OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, Sunday, April 29

Celebrating The Grieving Community And The Power Of Uniting Hands With Paws

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center, one of the most respected non-profit grief centers in the nation, will host its ninth annual Run for Hope 5K Festival on Sunday, April 29 at the West Los Angeles Civic Center & Bandshell. The Run for Hope is the only event of its kind in the nation- a day dedicated to celebrating and honoring the memory of loved ones who have died. Every year, the Run focuses on community engagement, and bringing people together to support each other in memory of their loved ones.

Deeply rooted in the community are the Presenting Sponsors – The Hollander Family and Karma Rescue– who will honor this commitment by showcasing the power of unity by uniting hands with paws.

“We are proud to help unite the community in the memory of their loved ones,” said Michele Prince, Executive Director, OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center, “The Run for Hope is our largest event of the year with an expected 1,700 attendees who have pledged to raise over $500,000 for essential grief support services and the collective benefit of our community.”

The event will be filled with activities for those participating in the walk or stopping by to show their support. With registration, participants can personalize t-shirts with their loved ones’ photos commemorating and celebrating their memories, and on Sunday, April 29 take part in three key events: The In-Memory Ceremony, 5K, and Festival. Additionally, there will be an In-Memory Wall inviting participants to write and place the name of their special person who died amongst others also being remembered.

The Presenting Sponsors – The Hollander Family, and Karma Rescue– are further exemplifying community commitment by bringing smiles to participants with a dog-kissing booth where all can receive a smooch by a pooch. Karma Rescue will also bring some of their rescue dogs, as many who are mourning the death of a loved one are often calmed and reassured by the loving companionship of a pet. Jackie Hollander says, “My vision for OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center and Karma Rescue is to have these two wonderful organizations collaborate by uniting people and animals at their most vulnerable times, helping them provide solace and support for each other.” To honor the memory of participant’s pets who have died, all will be able to memorialize them on the Zuma Memorial Wall.

A variety of vendors likely in attendance include: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, BAI Water, Yelp, New York Life, Trader Joes, YogaWorks, LA Trial Lawyers’ Charities, VI Aesthetics, Nature’s Bakery Bars, Homemade Harvey, and Di Dio’s Italian Ice.

9th Annual Run for Hope In-Memory Walk & 5K Run/Walk
Sunday, April 29, 2018 7:30am-Noon

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center’s Run for Hope is a day to share grief, loss & love; providing the community with a sense of hope & connection.

Where: West Los Angeles Civic Center & Bandshell, 1645 Corinth Ave., LA 90025

Schedule of Events

6:30 am:         Check-in/Registration/Packet Pickup opens
7:30 am:         In-Memory Walk Sponsored by The Rapaport Family

An intimate ceremony for adults-only led by OUR HOUSE’s Adult Clinical Team where participants have the opportunity to share about their loved one who has died, and listen as others share their stories of grief, hope and healing.

8:00 am:         Dog Kissing Booth opens (all day event)

8:45 am:         Councilmember Mike Bonin and Daniel Tamm from the Mayor’s office will make a special presentation

9:00 am:         5K Run/Walk & Family Fun Run

10:15 am:       Awards Ceremony

11:00 am:       Raffle Draw

8:30 am-         Kid Zone + Festival

12:00 pm:       Spread the Love. Spread the Hope. #OHRun4Hope #pawsandhands #karmarescue

Registration and Info:

http://www.ourhouse-grief.org/runforhope/

About OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center:

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center is one of the nation’s most respected organizations for grief support and education. For 25 years, OUR HOUSE has helped thousands of grieving children, teens, and adults as they embark on their journeys to hope and healing following the death of someone close. The safe, warm, and nurturing environment of their Los Angeles centers offer support groups specific to age and relationship. OUR HOUSE is a leading provider of grief education, offering workshops, seminars, and in-service training to mental health and medical professionals, clergy, educators, and other members of the community who interact with bereaved families. The OUR HOUSE grief education program is part of the curricula for students at USC’s Keck and UCLA’s David Geffen Schools of Medicine. To learn more, please visit http://www.ourhouse-grief.org or call 1.888.417.1444.

About Karma Rescue:

Karma Rescue is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving animals in need by finding them permanent homes and providing the resources for successful companionship. Through education, Karma Rescue instills the critical need for spay/neuter, and offers guidance to strengthen the animal-human bond. Karma Rescue’s vision is to help create a compassionate society, which provides safety, refuge, and protection for all animals.

KCET to Host Premiere of “Love & Bananas: An Elephant Story” as Part of Their Environmental Film Festival this Friday Night

 

By: Judy Shields

Hollywood, California (The Hollywood Times) 4/17/2018 – “I am so excited to have been recognized by KCET and to have the opportunity to come out on a wide platform and getting the nationwide release that Abramorama is giving us.” Ashley Bell, director of “Love and Bananas: An Elephant Story” told The Hollywood Times.

This #EarthDay, discover the beauty of Asian Elephants and learn how their future is in jeopardy. Love And Bananas comes to theaters April 22, 2018 and tells the unlikely story of how a 70-year old Asian Elephant named Noi Na was rescued from a Thai trekking camp. Find a screening near you at
http://loveandbananas.com/screenings/  #LoveAndBananas

Elephant rescues in Thailand are rare, unpredictable and often life threatening. Join a team of extraordinary people who race against the clock to save Noi Na, a 70-year old captive Thai trekking elephant in the new documentary Love And Bananas. Learn more at http://www.loveandbananas.com

Ashley Bell and a team of elephant rescuers, led by world-renowned Asian elephant conservationist Sangdeaun Lek Chailert, embark on a daring 48-hour mission, 500 miles across Thailand to rescue a 70-year old captive blind Asian elephant and bring her to freedom. “Love & Bananas: An Elephant Story” is a heartwarming and hopeful film that exposes the plight of Asian elephants and the people who work tirelessly to save them.

Interview with Ashley Bell:

THT: “How exciting to have your movie première at the KCET Environmental Film Festival this Friday night.”

Ashley Bell: “It’s very surreal to think that a couple of years ago I was literally on the back of a truck with an 8,000 pound elephant covered in mud racing her to freedom and the fact that we are having the opportunity to have our LA première on the Sony Pictures lot with KCET, is a huge honor for me.”

THT:  “I was lucky enough to preview this movie this weekend and I want to know how nervous were you riding in the back of that truck?”

Ashley: “Pretty nervous (with laughter).  It hit me like a wave when that journey began with the severity of the situation that we were in. Noi Na got heat stroke on the truck and almost tipped it over. When the voyage began we were barreling down the super highway in Thailand with this huge elephant that was very scared, the truck got very quiet and our conservationist Lek got quite. When I saw her get quite, I knew that things were getting into a very sensitive and dangerous zone.  The way she read Noi Na’s body language was one of the most fascination things I have ever witnessed. She explained to the camera what was happening with her. Noi Na refused to eat, she wasn’t drinking water, and she kept a small piece of corn tucked inside her mouth. She is partially blinded, so she can see out one eye, but here head was moving in a phonetic way, because she was trying to understand what was going on. For all Noi Na knew, that truck meant she was going to another logging camp, trekking facility or for more service.  Who was she to know she was on her way to freedom.”

Ashley Bell and Lek

“What separated Lek and I from Noi Na were just two beams. I put my hand on the beam and Lek took my hand and moved it to the other side just in case Noi Na would make a surge to go forward.  Lek did not want my hand to get broken in two. It was in that moment that it dawned upon me, my God this is just another day for this elephant, this is the life of a captive service elephant and this is what is normal for them. It was very quiet on those moments on the truck. We had 22 hours ahead of us throughout the night.”

THT: “How did the making of this documentary movie make you feel?”

Ashley: “Incredibly humble and incredibly grateful. I’ve known about Lek’s work as a kid growing up and before I met her, I had heard of this rock star elephant whisper/conservationist. When I met her, I was pretty tongue-tied, because Lek is on the frontline with every single day, in grave danger, fighting to protect this species and she trusted us, she let us accompanying her on an elephant rescue. She took us under her wings in the sanctuary and she showed us what happens when you take the chains off and let an elephant be an elephant.

She regards elephants like people, by saying that, she treats them with dignity and respect. How severely Asian elephants are abused and broken, you can feel them with love. I am a very skeptical person, but I saw it with my own eyes and what I saw were miracles. Our job, when she trusted us with her undercover footage, her undercover story, we were allowed to interview people in Thailand, that opened up to us, our job was to get it right before it was too late.”

THT: “Has your movie been at other film festivals?”

Ashley: “We had our world première at the DC Environmental Film Festival and you hope there are more than just 15 people. When we got there it was sold out and the audience was filled with kids and teenagers and that really was the audience we all strove to make the film for and make it feel safe for kids to come see”.

“Kids are super savvy and everything must be completely authentic, so we wanted to take people on an action packed rescue, and we are happy it landing with a younger audience.”

THT: “This movie brought me to tears and it was even hard to get through this interview, but okay, I did cry talking with Ashley.

She was kind enough to console me and to tell me she had that same reaction as well.”

Ashley: “When you know better, you do better. I was born and raised a vegetarian and always thought I was eco aware and environmentally savvy or just aware, an aware human. I saw as a teenager in US Weekly, some celebrity going on an elephant ride and I said, ‘oh, I want to do that,’ and my Dad said at the time ‘oh do you know what it takes to get them there?’ I didn’t and there is a saying now with every single environmentalist that they have a fur jacket in their closet, that is just a saying and it’s a thought that when you know better you do better. Nobody really knows the truth about elephant rides, elephant paintings, behind elephant polo or just seeing elephants in service. I am so unbelievably moved by your reaction because that was my aha moment. I have to use the resources I have at my disposable to do something. That was partnering with Change For Balance Productions and setting out to making a documentary about this.”

THT: “When did you actually finish the movie?”

Ashley: “About one year ago this month. We filmed for two weeks in Thailand and some in Cambodia. Going in we knew the story that we wanted to tell and we wanted to take people on an elephant rescue. That was always going to be the heart of the film. So that rescue took place over 22 hours and once we got there, via a Facebook message from Lek. I had about 48 hours to assemble a crew of three guys and take a redeye flight over to Thailand. When we woke up the next night we were on the back of that truck heading down to the rescue and it happened quickly because we waited two and half years for an elephant rescue to happen. There were false starts where elephants were up for rescue, but before Lek could get to them, they had been sold off to do circuses. We joke and say we had like a baby bag by the door because as soon as we go the call we have to leave right then.”

THT: “Can you image Lek, this tiny woman a true elephant whisper?”

Ashley Bell & an Elephant from Love & Bananas Documentary About a Thai Elephant Rescue

Ashley: “Can you believe it. Like getting any type of tap from an elephant’s knee felt like whiplash. I felt save around and under the elephants because I was with Lek and we are warned to give space to the elephants on the sanctuary land because the elephants are under a great deal of psychological stress and physical impairment. Because Lek is their mom, she is the matriarch of their society. Lek is the elephant whisper. I have never seen anybody as effortlessly, constantly give energy forward. I mean that in the sense of it’s just so fluid, that she is continuing to contribute to the animals, the environment and the betterment of the society that she is in. She does that without break and without hesitation.

Lek & Ashley hanging out with the Elephants

She sleeps about four hours a night in a room above her office with a bed full of dogs and a bunch of dogs on the ground and a husband.”

THT: “Are the dogs good with the elephants, is it therapeutic for both the dogs and elephants?”

Ashley: “They are great together. It is insane, you see this herd of about 90 elephants roaming around the sanctuary and 400 rescue dogs. A herd of buffalo and a couple of pigs. Everybody is in perfect harmony and Lek is on her bike riding around and it is Utopia!”

Lek with her many rescue dogs

“When Lek starts a sanctuary, she makes sure to take care of the whole surrounding village. She is providing school for all the local kids, she provides satellite and medical equipment, running water and she also provides jobs for the local villagers so that they don’t need to illegally poach and have a steady income on the sanctuary land. When she loads in that model, the whole area flourishes. Both the villagers, the environment, the forest that they are in and the sanctuary they are in. She was stuffing the bananas with de-worming medication to take care of the elephants as she was doing an interview. Then she stocked piled a mound of clothes and toys that she brought from the main village to give to all the villagers and their children. As she was doing this, someone complimented her shoes and she took them off her feet and gave them to this woman who had no shoes. That was day one!”

“If we all had one percent of Lek we could do something great with the world…”

“If truly been an honor to tell this story and our only job was to get it right.”

“There are around 415,000 African elephants left in the world, but only about 40-45,000 Asian elephants and they are endangered species of the two. In some parts of southern China, they are functionally extinct, meaning they don’t have a herd big enough to properly reproduce. We are there. I have been asked ‘why should I care about an Asian elephants, what can these elephants do for me?’ Which is a painful question because I wouldn’t think that you would have to explain the importance of a species by justifying their life on earth.”

“Asian elephants are a keystone species. Their existence provides environment, food and shelter and a whole ecosystem for a multitude of other species that they live with. They have actually linked Asian elephants to helping fight climate change. When an elephant goes through a jungle, they carve their path and eat a bunch of food and when they produce waste, out sprouts a kind of new jungle and they found that areas with Asian elephants show that there is a more densely populated forest and jungle and greenery.” With a species this huge, we do not know the ramification of what will happen when they are gone and we have to do something to stop it before it is too late.”

Publication from the WWF on Asian Elephants and Climate Change:

https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/asian-elephants-and-climate-change#

Watch this humorous video about how elephants grow a forest:  https://youtu.be/UMFWdTVtQw0

THT: “People argue that many animals have gone extinct without man, I say, who cares, they are going to continue to go extinct, but when man has something to do with it, we need to do something about that!”

Ashley: “Wow, that’s everything, thank you…thank you.”

THT: “What would you like to say about this new environmental documentary film?

Ashley: “Come on this journey. Even in the making of it, it’s a documentary, but I set out to not make a documentary, but to take audiences on a journey and on an elephant rescue. So join the rescue and join king banana, join the herd!”

THT: “How is Noi Na doing?”

Noi Na enjoying the river

Ashley: “As of now she has made two new friends and Lek said that Noi Na is still eating extending her truck and not going up to the food and eat, it’s like in her mind she is still chained.  So when she eats she never approaches the food she just reaches out with her trunk. Psychologically she is still in chains to this day, but she does spend her days down by the river and she loves to go swimming.”

THT: “What is Lek up to these days?”

Ashley: “There are 12 satellite camps that have done the humane conversion. Where they were trekking camps and they changed their model to be humane sanctuaries.”

“All throughout southern Thailand and Lek again provides all the resources to that camp to help them with volunteers and switching the elephants from chains to living more humanly. She has a whole team that assists with that so that the trekking owners won’t feel alone in the process. In doing this they are much more profitable than they ever were as trekking camps.”

Man’s Way
Gods Way

“People are becoming more and more aware of wanting to be with elephants as elephants and not wanting to ride an elephant or see them in entertainment, that is just further proof that when you know better you do better.”

 

Ashley said that Lek will be here in Los Angeles for the KCET première on Friday at Sony studios.

“On Sunday, April 22nd we are going to be having a nationwide screening day on Earth Day of Love & Bananas all across the country and in the California locations Lek, myself and Change for Balance Productions, our production company will be doing Q&As and Skype.” Ashley said.

Check out the website: http://loveandbananas.com/screenings/

Website: http://loveandbananas.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LoveAndBananas/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loveandbananasmovie/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LoveAndBananas

“You don’t need a bull hook to control an elephant. You can guide an elephant with love… And bananas” – Lek Chailert, Founder of Save Elephant Foundation

 

 

Please check this website out about a rescued elephant pictured here:

https://www.saveelephant.org/news/resurrected-a-ghost-brought-back-to-life/

This is where we all need to go and join the herd to help make a difference in an elephant’s life – http://loveandbananas.com/join-the-herd/

The Love & Bananas Impact Campaign mission is to bring awareness, empathy and action to the plight of the Asian Elephant.

Check out these videos about Lek and her elephants.

Love Bigger Than Fear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7amiIElXUCM

Nick Merriman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uRbZDeBKVw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owEdzjmQfYM

“Love & Bananas: An Elephant Story” is truly a movie you should take your children, especially teenage children to see. It is a powerful and emotional movie that we all need to see as to bring awareness of what happens to service elephants. We must do something to help save this species before they are all gone. Don’t miss your opportunity this Earth Day Sunday, April 22nd.  Here are the cities that will be showing this amazing movie:

 

#SaveElephants #elephant #journey #wildlife #asia #conservation #environment #nature #thailand #srilanka #savetheelephants #smile #love #cute #happy #beyoutiful #film #filmmaking #documentary #indiefilm #movie#crowdfunding #indiegogo #rd3 #reddragon #canon #photography #camera

Ashley Bell covered in mud!

Directed by: Ashley Bell (The Last Exorcism I & II, Carnage Park, Novitiate)
Written by: Ashley Bell, John Michael McCarthy and Fernanda Rossi
Executive produced by: Steve Bannerman, David Casselman, Pam Casselman, Ian Hultquist, Sofia Hultquist, Samantha Housman, Leandro Marini, and Roddy Tabatabai
Produced by: Ashley Bell, John Michael McCarthy and Ross M. Dinerstein

Ashley Bell Love & Bananas: An elephant Story

Ashley Bell: Director, Producer, Writer

An actress across film, television and theater, Ashley Bell is most recognizable for her critically acclaimed role in “The Last Exorcism,” for which she earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress and an MTV Movie Award nomination. The New York Post praised Bell’s acting as “Oscar-worthy” and one of the 10 best performances of 2010 for her extraordinary portrayal of the possessed Nell Sweetzer. She reprised her role in “The Last Exorcism Part II” in 2013 and yet again received high praise.

Bell has since crossed genres, and in 2014 she made her Broadway début in the revival of the 1920’s expressionistic drama “Machinal,” alongside Rebecca Hall and directed by Lyndsey Turner. Since then, Bell’s projects have been a staple in the independent film festival circuit, with premieres at Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca and TIFF.  Bell most recently starred in Mickey Keating’s feature film “Psychopaths” (Tribeca Film Festival 2017,) and the drama “Novitiate” (Sundance 2017). Additionally, Bell has completed production on the indie dramas “Next Door” and “The Swerve,” and the motion capture video game “Scalebound.” In 2016, Bell starred in Mickey Keating’s indie film “Carnage Park,” which premiered at Sundance, and for which she received rave reviews.

Bell directed, wrote and produced the feature documentary entitled “Love & Bananas: An Elephant Story,” which depicts the rescue of a blind Asian elephant from captivity in Thailand and her journey 500 miles to freedom.

It will be released nationwide in theaters this April by Abramorama. Additionally, Bell serves as an US Ambassador for Cruelty Free International.

Bell’s expansive list of film credits include the romantic comedy “Love & Air Sex,” directed by fellow Spirit Award nominee Bryan Poser, which premiered at SXSW; the romantic drama “From Above,” co-starring Danny Glover; the post-apocalyptic thriller “The Day,” starring opposite Shawn Ashmore and Dominic Monaghan, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival; the coming of age indie “There’s a New World Somewhere”; the noir feature film “Sparks,” based on the graphic comic; and the WWE’s action film “The Marine: Homefront.” Her television credits include AMC’s “The Walking Dead” webisode series “The Oath,” Lifetime’s “Don’t Wake Mommy,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “The United States of Tara.”

In 2012, Bell lent her voice to the animated series “The LeBrons,” starring NBA player LeBron James. Her voice has also been featured in several top-selling video games, including the lead role of Erline in Sony PlayStation’s “Sorcery” and The White Queen in Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland.”

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Bell is the daughter of actor/voice animator Michael Bell and actress and Groundlings co-founder Victoria Carroll. She studied acting and directing at Cambridge University, where she was awarded “Best Actress” for her portrayal of “Ophelia.” Bell later graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with honors, and was mentored by Oscar nominee Kathleen Turner.

Lek with Sri Nuan down in the river

Sangdeaun Lek Chailert: Herself, Founder Save Elephant Foundation

Sangdeaun Chailert, also known as Lek, which means “small” in Thai, was born in Thailand in 1962. In return for saving the life of a young man, her grandfather, a shaman or traditional healer, was given an elephant named Tong Kam, meaning Golden One. The bond that developed between Lek and Tong Kam sparked a love and respect for elephants that have shaped the course of her life.

After graduating from Chiang Mai University with an Arts degree, Lek worked in the tourist industry, where she became aware of the plight of the Asian elephant. She began championing the rights of elephants by raising public awareness of their situation and providing medical aid to elephants in remote villages.

In the 1990’s, Lek started rescuing injured, neglected, and elderly elephants and in 2003 was able to establish a permanent homeland for them in the picturesque Mae Taeng valley, near Chiang Mai, in Northern Thailand. She named this land Elephant Nature Park. Today, Elephant Nature Park is home to over 70 elephants that are able to roam freely during the day, live within family herds and develop close friendships with each other.

Elephants at the park are not required to work, do not perform tricks, and are not ridden, but instead, are allowed to live a natural life.

Lek is an award-winning conservationist, who has been working for over two decades to improve the conditions of elephants in Asia and promote their welfare.

Her work has received international acclaim and has been documented by National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, CNN, and the BBC, as well as print media around the world. In 2005, Lek was honored by Time Magazine as the “Hero of Asia” for her work to protect Asian elephants.

Hillary-and-Lek (Photo Chiang Rai Times)

In 2010, she was honored by Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton as one of six Woman Heroes of Global Conservation and recently, in 2017, Lek was invited to attend and speak at the “Global Pact for the Environment” Summit at the United Nations, New York, by President Macron of France.

Today, Lek continues to be at the forefront of elephant (and other animal rights causes), raising international awareness and encouraging other countries in the region to follow her lead, as well as helping provide sustainable alternatives to local villages.

She has initiated projects in Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar and maintains special relationships with the animals she rescues. Most days, she can be found at Elephant Nature Park spending time with the rescued herd.

Why Elephants are Important

Elephants are among the most intelligent of the creatures with whom we share the planet, with complex consciousness that are capable of strong emotions. Across Africa they have inspired respect from the people who share the landscape with them, giving them a strong cultural significance. As icons of the continent elephants are tourism magnets, attracting funding that helps protect wilderness areas. They are also keystone species, playing an important role in maintaining the biodiversity of the ecosystems in which they live.

During the dry season, elephants use their tusks to dig for water. This not only allows the elephants to survive in dry environments and when droughts strike, but also provides water for other animals that share harsh habitats.

When forest elephants eat, they create gaps in the vegetation. These gaps allow new plants to grow and create pathways for other smaller animals to use. They are also one of the major ways in which trees disperse their seeds; some species rely entirely upon elephants for seed dispersal.

On the savannahs, elephants feeding on tree sprouts and shrubs help to keep the plains open and able to support the plains game that inhabit these ecosystems.

Wherever they live, elephants leave dung that is full of seeds from the many plants they eat. When this dung is deposited the seeds are sown and grow into new grasses, bushes and trees, boosting the health of the savannah ecosystem.

From Baby to Adolescence

A baby elephant weighs about 200-250 lbs. (91-113 kilgograms). At birth, a calf’s trunk has little muscle tone and no coordination. It takes several months for a calf to gain full control of its trunk. Baby elephants suckle through their mouth. Young Asian elephants are reported to stand soon after birth. After several months, the calf begins to eat grass and foliage. It stays under the supervision of its mother for several years, but begins making independent movements at four years. Full size is attained at about 18-24 years.

Los Angeles Unified School District “We Are One!” Benefit Concert

L. A. Unified alumni Patricia and David Arquette hosted the show
Photo Credit: Kenya Lewis

By: Judy Shields

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 4/13/2018 – “When you sacrifice for your own child as a parent you can stay up all night making ways out of no ways so that your child can have certain opportunities. Our children in LAUSD are our children!” Rory Pullens, L.A. Unified Senior Executive Director of Arts Education told The Hollywood Times on the red carpet last night

 

We Are One-LA School District performers (Photo THT)

Performers and stars came out for the “We Are One!” Benefit Concert for Arts Education Presented in Association with The Music Center at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Although the wind was blowing pretty good last night, that did not deter the stars, performers and board members from walking the red carpet and having their photos taken and doing interviews.

The Phineas Banning High School Marching Pilots Band were among the hundreds of students performing Thursday night on the stage of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Photo Credit: Monica Carazo

The LA Unified We Are One! Benefit Concert represents the goal for all of Los Angeles’ city entities; LA Unified, City/ County/State Governments, Arts, Businesses and Cultural sectors to come together as one unit and work together to support the next generations of LA Unified student artists.

David & Patricia Arquette on stage (Photo THT)

Through this Benefit Concert, the Arts Education Branch will raise additional funding to expand its arts efforts and forge closer partnerships with companies and individuals committed to the arts, arts education, and future generations of artists.

Nickelodeon, HBO, and Warner Bros. Entertainment have already signed on as sponsors and funding/resource partners.

Welcome remarks were made by Brother and Sister Actors David & Patricia Arquette.

Here was the concert schedule from last night:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The red carpet began about 6 p.m. last night and here is a look at the stars, performers and board members that walked the red carpet.

Actress Patricia Arquette (Photo THT)
Actor David Arquette (Photo THT)
Grammy Winner Judith Hill (Photo THT)
Actress Samantha Gangal (Photo THT)
Actor Anderson Slayton (Photo THT)
Actress Ainsley Ross (Photo THT)
Actress Brooklyn Robinson (Photo THT)
Actor Bryson Robinson (Photo THT)
Ralph Johnson (Earth Wind & Fire Original band member) & Wife (Photo THT)
Senator Ben Allen (Photo THT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kacey Fifield & Ainsley Ross (Photo THT)
Actress Ally Walker (Photo THT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actress Patricia Arquette (Photo THT)

Patricia Arquette interview: THT: “How do you see the future for arts in schools?”
Patricia Arquette: “We really need it and we have more single parents than ever and millions of kids that they are trying to raise alone while they are being paid less.  Enough is enough and we don’t have time for this anymore!  We have to make some radical changes and we have to make that happen.”

Actor David Arquette (Photo THT)

David Arquette interview: THT: “What bring you out to this event?”
David Arquette:  “I’m just here to support the L.A. Unified School District and their really strong move to support the arts. It is really an incredible thing that they did, because you hear all about the budget cuts and all the bad stuff, but we want to focus on the good stuff tonight. They are putting a priority on the arts and education and everybody out here supporting them is really a great thing.”

Judith Hill performing (Photo THT)

Ms. Judith Hill interview:  THT: “What are working on?”
Judith Hill: “I am working on my second album, it’s been a long-time coming with this album because with a joint project with a musical as well, which is going to be premiering later on this year.  It’s called “Golden Child” and its about diversity similar to the theme of tonight about celebrating people’s diversity and it’s a powerful story. We are looking forward to sharing that and it’s going to be here in LA.”

Kacey Fifield Interview: THT: “How important is art education to you and what motivates you the most?”
Kacey Fifield: “I think the art education is extremely important because if we grow and not being exposed to the arts, then how truly can you be the best and express ourselves and be inspired.  I go to a regular school and I feel like that is good for me.”

Songwriter/Actor/Performer Torin Floyd

Torin Floyd Interview: THT: “What brings you out here tonight?”
Torn Floyd: “I love The Hollywood Times, I am here supporting LAUSD and this wonderful event they are having. I am a singer/songwriter from LA myself, I grew up in Pasadena, so I just wanted to come and spread some love and just thank you for all that LAUSD does for our children.”
THT: “What type of music do you write and perform?”
Torin Floyd: “I do Pop and R&B. I like to fuss everything because living in LA you have the wonderful culture around you so I want my music to reflect the culture.”

THT: “How young were you when you started singing?
Torin Floyd: I started singing very young at five years old and I have been trying to pursue acting and having an agent that early pursued me into music and musical theatre. I started doing plays in college and writing my own projects and here I am releasing my first song on Spotify and iTunes called ‘Take Me Higher.'”

Board of Education Member Scott Schmerelson (Photo THT)

Scott Schmerelson Board Member Interview: THT: “What District are you with?”
Scott Schmerelson: “Board District 3, which is basically the Western San Fernando Valley and some of the Eastern San Fernando Valley.”
THT: “What do you do on the board?”
Scott Schmerelson:  “I make sure that my kids get the best education possible.  I make sure that my schools are tip-top as far as repairs and having what they need. I make sure that all my employees are happy so the kids get a good education, so I have a lot to do and I do it every day.”
THT: “What is your success rate?”
Scott Schmerelson:  “OMG, our graduation in the valley is just fantastic, happy people with very few problems.  It is just a great place to work.  The Arts is what saves a lot of kids from dropping out of school. Some kids are not motivated by academics, but by sports and arts they come to school every single day and that is my hope to bring them in to see how important education is. The purpose of this program is to have music and arts in every single school we have on a rotating basis, so that all kids have a chance.”

Lupita Infante (Photo THT)

Interview with Lupita Infante: THT: “When did you get started in music?”
Lupita Infante:  “Well it’s been a family tradition as well, but definitely through middle school I was in choir and in high school I was in the jazz choir.  Having the music in school is very important, hence why this event is so important to me.  Something inside me was growing this love for music and I went to college and I’ve made it part of my career.”
THT: “How did you get into Madiachi music?”
Lupita Infante: “That is where the family part comes from, my grandfather, Pedro Infante, he was very well-known in Mexico, actor and singer and my father followed in those footsteps and now there is me.”

 

Rory Pullens “We are One” (Photo THT)

Rory Pullens Interview:  THT: “You look so excited tonight, tell us why?”
Rory Pullens: “I’m excited to be here because we are here tonight for young people of LA Unified to experience something that has never been done before. To actually come together at a venue like the Music Center, right here in downtown LA and have an event of this magnitude which all about raising the awareness of the importance of the arts, generating the revenue so these young people can have music in their classrooms, art supplies they need and the resources that they need to have, because at the end of the day, one out of every six jobs here in LA county is in the creative industry.  So by students experiencing the arts now is all about making this clear pathway for them that will last forever.”  The major sponsor  for tonight HBO, Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers all here tonight, you got the major represented, you got city council, you got county supervisors.  I believe everyone will come together and act as one to ensure that these young people have what they need, that is why the theme is ‘We Are One!'”

The messages delivered during the concert were some powerful messages indeed.  The speeches moved us all to cheering and getting up on their feet.

Rory Pullens taking a shelfie of audience holding up one finger for “We Are One” motto

Rory Pullens told the audience that he could have a thousand jobs, but that he wasn’t looking for a job, he wants to be involved in a movement that he is passion about and he cares about and it going to make a difference.  He quoted a good friend of his “I want to be able to change the world!”

“The budget of the arts education branch at LA Unified, while it has doubled in size, thanks to the leadership of our board and our superintendent, from the years 2014 – 2018, the arts grant budget has doubled in size,” said Rory Pullens.

Here are a couple of videos of the local kids from different LA schools performing onstage last night:

About the Los Angeles Unified School District (LA Unified)
Second largest in the nation, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LA Unified) enrolls nearly 650,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, at over 900 schools that offer a variety of specialized and comprehensive educational programs.

The boundaries spread over 720 square miles in six local districts that include the metropolitan city of Los Angeles as well as all or parts of 31 smaller municipalities and several unincorporated sections of Southern California. http://www.lausd.net

About the LA Unified Arts Education Branch
Part of the Los Angeles Unified School District and its rigorous Division of Instruction, the Arts Education Branch partners with local and national arts, entertainment and philanthropic communities to collaboratively support the growth of a robust arts culture. Nearly 650,000 K-12 students receive a comprehensive and challenging visual and performing arts curriculum. The Arts Education Branch sponsors school, family, and community arts-related programs and staff professional development for cutting-edge arts education design and implementation. It believes that all LA Unified students, from every culture and socioeconomic level, deserve quality arts learning in dance, music, theatre, visual and media arts as part of the core curriculum.
For more information, please visit: www.arts.lausd.net

MODELS OF EXCELLENCE SCHOLARSHIP COMPETITION

 

My Friend’s Place 30th Anniversary Gala, Hosted By Jack Black, Raises Over $750,000 for Local Homeless Youth

An exterior view at the My Friend’s Place 30th Anniversary Gala at Hollywood Palladium on April 7, 2018
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, speaks onstage at the My Friend’s Place 30th Anniversary Gala at Hollywood Palladium on April 7, 2018 (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for My Friend’s Place)

(Photos by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for My Friend’s Place)

Honorees Included Miley Cyrus’ The Happy Hippie Foundation, Community Advocate Cheryl Hayward, USC Football’s Angela Helton, Instagram, and Chef/Food Activist Alice Waters

Special Performance by Three-Time Grammy Nominated Pop/Soul Artist Lukas Graham

Recognition by Attendee L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti

Hollywood, CA – (April 8, 2018) – My Friend’s Place (myfriendsplace.org), a nonprofit homeless youth resource center providing 30 years of vital, life-changing services to tens of thousands homeless youth in Los Angeles, celebrated its milestone anniversary last night with a sold-out 30th Anniversary Gala at the Hollywood Palladium. The evening was a monumental success, raising an organizational benchmark setting of more than $750,000.

The announcement was made today by My Friend’s Place Executive Director Heather Carmichael, along with event Co-Chairs art consultant Sylvia Chivaratanond and WholeWorldBand CEO Gregory Butler.

Host Jack Black attends the My Friend’s Place 30th Anniversary Gala at Hollywood Palladium on April 7, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

Actor/comedian/musician Jack Black (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) hosted the all-star benefit Gala as it recognized My Friend’s Place Co-Founders Steve LePore and Craig Scholz, and honored the individual work of the following: The Happy Hippie Foundation, founded by Miley Cyrus;My Friend’s Place Board member and community advocate Cheryl Hayward; USC Football’s Angela Helton; Social media platform Instagram, with COO Marne Levine accepting; and Renowned chef, author and food activist Alice Waters.

Host Jack Black sings onstage at the My Friend’s Place 30th Anniversary Gala (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for My Friend’s Place)

Bringing more than 650 business and philanthropic leaders, community members and advocates for homeless youth together, Mr. Black kicked off the evening with a special rendition of “You’ve Got A Friend In Me,” which was followed by a special performance of the song “7 Years” by three-time Grammy nominated pop/soul artist Lukas Graham.

Lukas Graham performs onstage at the My Friend’s Place 30th Anniversary Gala (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for My Friend’s Place)

The Honorable Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles praised the 30 years of vital and life-changing services provided by the organization and urged the crowd in joining him to end homelessness in L.A.

Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, speaks onstage at the My Friend’s Place 30th Anniversary Gala (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for My Friend’s Place)

 

In between the Honoree Award presentations, the rousing live auction featured four distinctive packages/experiences, leading to a bidding war between Miley Cyrus and Lukas Graham for an exclusive dinner for two with Alice Waters at her Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, CA.  Former My Friend’s Place Alum of the Year Sheryl Recinos relayed how the organization changed her life for the better and announced a new Scholarship for Youth.

Accompanied by special video packages, the Honoree Awards were presented by Maddie Ziegler, Dancer/Actress/Model to Marne Levine, COO, Instagram; USC Football Coach Clay Helton and USC Football Players Jordan Austin, Michael Pittman, Marvel Tell and James Birmingham to Angela Helton; Bob Hayward, entrepreneur and former founding partner/CEO of Summit Entertainment to Cheryl Hayward; Ron Finley, The Gangsta Gardener to Alice Waters; and Executive Director Heather Carmichael was moved to tears by the love and support in the room as she presented to Miley Cyrus’ The Happy Hippie Foundation.

To cap off the evening, a visibly moved Miley Cyrus accepted the Honoree Award and dedicated it to the devoted staff of My Friend’s Place, bringing them all up on stage to join her.

Nichole Gustafson and Giacomo Gianniotti

Attendees included Giacomo Gianniotti, Grey’s Anatomy; Constance Zimmer, UnREAL;

Johnathan Fernandez

Johnathan Fernandez, Lethal WeaponChad Coleman, The Orville; Mark Jackson, The Orville;

Chad Coleman and Mark Jackson

 

 

Hannah Zeile

 

Hannah Zeile, This Is Us; Elliot Knight, Life Sentence; Rayvon Owen, American Idol;

Shane Bitney CroneBridegroom;

Sirah, Hip-hop artist; Madison Hu, Disney Star;

Olivia Rodrigo, Disney Star;

Patrick Starrr

Patrick Starrr, Makeup/Beauty Guru;

LA MOCA Director Philippe Vergne and Gala Co-Chair Sylvia Chivaratanond

Philippe Vergne, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and husband of Gala co-chair Sylvia Chivaratanond; and

 

Ashlee Marie Preston, activist/journalist and My Friend’s Place alumna.

Ashlee Marie Preston

As discussed on stage by My Friend’s Place Transformative Education Manager Camilla Brannstrom and Elizabeth Daniels (zine project called “Freeway,” new second edition was given to attendees), each of the five Awards presented — along with a special Award presented to Mr. Black — is a unique, original, sculpted piece of art, handmade by one of My Friend’s Place’s youth artists.

Camilla Brannstrom and Elizabeth Daniels (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for My Friend’s Place)

For art, jewelry and design pieces produced entirely through the creative arts programming for youth at My Friend’s Place, please visit www.thecornercollective.org.

 

 

 

Items on display during the auction at the My Friend’s Place 30th Anniversary Gala at Hollywood Palladium on April 7, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for My Friend’s Place)

Silent/online auction items featured on charitybuzz.com/support/myfriendsplace include Miley Cyrus’ iconic boots from the “Wrecking Ball” music video (autographed by Miley); an Ed Sheeran – signed guitar; a cast-autographed Captain America: Civil War poster; and tickets to tapings of Real Time with Bill Maher, The Voice and Dancing with the Stars. The online auction will remain live through the end of the week.  Good Gracious! Events catered the dinner.

(L-R) Host Jack Black, honoree Miley Cyrus and Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles

 

Earlier this year, My Friend’s Place was awarded a Mayoral Proclamation designating January 8, 2018 as “My Friend’s Place Day” in Los Angeles by Mayor Garcetti, with the support of 13th District Councilman Mitch O’Farrell.

 

Jack Black Headshot (Photo Blake Little)

About Host Jack Black: Multi-hyphenate star of film, music and TV, Black currently stars in the blockbuster film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.  The two-time Golden Globe nominee has been in dozens of hit movies including School of Rock, The Holiday, Shallow Hal, Kung-Fu Panda and King Kong. He will next be seen in Netflix’s The Polka King, where he transformed himself into the infamous Jan Lewan in a movie that earned him rave reviews coming out of Sundance. Additionally, he recently wrapped The House with a Clock in its Walls opposite Cate Blanchett. On the music front, he and Kyle Gass make up the rock music duo Tenacious D.

 

Heather Carmichael, Executive Director of My Friend’s Place

About Executive Director Heather Carmichael: Heather Carmichael, L.C.S.W., has been with My Friend’s Place for 17 years. Before moving into the Executive Director position in 2009, she served as the organization’s Clinical Director and Associate Executive Director, bringing over 21 years of experience serving high-risk youth. For more than 15 years, Heather has held leadership roles with the Hollywood Homeless Youth Partnership and is an active member of multitude of advisory boards. Prior to her work at My Friend’s Place, she worked on staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Larkin Street Youth Services, a nonprofit serving youth experiencing homelessness in San Francisco.

2018 HONOREES

Honoree Miley Cyrus and Heather Carmichael, Executive Director of My Friend’s Place (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for My Friend’s Place)

The Happy Hippie Foundation: The Happy Hippie Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by Miley Cyrus in 2014 to rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations. The Happy Hippie Foundation provides homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable youth populations with consistent support services to build well-being, crisis response services to meet basic immediate needs, and prevention services.

 

Honoree Angela Helton and USC Football Coach Clay Helton (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for My Friend’s Place)

Angela Helton: Angela Helton is the wife of USC Head football coach Clay Helton. Angela and Clay both felt that with the honor and opportunity of being named the Head Coach of the USC Trojan football team in 2016 that it was important to give back to the greater Los Angeles community. After deciding to focus their community outreach efforts to the homeless youth of Los Angeles, Angela connected with the USC Suzanne Dvorak-Peck School of Social Work for guidance and information about local homeless agencies, upon which Angela was introduced to My Friend’s Place.

(L-R) USC Football Player Jordan Austin, honoree Angela Helton, Turner Helton, Shelby Helton, USC Football Coach Clay Helton and USC Football Player James Bermingham

Since 2016, Angela has spearheaded the partnership between USC football and My Friend’s Place, including coordinating annual sneaker drives at USC, serving meals alongside USC football players, organizing the holiday efforts for the My Friend’s Place Parenting Program and setting up volunteer activities for USC football players, coaches and staff throughout the year.

 

Honoree Alice Waters speaks onstage (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for My Friend’s Place)

Alice Waters: Alice Waters is a chef, author, food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades. In 1995 she founded the Edible Schoolyard Project, which advocates for a free school lunch for all children and a sustainable food curriculum in every public school. She has been Vice President of Slow Food International since 2002. She conceived and helped create the Yale Sustainable Food Project in 2003, and the Rome Sustainable Food Project at the American Academy in Rome in 2007. Her honors include election as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007; the Harvard Medical School’s Global Environmental Citizen Award, which she shared with Kofi Annan in 2008; and her induction into the French Legion of Honor in 2010. In 2015 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama, proving that eating is a political act, and that the table is a powerful means to social justice and positive change. Alice is the author of fifteen books, including New York Times bestsellers The Art of Simple Food I & II, The Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea, and, a memoir, Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook.

Honoree Cheryl Hayward with her award from My Friend’s Place

Cheryl Hayward: My Friend’s Place Board Member Cheryl Hayward has devoted much of her life to service, be it education, environment or youth development and support. Cheryl first began volunteering at My Friend’s Place in 2010 and quickly immersed herself into the program, spending two days a week volunteering on site while also chaperoning field trips and cultural experiences with young people around Los Angeles. With particular interest in the My Friend’s Place Parenting Program, Cheryl annually hosts the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebrations, helping empower these young parents while celebrating their achievements. In addition to her volunteerism with My Friend’s Place, Cheryl also devotes her time to Skid Row Housing Trust, where she helped develop a volunteer program in 2011. Now, splitting her time between the U.S. and New Zealand, Cheryl and her husband Bob Hayward are working on eco-restoration on New Zealand’s North Island, as well as providing scholarship opportunities to children to attend higher education.

Honoree and COO of Instagram Marne Levine with her award from My Friend’s Place

Instagram: Since launching in 2010, Instagram has become one of the world’s leading social networking apps, with a community of more than 800 million who capture and share the world’s moments. In 2017, Instagram launched it’s #KindComments campaign, aimed at capturing some of the inspiring stories of people on Instagram and the impact that a compassionate and supportive comment can make. The first-ever #KindComments project featured leaders and advocates from the trans community on Instagram reading inspiring comments of support from their followers on camera, and soon spread to include a number of other communities. Communities of support were a major trend on the platform in 2017, with Instagram users coming together on issues within the LGBTQ+ community, discussions around mental health and recovery, sex and body positivity, as well as women collectives and artists promoting female issues.

GALA CO-CHAIRS / BOARD OF DIRECTOR MEMBERS:

Gala Co-Chairs Gregory Butler and Sylvia Chivaratanond

Sylvia Chivaratanond is a curator and consultant in the visual arts sector and has worked in various international museums. She also works in fundraising and image management, consulting for clients in the design, fashion and lifestyle communities. Most recently, she was adjunct curator of American Art at the Centre Pompidou Museum and Foundation in Paris. Sylvia is on the Board of Directors of My Friend’s Place. Gregory Butler: Gregory Butler is the CEO of WholeWorldBand, a leading company for video applications that allow users to leverage the cloud to collaborate worldwide and engage with, create, and share video content. WholeWorldBand’s platform Youdio has won the Eircom Spider Award, the Dot IE Net Visionary Award, the Eurosonic Award, and the Irish Times Innovation Award. It has earned nominations for the SXSW Music Accelerator Award and the TEC Award. Gregory is on the Board of Directors of My Friend’s Place.

About My Friend’s Place

On January 8, 1988, two friends working in Hollywood were compelled to help the homeless youth who populated the sidewalks just outside of their office door.

My Friends Place Co-Founders Craig Scholz and Steve LePore attend the My Friend’s Place 30th Anniversary Gala at Hollywood Palladium on April 7, 2018 in Los Angeles, California

Determined to effect change, no matter how small, the co-founders of My Friend’s Place, Steve LePore and Craig Scholz, began spending their break time making and distributing sack lunches to the young people living on the streets.

Soon, this simple act became a grassroots movement and Steve and Craig had assembled a group of kind-hearted volunteers who traversed Hollywood delivering meals.

After countless hours of interactions with these young people, the duo realized providing meals only addressed a small portion of the issue.

Within a year, the idea was born for creating a judgment-free, “safe place” where intangible needs such as physical and mental health services, creative outlets and employment and education assistance could be met.

Thirty years later, My Friend’s Place has grown into a dynamic resource center that offers a comprehensive continuum of services to more than 1,350 homeless youth between the ages of 12 and 25, and their children, each year.

My Friend’s Place activity room

 

Through the expansive programming offered at its Hollywood location, My Friend’s Place provided more than 30,000 meals last year, in addition to engaging nearly 500 young people in more than 700 creative and living arts workshops across 21,000 individual visits.

http://myfriendsplace.org/

My Friend’s Place guitar lessons

 

 

 

 

Stop Dieting And Start Living With A Simple And Scientifically-Proven Plan To Eating Right

San Francisco, CA, April 4, 2018 ― Who doesn’t want a flat belly? Well, finally, there is a scientifically proven way to shed stubborn pounds and keep them off, especially for weight around the midsection.

The secret to beating the bloat and enjoying lasting weight loss is a healthy gut.

A healthy gut—fueled by superfoods, anti-inflammatory fats, and prebiotic and probiotic foods—can balance your appetite, reduce cravings, regulate blood sugar, fight inflammation, and fuel your body with key nutrients for optimal health.

Award-winning dietician brings gut health all together without the guesswork with his proven, seasonal eating plan. And, fat-burning, pound shedding and feeling youthful never tasted so good!

Introducing Flat Belly 365: The Gut-Friendly Superfood Plan to Shed Pounds, Fight Inflammation and Feel Great All Year Long (ISBN: 9780757320101 – January 2018 — $18.95)

Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

Full color recipes like Fig Jicama Salad, Beef Bone Soup, Chocolate Smoothie Bowl and California Avocado Gazpacho will have your mouth watering as the weight comes off.

Chocolate Smoothies Bowl recipe

All plans are adapted for all eating styles including vegetarian and vegan.

Flat Belly 365 provides an initial “reboot,” a 7-day kickstart plan to rev your body into optimal fat-burning.

Villacorta’s clients report up to six pounds of weight loss, an average of 1.5 inches gone from their waistlines, better sleep and renewed energy levels after the first week.

His publicist reported a loss of 20 pounds in thirty days on his last program.

Tantalizing recipes like Cauliflower Walnut Soup, Pumpkin Pie Smoothies, Moroccan Lamb Stew, Cannellini Chicken Sausage Bowl and Citrus Raspberry Chia Seed Pudding.

About Manuel Villacorta:

Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, is an internationally recognized, award-winning registered dietitian-nutritionist with more than 18 years of experience. He is the author of three books, Eating Free, Peruvian Power Foods and Whole Body Reboot: The Peruvian Superfoods Diet.

Villacorta is a trusted voice in the health and wellness industry ― a national media spokesperson, a health blog contributor for The Huffington Post and an on-air contributor for Univision. Manuel is the owner of MV Nutrition, a San Francisco-based private practice, and the recipient of five “Best Bay Area Nutritionist” awards from the San Francisco Chronicle, ABC7 News and Citysearch. Read more on: http://www.flatbelly365.com.

Available wherever books are sold or to order directly from the publisher, contact

HCI Books – http://www.hcibooks.com or (800) 441-5569

Flat Belly 365: The Gut-Friendly Superfood Plan to Shed Pounds, Fight Inflammation and Feel Great All Year Long

ISBN: 9780757320101 – January 2018 — $18.95

FLAT BELLY 365
The Gut-Friendly Superfood Plan to Shed Pounds, Fight Inflammation and Feel Great All Year Long
Manuel Villacorta, M.S. RD

AUTHOR INTERVIEW
1. What made you decide to write Flat Belly 365?

I like to keep up with current nutritional science. Nutrition is a dynamic. There are always new findings. What made me write this book is that, in the past, I have written about superfoods and weight loss. But lately, there has been new evidence about how gut health affects weight and overall health. So with Flat Belly 365, I’m marrying the concepts that I have written before on weight loss with current knowledge regarding visceral fat, inflammation and gut health.

2. What makes Flat Belly 365 different from any other book in its genre?

This book is not just a compilation of research findings and tips, but also it gives you the how-to’s which can be key. I am holding people’s hand with this book. Not only do I provide lists of foods to eat, but also recipes on how to use these foods, and detailed meal plans on how to use these recipes throughout the week along with shopping lists. When I showed my book to my sister-in-law, who is not a kitchen-friendly person, she said to me “Wow, I can do this.” Anyone can. It’s that easy.

3. How is this book different from your other three books?

My first book, Eating Free, was more about mindful eating and freeing people from food guilt. I see my second book Peruvian Power Foods as an encyclopedia with recipes showcasing superfoods. My last book, Whole Body Reboot, was the marriage between these two books. With Flat Belly 365, I am focusing on gut health and visceral fat, but still using superfoods and taking into account eating mindfully.

I have meal plans also, but more complex. 7 different breakfasts, 7 different lunches – but people don’t eat like this! Even I don’t eat that way. So I said “Do what you do Manuel. If you’re succeeding there must be a reason.” In this book, I’ve kept it simple, but even more effective.

4. How do you know Flat Belly 365 works?

As I mentioned before, I not only read the literature to find the latest research in nutrition and write books on it, but I also apply it in my private practice in San Francisco with my clients. Once I see that my recommendations are working through my client’s success is when I decide this is worth writing about. So, before I published Flat Belly 365, I tried the meal plans out on several clients who had great success.

5. What does gut health have to do with weight loss?

There is a growing body of evidence that the right combination of gut bacteria can cause changes in a person’s weight. Researchers can now even identify an individual as obese or lean just by looking at their gut bacteria. Several studies have even transplanted gut bacteria from obese mice into lean mice, which resulted in weight gained without any changes in their diet and exercise. The same result occurred when the microbiome of lean mice was transplanted into obese mice; they lost weight.

6. What are probiotics and prebiotics?

Probiotics are the good type of bacteria that are live, active organisms that help keep the digestive system happy and healthy. The more probiotics in our gastrointestinal system, the healthier our microbiome and a healthy microbiome means lower risk if chronic diseases such as low immunity, type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders and even depression among others. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods such a yogurt, kefir and other fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut.

Prebiotics are the fuel to help probiotics thrive and multiply. Prebiotics are fibers found in foods such as avocados, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, onions, garlic, leeks, among others.

7. You talk about visceral fat. So are there different types of body fat?

Not all body fat is created equal. There are 2 main types of fat in our bodies some of these fats can be harmful to health in large amounts and others can actually be beneficial. It is also important to know that where this fat is located in your body can have an impact on your health. Flat Belly 365 is specifically targets visceral fat which can cause inflammation. Visceral fat surrounds your organs and the other fat, subcutaneous, is located just under the skin.

8. Why worry about inflammation?

Chronic inflammation you can’t see or feel and it’s difficult to test for. Your body is constantly releasing inflammatory chemicals, such as cytokines, that are produced from factors such as having excess visceral fat. Cells, artery walls, and fibers are affected, which leads to other chronic diseases and advanced aging.

9. What are the main concepts of the book?

There are three main concepts of the book. One is tackling visceral fat with anti-inflammatory fats and superfoods. Second is keeping your gut healthy which can help reduce weight and prevent other chronic diseases and third is reducing inflammation by eating anti-inflammatory superfoods.

10. You’ve written Peruvian Power Foods and Whole Body Reboot which both talked about Peruvians superfoods. Are the ingredients in Flat Belly 365 easy to find?

Yes, this book is all about simplicity. This book focuses on good old American fruits and vegetables. Given that California produces a significant majority of the fruits, vegetables and nuts sold in the United States, I decided to follow California’s seasonal growing chart, which focuses on American-grown superfoods and can be found throughout the United States

 

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. 50 Years after his death

By: Chery Glaser

 

A Los Angeles resident collapses in grief while reading the details of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, 1968. Photo courtesy Los Angeles Public Library

People across the country will be taking time out today to mark the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King has, of course, become a civil rights icon in the U.S. and around the world and his leadership and his vision are a key part of this country’s history.

KCRW talked to Chair of the Department of African-American Studies at UCLA, Marcus Anthony Hunter, about Dr. King’s legacy and what ties his work has to today’s activists. He says one takeaway from Martin Luther King’s leadership is that “you can’t afford to have a freedom struggle that isn’t inclusive. So you need to include all of the strategies that are possible. You need to include all of the people who are possible, says Hunter. “The only way for everybody to be free is for everyone to be involved in that freedom project.”

Marchers with signs gather to mourn Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Their messages include, “End white racism,” “I have a dream,” and “We mourn Dr. King,” 1968. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library

KCRW: Some historians, some activists, say that we have whitewashed Dr. King, that his detractors have done it too in some ways diminish his accomplishments make him less radical while his supporters have done it by turning him into a legend and not a three dimensional person. Do you agree with that? And do you see danger in it?

MAH: I mean one of the problems with history is that of course says “his story.” And so part of what happens is that one of the tensions is that he was murdered. And so he isn’t able necessarily to tell the story of himself in a way that is more in line with what he thought of himself.

And so that leaves the rest of us, who are survivors of that assassination, pulling at different pieces and in some cases some of those pieces are used out of convenience. You know it’s very convenient to only think of Martin Luther King as a very unflawed super human being because it’s easier to believe in a super hero than a regular everyday person as doing heroic things. And so I think part of it is the convenience of particular narratives. I wouldn’t say whitewashed, and that I think that what he’s been used as is and what is possibly dangerous is as a shorthand for a lot of other names who deserve the same kind of attention and the same kind of attention to the history and their contribution. So I would say one of the critical dangerous areas around how MLK is understood in the narratives around him are not always giving the time and attention and the respect to the collective folk.

Clergy and mourners march to First Methodist Church, 8th and Hill Streets, on April 8, 1968, where services were held for Dr. Martin Luther King. View is from the top of the church. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library

KCRW: If Dr. King were alive today what do you think he would find most encouraging in the ongoing push for civil rights of all kinds.

MAH: I think he would be most proud of the idea that people are still agitating for freedom. You know that we are still marching. I think that’s an important connection to his legacy and an important way to think about his last days in Memphis. He was murdered as he was marching for poor people’s rights and for workers’ rights. And so I think it’s important that we’re thinking about his legacy in ways that think about if he were looking down on us what would he be saying from the mountaintop. And I think he would be very proud to see Black Lives Matter marching. He would be very proud to see the March for Women. He would be very proud to see the March for Our Lives. So the idea of marching for justice and taking to the streets I think is most inherent and important to his legacy and I think does the best honor to that legacy, in effect.

The historic Clayborn Temple bell rings in Memphis, Tennessee.
The historic Clayborn Temple bell rings in Memphis, Tennessee.
MEMPHIS, TN – APRIL 04, 2018: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. speaks, as his family stands near him, from the balcony outside room 306 at the Lorraine Motel, where he was when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. The city is commemorating Dr. King’s legacy before his death on the balcony outside his hotel room on April 4, 1968. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Crowds grew silent Wednesday as bells rang out 39 times in Atlanta, Georgia and Memphis, Tennessee, for the age the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was at the time of his assassination.

Cities across the United States honored King with ceremonies and performances, as well as reflections on what today’s civil rights advocates can do to carry forward his legacy 50 years after his death.

 

Grammy, Academy Award, Emmy Winning Performers Notable LAUSD Alumni in Benefit Concert for the Arts

Thursday, April 12, 7:30 pm at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion 

 (Top Row L-R: Sheila E. & Pete Escovedo, Siedah Garrett and Judith Hill)

(Bottom Row L-R: Patricia Arquette, David Arquette and Lupita Infante)

Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles Unified School District (LA Unified) “We Are One!” Benefit Concert presented in association with The Music Center will feature performances by GRAMMY nominated drummer Sheila E.; GRAMMY winner, Latin jazz sextet’s Pete Escovedo; two-time GRAMMY winner Siedah Garrett; and GRAMMY winner Judith Hill and from Mexican music royalty, Lupita Infante. GRAMMY Awards Music Director Larry Batiste has assembled a fifteen-member All-Star Band who have performed with Stevie Wonder, Barbara Streisand, Jennifer Lopez, Kenny G, and other top artists.

The “We Are One!” Benefit Concert will be held at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, 90012 on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 7:30 PM. VIP Reception @ 6:00 PM.

In addition to showcasing LA Unified’s most talent student artists, acclaimed LA Unified alumni will join the festivities as hosts to advocate for arts education include; three-time Golden Globe Award winner and Academy Award winner Patricia Arquette and her award-winning brother David Arquette, Actress Ally Walker (Colony & Ghosted), actor Richard Lawson and other surprise guest hosts/performers are scheduled to appear.

Los Angeles is one of the most vibrant, artistic and creative centers in the world. LA Unified’s Arts Education Branch (AEB) is committed to ensure that every school in the district provides arts classes, arts instruction, and arts experiences for every student in the district.

“I am honored to participate in such a high-profile event will benefit LA’s youth”, said percussionist Sheila E, widely known for her musical collaborations with Prince. “It is our responsibility as a community to ensure that students have access to the arts. This is why we musicians are participating.”

The benefit concert’s theme, We Are One! represents the goal for all of Los Angeles’ city entities; LA Unified, City/ County/State Governments, Arts, Businesses and Cultural sectors to come together as one unit and work together to support the next generations of LA Unified student artists.

“The LA Unified Arts Education Branch is seeking to utilize all of the arts ecosystem through its far-reaching arts programming,” said Rory Pullens, Senior Executive Director of the Arts. “We are looking to raise awareness of the importance of arts education for students, how the arts provide them with the necessary skills for successful futures. The Benefit Concert will celebrate the value of the arts and the huge positive impact it has on students and our economy.”

Through this Benefit Concert, the Arts Education Branch will raise additional funding to expand its arts efforts and forge closer partnerships with companies and individuals committed to the arts, arts education, and future generations of artists. Nickelodeon, HBO, and Warner Brothers have already signed on as sponsors and funding/resource partners.

LA Unified is proud of its successes, and those to come. Its students and alumni are routinely chosen to perform in local, national, and international venues. Alumni are Oscar, Grammy, Tony and Emmy-award winners such as Carol Burnett, America Ferrera, Forest Whitaker, Leonardo DiCaprio, but more importantly, contributing artists to the cultural landscape that makes a difference in the world. The Benefit Concert evening at The Music Center will add to that legacy.

The Box Office is open. Tickets range from $50 – $600. To Purchase Tickets, go to: https://www.musiccenter.org/tickets/Visiting-Artists/lausd-arts-education-benefit-concert/ or call 213-972-8550. Early bird ticket purchasers through March 23 receive a 50% discount using promotional code LAUSDWAO!

About the Los Angeles Unified School District (LA Unified):

Second largest in the nation, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LA Unified) enrolls nearly 650,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, at over 900 schools that offer a variety of specialized and comprehensive educational programs. The boundaries spread over 720 square miles in six local districts that include the metropolitan city of Los Angeles as well as all or parts of 31 smaller municipalities and several unincorporated sections of Southern California. lausd.net

About the LA Unified Arts Education Branch:

Part of the Los Angeles Unified School District and its rigorous Division of Instruction, the Arts Education Branch partners with local and national arts, entertainment and philanthropic communities to collaboratively support the growth of a robust arts culture. Nearly 650,000 K-12 students receive a comprehensive and challenging visual and performing arts curriculum. The Arts Education Branch sponsors school, family, and community arts-related programs and staff professional development for cutting-edge arts education design and implementation. It believes that all LA Unified students, from every culture and socioeconomic level, deserve quality arts learning in dance, music, theatre, visual and media arts as part of the core curriculum.

For more information, please visit:

Website:

arts.lausd.net

Facebook:

“Like” LAUSD Arts Education Branch on Facebook at:

facebook.com/lausdartseducationbranch

Twitter:

Join the conversation! Hashtag #ArtsEducation #LAUSDArts Follow @RoryPullens and @LAUSDArts on Twitter.

Instagram:Follow us at instagram.com/lausd_arts or @lausd_arts

ONE STRANGE ROCK Set to Blast Off from the Launch Pad at the End Of March!

Nicole Scott, Jeff Hoffman, Leland Melvin, Mike Massimino, Peggy Whitson, Jerry Lineger, Chris Hadfield, Arif Nurmohamed, Jane Root, Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel and Mae Jemison
National Geographic ‘One Strange Rock’ TV show panel, TCA Winter Press Tour, Los Angeles, USA – 13 Jan 2018 (Photo: David Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)

By Valerie Milano

Pasadena, CA (The Hollywood Times) 3/25/18 – “The fabric of the universe is here.”–Astronaut Jerry Linenger on space flight

Picasso once said, “Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.”

The National Geographic Channel will be doing this soon with the new ten-part series ONE STRANGE ROCK hosted by Will Smith that was filmed on six continents in 45 countries as well as from outer space.  Continue reading “ONE STRANGE ROCK Set to Blast Off from the Launch Pad at the End Of March!”

Easterseals So. Cal. Partners with Gold Pictures to Change the Way we View Disability in Hollywood

 

As part of its ongoing mission to Change the Way We View Disability, Easterseals Southern California (ESSC) has partnered with Gold Pictures to raise awareness within the entertainment industry to be more inclusive and create opportunities in front of and behind the camera for people with disabilities. 

Gold Pictures is the production shingle of Jenni Gold, one of only two members of the Directors Guild of America who identifies as having a disability and director of the award-winning documentary CinemAbility, which – with levity and insight – traces the history of disability portrayals from the silent era to today and the impact these portrayals have had on the public. Called “Eye opening” and “An arresting look at disability” by the Los Angeles Times, CinemAbility features interviews with Ben Affleck, Michael Apted, Paris Barkley, Geena Davis, Peter Farrelly, Jamie Foxx, Vince Gilligan, Taylor Hackford, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Marlee Matlin, Jane Seymour, Gary Sinise and more.

As part of a three-year partnership and inclusion awareness campaign focused on disability, ESSC will host special screenings of CinemAbility and participate in other promotional opportunities.  Gold Pictures will showcase ESSC’s logo in all marketing efforts, highlight the nonprofit on its social media platforms and build relationships on behalf of ESSC with Hollywood leaders and celebrity influencers to further efforts to raise awareness within the entertainment industry.

Said Mark Whitley, president & CEO of ESSC, “Jenni’s passion for storytelling and entertaining an audience is clearly evident in her work and achievements. We welcome the opportunity to work with her to effect change and promote inclusion.”

Commented Gold, who has muscular dystrophy, has used a wheelchair since the age of seven and jokes that since her director’s chair goes 12-miles-an-hour, she is the first to arrive on set, “I’m thrilled to have my film CinemAbility partner with Easterseals, which shares my mission of bringing inclusion to Hollywood and the world. I am excited about these new opportunities and what the future has in store.”

Shares Affleck, one of the many prominent actors who appear in the film, “There’s virtually no people with disabilities present in the fabric of the entertainment world.  And that wallpaper is really our collective social wallpaper.  It’s how we see ourselves.” Adds Macy, “I think we want to get to this point in the world where it’s what you do that counts, it’s what you can accomplish that counts and we’re not so concerned with how you look or how you get there.”

ESSC first aligned with Gold when she served as a judge for the organization’s Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. Now in its fifth year, registration is open for the 2018 competition to be held April 13-15. For more information or to sign up: www.DisabilityFilmChallenge.com

One-in-five Americans is living with a disability, making it today’s largest minority population, yet far too often their important and varied stories go untold. Per the GLAAD report “Where We Are on TV,” 1.7% of TV roles feature a character with a disability … and of those roles, more than 95% of the characters are portrayed by actors without a disability (Ruderman Family Foundation).  Of the top 900 films since 2007, just 2.7% of characters were portrayed as having a disability, according to the USC Annenberg report, “Inequality in 900 Popular Films.”  The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge addresses this underrepresentation by giving filmmakers – with and without disabilities – the platform to collaborate, tell unique stories that showcase disability in its many forms and support Easterseals’ goal to change the way disability is viewed.

CinemAbility, which has enjoyed a successful film festival run, takes a detailed look at the evolution of disability portrayals in entertainment by going behind the scenes – interviewing celebrities, filmmakers, studio executives and film historians – and by utilizing vivid clips from Hollywood’s most beloved motion pictures and television programs to focus attention on the powerful impact that entertainment and the media can have on society.

About the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge

During the Challenge, registered filmmakers are given a span of 55 hours over the designated weekend to write and produce short films (three-to-five minutes) that Help Change the Way We View Disability. Submitted films are judged in four award categories – Best Film, Best Filmmaker, Best Actor and Best Awareness Campaign – by a noted and diverse group of entertainment industry talent.

Finalists will be announced and screened at the Bentonville Film Festival (May 1-6), which champions inclusion in all form of media; will be invited to an exclusive roundtable discussion with agents at United Talent Agency; and will receive a one-year subscription to Variety Magazine.

Winners, who will be announced at a red-carpet event May 10, hosted by United Talent Agency in Beverly Hills, are awarded industry mentorships; the opportunity to screen their film at the Los Angeles-based HollyShorts Film Festival (August 9-18), an Academy Award-qualifying competition; $1,000 grants provided by Universal Filmed Entertainment Group towards their next production; Dell computers; a full, one-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud—the entire collection of 20+ creative desktop and mobile apps including Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC and Photoshop CC; and a Nike gift bag with assorted products, including a pair of shoes from the new FlyEase line.

Since the Challenge launched in 2013, aspiring filmmakers from around the world have created more than 150 short films — 35 submitted last year — which have been viewed online and at festivals. Winners have included Jamie Brewer, who won Best Actor in 2017 for Whitney’s Wedding, has been acclaimed for her role on American Horror Story and was the first model with Down Syndrome to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week; Dickie Hearts, Best Filmmaker winner in 2015, who went on to win an HBO Project Greenlight digital series competition; and Jenna Kanell, winner of Best Film in 2015 who went on to give a TEDx Talk about her experience.

About Easterseals Southern California

For nearly 100 years, Easterseals has been an indispensable resource for individuals and families with developmental disabilities or other special needs. The services provided by Easterseals Southern California (ESSC) – in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties – make profound and positive differences in people’s lives every day, helping them address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals so that they can live, learn, work and play in our communities. With 2,300 employees, 60+ service sites and hundreds of community partnership locations, each year ESSC assists more than 10,000 people, providing adult/senior day services; autism therapy; child development/early education; employment services, veteran employment support; independent living options; and more. At Easterseals, 88% of our income is spent on services. Join us in changing the way the world defines and views disabilities.

Changing the Way You See Disability: Celebrate. Don’t Separate

In 2018, ESSC launched a thought-provoking new awareness campaign – featuring southern California residents who receive services from Easterseals – aimed at Changing the Way You See Disability. With a goal of inclusion, the multi-faceted campaign asks people to reconsider how they view people with disabilities with such challenges as: Celebrate. Don’t Separate; Dialogue. Not Doubt; Encourage. Don’t Exclude; Include. Don’t Isolate; Be Supportive. Not Sorry; and Spread Awareness. Not Assumptions. The campaign encompasses print, outdoor and internet ads, as well as a grassroots social media component with a “Make the Promise” call to action to support the campaign under the hashtag #CelebrateDontSeparate. Learn more at: www.CelebrateDontSeparate.org  

Cal State LA Honors Marvel’s Luke Cage Creator and Acclaimed Science Fiction Writer at Eagle-Con

Los Angeles, CA, Cal State LA (The Hollywood Times) 03/15/2018 — Hours after news broke that blockbuster hit Black Panther had surpassed $1 billion in box offices worldwide, Marvel’s Luke Cage creator, Cheo Hodari Coker, took the stage at Eagle-Con at California State University, Los Angeles.

Coker is the showrunner, executive producer and writer for the Netflix project that was the first TV show to star an African American superhero. Wearing a Black Panther comic book T-shirt, he accepted the 2018 Eagle-Con Prism Award on Saturday for furthering representation through artistic media.

“The success of [Black Panther] plays backward and forward because it helps across the entire realm of entertainment in terms of what people of color can accomplish,” Coker said onstage after receiving the award. “Now they can’t say that Black-themed projects don’t travel. They can’t say that there isn’t a diverse audience for fantasy and science fiction.”

The award presentation capped a full day of panels, speakers and exhibitors on March 10 at Cal State LA during the final day of Eagle-Con, a three-day convention that explores issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, identity and representation in science fiction and fantasy across media. The event’s founding sponsor is the Art Directors Guild.

Attendees of the convention, which was themed “Aliens, Monsters and Others,” explored an expansive exhibit from the Art Directors Guild, showcasing storyboards, concept art and other pre-production work on well-known science fiction and fantasy TV shows and films.

“This year’s Eagle-Con was even more successful than we could have imagined,” said Patrick B. Sharp, one of the founders and faculty director of the convention, and interim associate dean of the Cal State LA College of Arts and Letters. “The Art Directors Guild has been with us from the beginning, and with its generous support Eagle-Con will become a staple in the Los Angeles science fiction and fantasy community.”

For three days, Cal State LA’s Golden Eagle Ballrooms and University-Student Union were transformed into a haven for those who enjoy stories about other worlds and other beings. The phenomenal success of Black Panther set a celebratory tone throughout the gathering at a time when the importance of racial, ethnic and gender diversity is at the forefront of national conversations about science fiction.

Acclaimed science fiction and fantasy writer, Nalo Hopkinson, received the 2018 Eagle-Con Octavia E. Butler Memorial Award. The award is given in recognition of impactful contributions to the world of science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction, with the spirit and conviction demonstrated by multi-award-winning author and Cal State LA alumna Octavia E. Butler.

Hopkinson, who is also a creative writing professor at UC Riverside, has won numerous awards for her short stories and six novels, including her first, Brown Girl in the Ring. This novel was also the inspiration for a feature film, Brown Girl Begins.

“This is an excellent time to be given this honor,” Hopkinson said to a full room in the University-Student Union on March 8. “When I first began reading Octavia’s books, when I first began publishing my own, there was no hope of ever seeing our work enter the mainstream.”

March 8-9 featured student-centered panels exploring issues such as the portrayal of women and feminism in superhero films and TV shows and the evolution of Afrofuturism, an aesthetic that infuses elements of African cultures into science fiction and fantasy.

Cal State LA professor Libby Lewis led an engaging discussion on the legacy of Octavia E. Butler with Natalie Russell, assistant curator of literary collections at the Huntington Library. Russell helped organize the more than 8,000 pages of letters, manuscripts and photographs that comprise Butler’s special collection at the Huntington.

Russell recited a quote from Butler, the first African American woman to gain widespread recognition in science fiction: “Why do I write? Because I can’t expect anyone else to tell my stories.”

More than 300 students, alumni, staff, faculty and community members flocked to the convention’s headline day, which featured local vendors and artists, panels and cosplay competitions. Pokemon trainers, zombies and Ghostbusters mingled with Sailor Moon, Lex Luthor and Naruto.

“It was great to see so many from Cal State LA and the wider community come out for Eagle-Con,” said Cal State LA Executive Vice President Jose A. Gomez. “The panels provided valuable insight into the world of science fiction and fantasy. Our students and others were able to learn about career opportunities from top professionals in the entertainment industry.”

The day’s panels provided an inside look into the entertainment industry, featuring concept artists, writers, producers and costume and production designers, including the team behind the visual world of Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 and legendary costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis, UCLA professor and director for the David C. Copley Center for the Study of Costume Design.

Eric Wallace, co-executive producer and writer for The CW’s The Flash, shared insights into the writing and producing process of TV shows and comic books during a conversation with Los Angeles-based entertainment journalist Hannibal Tabu.

A panel on writing for science fiction and superhero TV shows touched on the importance of diversity in writer’s rooms.

“Diversity is a buzzword you hear a lot these days, but it’s so important so that you aren’t getting just one viewpoint conveyed,” said Christos Gage, who writes for Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix and has worked on The CW’s Arrow.
Eagle-Con was co-founded at Cal State LA in 2014 by Rhonda Mitchell, who was then the program coordinator for the university’s Cross Cultural Centers.
Mitchell returned to campus on Saturday and was recognized for her “creativity, passion and inspiration.” She received the award from Cal State LA New Student and Parent Programs assistant director Christopher Johnson, who along with Sharp co-founded the convention with Mitchell.

After accepting the Prism Award, Coker applauded Eagle-Con and expressed his deep appreciation for the honor.

“This is the most beautiful award I have received,” Coker said. “You don’t do it for acknowledgement, but when you receive the acknowledgement, it’s such a gift, it’s such a blessing. Sometimes on those dark days it keeps you pushing forward.”

Easterseals Southern California Launches Provocative Campaign – Changing the Way You See Disability

ESSC Launches Thought-Provoking Ad Campaign

Challenging the Public to ‘Change the Way You See Disability

 

With a Goal of Inclusion and Creating Social Change,  Campaign Encourages Everyone, ‘Celebrate. Don’t Separate.’

 LOS ANGELES For Immediate Release Easterseals Southern California (ESSC) – which assists more than 10,000 people with disabilities in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties – has launched a provocative new ad campaign – featuring southern California residents who receive services from Easterseals – aimed at Changing the Way You See Disability.

Commented Mark Whitley, president & CEO of ESSC, “When we unite as one, we can create social change and break down barriers. Every day, people make generalizations about people with disabilities—and many may not even realize they’re doing it. We’re launching a movement that helps people look beyond what they see at first glance to build a more inclusive world.”

With a goal of inclusion, the multi-faceted campaign asks people to reconsider how they view people with disabilities with such challenges as: Celebrate. Don’t Separate; Dialogue. Not Doubt; Encourage. Don’t Exclude; Include. Don’t Isolate; Be Supportive. Not Sorry; and Spread Awareness. Not Assumptions.

With the first phase launched in January, the campaign – which will continue to roll out over the course of 2018 –encompasses print, outdoor and internet ads, as well as a grassroots social media component with a “Make the Promise” call to action to support the campaign under the hashtag #CelebrateDontSeparate.

Featured in the campaign are six southern California residents who receive various living, work and educational services through ESSC, including: Jaden Hicks, 4, Ontario, preschooler, pianist and kickball player; Lora Glassman, 29, Yorba Linda, writer and film buff; Mauricio McKenzie, 64, Long Beach, gardener, handyman basketball fan and marathon runner; Maureen Roberto, 42, Norwalk, high school graduate, avid reader, community volunteer; Gerardo De La Cerda, 29, San Fernando, soccer coach, engaged to Valeria (also featured), whom he met at Easterseals; and Valeria Hernandez, 22, North Hills, dancer, looking forward to married life with Gerardo.

“I want people to see me for me, not just in the chair,” says Lora. “I am so much more than that. We’re your neighbors, who are living, working and playing in your community and, like you, have a lot more to offer than you can see. My hope is that this ad campaign will make people think and take a moment to get to know me – or anyone with a disability of any type – before making assumptions about what they ‘know.’ I’m the same as everybody else.”

Hear our stories & make the Easterseals promise at: www.celebratedontseparate.org  

Download shareable graphics at: http://bit.ly/2GtiqUm

The campaign was conceptualized and developed under the pro-bono direction of the Los Angeles office of global advertising agency E/LA. Said E/LA CEO and ESSC Board Member Andre Filip, “This is more than an ad campaign, it is a shift in awareness about how we all view disability. This is about equality and inclusion. We are proud to be involved in a global movement that creates change and effects the lives of millions of people.”

About Easterseals Southern California

For nearly 100 years, Easterseals has been an indispensable resource for individuals and families with developmental disabilities or other special needs. The services provided by Easterseals Southern California (ESSC) – in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties – make profound and positive differences in people’s lives every day, helping them address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals so that they can live, learn, work and play in our communities. With 2,300 employees, 60+ service sites and hundreds of community partnership locations, each year ESSC assists more than 10,000 people, providing adult/senior day services; autism therapy; child development/early education; employment services, veteran employment support; independent living options; and more. At Easterseals, 87% of our income is spent on services. Join us in changing the way the world defines and views disabilities.

Join the Conversation … Let’s take on disability together at: Easterseals.com/SouthernCal

Like us: www.facebook.com/EasterSealsSoCal

Follow us: www.twitter.com/EasterSealSoCal

Ancestral Voices: An Evening with Elizabeth Alexander and Jason Moran at Georgetown

By Kate Kight

Washington DC (The Hollywood Times) 3/4/18 – Elizabeth Alexander and Jason Moran offered audiences a masterclass in listening at Georgetown University. Their performance and discussion ranged from the soundtrack of a summer night in DC in the 70s to questioning the types truth contained in recorded music. Continue reading “Ancestral Voices: An Evening with Elizabeth Alexander and Jason Moran at Georgetown”

Nature Presents The Incredible Story of Sudan, Last Male Northern White Rhinoceros tonight

Nature Presents The Incredible Story of Sudan, the LAs Make Northern White Rhino, February 21st

By: Judy Shields

The Incredible Story of Sudan, the Last Male Northern White Rhinoceros, Feb. 21st

Make sure not to miss tonight’s episode. I would recommend recording it as well so that you can watch it a few times and share it with your friends.

Tell your family and friends to tune into this show. I have seen it and it will make your heart-break and definitely want to do something to make a difference for our wildlife.

Nature: The Last Rhino

Premieres Wednesday, February 21 at 8 p.m. EST on PBS (check local listings)

Nature: The Last Rhino introduces viewers to Sudan, the very last male Northern White Rhinoceros. His harrowing journey is told through the international cast of characters who have been involved in Sudan’s life, from when he was snatched as a calf from his mother’s side in war-torn Central Africa, to his captivity as a prized exhibit in a cold, concrete zoo behind the Iron Curtain while poaching devastated his kind to extinction back home. Now 43 years old and half-blind, Sudan is living out his days under the 24-hour watch of an armed guard, on a protective sanctuary in Kenya. Meanwhile, a team of scientists and experts led by Professor Thomas Hildebrandt from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research turn to technology in a race against time to save this majestic rhino subspecies whose origins date back at least five million years. One hour.

Sudan was first captured in February 1975 from a South Sudan game reserve and sent 7,000 miles to a remote zoo in the former Czechoslovakia. He is one of only three Northern White Rhinos left on the planet, and the only remaining male.

Sudan now lives in Ol Pejeta conservancy in Kenya with the world’s only two female Northern White Rhinos. He’s achieved celebrity status around the world with those who have taken up the cause of saving these magnificent creatures.

The Hollywood Times spoke with Fred Kaufman, executive producer and Janet Hess, Nature Series Editor.

The Hollywood Times (THT): “How did this story come across your desk?”

Fred Kaufman (FK): It was a BBC Production and they did a 90-minute documentary about the entire situation and we saw it as an incredible story. Sudan as a character, how many animals are guarded 24/7 and he is the last of his kind and he has his own Facebook page.  In a macabre short of way, he is a tourist attraction and when you have three individuals of a species, that species will not survive.  Kind of celebration in a way. There are so many emotional threads going through the film. It’s a historical document, it’s cutting edge science, it’s poignant so in a simplistic producers mind, it makes for good television and keys people into what is going on when you do get to such a small number of species remaining.”

THT: “How do you feel about Sudan being like a tourist attraction now that he is the last of his kind?”

Janet Hess (JH): “I think one of the strengths of the program is that it presents that conundrum, that something become more valuable when its’ rare.  Christian poaching has made the horn more valuable and in this case the experience of being in the presence of an animal like this, when there is only one male left on the planet.  Now it’s a premium experience and that’s the problem we face, it’s a story of extinction.  A shrinking population that is losing its chance to breed and now each individual becomes more valuable.  We have to face up somehow that we have caused this to happen.”

FK: “We never really appreciate anything until it’s gone or the threat of losing it.  This is a particular celebrity rhino with a name and a story and people are drawn to celebrities whether it is human or otherwise, so that is what you have.”

THT: “Sudan was captured at a young age and has survived many years in captivity, do you believe that is why he has lived so long since he was not in the wild?”

JH: “His capture is not what drove the species to this point.  There was a flourish of population there, its been poaching, that is the source of the problem.”

FK: “Well animals in general live longer in captivity, because they are cared for, they are fed regularly, their stress level is down and any sort of medical issue are treated.  But they don’t reproduce successfully in captivity and that is a good part of this story as well.”

THT: “What did you learn from directing and producing this story?”

JH: “I think these animals lives are so much more complex than we can imagine. Their biology is so complex, that we hope for a simple solution will take them to a zoo a breed them. There are lots of animals that this did not work out for.  The male rhinos need to fight to hold their territory and that is what brings them into breeding conditions.  We can’t generate that in a zoo.  Discovering that too late in this situation and now hoping that technology as a last step can perform some type of miracle.”

FK: This whole thing stems from the desire of their horn, which is nothing more than your fingernails are made of.  It kind of defies comprehension that it’s not some type of gem stone that it has no value.

THT: “What do you think we can learn from this special?”

FK: “It’s rare that we have such an extensive biography of a particular animal.  That hasn’t been studied in science by Jane Goodall or someone else, so just part on how Sudan was captured in Africa at a time when there were multitudes of these animals and take to a safari park and brought back to Africa. The biography of this particular individual is really noteworthy. If you want to get a sense at all, it also reflects the history of our thinking and relationship with these animals, which have come a long way.  I never feel qualified to even say, people get different things out of films and they see different meanings based on their own background, preferences and emotions, so there is a lot to see here from the science, to the biographical information about this one individual, as well as the poignancy of an animal that will leave us at one point.  The relationship it has with his keeper, the fact that it is guarded 24 hours a day, the work people are doing to try to save this species which is probably going to be hopeless.  Hopefully something good will happen that will benefit us in other ways.”

JH: “This entire decline and race to extinction has happened in a time period of one rhinos life.  One individual live encompasses this entire story of having plenty of habitat and good herd size and reproductive success down to the fact that they will be going into extinction.  It’s a cautionary tale as we look around, even the biggest animals, like the elephant, the lions are in trouble, the giraffe are in trouble and we have to be shaken out of our complacency, that these things can happen so quickly and take such a turn, and that we can’t solve the problem.  It is such a stunning thing to think of, that this is happening in the span of one rhinos life.”

FK: “The younger generation in Asia being raised with the idea of conservation much more in front of them.  Much more promoted than any other time.  The new generation needs to recognize that the ivory and rhino horns, no need for it!  Really uncool to have it.  It’s a very long-term generational change and view about these animals and conservation and value of having them there for children to see and all of us to appreciate.”

The White Rhinoceros, found only in Africa, has two genetically distinct subspecies – the Northern White Rhino and the Southern White Rhino. The White Rhino is the largest land mammal after the elephant and the only rhino to have a square, wide upper lip, which helps it graze.

Ceratotherium simum cottoni, or the Northern White Rhino, once roamed widely across the grasslands and savannas of Africa, but is now completely extinct in the wild due to extreme poaching.

The Southern White Rhino, or Ceratotherium simum simum, has successfully been brought back from the brink of extinction through careful protection and management. They are now classified as near endangered.

A troop of security officers, natives of the Bushland, protect the reservation from potential poachers. “To protect these animals, you have to risk your life,” says one of the officers. They have had to stop several poaching attempts this year.

 

Since the three living Northern White Rhinos are unable to produce more children the natural way, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the only viable solution. To test this process, a group of scientists sedate Carla, a Southern White Rhinoceros, to extract her eggs. The extraction is very difficult and precise, allowing no room for error.

Follow the story of Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhinoceros. His journey as the last of his kind is given a glimmer of hope from scientists and animal experts who turn to technology to save the Northern White Rhino before it dies out forever.

Meet Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino, as experts attempt to save his kind from extinction.

 

About WNET

WNET is America’s flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET’s groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history game. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Theater Close-Up, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender identity, First Person, and an intergenerational look at tech and pop culture, The Chatterbox with Kevin and Grandma Lill. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere: http://www.thirteen.org/passport.

Nature brings the wonders of natural history to millions of American viewers. Nature has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 18 Emmys and three Peabody Awards.

Production Credits:

Nature is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and PBS. For Nature, Fred Kaufman is executive producer. Bill Murphy is series producer. The Last Rhino is a co-production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC and BBC Studios in association with WNET. The documentary is directed by Rowan Deacon and produced by Liz Kempton. Sacha Mirzoeff and Simon Ford are executive producers and Roger Webb is series editor. Brendan Easton is director of photography and James Gold is film editor. Tom Harges is narrator. Original music by Justin Nicholls.

Underwriters:

Support for this Nature program was made possible in part by the Arnhold Family in memory of Clarisse Arnhold, the Halmi Family in memory of Robert Halmi, Sr., Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, Sandra Atlas Bass, Susan R. Malloy, Jennifer M. Combs, Timon J. Malloy and the Sun Hill Foundation, the Arlene and Milton D. Berkman Philanthropic Fund, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by the nation’s public television stations.

Nature Presents “Animals With Cameras” Premiering on PBS Feb 7th & The Incredible Story of Sudan, Last Male Northern White Rhinoceros, 2/21

Nature Presents “Animals With Cameras” premiering on PBS Feb 7th

By: Judy Shields

The Incredible Story of Sudan, the Last Male Northern White Rhinoceros, Feb. 21st

This new three-part series journeys into animals’ worlds using custom, state-of-the-art cameras worn by the animals themselves. Capturing never-before-seen behavior, these animal cinematographers help expand human understanding of their habitats and solve mysteries that have eluded scientists until now. In the first episode, astonishing collar-camera footage reveals newborn Kalahari Meerkats below ground for the first time, unveils the hunting skills of Magellanic penguins in Argentina, and follows the treetop progress of an orphaned chimpanzee in Cameroon.

http://www.pbs.org/video/inside-look-animals-cameras-9xll4d/

 

 

 

 

 

Nature miniseries “Animals With Cameras” are premiering on PBS this February 7 and February 14 (check local listings). Here are a couple of great promo videos:

Ep 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QRRn70fSzw

Ep 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7P71ccr5sI

“Animals With Cameras” – A Nature Miniseries Episode 2 (Wednesday, February 7 at 8-9 p.m. ET on PBS). Available to stream the following day at pbs.org/nature and on PBS apps): The cameras capture young cheetahs learning to hunt in Namibia, reveal how fur seals of an Australian island evade the great white sharks offshore, and help solve a conflict between South African farmers and chacma baboons.

“Animals With Cameras” – A Nature Miniseries Episode 3 (Wednesday, February 14 at 8-9 p.m. ET on PBS. Available to stream the following day at pbs.org/nature and on PBS apps.) Deep-dive with Chilean devil rays in the Azores, track brown bears’ diets in Turkey, and follow dogs protecting flocks of sheep from gray wolves in Southern France.

While the first episode of Animals With Cameras premiered on Wednesday 1/31, it is available for streaming so you can still catch it.

Make sure you don’t miss Nature: The Last Rhino premiering February 21st. I would truly recommend recording it as you watch it, so that you can watch it several times.

Tell your family and friends to tune into this show. I have seen it and it will make your heart-break and definitely want to do something to make a difference for our wildlife.

Nature: The Last Rhino

Premieres Wednesday, February 21 at 8 p.m. EST on PBS (check local listings)

Nature: The Last Rhino introduces viewers to Sudan, the very last male Northern White Rhinoceros. His harrowing journey is told through the international cast of characters who have been involved in Sudan’s life, from when he was snatched as a calf from his mother’s side in war-torn Central Africa, to his captivity as a prized exhibit in a cold, concrete zoo behind the Iron Curtain while poaching devastated his kind to extinction back home. Now 43 years old and half-blind, Sudan is living out his days under the 24-hour watch of an armed guard, on a protective sanctuary in Kenya. Meanwhile, a team of scientists and experts led by Professor Thomas Hildebrandt from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research turn to technology in a race against time to save this majestic rhino subspecies whose origins date back at least five million years. One hour.

Sudan was first captured in February 1975 from a South Sudan game reserve and sent 7,000 miles to a remote zoo in the former Czechoslovakia. He is one of only three Northern White Rhinos left on the planet, and the only remaining male.

Sudan now lives in Ol Pejeta conservancy in Kenya with the world’s only two female Northern White Rhinos. He’s achieved celebrity status around the world with those who have taken up the cause of saving these magnificent creatures.

 

The White Rhinoceros, found only in Africa, has two genetically distinct subspecies – the Northern White Rhino and the Southern White Rhino. The White Rhino is the largest land mammal after the elephant and the only rhino to have a square, wide upper lip, which helps it graze.

Ceratotherium simum cottoni, or the Northern White Rhino, once roamed widely across the grasslands and savannas of Africa, but is now completely extinct in the wild due to extreme poaching.

The Southern White Rhino, or Ceratotherium simum simum, has successfully been brought back from the brink of extinction through careful protection and management. They are now classified as near endangered.

A troop of security officers, natives of the Bushland, protect the reservation from potential poachers. “To protect these animals, you have to risk your life,” says one of the officers. They have had to stop several poaching attempts this year.

 

Since the three living Northern White Rhinos are unable to produce more children the natural way, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the only viable solution. To test this process, a group of scientists sedate Carla, a Southern White Rhinoceros, to extract her eggs. The extraction is very difficult and precise, allowing no room for error.

Follow the story of Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhinoceros. His journey as the last of his kind is given a glimmer of hope from scientists and animal experts who turn to technology to save the Northern White Rhino before it dies out forever.

Meet Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino, as experts attempt to save his kind from extinction.

 

 

About WNET

WNET is America’s flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET’s groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history game. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Theater Close-Up, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender identity, First Person, and an intergenerational look at tech and pop culture, The Chatterbox with Kevin and Grandma Lill. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere: http://www.thirteen.org/passport.

Nature brings the wonders of natural history to millions of American viewers. Nature has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 18 Emmys and three Peabody Awards.

Production Credits:

Nature is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and PBS. For Nature, Fred Kaufman is executive producer. Bill Murphy is series producer. The Last Rhino is a co-production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC and BBC Studios in association with WNET. The documentary is directed by Rowan Deacon and produced by Liz Kempton. Sacha Mirzoeff and Simon Ford are executive producers and Roger Webb is series editor. Brendan Easton is director of photography and James Gold is film editor. Tom Harges is narrator. Original music by Justin Nicholls.

Underwriters:

Support for this Nature program was made possible in part by the Arnhold Family in memory of Clarisse Arnhold, the Halmi Family in memory of Robert Halmi, Sr., Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, Sandra Atlas Bass, Susan R. Malloy, Jennifer M. Combs, Timon J. Malloy and the Sun Hill Foundation, the Arlene and Milton D. Berkman Philanthropic Fund, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by the nation’s public television stations.

John Lennon Educational Tour Bus at NAMM 2018

THE JOHN LENNON EDUCATIONAL TOUR BUS KICKS OFF 2018 SEASON AT THE NAMM SHOW

Launch events include the annual Imagine Party with the NAMM Foundation hosted by Bootsy Collins with a performance by multi-platinum artist, Andy Grammer

NEW YORK–(January 22, 2018)—The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus (The Lennon Bus), the premier non-profit 501(c)(3) state-of-the-art mobile production facility that provides hands-on experiences for students of all ages, presented by Other World Computing (OWC), makes its return to The 2018 NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention Center with special guests Bootsy Collins, legendary bass player, and Andy Grammer, multi-platinum recording artist. Kicking off at NAMM, and chock full of new gear and equipment, the Lennon Bus will stop in cities across America throughout the year including Sacramento, Texas, Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Miami and many more.

“Kicking off the tour at NAMM has become somewhat of a staple in the Lennon Bus legacy. We feel more connected to the crowd each year, and the energy at NAMM gives us the motivation and drive needed to get on the road to inspire young people across the U.S.,” said Co-Founder and Executive Director Brian Rothschild. “With the involvement of OWC, Bootsy Collins and Andy Grammer, this NAMM Show will be one to remember.”

Throughout The 2018 NAMM Show, the Lennon Bus will be parked on the central Grand Plaza in front of the Anaheim Convention Center. The Lennon Bus will offer trade show attendees interactive tours and will showcase the updated display of state-of-the-art equipment and gear, advanced recording technology, and innovative capabilities with products provided by OWC – the official presenting sponsor of the 2018 Lennon Bus Tour.

Highlights include:

· Saturday, January 27 from 6:00 -7:30 p.m., Collins will host the annual John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Imagine Party featuring a performance from Grammer. In addition to hosting, Collins will take the stage with local Anaheim students to perform “Together We Can,” a song he first recorded on the Lennon Bus in New York City.

· Saturday January 27 at 11 a.m., Collins will host the Funk Off. at OWC Booth 11802. Open to anyone, Collins will judge contestant’s bass skills. The top five finalists will take home OWC gear and move on to the finals, which will take place live on stage at the Imagine Party. The winner, picked by Collins, will win his signed Yamaha bass guitar and an OWC package.

· Thursday, January 25 – Sunday, January 28, attendees will be able to win free, limited-edition OWC / Lennon Bus T-shirts with an onsite game at OWC Booth 11802.

This year, the Lennon Bus will be premiering many new features. The Lennon Bus studios and the demo tent will be powered by the new Apple iMac Pro with additional 5K displays providing an expansive monitoring system for editing ultra-high definition video and photography. OWC’s innovative products provide the bus with fast, dependable and silent storage solutions.

Musicians onboard the Lennon Bus will now get to pair Yamaha electric guitars with Yamaha guitar amps including the THR10C combo and the THR100H dual head with the THRC212 cabinet. The Yamaha MX61BUwill be the new featured synth keyboard in the demo tent and all support products are now provided by K&M Stands..

A new feature in the Lennon Bus demo tent is the Creator’s Station. In this space, visitors can participate in an interactive experience using an Apple iPad Pro, Audio-Technica’s iOS-compatible AT2020USBi microphone and ATH-M50x headphones. During select events throughout the year, visitors can participate in a project entitled “What does peace mean to you?” by recording their unique answer in the Creator’s Station. The audio, photos and b-roll captured for this activation, from students of all ages across the country, will lay the foundation for an original short film.

JOHN LENNON BUS AT NAMM SCHEDULE

Lennon Bus Interactive Tours

Wednesday, January 24 – 10:00AM – 6:00PM

Thursday, January 25 – 10:00AM – 6:00PM

Friday, January 26 – 10:00AM – 6:00PM

Saturday, January 27 – 10:00AM – 3:00PM

Sunday, January 28 – 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Wednesday, January 24

2:00PM – 4:00PM – NAMM FOUNDATION PANEL w/ Lennon Bus – Hilton, Lower Level, Catalina 7

Table 1 – Working with Schools to Advance Music Education

Thursday, January 25

12:00PMOlivia Millerschin (John Lennon Songwriting Contest NAMM Show Winner) performs on stage in Grand Plaza

2:00PM – Giveaways at Lennon Bus

Friday, January 26

2:00PM – Giveaways at Lennon Bus

Sunday, January 27

11:00AM – FUNK OFF w/ Bootsy Collins at OWC Booth 11802

12:00PMCommon Souls (John Lennon Songwriting Contest Song of the Year Winner) performs on stage in Grand Plaza

2:00PM – Giveaways at Lennon Bus

5:00PM – Press/VIP Badge Pickup at Lennon Tent

6:00PM – 7:30PM – Imagine Party

Speeches

Bootsy Collins performs with Anaheim Students “Together We Can”

Funk Off finals – Winner takes home Bootsy’s Yamaha Bass & OWC Package

Andy Grammer performs

ABOUT THE JOHN LENNON EDUCATIONAL TOUR BUS

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus presented by Other World Computing (OWC) is a non-profit state-of-the-art mobile Pro Audio and HD video recording facility that provides hands-on experiences for students of all ages. In its 21st year of touring, the Lennon Bus features the latest audio and video technology, gear and products. The concept began as an offshoot of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, dedicated to providing opportunities for both professional and amateur songwriters around the world; proceeds from which help support the Lennon Bus. The Lennon Bus travels across the U.S. and Canada year-round, providing free tours and workshops at schools, retailers, festivals, on tours with headlining artists, and at major industry conferences. Lennon Bus Europe began providing these same opportunities to the young people of Europe when it launched in Liverpool, UK in May 2013.

The Lennon Bus is made possible by Yoko Ono Lennon and the following sponsors and contributors: Apple, Inc., Other World Computing, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Nearpod, Juniper Networks, Yamaha, Securematics, Neutrik, The NAMM Foundation, Ruckus Wireless, Avid, Audio-Technica, Genelec, K&M Stands, Sonnet Technologies, Focusrite, SSL, NewTek, Reflecmedia, Viprinet, Baker & McKenzie, Litepanels, Clear-Com, Anton/Bauer, AJA, Copperpeace, Applied Acoustics Systems, Mobile Roadie, McDSP, Native Instruments, IK Multimedia, Noise Industries, iZotope, Mad Mimi, Ableton, Mackie, Guitar Player, Bass Player, Electronic Musician, Keyboard Magazine, SKB, and LiveU.

ABOUT OTHER WORLD COMPUTING

Having served the Apple community worldwide since 1988, OWC has become the reliable manufacturer and upgrade provider of choice for Apple and PC enthusiasts with its extensive catalog of accessories,storage, and memory upgrades for nearly every Mac made in the last decade. Recognized for award-winning customer service, OWC provides extensive U.S.-based technical support for Mac and PC users around the world and comprehensive step-by-step installation and support videos.

ABOUT THE NAMM FOUNDATION

The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 10,300 members around the world. The NAMM Foundation works to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit http://www.nammfoundation.org, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

The Power of Numbers book by Jesse Kalsi

Reviewed: by Elizabeth Carbe’

Santa Clarita, CA (The Hollywood Times) 1/22/18 – The Power of Home Numbers is an interesting and engaging read for the well-seasoned numerologist, novice or skeptic. Continue reading “The Power of Numbers book by Jesse Kalsi”

Consumer Beware – fraud never is really on holiday

2017 is winding down and a lot of people are looking at the new year for renewed hope to reinvent themselves and their businesses. It is a time to clear up neglected issues to start fresh with a new year. Yet what lurks behind seemingly trusting smiling ads  and pitches for coaching careers, book publishing packages, expensive retreats and more are just society’s latest version of expensive lessons and regret for many vulnerable people duped out of their hard earned money to pay for unrealistic setups.

Local TV channels welcome consumers to report their issues for them to expose the fraud and deceit. Unfortunately geniune programs suffer from the misfits of those who prey on the emotional purchases of the new career seekers. This past year a chain of beauty schools misused college tuition funds thus closing up all their schools leaving beauty school clients without their accomplished careers.

It is the Buyer Beware syndrome. With social media, potential clients get lured into being ‘friends’ with the product group. Nowadays with Live recordings, company CEOs are streaming personal client personal stories as if they were having a confidential beer poolside with coherts.

Independent business owners are seeking services in the new landscape of technology and websites yet getting delays and unfullfilled promises.

TheHollywoodTimes is looking to close out another year in anticipation of a new year with more investigative stories. We welcome more writers and stories to show the glory and the grime along the virtual Hollywood Blvd. in the world. Lets be good humans no matter what time of the year it is. Integrity doesn’t take a holiday so be on your guard and watch your wallet.

Varda Bar-Kar’s BIG VOICE

by Dr. Laura Wilhelm, LauraWil Intercultural

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 11/8/17 – Have you ever wanted to set aside your own ego and be more than you ever dreamed?  Then Varda Bar-Kar’s 2016 feature-length film BIG VOICE may inspire you!  Continue reading “Varda Bar-Kar’s BIG VOICE”

Author Rachel McCord and her book ‘Slay The Fame Game’

Hollywood’s “it” girl, Rachel McCord, proudly announces the release of her new book, “SLAY THE FAME GAME”(www.slaythefamegame.com). 

Your ultimate guide to cracking the fame code, McCord’s book gives you industry secrets on how to “break into Hollywood and social media without it breaking you!”

After reading thousands of self-help books from the age of 13, McCord penned her own sassy self-LOVE and Hollywood “how-to” guide for young girls seeking extraordinary lives. 

Drawing on her own experiences, from growing up in trailer parks in Georgia, to overcoming early life traumas and ultimately making it in one of the world’s most competitive industries; the entertainment industry. 

McCord thoughtfully empowers readers to love, accept, and believe in themselves, even as they face the crippling social media scrutiny and self-defamation that comes with chasing after your big dreams.

 She shares her top five tips for girls to live by: Always believe in yourself. Whether you want to “SLAY THE FAME GAME”, or you just want to slay life in general, you need to think positive thoughts and always believe in yourself.

Be authentic. If you don’t brand yourself, someone else will…and you may not like what they come up with! Decide who you are, and what you want to be known for…be that 100%. 

Network like a Queen. Make the conversation about the other person, and, when asked, have your “humble brag” ready to go.

Develop great relationships. Business is all about relationships. Stay humble, be the first to bring value, and, never burn a bridge.

Build a supportive community. Create an environment for success, by surrounding yourself with other successful people, who you love and respect. 

“Every girl should feel like a queen, whether she is on the red carpet, or in the grocery store checkout line,” says McCord, and her book offers insight on all of the real-world essentials to conquer the fame game, from staying centered and mentally strong, to slaying social media, networking events, and rocking your portfolio. 

While the advice centers on her own experience modeling and helping fellow talent in the industry, McCord writes for girls everywhere, in every industry, who seek help with personal branding,networking, and nailing their “humble brag.” 

Every girl in today’s social media-driven culture lives a very public life, and McCord offers game-changing tips for navigating through the inevitable insecurities, peer pressures, and self-judgment that will arise,without losing your most important asset: your unique and beautiful heart.

Rachel McCord is a model, “on-camera” personality, speaker, author and philanthropist. Earning features in top magazines and outlets, including Vogue and Glamour, Rachel is also the star and producer of her own show, “The Rachel McCord Show: From Trailer Parks to Red Carpets”, and a renowned speaker on such stages as UCLAThe Startup Series, Marketing in the Digital Age, and Share.Like.Buy.

Passionate about leveraging emergent media platforms to help fellow talent accomplish their dreams, she works tirelessly to inspire others, and help them realize that no matter where you come from, you can live a full and fabulous life. 

A serial entrepreneur at heart, Rachel collaborates with, advises, and encourages her vast network of peers, celebrities, bloggers, and influencers on all things related to branding, social media, and Hollywood.

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