Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 60th Anniversary Opening Night Gala Benefit Performance And Party

Honorary Chairs are Iconic Screen Stars Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson

Evening Features a Piece d’Occasion by Robert Battle, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations Sung by Ledisi, Erica Campbell, Norm Lewis, and Brandie Sutton, and the Premiere of Becoming Ailey – a Multimedia Work that Returns Alvin Ailey’s Presence to the Stage

Celebration Honors Prudential Financial and Launches Ailey’s Five-Week New York City Center Season

As a centerpiece to its yearlong Ailey Ascending 60th Anniversary celebration and a kickoff to its five-week holiday season, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will host a star-studded gala benefit on Wednesday, November 28th at 7pm, complete with a performance for the ages at New York City Center and party at the New York Hilton Midtown Grand Ballroom. The Honorary Chairs for the evening are screen icons, Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson.

Alvin-Ailey-American-Dance-Theater's-Samantha-Figgins-and-Jeroboam-Bozeman. CREDIT_ Photo by-Andrew-Eccles_logo_Email

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Samantha Figgins and Jeroboam Bozeman. Photo by Andrew Eccles

Bassett, a Golden Globe Award winner, stars in the hit television series 9-1-1, and was most recently featured in the 2018 blockbusters Black Panther and Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Tyson – known for a myriad of roles across television and film, including Roots, Fried Green Tomatoes, and most recently How to Get Away With Murder – has received three Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and on November 18th will make history as the first black woman to receive an Honorary Academy Award.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” grew from a now-fabled March 1958 performance in New York that changed forever the perception of American dance. Founded by Alvin Ailey, recent posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor, and guided by Judith Jamison beginning in 1989, the Company is now led by Robert Battle, whom Jamison chose to succeed her on July 1, 2011.

(The Ailey organization also includes Ailey II (1974), a second performing company of emerging young dancers and innovative choreographers; The Ailey School (1969), one of the most extensive dance training programs in the world; Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs, which brings dance into the classrooms, communities and lives of people of all ages; and The Ailey Extension (2005), a program offering dance and fitness classes to the general public, which began with the opening of Ailey’s permanent home—the largest building dedicated to dance in New York City, the dance capital of the world —named The Joan Weill Center for Dance, at 55th Street at 9th Avenue in New York City. For more information, visit

CREDIT_ Photo by Christopher Duggan. CAPTION_ AAADT with live onstage music in Alvin Ailey's Revelations

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with live onstage music in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Photo by Christopher Duggan

The once-in-a-lifetime program features selections of classic Ailey works including a specially staged excerpt of Memoria, a work he choreographed as an elegy for a dear friend; a piece d’occasion by Battle, set to Nina Simone’s Black is the Color; and culminates with Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece, Revelations, performed with live musicians and special guest singers Ledisi (Grammy-nominated jazz and R&B artist), Erica Campbell (Grammy-winning singer from the gospel duo Mary Mary), Norm Lewis (Tony-nominated baritone known for Broadway’s Porgy and Bess and NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar live), and Brandie Sutton (critically-acclaimed Metropolitan Opera soprano). The program also features the premiere of Becoming Ailey, a multimedia piece celebrating the continual gift of Alvin Ailey’s presence in our hearts, minds, and stages. Created in collaboration with the award-winning artists Bob Bonniol and Caryl Glabb of MODE Studios, Inc., it will bring the voice and likeness of Alvin Ailey back to the stage at the start of each performance during the New York City Center season.

Cicely Tyson. CREDIT_ Photo courtesy of Ailey, DCP.

Cicely Tyson. Photo courtesy of Ailey, DCP.

On this historic night we will mark 60 groundbreaking years and carry Alvin Ailey’s pioneering legacy onward and upward with a performance featuring renowned guest performers, cutting-edge innovation, and the artistry and inspiration that has made Ailey one of the world’s most beloved dance companies,” said Artistic Director Robert Battle. “It is also fitting that we take this occasion to honor Prudential Financial, a company that has helped Ailey reach so many milestones and was instrumental in creating the New Jersey Performing Arts Center where Ailey is the Principal Resident Affiliate and has performed annually for two decades. We welcome everyone to join the celebration and share in the joy during this milestone season.”

Ailey’s 60th Anniversary Holiday Season of premieres by renowned choreographers Rennie Harris, Ronald K. Brown, and Wayne McGregor, and returning favorites also features special programs, including “Timeless Ailey,” “All New,” “Three Visionaries,” “All Ailey,” and “All Battle,” plus a sparkling Season Finale on Sunday, December 30th. Click here for more information.

This historic evening also honors Prudential Financial for its generous support and commitment to Ailey for over three decades, especially its educational and community programs.

As one of our longest-standing corporate benefactors, Prudential Financial has played a vital role in Ailey’s success for more than half of the Company’s lifetime,” said Executive Director Bennett Rink. “Prudential has been indispensable in funding our outreach programs in Newark, AileyDance Kids and AileyCamp – a free summer program in Newark and 10 cities nationwide that helps guide inner city youth to their full potential. We thank them for their strategic planning and leadership support, as well as their commitment to advancing young people through education, and we applaud them for the tremendous work they’ve done to elevate the city of Newark.”

Prudential Financial is honored to have worked alongside Alvin Ailey to help achieve his vision to bring dance to all people,” said Lata Reddy, senior vice president, Diversity, Inclusion, and Impact at Prudential Financial. “His belief that the arts give voice to our shared humanity is one that we share. It’s with great joy that we at Prudential congratulate the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on their 60th Anniversary.

Christopher Taylor, an alumnus of the inaugural AileyCamp Newark (2011) and a current scholarship student at The Ailey School, will join Artistic Director Robert Battle in presenting Prudential Financial with the Ailey Legacy Honor.

Prominent figures in the worlds of entertainment, business, philanthropy, and politics will join Robert Battle and the Company for dinner and dancing to live music in the New York Hilton Midtown’s Grand Ballroom following the performance. The Gala benefits the creation of new works, scholarships to The Ailey School, and Ailey’s educational programs for young people. Emily & Len Blavatnik, Paulette & Howard Bradnock, Mellody Hobson & George Lucas, Debra L. Lee, Stephen Meringoff & Kim Charlton, Lata N. Reddy, Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach, and Joan & Sandy Weill serve as Co-Chairs for the Gala. (Call 212-405-9031 or visit for tickets.)

(Opening Night Gala Benefit Sponsors are Emily & Len Blavatnik, BNY Mellon, Debra L. Lee, The Meringoff Family Foundation, Prudential Financial, Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach, The Weill Family Foundation.)

Ailey is also proud to announce the Ailey Ascending Honorary Committee, a distinguished group of individuals across industries who will join the organization in celebrating 60 years of artistry and excellence: Gbenga Akinnagbe, Christiane Amanpour, Jon Batiste, Harry Belafonte, Colman Domingo, André Holland, LaTanya & Samuel L. Jackson, Jane Krakowski, Audra McDonald, Naturi Naughton, Yvonne Orji, Robin Roberts, Anika Noni Rose, Jussie Smollett, Lorraine Toussaint, and Fredricka Whitfield.

Tickets for season performances start at $29, and are now on sale at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix® at (212) 581-1212, or online at or

Lead support for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater‘s 60th Anniversary is provided by Emily and Len Blavatnik. Major support for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 60th Anniversary is provided by the  Ford Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, and Pamela D. Zilly & John H. Schaefer. Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 60th Anniversary Season in New York. American Express is the Official Card of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gratefully acknowledges the support of Diageo North America during the 60th Anniversary Season. The 60th Anniversary Season is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 25 million people in 71 countries on 6 continents – as well as millions more through television broadcasts, film screenings, and online platforms – promoting the uniqueness of the African‐American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance tradition. In addition to being the Principal Dance Company of New York City Center, where its performances have become a year‐end tradition, the Ailey company performs annually at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami‐Dade County in Miami, The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark where it is the Principal Resident Affiliate), and appears frequently in other major theaters throughout the United States and the world during extensive yearly tours.

59th BFI London Film Festival Announces the UK Premiere of Carol as the 2015 Festival’s American Express® Gala

Director Todd Haynes, stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara to attend the UK premiere.

Carol is a deeply romantic, emotionally honest love story and is also cinema at its most intoxicating and immaculate.” – Clare Stewart, BFI London Film Festival Director

The 59th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® has announced Carol, Todd Haynes’ beautiful 1950s set drama, as the 2015 BFI London Festival’s American Express Gala. The film will receive its UK Premiere on Wednesday 14 October at the Odeon Leicester Square, attended by Academy Award nominated director Haynes and its stars, Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett and Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara. Ms. Mara shared the best actress prize for her role in Carol at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival with Emmanuelle Bercot, who won for “Mon Roi.” (Read Sight & Sound’s Carol review)


Directed by Todd Haynes, from a seamless adaptation by Phyllis Nagy, “Carol” was anointed a critical favorite at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival in May after its first press screening. It’s the second collaboration of Mr. Haynes and Ms. Blanchett.

Based on Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel, The Price of Salt, adapted by Emmy nominated screenwriter Phyllis Nagy, directed by Todd Haynes, Carol stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy and Sarah Paulson.


Carol [is] an exquisitely drawn, deeply felt love story that teases out every shadow and nuance of its characters’ inner lives with supreme intelligence, breathtaking poise and filmmaking craft of the most sophisticated yet accessible order.” – Justin Chang, Chief Film Critic, Variety

A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens.

While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband (Kyle Chandler) threatens her competence as a mother when Carol’s involvement with Therese and close relationship with her best friend Abby (Sarah Paulson) comes to light.  As Carol leaves the comfort of home to travel with Therese, an internal journey of self-discovery coincides with her new sense of space.

Todd Haynes, Director remarked, We are all extremely proud to be presenting the UK premiere of Carol at the BFI London Film Festival, a film adaptation which had its roots in Britain, and a festival which has meant a tremendous amount to me personally over the years.”

Added Producer Elizabeth Karlsen, As a British/American production it is very fitting that Carol will premiere as the BFI London Film Festival’s American Express Gala. Carol is a beautiful romance with two powerful women at its heart and we are truly honoured that UK audiences will have the chance to see such a female-driven film at one of the world’s most prestigious festivals. Phyllis Nagy’s wonderful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s once-scandalous love story translates brilliantly to the big screen and director Todd Haynes’ exquisite filmmaking has done terrific justice to a seminal novel.”

Carol is produced by Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley of Number 9 Films alongside Christine Vachon of Killer Films. Carol was developed by Film4 who also co-financed the film and is produced in association with Larkhark Films Limited, for STUDIOCANAL, Hanway Films, Goldcrest, Dirty Films, and InFilm. Executive Producers are Tessa Ross, Dorothy Berwin, Thorsten Schumacher, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Danny Perkins, Cate Blanchett, Andrew Upton and Robert Jolliffe; and is co-produced by Gwen BialicSTUDIOCANAL will release the film in cinemas nationwide in the UK on 27 November 2015The Weinstein Company has scheduled Carol for a December 18 release in the U.S.

The 59th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® runs from Wednesday 7 OctoberSunday 18 October 2015. The full program for the Festival will be announced on Tuesday 1 September 2015.


Tribeca Film Festival at Spring Studios to be new destination for festivalgoers at 14th Annual TFF, April 15-26. AT&T’s “Film for All” Friday to return with Free Festival Screenings on April 24

The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by AT&T, yesterday announced the World Narrative and Documentary Competition film selections, along with the films selected for the Viewpoints section, which recognizes fresh voices in international and American independent cinema. Fifty-one of the 97 feature-length titles were named as part of the film program of the Festival’s 14th edition.


Image courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival


The Tribeca Film Festival helps filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enabling the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. It is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors. Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001, following the attacks on the World Trade Center, to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music, and culture, the Festival brings the industry and community together around storytelling. The Tribeca Film Festival has screened more than 1,600 films from more than 80 countries since its first edition in 2002. Since inception, it has attracted an international audience of more than 4.9 million attendees, and has generated an estimated $900 million in economic activity for New York City.

The Festival (#TFF2015, #TribecaTogether) also announced that AT&T will once again invite audiences to Festival screenings for free on Friday April 24 as part of AT&T’s “Film for All” Friday. TFF will take place from April 15 to 26 at locations throughout downtown Manhattan and will open with the documentary Live From New York!, an exploration of 40 years of American politics, tragedy, and popular culture through the comedic lens of “Saturday Night Live.”

As previously announced, the Festival will be anchored in TriBeCa with a new creative hub and gathering place at Spring Studios, which will provide a home for the Festival community to celebrate storytellers, artists and their work, and allow TFF attendees to interact and collaborate. Spring Studios will host many of the Festival’s special events, conversations, innovation events, Awards Night, and tff_min_300numerous Festival parties. The filmmaker, industry, and press lounges will be based at this creative hub in close proximity to the new press and industry screening venue, Regal Battery Park Stadium 11. Spring Passes are available for purchase and provide entry to Spring Studios, both throughout the Festival or for a given day.

The 2015 film selection includes feature films from 31 countries, including 64 World Premieres, three International Premieres, 13 North American Premieres, five U.S. Premieres, 11 New York Premieres and one restoration. A total of 119 directors will present feature works at the Festival, with 40 of these filmmakers making their feature directorial debuts. The 2015 film slate was chosen from a total of 6223 submissions.

Thirty of the Festival’s feature film directors are women –the highest percentage in the Festival’s history. Nine of these directors (as well as two screenwriters) are eligible to receive the third annual Nora Ephron Award, which recognizes a woman who embodies the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker and writer.

We were inspired by, and really admire the ambition and risk-taking of the filmmakers who are striving to capture the emotions and complexities of everyday life in this year’s submissions,” said Frederic Boyer, Artistic Director Tribeca Film Festival.

The films in competition and viewpoints come from all over the world and showcase a wide range of styles, yet have remarkable universality. They exhibit a sophistication in storytelling and a pursuit of truth that we believe will resonate with audiences,” added Festival Director, Genna Terranova.

This year, 12 narrative and 12 documentary features making their North American, International, or World Premieres will compete for cash prizes totaling $225,000, as well as artwork from the Artists Awards program, featuring donated work from contemporary artists.

The films selected for the World Narrative Competition, World Documentary Competition, and Viewpoints are:

World Narrative Feature Competition
This year’s showcase highlights a particularly diverse representation of international cinema, from Iceland and Costa Rica to South Africa and Albania. These are stories with a strong sense of location, whether it’s two brothers surviving the Civil War in rural Kentucky (Men Go To Battle), a spate of mysterious suicides in a Welsh industrial town (Bridgend), or an underworld thriller set in Greece with strong overtones of the financialcrisis (Wednesday 04:45). Yet despite their specificity of locale, an underlying commonality runs through the films making them accessible to diverse cultures and audiences: lone-wolf characters reach out for connection in The Survivalist, Franny and Virgin Mountain. In other films, families grapple with crises: a mother strives to protect her wayward son inDixieland; an estranged father and son collide in The Adderall Diaries; and a couple heals together after tragedy in Meadowland. Titles in this curated selection of 12 international stories and voices compete for the Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature, Best New Narrative Director, Best Actor and Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Editing in a Narrative, and Best Cinematography.

Stephen Elliott (James Franco) and Neil Elliott (Ed Harris) Anna Kooris

Stephen Elliott (James Franco) and Neil Elliott (Ed Harris) Anna Kooris

The Adderall Diaries, directed and written by Pamela Romanowsky. (USA) – World Premiere. Elliott (James Franco, left), a once-successful novelist inflicted with writer’s block and an Adderall addiction strives to escape his problems by delving into the world of a high-profile murder case. Amber Heard, Ed Harris, and Cynthia Nixon co-star in this adaptation of Elliott’s best-selling memoir. Continue reading

Organizers Announces the Complete Line-Up of Films, Documentaries and Events for the 57th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express®

The British Film Institute has announced the complete program for the 57th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express®, with BFI’s Head of Cinemas and Festivals, Clare Stewart returning for her second year with a rich and diverse programme of international films and events from both established and upcoming talent over a 12 day celebration of cinema.

As Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive, BFI remarked in the Festival Introduction Letter on the BFI London Film Festival lff13-artworkwebsite, “The BFI London Film Festival is a brilliant achievement – and I think it’s okay for me to say that! Every year, without fail, I get a sense of excitement and anticipation that is heightened the minute I finally get to see the programme laid out in its entirety. Our Festival team has scoured the globe to set it before us. It is the BFI doing what it does best – completing the perfect circle from taking that initial act of confidence to invest in a film as yet unformed, to believing in the vision of filmmakers and writers, both established or as yet untried; igniting the imagination and minds of audiences with one of the richest and most imaginative cultural programmes in the world. We give film a powerful expression. The BFI London Film Festival celebrates new voices, new stories and new ideas and brings them not only to audiences across London, but increasingly UK-wide over a range of platforms. There are films that will dazzle, entertain, educate and astound; we have filmmakers who have picked up a camera for the first time, and established auteurs with more magic to unveil. It really is brilliant and it’s all for you.”

Stewart also took the opportunity to celebrate the life of her predecessor, who recently passed away: “On a more sombre note, I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor, the ground-breaking Sheila Whitaker who was LFF’s Festival Director from 1987 to 1996, as well as head of programming for the National Film Theatre (now BFI Southbank) from 1984. Sheila, who remained an exemplary friend to our programming team, sadly passed away this August. All at the LFF acknowledge her legacy, and proudly carry it forward. It is timely that, during this year’s Festival, we will launch a new BFI Southbank strand – Discover Arab Cinema – and Sheila, whose speciality was in this field, had a guiding hand in establishing this important new programme.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: CEO of the BFI Amanda Nevill and BFI Head of Cinema and Festivals Clare Stewart attend a photocall for the 57th BFI London Film Festival Press Launch at Odeon Leicester Square on September 4, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 04: CEO of the BFI Amanda Nevill and BFI Head of Cinema and Festivals Clare Stewart attend a photocall for the 57th BFI London Film Festival Press Launch at Odeon Leicester Square on September 4, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Director Paul Greengrass attends the 57th BFI London Film Festival Press Launch Photocall at Odeon Leicester Square on September 4, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 04: Director Paul Greengrass attends the 57th BFI London Film Festival Press Launch Photocall at Odeon Leicester Square on September 4, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)

The Festival will screen a total of 234 fiction and documentary features, including 22 World Premieres, 16 International Premieres, 29 European Premieres and 20 Archive films. There will also be screenings of 134 live action and animated shorts. A stellar line-up of directors, cast and crew are expected to take part in career interviews, master classes and other special events. The 57th BFI London Film Festival will run from 9-20 October 2013.

Taking place over 12 days, the Festival’s screenings are at venues across the capital, from the West End cinemas – Odeon West End, Vue West End, Odeon Leicester Square and a new addition this year the Cineworld Haymarket; central London venues – BFI Southbank; the ICA, Curzon Mayfair, and Ciné Lumière; and local cinemas – Ritzy Brixton, Hackney Picturehouse, Renoir, Everyman Screen on the Green and Rich Mix. Additional screenings and events will take place at the Curzon Chelsea, BFI London IMAX and Village Underground.


The BFI London Film Festival experience can be enjoyed UK- wide with the upcoming launch of the BFI Player, the BFI’s new web VOD service, featuring a Festival digital channel showing regular red carpet action and film maker interviews. BFI London Film Festival content will be a key attraction in the first range of services on the BFI Player and will also be available on the recently launched BFI Samsung smart TV app.

Tom Hanks stars in Columbia Pictures' "Captain Phillips," a high-stakes thriller based on true story of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates

Tom Hanks stars in Columbia Pictures’ “Captain Phillips,” a high-stakes thriller based on true story of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates

L-r, Barkhad Abdi, Tom Hanks and Faysal Ahmed star in Columbia Pictures' "Captain Phillips", a high-stakes thriller based on true story of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates

L-r, Barkhad Abdi, Tom Hanks and Faysal Ahmed star in Columbia Pictures’ “Captain Phillips”, a high-stakes thriller based on true story of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates

Continue reading

Charlie Wilson, Sheila E. Headline Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 29-Sept. 1

20th Anniversary Event features Hip Hop Icon Doug E. Fresh, Actor Anthony Anderson, Comedian Chris Spencer, more at PGA National Resort, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

R&B Legend Charlie Wilson and World-renown Percussionist Sheila E. will join the nation’s top African American entrepreneurs, executives and professionals at the landmark 20th anniversary edition of the Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Whatever the agenda—be it entertainment, lounging poolside, hitting the links or courts, or being pampered at the spa—the power networking, luxury and fun is the bottom line at this one-of-a-kind Labor Day Weekend, set for Aug. 29- Sept. 1, at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.—the site of the very first Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge.


BLACK ENTERPGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach GardenPRISE has long been the ultimate source to build Wealth for Life, is the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, BE has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. Every month, BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine provides 4 million readers with information on entrepreneurship, careers, and financial management. A multimedia company, BE also produces television programming, business and lifestyle events, Web content, and digital media and is the definitive source of information for and about African American business leaders, personal finance, careers and small business.

Legendary R&B Artist Charlie Wilson will be joined by world renown percussionist Sheila E. among the entertainers for the 20th Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., this Labor Day Weekend, August 29-Sept 1.  (PRNewsFoto/Black Enterprise)

Legendary R&B Artist Charlie Wilson will be joined by world renown percussionist Sheila E. among the entertainers for the 20th Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., this Labor Day Weekend, August 29-Sept 1. (PRNewsFoto/Black Enterprise)

The prestigious weekend continues to be the largest African American sporting event of its kind, with two decades of showcasing world-class entertainers (Raphael Saadiq, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Fantasia, Steve Harvey, Babyface, Earth Wind & Fire, MC Lyte, Big Daddy Kane, Chrisette Michelle, Anthony Hamilton and Dave Chappelle are just a small sampling of the showstoppers who have performed at the Challenge) and attracting African American achievers from every arena, ranging from then-teen tennis sensations Venus and Serena Williams, to golf legends Charlie Sifford and Lee Elder. Other entertainers and personalities slated to appear at the Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge include Actor Anthony Anderson, Comedian Chris Spencer and Hip Hop Icon Doug E. Fresh, with still others to be announced. The yearly conclave draws hundreds of attendees, including some of the nation’s top corporate executives, professionals, tastemakers and entrepreneurs for fun in the sun, top-notch entertainment, and all-inclusive amenities in a relaxed and engaging environment. The most determined golf and tennis competitors will compete for the coveted Purple Jacket, awarded to the champions of the Challenge tournaments, as well as trophies by Tiffany.

anthonyanderson dougefresh gt2013_billboards

Charlie Wilson, one of the most prolific and energetic live entertainers of his generation, is currently commanding center stage with the sparkling ballad “My Love Is All I Have,” which has already reached #1 on the Billboard Urban Adult Contemporary chart. No one slam-dunks a ballad like Wilson, the Grammy-nominated multi-talent behind the 15-week Billboard UAC chart-topper “You Are.” And that truth remains undisputed with “My Love Is All I Have” from Wilson’s fourth solo album Love, Charlie from P Music/RCA Records. The set — released on Jan. 29, Wilson’s birthday, debuted #1 on the Billboard R&B chart and #4 on the Top 200. His second single, “Turn Off The Lights” is presently making its way to the top of the Urban Adult Contemporary chart. Continue reading

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Announces Preliminary Schedule for the new York Spring/Summer 2014 Collections

Summer may be almost over, but the fashion industry is kicking into high gear as the 2014 Spring/Summer New York Fashion Shows are just a few weeks away from their debut. Mercedes-Benz Fashion (New York) Week draws hundreds of thousands of fashion fans to New York City, and today IMG Fashion, owners and producers ofMercedes-Benz-Fashion-Week_06 the Event, announced the preliminary line up of designers who will take center-stage at Lincoln Center, September 5-12, 2013.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week truly embodies the global scale of the fashion industry and highlights the limitless boundaries of design. A leader in the global fashion event circuit; Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York has the highest number of international designers who choose to make this Event the home for their Collection debuts,” says Christina Neault, Executive Producer, IMG Fashion Events and Properties. “As well, with three fashion schools and numerous emerging designers presenting alongside their established colleagues, Lincoln Center is the place to discover the next rising star.”

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York is internationally recognized as the world’s stage to premier the latest744px-mercedes-benz_logo_svg developments in cutting-edge fashion to the global fashion industry,” said Stephanie Zimmer, Manager of Brand Experience Marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA. “The excitement is building in anticipation of what will hit the runways from both the well-known designers and emerging talent showing this season.”

Over 100,000 guests, journalists, buyers and members of the industry make Lincoln Center become the heartbeat of the city for the 8 days of shows and events. Title sponsor Mercedes-Benz is joined by DHL, American Express®, Maybelline New York, TRESemmé, Samsung, Reel Code, Style Network, WGSN, Beck’s Sapphire, The New York Times, as well as Women’s Wear Daily and Getty Images.

September 5th

  • 2:30-3:30PMC ANDELA at BOX
  • 5PM MARISSA WEBB at STUDIO Continue reading

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2014 Announces Exciting Events Taking over South Beach in July

DSC_0070 DSC_0083In just a couple of weeks, Miami Beach will come alive with the spirit of fashion, as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim once again hosts over 30 designer runway shows, presentations and special events. This season, in an effort to engage more fashionable consumers and to extend the momentum across South Beach, IMG Fashion has planned a series of events to compliment the jam packed schedule of shows at The Raleigh Hotel.

atmosphere during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2013 on July 19, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida.

atmosphere during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2013 on July 19, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida.



The week will host special movie screenings and industry Q&A’s to give fashion fans an inside look at the inner workings of the industry. On Tuesday, July 16th, a screening of The Tents will give guests an all-access look into the making of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. Featuring exclusive interviews with some of the industry’s biggest names, the 2012 documentary chronicles the history and significance of fashion’s most influential event. Special guest hosts, The Tents Director James Belzer and Mercedes-DSC_0094 DSC_0096 DSC_0131Benz Fashion Week Executive Producer Christina Neault, will be in attendance for a Q & A with audience members. And on July 20th, Bergdorf Goodman Senior Vice President Linda Fargo and Naeem Khan, fashion designer to the world’s most stylish women, will host a special screening of Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s, the first movie to take you behind the scenes of the department store that defined luxury.

The SLS Hotel will host an exciting afternoon of presentations on Sunday, July 21st. Nanette Lepore, Oakley, BCBGeneration, and Gottex will give editors and buyers an up close look at their Collections, in a series of by-invitation only showings.

On Monday, July 22nd, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim will start the day with an exclusive Thought Leadership Panel entitled “Design and Inspiration.” Art, music and film have inspired artists for decades, but fashion designers look to these and many art forms to stimulate their designs and ultimately inspire consumers on the retail floor; turning inspiration into viable businesses. Led by Ocean Drive Fashion Editor-at-Large Laurie Brookins, an industry panel of experts, including Nanette Lepore and Mara Hoffman, will describe the process of turning inspiration into a sellable collection.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim is on July 18th-22nd, 2013, with over 10,000 international members of the press and industry expected to descend on South Beach for the 2014 Collections.

Title sponsor Mercedes-Benz is joined by DHL, American Express®, TRESemmé, Smashbox Cosmetics, Ipanema, The Raleigh, Ocean Drive Magazine, California Apparel News Waterwear, and Getty Images

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim is an IMG Event.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2013 Line-Up:


Thursday, July 18th

8-10 p.m. The Raleigh – Official Kick Off Party, Celebrating 25 years of Roxy with Roxy Pop Surf


Friday, July 19th

6 p.m.   Cabaña Grande – Agua Bendita

7 p.m.   Oasis – Poko Pano

8 p.m.   Cabaña  Grande – Dolores CoRTés

9 p.m.   Oasis – Suboo

10 p.m. Cabaña Gande – Beach Bunny


Saturday, July 20th 

6 p.m.   Cabaña Grande – Nicolita

7 p.m.   Oasis – Aqua Di Lara

8 p.m.   Cabaña Grande – Mara Hoffman Swim

9 p.m.   Oasis – Vix Paula and Hermanny

10 p.m. Cabaña Grande  –  Cm Cia.Maritima


Sunday, July 21th

2:30 p.m. Tba –  Gottex

3 p.m.      Tba – Oakley

6 p.m.      Cabaña Grande – L*Space by Monica Wise

7 p.m.      Oasis – A.Z Araujo

8 p.m.      Cabaña Grande – Luli Fama

9 p.m.      Oasis – Caffé Swimwear

10 p.m.    Cabaña Grande- Maaji Swimwear


Monday, July 22nd

6 p.m.    Cabaña Grande – Sauvage and Zingara Swimwear

7 p.m.   Oasis – 6 Shore Road

8 p.m.   Cabaña Grande – A.Ché Swim, Aguaclara, AquaRella, and Caitlin Kelly Swimwear

9 p.m.   Oasis – Minimale Animale


By Phillip D. Johnson
Runway Images photographed by SHELDON BALDIE/Staff Photographer/

A general view of atmosphere during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2013 on July 19, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida.

A general view of atmosphere during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2013 on July 19, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida.**

Let’s face it, this winter has been the worst, one of the most inconsistent, soul-sucking winter seasons of recent years. Truth be told, I am READY for the upcoming summer months. With the summer months stretching gloriously in front of us, I can’t wait for 90 degree weather and ditching the heavy overcoat. I am ready to live my days wearing as few pieces of clothing as possible. And more importantly, I am looking forward to going to the beach, getting away from it all, and generally rejuvenating my spirits.

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If the 2013 MERCEDES BENZ FASHION WEEK SWIM shows held at the RALEIGH HOTEL (1775 Colleins Avenue, Miami Beach) were any indication, women across the spectrum will be having a most spectacular 2013 Spring/Summer season. Beach lovers will be able to worship the sun sporting a very wide variety of bikinis, one-piece and maillots in an equally wide variety of cuts, fabrics and print options. For spring/summer 2013, the designers who showed at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim Shows captured the chic beach lifestyle of women everywhere. This included swimwear in optical/graphic/geometric prints. Other trends as seen on the runway includes a raft of tropical/floral prints (beyond lovely), hand-embroidered detailing, sophisticated black/white themed pieces, and animal prints (surely a take away from the runways of New York, London, Paris and Milan where fur and animal skins has made a major comeback since the fall/winter 2012 shows in February/March 2012). Other trends included a run on metallics, a surprising emphasis on neons, and pastels, and an emerging trend that highlights tribal and native influences.

A View from above of the famous pool at the Raleigh Hotel.

A View from above of the famous pool at the Raleigh Hotel.

Most important, with the increased focus on skin cancer and proper sun coverage, there were a great many beach caftans/coveralls that were decidedly modern. These pieces are designed to take a woman, who’s on vacation and in a relaxed mood, to go directly from the beach to dinner and/or cocktails in a seamless manner. Casual or “vacation formal”, the humble beach caftan –short, mid or long– is the idea piece for any and every woman.

A model walks the runway at the Gottex show during  Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2013 at SLS Hotel on July 22, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida.

A model walks the runway at the Gottex show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2013 at SLS Hotel on July 22, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida.**


A model walks the runway at the Nicolita show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2013 at The Raleigh on July 20, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida.

A model walks the runway at the Nicolita show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2013 at The Raleigh on July 20, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida.**

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Turning famous landmarks (RED) on WORLD AIDS DAY has become a bit of a tradition at (RED). And once again, on December 1st, cities around the world will unite and illuminate landmarks (RED) to honor World AIDS Day.  To mark the occasion around the globe, many of the world’s most iconic buildings and best known landmarks will turn (RED) on December 1. Among those showing support for the fight against AIDS are the SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE, AAMI STADIUM AND THE ARTS CENTRE SPIRE IN MELBOURNE, THE EDF ENERGY LONDON EYE, Cape Town’s TABLE MOUNTAIN, Toronto’s CN TOWER, THE PONTE VECCHIO and PALAZZO VECCHIO in Florence, Dublin’s CHRISTCHURCH CATHEDRAL and THE SOUMAYA MUSEUM in Mexico City.

The Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia goes (RED)

San Francisco City Hall

In addition, New York’s EMPIRE STATE BUILDING and TIMES SQUARE‘s NASDAQ MARKETSITE TOWER and THE STANDARD, HIGH LINE, CITY HALL IN SAN FRANCISCO, The WRIGLEY BUILDING in Chicago, CITY HALL in Atlanta, CITY HALL and WAR MEMORIAL PLAZA (promenade) in Baltimore, over 15 buildings in Providence, including G-TECH and the RHODE ISLAND STATE HOUSE and the PYLONS at LAX AIRPORT will also all turn (RED). The landmark lightings will help raise awareness and support for our goal of eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015.  The lightings will also bring awareness of the issue to a local level with many individual cities hosting events. Continue reading