Smithsonian Launches Kickstarter for Culture-Defining “Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap”

Unique Collaboration Between the Hip-Hop Community, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian has launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign today for the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap, a powerful cultural statement told through an unequaled combination of music, text and stunning visuals. The compilation, to be produced and released by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, includes nine CDs, more than 120 tracks and a 300-page book with extensive liner notes, essays by artists and scholars, and never-before-published photographs from the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s collection. This campaign allows dedicated fans the chance to be a part of the community that helps bring this landmark project to life—and into their homes.

(Kickstarter has enabled the funding of more than 132,00`0 projects with the support of more than 13 million backers pledging over $3.3 billion since it began in 2009.)nmaahc-national-museum-of-african-american-history-and-culture

The Kickstarter campaign to produce a hip-hop and rap anthology is one of the most important projects on contemporary history that the Smithsonian will ever undertake, because it shows that Smithsonian’s work is as much about today and tomorrow as it is about yesterday,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. “Hip-hop is a musical revolution that embodies the voice of an entire generation and that’s why it’s important for the museum to partner with the hip-hop community and Folkways Recordings to tell this story. Hip-hop helps us to understand the power of black music and the impact of African American culture on the world.

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Smithsonian Launches Kickstarter for Culture-Defining “Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap”

Going into its 70th year, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the “National Museum of Sound,” makes available close to 60,000 tracks in physical and digital format as the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian, with a reach of 80 million people per year. A division of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the non-profit label is dedicated to supporting cultural diversity and increased understanding among people through the documentation, preservation, production, and dissemination of sound. Its mission is the legacy of Moses Asch, who founded Folkways Records in 1948 to document “people’s music” from around the world.

The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap will be the first collection to include music from every major label and dozens of independent label recordings. The anthology explores important issues and themes in hip-hop history, and it provides a unique window into the many ways hip-hop has created new traditions and furthered musical and cultural traditions of the African diaspora.

We have always been passionately committed to documenting and celebrating music with strong social impact,” said Huib Schippers, director and curator of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. “Hip-hop began in the 1970s as a distinctly African American urban culture that has since become a global phenomenon. This box set is a perfect addition to our catalog.” Continue reading

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Clive Davis and The Recording Academy® to Honor BET Networks Chairman and CEO Debra L. Lee During 2017 Grammy Week in Los Angeles

Lee is to Receive The GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons® Award at the 2017 Pre-GRAMMY® Gala

Annual Celebration Will Take Place On Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, At The Beverly Hilton Hotel On The Eve Of The 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards®

Clive Davis and The Recording Academy® will present the annual Pre-GRAMMY® Gala on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., the evening preceding the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards®. As part of the celebration, BET Networks Chairman and CEO Debra L. Lee will be recognized as the 2017 GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons® honoree for her significant contributions to the music industry.grammy_logo

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers, and recording professionals dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture.

Sponsored by Hilton, Mastercard, JBL by HARMAN, and Delta Airlines, the invitation-only Pre-GRAMMY Gala has long been one of the music industry’s most prestigious events, having hosted the industry’s top leaders and welcomed the world’s most talented artists on its stage. For nearly 10 years, the gala has also included a presentation to honor industry luminaries through The Recording Academy’s GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons Award. Past recipients include Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, Irving Azoff, Martin Bandier, Sir Richard Branson, Clive Davis, Ahmet Ertegun, David Geffen, Berry Gordy, Lucian Grainge, Doug Morris, Mo Ostin, and Antonio “L.A.” Reid.

Debra Lee

BET Networks Chairman and CEO Debra L. Lee

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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

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCES 98th ANNUAL PULITZER PRIZES IN JOURNALISM, LETTERS, DRAMA AND MUSIC

The 98th annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music, awarded on the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize Board, were announced today by Columbia University.

The Pulitzer Prize Board made its recommendations for the 2014 prizes when it met at Columbia on April 10 and 11 and passed them to President Lee C. Bollinger. It announced that the awards would be presented at a luncheon on May 28 at Columbia
University. Randell Beck, Robert Blau, Joyce Dehli, Steven Hahn and Keven Ann Willey were re-elected to membershippulitzer_prize_medal_a_p on the board.

In any category in which board members have an interest due to the action of the various nominating juries, those members do not participate in the discussion and voting and leave the room until a decision is reached in the affected category. Similarly, members of nominating juries do not participate in the discussion of or voting on entries in which they have an interest.

The winners in each category, along with the names of the finalists in the competition, follow:

A. PRIZES IN JOURNALISM

1. PUBLIC SERVICE

For a distinguished example of meritorious public service by a newspaper or news site through the use of its journalistic resources, including the use of stories, editorials, cartoons, photographs, graphics, videos, databases, multimedia or interactive presentations or other visual material, a gold medal.

Two Prizes of a gold medal each:

Awarded to The Guardian US for its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, helping through aggressive reporting to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy.

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Awarded to The Washington Post for its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.

Also nominated as a finalist in this category was: Newsday, Long Island, N.Y., for its use ofin-depth reporting and digital tools to expose shootings, beatings and other concealed misconduct by some Long Island police officers, leading to the formation of a grand jury and an official review of police accountability. Continue reading

73rd Annual Peabody Awards Winners Announced

A record 46 recipients of the University of Georgia’s 73rd Annual Peabody Awards were announced today on CBS This Morning and www.peabodyawards.com. The winners, chosen by the Peabody board from almost 1,100 entries, comprise the best in electronic media for the year 2013. The Peabody statuettes will be formally presented on May 19 at a luncheon ceremony at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York CityIra Glass, host and producer of This American Life, which now boasts five Peabodys, will be the emcee. (See complete list of 2013 recipients below.)

The Peabody Awards, the oldest in electronic media, are considered among the most prestigious and selective prizes. The Peabodys

A record 46 recipients of the University of Georgia's 73rd Annual Peabody Awards were announced today on CBS This Morning and www.peabodyawards.com.

A record 46 recipients of the University of Georgia’s 73rd Annual Peabody Awards were announced today on CBS This Morning and http://www.peabodyawards.com.

recognize excellence and meritorious work by radio and television stations, networks, webcasters, producing organizations and individuals. The 16-member Peabody Board is a distinguished panel of television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts. Selection is made by the Board following review by special screening committees of UGA faculty, students, and staff.

Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in advertising, digital and broadcast journalism, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and mass media arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media.

 

The latest Peabody recipients include a pair of high-profile political melodramas, Netflix’s corrosive House of Cards and ABC’s juicy ScandalA Chef’s Life, a stereotype-cracking nonfiction serial about a farm-to-fork gourmet restaurant in North Carolina’s low country; Burka Avenger, an animated Pakistani series aimed at empowering girls; A Needed Response, a YouTube viral video created by two University of Oregon students that succinctly criticizes rape culture and champions r-e-s-p-e-c-t for women; and two distinctive probes of the dangers of brain injury in professional football, FRONTLINE‘s League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis and ESPN’s Outside the Lines: NFL at a Crossroads: Investigating a Health Crisis.

The quality of storytelling in electronic media continues to increase year-after-year, across platforms, producing organizations and nations,” said Dr. Jeffrey P. Jones, director of the Peabody Awards. “The unprecedented number of awards we gave this year reflects this fact. There simply are a larger number of stories that deserve our attention as citizens and consumers. And what a wonderfully rich and satisfying set of stories we’ve called attention to this year!

International Peabody winners include the Philippines’ GMA Network for coverage of the assault and aftermath of Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan); The Returned, an eerie, elegant supernatural drama from France; the realistic, compelling Danish political serial Borgen; and BBC World News’ in-depth reporting from Inside Syria’sWar.

Local Peabody recipients included  CBS-owned WBZ-TV and WBZ Newsradio for their peerless extended coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing dragnet; KING-TV in Seattle for its revelations about nuclear-waste leaks and mismanagement at a Hanford, Washington, storage facility; Nashville station WTVF-TV‘s reports about Tennessee officials’ involvement in shady business deals; and an exhaustive investigation of Louisiana political contributions – who gives, how much, and what does it buy – that combined the resources of New Orleans station WVUE-TVThe Times-Picayune and http://www.NOLA.com.

Other entertainment series honored included AMC’s Breaking Bad, which earned a second Peabody for its riveting final season; Netflix’s complex, character-driven prison drama Orange Is the New Black; Comedy Central’s racially shrewd sketch showcase Key & Peele; F/X’s The Bridge, an intense, cross-cultural crime drama set on and around the border between Texas and Mexico; and two distinctly different BBC America offerings: the naturalistic mystery Broadchurch and the wildly fanciful Orphan Black, a bioethical thriller about clones.

Web-based winners included Hollow (www.hollowdocumentary.com), an imaginative,  interactive site devoted to a struggling county in rural West Virginia, and A Short History of the Highrise (www.nytimes.com), a clever, highly visual tour of “vertical living.”

Issues of race and ethnicity were explored in several impressive recipients: The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Latino Americans, both shown on PBS, traced the history and the ongoing influence of peoples whose presence here predates the forming of the United StatesKen Burns’ The Central Park Fivealso on PBS, revisited a infamous New York rape case that wrongly sent five black and Latino teenagers to prison. National Public Radio reporter Michelle Norris’ The Race Card Project used six-word summations of listeners’ thoughts about race as the basis of remarkably telling feature reports.

A trio of documentaries addressed difficulties facing students and educators in poor, high-crime communities.This American Life‘s two-part Harper High School on radio and PBS’s 180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School provide richly nuanced stories of students coping with challenges from child-rearing to gun violence. Best Kept Secret, also shown on PBS, took viewers inside a poor Newark school with an unexpectedly exemplary program for autistic and other special-needs students.

Culture and the arts were represented by such Peabody winners as TCM: The Story of Film, which combined a 15-part retrospective with telecasts of more than 100 classic movies, and Great Performances: Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy, a tuneful celebration of the influence of composers such as Irving BerlinOscar Hammerstein III and Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim had a documentary all to himself as well: HBO’s Six by Sondheim, which combined his ruminations on composing with archival and fresh performances of some of his greatest songs. CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown was recognized for its unique recipe for blending culinary and cultural reporting.

The rich array of documentary winners included HBO’s tender Life According to Sam, the story of a teenager dealing with an accelerated aging disease, and the cable network’s Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, an frank report about a Catholic priest who abused more than 200 students at a Milwaukee school for the deaf.

Other documentary winners included The Law in These Parts, a POV film exploring the alternative legal systemIsrael developed for governing its occupied Palestinian territories, and three Independent Lens productions:How to Survive a Plague chronicled the crucial role AIDS activists and organizations like ACT UP played in saving lives and hobbling the epidemic. The House I Live In took stock of what we have to show for our 40-year “war” on drugs, and  The Invisible War assessed the shameful problem of rape in the U.S. military and why it persists.

A pair of documentaries from Al Jazeera America‘s Fault Lines series demonstrated its broad reach and aggressive journalism. Haiti in a Time of Cholera examined the epidemic that has erupted since the 2010 earthquake and underscored the likelihood that U.N. peacekeepers are the source. Made in Bangladesh found evidence of prominent American retailers turning a blind eye to the dangerous practices of foreign subcontractors, practices that led to horrible tragedies like the clothing-factory fire in Bangladesh that killed more than 100 people.

Awards in news included a personal citation to Tom Brokaw, author and former anchor of NBC Nightly News,and another to the current NBC team for In Plain Sight: Poverty in America, an ambitious multi-platform assessment of poverty’s many faces and forms today. A Peabody went to One-on-One with Assad, a CBS This Morning segment in which co-host Charlie Rose civilly but persistently pressed Syria’s president for explanations of his war against his own countrymen. And the public radio series Reveal was honored for The VA’s Opiate Overload, a shocking report about overdose deaths at Veterans Administration hospitals.   Continue reading

4TH ANNUAL TASTE AWARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCEMENT

The 4TH ANNUAL TASTE AWARDS is pleased to announce this year’s award winners. Award Winners were announced via livestream, and will receive their awards at the TASTE AWARDS RED CARPET GALA AND RECEPTION in Los Angeles on JANUARY 17TH, which will be filmed for later broadcast.

The TASTE AWARDS Medallion. (PRNewsFoto/TasteTV)

The TASTE AWARDS Medallion. (PRNewsFoto/TasteTV)

The ANNUAL TASTE AWARDS (also known as the TASTY AWARDS) in Hollywood celebrate the year’s best in Food, Fashion, and Lifestyle programs on Television, in Film, Online, and on Radio. In honor of their achievements, SCHILTZ FOODS ROAST GOOSE is providing complimentary holiday goose to winners of the Best Food Program: Television, Best Food Travel Series: Television, Best Food Travel Series: Web, Best Green or Organic Program, Best New Series, Best Food Program: Web, Best Film or Documentary, and Best Comedy categories. This gourmet roast goose will also be served at the January 17th Hollywood awards event. Additional award winner partner perks will be announced shortly.

The TASTE AWARDS RED CARPET GALA AND RECEPTION will feature a star-studded lineup of food and fashion TV celebrities, and has—in the past—included appearances by stars, celebrities, producers and executives from networks and other media platforms such as the FOOD NETWORK, THE STYLE NETWORK, BRAVO, THE COOKING CHANNEL, TLC, DISCOVERY, LIFETIME, E! ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION, PBS, NBC, ABC, THE CW, HGTV, THE TRAVEL CHANNEL, HD NET, HULU, YOUTUBE, SONY PICTURES, and more. Continue reading