A Star-Studded 95th Birthday Bash For Legendary Singer, Songwriter, Activist, and Actor Harry Belafonte
A benefit evening (HB95) will also present the inaugural Harry Belafonte Social Justice Awards in honor of the 10th anniversary of Sankofa.org, the social justice organization Mr. Belafonte co-founded. HB95 will be held on March 1, 2022 at The Town Hall (123 W. 43rd Street) at 7:00 PM ET.
The evening will include musical performances, video tributes, and testimonials by civil rights and racial justice leaders, elected officials, musicians, actors, and more. Aloe Blacc, John Legend, The Belafonte Alumni Band, Laurence Fishburne, Doug E Fresh, Danny Glover, Amy Goodman, Lenny Kravitz, Michael Moore, Q-Tip, Tim Robbins, Rev. Al Sharpton, Bryan Stevenson, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Jesse Williams, and Alfre Woodward, are among the confirmed participants.
This year’s inaugural Harry Belafonte Social Justice Awards were created to acknowledge the vast reach of Mr. Belafonte’s contribution to social justice and American history. For their unwavering commitment to justice, award recipients include Angela Davis, Rashad Robinson, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Dr. Cornel West, Darren Walker, Hank Willis Thomas, former Attorney General Eric Holder and Congresswoman Barbara Lee. In addition to live performances, Mr. Belafonte’s memorable film, television, and humanitarian career will be showcased through archive footage along with testimonials from some of today’s most popular and celebrated artists, activists, and entertainers.
Proceeds from this evening will benefit Sankofa.org and several of its programs including an innovative virtual/alternative reality technology and arts reentry program created to impact the capacity of returning citizens to develop critical core skills for a sustainable successful transition back to the community. This scientifically validated art-based program with virtual reality has been used to create breakthrough treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and is showing promise in the treatment of many other mental health conditions. Harry Belafonte said, “I am honored that so many are coming together to celebrate my birthday, life, and legacy. I founded Sankofa.org alongside my daughter Gina and Raoul Roach to create additional space for artists and allies to collaborate to garner an artistic approach to the needs of our disenfranchised communities… to use art as a tool to educate messages of hope and to encourage and energize the public to become engaged. One heart, One mind, One soul.” “It is an honor for us to host Harry Belafonte’s 95th birthday as part of our Centennial Season,” said The Town Hall’s Artistic Director Melay Araya. “Like his mentors Paul Robeson and Langston Hughes, and his contemporaries Coretta Scott King and Fannie Lou Hamer, Mr. Belafonte has taken to our stage several times over the last 70 years in support of the movements that he participated in and led. It is our hope that celebrating his life and work will inspire those in attendance to use their talents in service of others.”
Gina Belafonte, Sankofa.org Executive Director stated, “Artists are the gatekeepers of truth, civilization’s radical voice. Without art we have nothing. Sankofa.org uses the arts as a tool to engage people to action. We are so excited to honor my father on his 95th birthday and celebrate his legacy.” “We are happy to celebrate this milestone birthday of the iconic Harry Belafonte. As a legendary artist and activist, he is an inspiration to us all. It is also beautiful to see Gina carry on the important work of Sankofa.org to positively impact future generations,” said Bridgid and Don Cheadle about the occasion.
Actress and activist Alfre Woodard said, “HB95 is the celebration of Harry Belafonte’s bold, insistent, joyous stride towards Justice. Sankofa.org is the vehicle he’s given the generations to continue that journey forward. There goes the roof!” While this is its first public fundraising event, Sankofa.org has created and produced innovative and cutting-edge programs for the past decade. The organization is committed to rooting out systemic violence, work tirelessly for the adoption of restorative justice initiatives, and champion meaningful reforms for immigration and a livable minimum wage.
Sankofa.org was founded by Harry Belafonte, his daughter Gina Belafonte, and Raoul Roach in 2012. Its mission is to educate, motivate, and activate artists and allies in service of grassroots movements and equitable change. Sankofa.org focuses on issues of injustice that disproportionately affect the disenfranchised, the oppressed, and the underserved, which left unaddressed will continue to impact the lives of too many individuals and remain a scar on our nation’s moral character. The non-profit organization is fiscally sponsored by Social Environmental Entrepreneurs (www.SaveOurPlanet.org).
Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike Live: The Tour Starts in North Texas for a Limited Engagement
The global stage sensation Magic Mike Live: The Tour is created and directed by Channing Tatum, Magic Mike Live is bringing its magic to the Dallas-Fort Worth area for a limited engagement for five weeks only starting May 11.
The Tour is co-directed and choreographed by film franchise choreographer Alison Faulk with co-choreographer Luke Broadlick and associate choreographers The Bartley Brothers (Anthony and Charles), with original music by Jack Rayner, and production design by Rachel O’Toole.
Producing is Channing Tatum, Steven Soderbergh, Reid Carolin, Greg Jacobs, Peter Kiernan and Nick Wechsler in association with Vincent Marini, Bruce Robert Harris, Jack W. Batman, Julian Stoneman, Louis Hartshorn, Brian Hook, Gavin Kalin, Hunter Arnold, Los Angeles Media Fund, ZKM Media, Richard Winkler, Alan Shorr, Dawn Smalberg, Marlene and Gary Cohen, and Simon Thomas. Emmy and Tony Award-winner Michael Cohl and his partner Tony Smith, principals with Bat Out of Hell Productions, will serve as the lead promoters. The tour
Hot on the heels of the hit film Magic Mike’s Last Dance, the North American touring production will perform 10 shows a week in a custom-built venue located in the center of the action at the vibrant Stonebriar Centre in Frisco, TX. The tour’s North Texas engagement was announced today with an electrifying performance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, giving viewers across the country a sneak peek at the spectacular production. A limited number of tickets starting at $69 are on sale now and going fast at MMLTour.com.
Thanks to the incredible audience support of Magic Mike’s Last Dance in North Texas, the magic is heading live and in-person to Frisco! Magic Mike Live features professionally trained dancers delivering a thrilling 90-minute show that packs in sexy and daring dance routines, acrobatics, live music, comedy, and more in front of, above, and all around the audience. Equal parts empowering and exhilarating, provides an unforgettably fun night of live entertainment, perfect for date night or the ultimate girls’ night out, that’s guaranteed to leave guests feeling inspired and ready to ignite their inner magic.
“We considered a number of amazing cities to open our first production of Magic Mike Live after the release of Magic Mike’s Last Dance, but the Dallas-Fort Worth area rose to the top,” said Magic Mike Live Executive Producer Vincent Marini. “North Texas audiences have been visiting our Las Vegas show in huge numbers for years, but this touring production is something new. It’s the culmination of everything we’ve learned about our show and our guests after selling over a million tickets around the world. It’s joyful, it’s sexy, and it’s just a ton of fun. I just know that people will be blown away the minute they walk into the venue!”
Guests will marvel as they enter the multi-story, 600-seat venue which incorporates the best design features from Magic Mike Live productions around the world. Every performance, every fabric, every finish, every detail of the venue has been meticulously curated by Tatum and the Magic Mike Live creative team.
Guests are invited to come early and stay late to enjoy the indoor-outdoor lounge complete with music, multiple bars, and comfortable seating. The venue’s bars will offer a curated cocktail experience created in collaboration with Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh’s spirit brand Singani 63, featuring signature beverages inspired by moments in the show.
Epic experiences await those looking to up the ante on their visit to Magic Mike Live :
- Ultra Seats – Experience Magic Mike Live like never before from one of just 12 available Ultra Seats. Priced at $299 per person, each Ultra Seat package includes:
- Front-row, plush couch seating as close to the action as you can possibly get.
- Complimentary cocktails paired with special moments throughout the show.
- Complimentary preferred parking.
- A commemorative lanyard.
- A personal concierge, who will provide each party with direct communication before, during and after the show.
- Dedicated waitstaff during the show.
- All offerings from Mike’s Exclusive Package, including a post-show meet and greet with members of the cast, cocktail, and live music.
- Mike’s Exclusive Package: No matter where you sit for the show, upgrade your experience to score access to an intimate meet and greet with select cast members after the show with the purchase of a Mike’s Exclusive Package add-on for $99 per person. With their commemorative lanyard, guests will get to meet and take photos with members of the cast while enjoying live music and a specially curated cocktail. A show ticket is required to purchase the Mike’s Exclusive Package add-on.
To take full advantage of all that the region’s premiere shopping and entertainment destination has to offer, ticket buyers can also pair their experience with an afternoon brunch on Saturday and Sunday at Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza & Taproom. Priced at $50 per person, the 2 p.m. brunch seating offers up a three-course menu that includes stuffed cheese bread and your choice of pizza, wood-fired breakfast sandwich, or full salad, and either a delicious apple pie or cinnamon glazed knots for dessert, all topped off with a $20 Tap Wall credit to indulge with your favorite beer, wine or cocktail. A limited number of weekend brunch packages are available to add-on to any 4 p.m. performance ticket purchase on Saturday or Sunday.
The North American touring production of Magic Mike Live is led by South Africa-born Kalon Badenhorst, who has performed the titular role of “Mike” in Berlin and Las Vegas, and emcees Crystal Powell and Nikki Lowe. The ensemble features alumni Gianluca Briganti, Clare Billson, Nate Bryan, Kiana De Van der Schueren, Marcquet Hill, Burim Jusufi, Jake Paul Green, Nicholas Phillips, Blake Varga, and Joshua Williams. Additional casting to be announced.
While thrilling more than 1.2 million guests around the world with shows currently running in Las Vegas, London, on tour across North America, and past engagements in Berlin and Australia, Magic Mike Live has earned its place at the center of the zeitgeist with regular appearances on major TV shows including The Kelly Clarkson Show, The Drew Barrymore Show, The Talk, SHERRI, ELLEN, The TODAY Show, The Graham Norton Show, This is Us, Britain’s Got Talent, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and more. MAGIC MIKE LIVE also inspired HBO Max™’s instant-hit unscripted reality series Finding Magic Mike, and continues to fuel popularity for the Magic Mike film franchise, including the latest hit, Magic Mike’s Last Dance.
Starting May 11, MAGIC MIKE LIVE: The Tour will perform a 90-minute show at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday with 10 p.m. performances Thursday through Saturday, and a 4 p.m. matinee on Saturday and Sunday; no shows on Monday and Tuesday. For tickets starting at $68, upgrades, and information for groups of 10 or more, visit MMLTour.com or call 833.624.4265.
Connect with the show on social media: @MMLTour on Instagram and Twitter; @MagicMikeLiveTour on TikTok and Facebook / #MMLTOUR.
NYWIFT MUSE Awards Celebrates in New York City
New York Women in Film & Television and NH Collection New York Madison Avenue Hotel announced at the ceremony the exclusive partnership.
“The NH Collection brand is globally recognized for offering its guests unique experiences with local flavor. We are proud to be the hotel sponsor of the NYWIFT Muse Awards, which embrace the unique essence of New York City’s arts and culture like no other. We hope the award honorees have an extraordinary stay with us” said Carlos Salomon, General Manager of NH Collection Madison Avenue Hotel.
For more than 40 years, NYWIFT has presented the Muse Awards to celebrate and illuminate women of outstanding vision and achievement, both in front of and behind the camera in film, television, music, and digital media. NH Collection, part of NH Hotel Group, has been fostering cultural growth around the world through the NH Short Story Prizes, NH Stock Art and other endeavors. Their partnership with NYWIFT furthers their commitment to supporting artistic endeavors.
“NYWIFT is thrilled to partner with the NH Collection Madison Avenue hotel, Their beautiful midtown hotel is a wonderfully hip, elegant spot perfectly in line with the Muse Awards experience we are cultivating in our return to in-person events in 2023. I particularly love their glam lounging areas with stylish retro décor that includes vintage cameras, books, and typewriters. It is why I love working in their NYC location lobby,” said NYWIFT CEO Cynthia Lopez.
The news comes on the heels of news of a partnership with Bleecker Street to award three scholarships as part of NYWIFT’s Scholarship Fund. NYWIFT and Bleecker Street will promote this special opportunity to film schools as part of the NYWIFT Scholarship Fund for students in NYC. Scholarship recipients will be announced in the fall and meet with the Bleecker Street team at their New York headquarters.
NH Collection and Bleecker Street’s contributions were officially acknowledged at the ceremony.
This year’s MUSE Award honorees include:
President, IFC Films
Actor and Singer
The Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment “Made in NY” Award
Director, Writer, Executive Producer
Nancy Malone Directing Award
Journalist, Anchor, Executive Producer
Enid Roth Award for Excellence in Journalism
Advocate, Activist, Philanthropist, Home Life Expert
Actor, Activist, Producer
Loreen Arbus Changemaker Award
Actor, Artist, and Humanitarian
Producer and President, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
March Glorious Happenings
It’s been a beautiful season this month all over the country with some glorious happenings.
An exciting milestone achieved by Ticket to Dream Foundation, a national non-profit dedicated to supporting foster youth. Their partnership with Famous Footwear, a Caleres brand, has resulted in their generous customers donating over $10M during checkout since the launch in 2020, making it possible for Ticket to Dream to help over 468,000 children and teens experiencing foster care.
The donations have helped to ensure foster youth have access to new shoes, warm coats, clothes, extracurricular activities, and laptops for school, making a tangible impact on the lives of foster youth across the country. During a time when donations can be hard to come by, and kids entering care need more assistance than ever, Famous Footwear has allowed Ticket to Dream Foundation to reach more kids than ever before.
“Ticket to Dream has been blown away by the generosity of Famous Footwear and their customers,” said Gina Davis, CEO of Ticket to Dream Foundation. “We can’t wait to see how many kids we can help in 2023.”
Legendary photographer Albert Watson, along with industry hard hitters Stylist Brendan Cannon, Makeup Artist Romero Jennings, and Hair Stylist Linh Nguyen, translate the fashion iconography of the past into life for a new generation with the model whose career has spanned it all, Carmen Dell’Orefice, now the oldest Vogue cover girl ever at 91.
Inside, Carmen discusses her lifelong, storied, and still-going-strong seven-decade career with Marek Torčík. She discusses among other things photographers, storytelling, and why she believes modeling agencies should unionize.
Shot in New York City with Producer Anna La Germaine, Watson spins the inspiration from the past while making each image uniquely contemporarily stunning for today’s eye. Carmen’s poise and relationship with the camera transcend time as she poses in contemporary pieces by Schiaparelli, Ralph Rucci, Lever Couture, Rick Owens, Issey Miyake, Benchellal, Andrew Gn, Kokin, Jason Wu, and a custom-made piece by Verdavainne.
In New York City, Susan Lucci hosted a Sip and Shop with an exclusive preview of her custom-designed heart necklaces to benefit the American Heart Association. Leesa Rowland also held a party at Il Tinello East to celebrate her cover on “New York Lifestyle.”
In Los Angeles, around 200 guests gathered at WarWick for a night that showcased three new covers being released in April. Modern Day Communications held the event on behalf of our “The Modern Day Living Magazine” and “INFLUENCED Magazine.” Cover stars Teddi Mellencamp was there along with Derek Warburton and Qimmah Russo.
Over at SXSW, the Cinema Center, the film festival hospitality hot spot, created a 3-day pop-up around the corner of the main Paramount Theater for SxSw’s Film & TV Festival to host seven premiere parties during the opening weekend in downtown Austin, TX. The Cinema Center was supported by William Grant & Sons portfolio of luxury spirits including Hendrick’s Gin, Milagro Tequila, Reyka Vodka, Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Glenfiddich Scotch, and Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, with specialty cocktails complimented by Q Mixers. Peroni USA also supported as the official beer.
Those gathered included LongHouse president Nina Gillman, president emerita Dianne Benson, board members Sherri Donghia, Derick T. George, Anne Erni, Gael Towey, Emma Clurman, Deborah Nevins, and Peter H. Olsen as well as Abby Bangser, Ted Farris, Ronnie and Alan Fisher, Marina Kellen French, Susan Gutfreund, Sharon King Hoge, Michele Gerber Klein, Alison Levasseur, Faith Popcorn, Barbara Tober, and many more.
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