Immigrant Contributions To American Society Recognized With 2017 Vilcek Prizes

Visual Artist Nari Ward And Biophysicists Lily And Yuh-Nung Jan Receive $100,000 Vilcek Prizes

Winners Of Vilcek Prizes For Creative Promise Each Receive $50,000 Awards

The Vilcek Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the annual Vilcek Prizes, recognizing outstanding immigrant contributions to the American arts and sciences. The Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science will be awarded jointly to Chinese-born Lily and Yuh-Nung Jan, a collaborative research duo and professors of molecular physiology at the University of California, San Francisco. The Vilcek Prize in the Arts recognizes Jamaican-born Nari Ward, a New York-based visual artist known for found-object assemblage art. Each prize includes a $100,000 cash award. The prizewinners were selected by panels of experts in each field; they will be honored at an awards gala in New York City in April 2017.1083773.jpg

Like all great artists and scientists, these immigrant prizewinners challenge our very perceptions of the world,” said Rick Kinsel, president of the Vilcek Foundation. “Their works are attempts to understand fundamental questions and concepts in American society, from the neurological underpinnings of the self to the institution of democracy.”vilcek_logo_black_xsmall

The Vilcek Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. The mission of the foundation, to honor the contributions of immigrants to the United States and to foster an appreciation of the arts and sciences, was inspired by the couple’s respective careers in biomedical science and art history, as well as their personal experiences and appreciation for the opportunities they received as newcomers to this country. The foundation awards annual prizes to prominent immigrant biomedical scientists and artists and manages the Vilcek Foundation Art Collections, a promised gift from its founders.

This year, the Vilcek Prize in the Arts is awarded in the fine arts, marking the completion of an 11-year cycle through various disciplines in the arts and humanities. The recipient, Nari Ward, was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 12. He is known for found-object assemblage artworks that invite both a public conversation and an intimate dialogue with the viewer around topics of race, immigration, and the Caribbean diaspora identity. His usage of found objects aims to highlight the history of a place and the urgency of the moment; his installation Naturalization Drawing Table features a large desk—built out of Plexiglas bodega barriers—covered with dense linear drawings made over copies of Immigration and Naturalization Service applications. On select days during the exhibition, viewers are invited to “apply” for naturalization by lining up and filling out an application, giving them a taste of the bureaucratic process of applying for citizenship. Ward has won several prestigious art prizes, including the Joyce Award, the Rome Prize, a Bessie Award, and several other awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

Lily and Yuh-Nung Jan were both born in China and raised in Taiwan. They came to the U.S. as graduate students of physics at the California Institute of Technology but switched their focus to biology, in part inspired by their mentor, the renowned biophysicist Max Delbrück. Over the course of a collaborative career spanning over four decades, the husband-and-wife team has made many significant discoveries in the field of neuroscience, with far-reaching clinical implications. They isolated the gene encoding a protein that shuttles potassium ions across cell membranes, enabling the characterization of a molecular player important to functions as vital as maintaining heart rate and controlling muscle movement. Today, this type of ion channel is implicated in diseases such as epilepsy, ataxia, and hypertension. Simultaneously, the Jans identified genes and principles underlying the processes by which neurons acquire distinct identities, burgeon into thickets, and establish precise circuits; their work in this area may help unravel human diseases such as autism and schizophrenia. Currently, professors of molecular physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, the Jans have been honored with membership in the United States National Academy of Sciences, as well as with Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator awards.

The Vilcek Foundation also awards the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise, given to younger immigrants who have shown substantial talent and ability early in their careers. Each prize includes a $50,000 cash award. The winners in the fine arts are the following:

Iman Issa, born in Egypt, a conceptual artist, creates objects and installations in an attempt to address complex philosophical questions. Her original area of study was phenomenology, a branch of philosophy that examines the structures of consciousness that organize subjective experience—or, put another way, how we take meaning from things we individually experience. Later, Issa realized that art allowed for nuanced exploration of those topics, and continued her philosophical questioning through art. She is particularly interested in monuments and memorials—aesthetic forms tasked with a function that holds a shifting relevance based on their location in time and relationship to history. Her work has been shown at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the 8th Berlin Biennial, and the New Museum, and she has received the DAAD 2017 Artist in Residence Award, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, and the HNF-MACBA Award.

Meleko Mokgosi, born in Botswana, is a slow, considered painter; behind every painting he produces are hours of research, reading, and conversations with people. Mokgosi is interested in depictions of Africa and its people; he believes that the widespread misrepresentation of Africa and Africans has done a violence to the people of the continent, and through his art he attempts a representation that is fair and just. He is deeply concerned with politics and seeks to understand and illuminate the relations of power that shape people, families, villages, regions, and nations. Mokgosi has been named the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters Grant and the Jarl and Pamela Mohn Award, and he has shown his work at Art Basel, the Armory, the Hammer Museum, and the Whitney Museum. Continue reading

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The Go Red For Women™ Red Dress Collection Fashion Show Returns to New York Fashion Week

The American Heart Association Go Red For Women™ Red Dress Collection 2017 Fashion Show Presented By Macy’s Merges Entertainment, Media And Fashion As Celebrities Raise Awareness Of Heart Disease And Stroke In Women

Celebrities on the runway include: Adrienne Bailon, Jessie James Decker, Diane Guerrero, Jazz Jennings, Juliette Lewis, Rachel Platten, and Laurie Hernandez

The American Heart Association announced that the Go Red For Women™ Red Dress Collection (Fashion Show) 2017 presented by Macy’s will return to New York Fashion Week at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Thursday, February 9, 2017. The fashion show is slated to feature 19 celebrities in gowns by top fashion designers. Founded by NHLBI’s The Heart Truth®, the event reminds women of the need to protect their heart health. The show begins at 8 p.m. ET, along with a Facebook Live on Go Red For Women‘s Facebook page.gored_logo

Cardiovascular diseases cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. However, 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. The most important action: know your numbers. Knowing the most critical numbers for your heart health including Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar, and Body Mass Index (BMI) could save your life. Go Red For Women and Macy’s are encouraging all women to learn their personal health numbers. Your heart might depend on it.macys-logo

Macy’s, the founding national sponsor of Go Red For Women, is the presenting sponsor of the annual Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection. To date, Macy’s has raised more than $60 million through the generosity and commitment of Macy’s associates and customers, which has helped to directly fund women’s heart health research and education.

Walking in this year’s Go Red For Women’s Red Dress Collection presented by Macy’s are: Adrienne Bailon (co-host, The Real); Bonnie Somerville (Code Black); CCH Pounder (NCIS: New Orleans, Sons of Anarchy); Diane Guerrero (Orange is the New Black, Jane the Virgin); Jazz Jennings (activist/I am Jazz); Jeannie Mai (co-host, The Real); Jessie James Decker (singer/designer/reality star); Juliette Lewis (Secrets and Lies); Lauren Holly (Motive); Laurie Hernandez (Olympic Gymnast); Lea Thompson (Switched at Birth, Back to the Future); Lorraine Toussaint (Orange is the New Black); Lucy Lawless (Zena: Warrior Princess, Parks & Recreation); Lynn Whitfield (Greenleaf); Maureen McCormick (Dancing with the Stars); Peyton List (Jessie); Rachel Platten (singer); Stephanie March (Law & Order SVU); and Veronica Webb (model).

The Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection 2017 presented by Macy’s will feature three looks from designers in the not-for-profit, independently-run Fashion Incubator Programs housed at Macy’s: Masha Titievsky from the Chicago Fashion Incubator, Bethany Meuleners from Fashion Incubator San Francisco, and Amanda Casarez from the D.C. Fashion Incubator. Wearing these designs will be Lorraine Toussaint in VARYFORM by Masha Titievsky, CCH Pounder in Bethany Meuleners, and Veronica Webb in Amanda Casarez.

This year, for the first time ever, heart disease survivors will be walking alongside the celebrities. Last year, Macy’s took its commitment to women’s health to the next level by holding a nationwide employee associate casting call to identify five associates from Macy’s stores who’ve been personally impacted by heart disease. Odilia Cristabel Flores from New York City, a Senior Manager in Macy’s Social Compliance Department, and AHA Real Woman Nicole Hardy from Scarborough, Maine will be hitting the runway to raise awareness for a cause they know all too well.

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During the month of February, Macy’s offers customers additional ways to support this worthy cause through merchandise that gives back, including this limited-edition red dress by Calvin Klein (above, $134.00).

We are grateful to all of the celebrities and survivors walking in this year’s Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection for inspiring women world-wide to prioritize their heart health and make ‘Know Your Numbers’ actionable,” said Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer, American Heart Association. “The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement is honored to be a part of New York Fashion Week with Macy’s, to shine a bright light on women’s heart disease, both on and off the runway.” Continue reading

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) to Offer MFA in Fashion Design Beginning Fall 2017

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), in New York City, will launch a Master of Fine Arts degree program in Fashion Design in the fall 2017 semester. A program of the School of Graduate Studies, it is the first MFA in Fashion Design within the State of University of New York system, of which FIT is a part, and incorporates elements that distinguish it from similar graduate programs in the United States and Europe.fitlogo2_1

FIT‘s Fashion Design MFA centers on practice-based research and is open to students with varied experience in creative areas ranging from apparel design to fields such as architecture, engineering, and software development. The curriculum for this two-year, full-time program is founded on the steady development of an original concept proposed by each student at the time of application. As students pursue the degree, they will explore their individual design concepts in the context of history/future, theory, philosophy, and practice within a structured and richly mentored environment. The curriculum will focus on research methodologies and critical thinking skills that support innovation and invention in design, fit, cut, construction, silhouette, and materiality. The program’s goal is to lead students through the process of translating inspiration into malleable design ingredients and solutions.

The program is targeted to:

  • Fashion students graduating with a BFA in fashion design;
  • Individuals within the creative arts and design fields;
  • Individuals with a BA who have worked in the creative industries; and/or
  • Individuals with an interest in designing for a specialized category.

Each student will investigate and evolve their thesis over the four semesters, charting an individual course through core concepts which, addressed sequentially, will create a distinct path of discovery. The core concepts are:

  • Play: Working with faculty mentors, each student will explore the possibilities of their thesis with freedom, openness, and intent to take it in unexpected directions.
  • Focus: Each student will have a specially selected industry partner who will advise on sharpening and clarifying the idea, creating initial prototypes, and defining the market.
  • Edit: Based on the best ideas, strongest samples, and fortuitous “accidents” from previous thesis phases, students will develop, design, and prototype their collections.
  • Conclude: Each student will present a collection of at least 12 looks or an equivalent, along with a paper explaining their thesis process. They will defend their thesis to a select panel of industry experts. Collections will be shown to investors, industry leaders, and other important audiences through an exhibition, a publication, and a presentation, providing a highly visible platform to showcase the work.

This thesis process will be supported by coursework, experiential research, and mentoring by faculty and industry experts. Each student’s final body of work will be viable for production.

The School of Graduate Studies at FIT is thrilled to add this essential degree program to its portfolio,” said Dean Mary Davis, who has led the school since 2012. “We are excited to give highly talented and creative individuals from around the globe the tools and support they need to reinvent the field of fashion design, and, as a public institution, we’re proud to make this program accessible, affordable, and available to a wide array of students. We can’t wait to see the change this new generation of leaders will bring to our campus, our city, and the world.

The relentless pace of fashion can hinder innovation, so here the design process will slow down to allow experimentation and reflection, and ultimately, a different way of looking at it,” said Jonathan KYLE Farmer, creator, professor, and chair of the program. “Students will come to us with an idea that they feel could one day make an impact on the fashion world. The program will help guide each student in realizing their vision—designing fashion into the future.”

Jonathan KYLE Farmer is a practicing designer who has taught internationally, including at Parsons School of Design and the University of East London. He holds an MA in fashion women’s wear from London’s Royal College of Art.

The 60-credit program includes courses such as The Fashion Activist, which will encourage new thinking around sustainability and design ethics; business courses that will offer practical knowledge and insight into existing industry models; and the course craft:OLOGY, which will inspire each student’s design fluency and creative confidence through the lens of time in reference to craft and technology.

The FIT community at large will be invited to attend and observe open critiques, open studios and work-in-progress exhibitions. Students will also have access to the vast resources of FIT’s Gladys Marcus Library and Special Collections, and direct access to The Museum at FIT and its collections. There will be two international field experiences, designed as Making Seminars. One will explore past, present, and future ideas and practices around how clothes fit, with students making clothes for diverse body types. The other will investigate the relationship between fashion’s local and global production systems, adopting ideas and processes explored in farming and agriculture. Continue reading

THIRTEEN’s American Masters Presents Exclusive U.S. Broadcast Premiere of Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, February 21 on PBS During Black History Month

First Feature Documentary On The Author/Activist Features Exclusive Interviews With Dr. Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Bill And Hillary Clinton, And Others

Year-Long #InspiringWomanPBS Online Campaign Launches This Week At pbs.org/americanmasters

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Dr. Maya Angelou on the set of “Oprah’s Master Class,” circa January 2011. Credit: OWN

Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” Dr. Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928-May 28, 2014) led a prolific life. As a singer, dancer, activist, poet and writer, she inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. Best known for her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Random House), she gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before. The first feature documentary about her life, American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, premieres nationwide Tuesday, February 21 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) during Black History Month as part of the 31st season of THIRTEEN‘s American Masters series. PBS Distribution will release the film on DVD the same day, with additional bonus features, and on Digital HD February 22. The film title is based on one of our favorite poems by Dr. Angelou, “Still I Rise” from her poetry collection And Still I Rise (Random House).

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Dr. Maya Angelou, circa late 70s/early 80s. Credit: Getty Images

MAYA ANGELOU

Dr. Maya Angelou is best known for her best-selling autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” (Random House), photo taken November 3, 1971. Credit: © WF/AP/Corbis

With unprecedented access, filmmakers Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack trace Dr. Angelou’s incredible journey, shedding light on the untold aspects of her life through never-before-seen footage, rare archival photographs and videos and her own words. From her upbringing in the Depression-era South and her early performing career (1957’s Miss Calypso album and Calypso Heat Wave film, Jean Genet’s 1961 play The Blacks) to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana and her many writing successes, including her inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton, American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise reveals hidden facets of her life during some of America’s most defining moments. The film also features exclusive interviews with Dr. Angelou, her friends and family, including (in alphabetical order) Diahann Carroll, actress; Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State; Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the U.S.’ Common, hip-hop artist/actor; Jules Feiffer, writer/cartoonist; Nikki Giovanni, writer; Louis Gossett, Jr., actor; Guy B. Johnson, Dr. Angelou’s son; Quincy Jones, musician/producer/composer; Robert Loomis, Dr. Angelou’s editor; Don Martin, dancer/opened for Dr. Angelou; Louise Meriwether, writer; Eugene Redmond, professor of English literature; Valerie Simpson, singer/songwriter; John Singleton, director; Cicely Tyson, actress; Alice Windom, friend/roommate in Ghana (1963-65); Oprah Winfrey, global media leader/philanthropist and Alfre Woodard, actress.

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Dr. Maya Angelou, circa 1970. Credit: Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Dr. Maya Angelou called Sonoma, California, home in the late 70s/early 80s. Credit: Magnum

“It was a unique privilege to be the first filmmakers to tell Dr. Angelou’s full story and exciting to uncover stories that most people hadn’t heard,” said co-director and co-producer Bob Hercules.

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Louis Gossett, Jr., is interviewed in “American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise.” He and Dr. Angelou were part of the casts of off-Broadway play “The Blacks” (1961) by Jean Genet and TV miniseries “Roots” (1977). Credit: © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders | Photo credit required at all times.

The film reflects on how the events of history, culture and the arts shaped Dr. Angelou’s life, and how she, in turn, helped shape our own worldview through her autobiographical literature and activism,” said co-director and co-producer Rita Coburn Whack.

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Dr. Maya Angelou. Credit: Getty Images

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Dr. Maya Angelou. Credit: Ron Groeper

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Dr. Maya Angelou, San Francisco, CA, circa 1970. Credit: Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS. Courtesy of Caged Bird Legacy

It is bittersweet that Dr. Angelou takes her rightful place in the American Masters series posthumously,” said executive producer Michael Kantor, Co-Executive Producer and American Masters series Executive Producer. “We are fortunate that Bob and Rita captured these insightful interviews with her just prior to her death so we can all learn from her wisdom firsthand.” Continue reading

Celebrate Culture and the Arts During Seattle’s Third Annual Seattle Museum Month

Downtown Seattle Hotel Guests Receive Half-Price Entry to Region’s Museums and Cultural Institutions in February 2017

February Is The Best Time To Save On Admission To More Than 40 Participating Museums Throughout Seattle And The Surrounding Region.

Visit Seattle‘s third annual Seattle Museum Month – returning February 1-28, 2017 – offers hotel guests half-price admission at more than 40 participating museums throughout Seattle and the region.

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Chihuly Garden and Glass. (Photo Credit: Terry Rishel)

Seattle Museum Month , a program created to encourage travelers to visit Seattle in February and celebrate the incredible arts and culture scene present in the region, is produced by Visit Seattle and funded by the Seattle Tourism Improvement Area (STIA), a dedicated marketing fund assessed from guests at the 61 downtown Seattle hotels.

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Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park. (Photo Credit: Benjamin Benschneider)

For visitors and locals alike, Seattle Museum Month offers an immersive way of experiencing Seattle’s art, history, music, design and culture. Since its inaugural year in 2015, Museum Month has been an exciting cultural complement to Seattle during a mid-winter vacation.

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Seattle Art Museum. (Photo Credit: Benjamin Benschneider)

Seattle’s major museums have returned for this year’s offer – including Seattle Art Museum, Museum of History & Industry, Museum of Flight, Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo, Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Two internationally renowned glass art museums are included – Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. The Flying Heritage Collection and the Suquamish Museum are new participants this year.

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Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop) (Photo Credit : Brady Harvey)

Furthermore, many exhibitions of note are timed during the month-long promotion. Epicureans can indulge themselves at Edible City: A Delicious Journey at Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), a new exhibit highlighting Seattle’s natural resources, cuisine, famous chefs and its role in the culinary industry.

Also on display in February is part three of the Day in the Life of Bruce Lee: Do You Know Bruce? exhibit at the Wing Luke Museum of the Pacific Asian Experience – the only museum outside Hong Kong to present an exhibition about Bruce Lee. Additionally, Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds at MoPOP commemorates the 50th anniversary of the famous science fiction series and is offered to Museum Month pass holders at a discount.

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Seattle Asian Art Museum. (Photo Credit: Benjamin Benschneider)

Visitors can enjoy natural scenery while indoors at Seeing Nature: Landscape Photography from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection, opening February 16 at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), or familiarize themselves with Puget Sound sea life during Octopus Week Feb. 18-26 at the Seattle Aquarium. Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts will be on display through Black History Month at the Northwest African American Museum. Continue reading

National Geographic Announces World Legacy Awards Finalists

Innovative Travel Companies, Organizations And Destinations Put Sustainability Into Action

The 15 finalists of the 2017 National Geographic World Legacy Awards were unveiled today. The World Legacy Awards, a partnership between National Geographic and ITB Berlin, showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations — ranging from entire countries to small islands and from urban hotels to jungle retreats — driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the global travel industry.WLA with Ecuador

This year’s World Legacy Awards entries spanned the planet, representing 45 countries and six continents, showcasing how sustainable tourism has no boundaries. Finalists in five award categories were selected by an international team of more than 20 judges. A multi-step judging process also included on-site inspections of each finalist. For details on the judges, go to http://www.nationalgeographic.com/worldlegacyawards/judging.html

The 2017 National Geographic World Legacy Awards finalists are:

Conserving the Natural WorldRecognizing outstanding support for the preservation of nature, restoring natural habitat, protecting rare and endangered species, whether on land or in the oceans.

  • Mark Thornton Safaris, Tanzania — This guide-owned outfitter works to protect endangered wildlife habitat by establishing indigenous community partnerships on the Simanjiro Grazing Easement of the Maasai Steppe, a critically important wildlife migration corridor and wildebeest calving ground.
  • Misool Eco Resort, Indonesia — Misool actively works to protect marine habitat, influence policy, and empower local communities. They manage more than 350 square miles of marine protected area in the heart of the Coral Triangle – the global center of marine biodiversity.
  • North Island, Seychelles —Hailed as the Galapagos of the East, this eco-resort’s innovative Noah’s Ark project has successfully reintroduced some of the Seychelles’ rarest species back to nature as part of their restoration of native habitat on the former plantation island.

Earth ChangersRecognizing cutting-edge leadership in environmentally friendly business practices and green technology, from renewable energy and water conservation to zero-waste systems and carbon-emissions reduction.

  • Cayuga Collection, Costa Rica and Nicaragua – Reduce, reuse, recycle is a daily mantra at this ultra-green hospitality company. Innovative practices include a program to eliminate plastic waste (even drinking straws are reusable bamboo) and guests join back-of-the-house tours to learn how sustainability touches their vacation experience.
  • Finch Bay Eco Hotel, Ecuador – Finch Bay’s closed-loop sustainable technology produces organic food for their guests with a high-yield process that conserves water, eliminates pesticides, and reduces carbon food miles. Their success is now being replicated by other Galapagos hotels.
  • ITC Hotels, India – Demonstrating that large luxury urban hotels can set a new standard for going green, ITC’s 11 iconic city properties, spread across India, are all LEED Platinum certified – the highest level recognized by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Continue reading

Giving Where It Matters: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Marks Unprecedented Milestone

Parton’s Imagination Library Reaches One Million Books Distributed Each Month

You can never get enough books into the hands of enough children.” – Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which began as a small community outreach in Parton’s native Sevier County, Tennessee, has evolved to become the largest literacy program in the world. In December, the “little literacy program that could” will mark another impressive milestone—ONE MILLION BOOKS GIFTED TO CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD EACH MONTH.dolly_logos-ilibrary

Founded in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting organization that has, to date, mailed more than 85 million books to children in Australia, Belize, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States. Each month, the program currently mails more than one million specially selected, high-quality, age-appropriate books to registered children from birth until they start Kindergarten in participating communities. Parton envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading in children, preparing them for school and inspiring them to dream. Recent studies suggest participation in the Imagination Library program is positively and significantly associated with higher measures of early language and math development. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

To celebrate the unprecedented success, Evey Johns, a two-year-old from Conway, Arkansas who just enrolled in the Imagination Library, has been randomly selected to receive a $30,000 college scholarship. The announcement was made by Parton during her Pure & Simple concert tour stop in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee on Nov. 15. The concert raised $500,000 to benefit the Imagination Library.

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Dolly Parton’s Pure and Simple concert in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee raised $500,000 for her Imagination Library. (Photo: Business Wire)

I thought long and hard about the best way to honor our achievement of reaching a million children a month,” Parton said. “The Imagination Library is all about inspiring dreams, so what better way to pay tribute to this moment than by helping one special child pursue her college degree. I’m thrilled that today I can let the world know that precious little Evey Johns from Conway, Arkansas will receive a $30,000 scholarship for the college of her choice.”

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Evey Johns from Conway, Arkansas received a $30,000 scholarship from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in honor of the program reaching 1 million books distributed each month. (Photo: Business Wire)

The thought of our daughter Evey going to college has been just that—a thought,” explained Evey’s mother, Connie. “Due to the enormous kindness and generosity of the Dollywood Foundation, that thought has now become a reality. Our family now has the means to develop a solid plan for our daughter’s future education. Thank you all so much for this unbelievable opportunity for our daughter.chromelogodp-star

The scholarship will be held in a special account and distributed to Johns when she enrolls in college. Over the next 16 years, the amount of scholarship should grow to nearly approximately $50,000. Johns is enrolled in the Imagination Library in Conway thanks to the local affiliate in her area, Arkansas Preschool Plus. Continue reading