulders, and Joana Vicente.

  • Best New Narrative DirectorZachary Treitz director of Men Go To Battle (U.S.A), who received $25,000 sponsored by The Walt Disney Studios, $50,000 in post-production services provided by Company 3, and the art award “Trees II” by Clifford Ross. The award was given by Don Hertzfeldt and Joana Vicente.
    Henry Mellon (Tim Morton) Photographer: Brett Jutkiewicz

    Henry Mellon (Tim Morton) Photographer: Brett Jutkiewicz

    Director: Zachary Treitz Photographer: Christian Hansen

    Director: Zachary Treitz Photographer: Christian Hansen

    Jury Comments: “Zachary Treitz presented us with a combination of approaches not all that easy to put together: a unique and sincere vision, alongside off-beat humor, alongside historical and emotional authenticity.”

Special Jury Mention: Stephen Fingleton for The Survivalist (Northern Ireland, U.K.).

BEST NEW DOCUMENTARY DIRECTOR COMPETITION:

The jurors for the 2015 Best New Documentary Director Competition were Rachel Boynton, Lola Kirke, Will Patton, Alison Pill, and Michael Rapaport.

  • Albert Maysles New Documentary Director AwardEwan McNicol and Anna Sandilands for Uncertain (U.S.A). Winner receives $25,000 sponsored by Netflix, and the art award “Athena” by Elizabeth Colomba. The award was given by Alison Pill along with Philip Maysles and Sara Maysles

    Jury Comment: “This year we recognize a beautiful character study that explores violent natures, redemption, and what it takes to tame the self. A perfect balance of simplicity and mystery, this American story examines humanity, and how it can unwittingly destroy not just landscapes but livelihoods.”

Special Jury Mention: Erik Shirai for The Birth of Saké (U.S.A).

SHORT FILM COMPETITION CATEGORIES:

The 2015 Best Narrative Short Competition jurors were Hank Azaria, Mamie Gummer, André Holland, Arian Moayed, Sheila Nevins, and Dan Silver.

  • Best Narrative ShortListen, directed by Hamy Ramezan and Rungano Nyoni (Finland, Denmark). Winner receives $5,000 sponsored by Paul Hastings, LLP, and the art award “Caw (42)” by Robert Bordo. The award was given by Sharon Badal, Director of Short Film Programming and Initiatives Tribeca Enterprises, and Luke P. Iovine, III, Partner at Paul Hastings, LLP. 

     

  • Jury Comments: “This year’s winner for Best Narrative Short was emotionally compelling and by far the most affecting of the pieces we screened, with the filmmakers displaying a clear emotional connection with the narrative. To say that we had a healthy debate is an understatement.”

Special Jury Mention:  Statistical Analysis of Your Failing Relationship directed by Miles Jay (U.S.A, Canada). Continue reading

2015 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES THE AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS, SPONSORED BY AT&T, KING JACK AND TRANSFATTY LIVES

The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) announced the winners of the two Audience Awards, sponsored by AT&T, at its wrap party sponsored by Vice in New York City. Two awards – one for narrative and one for documentary – were given to the audience choices for the best films. King Jack, directed by Felix Thompson, was chosen to receive the Narrative award and TransFatty Lives,directed by Patrick O’Brien, was chosen for the Documentary award. Each award comes with a cash prize of $25,000.  The runners-up were Song of Lahore, directed by Andy Schocken and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, for the documentary audience award and Sleeping With Other People, directed by Leslye Headland, for the narrative audience award. (Throughout the Festival, which kicked off on April 15, audiences were able to vote by completing nomination ballots upon exiting screenings of TFF films. Films in the World Narrative Competition, World Documentary Competition, Viewpoints, Spotlight, and Midnight sections were eligible.)

King Jack: Jack (Charlie Plummer) escapes on his bike in the early morning. Photographer: Brandon Roots

King Jack: Jack (Charlie Plummer) escapes on his bike in the early morning. Photographer: Brandon Roots

King Jack, directed and written by Felix Thompson. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Growing up in a rural town filled with violent delinquents, Jack has learned to do what it takes to survive, despite having an oblivious mother and no father. After his aunt falls ill and a younger cousin comes to stay with him, the hardened 15-year-old discovers the importance of friendship, family, and looking for happiness even in the most desolate of circumstances.

TransFatty Lives: TRANSFATTY LIVES director and star Patrick Sean O'Brien in a photograph taken by Timothy Saccenti.

TransFatty Lives: TRANSFATTY LIVES director and star Patrick Sean O’Brien in a photograph taken by Timothy Saccenti.

TransFatty Lives, directed by Patrick O’Brien, co-written by Patrick O’Brien, Scott Crowningshield, Lasse Jarvi, Doug Pray. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Director Patrick O’Brien is TransFatty, the onetime NYC deejay and Internet meme-making superstar. TRANSFATTY LIVES is a brazen and illustrative account of what it is like to live when you find out you are going to die. In 2005, O’Brien began to document his life after being diagnosed with ALS and given only two to five years to live. A decade in the making, this unconventional documentary is Patrick’s personal reflection on the transformative effect of this disease, not only for himself but also for those around him.

Official Poster for TransFatty Lives

Official Poster for TransFatty Lives

As Patrick’s physical abilities diminish, his wit, humor, and ability to engage with others remains dutifully intact. He falls in love and even fulfills his dream of having a son. This “art project of his existence” is stylishly woven together. In particular, the sequences mixing footage and sound are built in such a way, as if to portray a life flashing before your eyes. Truly, a revealing journey into the depths of a cruel illness, and a stirring observation on the decision to remain alive.

 Song of Lahore: Character: Asad Ali Photographer: Mobeen Ansari

Song of Lahore: Character: Asad Ali Photographer: Mobeen Ansari

Song of Lahore, directed by Andy Schocken and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. (USA, Pakistan) – World Premiere, Documentary. Until the late 1970s, the Pakistani city of Lahore was world-renowned for its music. Following the Islamization of Pakistan, many artists struggled to continue their life’s work. Song of Lahore turns the spotlight on a group of stalwart musicians that kept playing and ultimately attracted listeners from around the world. In English, Punjabi, and Urdu with subtitles. Continue reading

WHITNEY TO HOST BLOCK PARTY CELEBRATING ITS NEW HOME, SAT, MAY 2, 2015

Block Party to be Held on Gansevoort Street, in Front of the Museum

On Saturday, May 2, The Whitney Museum of American Art will offer free admission to the Museum from 10:30 am to 10 pm and host a block party on Gansevoort Street, sponsored by Macy’s. Created in the spirit of a neighborhood festival, the Whitney Block Party is open to visitors of all ages with free art and performance, including hands-on activities and participatory events. The festivities will encourage audiences to experience the new location and new architecture as part of the Museum’s active engagement with artists and the city. All the activities and performances are designed by artists and community organizations.

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph by Ed Lederman

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph by Ed Lederman

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph © Nic Lehoux

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph © Nic Lehoux

The Empire State Building and the new Whitney (white building in foreground to the right of the Empire State Building). Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The Empire State Building and the new Whitney (white building in foreground to the right of the Empire State Building). Photograph by Timothy Schenck

Throughout the day, booths designed by a diverse group of contemporary artists and community organizations will offer activities for a range of audiences, including karaoke, map making, and performance workshops. Large-scale acts on the main stage will include all-ages performances, including puppetry, dance, music, and poetry. These distinctive projects embody the Museum’s multidisciplinary and inclusive approach to contemporary art.

Booths and activities will be offered by Ei Arakawa and Shimon Minamikawa, Trisha Baga, Bed-Stuy Love Affair, Friends of the High Line, K8 Hardy and Ryan McNamara, J.T. Jobbagy Inc., the Meatpacking District Improvement Association, Lize Mogel, My Barbarian, Nari Ward, and the Whitney Education Community Advisory Network.

Performances will be presented by  (DonChristian, Le1f, Rahel, Boody, and special guest), The Door – A Center of Alternatives: the performing arts program, The Eichelburglers (Jennifer Miller, Heather Green, and special guest), The Tracie Morris Band with special guests Mr. Jerome Harris and Jemman, Jacolby Satterwhite and La’fem Ladosha, and A Tribe Called Red.

The High Line is New York City’s newest and most unique public park. Located thirty feet above street level on a 1930s freight railway, the High Line runs from Gansevoort Street  in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street in Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. It features an integrated landscape combining meandering concrete pathways with naturalistic plantings.

The High Line is New York City’s newest and most unique public park. Located thirty feet above street level on a 1930s freight railway, the High Line runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street in Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen and features an integrated landscape combining meandering concrete pathways with naturalistic plantings.

Situated between the High Line and the Hudson River in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, the new building (at 99 Gansevoort Street) will vastly increase the Whitney’s exhibition and programming space, offering the most expansive display ever of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art.

Upclose exterior view of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District.  Photograph by Ed Lederman

Upclose exterior view of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District. Photograph by Ed Lederman

Workers constructing the exterior stairs, December 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

Workers constructing the exterior stairs, December 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The new building in the evening, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The new building in the evening, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the new building will include approximately 50,000 square feet of indoor galleries and 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition space and terraces facing the High Line. An expansive gallery for special exhibitions will be approximately 18,000 square feet in area, making it the largest column-free museum gallery in New York City. Additional exhibition space includes a lobby gallery (accessible free of charge), two floors for the permanent collection, and a special exhibitions gallery on the top floor.

The fifth floor gallery’s east-facing window, seen from below, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The fifth floor gallery’s east-facing window, seen from below, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The dramatically cantilevered entrance along Gansevoort Street will shelter an 8,500-square-foot outdoor plaza or “largo,” a public gathering space steps away from the southern entrance to the High Line. The building also will include an education center offering state-of-the-art classrooms; a multi-use black box theater for film, video, and performance with an adjacent outdoor gallery; a 170-seat theater with stunning views of the Hudson River; and a Works on Paper Study Center, Conservation Lab, and Library Reading Room. The classrooms, theater, and study center are all firsts for the Whitney.

A retail shop on the ground-floor level will contribute to the busy street life of the area. A ground-floor restaurant and top-floor cafe will be conceived and operated by renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group, which operated +Untitled+, the restaurant in the Whitney’s Marcel Breuer building on the Upper East Side, until programming there concluded on October 19.

Mr. Piano’s design takes a strong and strikingly asymmetrical form—one that responds to the industrial character of the neighboring loft buildings and overhead railway while asserting a contemporary, sculptural presence. The upper stories of the building overlook the Hudson River on its west, and step back gracefully from the elevated High Line Park to its east.

The Whitney Block Party is free and open to the public—no reservations are required for Block Party events and performances.

Advance Museum admission tickets for May 2 are no longer available. A limited number of free admission tickets will be available in person at the Museum on Saturday, May 2, on a first-come, first-served basis.

EMPIRE STATE BUILDING TO LIGHT UP FOR THE WHITNEY ON MAY 1

In Celebration of the Opening of the Whitney’s New Downtown Home and the Eighty-Fourth Anniversary of the Empire State Building

The Whitney Museum of American Art will partner with the Empire State Realty Trust on a one-of-a-kind, one-night-only Empire State Building lightshow on Friday, May 1, 2015, marking two historic occasions: the opening day of the Whitney’s new Renzo Piano–designed building in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District and the eighty-fourth anniversary of the Empire State Building.

The Empire State Building and the new Whitney (white building in foreground to the right of the Empire State Building). Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The Empire State Building and the new Whitney (white building in foreground to the right of the Empire State Building). Photograph by Timothy Schenck

Focusing on twelve iconic works from the Whitney’s collection (Georgia O’Keeffe, Music Pink and Blue No. 2, 1918/Edward Hopper, Railroad Sunset, 1929/Chiura Obata, Evening Glow of Yosemite Fall, 1930/Mary Ellen Bute, Synchromy No. 4: Escape, 1937–1938/William H. Johnson, Blind Singer, c.1942/Mark Rothko, Untitled (Blue, Yellow, Green on Red), 1954/Jasper Johns, Three Flags, 1958/Andy Warhol, Flowers, 1970/Elizabeth Murray, Children Meeting, 1978/Peter Halley, Blue Cell with Triple Conduit, 1986/Barbara Kruger, We Don’t Need Another Hero, 1987/Cory Arcangel, Super Mario Clouds, 2002), lighting designer Marc Brickman will interpret pieces by these artists, utilizing the Empire State Building’s LED tower lights to create a dynamic show. Beginning at 8 pm on Friday, May 1, each of the twelve artworks will be showcased for thirty minutes, with the light show ending at 2 am on Saturday, May 2. Most of the works that inspired the light show will be on view at the Whitney as part of the new building’s inaugural exhibition, America Is Hard to See (May 1–September 27, 2015).

To kick off the celebration, a lighting ceremony will take place at the Empire State Building for invited media and guests on May 1. John B. Kessler, President and Chief Operating Officer of Empire State Realty Trust; Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director; Donna De Salvo, the Whitney’s Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs; and some of the artists whose work will be interpreted in the light show will jointly flip the “switch” and light the building in celebratory colors.

A special viewing for Museum visitors will be held on Friday, May 1, from 8 pm until 10 pm, at the Whitney’s new building at 99 Gansevoort Street, which has stunning views of the Empire State Building from its four, east-facing terraces. The artworks can also be viewed online at whitney.org/ESB, and on May 1, an online slideshow will be synchronized to the lightshow, so that viewers throughout the city can look at the Empire State Building and the art works in real time.

We’re thrilled to see these incredible works from the Whitney’s collection interpreted on one of the most iconic buildings in the world—one that has been the subject of many an artist’s work,” said De Salvo. “We can’t imagine a more spectacular way in which to signal the opening of our new building and celebrate the art and artists of the United States.Continue reading

New Works from David Salle at Skarstedt Chelsea, April 30-June 27, 2015

Skarstedt will present an exhibition of new work by American artist David Salle at their Chelsea gallery featuring all new work from two recent series: the Late Product Paintings and the Silver Paintings. David Salle: New Paintings will be on view at Skarstedt Chelsea (550 West 21st Street) from April 30 through June 27, 2015.

David Salle, Faster Healing, 2014, oil and acrylic on linen with pigment print (inkjet print and ink transfer) 77 x 96 inches (195.6 x 243.8 cm.)

David Salle, Faster Healing, 2014, oil and acrylic on linen with pigment print (inkjet print and ink transfer)
77 x 96 inches (195.6 x 243.8 cm.)

David Salle’s new paintings are characterized by both immediacy and complexity; their vibrant color and highly energized, dynamic compositions display a marked evolution from his most recent exhibition, Ghost Paintings, shown at Skarstedt’s Upper East Side gallery in 2013. Salle’s Late Product Paintings can be seen as both revisiting and providing an extension to his 1993 series, Early Product Paintings, in which flatly painted backgrounds of collaged product advertisements were the stage upon which present-tense painting operations were carried out.

Salle’s Late Product Paintings bring this premise to a much fuller, performative, and masterful resolution. Exploring the intangible relationships between subjects, Salle’s images float in a fragmented world of poetic simultaneity. Drawing images from a variety of sources, Salle combines them into paintings as one would create a collage. Though often surprising, his connections are never forced; they have a non-programmatic, improvised quality, and they arrive at a place of buoyant equilibrium. Speaking to William Powers in the catalogue’s text, Salle says of his use of collage, “I want the differences to show, but to somehow be resolved anyway. It’s symphonic. Sometimes I like to think of myself as a kind of orchestrator.” Indeed, many of Salle’s paintings seem to have an implied soundscape—he expertly juxtaposes a visual depiction of the first few bars of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet

David Salle This is the Fun (2014-2015)

David Salle This is the Fun (2014-2015)

with a fragmentary drawing of hands on a Pan’s pipe; a vacant cartoon speech bubble waiting to be filled might be juxtaposed with the implied whirring sound made by a kitchen garbage disposal, or the clinking of glasses, or the sound of words uttered to oneself.

The overarching theme of the Late Product Paintings is the nature of presentation itself—the way things, images, and gestures capture and hold our attention, and the kinds of unseen and unspoken decisions and conventions that govern how we create a relationship with an image. These paintings reach a dynamic synthesis, or mash-up, of advertorial iconography. Referencing literary methodology, Salle points to the ‘free indirect style’—a term coined by critic James Wood to describe Flaubert’s authorial omniscience—as a way of describing his own interest in keeping multiple narrative strands in play within a singe painting. He also alludes to the way that popular image culture has inflected our way of seeing over time, with many images seemingly excavated from the 1960s. Without recourse to nostalgia, such era-specific imagery gives the paintings a sense of the elasticity of time—as something that can be tightened or loosened—an awareness that is woven into the conceptually tight, spatially elastic compositions.

Among painters, Salle has long been acknowledged as a sophisticated and daring colorist; in these new pictures he uses as many as three distinct color palettes in the same painting, making them coalesce into shimmering, vibrant, and luminous fields. In addition to their luminescent color, the Late Product Paintings are characterized by a vertiginous, yet highly organized composition that contains both tight and loose passages in counter-point. They have a cascading sense of gravity— images of loosely stacked crackers spilling downwards, milk pouring from an overturned glass, figures running or falling through space, and textual or musical fragments wrapping around the back of the canvas all work to create a sense of the plasticity of pictorial space on the paradoxically flat surface. Continue reading

Pantone Unveil Industry’s First-ever Character-branded Color inspired by Illumination’s Minions

PANTONE Minion Yellow to Debut this Summer

Pantone-Minion-Yellow-Home

In an industry first, Pantone, the global color authority, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Partnerships & Licensing announced the creation of an official new PANTONE Color, Minion Yellow, based on the Minions from Universal Pictures and Illumination’s Despicable Me global film franchise, including the upcoming prequel Minions, opening in theaters July 10, 2015. The development of PANTONE Minion Yellow, marks the first time in the global color authority’s history that a color has been created and named after a character.

press-release-pantone-minion-yellow

Pantone, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Partnerships & Licensing unveil industry’s first-ever character-branded color inspired by Illumination’s Minions

(The story of Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters—from T. rex to Napoleon—the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression.

But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he—alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob—ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Academy Award® winner Sandra Bullock), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind…from annihilation.)

Featuring a soundtrack of hit music from the ’60s that still permeates our culture today, Minions is produced by Illumination’s Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy, and is directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda. Brian Lynch has written the screenplay for the 3D-CG comedy adventure, and Chris Renaud serves as executive producer of the film.

The partnership was born when Pharrell Williams, who helped create the music for the Despicable Me franchise, came up with the idea while the Pantone Color Institute®, the research arm of the company that charts global color trends and studies how color influences human thought processes, emotions and physical reactions, noted the desire of the consumer to add more energizing color into their lives. Pantone noticed that the Minions, created and designed by Illumination, have become a global phenomenon by doing just that across movies, theme parks and video games. Looking to add to its PANTONE Fashion, Home + Interiors color palette, Pantone worked minionclosely with the animation team at Illumination to review the existing color range and to identify the most pure representation of the Minions’ iconic yellow color. The resulting PANTONE Minion Yellow is a custom color designed to represent the sweet and subversive characters. An extroverted hue, it projects playfulness and warmth and is suggestive of intellectual curiosity and enlightenment. The custom PANTONE Minion Yellow color will be added to the PANTONE Fashion, Home + Interiors color palette with the next color addition.

Color is contextual and right now there is a desire for colors that are more vibrant and uplifting. This is especially the case with the yellows, so given the worldwide popularity of the Minions, it seemed only natural to name a color after a character for the first time in our history,” said Laurie Pressman, Vice President, Pantone Color Institute. “When developing the color, we worked directly with the animation team at Illumination, and we thoughtfully considered the characters’ aura to ensure PANTONE Minion Yellow is the exact right hue.

Pantone has long established its reputation as the global color authority,” said Jamie Stevens, Executive Vice President, Global Retail Development, Universal Partnerships & Licensing. “We are thrilled that their color experts saw market demand for yellow and looked to the Minions, as global pop culture icons, to add into its yellow spectrum.

PANTONE Minion Yellow is a color that heightens awareness and creates clarity, lighting the way to the intelligence, originality and the resourcefulness of an open mind – this is the color of hope, joy and optimism,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director,Pantone Color Institute.

The color has already served as inspiration for a designer capsule collection based on the Minions that was also announced. The collection features limited-edition apparel and accessories from UK-based designers Rupert Sanderson, Giles Deacon, Piers Atkinson, Tatty Devine and Criminal Damage and also includes denim designs from SJYP, a new label out of South Korea. The “Minions Bello Yellow Collection” will debut exclusively at Selfridges in June 2015, followed by roll out to global retail partners including Parisian retailer Colette in July 2015.

Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, is the global color authority and provider of professional color standards for the design industries. Pantone products have encouraged colorful exploration and expressions of creativity from inspiration to implementation for more than 50 years. Through the Pantone Color Institute, Pantone continues to chart future color direction and study how color influences human thought processes, emotions and physical reactions. Pantone furthers its commitment to providing professionals with a greater understanding of color and to help them utilize color more effectively. Always a source for color inspiration, Pantone also offers designer-inspired products and services for consumers. (More information is available at www.pantone.com. For the latest news, trends, information and conversations, connect with Pantone on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagramand the Pantone Blog.) For more information on the upcoming Minions movie, visit: www.minionsmovie.com. For more information on the new color Minion Yellow or Pantone’s color intelligence and systems, visit: www.pantone.com.

Sundance NEXT FEST Returns to The Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, August 7-9

SUNDANCE INSTITUTE TO HOST SUMMER FILM AND MUSIC FESTIVAL IN DOWNTOWN LA

The Sundance Institute will host Sundance NEXT FEST August 7-9, 2015, for the second year at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The weekend-long summer festival celebrates independent artists by pairing five new independent films with either a special music act that shares a complementary artistic sensibility or conversations between the filmmakers and those who inspired them. Sundance NEXT FEST is an extension of the Sundance Film Festival’s popular NEXT section, which has launched films including Obvious Child, Compliance, Appropriate Behavior, Tangerine and Escape from Tomorrow.

Sundance NEXT FEST Logo. Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Sundance NEXT FEST Logo. Courtesy of Sundance Institute

This will mark the festival’s third year in Los Angeles. Highlights of last year include the premiere of Life After Beth with a solo acoustic performance by Father John Misty, a screening of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night with a live performance by Warpaint, and a screening of Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter followed by a conversation between the filmmakers and Werner Herzog.

Sundance NEXT FEST Screening Of "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night" With Concert By Warpaint.  LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 10:  Producer Elijah Wood and director Ana Lily Amirpour (R) attend the screening of "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night" with Warpaint in concert during Sundance NEXT FEST at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on August 10, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/WireImage)

Sundance NEXT FEST Screening Of “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” With Concert By Warpaint.
LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 10: Producer Elijah Wood and director Ana Lily Amirpour (R) attend the screening of “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” with Warpaint in concert during Sundance NEXT FEST at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on August 10, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/WireImage)

Sundance NEXT FEST Theatre at Ace Hotel Interior. Photo Credit: Michael Rababy

Sundance NEXT FEST Theatre at Ace Hotel Interior. Photo Credit: Michael Rababy

The Theatre at Ace Hotel is a delicate restoration of the 1,600-seat United Artists Theater, built in the 1920s for the Maverick Film Studio founded by Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, D.W Griffith and Charles Chaplin. Designed by C. Howard Crane, the Theatre is a shrine to the arts, with a three-story, 2,300-square-foot grand lobby, an ornate open balcony and mezzanine, vaulted ceiling and richly colored murals depicting the legends of film’s Golden Age, immortalized in mythic attire. Continue reading

The Cinéfondation Selection at the 68th Cannes Film Festival; Abderrahmane Sissako, President of the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury

In 2014, the internationally acclaimed Timbuktu caused the greatest emotion among the films in Competition at the Festival de Cannes. This year, Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako returns for the 68th Festival (13-24 May), where he will serve as President of the 2015 Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury. This great poet of contemporary Africa will follow in the footsteps of illustrious directors such as Abbas Kiarostami, Jane Campion, Michel Gondry, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Martin Scorsese.

Born in Mauritania but brought up in Mali and trained in filmmaking in the Soviet Union – at the Moscow VGIK –

The official poster of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

The official poster of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

Abderrahmane Sissako crosses cultures and continents. His work is imbued with a distinct strain of humanism and social consciousness and explores the complex relations between North and South as well as the fate of a much-beleaguered Africa.

The Game, directed by Sissako during his final year at Film School, was presented at La Semaine de la Critique in 1991, followed two years later by the medium-length Octobre, at Un Certain Regard. Life on Earth and Waiting for Happiness, both featured in the Directors’ Fortnight in 1998 and Un Certain Regard in 2002, thus firmly establishing the director on the international scene. Bamako, a political

This year, Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako returns for the 68th Festival (13-24 May), where he will serve as President of the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury.

This year, Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako returns for the 68th Festival (13-24 May), where he will serve as President of the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury.

parable caught between anger and utopianism, presented Out of Competition in 2006, was followed by Timbuktu in Competition in 2014. This vibrant fictional protest against religious fundamentalism was the first Mauritanian work to be nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars.

The African director chooses to combat the ominous climate of current events with the power of art and his conviction. “I would never want to make a film that somebody else could make, and I want to see films that I would never make. What’s important to me is the cinema of anonymity – addressing the conflicts but above all the suffering endured by anonymous people – empowering them and making them visible, testifying to their courage and their beauty.

The President of the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury and the four figures from the arts world accompanying him will award three prizes to films submitted by Film Schools to the Cinéfondation Selection, as well as the Short Film Palme d’or – to be presented during the Festival’s closing ceremony on Sunday 24 May 2015 in the salle Buñuel. Continue reading

La Tête haute by Emmanuelle Bercot to open the 68th Festival de Cannes

This year a female director will open the Festival. La Tête haute, a film by Frenchwoman, Emmanuelle Bercot, will open the 68th edition of the Festival de Cannes on Wednesday 13 May.

La Tête haute tells the story of Malony, and his upbringing from six to eighteen years, as a children’s judge and social worker try to save him. It was filmed in the Nord-Pas de Calais, Rhône-Alpes and Paris area regions, with the participation of Catherine Deneuve, Benoît Magimel, Sara Forestier and Rod Paradot, who plays the main character.

La Tête haute © Luc Roux

La Tête haute © Luc Roux

Emmanuelle Bercot is a film director, screenwriter and actress. She studied dance at Cours Florent before attending La Fémis film school. Her talent was discovered at the 1997 Festival de Cannes, where her short film, Les Vacances, received the Jury Prize. This was confirmed two years later with a second Cinéfondation Prize for La Puce, her final-year student film. In 2001, her first feature film, Clement  (Clément), in which she plays the main character, made the Un Certain Regard Official Selection. Since then, she has directed several films, including On my Way (Elle s’en va) in 2014, in which Catherine Deneuve gave one of her best performances. Miss Bercot also co-wrote the script for Maïwenn’s Polis (Polisse), which earned her the main role in her latest film, Mon Roi.

Emmanuelle Bercot. Crédit : AFP

Emmanuelle Bercot. Crédit : AFP

La Tête haute was written by Emmanuelle Bercot and Marcia Romano, with Guillaume Schiffman as 400x400-3director of photography. It is produced by Les Films du Kiosque, and co-produced by France 2 Cinéma, Wild Bunch, Rhône-Alpes Cinema and Pictanovo with the participation of Nord-Pas de Calais Region. It is sold by Elle Driver and distributed in France by Wild Bunch.

The choice of this film may seem surprising, given the rules generally applied to the Festival de Cannes Opening Ceremony,” explains Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the Event. “It is a clear reflection of our desire to see the Festival start with a different piece, which is both bold and moving. Emmanuelle Bercot’s film makes important statements about contemporary society, in keeping with modern cinema. It focusses on universal social issues, making it a perfect fit for the global audience at Cannes.

The world première of La Tête haute will be shown in the Grand Théâtre Lumière in the Palais des Festivals, and will be released in French cinemas the same day, on Wednesday 13 May. The film has already been sold in multiple countries.

As in previous years, the cinemas screening the film will be able to take part in the festivities and screen the Opening Ceremony, courtesy of Canal+ and an agreement between the Festival and the FNCF (French National Cinema Federation). This year, Lambert Wilson will host the ceremony.

The 68th edition of the Festival de Cannes will take place from 13 to 24 May 2015. The Jury of the Competition will be chaired by American directors Joel and Ethan Coen, the Un Certain Regard Jury by the Italian-American actress and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini, and the Cinéfondation and Short Film Jury by Mauritian Film Director Abderrahmane Sissako.

Isabella Rossellini Named President of the Un Certain Regard Jury; Joel and Ethan Coen to preside over the Jury of the 68th Festival de Cannes

The Italian-American actress and director Isabella Rossellini has kindly consented to preside over the Un Certain Regard Jury

Isabella Rossellini Portraits

For the first time in the history of the Festival de Cannes, not one but two leading figures will chair the Jury. American filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen have accepted the invitation from President Pierre Lescure and General Delegate Thierry Frémaux to become the Presidents of the 68th edition of the Festival.

The daughter of Italian director Roberto Rossellini and Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman, to whom this year’s Festival de Cannes is to pay tribute, Isabella began her cinematic career alongside her father as a dresser, before becoming acting for the Taviani Brothers – family friends who gave her a role in The Meadow (1979). Her career quickly took an international turn, with White Nights by Taylor Hackford (1985), Tough Guys Don’t Dance by Norman Mailer (1987), Les Yeux noirs (1987) by Nikita Mikhalkov, Blue Velvet (1986) and then Wild at Heart (1990) by David Lynch, for whom she played a number of mysterious and tortured female roles.

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She went on to star in a wider variety of guises for both television and film in Italy and America but returned to arthouse cinema with Abel Ferrara’s The Funeral (1996), and Two Lovers by James Gray (2008), in which she played a role of remarkable intensity. In 2010 she appeared in The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Saverio Costanzo.

In 2008 following a request from Robert Redford, she threw herself into directing a miniseries devoted to the reproduction, seduction techniques and maternal behaviour of animals. Green Porno, Seduce me and Mammas – all produced by SundanceTV – which revealed her irresistible comic talent and off-beat sense of humor.
Miss Rossellini and Jean-Claude Carrière then made a scenic version entitled Animals Distracted Me, which toured the world to great acclaim.

At the 2015 Festival de Cannes, Rossellini will take part in the tribute to her mother by attending the screening 120X600-3of Ingrid Bergman, in Her Own Words‏, a documentary by Stig Björkman being shown as part of the Cannes Classics. She will also launch her own ‘Ingrid Bergman Tribute’ to celebrate the centenary of her mother’s birth. The show, directed by Guido Torlonia and Ludovica Damiani, will be based on both her autobiography and her correspondence with Roberto Rossellini and will play on some at the world’s major theatres.

With the help of a soon-to-be-announced Jury made up of artists, journalists and festival directors, Rossellini will award the Un Certain Regard Prize and meet the winners on Saturday 23rd of May, on the eve of the closing ceremony. The 2014 Un Certain Regard was awarded by President of the Jury Pablo Trapero to White God directed by Kornél Mundruczó.

Palme d’or laureates in 1991, the Coen brothers are part of the Festival’s history. Since Raising Arizona (1987), their second film, they have been invited into the Official Selection and have presented nine of their films, often winning the most prestigious prizes: the Palme d’or in 1991 for Barton Fink; the Award for Best Director in 1996 for Fargo as well as for The Man Who Wasn’t There in 2001. And in 2013, Inside Llewyn Davis won the Grand Prix, from Steven Spielberg.

From New York, where Joel studied film, the Coen brothers have become the embodiment of independent cinema, and let’s not forget that they have collaborated since their first film, Blood Simple in 1984, which won the Grand Prix at Sundance Film Festival. After Miller’s Crossing and Raising Arizona, both critically acclaimed, it was Barton Fink which brought international recognition. The brothers asserted their talent and originality in films such as Fargo, which was extremely popular with audiences, The Big Lebowski, which has acquired cult status with many film lovers, and O’Brother, Where Art Thou, which gave George Clooney his first big comedy role.

They always work together on films, for which Ethan (himself an author, with a short story collection, Gates of Eden, published in 1998 and newly re-edited in France) is the producer and Joel the director, and since 2004 they have credited themselves together for the script, directing, editing, and production, reinforcing the image of a kind of cinema as personal as it is brotherly. Continue reading

“Honey, I’M Coming Home” – New Absolut Honey Drives Buzz In Travel Retail

Absolut proudly introduces Absolut Honey, the latest Travel Retail exclusive limited edition flavor to join the innovative brand family. The new premium honey-flavored vodka speaks directly to travelers with the slogan “Honey, I’m coming home” on its iconic bottle and was launched with an interactive digital campaign that invites modern globe-trotters around the world to share a taste of their travels. The Absolut Honey bottle is an instant standout as a product and perfect for sharing as it is for a distinctive gift. The iconic Absolut bottle is given a limited edition design in honeycomb hues for a bold motif, which will also be carried through in eye catching point of sale materials in the distinctive modern urban style Absolut is known for.

Absolut Honey

Absolut Honey

Like all Absolut flavors, Absolut Honey is carefully crafted with all natural ingredients and boasts a mellow taste of golden honey for a smooth and fruity finish. Absolut has created five signature cocktails to support the launch, each evoking the feeling of an endless summer. Leading the line-up is the season’s hero serve: clean and fresh Absolut Honey & Tea, accompanied by Absolut Juicy Honey, Absolut Honey Kiss, Absolut Honey Choc, and Absolut Honey Ru-Bee.

Absolut Honey was further supported across social media channels with an engaging digital campaign that takes selfies to the next level. A bespoke digital in-store selfie experience takes a series of snaps and converts them into a “Honey, I’m Coming Home” GIF that travellers can instantly share via social media.
Pia Hägglöf, Global Brand Manager Absolut said: “Creating an exciting product and a unique brand 20486_ABSOLUT_Logo_Regular_Blue_CMYK_Largeexperience is what Absolut is recognised for across the globe – and that’s what we have achieved with Absolut Honey. It has been crafted with a bold new honey taste, whilst the iconic Absolut bottle artistically expresses the core essence of the flavor.” Absolut Honey is all about the essence of a laid back summer and that’s what we have captured within this limited edition vodka.”

Absolut Honey was launched exclusively in Singapore Changi Airport in early March but is now being shipped globally across Pernod Ricard Travel Retail markets (Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and India) starting this month.

Ben & Jerry’s Rolls Out The BRRR-ito, a Brand New Way to Eat Ice Cream

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Ben & Jerry’s has created the ultimate solution to satisfy the summertime munchies for ice cream lovers. On April 20th the company will roll out a revolutionary new way for fans to eat their ice cream with The BRRR-ito, available at Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops nationwide. Where did the BRRR-ito come from? Ben & Jerry’s flavor gurus are always searching for new, fun and quirky ways to make eating ice cream extraordinary and the rest is magic. Imagine the ultimate case of the munchies. Heck, maybe you’re experiencing a mad case of the munchies right now. What on Earth is going to cure the craving? For the times when no ordinary snack solution will do, they have created the ultimate answer: Ben & Jerry’s BRRR-ito, which includes two scoops of ice cream plus chocolate cookie crumbles and a fudge drizzle, all rolled up in a soft waffle wrap.

1. Start with a Soft Waffle Wrap.  The foundation of any great burrito—or BRRR-ito—is a soft, delicious wrap or tortilla. They take the burrito concept to the next level with a waffle wrap. It’s the perfect flexible, foldable…forum?…for your favorite flavors.

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2. Two Scoops…Yes, TWO! Step two is the perfect time to mention 2 SCOOPS. You’re not seeing double. Pick your favorite flavor or mix and match. Two delicious scoops go right on that soft waffle wrap. Your BRRR-ito is starting to take shape!

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3. Top That! Don’t forget the toppings! Every taco truck and bastion of burritos have their special blend of toppings for a signature kick. Ben and Jerry’s Scoop Shops are no exception. You can top every BRRR-ito with sweet chocolate cookie crumbles and a delectable fudge drizzle.

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4. Getting Excited Yet? With a quick wrap, it’s ready to go. Grab it and take a big bite of soft waffle wrap, delicious ice cream, cookie and gooey fudge indulgence. 

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Like co-founder, Jerry Greenfield famously said, “If it’s not fun, why do it?

For first-timers, Ben & Jerry’s suggests the Half Baked BRRR-ito, with one scoop each of Cookie Dough and Chocolate Fudge Brownie drizzled with chocolate fudge, topped with a crunchy cookie crumble, and rolled to perfection in a chewy crepe-like wrap. Fans can also personalize their BRRR-ito by choosing two scoops of any favorite flavor combo. From the first bite to the last, your taste buds will experience a euphoria that will have you wanting for more. Snacking will never be the same.

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Building on our understanding of how much people love our homemade waffle cones, we have created a wrap that has all the ridgey goodness of their more crispy cousins – yet are slightly less sweet and provide the chewy satisfaction of the BRRR-ito eating experience”, said Alison Gilbert, Ben & Jerry’s, Sr. Brand Manager, Scoop Shops.

Ben & Jerry’s believes in a greater calling than simply making a profit for selling its goods. The company produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream, yogurt and sorbet using high-quality ingredients. Ben & Jerry’s incorporates its vision of Linked Prosperity into its business practices in a number of ways including a focus on values-led sourcing. Ben and Jerry’s products are distributed in 35 countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues.

 

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORY ONLY US VENUE FOR RICHARD AVEDON: FAMILY AFFAIRS

The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) in Philadelphia will be the only US venue to feature Richard Avedon: Family Affairs, from the collection of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. The exhibition, which opened on April 1, presents a compelling collective historical portrait of American cultural and political life during the late 1960s and 1970s.

510292598_1280x720Richard Avedon: Family Affairs is based on 2014 exhibition organized by The Israel Museum, Jerusalem and features works from its collection. The Museum is also grateful to the Gagosian Gallery and the Avedon Foundation for their cooperation. Special thanks to the Avedon Foundation for loaning additional works to the exhibition. Major support for Richard Avedon: Family Affairs has been provided by The Director’s Fund and Lynne and Harold Honickman. Additional support has been provided by Macy’s, The Abstraction Fund, Annette Y. and Jack M. Friedland, the Consulate General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region, and Gwen and Alan Goodman.

 

Richard Avedon was born to a Jewish family (his father was a Russian-born immigrant and his mother from New York) in 1923. Working until his death in 2004, he shaped America’s image of beauty, celebrity, and politics for over a half century. Famous at an early age, he was well-known for challenging conventions and exploring the boundaries between high art and social commentary.

Pictured above: Allen Ginsberg's family: Hannah (Honey) Litzky, aunt; Leo Litzky, uncle; Abe Ginsberg, uncle; Anna Ginsberg, aunt; Louis Ginsberg, father; Eugene Brooks, brother; Allen Ginsberg, poet; Anne Brooks, niece; Peter Brooks, nephew; Connie Brooks, sister-in-law; Lyle Brooks, nephew; Eugene Brooks; Neal Brooks,nephew; Edith Ginsberg, stepmother; Louis Ginsberg, Paterson, New Jersey, May 3, 1970; Photograph by Richard Avedon;© The Richard Avedon Foundation; From the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Gift of the American Contemporary Art Foundation, Leonard A. Lauder, President, to American Friends of the Israel Museum.

Pictured above: Allen Ginsberg’s family: Hannah (Honey) Litzky, aunt; Leo Litzky, uncle; Abe Ginsberg, uncle; Anna Ginsberg, aunt; Louis Ginsberg, father; Eugene Brooks, brother; Allen Ginsberg, poet; Anne Brooks, niece; Peter Brooks, nephew; Connie Brooks, sister-in-law; Lyle Brooks, nephew; Eugene Brooks; Neal Brooks,nephew; Edith Ginsberg, stepmother; Louis Ginsberg, Paterson, New Jersey, May 3, 1970; Photograph by Richard Avedon;© The Richard Avedon Foundation; From the Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Gift of the American Contemporary Art Foundation, Leonard A. Lauder, President, to American Friends of the Israel Museum.

 

Family Affairs features two monumental projects by Avedon, both illustrating his highly innovative approach to portrait photography. The first is a set of four group portraits, including a massive mural of the iconic beat poet Allen Ginsberg and his family and three additional portraits shown at a smaller scale ― Andy Warhol and Members of the Factory, The Chicago Seven, and The Mission Council. The second is a series of 69 portraits entitled “The Family” that Avedon created after being commissioned by Rolling Stone to cover the 1976 presidential election. Foregoing traditional photojournalism for the assignment, Avedon used his Deardorff 8 x 10” camera to create arresting black and white portraits of each of his subjects. Avedon created a visual essay on the nature of American politics at the moment when it was most conspicuous. Though his “family members” have no biological ties (with the exception of Ted and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy), they are alike in that they all hold positions of power and influence. “The Family” includes the ’76 presidential candidates (Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford); A.M. Rosenthal, managing editor of The New York Times, famous for publishing the Pentagon Papers; and W. Mark Felt, later revealed to be “Deep Throat.”

Avedon’s subjects also included others at the epicenter of the events and movements of the time (and some who still are today)—including governors, senators, congressmen/women, and a wide swath of varied government officials (Bella Abzug, Jerry Brown, George H.W. Bush, Barbara Jordan, Edward Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Daniel Moynihan, and Donald Rumsfeld, to name a few), media moguls and journalists (Katharine Graham, I.F. Stone), labor leaders/activists (Cesar Chavez, Ralph Nader, A Philip Randolph), philanthropists (Walter Annenberg), and many more. Continue reading

Summer 2015: A Blockbuster Season Of Fun In Philly

What are some other words for summer fun? Tall Ships. Fireworks. Festivals. Beer gardens. Pop-up parks. Philadelphia. This summer will go down as a season of non-stop, pull-out-all-the-stops fun in the city that scored a #3 placement on The New York Times’ influential “52 Places to Go in 2015” list.

As the birthplace of America, Philadelphia knows how to shine. Fireworks blazing over the Philadelphia Museum of Art are a Fourth of July tradition during Philadelphia’s multi-day Wawa Welcome America! bash. Timed perfectly with exhilarating live music, the fireworks paint the skies over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Credit: Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia™

As the birthplace of America, Philadelphia knows how to shine. Fireworks blazing over the Philadelphia Museum of Art are a Fourth of July tradition during Philadelphia’s multi-day Wawa Welcome America! bash. Timed perfectly with exhilarating live music, the fireworks paint the skies over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Credit: Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia™

Some of the summer highlights include the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden Festival; the launch of Indego, Philadelphia’s bike-sharing program; the eagerly awaited return of the acclaimed Spruce Street Harbor Park; and the season-long showing of Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Add in plenty of pop-up beer gardens and public art displays for an unforgettable Philly summer.

Here’s a look at what’s happening:

New Amenity: Bike Share:

West Philadelphia is one of the most easily traveled areas of the city. People can easily access the neighborhood from Center City via cabs, the Market-Frankford Line (also called “the el” for its elevated section) and one of the nation’s few remaining streetcar networks. The trolleys run from City Hall down Market Street and through University City, with lines servicing the neighborhood’s three main corridors of Lancaster, Baltimore and Woodland Avenues. West Philly also boasts some of the most bicycle-friendly streets in the city, with a network of roughly 25 miles of bike lanes. Credit: Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia™

West Philadelphia is one of the most easily traveled areas of the city. People can easily access the neighborhood from Center City via cabs, the Market-Frankford Line (also called “the el” for its elevated section) and one of the nation’s few remaining streetcar networks. The trolleys run from City Hall down Market Street and through University City, with lines servicing the neighborhood’s three main corridors of Lancaster, Baltimore and Woodland Avenues. West Philly also boasts some of the most bicycle-friendly streets in the city, with a network of roughly 25 miles of bike lanes. Credit: Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia™

  • What has 1,200 wheels and runs on pedal power? Indego, Philadelphia’s bike-share program set to launch this spring. The long-awaited human-powered public transportation system launches with 600 bikes available at 60 kiosks in Center City and parts of North, South and West Philadelphia. The easy-to-use system allows riders to rent a bike at one location and drop it off at another. May. Various locations. rideindego.com

Special Events:

  • 2015 marks 100 years for the S. 9th Street Italian Market Charter, but the monthly celebratory events prove that the market itself still boasts a youthful energy. Food is always at the forefront of events here, and hungry visitors can chow down at the annual S. 9th Street Italian Market Festival (May 16-17) and the Vendy Foods Awards Winners Circle Food Truck Event (June 19). Also on the docket are Multicultural Music Month activities (July) and the bocce and scopa tournaments (August). 9th Street between Wharton & Fitzwater Streets, (215) 278-2903, italianmarketphilly.org
Always a bustling neighborhood, the Italian Market turns it up a notch during the 9th Street Italian Market Festival in May. Live entertainment and games accompany the mouthwatering cannolis, homemade sausages, imported meats and cheeses, luscious cappuccino, specialty cookware and fresh pastas that have made the market a favorite for visitors and residents alike. Credit: Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia™

Always a bustling neighborhood, the Italian Market turns it up a notch during the 9th Street Italian Market Festival in May. Live entertainment and games accompany the mouthwatering cannolis, homemade sausages, imported meats and cheeses, luscious cappuccino, specialty cookware and fresh pastas that have made the market a favorite for visitors and residents alike. Credit: Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia™

Standing directly across the street from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center at 6th and Chestnut Streets, this historic marker was erected to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the first Annual Reminder, a demonstration led by gay activists on July 4 from 1965 to 1969. Credit: Photo by K. Ciappa for Visit Philadelphia™

Standing directly across the street from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center at 6th and Chestnut Streets, this historic marker was erected to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the first Annual Reminder, a demonstration led by gay activists on July 4 from 1965 to 1969. Credit: Photo by K. Ciappa for Visit Philadelphia™

  • The 50th Anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement kicks off in June with three exhibitions, including the opening of Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court at the National Constitution Center. Other exhibitions and activities celebrating LGBT culture and heritage are planned for the William Way LGBT Community Center, the Free Library of Philadelphia, The African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Opera Company of Philadelphia and Taller Puertorriqueño, among others. The celebration’s signature events take place over Fourth of July weekend, with a reenactment of the Reminder Day demonstrations in front of Independence Hall, a wreath-laying ceremony at the historic marker that acknowledges the site of the demonstrations, panel discussions, a festival, concerts and more. June-December. Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700,constitutioncenter.org; various locations for other happenings, reminder2015.org, lgbt50.org
When the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden pulls into port from June 24-28, 2015, visitors can watch the colorful parade of sail that includes the Gazela (pictured here) and L’Hermione, a replica of the ship that brought General Lafayette to the aid of the fledgling United States during the Revolutionary War, along with many other vessels from around the world. Ships will be docked on both sides of the river at Penn’s Landing and along the Camden Waterfront. Also on tap: live entertainment, hands-on activities and a dazzling fireworks display. Credit: Photo courtesy of Draw Events

When the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden pulls into port from June 24-28, 2015, visitors can watch the colorful parade of sail that includes the Gazela (pictured here) and L’Hermione, a replica of the ship that brought General Lafayette to the aid of the fledgling United States during the Revolutionary War, along with many other vessels from around the world. Ships will be docked on both sides of the river at Penn’s Landing and along the Camden Waterfront. Also on tap: live entertainment, hands-on activities and a dazzling fireworks display. Credit: Photo courtesy of Draw Events

  • The billowing sails of 15 majestic vessels mark the arrival of the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden festival. Docked along both sides of the Delaware River waterfront will be elegant tall ships from France, Brazil, Canada and all around the globe. Visitors can tour the ships, including the L’Hermionea replica of the French naval ship that brought General Lafayette to America to help fight the British. Also on tap: live entertainment, hands-on activities, games and a spectacular fireworks display to close out the largest sailing event in the United States in 2015. June 25-28. Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street; Camden Waterfront, tallshipsphiladelphia.com

Pop-Up Parks & Gardens:

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s new Spruce Street Harbor Park offers a summer getaway right in Philly. From June 27 through August 31, visitors can enjoy festivals, concerts and movies on the Great Plaza; relax in one of the giant hammocks in the Hammock Lounge; cool off under the Mist Walk; lounge under an umbrella at the Urban Beach; and indulge in their favorite summer foods and beverages at The Oasis, a series of floating barges accented with a lily pad garden and hang-out area. Credit: Photo by M. Edlow for VISIT PHILADELPHIA™

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s new Spruce Street Harbor Park offers a summer getaway right in Philly. From June 27 through August 31, visitors can enjoy festivals, concerts and movies on the Great Plaza; relax in one of the giant hammocks in the Hammock Lounge; cool off under the Mist Walk; lounge under an umbrella at the Urban Beach; and indulge in their favorite summer foods and beverages at The Oasis, a series of floating barges accented with a lily pad garden and hang-out area.
Credit: Photo by M. Edlow for VISIT PHILADELPHIA™

  • Following a smashingly successful first season that earned “Best Urban Beach in the World” status from The Huffington Post, Spruce Street Harbor Park returns to Penn’s Landing to brighten up the summer. The hammocks, lounge chairs, oversized games, floating beer garden and twinkling lights all return, along with some new surprises. Opens May 22. Spruce Street at Columbus Boulevard, (215) 629-3200, delawareriverwaterfront.com
Back on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for its second summer of outdoor fun, The Oval features food, musical performances, movies, mini golf and a beer garden on Wednesday through Saturday nights through August 16. The pop-up park is sandwiched between two spectacular views: the Center City skyline and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for VISIT PHILADELPHIA™

Back on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for its second summer of outdoor fun, The Oval features food, musical performances, movies, mini golf and a beer garden on Wednesday through Saturday nights through August 16. The pop-up park is sandwiched between two spectacular views: the Center City skyline and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for VISIT PHILADELPHIA™

  • Philadelphia is one of four cities from around the world and the only U.S. city to host Saint-Gobain’s never-before-seen traveling exhibit Future Sensations, a high-concept, immersive experience featuring five distinct ephemeral pavilions. Science, storytelling and art highlight the innovations, wonders and advancements that have changed the face of the world over the past few centuries and show off future innovations. Founded in 1665, Saint-Gobain celebrates 350 years as a world leader in high performance materials and solutions for sustainable building with this epic traveling exhibit, making stops in China, Brazil and France. May 30-June 6. The Oval, 24th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 422-4169, theovalphl.org, futuresensations.com

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WILLIAM WAY LGBT COMMUNITY CENTER PRESENTS SPEAKING OUT FOR EQUALITY: THE CONSTITUTION, GAY RIGHTS, AND THE SUPREME COURT AT THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTION CENTER THIS SUMMER

Exhibition Commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the First Gay Rights March, Held on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall on July Fourth

Speaking-Out-Logo-Horizontal Planned to coincide with Gay Pride Month in June and the 50th anniversary the first in a series gay rights marches, which took place on the Fourth of July on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, the William Way LGBT Community Center will present Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court, a new exhibition at the National Constitution Center. Opening Friday, June 5, 2015, and continuing through Labor Day, Monday, September 7, 2015, Speaking Out for Equality utilizes pivotal court cases, artifacts and personal stories to chronicle the decades-long debate over gay rights, a debate that ultimately brought issues of LGBT equality before the Supreme Court.

1969 - Tucker Holding Hands - Two women holding hands at the last Reminder Day Photo by Nancy Tucker

1969 – Tucker Holding Hands – Two women holding hands at the last Reminder Day
Photo by Nancy Tucker

 

Speaking Out for Equality will be the centerpiece of Reminder 2015: Celebrating 50 Years of LGBT History, Art and Culture, a series of anniversary events planned under the leadership of the William Way LGBT Community Center and its Wilcox Archives and Library. The William Way Center will co-host programs at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Free Library of Philadelphia, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Independence Visitor Center, and the National Museum of American Jewish History. A reenactment of the original Annual Reminder demonstration in front of Independence Hall will be held on July 4, 2015.

Chris Bartlett, Executive Director, William Way LGBT Community Center. Press Conference for: Speaking Out for Equality: the Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court. National Constitution Center March 10, 2015

Chris Bartlett, Executive Director, William Way LGBT Community Center. Press Conference for: Speaking Out for Equality: the Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court. National Constitution Center March 10, 2015

On July 4, 1965, LGBT activists picketed for justice in front of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. Clad in suits and dresses to appear ‘normal,’ they carried posters that demanded equality for gays and lesbians in a society that treated them as criminals and deviants,” said Chris Bartlett, executive director, William Way LGBT Community Center. “The public demonstrations, which were called Annual Reminder protests and would last until 1969, were sparked by one person’s failed effort to bring a discrimination case before the Supreme Court. They would become the first sustained national effort to focus attention on the discrimination faced by gay people and became a catalyst for LGBT Americans to organize for equality.

National Constitution Center’s Chief Operating Officer, Vince Stango addresses the audience at the Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court Press Conference on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

National Constitution Center’s Chief Operating Officer, Vince Stango addresses the audience at the Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court Press Conference on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Nellie Fitzpatrick, Director of LGBT Affairs, speak at the Speaking Out for Equality press conference on March 10, 2015.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Nellie Fitzpatrick, Director of LGBT Affairs, speak at the Speaking Out for Equality press conference on March 10, 2015.

This exhibit is historic in many respects,” added Bartlett. ‘It is the first time that LGBT history, viewed through a Constitutional frame, is being explored at a national museum. It’s also historic given the time frame of the American LGBT civil rights debate: with a major LGBT civil rights case to be handed down by the United States Supreme Court while the exhibit is open in June. For July 4, 2015, Independence Mall will be ringed with a major LGBT civil rights exhibit and partner exhibits at other institutions on the mall. LGBT history is truly coming of age.”

We are pleased to participate in Reminder 2015 and partner with the William Way LGBT Community Center on Speaking Out for Equality,” said Vince Stango, chief operating officer, National Constitution Center. “As the Museum of We the People, we continue to serve as a center of exhibits and materials on the history and contemporary significance of the Constitution. The exhibition will inform about pivotal Supreme Court cases in the fight for gay rights and create a platform for discussion about the 1st Amendment, the 5th Amendment and the 14th Amendment. Continue reading

Philadelphia Celebrates The Fourth Of July In Star-Spangled Style: Tall Ships, Gay Rights Celebrations & Fireworks Highlight Eight Days Of Family-Friendly Fun

A highlight of Philadelphia’s multiday Fourth of July celebration, the fireworks over the Philadelphia Museum of Art wow onlookers along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and all over the city. In Fairmount Park, Lemon Hill is perfectly perched for optimal viewing, and those in the know head to the lesser-known spot to watch the dazzling show. Credit: Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA™

A highlight of Philadelphia’s multiday Fourth of July celebration, the fireworks over the Philadelphia Museum of Art wow onlookers along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and all over the city. In Fairmount Park, Lemon Hill is perfectly perched for optimal viewing, and those in the know head to the lesser-known spot to watch the dazzling show. Credit: Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA™

When Fourth of July rolls around, Philadelphia—America’s birthplace—paints the town red, white and blue thanks to eight days of music, exhibitions, Colonial characters and re-enactments, patriotic ceremonies and fireworks. This year, the city (through the efforts of VISIT PHILADELPHIA®) amps up the revelry surrounding the annual Wawa Welcome America! festivities with Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden, the largest sailing event in North America; and a citywide celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement.

On VISIT PHILADELPHIA®’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

Here are a few highlights of Philadelphia’s patriotic party:

When the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden pulls into port from June 24-28, 2015, visitors can watch the colorful parade of sail that includes the Gazela (pictured here) and L’Hermione, a replica of the ship that brought General Lafayette to the aid of the fledgling United States during the Revolutionary War, along with many other vessels from around the world. Ships will be docked on both sides of the river at Penn’s Landing and along the Camden Waterfront. Also on tap: live entertainment, hands-on activities and a dazzling fireworks display. Credit: Photo courtesy of Draw Events

When the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden pulls into port from June 24-28, 2015, visitors can watch the colorful parade of sail that includes the Gazela (pictured here) and L’Hermione, a replica of the ship that brought General Lafayette to the aid of the fledgling United States during the Revolutionary War, along with many other vessels from around the world. Ships will be docked on both sides of the river at Penn’s Landing and along the Camden Waterfront. Also on tap: live entertainment, hands-on activities and a dazzling fireworks display. Credit: Photo courtesy of Draw Events

  • The billowing sails of more than a dozen majestic vessels mark the arrival of the Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden festival. Docked along both sides of the Delaware River waterfront will be elegant tall ships from France, Brazil, Canada and all around the globe. Visitors can tour the ships, including the L’Hermione, a replica of the French naval ship that brought General Lafayette to America to help fight the British. Also on tap: live entertainment, hands-on activities, games and a spectacular fireworks display to close out the largest sailing event in the United States in 2015. June 25-28. Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street; Camden Waterfront, tallshipsphiladelphia.com
Hundreds of aspiring salsa dancers dance the day away on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the Party on the Parkway, one of many events taking place during Wawa Welcome America!, Philadelphia’s multi-day celebration of the country’s birthday. Credit: Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia™

Hundreds of aspiring salsa dancers dance the day away on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the Party on the Parkway, one of many events taking place during Wawa Welcome America!, Philadelphia’s multi-day celebration of the country’s birthday. Credit: Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia™

  • Wawa Welcome America! kicks off with a lively block party and wraps up with the nation’s largest free Fourth of July concert and a fireworks grand finale. In between are movies, a concert by the Philly Pops in front of Independence Hall, patriotic ceremonies, Wawa Hoagie Day and more free, family-friendly fun. Various locations. June 27-July 4. (215) 683-2202, welcomeamerica.com
Some of the top names in music have performed at the annual Fourth of July concert at Penn’s Landing. The event, which draws huge crowds every year, is a favorite during Wawa Welcome America!, Philadelphia’s multi-day Independence Day celebration. Credit: Photo by J. Smith for Visit Philadelphia™

Some of the top names in music have performed at the annual Fourth of July concert at Penn’s Landing. The event, which draws huge crowds every year, is a favorite during Wawa Welcome America!, Philadelphia’s multi-day Independence Day celebration. Credit: Photo by J. Smith for Visit Philadelphia™

  • Signature events marking the 50th Anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement take place over Fourth of July weekend, with a reenactment of the Reminder Day demonstrations in front of Independence Hall, a wreath-laying ceremony at the historic marker that acknowledges the site of the demonstrations, panel discussions, a festival, concerts and more. July 2-5. Also on view throughout the weekend and beyond: Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court, an exhibition at the National Constitution Center that tells the story of the gay civil rights movement through artifacts, photographs and legal precedents. June 5-September 7. During the weekend, visitors can delve into other aspects of LGBTQ history at exhibitions at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Taller Puertorriqueño, the National Museum of American Jewish History and The African American Museum in Philadelphia. Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, constitutioncenter.org; various locations for other happenings, reminder2015.org, lgbt50.org
Philadelphia’s rainbow colors shine brighter than ever during PrideDay in June, International Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. A fun, colorful and prideful parade winds through the Gayborhood, Historic Philadelphia and Penn’s Landing, where food, drinks, performances and more celebrating await. Credit: Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia™
Philadelphia’s rainbow colors shine brighter than ever during PrideDay in June, International Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. A fun, colorful and prideful parade winds through the Gayborhood, Historic Philadelphia and Penn’s Landing, where food, drinks, performances and more celebrating await. Credit: Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia™

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THE WHITNEY ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL YEAR EXHIBITIONS FOR ITS NEW DOWNTOWN HOME

When The Whitney Museum of American Art‘s new Renzo Piano-designed home on Gansevoort Street (99 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY 10014 (212) 570-3600) opens its doors on May 1, 2015, the inaugural installation will be the largest display to date of the Whitney’s permanent collection. The inaugural exhibition, America is Hard to See, presents a distinctly Whitney narrative drawn entirely from the Museum’s unparalleled permanent collection of 20th- and 21st-century American art. This ambitious display will offer new perspectives on art in the United States since 1900, following the Whitney’s in-depth analysis of its collection of more than 20,000 works, an initiative that has been underway since 2012. The opening presentation will fill over 60,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibition space, utilizing all galleries in the building, and it will celebrate the Whitney’s extraordinary new home and the richness of American art. The sweep of the collection is echoed in the building’s magnificent multiple perspectives: the new Whitney looks south toward the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, east into the city, and west across the Hudson toward the expanse of the country.

 

The Whitney Museum of American Art. View from the Hudson River, October 2014. Photograph by Tim Schenck.

The Whitney Museum of American Art. View from the Hudson River, October 2014. Photograph by Tim Schenck.

Following this distinctly Whitney narrative will be an array of exhibitions devoted to the work of Archibald Motley, Frank Stella, Laura Poitras, and David Wojnarowicz, as well as a show of hundreds of works gifted to the Whitney and the Centre Pompidou in Paris by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner.

The Whitney has been steadily building a remarkable world-class collection of American art since our founding by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1930, much of which has remained largely unseen,” said Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director. “This transformative moment—the opening of our beautiful new home downtown—calls for a fresh look at ourselves and is the perfect occasion for us to celebrate our collection, the essence of who we are.

Led by Donna De Salvo, Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs, a team of Whitney curators, including Carter Foster, Dana Miller, and Scott Rothkopf, has conducted an unprecedented study of the collection in consultation and debate with other members of the curatorial department as well as artists, curators, and scholars from a variety of fields. Throughout this process, the team has rediscovered forgotten works and figures that will be shown alongside the Museum’s iconic treasures in order to provide a challenging and revealing take on more than a century of art in the United States. This narrative will be propelled by a dynamic sense of invention and even conflict, as artists struggled to work within and against established conventions and often directly engaged their political and social contexts. Works of art across all mediums will be displayed together, acknowledging the important ways in which modern and contemporary artists have engaged various modes of production and broken the boundaries among them.

Miss De Salvo noted, “The new building is a game changer for the Whitney and, we hope, New York’s cultural landscape. Our program—a mix of exhibitions, screenings, performances, and permanent collection presentations—will demonstrate that while the Whitney remains committed to embracing the art of the present, it can now do so against the backdrop of over a hundred years of history. Our aim is to present history and artistic production as an open, rather than closed chapter.”

 

On the occasion of the opening of the new building, the Museum will publish an expanded handbook of the collection, its first since 2002, featuring 350 artists. A companion volume will explore the Whitney’s core philosophy through essays discussing the Museum’s history and the ongoing reinvention of its display strategies and changing definitions of American art in a global context. Following is a list of selected exhibitions that will be presented during the Museum’s first year downtown.

ARCHIBALD MOTLEY: JAZZ AGE MODERNIST
OCT 2, 2015–JAN 17, 2016

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Archibald Motley (1891—1981) was one of the most important figures associated with the Harlem Renaissance and is best known as both a master colorist and a radical interpreter of urban culture. Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist is the first full-scale survey of his paintings in two decades. The exhibition will offer an unprecedented opportunity to carefully examine Motley’s dynamic depictions of modern life in his home town, Chicago, as well as in Jazz Age Paris and Mexico. Specifically, it will highlight his unique use of both expressionism and social realism and will resituate this underexposed artist within a broader, art historical context. The exhibition will be presented in the sky-lit eighth floor galleries of the new Whitney during its inaugural year.

Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist is organized by the Nasher Museum at Duke University and curated by Professor Richard J. Powell. The installation at the Whitney Museum will be overseen by Carter E. Foster, Steven and Ann Ames Curator of Drawing.

FRANK STELLA  – OCT 30, 2015–FEB 7, 2016

Frank Stella, Gran Cairo, 1962. Synthetic polymer on canvas, 85 1/2 × 85 1/2 in. (217.2 × 217.2 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art  63.34. © 2010 Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Frank Stella, Gran Cairo, 1962. Synthetic polymer on canvas, 85 1/2 × 85 1/2 in. (217.2 × 217.2 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art 63.34. © 2010 Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The Museum will present a career retrospective of Frank Stella (b. 1936), one of the most important living American artists. This survey will be the most comprehensive presentation of Stella’s career to date, showcasing his prolific output from the mid-1950s to the present through approximately 120 works, including paintings, reliefs, maquettes, sculptures, and drawings. Co-organized by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Whitney, this exhibition will feature Stella’s best-known works alongside rarely seen examples drawn from collections around the world. Accompanied by a scholarly publication, the exhibition will fill the Whitney’s entire fifth floor, an 18,000-square-foot gallery that is the Museum’s largest space for temporary exhibitions.

This exhibition is curated by Michael Auping, Chief Curator, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, with the involvement of Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of American Art. Continue reading

Metropolitan Museum of Art Expands Modern and Contemporary Art Program with Launch of The Met Breuer in March 2016

Inaugural Season at Landmark Marcel Breuer-designed Building Will Feature: 
  • Thematic exhibition examining the fascination for unfinished works of art, from the Renaissance to the present day
  • One-person exhibitions highlighting the Indian modernist artist Nasreen Mohamedi, rarely seen early photographs by Diane Arbus, and a mid-career retrospective of the contemporary painter Kerry James Marshall 
  • New performance works by Artist in Residence Vijay Iyer, a newly commissioned sonic experience by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams, and an all-day staging in the Met’s three locations of the U.S. premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s massive, unfinished electro-acoustic composition Klang
  • Interactive, participatory programs for all audiences connecting people directly with art, architecture, and design, across time and cultures

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will launch its first season of programming in the landmark building by Marcel Breuer on Madison Avenue at 75th Street in New York, when The Met Breuer opens to the public on Thursday, March 10, 2016. Encompassing major monographic and thematic exhibitions, new commissions, performances, and an artist-in-residence series, the inaugural season at The Met Breuer will enable visitors to engage with the art of the 20th and 21st centuries through the global breadth and historical reach of the Met’s unparalleled collection and scholarly resources.

The Met will develop and present programming at The Met Breuer for a period of eight years, following a collaborative agreement between the Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art, which was formerly housed in the building and is relocating to its new museum facility in downtown Manhattan this May. In addition to exhibitions and performance, The Met Breuer will host a wide range of educational and public programming for visitors of all ages, connecting audiences with practicing artists through art-making, talks, and activities in the galleries. A dedicated page on the Met’s website—www.metmuseum.org/MetBreuer—will be updated regularly with detailed information on The Met Breuer’s exhibitions and programs.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s leading art museums, with a collection spanning more than 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present. It presents dozens of exhibitions each year, and thousands of events and programs including films, talks, performance, guided tours, and family programs at its main building at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street, the modern and contemporary art-themed programming at The Met Breuer in spring 2016, and exhibitions and collection displays related to the art and architecture of the medieval world at The Cloisters museum and gardens, its branch in upper Manhattan. A center for art appreciation, scholarship, research, and conservation, the Met also maintains a vibrant program of publishing scholarly and popular catalogues, and utilizes new technologies to enhance the visitor experience and extend the reach and accessibility of its offerings globally.

The launch of The Met Breuer marks the start of an exciting new chapter for the Museum, allowing us additional space to expand our modern and contemporary visual and performing arts program, as we concurrently redesign and rebuild our Southwest Wing,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. “We believe that contemporary art is best understood as an integral part of a broader continuum of creativity—spanning cultures, eras, and genres—and this perspective will continue to infuse our activities in all three of our locations: on Fifth Avenue, at The Cloisters, and at The Met Breuer.”

The two inaugural exhibitions at The Met Breuer will be: a major, cross-departmental curatorial initiative, Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible including works by some of the greatest artists of all time, ranging from Titian to Louise Bourgeois, who experimented with a non finito style; and the largest exhibition to date dedicated to Indian modernist Nasreen Mohamedi. The 2016 season will also feature an exhibition opening in July of early photographs (1956-1962) by Diane Arbus, primarily drawn from the Museum’s Diane Arbus Archive; and, in October, the first major survey in the U.S. of Kerry James Marshall, whose work asserts the place of the black figure within the narrative of Western painting.

The Met Breuer’s first season will also include performances and installations by Artist in Residence Vijay Iyer, the renowned musician and artistic collaborator. His projects will include a presentation of new work in an 18-day installation in the Lobby Gallery. Two additional contemporary performing art works will interweave visitor experiences across the Met’s three buildings: a newly commissioned sonic composition by John Luther Adams,Soundwalk 9:09, the title of which references the length of the walk between the Met’s main building at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street and The Met Breuer at Madison Avenue and 75th Street; and the U.S. premiere of the massive, unfinished composition in 21 parts, Klang byKarlheinz Stockhausen, that visitors can hear in the course of a single day at the Museum’s three locations—its Fifth Avenue building, The Met Breuer, and The Cloisters museum and gardens. (See more detailed information on each exhibition and performances below.)

For our inaugural season at The Met Breuer, we have dug deeply into our own collection and created partnerships to stimulate new scholarship and explore themes that stretch across history, geography, and art forms. Great works of art can transcend both time and place, and our program will powerfully demonstrate that potential,” said Sheena Wagstaff, the Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of the Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. Continue reading

GMCLA Announces 4th Annual Voice Award Honorees

The transgender cast and crew of Transparent, the Clementi Family, philanthropists Alan Uphold & Jeff Olde and First Investors among this year’s honorees

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, whose mission is to change hearts and minds through the power of music, announced an impressive slate of honorees for their 4th annual Voice Awards Celebration. The star-studded event will take place on Sunday, May 3, 2015, at the Globe Theater in Universal City, featuring powerhouse performances from Ty Herndon, Billy Gilman and Chely Wright, an historic moment as the three openly gay country artists take the stage together for the first time. GMCLA hosts its annual Voice Awards gala and silent auction not only to raise funds for the organization’s work, but also to honor those members of the community who advance the world, refute silence, lend a voice to the oppressed, exhibit leadership and give hope to those living under the weight of silence. Additionally, the high-profile charity event raises vital funds for GMCLA programs that encourage diversity and acceptance through the performing arts in schools across the United States. The fourth annual Voice Awards Presenting Sponsor is First Investors, a Foresters Company. Additional sponsors include HBO, Athens Services, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, O’Gara Coach Co., Amazon Studios, IAC, Collins Ave. and ACE Outdoor.

GMCLA has garnered international acclaim for artistic excellence while remaining deeply rooted in service to the Los Angeles community and beyond by promoting civil rights, tolerance and acceptance through music. Founded in 1979 during the emergence of the gay civil rights movement, critics have proclaimed the chorus “inspired,” “expressive, innovative, and utterly moving,” and hailed it for presenting “meaningful entertainment.

This year’s slate of honorees recognizes some of the most inspiring individuals and institutions that I know.  Whether it’s turning tragedy into teachable moments, rising tall amongst corporate leaders or impacting communities both locally and nationally, each one uses their Voice to create long-lasting transformation on a global scale,” said Chris Verdugo, the executive director of GMCLA.

The 2015 Voice Award honorees include:

Outspoken Voice Award – Presented to the transgender cast and crew of Amazon Studios’ hit series Transparent. The show won two Golden Globes, including Best TV Series – Comedy or Musical and Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series – Comedy or Musical.  The series stars Jeffrey Tambor as the father of adult children who comes out as a transgender woman at 70-years old.  The show features the largest transgender cast and crew of any production in Hollywood.

Voice Inspiration Award – Presented to the family of Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old who took his own life after being cyber-bullied during his first few weeks in college.  The Clementi family formed the Tyler Clementi Foundation in the wake of Tyler’s tragic suicide with a mission  to promote safe, inclusive and respectful social environments in homes, schools, campuses, churches and the digital world for vulnerable youth, LGBT youth and their allies.

Good Neighbor Voice Award – Presented to Alan Uphold & Jeff Olde, who have worked to further LGBT justice and equality throughout their 18-year relationship. Uphold began as a communications volunteer for Project Angel Food in 1990 and has since served more than 15 years on the boards of the Human Rights Campaign and Equality California. Until recently, he was Development Director – West for the Point Foundation. Olde is a television executive and Peabody Award-winning producer who, for 25 years, has been a passionate champion of LGBT talent, characters and storylines spanning reality, pop culture, news, comedy and scripted programming. Together, both men have served in the trenches by volunteering at LGBT events, performing community outreach and lobbying politicians for LGBT rights. They have chaired or hosted events in their home for LGBT groups including APLA, EQCA, HRC, No on 8, PFLAG, the Tyler Clementi Foundation, Stonewall Young Democrats, and numerous equality-minded politicians.

Corporate Voice Award – Presented to First Investors, a Foresters company. Since 1930, First Investors has helped everyday families reach their financial goals by offering an array of financial products and services.  They also offer unique member benefits (i.e. grants and scholarships) and allow members to participate in inspiring community activities.  Forrest Strickland, and executive vice president at First Investors, said, “First Investors’ relationship with GMCLA is a natural fit as we both share a passion for service to the community. GMCLA is a fabulous organization deeply involved in the Los Angeles community and in promoting civil rights, tolerance and acceptance. These shared values inspire us to support the important mission of GMCLA.”

Individual tickets for the Voice Awards are $400; VIP tickets are $600 and include a private reception presented by KLEAN Treatment Center on Saturday May 2 with the honorees.  Table sponsor packages are also available. To purchase tickets, please visit: http://voiceawards.gmcla.org/.

 

Diageo Brands Earn 91 Awards at the 15th Annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Diageo Named “Importer of the Year”, Includes 23 Double Gold Honors and Seven “Best in Category” Awards

Diageo spirits liquids and packaging were recognized across the board as best-in-class at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, winning a grand total of 91 awards. Of these awards, 83 were medals, 39 of which were double gold or gold. Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories sold in more than 180 countries around the world. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

In both Scotch and North American Whisk(e)y liquids, Diageo brands did especially well, with 14 brands winning multiple medals, and several being named “Best” in their category. In packaging, seven brands across Diageo’s portfolio won medals, including Mortlach Scotch Whisky and Orphan Barrel Bourbon, which were both awarded double gold. The Company was also named “Importer of the Year” in recognition of Diageo’s consistent high quality of spirits across all brands.

We are honored to be recognized by such a prestigious competition across our portfolio, from heritage brands to new-to-world innovations,” commented Larry Schwartz, President, Diageo North America. “Our craftspeople, including our distillers, blenders and artisans, use their remarkable skills every day to produce the finest spirits in the world. These awards give them, and everyone at Diageo, a great reason to celebrate.”

Commenting on the Company’s honors for high quality packaging design, Schwartz continued, “Although quality liquid is the centerpiece of any distilled spirit, the full experience is not complete without packaging. The bottles we see behind the bar and on store shelves are a critical part of our connection to a brand. I am proud that Diageo packaging designs have received the recognition they deserve.

Whisk(e)y was the standout category for Diageo, in which the Company secured 57 medals in total for high quality liquid. Numerous medals were awarded to Diageo across Scotch, Tennessee, Bourbon and Rye Whisk(e)y. Johnnie Walker won twelve medals for liquid, up three from 2014. George Dickel, Bulleit, Jeremiah Weed, Oban and Orphan Barrel won three medals each, and Buchanan’s won four, including a Double Gold for Buchanan’s Master.

Further, seven Diageo Whisk(e)ys were named best liquid in their respective categories. George Dickel No. 12 was designated the “Best Tennessee Whiskey;” Blade & Bow 22 Year Old Bourbon was deemed “Best Straight Bourbon;” and Crown Royal Single Barrel was named “Best Canadian Whisky.” In Scotch, Lagavulin 16 Year Old earned the title “Best Single Malt Scotch 13-19 years;” John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015 Edition was awarded “Best Blended Scotch – No Age Statement;Talisker 10 Year Old was named “Best Single Malt Scotch up to 12 Years,” and Talisker Storm was named “Best Single Malt Scotch – No Age Statement.

Within Scotch, Diageo’s non-age declared whiskies fared extremely well this year, winning nine medals for brands including Oban Little Bay, Talisker Storm, Mortlach Rare Old, Buchanan’s Master, Buchanan’s Red Seal, Haig Club and Johnnie Walker Double Black, Gold Label Reserve and Blue Label.

In the Gin, Tequila, Rum and Liqueur categories, Diageo liquids also performed well, with most brands winning multiple medals. In the Gin category, Tanqueray received two medals including a Double Gold for Tanqueray London Dry Gin. In the Tequila category, DeLeon received two medals for the brand’s Reposado and Platinum offerings respectively. In Rum, new Captain Morgan White Grapefruit and Captain Morgan White Pineapple each earned medals. In Liqueurs, Grind won a medal and Baileys won medals for new flavors Chocolate Cherry and Salted Caramel. Overall, liquids from Diageo’s Innovation team won 19 medals.

Overall, liquids from Diageo’s Innovation team won 19 medals. A full breakdown of Diageo’s winning brands at the 2015 San Francisco Spirits Competition is available on the Competition website http://sfspiritscomp.com/results/browse, and all of the double gold and gold medal winners are listed below.

Double Gold:

  • Blade & Bow 22 Year Old Bourbon
  • Buchanan’s Master
  • Clynelish 14 Year Old
  • Cragganmore 12 Year Old
  • Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye
  • Crown Royal Single Barrel
  • George Dickel No. 12 Tennessee Whisky
  • George Dickel Rye Whisky
  • Johnnie Walker Double Black
  • John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2015 Edition
  • Lagavulin 12 Year Old
  • Lagavulin 16 Year Old
  • Mortlach 18 Year Old, 25 Year Old, Rare Old, and series (packaging)
  • Orphan Barrel Lost Prophet Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Orphan Barrel (packaging)
  • Oban 18 Year Old
  • Oban Little Bay
  • Talisker 10
  • Talisker Storm
  • Tanqueray London Dry Gin

Gold:

  • Blade & Bow Bourbon
  • Buchanan’s Deluxe
  • Bulleit Rye
  • Bulleit 10 Year Old Bourbon
  • Caol Ila 12 Year Old
  • Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old
  • George Dickel Barrel Select Tennessee Whiskey
  • Glenkinche 12 Year Old
  • I.W. Harper 15 Year Old Bourbon
  • J&B Blended Scotch
  • John Walker & Sons King George V
  • Mortlach Rare Old
  • Mortlach 18 Year Old
  • Oban 14 Year Old
  • Pie Hole (Packaging)
  • Smirnoff Sours (Packaging)

2015 SAN FRANCISCO WORLD SPIRITS COMPETITION RESULTS 15TH ANNIVERSARY MARKS LARGEST COMPETITION YET

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition hosted its 15th annual competition March 19-22nd at the elegant Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco. Continuing its tradition of record-breaking entries annually, this year the number of submissions totaled 1580 (up 7% from the year before) from 41 states, 66 countries covering 90 classifications. Many categories of spirits experienced a marked increase this year most notably Gin (nearly triple the entries in 3 years), Bourbon, Rye Whiskey and Single Malt Scotch. The competition has mirrored, and Screen-shot-2015-04-01-at-4.45.39-PMspurred, the spirits industry’s explosive growth over the last 15 years. The inaugural 2000 World Spirits Competition welcomed 12 judges and 292 entries in 59 categories.

Founded in the new millennium year of 2000 by noted wine & spirits critic and competition director Anthony Dias Blue, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition has gained a well-earned reputation as the leading gauge for spirits trends and top quality products in the country. Noted journalists, distillers, beverage directors, mixologists, restaurateurs, Master Sommeliers, hoteliers, consultants, educators comprise the distinguished body of judges; and the continued growth of entries (more than 100 this year) annually points to an undeniable love affair with distillate products in the United States.

Always a harbinger of trends in the marketplace, the competition is considered to be the rite of passage for top quality spirits as it has 41 of the world’s top professional palates serving as judges. Forty-one international judges gathered this year with several notable judges returning to the roster, including noted spirits writer and author David Wondrich, double degree Doug Frost, MS, MW, leading NYC based mixologist Julie Reiner and writer Sean Ludford. Tony Abou-Ganim, aka the Modern Mixologist has directed the judging now for his 6th year and says of the event, “I continue to be flattered and humbled to be a part of a competition with some of the best palates in the world. I look forward to it all year and it is a great way for an established or unknown spirit to gain credibility in this business. The winners feel the impact of the competition’s results in significant ways and use the results to help build both their sales and reputations globally.” (For more information about the judges, please visit http://sfspiritscomp.com/about/judges.)

 

(A complete list of awards categorically is posted to the San Francisco World Spirits Competition website here: http://sfspiritscomp.com/pdf/S15-BestInShowWinnerList.pdf, http://sfspiritscomp.com/pdf/S15-PkgDesWinnerList.pdf and at http://sfspiritscomp.com/results/browse.)

We have always been a bellwether for trends in spirits consumption and growth. Our caliber of judges, our international reputation and professional organization of the competition helps the marketplace be assured of tremendous quality control and opportunities,” says competition director and spirits guru Anthony Dias Blue. “Over the last 15 years as we’ve witnessed this explosive growth in spirits, we also note that the further sub-categorization of aging and types of spirits is proliferating. We are in an exciting time in the beverage business.”

Top Awards Leading winners from the sweepstakes included Best in Show Un-Aged White Spirit went to Kappa Pisco ($35), Elqui Valley, Chile out of 603 submissions. Best in Show Aged White Spirit was awarded to Parce 12 Year Old Rum ($60) from Columbia out of 169 submissions. Best in Show Whisky went to Craigellachie Single Malt Aged 23 Years ($297) from Speyside, Scotland out of 497 whisky submissions (last year there were 297.) Best in Show Brandy was awarded to Gautier Tradition Rare Cognac ($165) from Charente, France out of 118 brandy submissions and finally Best in Show Liqueur went to Croizet Liqueur d’Orange au Cognac ($179) out of 154 entries. Other highlights included Best Gin, which went to Master’s Dry Gin ($39), Barcelona, Spain out of 134 entries, Best Bourbon which went to Kentucky’s Knob Creek 9 Year Old Small Batch Bourbon ($31) out of 95 Bourbons, Best Tequila went to Villa Lobos Reposado Tequila ($47) from Jalisco, Mexico and Best Vodka went to Colorado’s Woody Creek Single Potato Vodka ($32) out of 168 entries.

Awarded annually, this year’s Tasting Panel Magazine Distillery of the Year went to Kavalan Distillery of Taiwan by winning 4 Double Golds and two Silvers for their Single Malt Whiskies submissions. Importer of the Year went to Diageo North America, and the Director’s Award of Excellence went to Beam Suntory Inc., headquartered in Deerfield, IL for its excellent portfolio of spirits. Additionally, in the Packaging Competition this year there were 22 Double Gold medals awarded, the most ever. There were 143 entries presided over by 3 judges.

The NEAT Glass

The NEAT Glass

 

In addition to ace palates and exceptional competing spirits, glassware is as paramount to the high performance outcome of competition as the liquid it holds. For the first time in its 15-year run, the competition featured exclusively the NEAT glass. The new industry standard for spirits tasting, with a patented design, NEAT glasses are scientifically engineered with a compressed lip and flared rim to enhance the judging experience. “We have rigorously tested the NEAT Glass in comparative tastings with other spirits glasses,“ says Blue. “It is the only glass that eliminates alcohol burn while enhancing aroma. It showcases all the nuance and complexity that the spirit’s producer intended.”

 

 

America’s “Top Gun” Fighter Aces, An Endangered Species, to be Honored

A HERO’S ACTION IS ALWAYS EXTRAORDINARY

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“The ordinary air Fighter is an extraordinary man and the extraordinary air Fighter stands as one in a million among his fellows.” – PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT

Above is a sampling of some of the Aces who will be featured in the commemorative book, Wings of Valor: Honoring America's Fighter Aces. This historical project is being created under the auspices of the American Fighter Aces Association (AFAA) based in Seattle, WA; Nick Del Calzo (Executive Producer & Lead Photographer) in Denver, CO; and Peter Collier (Book Author) in Nevada City, CA. For more information about the project and to view the Aces Gallery, go to: www.wingsofvalor.us. (PRNewsFoto/American Fighter Aces Associatio)

Above is a sampling of some of the Aces who will be featured in the commemorative book, Wings of Valor: Honoring America’s Fighter Aces. This historical project is being created under the auspices of the American Fighter Aces Association (AFAA) based in Seattle, WA; Nick Del Calzo (Executive Producer & Lead Photographer) in Denver, CO; and Peter Collier (Book Author) in Nevada City, CA. For more information about the project and to view the Aces Gallery, go to: http://www.wingsofvalor.us. (PRNewsFoto/American Fighter Aces Associatio)

America’s “Top Gun” Fighter Aces are the newest endangered species. These fighter pilots, who earned Ace status by destroying at least five enemy aircraft during aerial combat missions in both World Wars, Korea and Vietnam, are a vanishing breed and most likely an endangered species. A hero’s action is always extraordinary because it is so contrary to the basic human instincts of self-preservation and survival. For the Ace fighter pilot it was often kill or be killed.

The American Fighter Ace stands alone as an extraordinary man who has distinguished himself among the elite in aerial combat. Throughout aviation history during World War II, Korea and Vietnam these heroic pilots possessed the skill, fortitude and courage to survive combat missions and return home. To fly in combat may seem exciting and noble, but it was also extremely dangerous and deadly. All fighter pilots, regardless of their personal victory tallies, are deserving of great respect and credit for what they endured.

While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact qualities that separate a good fighter pilot from a great fighter pilot; it has been said [that] “it takes a fighting inner spirit and a motivation and determination to survive and succeed at any cost, with a measure of opportunity and luck added to the mix”.

Of the hundreds of Aces who have served their country since the early days of flight, fewer than 90 remain alive today. In a short few years their historic lives will be a memory – a footnote to our nation’s rich aviation heritage; and many feels that now is the time to enshrine these aviators so that their legacy might live on. A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign has been launched to enshrine these men in a photographic book entitled, Wings of Valor: Honoring America’s Fighter AcesThe men whose images and stories will be included in Wings of Valor: Honoring America’s Fighter Aces reflect the courage and determination it takes to get no less than five enemy “kills” in aerial combat. These men distinguished themselves as Navy, Marines, U.S. Army Air Corps and Air Force pilots who had the courage to pursue their enemy with aggression, agility and precision.

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Wings of Valor: Honoring America’s Fighter Aces cover art

 

Author Peter Collier and documentary photographer Nick Del Calzo term this project as “a race against time” because of the advanced age of these heroic Aces. Nearly all of them are in their 90s. Due to their high mortality rate, other professional photographers were recruited to assure that as many of the living Aces as possible can be included in this commemorative book. Del Calzo and Collier previously collaborated on the award-winning, New York Times best seller, Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond The Call of Duty, now in its third edition. This book features similar portraits of Medal of Honor recipients and their courageous stories.

Wings of Valor: Honoring America’s Fighter Aces will immortalize the men whose incredible bravery and ACES_Logo1skill flying fighter planes is the very embodiment of the term Ace. Their images and stories are as diverse as America itself. Today, these men will tell you that they are proud Americans who are caretakers of freedom. They have been to the edge and have lived to tell their story.

It is very rare that a media project comes along that so fully conveys the human qualities that characterize America’s aviation elite. Through exceptional images and poignant stories, Wings of Valor: Honoring America’s Fighter Acesspeaks to the very core of enduring American experiences.

If there’s an elite among fighter pilots, it’s these men. It’s probably unlikely, based on the lack of today’s air-to-air combat, that there will be another designated Ace,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles “Chick”Cleveland, president of the American Fighter Aces Association. “They helped shorten the wars and saved lives. A new book is being created to preserve their legacy so young Americans can be inspired and educated about their actions. This will be America’s bookCleveland is a Korean War Ace who flew F-86 Sabre jets in MiG Alley.

As the May 3 Kickstarter deadline nears, General Cleveland and his fellow Aces are hopeful Americans will respond by pledging $10 or more to help reach the$65,000 goal to produce the book’s content and assure that these Aces will be fully recognized.  (To contribute, Go to www.Kickstarter.com, “Wings of Valor.”) Continue reading

One World Observatory Announces Friday, May 29 Opening Date

Tickets Available for Purchase Beginning on Wednesday, April 8, at 10 a.m. EDT

Observatory at Top of One World Trade Center Will Provide Unparalleled Panoramic Views of New York City and Three Floors Filled with Innovation and Inspiration

One World Observatory has announced that its official public opening date will be Friday, May 29, 2015. Tickets will be available for purchase beginning tomorrow,Wednesday, April 8, at 10 a.m. EDT at www.OneWorldObservatory.com or by calling 844-696-1776.  One World Observatory is located at One World Trade Center, New York, New York 10007. The entrance to the Observatory is located on the West Plaza located alongside West Street at the Northwest corner of the World Trade Center site near the intersection of West and Vesey Streets. The Observatory is open year round. Starting May 29th until September 7th operating hours will be 9 a.m. until midnight seven days a week with the last ticket sold at 11:15 p.m. Non-summer operating hours of One World Observatory are from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. seven days a week with the last ticket sold at 7:15 p.m.  Throughout the course of the year operating hours will be expanded during holiday periods such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

One World Observatory Opening May 29, 2015 (PRNewsFoto/One World Observatory)

One World Observatory Opening May 29, 2015 (PRNewsFoto/One World Observatory)

Positioned on top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere – on levels 100, 101, and 102 of the One World Trade Center building – One World Observatory will provide guests with unique, panoramic views of New York City, its most iconic sites, and surrounding waters from above 1,250 feet. A customized guest experience will complement the seemingly endless views – which evoke feelings of the City’s signature pride, hope and determination – and include exhibits and dining options, including a sit-down restaurant.

The experience will invite guests to explore all three levels, each equipped with the latest in innovative technology. Upon entry, guests will be greeted in the Global Welcome Center, where a large video board will feature salutations in an array of languages, and a dynamically generated world map will highlight the hometowns of

One World Observatory Logo: One World Observatory Opening May 29, 2015 (PRNewsFoto/One World Observatory)

One World Observatory Logo: One World Observatory Opening May 29, 2015 (PRNewsFoto/One World Observatory)

visitors. Guests will then proceed to a pre-show program, titled Voices, which tells the personal stories of the men and women who built One World Trade Center, and Foundations, which displays facts about the very bedrock on which the building stands. Visitors will board one of five dedicated elevators, termed Sky Pods, to ascend to the 102nd floor in under 60 seconds.  Immersive, floor-to-ceiling LED technology in each cab invites guests to experience a virtual time-lapse that recreates the development of New York City’s skyline from the 1600s to present day.

The Sky Pod elevators, among the fastest in the world, will bring passengers directly to the See Forever™ Theater on the 102nd floor. The See Forever™ Theater will present a two-minute video presentation that combines bird’s eye imagery, time-lapse shots with abstract textures and patterns to present the unique rhythm and pulse of New York City to dramatic life in three dimensions.

The Main Observatory space on the 100th floor will include an interactive skyline “concierge” – City Pulse – that allows guests to deeply connect with the landmarks and neighborhoods they observe from above. At City Pulse, global ambassadors will be stationed under a ring of HD video monitors and outfitted in gesture recognition technology, summoning imagery to the screens and providing guests with close-up views and personalized recommendations.

The Main Observatory also features the Sky Portal where guests are invited to step onto a 14-foot wide circular disc that will deliver an unforgettable view, using real-time, high-definition footage of the streets below.

One World Observatory will also offer three distinct dining options on the 101st floor available to guests with Observatory tickets, including access to selective eateries from casual cafe fare to seated fine-dining. Catering will be available on the 102nd floor, which will operate as a 9,300 square foot special event space with a maximum capacity of 300. The premier space will include floor-to-ceiling, uninterrupted views, high-end decor and an exclusive, customizable experience with a state-of-the-art sound system and HD projection capabilities. A start-to-finish visual representation of the guest experience is depicted in the latest video, available for viewing at https://oneworldobservatory.com/groups/#groups-take-tour.

In the days leading up to the official public opening, One World Observatory will say a special thank you to New York City by hosting multiple free preview days. On Tuesday, May 26, One World Observatory will invite local school students to see the observatory, and on Wednesday, May 27, the workers that helped build One World Trade Center will be invited.  On Thursday, May 28, One World Observatory will host an open house for the general public on a first-come, first-served basis. The exact details surrounding each event will be announced at a later date.

On May 29, One World Observatory will officially open its doors to the public – offering visitors an inspiring and unparalleled opportunity to experience New York City,” said David Checketts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Legends, operator of the Observatory. “From sweeping panoramic views, to innovative interactive exhibits, to world-class dining options, we expect One World Observatory to be the premier destination and attraction in New York City for both tourists and local residents.

As previously announced, One World Observatory will offer complimentary admission to 9/11 family members and the rescue and recovery workers who responded on 9/11 and in the months after. Admissions will be administered by the 9/11 Tribute Center, a project of the September 11th Families’ Association that brings together those who want to learn about 9/11 with those who experienced it.  Visit tributewtc.org/observatory for more information.

Special discounts will also be offered to active and retired members of the U.S. military, with full details to be released at a later date. Special group rates, for 20 or more, may also be available to travel professionals, corporate groups, organizations, schools and camps. (Submit your inquiry online at www.OneWorldObservatory.com/groups.) The Observatory experience will also offer a variety of Priority and Flex ticket options, available for an additional charge. For more information on tickets, please visit www.OneWorldObservatory.com. Tickets will be on sale for all dates through January 3, 2016. Tickets for days after January 3, 2016, will become available at a later date.

Now The Force Will Be With You – Everywhere!: Disney, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox Announce The Star Wars Digital Movie Collection

As anticipation builds for the December release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the first new film in the Star Wars Saga in a decade, The Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm Ltd., and 20th Century Fox today announced the upcoming release of The Star Wars Digital Movie Collection. For the first time ever, all six epic films in the Saga, from The Phantom Menace to Return of the Jedi, will be available in Digital HD on digital video services such as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video, and Xbox Video beginning Friday, April 10. With Star Wars: Episodes I-VI available for purchase as a complete digital movie collection and individually, fanboys (and girls) as well as other viewers will have the Rebel forces at their beck and call across their favorite devices anywhere – sunbathing at the beach, relaxing in their living room with friends, or waiting to board a flight to Endor (or elsewhere).

The STAR WARS Digital Movie Collection Available for the First Time Ever April 10th. © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

The STAR WARS Digital Movie Collection Available for the First Time Ever April 10th. © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Since the debut of the first film nearly 40 years ago, Star Wars has become a worldwide phenomenon with legions of fans from every generation,” said Alan Bergman, President, The Walt Disney Studios. “It’s only fitting

Available for the first time ever April 10th, The STAR WARS Digital Movie Collection © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Available for the first time ever April 10th, The STAR WARS Digital Movie Collection © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

that audiences enjoy this legendary Saga and its many fascinating behind-the-scenes stories on a wide variety of platforms, and we’re very excited to finally bring all six films to Digital HD for the first time.”

We’re thrilled that fans will be able to enjoy the Star Wars Saga on their digital devices wherever they go,” commented Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “These films broke new ground in technology, design, sound, and visual effects, and we’ve created some very special bonus material which delves into the Saga’s rich history, including new and never-before-released conversations between legendary Star Wars artists – the masters who helped George bring his iconic universe to life.

Enhancing the movie collection are a host of never-before-seen special features including Star Wars: Discoveries from Inside and insightful Conversations between key contributors from across this celebrated film franchise, plus a curated collection of classic Star Wars extras from each film. Bonus features include:

STAR WARS EPISODE I: The Phantom Menace
—  Conversations: Doug Chiang Looks Back
—  Discoveries From Inside: Models & Miniatures
—  Legacy content includes “The Beginning”; The Podrace: Theatrical Edit;
plus eight deleted scenes.

STAR WARS EPISODE II:  Attack of the Clones
—  Conversations: Sounds In Space
—  Discoveries From Inside: Costumes Revealed
—  Legacy content includes “From Puppets To Pixels: Digital Characters In Episode II”; State Of The Art: The Previsualization Of Episode II; and “Films Are Not Released, They Escape”; plus Episode II Visual Effects
Breakdown Montage and six deleted scenes.

STAR WARS EPISODE III: Revenge of the Sith

—  Conversations: The Star Wars That Almost Was
—  Discoveries From Inside: Hologram & Bloopers
—  Legacy content includes documentaries “Within A Minute: The Making Of Episode III”; The Journey Part 1; and The Journey Part 2; plus six deleted scenes.

STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A New Hope (20th Century Fox)
—  Conversations: Creating A Universe
—  Discoveries From Inside: Weapons & The First Lightsaber
—  Legacy content includes “Anatomy Of A Dewback”; Star Wars Launch Trailer; plus eight deleted scenes.

STAR WARS EPISODE V: The Empire Strikes Back
—  Conversations: The Lost Interviews
—  Discoveries From Inside: Matte Paintings Unveiled
—  Legacy content includes “A Conversation With The Masters” (2010); “Dennis Muren: How Walkers Walk”; “George Lucas On Editing The Empire Strikes Back 1979”; and “George Lucas On The Force: 2010”; plus six deleted scenes.

STAR WARS EPISODE VI: Return of the Jedi
—  Conversations: The Effects
—  Discoveries From Inside: The Sounds Of Ben Burtt
—  Legacy content includes “Classic Creatures: Return Of The Jedi”; “Revenge Of The Jedi Teaser Trailer”; Return Of The Jedi Launch Trailer; “It Began TV Spot”; “Climactic Chapter TV Spot”; plus five deleted scenes.

Celebrating A Century Of Lady Day: Universal Misuc Enterprises Honors Billie Holiday’s 100th Birthday With The Digital Release of 17 Vintage Albums

Billie Holiday Turns 100 (PRNewsFoto/Universal Music Enterprises)

Billie Holiday Turns 100 (PRNewsFoto/Universal Music Enterprises)

Hot on the heels of the release of the new book, John Szwed‘s Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth, and just in time for the 100th anniversary of the birth of Billie Holiday on April 7, 2015, Universal Music Enterprises honors the iconic artist with the simultaneous digital release of 17 classic Holiday albums. These vintage titles–originally released on the Commodore, Decca, Clef, Verve and MGM labels–were recorded between 1939 and 1959, and represent a substantial portion of the seminal vocalist’s storied two-and-a-half-decade body of recorded work, which ended with her death at the age of 44 on July 17, 1959.

In a career that was marked by equal amounts of personal tragedy and musical triumph, Billie Holiday became a massively popular star, bridging racial and genre barriers at a time when such crossovers were rare.  In the decades since, she has remained an immensely influential artist whose innovative, emotionally expressive vocal approach influenced multiple generations of singers.

After making her recording debut at age 18 with Benny Goodman‘s big band, Holiday made her first recordings under her own name in 1936.  She began scoring mainstream hits, many of them self-written, almost immediately, recording on her own as well as working with such prominent bandleaders as Teddy Wilson, Count Basie, Artie Shaw and Paul Whiteman.  Holiday remained popular with audiences for the rest of her life, despite her ongoing problems with drugs and alcohol, which contributed to her declining health and early death.

More than half a century after her passing, Billie Holiday’s recordings continue to inspire listeners around the world.  The classic albums gathered for this 100th-birthday celebration include much of Holiday’s greatest and most enduring work, demonstrating why her music continues to speak so powerfully to new generations of fans.

The anniversary release encompasses 17 Holiday albums, with six being issued digitally for the first time including: Billie Holiday, The “Lady” Sings, The Blues Are Brewin’, Lover Man, Velvet Mood, and Billie Holiday With Ray Ellis and His Orchestra (her final recording session). Other albums have been Mastered for iTunes (MFiT): Billie Holiday At Jazz At The Philharmonic, Stay With Me, Music For Torching, Lady Sings The Blues, Body And Soul, Songs For Distingué Lovers, All Or Nothing At All, Recital, Solitude, Ella Fitzgerald And Billie Holiday At Newport, and the posthumously released The Essential Billie Holiday: Carnegie Hall Concert Recorded Live.

Included on these albums are timeless Holiday classics, including “Strange Fruit,” “God Bless the Child,” “My Man” and “Lover Man,” along with her distinctive readings of such jazz, blues and pop standards as “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “What Is This Thing Called Love,” “He’s Funny That Way,” “It Had To Be You,” “Stormy Weather” and “Prelude To A Kiss,” as well as a pair of duets with Louis Armstrong.  In addition to Armstrong, these recordings find Holiday collaborating with jazz greats Kenny Burrell, Benny Carter, Cozy Cole, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Wynton Kelly, Barney Kessel, Red Mitchell, Jimmy Rowles, Charlie Shavers and Ben Webster.