Real Housewives And Broadway Stars Join Harmony, The New York City Gay Men’sChorus’ Most Flamboyant Yearly Benefit Gala Yet

Gala Will Also Feature Live Auctions, Drag Performances, The Launch Of New NYCGMC Branding, And A Dj Lady Bunny Dance Party

Tickets Are On Sale Now

Big Apple Performing Arts, the home of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and New York City Youth Pride Chorus, announced Broadway’s Nick Adams as host of its annual fundraising gala, Harmony, with special appearances by the legendary Lady Bunny and dance pop singer Erika Jayne from Bravo’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Harmony, New York City’s most flamboyant gala and party to benefit the NYCGMC and YPC, will be held on Monday, February 22, 2016 starting at 6pm at the Diamond Horseshoe in Manhattan’s theatre district.Harmony (2)

Now in its seventh year, Harmony has become one of the most fun, high-energy, and must-attend fundraising galas on the New York social calendar. “This year, Harmony will be bigger, sexier, and more spectacular than ever,” said Charlie Beale, Artistic Director of Big Apple Performing Arts. “More performances, more passion, more spectacle, and most importantly more opportunities to support these world-class, New York institutions,” Beale logo 2 (1)

The missions of both the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and Youth Pride Chorus have always been about pushing the envelope, being fierce champions for equality, love, and acceptance, and having a damn good time doing it. This year’s Moulin Rouge theme certainly brings all of this to life at one of the city’s most seductive venues, the Diamond Horseshoe,” Beale further commented.

New York City Gay Men's Chorus

New York City Gay Men’s Chorus

Harmony will include live, silent, and online auctions for an array of prizes, such as vacations, tickets to top Broadway shows, dinners at some of the city’s best restaurants, unique artwork, special experiences, and many other exclusive offerings. Live and silent auctions at Harmony are for attendees only, however online auctions can be accessed by anyone at Online bids are being accepted up to the Harmony gala on February 22. Continue reading

New Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood App Helps Young Children Learn Potty Training Routines Inspired By Emmy-Nominated Hit Series

PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital platforms and community-based programs. Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning pbskids.orgprovides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS also offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning.20160205_214001_142934_stop-and-go-potty-app-image-copy

PBS KIDS recently launched Daniel Tiger’s Stop & Go Potty app, developed in collaboration with The Fred Rogers Company and Schell Games. Stop & Go Potty encourages young children to practice bathroom routines at the potty and at the sink with help from beloved animated characters from the award-winning, Emmy-nominated PBS KIDS series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

The Fred Rogers Company was founded by Fred Rogers in 1971 as the non-profit producer of MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD for PBS. In the years that followed, it not only created hundreds of episodes of this much-loved program, but also extended Fred’s values and approach to other efforts in promoting children’s social, emotional and behavioral health and supporting parents, caregivers, teachers and other professionals in their work with children. The Company continues to build on Fred’s legacy in innovative ways through a wide variety of media, and engaging new generations of children and families with his timeless wisdom. The company’s highly rated, award-winning children’s series include Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat and Odd Squad.

Schell Games is a full-service game design and development company with a focus on creating transformational games and innovative, interactive experiences. Founded in 2002 by world-class game designer and renowned author Jesse Schell, the studio, based in Pittsburgh, PA, heralds a highly talented array of artists, programmers, producers and game designers. Schell Games specializes in creating memorable experiences through mobile, VR, PC, console, handheld, online and social games, interactive theme park attractions, connected toys and virtual worlds. The company counts some of the world’s most respected brands as clients, such as The Fred Rogers Company, Yale University, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company and Microsoft Corporation.

Inspired by potty-related stories from the series and the effective related musical strategies featured in these shows, such as the “Stop & Go Potty” strategy song, the new app helps children practice stopping their play when Daniel Tiger and his friend Katerina Kittycat have to go to the potty. Daniel Tiger’s Stop & Go Potty app is available now on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.PBS_Kids_2013

PBS KIDS is committed to partnering with parents to support children’s healthy development, and DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD offers families useful tools and strategies to help kids build the skills they need to be successful,” said Sara DeWitt, Vice President, PBS KIDS Digital. “Daniel Tiger’s Stop & Go Potty app tackles routines related to one of these major life milestones – potty-training – helping make it a positive experience for kids and parents alike, with fun, developmentally appropriate games for children, as well as tips and tools for parents.”  Continue reading

Two Amazing Events, One Great City: Epicurean Experiences Highlight Denver’s Inspired, Renowned Culinary and Craft Beer Scene

From legendary and award-winning restaurants and entirely new, pioneering concepts to an abundance of local craft breweries, Denver’s ever-evolving culinary landscape will be on display over the next couple of months. Innovative, chef-driven restaurants and local breweries take the spotlight in Denver with two amazing events – the highly anticipated Denver Restaurant Week (DRW) and the exclusive, only-in-Denver Collaboration Fest – celebrating the city’s recent culinary and craft beverage momentum, which has positioned Denver at the forefront of the industry.FE57F47EDF651C8B70567DED6EE00133

More than 300 restaurants opened in Denver over the past two years, and more than 50 are already on the horizon for the first part of 2016. The city is on the frontline of several national trends, ranging from chef-driven fast casual restaurants to food halls and marketplaces to upscale and creative ethnic fusions; and these restaurants demonstrate the city’s most cutting edge, rising talent as well as mainstay Denver chefs who have been on the scene for years.



Euclid Hall

Euclid Hall

Adding to the impressive culinary offerings in The Mile High City are its craft breweries. Denver produces more beer than any other urban region in America – an estimated 200 different craft beers are brewed in Denver every single day – and the city hosts the annual Great American Beer Festival, the largest beer competition in the world, featuring more than 6,700 beers.

Corridor 44 on Larimer Street

Corridor 44 on Larimer Street

Denver Restaurant Week, which takes place from February 26 through March 6, is an annual celebration of the city’s exceptional year-round culinary scene. Now in its 12th year, DRW is an opportunity to enjoy multi-course meals at some of the city’s top restaurants for the tasty price of $30 per person. Reservations throughout the city are highly coveted, and many Mile High hotspots – both iconic local restaurants and new eateries – become fully booked for the 10 days of DRW. Click here to view the menus!

These Denver restaurants show off the city’s most cutting-edge and up-and-coming culinary talent, not to mention the abundance of local products in the nearby area. Denver diners will be wowed by these upscale, epicurean eateries, and the city’s recently progressive food scene in general.

A wholly original food concept is playing out at 
Avanti Food & Beverage in Denver’s Lower Highlands neighborhood, which opened in 2015. A huge two-story warehouse has been converted to shelter a collection of shipping containers, each one a self-contained mini-restaurant. Diners can choose from the variety of cuisines, including a noodle joint, shwarma shop and a torta counter, and enjoy their meal in the communal dining area – complete with stunning views of downtown Denver. A perfect incubator for new flavors and chefs, we fully expect Avanti to set some trends in the national restaurant landscape.

GUARD & GRACE, 1801 California St.
Guard & Grace is a modern, American-style steakhouse that prides itself on serving locally produced meats, cheeses and produce. Chef/owner Tory Guard emphasizes wood-fired dishes for that authentic taste.

The Kitchen Community is a Boulder-based community of restaurants that has now set up a sister to its world-class neighborhood bistros in downtown Denver. Like the other Kitchen locations, the restaurant on 16th Street boasts a menu that has been sourced from local farmers, ranchers, and purveyors. The Kitchen Denver boasts a seafood bar, a small plates menu, and a main menu with selections like wild char-grilled salmon, oven-roasted sirloin, tagliatelle, and bolognese. Every day from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Kitchen is community hour, with a menu designed to be shared. Don’t miss the quiche and the cocktail du jour.

TABLE 6, 609 Corona St.
This south Capitol Hill restaurant is a popular destination spot for visiting politicos, and for good reason. The 50-seat American eatery makes for a quiet working lunch, or an intimate dinner.
Table 6 creates an ambience that is warm and elegant, without being overdone. And then there’s the food: Chef Carrie Shores has created a varied menu that includes everything from comfort food starters (like sloppy joe sliders and tater tots with chorizo and picked peppers) to thoughtful main plates (like duck confit with cherry sage vin and maple smoked pork loin with oat risotto), and Sunday brunch (which features the popular chèvre chantrelle bread pudding.)



RIOJA, 1431 Larimer St.
Rioja was the start of celebrity Chef Jennifer Jasinski’s transformation of Larimer Square with her award-winning restaurant concepts. The Mediterranean-themed eatery is well-known among Denverites for its fresh ingredients and regularly rotating specials, homemade pastas, extensive brunch menu, and thoughtful pastry program executed by chef Eric Dale. Eric’s house made doughnuts got the media spotlight this year, making several nation-wide, best-of dessert lists. Also in 2013, Jasinski received a James Beard award for Best Chef Southwest.

Continue reading

Celebrity Makeup Artist Jo Baker Named Newest Official Artist-in-Residence For Rimmel London

Known As The Purveyor Of The London Look, The Brand Is Teaming With The Famed UK Makeup Artist To Bring British Street Style Stateside.rimmel-logo

Meet the newest talent behind The London Look. Top-selling UK-based cosmetics line Rimmel London announced that coveted celebrity makeup artist and London native Jo Baker will join the brand’s ranks as its newest official makeup artist in residence. Baker brings 15 years of industry expertise to the role, and will be instrumental in teaching the brand’s fans around the world how to get the brand’s signature UK street-inspired style using all the latest products from Rimmel London.

Known as the purveyor of The London Look, the brand is teaming with the famed UK makeup artist to bring British street style stateside

Makeup Artist Extraordinaire Jo Baker

Getting to work with Rimmel London is incredibly exciting,” says Baker. “I’m a London girl myself, so to be playing such a large role in bringing the London Look to the world is a huge honor. To me, London has always been the most inspirational city—it’s got such an eclectic, distinctive vibe to it. It’s like no other place in the world, and Rimmel London is the perfect brand to capture that feel.”

A top-selling line of color cosmetics in the U.K., Rimmel London was created in 1834 and introduced to the U.S. market in March 2000. The beauty line epitomizes the London spirit – energetic, fashion forward and individual. A comprehensive beauty offering, Rimmel London is always inspired by London’s trend-setting style and promotes “quality cosmetics at an accessible price” that allows American women to get the London Look.campaign-teaser_moisture_renew_2

Baker has been making waves in the beauty industry since starting her career at the age of 19, when she worked on Fashion Week shows in both London and Paris. She continued to draw on the latest cutting-edge fashions and London street styles to create her looks, crafting memorable looks for InStyle, Celine and LVMH. Continue reading

New York City Gay Men’s Chorus To Pay Flamboyant Tribute To Five Decades of British Pop Artists at Annual Big Gay Sing Concert, March 18 – 20

The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus today announced that tickets are now on sale for Big Gay Sing®, its annual sing-along extravaganza being held from March 18 – 20 at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. This year’s production is Big Gay Sing: Mind the Gap! celebrating some of the most legendary British artists and pop songs from the past five decades.NYCGMC_Big_Gay_Sing_Mind_the_Gap

The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus is a world-class, world-renowned New York institution and a pioneering voice for the LGBTQ community and is comprised of more than 260 talented singers of various ages, backgrounds, and experiences. Together, they produce a vibrant sound and energy that audiences can feel and connect with. Through the power of this sound, and their spectacular performances, we entertain their audiences while being fearless champions for love, equality, and acceptance. Founded in 1980, NYCGMC has formed a strong bond with devoted followers and continues to make lasting connections with new and diverse audiences. The Chorus’s repertoire includes every style from classical to pop, Broadway to gospel, and music from cultures all over the world; and have performed in a wide variety of settings, including special, private, and corporate events, concerts, television appearances, festivals, extensive concert tours in other countries, Broadway/theater productions, conferences, weddings, parties, fundraisers, and community logo 2 (1)

This year’s Big Gay Sing will be the most fabulous musical love-fest for British pop music that this city has ever seen,” said Charlie Beale, Artistic Director of the NYCGMC and an ex-pat Brit. “Big Gay Sing: Mind the Gap! will be both sensational and surprising—what better way to salute David Bowie, a pop culture genius who has been a huge influence on us over the years,” Beale added.

Big Gay Sing: Mind the Gap! will feature a tribute to Bowie along with arrangements of British chart-toppers by Adele, Spice Girls, Jessie J, Dusty Springfield, Queen, plus many more. “The arrangements, the immensity of the sound, and the sparkle from drag queens and dancers will have you jumping to your feet and your jaw hitting the floor,” Beale commented.

Big Gay Sing, an NYCGMC original concept and now in its eighth year, has become New York’s most fun way to welcome the color and gayness of spring. Its outrageous sing-along format has become so popular that the concept has been franchised to choruses around the US and the world.

After a long winter, there’s nothing better than an over-the-top spectacle that has you dancing in the aisles and channeling our inner pop diva,” said Jason Sirois, Board Chair of Big Apple Performing Arts, the home of NYCGMC. “The mission of NYCGMC is to champion acceptance, equality, and sensational music. Big Gay Sing demonstrates that we are just as fabulous performing in g-strings as we are in tuxes,” Sirois added.bapalogo (1)

Big Apple Performing Arts (561 Seventh Ave, Suite 803, New York, NY 10018, Phone: 212-344-1777) is the non-profit management company for the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and Youth Pride Chorus. With over thirty years of history, innovative programs, and service to the LGBTQ community, Big Apple Performing Arts is renowned for producing legendary performances, commissioning new works, and taking a leading role in the movement for social justice. From Carnegie Hall to City Hall, from the AIDS crisis to the struggle for marriage equality, as well as today’s gender and identity politics, the choruses of BAPA have been leaders and activists in the New York City community since 1980.

Big Gay Sing: Mind the Gap! will be performed at New York University‘s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at 8pm Friday March 18 and Saturday March 19, with a matinee performance on Sunday March 20. Tickets are now available here or by visiting

Long Island University Announces 67th Annual George Polk Awards In Journalism

Coverage of Heroin Addiction, Human Rights, and Sexual Assault Among 17 Winners in 16 Categories

On February 14th, Long Island University (LIU) announced the winners of the 67th annual George Polk Awards in Journalism, honoring reporters who advanced vital national conversations on race and gender relations with their masterful investigative reporting in 2015. The George Polk Awards are conferred annually to honor special achievement in journalism. The awards place a premium on investigative and enterprising reporting that gains attention and achieves results. They were established in 1949 by Long Island University to commemorate George Polk, a CBS correspondent murdered in 1948 while covering the Greek civil war.polk-logo-white 2

The winners of this year’s George Polk Awards reported on such momentous stories as the deadly use of force by police, the re-segregation of America’s public schools, and the difficulties women face in pursuing accusations of rape, subjects that made headlines across the country this past year. 

Other winners among the 17 awards in 16 categories showed how companies sidestep class action suits by consumers and how foreign workers inAsia are brutally conscripted to work in the seafood industry on ships and on a remote island.

Reporting by the recipients also upended claims from a new, heavily invested company about an innovative blood test, exposed a drug lab’s profiteering from deceptive marketing of dubious pain creams and highlighted the agonizing situation of heroin addicts denied access to a proven treatment. Still other winners documented little control or accountability in a celebrated American military unit and snapped front-line photos of damage done to an Afghani hospital by a U.S. airstrike.

Winners of the 2015 awards will be honored at a luncheon ceremony at The Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan on Friday, April 8. The journalist and author Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who will read the award citations, will also moderate this year’s David J. Steinberg Seminar of the George Polk Awards, “Reporting on Race in America,” Thursday evening, April 7 at LIU Brooklyn’s Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts. She will be joined by three 2015 George Polk laureates, Wesley Lowery, national reporter for The Washington Post covering law enforcement, justice, race and politics; Nikole Hannah-Jones, a reporter specializing in education who won the award for a report on “This American Life” and is now on the staff of The New York Times magazine, and Jamie Kalven, writer and human rights activist who has reported extensively on police abuses in Chicago. The seminar, which starts at 6:30, is free and open to the public.

We received a record 580 nominations from news organizations,” said John Darnton, curator of the George Polk Awards. “Many were about police killings and police misconduct across the board.” Darnton also noted, “Another striking element common to several of the winners was that the story they came up with was not the one they set out to find. A reporter following up on the death of a man in police custody in Baltimore is diverted to an investigation of ‘structured settlements.’ Another trying to discern why heroin addiction is so prevalent in a small town in Kentucky winds up with a national story about how addicts are denied effective treatment. And a TV producer checking back on a pharmacy scandal tied to unsafe injections stumbles on another involving fraudulent profiteering. These awards speak well of journalists who ply their craft with open eyes — and open minds.

Below are the winners of the 2015 George Polk Awards:

The award for Foreign Reporting will be shared by a team of four reporters from the Associated Press,Margie MasonRobin McDowellMartha Mendoza and Esther Htusan, for a series on the Thai fishing industry, “Seafood from Slaves,” and Ian Urbina of The New York Times for “The Outlaw Ocean,” a six-part series that portrayed a largely unchecked pattern of lawlessness on the high seas.

The AP reporters documented the plight of impoverished men from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailandlured into captivity, locked in cages, beaten, and forced to perform dangerous work with little sleep to catch and process seafood destined for U.S. consumers and their pets. They found the graves of some workers who did not survive, buried on a remote island under false names. As a result of the AP reporting, more than 2,000 captives were released, ships were seized, and businesses closed, American companies faced calls to cease selling slave-tainted seafood, and authorities in Washington, at the United Nations, and across Asia began seeking new ways to confront and control the abuses. 

During the year and a half reporting the stories, Urbina traveled through Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, much of that time spent on fishing ships, chronicling a diversity of crimes offshore, including murder of stowaways, intentional dumping, illegal fishing, stealing of ships, stranding of crews, and murder with impunity. Talking his way onto fishing ships at considerable risk, he also related firsthand stories of the plight of indentured Cambodian boys, a deckhand shackled by the neck, and Filipinos living in squalor who endured beatings, lost fingers to infection, and were forced to swallow amphetamines to work longer hours. Urbina secured and investigated a video of four men shot to death at sea before dozens of witnesses, including some who then celebrated and posed on camera. The reporting also took readers aboard a ship operated by environmental activists in the culmination of a 10,000-mile chase leading to the sinking of a notorious pirate trawler that had eluded Interpol and other authorities for a decade. The series spurred Congressional hearings and testimony, class-action litigation against the seafood industry, and, abroad, a criminal investigation and convictions. 

The award for National Reporting will go to The Washington Post for an exhaustive study of killings by police officers. The project found that 990 people were shot and killed by on-duty police officers in the U.S. in 2015 and also produced a trove of original data. After discovering that FBI statistics on deaths at police hands were unreliable and incomplete, the Post assigned staffers from across the newsroom to compile and analyze their own list. Post reporters found that most of those who died were armed white men shot under threatening and sometimes heroic circumstances, but also uncovered some troubling indicators. A quarter of those killed were suicidal or had a history of mental illness, more than 50 of the officers had killed before and while only 9% were not armed, unarmed black men were seven times more likely to die at police hands than unarmed whites.

Jamie Kalven of Invisible Institute will be honored with the award for Local Reporting for “Sixteen Shots,” published online by Slate Magazine last February. Operating on a tip about the October 2014 police shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, Kalven located a witness who said McDonald was not lunging at them with a knife as Chicago police reported but “shying away” and that an officer repeatedly fired into his immobilized body. After learning from a source close to the medical examiner’s office that McDonald had been shot 16 times, Kalven obtained the boy’s autopsy report and pressed for release of a video of the incident. “An autopsy tells a story,” his 2,000-word story began, concluding with great prescience: “The McDonald footage will come out, but a great deal turns on how it comes out… If the city resists releasing the video until legally compelled to do so, outrage at what it depicts will be compounded by outrage that the city knew its contents (and the autopsy results) in the immediate aftermath of the incident yet withheld that information from the public. The fate of Laquan McDonald — a citizen of Chicago so marginalized he was all but invisible until the moment of his death — has thus become entwined with that of Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel. It presents his administration with a defining moment.” Continue reading