Make March Memories in the Florida Keys with Fun Events, Special Offers from KeysCaribbean Resort Villas & Marinas

March In The Keys Features Events Like A Conch Shell Blowing Contest, Seafood Festival, Fishing Tourney Hosted By An Iconic Super Bowl-winning Coach, And A Celebration Of Pets.

March brings unique events to the Florida Keys and the KeysCaribbean Luxury Resort Villas & Marinas salutes four fun Keys events in particular and offers three rewarding reasons to enjoy a getaway to the Keys.

“The Longer You Stay in Paradise, The More You Save” special discount offers a lower nightly rate for each additional day booked, and guests can receive generous rates of up to 50 percent off, or complimentary night stays at all KeysCaribbean luxury resorts all season. There is also an advance booking special that requires no deposit until two weeks prior to arrival date; plus a 100 percent cancellation guarantee. 

KeysCaribbean Luxury Resort Villas & Marinas logo

KeysCaribbean Luxury Resort Villas & Marinas logo

March in the Florida Keys is the ideal time to check out such signature events as a conch shell blowing contest, a seafood festival, a fishing tournament hosted by an iconic football coach, and a festival for pets and people alike.

Key West hosts the 54th annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest March 5 at the Oldest House on Duval Street. Enthusiastic contestants pucker up and demonstrate their shell-blowing talents. Sometimes called the Conch Honk, there is no cost to enter or to compete, and no experience is necessary. Conch shells are available for purchase for those who do not have their own. This annual Contest celebrates the historic importance of the conch in the Keys, where the far-reaching sounds from conch shells were used by the Calusa Indians for communication, by sailors as fog horns, and by early Key West citizens to signal salvagers that a sinking ship was spotted offshore.

One of the middle Keys’ signature family events, the Marathon Seafood Festival, takes over Marathon Community Park March 12 and 13. The festival offers delicacies from the waters of the Florida Keys as well as live music, vendor booths, sweets, treats and beverages. Nearby luxury Florida Keys accommodations are available at Coral Lagoon Resort Villas & Marina and Indigo Reef Resort Villas & Marina in Marathon, and Village at Hawks Cay Villas & Marina in Duck Key. The resorts offer with free Wi-Fi Internet and free unlimited local and long distance calls, as well as the up to 50 percent special discount. Guests can also receive a complimentary night with a minimum stay of three nights at Village at Hawks Cay or five nights at Coral Lagoon or Indigo Reef.

Key Largo welcomes back Jimmy Johnson’s National Billfish Championship March 9-12. Hosted by the two-time Super Bowl winning coach and former head coach at the University of Miami, this prestigious event benefits the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. All anglers on the winning boat receive authentic, custom-designed Jimmy Johnson National Billfish Championship rings. Attendees can enjoy luxury Key Largo accommodations at Mariner’s Resort Villas & Marina, including courtesy Wi-Fi Internet and unlimited local and long distance calls. There is also an up-to-50-percent-off special discount and every fourth night is on-the-house with a minimum three night stay. 

Dog lovers can unite to raise pet population awareness and adopt rescues at Keys Woofstock: Peace, Paws and Music March 18 and 19 in Islamorada. Festival goers can “paws” for the cause to browse and buy products for pets and people at vendor booths, enjoy a full slate of live bands, enjoy food and beverages, participate in goodie bag giveaways and contests, and more at this far-out and fur-friendly festival. Participants can enjoy stellar Islamorada accommodations at Angler’s Reef Resort Villas & Marina, which offers all the amenities of a classic-sport fishing resort.

March in the Florida Keys bring us beautiful weather and events that are unique to the Keys. And visitors can take advantage of our great deals, including our special discount of up to 50 percent off our normal rates, as well as our complimentary night stay packages and advance booking rate,” said Sam Schorr, KeysCaribbean managing director. 

KeysCaribbean is a boutique resort company specializing in operating Florida Keys resort villas and marinas from Key Largo to Key West. CEO Craig Hunt, the former vice chairman of Intercontinental Hotel Group and past president of Holiday Inn Worldwide, along with managing director Sam Schorr, possess more than 60 years of experience in operating and marketing unique and exclusive destination resorts and marinas. 

KeysCaribbean is committed to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Green Lodging Florida program. Mariner’s Resort Villas & Marina is designated as a Green Lodging property by the Florida Green Lodging Program.

Discounts are subject to availability. Some restrictions apply to the 100 percent cancellation guarantee. To receive the advance booking special, booking must be made a minimum of 30 days prior to arrival date. Complimentary night stays require minimum night stays, have limited availability and certain restrictions apply. Please see the KeysCaribbean website for more details. For reservations book direct at or call 305.853.5000

Women’s History Month: “Papellibrium,” a Site Specific Installation from 30,000 Recycled Art Invitations

“Women and Their Work” Exhibit Featuring Artist Orna Feinstein coming to Austin, Texas

Houston-based artist Orna Feinstein, a mixed media artist specializing in printmaking and sculpture, will showcase “Papellibrium,” her new site-specific paper installation, at Women and Their Work (1710 Lavaca Street, Austin, TX 78701). The exhibit begins Saturday, March 12 and runs through Thursday, April 28, 2016. An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday March 12 from 7:00-9:00 pm. and is free to the public.

Orna Feinstein installation detail

Papellibrium paper installation detail (PRNewsFoto/Orna Feinstein)

Papellibrium is a floor installation made of more than 30,000 re-purposed art invitations that Feinstein has collected over the past decade. It seeks to challenge preconceived notions of the traditional gallery space, delivering an engaging contemporary installation where the use of space is limited only to the floor.

Orna Feinstein Papellibrium paper

Papellibrium paper installation (PRNewsFoto/Orna Feinstein)

The installation compares, contrasts and balances art and science, and creates soft tension between the organic and geometric. Combining the invitations on the floor into swirling patterns, Feinstein makes powerful use of the different palettes on the cards and breathes new life into these humble materials. The curving shapes created simultaneously reference a field of flowers and a cross section of vascular cambium that could be from a plant anatomy book, a concept that operates both on a cellular and exterior level, and references the concept of equilibrium in which all biological systems survive, co-exist, and function.

Exhibition catalog with an essay by Valerie Cassel Oliver, senior curator at Contemporary Art Museum Houston will be available at Women and Their Work.

Feinstein’s retrospective exhibition “Fifteen Years of Contemporary Printmaking” has traveled around Texas and was hosted by The Museum of the Southwest in Midland, the Museum of Geometric and Madi Art in Dallas, Galveston Arts Center, and the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont. She has been exhibiting extensively in group and solo shows throughout the United States and Europe including International Print Center New York, the 14th Print Biennale in Taiwan, and Douro Biennial 2016 in Portugal.

Her work is represented in numerous public and private collections including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Printing Museum Houston, the Museum of Geometric and Madi Art Dallas and Skopelos Foundation for the Arts, Greece.

For more information please contact Orna Feinstein 713-562-7495Email or visit

Merrell Signals Change with Launch of ‘Do What’s Natural’ Campaign

New Platform Focuses on “Removing Barriers to Enjoying the Outdoors

Leading outdoor performance brand, Merrell, announces its new integrated brand platform ‘Do What’s Natural.‘ The platform will debut with a new integrated marketing campaign, including traditional advertising and consumer activation through social media, ambassadors, and partnerships. Merrell’s new rallying cry speaks to the individual outdoor instinct in each of us and will inspire young-at-heart adventurers to make the outdoors their own. The new brand platform will launch in early March.

For 35 years we have been making the best outdoor products in the industry and we are now making the largest investment we have ever made to tell that story through ‘Do What’s Natural,’” said Linda Brunzell, Chief Marketing Officer.Our messaging, content, and product will be focused on our belief that nothing should get in the way of enjoying active outdoor adventures.”

The ‘Do What’s Natural’ platform will expand across all marketing channels with:

A rich social and advertising campaign encouraging our young-at-heart-adventurer consumers to make the outdoors their own by doing what feels right/natural. The messaging will contain a balance of wit and grit that represents the performance and playfulness consumers associate with the Merrell brand.

The development of a Global Ambassador Team, who embody their love for the outdoors through their work, for strategic activations to help share the brand story with new adventurers.MRL_Desktop_TM_Logo

The multi-year global partnership with the world’s largest event series, Tough Mudder. In the spirit of Merrell’s commitment to bringing outdoor experiences to wide and new audiences, the partnership will unite two brands with worldwide communities of outdoor enthusiasts who value teamwork, fun, unique experiences along with physical and mental challenges.

A redesigned launch of and Merrell stores, will feature a cohesive new design that highlights meaningful and engaging content that brings the Merrell story to life and enhances the consumer experience both in-store and online.

With our ‘Do What’s Natural’ integrated campaign, we want consumers to experience Merrell – anytime, anywhere,” added Brunzell. “We will provide a first-in-class experience at every touch point and will engage with our consumers like never before.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation Announces Doris Kearns Goodwin, Ph.D. Will Receive the 2016 Lincoln Leadership Prize

World-Renowned Presidential Historian And Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author’s Epic Tome Team Of Rivals Was The Winner Of The Lincoln Prize And The Inaugural Book Prize For American History.Jubilee

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation (ALPLF) will award its prestigious Lincoln Leadership Prize to Doris Kearns Goodwin, the world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Goodwin is the first historian to receive the coveted Prize and receives it in the ALPLF’s 16th Jubilee – 2016 in which it commemorates 16 years of protecting, preserving and advancing the legacy of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

Doris headshot

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation Announces world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Ph.D. Will Receive the 2016 Lincoln Leadership Prize (PRNewsFoto/Abraham Lincoln Presidential Li)

The Lincoln Leadership Prize is an annual award that recognizes outstanding individuals for a lifetime of service in the spirit of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln and honors individuals who manifest great strength of character, individual conscience and unwavering commitment to the defining principles of democracy. Since 2006, the ALPLF has awarded the Prize to nine prestigious individuals who work tirelessly in the Lincoln tradition. Previous honorees include Civil Rights Activists The Little Rock Nine, Filmmaker Steven Spielberg, 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton, former Polish President Lech Walesa, Journalist Tim Russert, Astronaut James Lovell, Jr., Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.lncoln-seal-signature

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation supports the collections and the educational and cultural programming of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; fosters Lincoln scholarship through the acquisition and publication of documentary materials relating to Lincoln and his era; and promotes a greater appreciation of history through exhibits, conferences, publications, online services, and other activities designed to promote historical literacy.

Goodwin authored “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” which served in-part as the basis of 2015 Lincoln Leadership Prize recipient Steven Spielberg‘s major motion picture “Lincoln.” She has been an advocate for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum from its inception more than 10 years ago and serves as a founding Life Member of the Abraham Lincoln images.duckduckgo.comPresidential Library Foundation Board. Among her many honors and awards, Goodwin is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, Lincoln Prize and the inaugural Book Prize for American History, as well as the Charles Frankel Prize, given by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Sarah Josepha Hale Medal, New England Book Award, Carl Sandburg Literary Award and Ohioana Book Award.

I am honored to accept this award celebrating the leadership legacy of President Abraham Lincoln,” said Goodwin. “For me, no privilege has been greater than the opportunity to spend 10 years of my life living with Abraham Lincoln as I researched and wrote ‘Team of Rivals.’ I came to know, understand and admire Lincoln for his political genius and leadership along with his humanity, generosity of spirit, social conscience and sense of humor. Now, more than two centuries after his birth, we can say with absolute certainty that the ambition that powered Lincoln from his earliest days – the desire to establish an admirable reputation on earth so that his story could be told after he died – has been realized far beyond his fondest wishes.”

Award-winning playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner will present the Lincoln Leadership Prize to Goodwin the evening of Friday, May 13, during a gala event at the Hilton Chicago. Kushner wrote the screenplay for Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” which was based in-part on Goodwin’s book. Kushner also wrote screenplays for Mike Nichols‘ film of his award-winning two-part play, “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, Parts One and Two” and Spielberg’s “Munich.” Additionally, Kushner is known for his plays, “A Bright Room Called Day;” and the abovementioned “Angels in America,” and his musical, “Caroline, or Change.”

The annual event serves as the primary fundraiser for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation for the benefit of the Museum and Library, which is not a part of the National Archives Records Administration‘s federal system of presidential libraries.

It has been my pleasure to learn from Doris Kearns Goodwin as we strive to preserve Lincoln’s legacy here in the Land of Lincoln,” said Dr. Carla Knorowski, Chief Executive Officer, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. “Presidential libraries are repositories of historic information, artifacts and documents for our nation’s posterity. It is important that we all take on this mantle to study, celebrate and bring history to life so people understand and learn from it. We are grateful for Goodwin’s commitment and passion to telling Abraham Lincoln’s story, the story of the American presidency and stories about other leaders in our treasured history. We are so pleased to honor her. She is most deserving of the Prize. And, we are looking forward to seeing Kushner and Goodwin together, since they were instrumental in bringing Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ to life on the big screen.”

For more information about the Lincoln Leadership Prize please visit For tickets and/or table sponsorship information please call 312/553-2000.

Uncork Fun in the Sun at the 30th Annual Sandestin Wine Festival

The 30th Annual Sandestin Wine Festival , the longest, continuously running wine festival in the Southeast, takes placeApril 14-17 and event organizers has announced the four-day lineup of events. The event is the longest-running and most established in Northwest Florida and is presented by Coastal Living magazine. Thousands of people enjoy festival events including Sparkling Wine and Holiday Lights in November, plus Wine Dinners, Seminars and Grand Wine Tastings in April. Chief sponsors of the 30th Annual Sandestin Wine Festival include Coastal Living magazine, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Good Grit Magazine, Visit South Walton, and 30A.slider-01a

The Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is a major destination for all seasons and all ages, and was named the #1 Resort on Florida’s Emerald Coast. The resort invites guests to a world of 2,400 acres and 30 charming neighborhoods featuring more than 1,250 vacation rentals, condominiums, villas, town homes and the best in hotel accommodations. As a member of Visit South Walton and Visit Florida, the resort features more than seven miles of beaches and pristine bay front, four championship golf courses, 15 world-class tennis courts, 19 swimming pools, a 113-slip marina, a fitness center and spa, meeting space and The Village of Baytowne Wharf, a charming pedestrian village with events, shopping, dining and nightlife.

The Sandestin Wine Festival at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort has become a tradition over the

30th Sandestin Wine Festival Logo

Presented by Coastal Living magazine, the Sandestin Wine Festival is regarded as one of the top wine festivals in the country. (PRNewsFoto/Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort)

years and widely renowned as the “Kentucky Derby of Wine Festivals.” The thoroughbreds for the festival have always been the daily Grand Wine Tastings in the Village of Baytowne Wharf. The tastings will feature the pouring of hundreds of domestic and international wines on Friday, April 15 from 5-8 p.m. and Saturday, April 16 from1-5 p.m.  

The festival uncorks all the fun on Thursday, April 14 with the official Sandestin Wine Festival Kick-Off Party at Rum Runners located in the Village. The event starts at 5 p.m. and is presented by Mercer Wine Estates and 30A. Enjoy paired appetizers, live music and delicious wines from the brand new 30A collection. Rum Runners will also host a special seminar upstairs – Uncork the Bottle with Will Mercer, from 6-7 p.m.

The education seminar will feature Mercer Reserve and 30A wine selections paired with heavy hors d’oeuvres and a meet and greet with Will Mercer, General Manager for Mercer Wine Estates. Each night, the wine festival will also Showcase Special Wine Dinners from quality Village restaurants.

Friday and Saturday Grand Wine Tastings will feature vineyard representatives from around the globe and will provide a rare opportunity to learn about the finest appellations from all major wine producing countries in terms of varieties, styles and price ranges. The Savor South Walton experience will highlight chefs from the area including Chef Jim Shirley, Chef Javier Rosa, Chef Dan Vargo, and Chef Gio Filippone, among others. Village Merchants will also feature delectable appetizers to pair with wines.

Friday and Saturday ticket holders have the opportunity this year to enhance their grand tasting experience and enjoy an Exclusive VIP Lounge Area presented by Coastal Wine and Spirits. Located at the Terrace Amenities Deck in the Village, the area will feature exclusive wines and hors d’oeuvres from Marlin Grill.

The weekend events for the Sandestin Wine Festival start with a twist, plus some postures and poses. The Mind. Body. Beach. event cleanses the spirit, if not the palette, with a special yoga on the beach session presented by Spa Sandestin. Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 16, enjoy yoga and beautiful white sand beaches of South Walton all capped off with mimosas to start the day.

Back by popular demand this year is the Champagne & Seafood Voyage aboard the Solaris from 12-3 p.m.on Friday, April 15. Enjoy a special dockside reception at Baytowne Marina, then board the vessel for the 3rd Annual Champagne & Seafood Voyage. Enjoy a four-course seafood menu prepared by Solaris chefs as experts from Coastal Wine and Spirits pair the savory selections with premium champagnes.

Cap off the festival with a real treat and amazing views. The Sandestin Wine Festival Brunch on the Bay takes center stage 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, April 17 at Baytowne Marina. Guests can choose from a wide variety of fresh, seasonal brunch items, live music and free flowing specialty drinks.

The ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Retail Tent will be open daily throughout the festival and located at the entrance of Baytowne Wharf. Anyone can enter to purchase their favorite wines without ever having to leave the event.

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort also provides the convenience of having accommodations that are steps or a convenient complimentary tram ride away from the festival. Packages with discounted accommodations and tickets are available with savings up to 25% off (code: WINE16). Call 866.91.BEACH FREE to talk to a reservation specialist.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to The Fisher House and the Sandestin Foundation for Kids, making a meaningful and positive difference in children’s lives. The Fisher House of the Emerald Coast provides a home for military families when a family member is undergoing medical treatment at any local facility. It is available to any families with someone that has served in any branch of the military for any length of time. This includes active duty, reserve, Wounded Warriors and all veterans. There is never a cost to stay at the Fisher House. For this reason, we depend on the local community’s support to operate the House and fulfill any needs of the guests staying at the Fisher House. Below are a few words from our guests. Continue reading

French Fashion House Sonia Rykiel Opens Madison Avenue Boutique

NYC Outpost Marks The Brand’s First Free-Standing Store Under Creative Direction of Julie de Libran

Sonia Rykiel has announced the opening of its new Madison Avenue boutique, marking the French fashion brand’s first free-standing store in North America under ownership of First Heritage Brands and the creative leadership of Artistic Director Julie de Libran.

Sonia Rykiel  Madison Interior

Sonia Rykiel Madison Avenue Flagship store Interior (PRNewsFoto/Sonia Rykiel)

Sonia Rykiel was founded in 1968 in Paris, France by Madame Sonia Rykiel whose signature feminine and irreverent knitwear embodied the spirit of her St. Germain-des-Pres neighborhood and launched an internationally renowned fashion brand. The business expanded beyond ready-to-wear into leather goods, shoes, a contemporary line named Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, a children’s collection, as well as home furnishings with Sonia Rykiel Maison. In 2012 First Heritage Brands acquired an 80% interest in the company to further develop the global potential of the business.

Sonia Rykiel Madison Avenue covers approximately 2,000 square feet (185 square meters) of a single floor and houses the brand’s ready-to-wear, accessories, leather goods, and footwear collections. The store design concept – conceived by de Libran in collaboration with artist André Saraiva and publisher Thomas Lenthal – is a continuation of the retail story brought to life in Paris, London and Tokyo this past year.

Inspired by Paris’ literary cafés, Sonia Rykiel Madison is lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, housing more than 15,000 volumes of French literature. Vibrant red lacquer covers the walls, shelves, and ceilings, punctuated by mirrored display columns and accessories trays. Vintage 1960s black leather sofas and chairs create a welcoming environment, while custom carpet designed by Saraiva, featuring a playful pattern of eyes, lips, pencils, cigarettes and books, adds a charming touch.

The store is scented with a custom infusion of rosewater, mandarin, vetiver and jasmine – a perfume developed by Danielle Andrieux for the Sonia Rykiel flagship in Saint-Germain. Two large display windows face the street: one is dedicated to the brand’s new “Le Copain” handbag, the other with vintage furniture and reclining red lacquered mannequins.

We are thrilled to bring Sonia Rykiel back to Madison Avenue,” said Eric Langon, CEO of Sonia Rykiel. “This is a key step in the brand’s global development. We look forward to growing our footprint in the United States and to our continued acceleration – under Julie de Libran’s creative direction – for the years to come.

Today, Sonia Rykiel remains based in Paris and the companies various collections are distributed in more than 60 countries around the world through directly operated retail stores and a select network of influential department stores and specialty retailers. With over 33 free-standing retail locations around the world, the Madison Avenue store opening is key to Sonia Rykiel’s strategic expansion in the United States, which includes the launch of shop-in-shops at Bloomingdales this past year, a growing wholesale business with leading retailers and major department stores, such as Saks Fifth Avenue.

Cunard Announces Independence Day Celebration Cruise to Feature Political Heavy-Weights Mary Matalin and James Carville

Remastered Queen Mary 2 to sail roundtrip New York, featuring Halifax and an overnight stay in Boston

Cunard is thrilled to announce that “love & war” will come to the high seas when Mary Matalin and James Carville set sail as Insights speakers onboard Queen Mary 2. Departing New York on July 1, 2016 on a roundtrip cruise, Queen Mary 2 will visit Halifax and overnight in Boston for guests to enjoy the city’s famed Independence Day Celebration.Cunard logo

Mary Matalin and James Carville are of America’s most well-known political voices and political consultants, as well as authors of two national bestsellers, All’s Fair: Love, War, and Running for President and Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home. Known for their two distinct voices, Matalin and Carville will join guests onboard Queen Mary 2 for a discussion titled “Perspectives on the Modern Presidency” and Q&A with the Entertainment Manager as part of the ship’s Insights programme.


Image courtesy of Cunard

Among her many roles and accomplishments, Mary Matalin served under President Ronald Reagan, made her mark as George H.W. Bush’s Campaign director and was an assistant to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. She has made numerous appearances on NBC’s Meet the Press and hosted CNN’s critically-acclaimed debate show, Crossfire.

James “The Ragin’ Cajun” Carville is an American political commentator and media personality who is a prominent figure in the Democratic Party. His most prominent victory was in 1992 when he helped Bill Clinton win the Presidency. Currently, Carville is a contributor to This Week with George Stephanopoulos and is also a Professor of Practice at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Cunard is honored to host such distinguished American political experts onboard our flagship, Queen Mary 2,” comments Richard Meadows, president of Cunard North America. “Matalin and Carville have captured the American public for decades with their dueling political views and successful marriage, and we are excited to share their insight and unique personalities with our guests.

Queen Mary 2 will be fresh off a 25-day dry dock and extensive refurbishment. Debuting on the ship will be 15 new single cabins, 30 additional Britannia Club Staterooms, an expanded kennel, a refreshed Kings Court, the new Verandah restaurant and Carinthia Lounge. Remastered design and décor will also be featured throughout the Grill suites and restaurants, as well as all Britannia staterooms. Executive Chef Nicolas Oldroyd will also be introducing new menus across the ship with new ingredients, selections and more choice, from pub menus to fine dining.

For more information about Cunard or to book a voyage, contact your Travel Consultant, call Cunard at 1-800-728-6273 or visit

Now on View at The Smithsonian American Art Museum: No Mountains in the Way: Photographs from the Kansas Documentary Survey, 1974

Feb. 26 – July 31, 2016

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Eighth and F streets N.W. Graphic Arts Galleries, Second Floor

In the 1970s, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) conceived a series of photo survey projects, inspired by the epic documentary photography program undertaken by the federal government in the 1930s and 1940s. From 1935 to 1944, the Farm Security Administration (FSA) under leader Roy Stryker sent some of the era’s most talented photographers on a mission to capture rural poverty during the Great Depression.


Kansas House, from the Kansas Documentary Survey Project, 1974. James L. Enyeart, born Auburn, WA 1943. gelatin silver print image: 9 3/4 × 7 7/8 in. (24.8 × 20 cm). Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the National Endowment for the Arts © 1974, James Enyeart 1983.63.456 Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2nd Floor, South Wing

In 1974, with a grant of $5,000 from the NEA, “No Mountains in the Way” was organized by Jim Enyeart, then curator of photography at the University of Kansas Museum of Art. He and Kansas natives Terry Evans and Larry Schwarm-all artists who have attained considerable achievement in the intervening decades-travelled the state, photographing whatever struck them as representative. Each worked on an assigned theme. Enyeart focused on buildings, Evans on people and Schwarm on the landscape. Their collective visions combined to poetically reflect place, culture and custom in Kansas. The exhibition and catalog were presented in 1975.


Roy, from the Kansas Documentary Survey Project 1974 Terry Evans, born Kansas City, MO 1944 gelatin silver print image: 7 x 7 in. (17.8 x 17.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the National Endowment for the Arts ©1974, Terry Evans 1983.63.1795 Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2nd Floor, South Wing


Untitled, from the Kansas Documentary Survey Project 1974 Terry Evans, born Kansas City, MO 1944 gelatin silver print image: 7 × 6 5/8 in. (17.8 × 16.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the National Endowment for the Arts ©1974, Terry Evans 1983.63.1797 Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2nd Floor, South Wing

In the Kansas documentary project, Jim Enyeart said he wanted to produce an “aesthetic” survey of the state. He likened it to the photography program of the Farm Security Administration, which documented social upheaval during the Great Depression. However, with No Mountains in the Way, Enyeart sought to avoid any particular artistic style or political agenda by asking photographers to focus on a theme. When various themes were objectively photographed, he wrote, “an even greater sense of Kansas” would be apparent in the combined photographs “than from any one of the individual studies.”


Flint Hills, Marion County, from the Kansas Documentary Survey Project 1974 Larry W. Schwarm, born Larned, KS 1944 gelatin silver print image: 6 7/8 x 7 in. (17.6 x 17.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the National Endowment for the Arts © 1974, Larry W. Schwarm 1983.63.1193 Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2nd Floor, South Wing

Enyeart’s theme was architecture. His photographs are devoid of people, but the buildings he portrays are replete with signs of life. A sign in a shop window in the town of White Cloud identifies it as a hobby shop, another in Cottonwood Falls as a café, and another in Cummings as the U.S. Post Office. But where are the Kansans? Roaming dogs, a flag in the breeze, and children in the shadows are the only evidence that Enyeart’s structures are not long abandoned. To see their interiors, where people live and socialize, we must look to Terry Evans’s photographs. To see beyond their facades, where people work and play, we must view the landscape photographs of Larry Schwarm. Together, as Enyeart hoped, these three themes form a rich composite portrait of life in Kansas.


Amish Mennonites, from the Kansas Documentary Survey Project 1974 Terry Evans, born Kansas City, MO 1944 gelatin silver print image: 7 x 7 in. (17.8 x 17.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the National Endowment for the Arts ©1974, Terry Evans 1983.63.1828 Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2nd Floor, South Wing


Beulah’s Turkeys, from the Kansas Documentary Survey Project 1974 Terry Evans, born Kansas City, MO 1944 gelatin silver print image: 7 × 7 in. (17.8 × 17.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the National Endowment for the Arts ©1974, Terry Evans 1983.63.1798 Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2nd Floor, South Wing

Terry Evans is best known for her photographs of the prairies and plains of North America. For No Mountains in the Way, Jim Enyeart asked her to photograph the people of Kansas. Evans blends documentation with portraiture in images that move easily from context to close-up. She works with a medium-format camera, shooting from the hip rather than from eye level. In portraits, its effect is to monumentalize. The farmer in the portrait Roy, who seems to tower over the photographer, becomes statuesque, an archetype rather than an individual. Continue reading

CDC: Highlights from The 2016 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections

The annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2016) took place in Boston, Massachusetts earlier this week at the Hynes Convention Center. CROI is the premier international venue for bridging basic and clinical investigation to clinical practice in the field of HIV and related viruses. Top scientists, clinicians, and policy makers from around the world had the opportunity to share with each other the latest studies, important developments, and best research methods in the ongoing battle against HIV and AIDS and related infectious diseases.croi-boston

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientists presented more than 40 abstracts that highlighted new HIV research findings and its implications for HIV prevention efforts across the nation. Symposium and plenary lectures, workshops, themed discussions, and oral presentations are available online as webcasts. (You can also follow CDC highlights from CROI on Twitter @CDC_HIVAIDS or #CROI2016 to see conversations from this year’s conference.)

Studies that may be of particular interest to readers are briefly summarized below.

Estimating the Lifetime Risk of a Diagnosis of HIV Infection in the United States. Study authored by Kristen Hess, Xiaohong Hu, Amy Lansky, Jonathan Mermin, and H. Irene Hall

This study presents the first-ever comprehensive national estimates of lifetime risk of an HIV diagnosis by race/ethnicity, geographic area, and risk group for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Using mortality, census, and HIV surveillance data from 2009-2013, the authors estimate 1 in 99 people will receive a diagnosis of HIV infection during their lifetime, a decrease of 22% from a previous study that analyzed data from 2004-2005. Despite overall progress, this study reveals vast disparities among race/ethnicity, sexual risk, age, and geographic location:

  • By risk group, men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to face the greatest burden of HIV.

    • At current rates, an estimated 1 in 6 MSM will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime, nearly 80 times more likely than for heterosexual men.

    • The risk also varies considerably by race and ethnicity—1 in 2 black MSM, and 1 in 4 Latino MSM will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime, compared to 1 in 11 white MSM.

  • African Americans remain the most affected racial or ethnic group, with 1 in 20 men, and 1 in 48 women at risk for HIV in their lifetime.

  • People who inject drugs are at much higher risk than the general population, with 1 in 23 for women, and 1 in 36 for men.

  • By region, people living in the Southern U.S. face the highest risks for HIV, including Washington, D.C. (1 in 13) and the states of Maryland (1 in 49), Georgia (1 in 51), Florida (1 in 54), and Louisiana (1 in 56).

While lifetime risk has decreased compared to previous estimates, continued improvements in HIV prevention and treatment are needed. The data on lifetime risk may help to communicate the risk of HIV infection to affected communities and increase public awareness of HIV.  

Impact of Improving HIV Care and Treatment and Initiating PrEP in the U.S., 2015-2020. Study authored by Emine Yaylali, Paul G. Farnham, Evin Jacobson, Stephanie L. Sansom, et al.

The authors developed a dynamic model of HIV transmission that shows dramatic reductions in new HIV infections are possible by 2020, if the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) goals of increasing diagnosis, care, and treatment for people living with HIV, and scaling up the use of PrEP* are met. The results show thousands of new HIV infections can be averted in different scenarios:

  • As many as 185,000 infections can be prevented if we reach national targets for HIV testing, and treatment, while scaling up PrEP:

    • Meeting the NHAS 2020 target of increasing the percentage of people living with HIV who are diagnosed to 90% and the percentage of persons with an HIV diagnosis who are virally suppressed to 80%, could prevent 168,000 new HIV infections.

    • Rapid uptake of PrEP can help prevent another 17,000 new HIV infections by 2020, if 40% of high-risk MSM, 10% of injection drug users, and 10% of high-risk heterosexuals used PrEP.

  • If current rates of diagnosis, care, and treatment are maintained from 2015 – 2020:

    • More than 265,000 new infections could occur over that period without PrEP.

    • The addition of PrEP would help prevent more than 40,000 cases by 2020.

Findings from this study highlight the promising outcomes of expanding testing, treatment, and PrEP and reaching the NHAS goals. While the model offers an encouraging glimpse into the future, more work remains to accelerate access to testing, treatment, and PrEP uptake over the next five years. Continue reading

CDC Reports: 1 In 3 Adults Don’t Get Enough Sleep

Everyone knows that a good night’s sleep is critical for good health. But that doesn’t mean that most of us are getting the required eight hours a sleep each night. More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, according to a new study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. This is the first study to document estimates of self-reported healthy sleep duration (7 or more hours per day) for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.CDC logo

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18–60 years sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress.

As a nation we are not getting enough sleep,” said Wayne Giles, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Population Health. “Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need.”

Prevalence Of Healthy Sleep Duration Varies By Geography, Race/Ethnicity, Employment, Marital Status

CDC researchers reviewed data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a state-based, random-digit–dialed telephone survey conducted collaboratively by state health departments and CDC.

Key Findings includes:

  • Healthy sleep duration was lower among Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (54 percent), non-Hispanic blacks (54 percent), multiracial non-Hispanics (54 percent) and American Indians/Alaska Natives (60 percent) compared with non-Hispanic whites (67 percent), Hispanics (66 percent), and Asians (63 percent).

  • The prevalence of healthy sleep duration varied among states and ranged from 56 percent in Hawaii to 72 percent in South Dakota.

  • A lower proportion of adults reported getting at least seven hours of sleep per day in states clustered in the southeastern region of the United States and the Appalachian Mountains. Previous studies have shown that these regions also have the highest prevalence of obesity and other chronic conditions.

  • People who reported they were unable to work or were unemployed had lower healthy sleep duration (51 percent and 60 percent, respectively) than did employed respondents (65 percent). The prevalence of healthy sleep duration was highest among people with a college degree or higher (72 percent).

  • The percentage reporting a healthy sleep duration was higher among people who were married (67 percent) compared with those who were never married (62 percent) or divorced, widowed, or separated (56 percent).

The CDC Recommends The Following Healthy Sleep Tips:

  • Healthcare providers should routinely assess patients’ sleep patterns and discuss sleep-related problems such as snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness.

  • Healthcare providers should also educate patients about the importance of sleep to their health.

  • Individuals should make getting enough sleep a priority and practice good sleep habits.

  • Employers can consider adjusting work schedules to allow their workers time to get enough sleep.

  • Employers can also educate their shift workers about how to improve their sleep.

For more information on CDC’s Sleep and Sleep Disorders Program, please visit

Rebranded C. Wonder Debuts An Exclusive Collection For QVC Scheduled March 3

QVC just got a little more wonderful. C. Wonder, owned by Xcel Brands, Inc., is scheduled to launch on Thursday, March 3 at 11AM (ET) with an exclusive collection created especially for QVC. The line features a collection of beautiful, spirited women’s clothing, accessories and jewelry designed to transport shoppers to a place they’ve never been. Lifestyle expert, fashion stylist to the stars and panelist on the E! hit show Fashion PoliceBrad Goreski lends his expertise as Creative Director for the brand.

Founded in 2011, C. Wonder was initially imagined as a retail store that offered a magical customer experience with a selection of new and unexpected products that would surprise and delight anyone who walked inside.

QVC Brad Goreski C Wonder Collection

Brad Goreski, Creative Director of QVC’s exclusive C. Wonder collection launching on March 3. (PRNewsFoto/QVC, Inc.)

The C. Wonder collection, which is inspired by the exploration of global travel, possesses a sophisticated preppy-chic aesthetic embodied with a modern worldly spirit. Ranging in price from $26 to $236, the line of classic pieces with a fresh spin includes a variety of apparel, bags, belts, shoes, scarves and jewelry – all of which feature luxurious details such as tassels, bright colors, bohemian prints and patterns and more.

C. Wonder was celebrated for its design aesthetic of easy and covetable on-trend pieces that are iconic yet fashionable,” said Rachel Ungaro, Vice President, Fashion and Beauty Merchandising, QVC. “We are excited to bring this beloved brand to QVC and provide shoppers with an opportunity to discover C. Wonder. Brad’s fashion and lifestyle expertise will shine through as he showcases the collection and shares styling tips on how to incorporate the products into an everyday wardrobe.”

As C. Wonder arrives on QVC, the brand mirrors the excitement and whimsy of the store experience, while offering amazing products at great prices.

I can’t wait to share my fashion knowledge and bring this renowned brand to QVC,” said Goreski. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase a new C. Wonder collection to loyal customers, while introducing the beautiful product to those new to the brand.”

Tune in to “C. Wonder – Fashion & Accessories” on March 3 at 11AM (ET) for a firsthand look at the collection as Brad offers styling tips and tricks. Beginning March 3, the full collection is scheduled to be available through, the QVC apps or by calling 800.345.1515 FREE, while supplies last.

QVC, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Interactive Corporation , is the world’s leading video and ecommerce retailer. The company is committed to providing its customers with thousands of the most innovative and contemporary beauty, fashion, jewelry and home products. Its programming is distributed to approximately 340 million homes worldwide through operations in the U.S.JapanGermanyUnited KingdomItalyFrance and a joint venture in China. Based in West Chester, Pa. and founded in 1986, the company’s website,, is ranked among the top general merchant Internet sites. 

(QVC, Q, and the Q Ribbon Logo are registered service marks of ER Marks, Inc.)

Sam Edelman Debuts Spring 2016 Advertising Campaign

Sam Edelman has gone back to its roots for spring 2016, calling upon photographer Kelly Klein to shoot the brand’s latest ad campaign. No stranger to the brand, Klein was an early collaborator having shot campaigns for Sam Edelman in 2010 and 2011. Inspired by laidback luxury, the shoot took place poolside at a private residence in Palm Beach. The models’ faces are intentionally obscured throughout allowing the consumer to envision themselves in each moment.

This series of images embodies the aspirational essence of our brand,” said Sam Edelman, designer, founder and division president for the Sam Edelman division of Caleres. “We want to inspire our customer to live life well, with effortless style.

Sam Edelman Spring 2016

Sam Edelman Spring 2016 Advertising Campaign featuring the Gigi Sandal (PRNewsFoto/Sam Edelman)

The Sam Edelman iconic Gigi thong sandal is featured as the hero product of the campaign, and is shown in an array of spring colorways.

Images from the shoot will appear in print ads in Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Marie Claire, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Footwear News and Women’s Wear Daily along with various regional publications. An extensive digital and billboard campaign will launch in tandem.

Since its inception in 2004, designer Sam Edelman’s eponymous brand has quickly emerged as a favorite among celebrities and fashionistas around the globe. Bringing more than 30 years of experience developing some of the most renowned contemporary shoe brands, Edelman’s designs reflect his creative sensibility, delivering items that are eminently fashionable and beautifully constructed at an attainable price point. With the addition of apparel, jewelry and handbags, Sam Edelman has grown into a complete lifestyle brand, dressing the “Sam Girl” from toe to head. With flagship locations in New York City’s Soho shopping district and on North Beverly Drive in Los Angeles, Sam Edelman continues to expand its retail presence worldwide. The Sam Edelman brand is a division of Caleres.

California Wine Exports Set Sales Record in 2015: Worldwide Demand Grows, Despite Strong Dollar

According to The Wine Institute, U.S. wine exports, 90% from California, reached $1.61 billion in winery revenues in 2015, an all-time record and a 7.6% increase from 2014. Volume was up 4.1% from the previous year to 461 million liters or 51.2 million cases. Since 1985,the Wine Institute has served as the administrator of the Market Access Program, a cost-share export promotion program managed by the USDA‘s Foreign Agricultural Service.

California wines appeal to consumers across the globe who recognize the unique quality and excellent Wine Institute logovalue of our wines.  Consumers are also attracted to California’s trend-setting lifestyle, innovative cuisine, beautiful wine country destinations and emphasis on environmental responsibility—all of which are reflected in our wines,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, Wine Institute President and CEO.

Of the top 10 export markets for California wines, the European Union’s 28-member countries were the largest, accounting for $622 million, followed by Canada, $461 million; Hong Kong, $97 million; Japan, $96 million;China, $56 million; Nigeria, $29 million; Mexico, $26 million; South Korea, $23 million; Switzerland, $21 million; and Singapore, $15 million.

More than 170 California wineries participate in Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program and export to 138 countries supported by 15 representative offices around the world which develop markets in 25 countries,” said Wine Institute Vice President International Marketing Linsey Gallagher. “California wine exports have increased 91% by value in the last decade and we’re seeing a “premiumization” trend with dollar sales outpacing volume growth.  This growth is occurring despite heavily-subsidized foreign competitors, high tariffs and strong dollar.” US_Wine_Exports_in_Dollars

Wine Institute’s six Regional Trade Directors in key export markets reported on 2015 exports:


California wine sales continued to be strong in Canada last year despite unfavorable exchange rates. In 2015, U.S. wine sales surpassed wines from France and Italy for the first time to claim the largest share of import table wines in the Canadian market,” said Rick Slomka, Canadian Trade Director for the Wine Institute. “California wines have built a solid consumer base and enjoy substantial momentum in this market. California wineries have invested significantly to develop their business in Canada and anticipate continued growth, although at a slower pace.

Continental Europe

Despite a strong U.S. dollar and fierce competition from Old and New World wine countries, nearly all export markets in Continental Europe showed an increase. It is especially encouraging to see that our educational and promotional efforts in Germany, our largest market on the continent, are paying off with an increase of 32% in revenues,” said Paul Molleman, Wine Institute Trade Director for Continental Europe.The 28-member European Union countries accounted for nearly 40% share of total U.S. wine exports in 2015.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has always been a receptive market for California wines, and a quarter of all U.S. wine exports by volume come to this country. Value increases are now out-stripping volume growth, with U.S. wine export value to the UK rising by 28% last year. The wine trade here has shifted emphasis to restaurants and casual dining, and a burgeoning independent retail sector, leading to increased interest in premium wines from the Golden State. California is better placed here than it has ever been before, and we expect further growth in 2016 and beyond,” said Wine Institute United Kingdom Trade Director John McLaren.


California wine has been selling well in Japan but supply was a major challenge in the first quarter of 2015 due to the slowdown at the ports along the U.S. west coast. Japan’s California wine imports in January 2015 were down 40.5% by volume from the previous year, and the situation prevented Japanese importers from promoting our wines. After April 2015, the port issue was resolved and supply was back in line with growing demand,” said Ken-ichi Hori, Wine Institute Japan Trade Director.

Once the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement goes into force, the import duty on U.S. wines will be completely abolished in eight years which will help the entire California category grow in Japan. This is critical for the California wine industry, since our competitors, Chile and Australia, already have free trade agreements with Japan, and benefit from a duty advantage over California wines.”


With no reliable country-wide sales data, the 2015 numbers based on import/export data for China don’t tell the whole story on California wine performance, and, in fact, are misleading. Looking at consumption of California wines in the premium and super premium categories, the price range for most California wines, sales were up last year. The export decline was due to a drop in less expensive wines being imported following excessive importation in 2013-2014. Sales of higher-priced wines are quite healthy, while even lower-priced wines are selling through as depletions continue. The export data to Hong Kong shows a healthy 41% increase by value in exports, and we know that a portion of volume shipped to Hong Kong is destined for China. The market for California wines in China remains healthy and more consumer driven than in years past when gifting and group purchasing were significant drivers of sales,” said Christopher Beros, Wine Institute Trade Director for China.

Emerging Markets

The strong dollar and difficult trading conditions affected California wine’s performance in emerging markets. However, the region produced clear success stories in 2015, such as Hong Kong, Mexico and South Korea where export value grew 41%, 7% and 5% respectively,” said Eric Pope, Wine Institute Regional Director for Emerging Markets.

Removing obstacles to trade and ensuring that California wines have fair and equal access to international sales channels remain our top focus,” said Tom LaFaille, Wine Institute Vice President and International Trade Counsel.  “Unfortunately, more and more countries and provinces are “modernizing” their laws to benefit only local wine producers.  Wine Institute works closely with the U.S. government to continue to lead initiatives against discriminatory trade barriers which violate international agreements.”

 The Wine Institute‘s Export Program offers many tools to support California Wines category building efforts around the world, including a consumer website in eight languages, social media campaigns in 16 countries, an educational California Wines PowerPoint tool, educational and entertaining video assets, and a strong partnership with Visit California to increase tourism to California wine regions.  The program organizes California’s participation in international trade shows and trade missions, hosts master classes and seminars as well as tastings for trade, media and consumers worldwide.  Last year’s active schedule of California wine country visits brought in 150 international media and wine buyers from 15 countries. For more information, see: Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program

Cunard Kicks Blue Note Jazz-Themed Transatlantic Crossing into High Gear with the Addition of a Second Vocal Legend: Dee Dee Bridgewater

Cunard, Blue Note Records, and Blue Note Jazz Clubs are excited to welcome Grammy® Award-winning artists on two Cunard Blue Note Jazz at Sea Transatlantic Crossings aboard the Queen Mary 2 in 2016.This is on one of those special sailings and you will experience the best of jazz along with Cunard’s traditional entertainment offerings, on the grandest ocean liner in the world.

Blue Note Jazz at Sea in 2016 - Gregory Porter, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Herbie Hancock

Blue Note Jazz at Sea in 2016 – Gregory Porter, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Herbie Hancock

Grammy® Award-winning artist, Herbie Hancock will join the Queen Mary 2 on the 1 August 2016 “Jazz at Sea” Transatlantic Crossing. The multi Grammy Award winning star will perform three, 45-minute intimate shows in The Royal Court Theatre. During the westbound Transatlantic Crossing Hancock will be joined by band members, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, bassist James Genus and guitarist Lionel Loueke.BlueNote-Club-bw

Cunard also announced that jazz icon Dee Dee Bridgewater will be co-headlining Queen Mary 2’s third Blue Note jazz-themed Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton on October 25, 2016.

Bridgewater is a Triple Grammy® Award Winner, a TONY® Winner, a UN Goodwill Ambassador, producer, record label head, and much more. Widely celebrated for her depth of artistry across mediums, Bridgewater will perform three intimate, powerhouse shows in The Royal Court Theatre as well as a Q&A session on board Queen Mary 2’s 7-night crossing.

Bridgewater’s career spans more than four decades, and began with her phenomenal debut in New York City in 1970 as the lead vocalist for the band led by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, one of the premier jazz orchestras of the day. Bridgewater marked an early career in concerts and recordings with musical giants including Dizzy Gillespie, before beginning a career on Broadway, where she won a Tony Award for her role as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz. Her time on Broadway led to work in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Paris, and beyond. In London’s West End, she garnered a coveted “Laurence Olivier” Award nomination as Best Actress for her tour de force portrayal of jazz legend Billie Holiday in Stephen Stahl’s Lady Day.

Bridgewater joins booming baritone Gregory Porter on the Transatlantic Crossing. Fellow jazz musician Gregory Porter is also a Grammy® Winner and was awarded “International Jazz Artist of the Year” in 2015 by Jazz FM. (Porter’s upcoming participation was announced in November, 2015).

Jazz, soul and gospel singer, songwriter and actor Gregory Porter was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up in Bakersfield, California, where his mother was a minister. As a child, he fell under the spell of his mother’s Nat King Cole records, learning to imitate and sing like Cole. Luckily, this charismatic artist is here to breathe life, vitality, fun, excitement, passion and honesty into the musical genres he has loved from boyhood. Flutist Hubert Laws featured Porter’s vocals on his 1998 album, “Remembers the Unforgettable Nat King Cole.” Laws’ sister, Eloise Laws, helped him get cast as one of the leads in a new musical “It Ain’t Nothing But the Blues,” which eventually enjoyed a run on Broadway. His debut album, Water, appeared in 2010, and was followed by a second, “Be Good,” released two years later in 2012. Gregory’s latest album “Liquid Spirit” won last year’s Grammy Award for Best Jazz vocal album and reached the top 10 on the UK charts. Gregory was recognised this year by Jazz FM as “International Jazz Artist of the Year” and is described by the New York Times as “a jazz singer of thrilling presence, a booming baritone with a gift for earthy refinement and soaring uplift.”

I am thrilled to join Cunard and Blue Note for such a unique musical experience on board Queen Mary 2,” said Bridgewater. “To me, jazz symbolizes liberty and freedom of expression, and I look forward to sharing this jazz experience with guests on board and with my dear friend, Mr. Gregory Porter. Continue reading

New Documentary Film From 217 Films Celebrates The Art Of America’s Gilded Age

Coming in December 2016 from filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton of 217 Films, the forthcoming documentary “America Rising: The Arts of the Gilded Age” shows us how “The Gilded Age” was the most prolific and ultimately the most vital era in the American arts.

This new film project is their seventh in ten years and their sixth “essay in film” project.

Writer and director Michael Maglaras has written, “After the Civil War, American arts and American artists come into their own on the world stage. In painting, in sculpture, in architecture, and in music, America finds its artistic soul and voice in the work created from the end of the Civil War through the first decade of the 20th century.”


Mark Twain 1907 photograph, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Using the work of painters as diverse as Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, and John Singer Sargent, “America Rising” creates a portrait of an America re-inventing itself after the tragic events of the Civil War as a major artistic force. With the great public sculptures of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, such as the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial in Boston (referred to in the film by Director Maglaras as “the finest piece of memorial sculpture in America”), “America Rising” focuses on how the rise of the middle class and the even greater rising of industrialists like Henry Clay Frick and others contributed to an America poised, through its art, to commemorate its past and invent its future. In the music of Charles Ives and Charles Tomlinson Griffes we hear an America escaping European musical tradition and embracing Modernism.


Augustus Saint-Gaudens, detail of the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, 1897. Courtesy of the Saint-Gaudens


Childe Hassam, The Island Garden, 1892, Watercolor on Paper, Smithsonian American art Museum, Washington D.C./Art Resource, New York

With more than 100 paintings, sculptures, and photographs, as well as film footage of the era (including the only known footage of Mark Twain)…and featuring the on-camera contributions of Professor David Lubin, the Charlotte C. Weber Professor of Art at Wake Forest University, “America Rising” will surprise, as well as entertain viewers across the spectrum.


John Singer Sargent, Madame X (Madame Pierre Gautreau). 1883-1884. Oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm). Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1916 (16.53). Image @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image Source: Art Resource, New York.

217 Films is an independent film company devoted to the American artistic experience. In 2005, Maglaras and Templeton released their first film “Cleophas and His Own” about the American painter Marsden Hartley‘s epic narrative of love and loss. Maglaras both directed and played the role of Hartley in this film. In 2008, they released a second film about Hartley called “Visible Silence: Marsden Hartley, Painter and Poet” – the first-ever documentary on the life of Hartley. In 2010, with their film “John Marin: Let the Paint be Paint!” they established, through the first full-length documentary on this important painter, that John Marin was one of the fathers of American Modernism. These films, among other distinctions, have been shown to acclaim at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In 2012, they released “O Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward.” In 2013, they released “The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show.” Currently on tour is their latest film “Enough to Live On: The Arts of the WPA” celebrating the ways in which Franklin Roosevelt used the arts to raise the spirits of the American people during the Great Depression.

The Sacramento Bee called Maglaras a film maker of “Bergman-like gravitas.” His films have been described as “virtuoso filmmaking” (National Gallery of Art) “alive and fresh” (Art New England) “elegiac and insightful” (Naples Daily News) “unforgettable” (Journal of American History) and “comparable to that of the widely acclaimed Ken Burns” (New Britain Herald). David Berona, author of “Wordless Books,” said of “O Brother Man” “This film is stunning.” Judith Regan of Sirius XM called it “magnificent.The Dartmouth’s review of “The Great Confusion” noted “Michael Maglaras brought the drama of the original show back to life.” Library Journal called it “An excellent analysis of an event that changed the art world.” The Blue Paper called Maglaras’s film on the arts of the WPA “a wonderful celebration of America, her people, and her possibilities.” Maglaras was recently featured in a full-length interview on Conversations from Penn State on Public Television.

217 Films Website:
217 Films Blog:

The Bishop Gallery Presents an All Female Photography Exhibit – “She Got Aim”

In Honor of Women’s History Month, the Brooklyn Gallery Highlights the Work of Three Dynamic Photographers

In an effort to honor and highlight the achievements of women in the arts, The Bishop Gallery in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn will open its second exhibit of the year, on March 4th, entitled She Got Aim. The exhibit will feature approximately 20 works from three very talented, yet extremely distinct working photographers, in commemoration of Women’s History Month. Victoria Ford of Sneakshot (of Washington DC), Victoria Ford of Sneakshot (of Oakland, CA) and Judy Mauer ( of New York City all capture unique moments in time, each with their own style and agenda.3582499

The Bishop (916 Bedford Avenue. Brooklyn New York 11205, 917.966.9467) is a contemporary art gallery located in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Launched in 2012, They offer an innovative, multimedia space, where the work of cutting-edge, emerging artists can be fully experienced, while connecting our growing community of art lovers and culture seekers, to the ever-expanding world of art.

The Bishop is a contemporary art gallery located in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn NY. Launched in 2012, The Bishop is an offspring of the Lamont Bishop Gallery in Washington DC. The owners, Erwin John and Stevenson Dunn were born and raised in Bed- Stuy. They decided a gallery at homebase was imperative for the ever changing borough.

The original idea for a gallery was birthed from the teachings and mentorship of Dr. Lamont Bishop. He instilled the ethos of business development and community development into the young owners. The Bishop operates with the notion of bringing accessiblity to the art community. Here, everyone is welcomed to view art or have their art displayed regardless of economic status or level of success.

She Got Aim is a nod to the women in art and their significance to the evolution of the art world. Erwin John, co-owner of The Bishop Gallery, exclaims, “a month isn’t nearly enough time to celebrate the significance of women in the arts. However, we felt the need to shine the spotlight on women in this industry, specifically photographers, as their images will tell our narratives for generations to come.

Victoria Ford (sneakshot)

Victoria Ford (sneakshot)

Victoria Ford credits her mom, music and fashion for her career as a photographer. This ubiquitous photographer captures concerts and festivals featuring some of the world’s biggest stars in their element. The scope of her appreciation for music is so broad, she can be seen at concerts for soulful musicians like Bilal and heavy rockers like Marilyn Manson. When asked how she captures the right shot by interviewer Gerald Watson, Vicky responded, “To me there are no ‘right shots’; you are capturing moments, because my “right shot” might not be someone else’s, all that’s to say, trust your eye.

Brittani Sensabaugh (Brittsense)

Brittani Sensabaugh (Brittsense)

Brittani Sensabaugh has set her eye on “documenting melanated people in forgotten areas” with her 222ForgottenCities movement. The East Oakland bred, self proclaimed documentarian, captures the essence of the people and neighborhoods the media has depicted negatively. She has traveled to the grittiest neighborhoods in Oakland, New York, Philly, Baltimore, Houston, Chicago, and Watts, and plans to visit New Orleans. When asked about her work Sensabaugh says, “Not only do I document the story, I document emotions they will never show. I make sure I document the reasons why things are happening this way.

Judy Mauer

Judy Mauer

Judy Mauer knows how photography can capture life as it’s happening. After a long career as a radio producer and advertising exec, Judy left the corporate, creative life to become a photographer fulltime. Her speciality is capturing the duality of window images. In her shots, she merges the story of luxury, visual windows with its surrounding environment. The street photographer manages to combine the fashion and architecture art forms gracefully, in one image. What appears to be a doctored photo to some, is actually what Judy sees at the moment, and creates in real time with her camera. She devises a new narrative by fusing the inside and outside in one photo.

Coming to the McNay Art Museum: Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008

Exhibition Highlighting America’s Most Iconic Amusement Park Opens May 11, 2016 Through September 11, 2016.

The spirit of Coney Island will come alive in South Texas when the McNay Art Museum presents Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008, opening May 11, 2016 through September 11, 2016.

For more than half a century, the McNay has enchanted visitors with its art, architecture, and ambiance. Built by artist and educator Marion Koogler McNay in the 1920s, her Spanish Colonial Revival residence became the site of Texas’s first museum of modern art when the McNay opened in 1954. The museum offers rich and varied exhibitions as well as rotating displays in the Main Collection Galleries from the 20,000 works in the collection, while 45,000 adults, teachers, students, and families take advantage of a variety of education programs and innovative educational resources.


Steeplechase Funny Face, n.d., painted metal, Collection of Ken Harck

The exhibition explores and celebrates Coney Island, the most iconic, uniquely American Amusement Park in the United States, which has served as national cultural symbol inspiring artists, musicians, novelists, poets, and filmmakers. From Coney Island’s beginning as a watering hole for the wealthy, through its transformation into an entertainment mecca for the masses, to the closing of Astroland Amusement Park following decades of urban decline, this first-of-its-kind exhibition uses visual art as a lens to explore 150 years of Coney Island.

Coney Island was organized by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut. The McNay is the exhibition’s only Southwest venue. It will feature more than 140 objects, comprised of both celebrated icons of American art and rarely shown works from both public and private collections, including paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, circus posters, sideshow banners, architectural artifacts and carousel animals. Visitors to the exhibition will be immersed in the culture of Coney Island through memorabilia, sound recordings and film clips, including documentaries and popular films.


Frederick Brosen, “Fortune Teller, Jones Walk, Coney Island”, 2008. Watercolor over graphite paper. Courtesy of Hirschl & AdlerModern, New York. Photograph by Joshua Nefsky. Image courtesy of Hirschl & Adler, Modern.

The modern American mass-culture industry was born at Coney Island, and the constant novelty of the resort made it a seductively liberating subject for artists. From early depictions of “the people’s beach” by Impressionists William Merritt Chase and John Henry Twachtman to modern and contemporary images by photographers Diane Arbus and Walker Evans, Red Grooms, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Reginald Marsh, Joseph Stella, Swoon and George Tooker, Coney Island investigates America’s playground as a place and an idea. Continue reading

Over Half A Million Swarovski Crystals Hit The Runway During New York Fashion Week

Backstage images (Photo credit – Eli Schmidt)/Runway images (Photo credit – Dan Lecca)

Swarovski Collective designers Tim Coppens, Creatures of the Wind, Tanya Taylor, Dion Lee, Tome and Rosie Assoulin showcased their Autumn/Winter 2016 collections featuring over 556,000 Swarovski crystals this past New York Fashion Week. In the second season of collaboration for 2016 collections, the Swarovski Collective designers received financial support as well as the opportunity to experiment with Swarovski’s extraordinary crystal range.


Tim Coppens Fall/Winter 2016 Collection

TIM COPPENS FW16 New York, 02/03/16

TIM COPPENS FW16 New York, 02/03/16

Tim Coppens referenced Japanese street looks, western accents, and rock stars Axel Rose and Jimi Hendrix in his signature outerwear and military-inspired jackets, featuring custom Swarovski crystal patch designs and Swarovski crystal pearls in his womenswear looks shown at New York Fashion Week: Men’s.


Tim Coppens Fall/Winter 2016 Collection

Tim Coppens: Runway Show on Wednesday, February 3 at Skylight Clarkson North

Adding Swarovski is great way to add dimension to my pieces. The beading creates a 3D effect and reflects light in new and interesting ways that you cannot achieve from traditional fabrics. The technique of metallic Hotfix transfers was the perfect blend of modern technique that captured the DIY spirit that runs throughout.” – Tim Coppens


Creatures of the Wind Fall/Winter 2016 Collection


Creatures of the Wind FW16 NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

Creatures of the Wind‘s Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters, inspired by soft modernism with specific references to mid-century architects, furniture designers and graphic designers, such as Charles & Ray Eames, Carl Aubock, and Ikko Tanaka, created graphic surfaces by sewing Swarovski beads and stones onto garments in various patterns.


Creatures of the Wind Fall/Winter 2016 Collection

Creatures of the Wind: Runway Show on Thursday, February 11 at 46 West 24th Street

As we develop each collection, every component becomes another way for us to create the full picture. From the silhouette to the color to the fabric to the finishings, every detail is important. This also includes the venue, the lights, the music – it all comes together to tell the story. We think of Swarovski as an integral component of this story – an opportunity to create a bit of the narrative through a very special material. It’s always important to us to re-contextualize elements, to ask the viewer to reimagine something they may think they know; using Swarovski in our own way helps us do this.” – Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters of Creatures of the Wind


Tanya Taylor Fall/Winter 2016 Collection

Referencing a girl who wanted to look like the outdoors, and drawing from the interplay of lush botanicals and deconstructed geometric shapes, Tanya Taylor used layered Swarovski crystals to create intricate 3D-embroidered leaves and floral bouquets, adding dimension to crepe and velvet pieces.


Tanya Taylor Fall/Winter 2016 Collection

Tanya Taylor: Presentation on Friday, February 12 at the Swiss Institute

Adding Swarovski definitely amplifies my designs because it adds a dimension of print and drama to the collection. It is an opportunity to explore the layering of textures, both soft and fluid or sharper, more sculptural adornments. I design to express optimism and make our woman feel emotional. Crystals can be thoughtful, bold, glamorous, tactile — they add a depth and mood to every design unlike any other material. Our woman likes an element of surprise and crystals help pique her curiosity.” – Tanya Taylor Continue reading

“Nice Weather” Curated by David Salle at Skarstedt Upper East Side and Chelsea Galleries, February 25 – April 16, 2016


This is what it’s like at the end of the day./But soon the day will go away./Sunlight preoccupies the cross street./It and night soon will meet./Meanwhile, there is Central Park./Now the park is getting dark. – Frederick Seidel

Skarstedt will present Nice Weather, an exhibition of paintings curated by David Salle, at both its Upper East Side (20 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075, t: 212.737.2060, f: 212.737.4171, @skarstedtgallery) and Chelsea (550 West 21st Street, New York, NY 10011, t: 212.994.5200, f: 212.994.5212 ) locations. Inspired by the title of Frederick Seidel’s poem, this exhibition brings together some of the strongest painters of the present day. Spanning two galleries, Nice Weather hosts a platform for conversation within a multigenerational group of artists, ranging in age from their twenties to their seventies, many of whom will be seen together for the first time.

Nice Weather Curated by David LaSalle

Image Credit: Photograph by Burton Kemp, reproduced with permission from Randy Kemp. Nice Weather © 2012 Frederick Seidel

Nice Weather includes Richard Aldrich, Joe Bradley, Cecily Brown, George Condo, Martha Diamond, Lucy Dodd, Carroll Dunham, Louise Fishman, Rashid Johnson, Alex Katz, Shawn Kuruneru, Chris Martin, Albert Oehlen, Sterling Ruby, David Salle, Dana Schutz, Amy Sillman, Gary Stephan, Blair Thurman, Patricia Treib, Rosemarie Trockel, Piotr Uklański, Charline von Heyl, Mary Weatherford, Stanley Whitney, Terry Winters, and others.

Each work is concerned, to one degree or another, with the basic properties of painting: size, scale, surface, shape, color and gesture. Some of the paintings are also concerned with imagery, with how it can be presented and integrated with pure painting, but none of these artists are realists per se. Overall, there is an emphasis on structure and materiality. Many of the works are declarative; they make an immediate impact. Some are visually blunt; others are more lyrical. All have a strong sense of painting’s internal energy.

A few of the artists are not “painters” in the strict sense, but their inclusion here makes visual and material sense. The show communicates an aesthetic, which while difficult to name, examines the role of gesture, in all senses of that term, in painting. Whatever differences in starting premise or choice of media, the show examines how paintings talk to each other across stylistic orthodoxies – how they connect beneath the surface. Employing a variety of strategies, these works achieve a result that is neither exclusively figurative nor completely abstract, one that expresses an immediacy and engagement with materiality.

Although the painters here work toward different objectives, a point of intersection is an interest in making an “open” type painting, one in which more or less anything – including nothing at all – can happen, and does. These artists share a lack of dogma; their work is aware of, but not in the least constricted by, canons of the past. Embracing an overall “constructed”, or constructivist, approach, they generate a fresh image: not an image of the world, but a new image on its own terms. This exhibition does not attempt to be encyclopedic or all-inclusive of the best painters today; the show is a small sampling of the painters working now. The selection brings together painters whose work represents a fresh mind-set; they share some original quality – one without a name. The show affords an opportunity to see that this attitude is something realized by a diverse group of painters, with widely divergent points of origin.

Skarstedt Gallery was founded in 1994 by Per Skarstedt to mount historical exhibitions by Contemporary European and American artists that had become the core of his specialty in Sweden and New York in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. The New York gallery’s program remains focused on artists of the late Twentieth Century whose work explores concepts such as representation, authorship, identity and sexual politics across a wide-range of media. Skarstedt’s unique relationships with artists allows it to present exhibitions both on the primary and secondary markets, creating a dialogue between the generations.

Skarstedt opened its London space at 23 Old Bond Street in 2012 with the inaugural exhibition “Andy Warhol: The American Indian.” Skarstedt London presents exhibitions and publications devoted to the gallery’s established area of expertise while also seeking to evolve and expand its focus and is committed to sharing both its aesthetic perspective and philosophical approach through high-quality exhibitions and collaborations with top international museums and private collections.

Skarstedt opened its Chelsea space at 550 W. 21st Street in May 2014 with the inaugural exhibition “Klein and Warhol: Fire and Oxidation Paintings.” The additional gallery space enables Skarstedt to expand on its core program of museum-quality, historically researched exhibitions from modern and contemporary masters.

For Your Consideration: The Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery March 2016 Programs

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the American People’s Museum; and there’s always something happening there to engage people and broaden their appreciation for art in all its forms. Most of the programs mentioned below is free to the public and very much worth attending.Smithsonian Logo

Smithsonian American Art Museum March Programs

March 1 – Sketching: Draw and Discover!

Draw inspiration from artists’ sketches as well as the thousands of objects on display in the Luce Foundation Center of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, then spend time sketching in our workshop. Some materials provided; please bring a small sketchbook and pencils. Repeats weekly.

Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet at the Luce Foundation Center information desk

Tickets: None

March 2 – Lunder Behind the Scenes:

Irving Penn Gallery Talk

Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 5:30pm

Join John Jacob, the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s McEvoy Family Curator for Photography, for a tour of the exhibition Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty. Jacob highlights some of the recent gifts to the museum from the Penn Foundation, including those Penn made during a 1940 road trip through the American South.

Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in G Street Lobby

Tickets: None

Event Link:

March 3 – Luce Unplugged: Color Palette

Hear a set from local band Color Palette inspired by a work in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Luce Foundation Center. Luce staff will discuss the artwork selected by the band; libations and small snacks will be available for purchase from a cash bar. Presented with D.C. Music Download.

Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center

Tickets: Free; walk-in

Event Link:

March 8 – Sketching: Draw and Discover!

Draw inspiration from artists’ sketches as well as the thousands of objects on display in the Luce Foundation Center of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, then spend time sketching in our workshop. Some materials provided; please bring a small sketchbook and pencils. Repeats weekly.

Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet at the Luce Foundation Center information desk

Tickets: None

March 9 – Lunder Behind the Scenes

Learn how museum conservators use science, art history, and skilled hands to preserve objects from our collections in the Lunder Conservation Center. Group size is limited. Program repeats weekly.
Meet at the Luce Foundation Center Information Desk, Third-floor Mezzanine

Yoga in Luce

Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 6-7:30pm

Bring your mat and relax with this new vinyasa yoga and art appreciation series at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Reflect on a work in the Luce Center and enjoy a one hour session led by a credentialed instructor.

Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center

Tickets: $10; Pre-register online.

Event Link: Continue reading

Lime-A-Rita Celebrates National Margarita Day With The Launch Of New “Fiesta Ready” Campaign

Company Also Expands Family with Introduction of “Splash,” A Refreshing and Lighter Tasting, Easy To Drink Margarita Option

Lime-A-Rita is gearing up for National Margarita Day on Monday, Feb. 22 with the launch of “Fiesta Ready,” the most significant advertising and marketing campaign since the Lime-A-Rita brand launched in 2012. “Fiesta Ready” focuses on celebrating “margarita moments” – those special moments when a margarita can change everyday occasions in truly unexpected ways.

Anheuser-Busch - Lime_A_Rita_Logo Logo

Lime-A-Rita Logo (PRNewsFoto/Anheuser-Busch)

The “Fiesta Ready” campaign will bring the party to consumers during moments they least expect it, but need it the most. From the end of a long workday, to a busy commute, to the middle seat of a packed flight, Lime-A-Rita is going all out to surprise and delight consumers in 2016. The first of five commercials – created by FCB Chicago – debuted during the GRAMMYs telecast on Monday, Feb.15. In addition to TV, the brand will unveil billboards, train wraps, elevator TV, heated bus shelters and innovative media partnerships throughout the year.

On Monday, Feb 22, Lime-A-Rita will help New York City consumers celebrate National Margarita Day with a surprise event that will show-up unexpectedly at the end of the workday.

Anheuser-Busch - BLL Splash 6pk_LAR

Lime-A-Rita Splash 6-pack (PRNewsFoto/Anheuser-Busch)

The excitement doesn’t end there for Lime-A-Rita. The brand is thrilled to introduce Lime-A-Rita Splash – a refreshing new take on the traditional margarita. Lime-A-Rita Splash will allow consumers to treat themselves and indulge in “margarita moments” more often. Splash provides consumers with a variety of choices and taste experiences for any occasion.

When it launched in 2012, Lime-A-Rita shook up the Flavored Malt Beverage category, and has proven to be one of the most successful innovations within the beer industry, to-date,” said Mallika Monteiro, senior director of Lime-A-Rita. “With the introduction of Splash, Lime-A-Rita continues to reinvent the category as a convenient cocktail solution that helps our consumers extend the weekend, and treat themselves to a margarita whenever they choose.”

Anheuser-Busch - BLL Splash 6pk_SBR

Straw-Ber-Rita Splash 6-pack (PRNewsFoto/Anheuser-Busch)

Lime-A-Rita Splash will launch with a disruptive 360 degree campaign inclusive of TV, out-of-home advertising and new partnerships. Splash will officially be in stores beginning on Monday, March 7, and will be available in six-pack, 12 oz. glass bottles. Splash is a 4% alc/vol flavored malt beverage that’s as easy to drink as it is delicious. The two inaugural flavors will be Lime-A-Rita Splash and Straw-Ber-Rita Splash.

But that’s not all the news from the Lime-A-Rita family. The year ahead will be full of exciting flavor launches including but not limited to Water-Melon-Rita, a new seasonal summer flavor plus a variety of additional flavors that will be introduced throughout the year catered to select markets.

For more information on Lime-A-Rita and Lime-A-Rita Splash, visit or follow the conversation on social media with #MargaReady.

Margarita Season Kicks Off with National Margarita Day on February 22nd

el Jimador Tequila Celebrates National Margarita Day With New Survey

While we all “love” chocolate and flowers, February is now the most wonderful time of year for another reason: ’tis the season for margaritas! In fact, margarita season officially kicks off on February 22nd with National Margarita Day.

But wait…margaritas in February? Well, if you are like the 64 percent of millennials who drink margaritas outside of the summer season, according to a survey* commissioned by el Jimador Tequila, the No. 1 selling 100 percent agave tequila in Mexico – then this is the best news since the invention of the blender.

el Jimador Tequila National Margarita Day

Celebrate National Margarita Day on Feb. 22 with el Jimador tequila (PRNewsFoto/el Jimador Tequila)

So, before you salt the rim of your next glass, take a look at some of the unique ways millennials will be celebrating National Margarita Day and Margarita Season this year.

A Case of the Mondays?

Though we all can get the Monday blues, it doesn’t have to be that way. Only 13 percent of survey respondents said they would drink a margarita on Monday. Too many are missing out! Today’s the perfect day to start a new Monday tradition – Margarita Mondays.

Don’t Be a Two Percenter – Try Something New!

Remember when margaritas came in two varieties – with or without salt? Yeah, we just yawned too. Millennials nowadays are interested in trying new flavors to keep their taste buds guessing, with 84 percent of survey respondents proclaiming their interest in trying new types of margaritas. On the other hand, 2 percent of respondents said they will ONLY stick to classic margaritas, which is 2 percent too many in our opinion. But what do we know? We’re only the margarita experts.

Sweet vs. Spicy

Spicy flavors have been on the rise with millennials, with ingredients seemingly never hot enough. However, when it comes to unconventional ingredients in margaritas, champagne and black raspberry made the top of the list, crowning “sweet” the winner of this round. Surprisingly, spicy ingredients such as jalapeños and sriracha ranked lower on the list. Lucky for you, margaritas don’t play favorites! Have a sweet tooth? The Korbelrita is your calling. Feeling spicy? A Habanero margarita might just light your taste buds.

Slice of Pizza, Meet Slice of Lime

Mexican cuisine and a margarita – a pairing made in taste bud heaven. But have you ever thought to pair a margarita with a hot slice of pizza? Already ahead of the game, millennials are doing the “newest thing” and experimenting with different cuisine pairings. In fact, when asked what unconventional foods they would pair with a margarita, the number one answer was pizza.

Margarita for the Goal!

Aside from a Mexican restaurant, 32 percent of survey respondents listed sports bars as their top place to drink a margarita. So when you are out with the crew watching the next big soccer match, skip the beer and opt for a refreshing ‘rita.

Now that you’re ready to plan your celebration for National Margarita Day, try these out-of-the-box recipes from el Jimador Tequila. Continue reading

HIV and AIDS in The United States: Numbers Rising for Young Men, Ages 13-24

HIV-Related Risk Behaviors Among Male High School Students Who Had Sexual Contact with Males — 17 Large Urban School Districts, United States, 2009–2013

Laura Kann, PhD1; Emily O’Malley Olsen, MSPH1; Steve Kinchen1; Elana Morris, MPH2; Richard J. Wolitski, PhD3 (Corresponding author: Laura Kann,, 404-718-8132.)

In the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) dated February 19th, it was reported that young persons aged 13–24 years accounted for an estimated 22% of all new diagnoses of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the United States in 2014. Most new HIV diagnoses among youths occur among males who have sex with males (MSM). Among all MSM, young black MSM accounted for the largest number of new HIV diagnoses in 2014 (1).CDC logo

To determine whether the prevalence of HIV-related risk behaviors among black male high school students who had sexual contact with males differed from the prevalence among white and Hispanic male students who had sexual contact with males, potentially contributing to the racial/ethnic disparities in new HIV diagnoses, CDC analyzed data from Youth Risk Behavior Surveys conducted by 17 large urban school districts during 2009–2013. Although other studies have examined HIV-related risk behaviors among MSM (2,3), less is known about MSM aged <18 years. Black male students who had sexual contact with males had a lower or similar prevalence of most HIV-related risk behaviors than did white and Hispanic male students who had sexual contact with males. These findings highlight the need to increase access to effective HIV prevention strategies for all young MSM.

Data from 32 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys conducted by 17 large urban school districts* during 2009–2013 were combined. In each survey in each district, a two-stage cluster sample design was used to produce representative samples of public school† students in grades 9–12. In the first sampling stage, in four of the districts, schools with any of grades 9–12 were sampled with the probability of selection proportional to school enrollment size; in the remaining 13 districts, all schools with any of grades 9–12 were sampled.

In the second sampling stage, in 16 districts, classes from either a required subject (e.g., English or social studies) or a required period (e.g., homeroom or second period) were sampled randomly and all students in the sampled classes were eligible to participate. In one district all students were eligible to participate. School response rates ranged from 84% to 100%, student response rates ranged from 66% to 90%, overall response rates§ ranged from 66% to 90%, and total sample sizes ranged from 1,013 to 11,887. Data from each survey were weighted to provide large urban school district–level estimates, and statistical software was used to account for the complex sample designs during analysis. Data are presented for non-Hispanic black (black), non-Hispanic white (white), and Hispanic male students only. Pairwise t-tests were used to determine statistically significant (p<0.05) differences among subgroups.

Survey procedures were designed to protect students’ privacy by allowing anonymous and voluntary participation. Local parental permission procedures were followed before survey administration. Students completed the self-administered questionnaire during one class period and recorded their responses directly on a computer-scannable booklet or answer sheet. Each district’s questionnaire included the following question to ascertain the sex of the respondent’s sexual contacts: “During your life, with whom have you had sexual contact?” No definition was provided for sexual contact. The four possible response options were, “I have never had sexual contact”; “females”; “males”; and “females and males.” This report describes 17 risk behaviors related directly or indirectly to HIV transmission among male students in grades 9–12 who indicated they had sexual contact with only males or with both males and females (i.e., male students who had sexual contact with males). Specifically, two questions measuring alcohol use, 10 questions measuring other drug use, and five questions measuring sexual behaviors related to HIV infection were used in the analysis.¶ The final combined data set contained 1,681 records from male students who had sexual contact with males. Reflecting the urbanicity of the sample, 13.6% of the male students who had sexual contact with males were white, 40.6% were black, and 45.8% were Hispanic.

Among male students who had sexual contact with males, black students had a significantly lower prevalence than white students of drinking five or more drinks of alcohol in a row (22.9% versus 38.0%); and ever using inhalants (21.5% versus 35.0%), heroin (16.5% versus 29.1%), ecstasy (19.6% versus 40.0%), or prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription (31.4% versus 47.8%); and drinking alcohol or using drugs before last sexual intercourse (32.6% versus 72.6%) (Table). Black students also had a significantly lower prevalence than Hispanic students of drinking five or more drinks of alcohol in a row (22.9% versus 34.5%) and ever using cocaine (17.9% versus 29.3%), inhalants (21.5% versus 32.9%), methamphetamines (18.1% versus 28.7%), ecstasy (19.6% versus 32.1%), or steroids without a doctor’s prescription (14.9% versus 25.6%).

However, among male students who had sexual contact with males, black students had a significantly higher prevalence than white students of ever having had sexual intercourse (89.1% versus 67.4%) and using a condom during last sexual intercourse (among sexually active students) (47.4% versus 25.2%); black students also had a higher prevalence than Hispanic students of ever having sexual intercourse (89.1% versus 79.2%). No other statistically significant differences in risk behaviors were identified between black male students who had sexual contact with males and white and Hispanic male students who had sexual contact with males.


Black MSM are disproportionally affected by HIV infection. In 2014, the estimated number of new HIV diagnoses among MSM aged 13–24 years was 4,398 among blacks, 1,834 among Hispanics, and 1,366 among whites (1). Although risk behaviors are necessary for HIV transmission, the findings in this report do not provide evidence that differences in HIV-related risk behaviors alone are driving the higher numbers of HIV diagnoses among young black MSM compared with young Hispanic and white MSM. Indeed, black male students who had sexual contact with males in this report often had a lower prevalence of HIV-related risk behaviors.

Other explanations besides differences in HIV-related risk behaviors might help explain differences in HIV diagnoses by race/ethnicity among MSM (24). Key among these are higher prevalence of HIV, undiagnosed HIV infection, and other sexually transmitted infections among black MSM compared with MSM of other races/ethnicities. Because black MSM are more likely to have sex partners of the same race, black MSM are at greater risk for HIV infection within their sexual networks. In addition, black MSM who are infected with HIV are less likely to have health insurance, adhere to antiretroviral treatment, and have suppressed HIV viral load. These risks are compounded by social determinants of health associated with increased risk and poorer health outcomes that include higher rates of unemployment and incarceration and lower incomes and educational attainment. Continue reading

New Photography Commission Captures Grandeur of Cunard’s Iconic Offices in UK and North America

Renowned Architectural Photographer Paul Ward to Display Unique Work on Flagship Queen Mary 2

Cunard’s former office buildings in Britain and North America are to become an integral part of the fleet’s flagship Queen Mary 2 during her major 2016 refit. Queen Mary 2’s major 25-day refit will see all Princess and Queens Grills Suites and all Britannia Club staterooms, together with more than half of balcony staterooms redesigned. Fresh design schemes and fine details will pay tribute to the original Queen Mary’s iconic art deco heritage while keeping this grand ocean liner at the forefront of luxury. During her time in dry dock, Queen Mary 2 will also receive a wide range of upgrades, including the addition of 30 new Britannia Club Balcony staterooms and 15 Britannia Single staterooms.


The Cunard Building in Liverpool, this year celebrating the centenary of its opening as the line’s headquarters in 1916, now part of the City of Liverpool’s acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site at Pier Head overlooking the River Mersey. Photo Credit: Paul Ward

The Cunard Buildings in Liverpool, New York and Southampton will each be featured in a specially-commissioned set of images that will be displayed in the ship’s suites and staterooms when she re-enters service following her three-week refit next June.


The Cunard Building in Liverpool, this year celebrating the centenary of its opening as the line’s headquarters in 1916, now part of the City of Liverpool’s acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site at Pier Head overlooking the River Mersey. Photo Credit: Paul Ward


Behind the images is renowned UK architectural photographer,
Paul Ward, who accepted the Cunard commission and spent a month researching, visiting and photographing the buildings.


The Cunard Building in Liverpool, this year celebrating the centenary of its opening as the line’s headquarters in 1916, now part of the City of Liverpool’s acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site at Pier Head overlooking the River Mersey. Photo Credit: Paul Ward

Ward’s work started in December 2015 at the Cunard Building in Liverpool, this year celebrating the centenary of its opening as the line’s headquarters in 1916. It remained the global focal point of Cunard operations until 1967 and in 2004 became part of the City of Liverpool’s acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site at Pier Head overlooking the River Mersey.


the Cunard Building at 25 Broadway, with the entrance lobby and first-floor ticketing office designated a New York City Landmark in 1995. Photo Credit: Paul Ward


the Cunard Building at 25 Broadway, which is highly noted for its architectural significance and grandeur, with the entrance lobby and first-floor ticketing office designated a New York City Landmark in 1995.

Continue reading

88th Oscars® Production Team Announced

Oscar Telecast Producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin announced 14 key members of the production team for the 88th Oscars®, which will air live on Sunday, February 28, on ABC.tune-in

This year, Glenn Weiss makes his Oscar® telecast debut as Director. Weiss has directed numerous televised events, including 15 Tony Awards® shows, for which he has garnered three directing Emmys®. Other directing credits include the “38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors,“Billboard Music Awards,” “BET Awards,” “Peter Pan Live!,” “Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” “Primetime Emmy® Awards,” “Live from Lincoln Center,” “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular,”Garth Brooks, Live from Las Vegas” and the “American Music Awards.

Supervising Producer Michael Seligman has more than 300 major television events to his credit and has earned 13 Emmy nominations, including 11 for his work on Oscar telecasts. Seligman’s other producing credits include “The American Giving Awards,” “America Celebrates July 4th at Ford’s Theatre,” “Stand Up to Cancer” and “Return to the Titanic…Live!”

The 88th Oscars brings three new consulting producers to the telecast: Cindy Hauser, Nicolle Yaron and Chris Pizzi.

Hauser is the Screens and Content Producer. She will be overseeing the creation of several on-screen visuals, including the In Memoriam segment. For more than a decade, Hauser has worked in graphics and visual displays as well as produced several high-profile live events. Her credits include “YouTube Play” at the Guggenheim Museum, “YouTube OnStage Live from the Kennedy Center” and “Google Engage” events in Dublin and Singapore.

Yaron makes her Oscar debut as the Element Producer and will be coordinating with the Academy on social media. Her credits include “The Voice,” for which she received an Emmy Award as a senior supervising producer. Yaron most recently served as an executive producer on the series “Rising Star” and “World’s Funniest.” Her other credits include the “Primetime Emmy Awards,” “People’s Choice Awards” and the “MTV Movie Awards.”

Pizzi, this year’s Insert Producer, will be working with Lori Margules, who is the consulting producer on nomination packages. Pizzi is a three-time Sports Emmy-winning producer for NFL, PGA and NASCAR studio shows for FOX Sports. His credits include “Riggle’s Picks” on “FOX NFL Sunday” and a variety of commercials for FOX Sports. Margules’ credits include previous Oscar telecasts as well as the “Primetime Emmy Awards,” “Golden Globe Arrivals Special,” “NAACP Image Awards,” “BET Awards” and “Billboard Music Awards.” Continue reading

TOYS“R”US® And Save The Children Launch Fundraising Campaign To Help Kids In Need #PLAYWITHPURPOSE

15.5 Million U.S. Children Live in Poverty; Many Lack Playtime in Their Daily Lives

10 Minutes of Play Improves Children’s Performance

Play Enhances the Progress of Early Development by 34%

Toys“R”Us® has announced the launch of its brand-new ‘Play With Purpose’ fundraising and awareness campaign in partnership with Save the Children – the leading nonprofit working to ensure every U.S. child is healthy, safe and learning. Save the Children invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our collective future. In the United States and around the world, their work give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. By transforming children’s lives now, the organization change the course of their future and ours.

US Programs: Early Childhood Development

Early Steps to School Success Program Taholah School District: Early Steps to School Success Program Taholah School District: 18 month-old son Rodney plays with a puzzle. He was attending a ESSS program session with program coordinator, Alyssa Johnston and his mother 21-year-old Tonya.

Together, Toys“R”Us and Save the Children are embarking on a mission to provide some of the 15.5 million youth living in impoverished regions of the United States with opportunities and resources to integrate purposeful play into their everyday lives; a factor proven critical in children’s emotional, physical and cognitive development and future growth.


Now through April 17, customers can make cash donations at any Toys“R”Us or Babies“R”Us® store, or online at to help bring learning through play to kids in need.

For more than a decade Toys“R”Us and Save the Children have partnered to bring awareness and much-needed funding to children in need in the U.S. and around the world. Financial support totaling more than $7.6 million – including donations from customers, Toys“R”Us and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund – has helped the organization provide thousands of blankets to babies in impoverished regions in the U.S., benefited Save the Children’s early childhood development programs and offered critical assistance during times of crises.

US Programs: West Virginia

Wednesday October 15th, 2015, West Virginia: Two-year-old Pauline practices her motor skills with Tonya Bonecutter, Save the Children Early Steps for School Success Coordinator during an at home session. Family Featured in “A Path Appears”

South Carolina: US Programs

Monday October 20th, 2014 Barnwell, South Carolina: Pre-school students at the Aiken/ Barnwell Regional Head Start program are supported by Save the Children through it’s Early Steps for School Success program (ESSS). Barnwell Primary Early Childhood Coordinator Dorthy Dukes reads with 4-year-olds (L-R) Taraji Mack, Sanora Brown and Tynsley Moore.

The company’s Play With Purpose campaign is designed to support Save the Children’s early childhood development programs – Early Steps to School Success, Literacy/Healthy Choices and the SummerBoost Initiative – which help children in some of America’s most underprivileged areas thrive. To further assist families involved in the Early Steps program, a targeted approach to enhancing school readiness for children ages 0-5, Toys“R”Us will provide Save the Children with “play packs” filled with toys that build key skills and encourage socialization, along with informational materials to educate parents on the benefits of engaging with children during play.

US Programs: Early Steps to School Success

Tuesday September 16th, 2014, Kentucky: Elliot, age 2 is enrolled in Save the Children’s . Early Steps to School Success program in Kentucky. Elliot likes to play with magnetic letters. So Mom made this entire activity on the wall in kitchen – letters and pictures. Elliott matches the letter he’s holding to the one on wall. His mom, Emily says the letter and Elliott repeats. Loves it! Emily has learned lots of ways to encourage Elliott’s early learning, including reading books, counting, stacking, playing with letters, pointing to pictures, communicating with him all the time, etc. She loves Save the Children’s program, especially the books.

Witnessing a child’s face light up during playtime is a truly awesome moment. What’s more, play can help children unlock developmental skills, instill confidence and enhance imagination – the building blocks to success,” said Dave Brandon, Chairman and CEO, Toys“R”Us, Inc. To know that millions of children living in poverty do not have access to play – whether due to limited family resources or knowledge about the importance of play – is heartbreaking. Together with Save the Children, and with the support of our team members and customers nationwide, we will strive to ensure all kids are provided opportunities to play with purpose.Save the Children logo

Families Face the Facts, Embrace Play and See Results 
Through the good work of
Save the Children’s early childhood development programs and field representatives, underprivileged families from Washington to South Carolina are able to reap the benefits of hands-on involvement, as they embrace unstructured playtime in their homes. Statistics serving as the foundation of this campaign include:
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GREY GOOSE® Unveils 2016 Film Awards Season Cocktail Collection Inspired by This Year’s Film Themes

GREY GOOSE unveiled the 2016 GREY GOOSE Film Awards Season Cocktail Collection in celebration of those who defy expectations to achieve the extraordinary in film. Each year, GREY GOOSE has created scene-stealing cocktails to toast the world’s best in film during the February Film Awards Season.

Every aspect of the creation of GREY GOOSE® is focused on crafting vodka of unmatched quality. The creation of GREY GOOSE begins with the very best ingredients from France – soft winter wheat from the Picardie region, le grenier à blé (the breadbasket of France) and spring water from Gensac-La-Pallue, in the Cognac Arrondissement (Region), that is naturally filtered through limestone. A unique distillation process brings out the naturally superior characteristics of these ingredients.

From field-to-bottle, the expertise of the GREY GOOSE Maître de Chai (Cellar Master), François Thibault, ensures an unparalleled smoothness and exceptional taste to the connoisseur palate. The GREY GOOSE portfolio is comprised of GREY GOOSE Vodka, GREY GOOSE La Poire, GREY GOOSE L’Orange, GREY GOOSE Le Citron, GREY GOOSE Cherry Noir, GREY GOOSE Le Melon Flavoured Vodkas, GREY GOOSE VX Spirit Drink and GREY GOOSE Interpreted by Ducasse toasted wheat vodka

Created by master mixologist and GREY GOOSE Ambassador Joe McCanta, the cocktail collection pays homage to five dominating themes present across this year’s most acclaimed movies: ‘Love Conquers All‘, ‘Female Empowerment‘, ‘Escape‘, ‘Revenge‘ and ‘The Big Idea‘ using each expression from the House of GREY GOOSE: GREY GOOSE Original, GREY GOOSE L’Orange, GREY GOOSE Le Citron, GREY GOOSE La Poire and GREY GOOSE VX spirit drink.

The five cocktails – GREY GOOSE L’Amour, GREY GOOSE Femme Confidante, GREY GOOSE Le Rêve and GREY GOOSE Bitter Revenge – will be joined ‘on the red carpet’ by GREY GOOSE’s ultimate celebratory cocktail, the GREY GOOSE Le Fizz, plus the GREY GOOSE VX Martini Exceptionnelle cocktail featuring the masterfully mixed spirit drink GREY GOOSE VX, an exceptional blend of GREY GOOSE vodka finished with a hint of precious cognac.

The GREY GOOSE Film Awards Season Cocktail Collection will be served at high profile GREY GOOSE supported pre-celebrations and post-film awards after-parties in February 2016.

GREY GOOSE® Unveils 2016 Film Awards Season Cocktails

GREY GOOSE® Unveils 2016 Film Awards Season Cocktails: GREY GOOSE® L’Amour (CNW Group/GREY GOOSE®)


Inspired by ‘Love Conquers All‘: A soft and elegant combination of GREY GOOSE Le Citron, peach, lemon and ginger. Delicate rose notes imbue this intriguing drink with a fragile beauty.


1oz GREY GOOSE Le Citron

1.5oz peach nectar

1 squeeze of fresh lemon juice

1 ginger slice

1 dash of grapefruit bitters

METHOD: Shake all ingredients and strain into a chilled martini cocktail glass. Garnish with a rose petal.

GREY GOOSE® Unveils 2016 Film Awards Season Cocktails

GREY GOOSE® Unveils 2016 Film Awards Season Cocktails: GREY GOOSE® Femme Confidante (CNW Group/GREY GOOSE®)


Inspired by ‘Female Empowerment

This aromatic twist on the classic Marlene Dietrich cocktail, inspired by the Hollywood legend, features GREY GOOSE L’Orange, Grand Marnier and Lady Grey Tea.


1oz GREY GOOSE L’Orange

3/4oz cold Lady Grey tea sourced from the Rare Tea Company

1/4oz Grand Marnier

3 dashes of Angostura Bitters

1 dash of Peychauds bitters

METHOD: Stir and strain into a coupe glass and garnish with both a lemon AND orange peel. Continue reading

New York City’s The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center Launches as the First LGBT-Specific Site on the Google Cultural Institute

Google Street View Brings Keith Haring’s Once Upon A Time Mural And Other Masterpieces Online For All To Enjoy

Launched in late January, over 150 historical artifacts from New York City‘s The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (The Center), (located at 208 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011, +1-212-620-7310), can now be viewed online by people around the world due to a new partnership with the Google Cultural Institute. The Center will launch its collection of exhibits as the first LGBT-specific space featured on the Institute’s growing platform.center_logo_full

Thanks to this new virtual exhibition, users will be able to see The Center’s iconic Keith Haring mural, Once Upon a Time, pieces by David LaChapelle and Barbara Sandler, plus many other Center treasures in just a few clicks at (To learn more about their work, please visit

Established in 1983, New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center empowers people to lead healthy, successful lives. The Center celebrates diversity and advocates for justice and opportunity. Each year, The Center welcomes more than 300,000 visits to their building in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan from people who engage in our life-changing and life-saving activities.

Virtual tour with Street View 
Using the Street View feature, people can move around The Center virtually, selecting works that interest them and clicking to discover more or diving into the high resolution images, where available.

A specially designed Street View “trolley” took 360 degree images of selected spaces which were then stitched together, enabling smooth navigation of over 15 rooms within The Center. Highlights include the ground floor Kaplan Assembly Hall where ACT UP famously originated, the Haring bathroom and The Center’s newly-renovated lobby, featuring a café, cyber center and welcoming information desk.  

Digital exhibits
Specially curated virtual exhibits have been developed for online visitors who can discover five interactive collections, curated by experts at The Center. The digital exhibitions tell the story of the birth of The Center, the early years of the NYC Pride March, how The Center has fostered LGBT arts, activism and culture throughout the years and more.

Some of the most important items of the online exhibition are:

  • Keith Haring’s mural, Once Upon A Time, which celebrates male sexual liberation in the days before the AIDS epidemic. 
  • Photography of the very first NYC Pride March in 1970. This celebration has grown from 2,000 participants and spectators to over 1.8 million each successive year.
  • A snapshot of gay life and leisure from the 1940s, as shown in photos from The Center’s National History Archive.

We’ve spent the past couple of years renovating our physical space to be the home that LGBT New Yorkers deserve,” said Glennda Testone, Executive Director at The Center. Now we’re thrilled to partner with the Google Cultural Institute to invite people around the world to experience our building, our history, our home, satisfying their hunger for a connection to the LGBT community and the incredibly rich stories that live within our walls.”

The Google Cultural Institute and its partners are putting the world’s cultural treasures at the fingertips of Internet users and are building tools that allow the cultural sector to share more of its diverse heritage online: Technologies That Make The World’s Culture Accessible To Anyone, Anywhere. Since its inception, The Google Cultural Institute has partnered with more than 1,000 institutions, giving a platform to over 200,000 artworks and a total of 6 million photos, videos, manuscripts and other documents of art, culture and history. Read more here.


The Hotel Viking of Newport, Rhode Island, Kicks off Nine Weeks of Beer Dinners on March 9

Priced At $39 Per Person, Each Dinner Showcases An Innovative Menu Paired With Local New England Craft Beers

The Hotel Viking kicks off 9 Weeks of Beer, a series of innovative menus paired with craft beers from some of New England’s top breweries, on March 9. The hotel, a member of the Historic Hotels of America, is located at One Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island and offers 208 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites. With more than 13,000 square feet of event space, including two ballrooms, boardrooms and private meeting space, Hotel Viking easily accommodates groups and weddings large and intimate.


Snowing at The Hotel Viking. Photo Credit: Lee Abney

The Hotel Viking’s culinary experiences include the award-winning One Bellevue, which offers three meals and Afternoon Tea daily, indoor and patio dining, as well as a bar and lounge. Top of Newport is the Hotel Viking’s seasonal roof top lounge offering live entertainment and special events and menus. SpaFjör features a selection of massage and skin treatments. Additional amenities include an indoor heated pool, fitness center, courtyard and the historic Newport Kay Chapel. The Hotel Viking is a 30-minute drive from TJ Green Airport (27 miles) in Providence and the Providence Train Station, and is driving distance from Boston (70 miles) and New York City (170 miles)


Craft Beer Dinner Pairing Series at The Hotel Viking in Newport, Rhode Island.

This year’s 9 Weeks of Beer continues Hotel Viking’s winning streak of theme events including its widely popular Spirits & Stogies nights and its Viking Wine Festival. First up, Hotel Viking Chef Barry Correia and his team offer a menu designed to pair with brews from Samuel Adams. The fixed-price menu starts with an appetizer of endive salad with pistachio brittle, pickled cauliflower, shaved red onion and herb oil, followed by a main course of fried cod served over mashed rutabaga with savory braised kale. And to finish: cheesecake (beer-flavored, of course).(For reservations, call 401-848-4813.)

Hotel Viking craft beer dinners weeks 1-6

Hotel Viking Craft Beer Dinner Pairings – weeks 1-6

Our beer distributors helped us compile a list of breweries that would be interested in participating,” said Chef Correia. “Each week, we’ll pair a three-course dinner with three beers from the featured brewery.” The series will run for nine weeks on Wednesday nights. Beer parings are served in 6-oounce pours. Continue reading

Vive La France!: The Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Announces New Super Ship, S.S. Joie de Vivre, Set to Sail The River Seine in France in 2017

In early 2017, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection will introduce their new masterpiece, the one-of-a-kind Super Ship, S.S. Joie de Vivre, sailing along France’s historic Seine River. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collectionthe world’s only authentic boutique cruise line™, features luxurious ships with an average capacity of 130 guests, exclusive excursions, gourmet cuisine, and the highest staff-to-guest ratio in the river cruise industry. Based in Los Angeles, California, Uniworld offers truly all-inclusive itineraries in Europe, as well as voyages in Russia, China, Vietnam and Cambodia, India, and Egypt – for a total of 22 rivers in 26 countries worldwide.10576967_10152577473241005_6616644722675608017_n

We are extremely proud to launch the S.S. Joie de Vivre in Northern France in March 2017,” said Guy Young, President, Uniworld. “Uniworld was one of the very first river cruise companies to sail the rivers of France, and our parent company, The Travel Corporation, has been bringing travellers from all over the world to this amazing country for over 70 years as this has been one of our most popular destinations, so our commitment to France is unwavering.

Aptly named S.S. Joie de Vivre, Uniworld’s new ship will reflect the French “joy of living” philosophy and their profound appreciation for food, wine, art and music. Everything from the ship’s décor and design to farm-to-table cuisine and superb local wines will be on full display for guests to enjoy. The design team from Uniworld’s sister company, Red Carnation Hotels, will once again bring their creative talents to the S.S. Joie de Vivre, designing another ship as majestic as the destination itself. French-inspired handcrafted furniture with rich fabrics, antiques, art, gilded and wrought-iron accents will blend in perfect harmony with modern-day conveniences.

The S.S. Joie de Vivre‘s Salon de Beaux-Arts Lounge will feature a collection of fine art and antiques curated from auction houses, such as Sotheby’s and Christies, as well as private collections. The Le Club l’Esprit comes complete with a cinema and a surrounding pool with a hydraulic floor, which can turn into a dance floor or outdoor cinema at night. Dining venues include Le Restaurant Pigalle and La Cave de Vins, a vinoteque for private dining and wine-pairing dinners.

The Joie de Vivre features two Royal Suites, eight Junior Suites, and 54 staterooms for a capacity of no more than 128 guests. Each suite will be designed with its own signature style and feature enhanced amenities and services, including butlers trained to the same exacting standard as Buckingham Palace. All suites and staterooms have custom-made-to-order Savoir of England beds with unique headboards of various designs and marble bathrooms in various colour-schemes.

This will be the most beautiful ship sailing the Seine and will provide every possible comfort for our guests,” says Young.

The S.S. Joie de Vivre will sail Uniworld’s popular “Paris & Normandy” itinerary, and when in Paris, will dock in the heart of the city. “We made the decision to build a 125 metre ship instead of 135 metres, so she can dock conveniently in the heart of Paris,” further adds Young.

Couples can save from $900 to $4,600 by paying in full before May 15, 2016 on Uniworld’s value-packed all-inclusive cruises to Europe. Cruises include scheduled airport transfers; all gratuities onboard and onshore; port charges; all meals with unlimited beverages including, incredible local wines, craft beers, premium spirits, such as Grey Goose and Glenfiddich; daily guided shore excursions with options to personalize; in-suite butler service; concierge services; 24-hour room service; and Wi-Fi. Continue reading