Showing posts with label US Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US Related. Show all posts

10 June 2021

"Procession", An Augmented-Reality Artwork Of Our Not-So-Distant Future, Debuts At The Tribeca Festival [Trailer Included]

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"Procession", An Augmented-Reality Artwork Of Our Not-So-Distant Future, Debuts At The Tribeca Festival [Trailer Included]
Procession (Tribeca Festival Poster)
Dustin Yellin, in collaboration with the National Wildlife Federation, Droga5, Squint/Opera, Q Department, Mach1 and Vrai Pictures, has announced the launch of Procession, a new interactive artwork that lets anyone in the world place a Dustin Yellin sculpture in their immediate environment and bring the art to life through complete explorative immersion, revealing hundreds of narratives within the piece. 

Set to debut globally at this year's Tribeca Festival, Procession is a groundbreaking augmented-reality (AR) app experience set in a utopian world where human-created climate change wreaks havoc as you watch.
Procession is one of the first fine-art AR projects based on a realized sculpture to combine animation, collage and archival footage into an explorative interactive soundscape. It presents our near future, a period of global unrest and environmental destruction, spurred by raging flood waters and massive wildfires. Humanity is faced with a choice: living in ignorance or uniting to preserve what's left of our planet.

"Procession", An Augmented-Reality Artwork Of Our Not-So-Distant Future, Debuts At The Tribeca Festival [Trailer Included]
Procession (Screengrab)
"My goal has always been to democratize art and create a living, breathing canvas that can be affected by every participant who touches it. Procession presents our near future, a period of global unrest and environmental destruction, spurred by raging flood waters and massive wildfires," said Dustin Yellin.
Through the accessibility of its art, Procession unites people in taking action to preserve our natural environment. Through education, awareness and a directive that links to National Wildlife Federation's nonprofit climate initiatives, Procession joins the fight to preserve our delicate ecosystem before we lose it.

"Procession", An Augmented-Reality Artwork Of Our Not-So-Distant Future, Debuts At The Tribeca Festival [Trailer Included]
Procession (Screengrab)
"The experience of becoming part of Dustin's art makes it clear that each of us has an impact on our planet and when we choose to take the steps necessary to protect wildlife and the natural world, we will be able to create a more equitable and sustainable planet for everyone," said Carey Stanton, Head of Innovation Partnerships for the National Wildlife Federation. "We are thrilled to be the wildlife conservation partner for Procession."
  • Procession was created in a unique collaboration of established creative and production partners including global creative agency Droga5, creative studio Squint/Opera, music studios Q Department and Mach1, and immersive design studio Vrai Pictures.
"Procession", An Augmented-Reality Artwork Of Our Not-So-Distant Future, Debuts At The Tribeca Festival [Trailer Included]
Procession (Screengrab)
"We've been working on this collaboration for quite some time, and it's a pleasure to see the work of Dustin, Droga5 and our partners finally realized in such a pure, impactful way," said Director of Innovation at Droga5 Justin Durazzo. "We're really excited to deliver this interactive art piece in our rapidly evolving tech and climate landscape and hope everyone—regardless of their age, beliefs or background—will relate to it."
"The partnership was driven by our desire to make this world more intricate and immersive, more fun and educational. Technology allowed us to add animation and special effects, social interactions and gaming achievements to create a brand new artwork that truly leverages the medium it is made with," said Director of Technology at Squint/Opera Elie Zananiri. "We are very proud of this collaboration and how the AR experience turned out."

Procession - The Trailer:


  • Procession is available on Apple iOS and Android (listed as Procession AR). To download the experience, go to Procession.World.

About Dustin Yellin:

Dustin Yellin is an artist who lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is the founder and director of Pioneer Works, a multidisciplinary cultural center in Red Hook, Brooklyn. His work has been exhibited at Amorepacific Museum, Brooklyn Museum, City Museum, Colecci├│n Solo, Corning Museum of Glass, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Museo Del Palacio de Bellas Artes, SCAD Museum of Art, Tacoma Museum, and with Creative Time, amongst many others. Yellin is often featured in diverse media ranging from the New York Times, to Artforum, Vanity Fair, and TED. He holds an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

About National Wildlife Federation:

The National Wildlife Federation is America's largest and most trusted conservation organization, uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. 

About Droga5:

Droga5, part of Accenture Interactive, is a creative agency with offices in New York, London and Tokyo. From integrated communications and experience innovation to business design, Droga5 exists to build and sustain the most influential brands of the 21st century through creativity. Droga5 was founded in 2006 and has been recognized as Agency of the Year more than 25 times and was named both Ad Age and Adweek's Agency of the Decade (2010–2019). Droga5 clients include Allstate, Amazon, Biofreeze, Chase, Essentia, The Hershey Company, IHOP, Kerrygold, Kimberly-Clark, lululemon, LVMH, Maserati, Mattress Firm, The New York Times and among others. 

About Squint/Opera:

Squint/Opera is a creative studio that brings together storytelling, media production, technology and design. The studio specialises in digital media and works with ambitious partners to communicate big ideas. With studios in London and New York, they have an international portfolio of clients, including the Empire State Building, V&A, The Metropolitan Museum, Battersea Power Station, Bordeaux Wine museum and Museum of Irish Literature.

About Q Department:

Q Department is an award winning sound production studio focused on bringing Hollywood production value to XR through our proprietary, patented Mach1 sound technology.

About Vrai Pictures:

Vrai Pictures is an XR design studio that seeks the truth in immersive media. We leverage emerging spatial computing technologies to explore the evolution of human-data interaction in order to build emotional, inclusive, and impactful experiences.
SOURCE Dustin Yellin LLC

9 June 2021

Pop and R&B Artist Darrell Kelley Visits Site of Tulsa Race Massacre on 100th Anniversary While On Tour [Video-Clips Included]

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Pop and R&B Artist Darrell Kelley Visits Site of Tulsa Race Massacre on 100th Anniversary While On Tour [Video-Clips Included]
Darrell Kelly on Tour Fighting to Stop Police Brutality, Systemic Racism and Spreading Love, Unity and Acceptance
Most of our favorite artists and celebrities are vocal about causes that are important to them. For Darrell Kelley social activism isn't a part of his brand, it is his brand.
Last week was the 100th anniversary of the horrific Tulsa Race Massacre (1921), where white citizens armed with weapons given to them by city officials, attacked black people and destroyed their businesses. 

  • Dozens of black residents were murdered, and over 800 were gravely injured.
Darrell visited the district where the massacre took place and met with renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who has defended high profile cases such as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and George Floyd

Darrell and Ben spoke to the crowds in attendance about police brutality and issues affecting equality for African Americans today. Darrell also met and spoke with Dr. Malik Zulu Shabazz who is currently serving as the chairman for the New Black Panther Party

  • Dr. Shabazz instantly aligned with Darrell's message and made plans to help spread Darrell's music all over the country.
Darrell Kelly & Ben Crump (Screengrab)
Darrell Kelley is one of the hottest musicians out of Atlanta right now and has over 21.5 million streams worldwide on Spotify and Soundcloud. Hollywood is very excited about working with Darrell and it's rumored that Darrell is in talks for some massive collaborations to amplify his messages. At the 2020 Grammy's Darrell was spotted by paparazzi rubbing shoulders with A list stars and very influential producers at exclusive after parties.

Darrell has made international hit singles since 2018 like "Police Brutality" and "I'm So High". Some of his most popular hit singles are "Georgia Finally Went Blue", "Violence and Hate", and "Kamala". Darrell has also released two songs entitled "Corona Virus" and "Vaccine" this past year that have both taken off during the pandemic. Last week Darrell released "Systemic Racism" in response to the murder of Daunte Wright.

Pop and R&B Artist Darrell Kelley Visits Site of Tulsa Race Massacre on 100th Anniversary While On Tour [Video-Clips Included]
Darrell Kelly On Stage at the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa, Oklahoma Massacre (Screengrab)
Currently Darrell is wrapping up a national tour. After Oklahoma Darrell brought his tour to Atlanta. On 6/19 Darrell is scheduled to perform in Washington, North Carolina and on 6/20 in Elizabeth, North Carolina where Darrell plans on sharing his music with the family of Andrew Brown, a local black resident who was shot in the back by police drawing national attention.

According to recent reports Darrell is gearing up to work with more influencers, celebrities and renowned activists to help promote his message of equality and justice for all religions, genders and orientations.

The Video-Clips:


To stay up to date about Darrell's music, upcoming performances and high profile collaborations follow him on Social Media or/and at his website:

SOURCE: Viral Records LLC

4 June 2021

All-New Howl-O-Scream To Terrify SeaWorld Orlando, As The Nighttime #Halloween Event For Fright Seekers & Horror Fiends Arrives This Fall [Trailer Included]

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All-New Howl-O-Scream To Terrify SeaWorld Orlando, As The Nighttime #Halloween Event For Fright Seekers & Horror Fiends Arrives This Fall [Trailer Included]
Haunted Houses (Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando)
A visit to SeaWorld Orlando will turn frightful on select evenings this fall when the park unleashes the ALL-NEW Howl-O-Scream. Guests will evade roaming haunts rampaging through scare zones and seek shelter indoors, only to find they have entered a house of horrors. 

Adventuresome guests can deepen the thrills with terrifying coaster rides in the dark, quench their thirst for fear at a fiendishly interactive bar and feel the monstrous electricity of a live show.
  • The separate-ticketed event goes on sale today including exclusive discounts for Annual Pass Members, with the lowest prices of the year for what promises to be an immediate fan-favorite terrifying Halloween event taking place with 27 fright-filled nights of haunted houses, scare zones, and terrifying shows on select nights Friday, September 10 through Sunday, October 31 from 7 p.m. to as late as 2 a.m.
Howl-O-Scream joins the park's already impressive fall line-up of events including the return of family-friendly Halloween Spooktacular which boasts daytime trick or treating for kids of all ages. Spooky fun for the entire family with Spooktacular during the day and terrifying thrills by night with the launch of Howl-O-Scream make SeaWorld Orlando the place to be this Halloween season.
"SeaWorld Orlando fans love our extensive event line-up which includes a special event taking place every weekend of the year. Adding Howl-O-Scream to the calendar provides the missing element of a fright-filled Halloween event that we know our guests will welcome. With this addition, we become the only theme park in Orlando to offer both a daytime family-friendly Halloween and a nighttime horror Halloween for thrill seekers," says SeaWorld Orlando Park President Kyle Miller. "We are very excited to announce Howl-O-Scream today and look forward to sharing all of the amazing details of the event over the next few months."

All-New Howl-O-Scream To Terrify SeaWorld Orlando, As The Nighttime #Halloween Event For Fright Seekers & Horror Fiends Arrives This Fall [Trailer Included]
Scare Zones and Roaming Haunts (Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando)

Howl-O-Scream Elements:

  • Haunted Houses: Hear every bloodcurdling shriek. Feel every spine-tingling terror. Get ready for the haunted houses of SeaWorld's Howl-O-Scream. There's no turning back as guests brave dark passageways and round dimly lit corners, hoping they can avoid what's lurking in the depths. The legends are true, the fear is real, and the only way out is through the fear.
  • Scare Zones and Roaming Haunts: There are no safe zones. There are no places to hide. The scares are everywhere, and the roaming haunts never weaken. Get ready for immersive terror at every turn during SeaWorld's Howl-O-Scream. Guests should stay alert and be prepared for anything, because you never know what's waiting up ahead (or creeping up behind you).
  • Frightful Shows: Even amid so much mayhem, the show must go on. Duck inside and be mesmerized by a raucous, high-energy musical dance show. Or discover who's behind all the terror washing over the park at an outdoor show complete with special effects. Guests will also find DJs and party zones that are perfect for a dance break between frights.
  • Monster Coasters in the Dark and Haunting Experiences: It wouldn't be a SeaWorld visit without a ride or two, but it wouldn't be Howl-O-Scream without a dose of nighttime terror. Guests up to the challenge are invited to ride their favorite attractions in the dark. Meanwhile, sinister interactive surprises await at their favorite bar haunts. Keep watching to see how this once-peaceful park transforms with fear after nightfall.
High-Energy Entertainment (Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando)
  • Fans of fear can sign-up at HowlOScream.com/Orlando to be the first to receive more dark details on new houses, experiences and more coming to Howl-O-Scream at SeaWorld Orlando as additional gruesome details are announced.

Fans can feed their appetite for fear by following Howl-O-Scream on Social Media:

Twitter: @howloscreamorl  ✔ Instagram: @howloscreamorlando  ✔ Facebook: @howloscreamorlando  ✔

The Promo/Trailer Video:

  • Howl-O-Scream is intended for a mature audience. This event contains intense adult content such as violence, gore, and blood. Howl-O-Scream 2021 is a separately-ticketed night event. No costumes are allowed.

About SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) is a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter, and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. The Company is one of the world's foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The Company collectively cares for one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The Company also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld rescue team has helped more than 38,000 animals in need over the Company's history. 

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. owns or licenses a portfolio of recognized brands including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Aquatica, Sesame Place and Sea Rescue. Over its more than 60-year history, the Company has built a diversified portfolio of 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological collection. The Company's theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.
All-New Howl-O-Scream To Terrify SeaWorld Orlando, As The Nighttime #Halloween Event For Fright Seekers & Horror Fiends Arrives This Fall [Trailer Included]
Themed Bars and Attractions (Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando)

SOURCE: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

[Blog Tour] 'The Cotillion Brigade' (A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History) By Glen Craney #HistoricalFiction

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[Blog Tour] 'The Cotillion Brigade'  (A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History)  By Glen Craney #HistoricalFiction
The Cotillion Brigade - tour banner

The Book:

The Cotillion Brigade
(A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History)
By Glen Craney

  • Publication Date: 15th March 2021
  • Publisher: Brigid's Fire Press
  • Page Length: 399 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction

[Blog Tour] 'The Cotillion Brigade'  (A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History)  By Glen Craney #HistoricalFiction
The Cotillion Brigade - front cover

The Blurb:

Georgia burns.
Sherman’s Yankees are closing in.
Will the women of LaGrange run or fight?


Based on the true story of the celebrated Nancy Hart Rifles, The Cotillion Brigade is an epic novel of the Civil War’s ravages on family and love, the resilient bonds of sisterhood in devastation, and the miracle of reconciliation between bitter enemies.

“Gone With The Wind meets A League Of Their Own.” -- John Jeter, The Plunder Room

1856. Sixteen-year-old Nannie Colquitt Hill makes her debut in the antebellum society of the Chattahoochee River plantations. A thousand miles north, a Wisconsin farm boy, Hugh LaGrange, joins an Abolitionist crusade to ban slavery in Bleeding Kansas.

Five years later, secession and war against the homefront hurl them toward a confrontation unrivaled in American history.

[Blog Tour] 'The Cotillion Brigade'  (A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History)  By Glen Craney #HistoricalFiction
Glen Craney

Author Bio:

A graduate of Indiana University School of Law and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Glen Craney practiced trial law before joining the Washington, D.C. press corps to write about national politics and the Iran-contra trial for Congressional Quarterly magazine. In 1996, the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences awarded him the Nicholl Fellowship prize for best new screenwriting. His debut historical novel, The Fire and the Light, was named Best New Fiction by the National Indie Excellence Awards. He is a three-time Finalist/Honorable Mention winner of Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year and a Chaucer Award winner for Historical Fiction. His books have taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, the Scotland of Robert Bruce, Portugal during the Age of Discovery, the trenches of France during World War I, the battlefields of the Civil War, and the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression. He lives in Malibu, California.

Connect with Glen Craney:

WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterestGoodreadsAmazon Author Page

[Blog Tour] 'The Cotillion Brigade'  (A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History)  By Glen Craney #HistoricalFiction
The Cotillion Brigade - tour schedule banner

3 June 2021

The World's Only Harry Potter Flagship Store Welcomes Fans Through The Doors For The First Time

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The World’s Only Harry Potter Flagship Store Welcomes Customers Through The Doors For The First Time
The World’s Only Harry Potter Flagship Store Welcomes Customers Through The Doors For The First Time
Today, Harry Potter fans from across the world were welcomed into Harry Potter New York as the flagship store opened its doors to the public for the first time. 
Greeted by a 220lb model of Fawkes the Phoenix, fans discovered a host of magical creatures and hand-made props throughout the immersive retail experience including Voldemort's horcrux, Nagini, bursting through the ceiling in an area inspired by the Dark Arts.

With 15 themed areas and thousands of products, every aspiring witch and wizard will find something magical to add to their collection. Fans explored areas inspired by Honeydukes to find Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans and Chocolate Frogs before stopping under the Dirigible Plum tree to find their favourite creature soft toy. Customers were invited to step into Hagrid's boots to see how they measure up and duel other customers at the store's interactive wand table.
''We're delighted to be welcoming fans to Harry Potter New York for a completely new shopping experience," said Sarah Roots, EVP Warner Bros. Worldwide Tours and Retail. "Not only will visitors find the largest range of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts products under one roof, they will also get to discover up-close some of the hand-crafted props that were seen in the films, use our unique photo opportunities and experience the incredible theming throughout the store.''

COVID-19:

  • For the safety of customers and colleagues, masks are required when visiting Harry Potter New York. The store is operating with a reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing is maintained.
The World's Only Harry Potter Flagship Store Welcomes Fans Through The Doors For The First Time
Harry Potter New York Brings Butterbeer To New York City For The First Time

Someone Said "Butterbeer"?

Appearing throughout the stories and loved by Hogwarts students and teachers alike, Butterbeer is a much-requested fan-favorite soft drink.
Fans visiting Harry Potter New York can choose from draft Butterbeer, Butterbeer ice cream and bottled Butterbeer to enjoy in New York's only Butterbeer Bar.

Once inside the Butterbeer Bar, fans are greeted by a giant cascade of glowing Butterbeer bottles, each completed with a collectible MinaLima label. Nearly 1,000 bottles rise from the floor and 'float' over the bar as Butterbeer moves magically across the ceiling through copper pipes. Witches, wizards, Muggles and No-maj's alike are invited to enjoy a frothy cup of Butterbeer served in souvenir tankard, a refreshing Butterbeer ice cream or freshly poured bottled Butterbeer as well as range of wizarding world inspired treats.

  • Made and brewed in the U.K, bottled Butterbeer has a style which is entirely unique and comes in beautifully crafted souvenir glass bottles, each one featuring an exclusive collectible label designed by MinaLima, the design duo behind the graphic props of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films.
Best served chilled and poured straight from the bottle, the delicious soft drink features a new take on the butterscotch flavour fans know and love. The unique blend of top-secret ingredients makes bottled Butterbeer a must try for any aspiring witch or wizard.
The World's Only Harry Potter Flagship Store Welcomes Fans Through The Doors For The First Time
Harry Potter New York Brings Butterbeer To New York City For The First Time
Harry Potter New York has a virtual queueing system in place. When customers visit the store, they will scan a QR code to join a virtual queue and return when notified. Harry Potter New York is open from 10am – 9pm Mon-Sat and 11am-7pm on Sundays.

Fans can keep up to date by following Harry Potter New York's social channels:

Related Stories:

1 June 2021

Actor Jason Momoa Takes A Stand Against Single-Use Plastics In Hollywood

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Actor Jason Momoa Takes A Stand Against Single-Use Plastics In Hollywood
Jason Momoa, actor and Mananalu Founder.
Today, Mananalu and Earth Angel, a sustainable production service provider, announced a partnership that advances the mission of both organizations to protect our planet. Mananalu will provide its aluminum-packaged water to Earth Angel's film and television production sets, effective immediately.
"Seeing the entertainment industry take meaningful steps toward sustainability is a passion of mine and one of the reasons I founded Mananalu," says actor and Mananalu Founder Jason Momoa. "There is a lot of work to be done, but this partnership with Earth Angel is a big step in the right direction."
While communal water stations were once a staple of Earth Angel's on-set programs, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a desire for more single-use options to mitigate the spread of the disease. Plastic water bottles were not an option, as they are counter to Earth Angel's work to reduce the entertainment industry's impact on the environment. To date, Earth Angel has avoided using over 2.5 million single-use plastic water bottles on their sets.
Mananalu's water offers the perfect solution—single-use cans of water, packaged in aluminum, a material that is infinitely recyclable. "We strive for sustainability in everything we do at Mananalu. It's the reason we exist," says Mananalu CEO David Cuthbert. "In this way, we are very proud to partner with the exceptional Earth Angel team in the sharing of these values and supporting sustainability around the world."
  • Mananalu is also able to meet the volume and demands of a production set, with Earth Angel's client roster including The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Steven Spielberg's The Post, Emmy-winner The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Lin Manuel Miranda's upcoming In the Heights. Momoa's involvement in the industry is another added bonus.
"What Jason is doing in terms of leveraging his status in the industry to invest in sustainable solutions and companies is exactly what we advocate for," says Earth Angel Founder & CEO Emellie O'Brien. "We want to make sure our clients have access to sustainable products and options. With Mananalu, they get to avoid single-use plastics and support a mission-based company, while still remaining COVID-compliant."
Actor Jason Momoa Takes A Stand Against Single-Use Plastics In Hollywood
Jason Momoa in 'Sweet Girl' (Image via jasonmomoanews.com)

About Mananalu:

Mananalu is a sustainable water brand on a mission to empower the world to stop drinking from single-use plastics. "Mana" means the sacred spirit of life in Hawaiian. "Nalu" means a powerful wave that pushes across the ocean. 

Founded by actor, environmentalist, and Hawaiian-native, Jason Momoa, Mananalu is creating a wave of change and fighting plastic pollution by canning water with infinitely recyclable aluminum. 

About Earth Angel:

Earth Angel is the leading sustainable production service provider in the U.S. founded on the vision that entertainment should never be made at the expense of the environment. Their collective of production and sustainability experts provide the strategy, skilled labor, supplies and analytics to help the entertainment industry reduce its environmental impact.

Since 2011, Earth Angel has helped films and series avoid almost 9,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, divert over 10 million pounds of waste, and donate over 135,000 meals to local communities. Earth Angel is headquartered in New York with offices in Los Angeles and Atlanta.

SOURCE: Mananalu

26 May 2021

'Spirit Animal' - A Solo Exhibition Featuring the Artwork of Lucia Heffernan

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'Spirit Animal' - A Solo Exhibition Featuring the Artwork of Lucia Heffernan
Lucia Heffernan "Bubble Bath"
Rehs Contemporary has announced the opening of Lucia Heffernan's Spirit Animal, which will be on view in-person and online beginning June 1st, 2021. As with all her work, these 15 freshly-painted pieces are as humorous and imaginative as ever – a collision between animal nature and human sensibilities.
Heffernan began exploring her artistic side from a very young age, inspired by her mother who was an artist herself. She would study Fine Art at Binghamton University before jumping into the world of digital art and graphic design. In 2000, her focus shifted to oil-painting as she began creating a personal body of work that touched on the "twists and turns that make our life stories a little more interesting."

The ideas for her compositions are born out of every-day life, whether she is observing others as they go about their day or simply self-reflecting on experiences. By imagining what animals might do if inserted into these situations, she injects a sense of theatrics and whimsy. As Heffernan says of her subjects, "I shine a spotlight on both their innocence and raw instinct."

'Spirit Animal' - A Solo Exhibition Featuring the Artwork of Lucia Heffernan
Lucia Heffernan "Political Mooovment"
Take, for instance, her work Bubble Bath… You could imagine pouring a glass of wine and filling a warm bubble bath after a hectic workweek; but now swap yourself for an adorable seal in a shower cap, lounging peacefully beside her favorite rubber duck. Some of the works truly make you burst out laughing at the sight of them… Political Mooovement portrays a herd of cows mid-protest; signs read "Make Milk Not War" and "I'm Not Just A Piece of Meat," as one shouts into a bullhorn. Or Dirty Bird Saloon – a small 7x5 inch oval-shaped work, which depicts a little fluffy bird with an edge; he's seated at a wood-top table wearing his favorite cowboy hat, with a lit cigar and half pour of bourbon.

The animals Heffernan chooses to employ in her artwork range wildly… from critters commonly found in our communities like birds and mice to wildlife we may not cross paths with as often, such as otters and narwhals. Regardless of the species, Lucia's unique sense of humor coupled with her incredible artistic talent allows for the creation of such fanciful paintings. Ultimately, it is her respect for animals and nature that continue to inspire her, as well as a desire to bring a smile to the faces of all that view her work.

  • Spirit Animal featuring the artwork of Lucia Heffernan will remain on view for the month of June and is open to the public during normal business hours, as well as on weekends by appointment. Please be advised that face masks are still required when visiting the gallery in person.
'Spirit Animal' - A Solo Exhibition Featuring the Artwork of Lucia Heffernan
Lucia Heffernan (Photo via Rehs Contemporary)

About Lucia Heffernan:

(Via luciahefferman.com)
My body of work is an expression and exploration of my lifelong fascination with animals. Through my paintings, I seek to give animals a voice and a personality, while making light of our uniquely human existence. By imagining what animals might do if put in human situations, I stage tableaus that shine a spotlight on both their innocence and raw instinct. This collision between animal and human sensibilities creates a whimsical, theatrical, and often humorous world that viewers can relate to on an emotional level.

A graphic designer by trade and an oil painter by design, I am continually experimenting with different styles of contemporary realism that balance my artistic sensibilities, technique, and unique sense of humor. As I evolve, what remains constant is my respect for the animals that inspire me, and my desire to bring a smile to the face of every viewer

About Rehs Contemporary:

Rehs Contemporary is regarded as one of the top galleries in New York City and is a platform for new, emerging and established contemporary artists; many of whom have received extensive academic training. The gallery offers high quality works to art lovers of all kinds, from first-time buyers to major collectors.

24 May 2021

US: Horror-Thriller 'Blood Pageant' Set For Summer Release From Vision Films [Trailer Included]

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US: Horror-Thriller 'Blood Pageant' Set For Summer Release From Vision Films [Trailer Included]
Blood Pageant Horror Movie Poster with Snoop Dogg, Stephen Baldwin, David Chokachi, Ted Lange
Vision Films Inc. announces the North American release of the horror-thriller feature Blood Pageant from Red Velvet Entertainment in association with Snakebyte Productions and 828 Media Capital on June 29, 2021

The film was written by Chris Gilmore and Anthony J. Sands, directed by Harvey Lowry, and produced by Robert Burton. Executive producers are Stacy Fouche, Gayle Gaston, Chris Gilmore, Pamela Higgs, Todd Lundbohm, and Richard Muscio.

  • A summer theatrical release is also scheduled.
Set in the ubiquitous world of reality television, where it's easy to question whether or not a life and death situation has been fabricated for television or if it's dangerously genuine, the American Dream Pageant quickly devolves into an American Nightmare. The contestants are quickly locked in a battle for their very lives. With a wink and a nod, this good vs evil story pokes fun at the pop culture stereotypes of reality competition shows, vision boards, chakras, and life coaches.

Synopsis: 

What began as a million-dollar reality show competition between seven beautiful women turns into a battle for life itself when one contestant uses black magic to gain an edge over the competition. An ancient curse dating back to the Salem Witch Trials is unleashed and the competition becomes a Blood Pageant of death, destruction, and evil forces. Forget about who will win… who will survive?
  • Starring Stephen Baldwin (The Usual Suspects), David Chokachi (Baywatch), Ted Lange (The Love Boat), Beverley Mitchell (7th Heaven), and Ellia English as Madame Destiny (The Jamie Foxx Show)
  • The film also features Snoop Dogg, Matthew Marsden (Transformers, Resident Evil: Extinction) and Danielle C. Ryan (Criminal Minds, Lost & Found, The Cat in the Hat) playing themselves as the pageant's celebrity judges.

The Trailer:

Blood Pageant will be available on all major streaming platforms on June 29, followed by DVD at major online retailers on July 20.
  • Follow @BloodPageantTheMovie on Facebook and @BloodPageantMovie on IG and visit bloodpageant.com.

About Vision Films:

Vision Films is a leading independent sales and VOD aggregator specializing in the licensing, marketing, and distribution of over 800 feature films, documentaries, and series from some of the most prolific independent film producers in the world. Led by Lise Romanoff, Managing Director/CEO Worldwide Distribution, Vision Films releases 2-4 films a month across Theatrical, VOD, DVD, and television platforms. 

About Red Velvet Entertainment:

Red Velvet Entertainment's mission is to create feature films and television shows of such high-crafted quality and originality that they are unparalleled. We believe that by instilling thought-provoking messages in everything we produce that we inspire better lifestyles and better living through our signature brand of entertainment. Led by CEO and visionary Chris Gilmore, RVE has an incredibly talented team along with Robert Burton, Anthony J. Sands, Alan Bailey, Todd Stevenson, Leo Gilmore, and Gene Gilmore.

14 May 2021

The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest [Trailer Included]

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The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest [Trailer Included]
The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest (Screengrab)
The Race Epidemic documentary is a significant film of our time as innocent Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are being attacked and murdered on America's streets. The documentary tells the story of AAPIs and their unique history in the broader context of racism in America. Racism is America's epidemic – it has plagued the American nation since its inception. It attacks different groups more intensely at different times, but it always persists.
  • The Race Epidemic features interviews with CA Attorney General Rob Bonta, Congressmember Judy Chu (CA-27), Speaker of the CA Legislature Anthony Rendon, Assemblymember David Chiu (AD-17), Assemblymember Evan Low (AD-28), Thomas Saenz, Esq. of Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF) and other scholars and elected leaders. (Full cast list here).
CA Attorney General Rob Bonta says in the film: "A lot of people see the anti-immigrant rhetoric in action from the Federal Administration as a Latino issue, it is not simply a Latino issue, it is a human issue for sure but also very much an Asian issue. Our community is under attack with this anti-immigrant rhetoric."
Ultimately, the film seeks to heal America through understanding, compassion, and knowledge. "A deep understanding of each other's history and struggles is fundamental to us coming together as a nation. Unfortunately, in times of economic uncertainty and fear race has been used to divide us. This film can help people understand we are all in this together, and when one of us is attacked we all suffer," said Ronald Wong, writer and producer of the documentary.
The documentary's release comes amid widespread reports of discrimination and violence against AAPIs during the coronavirus outbreak, 32% of Asian adults say they have feared someone might threaten or physically attack them – a greater share than other racial or ethnic groups. The vast majority of Asian adults (81%) also say violence against them is increasing, far surpassing the share of all U.S. adults (56%) who say the same, according to a new Pew Research Center survey released just this week.

The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest [Trailer Included]
The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest (Screengrab)
The time is right for this film and its important message. In selecting The Race Documentary for inclusion in CAAMFest the selection committee said: "It's an incredibly relevant film due to the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes. It was nice to see you connect the historical legacy of hate with what's happening now. We think your film would be perfect for our festival."
While recent attacks on AAPIs have tragically risen, this is not a new story, as it has played out throughout America's history. The Chinese Exclusion Act was preceded by riots in both San Francisco and Los Angeles Chinatowns where Chinese laborers were murdered and millions of dollars in property were destroyed because of the perceived threats and public health dangers the Chinese community posed.
However, this film is much more than just documenting history; it is also meant to stir emotions and actions. "I learned about the perceptions of Asian Americans through film. When I was growing up in Southern California, I was routinely ridiculed and bullied based on negative perceptions of AAPIs on the big screen. Negative stereotypes and demeaning portrayals of us has real effects on our community and the psyche of AAPIs," said Tony Shyu, director and writer of The Race Epidemic.
  • The documentary is being produced under the auspices of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation (APALF), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. APALF's mission is to engage the AAPI community in active civic participation by creating, supporting, building and strengthening the local community infrastructure to help prepare and train qualified AAPI leaders for public service. The documentary will be used as part of an overall curriculum to help respond to bias, discrimination, and violence against AAPIs.
The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest [Trailer Included]
The Race Epidemic is about another outbreak caused by COVID-19: An epidemic of hate based on race against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs)

The Trailer:

Production Team:

Ronald W. Wong, Producer & Writer - Founder of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation and President of Imprenta Communications Group, an award-wining public affairs, ethnic marketing, and advertising firm. Ron serves as producer & writer and oversees the production and management of the documentary.

Ron has been involved in politics and political campaigns for the past 30 years. He has won nearly 100 awards for his creative work including the production of commercials, public service announcements (PSAs), and traditional and digital advertising, including recognition from the California State Legislature Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, among many others.

A master storyteller, Ron is a recognized expert in politics, communications, and advertising targeting diverse communities. He served as a political appointee in President Clinton's Administration at the U.S Department of Justice Community Relations Service, where he worked on hate crime policies, racial reconciliation, the President's Initiative on Race, and developed the "One America Dialogue Guide."

The Race Epidemic is the culmination of Ron's work in politics, social justice, and the political empowerment of diverse underrepresented communities for the last 35 years. Ron has been involved and committed to the civic and political engagement and empowerment of AAPIs for nearly four decades.
Tony Shyu, Director & Writer - is a noted director and award-winning screenwriter. Tony serves as director & producer of The Race Epidemic. Tony spent many years in Asia creating award-winning commercials for major brands such as Avon, Volvo, and Visa. He won the Taiwan Times award, which is Asia's equivalent of a Clio award. The PSA he directed for API Vote starring George Takei, John Cho, and Constance Wu won the 2016 Videographer award.

Tony is also currently in production on an all-Asian American cast show for Bravo TV and in development for an all-Asian cast TV show for Netflix. His award-winning screenplay Macau Omen, has been translated into a novel and now is being developed into a feature film. His short film, Macau Twilight (2008) was an official selection at the BFI London Film Festival. Tony also wrote, directed, and produced a feature film, Tequila Body Shots (1999), which was distributed by Lionsgate.

Tony received his B.A. and M.F.A. in film from the renowned Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, which is known for creating visual story tellers. His classmates at Art Center included famed award-winning directors Michael Bay, Zack Snyder, and Tarsem Singh among many others.
Johnnie Giles is an Executive Producer and previously served as Executive Director of External Affairs for Comcast Corporation and Vice President of External Affairs for Comcast Cable, in this role he was the principal interface between Comcast and the national AAPI community organizations and working with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. He has been active within the AAPI community for nearly three decades. He previously served on the executive board of the Center for Asian American Media, and was a founding member of Asian Americans for Good Government PAC, which supports AAPI candidates for elected office. Johnnie also was the founding board chairman for the California Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce, and he has also served on the boards of a number of organizations serving the AAPI community including AAJC, APIAVote, APALC, APAPA, JACL, ACE, OCA, and APAICS C4.
John & Sarah Kobara serve as Executive Producers. John is a social entrepreneur who has been advancing social change and the issues of the AAPI communities through a variety of positions of influence. He has been leading workshops for Asian American leaders for 30 years. John and Sarah have raised three young Asian-American leaders who are all pursuing for-purpose careers. John and Sarah have devoted their lives to sustaining the dream of their immigrant ancestors by helping others build a more joyful, equitable, just, and compassionate world. They actively support the Japanese American National Museum, Center for Asian Americans for Self Empowerment (CAUSE), the US Japan Council, MLK Community Hospital Foundation, Coro and Defy Ventures.

The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest [Trailer Included]
The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest (Screengrab)

About APALF:

The Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation was founded in 2004 as a non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization designed to help prepare and better equip Asian Pacific American (APA) leaders for public service and civic involvement.

About CAAMFest:

CAAMFest celebrates the world's largest showcase for new Asian American and Asian film, food, and music programs.

About CAAM:

For over 40 years, the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) has been dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. As a nonprofit organization, CAAM funds, produces, distributes, and exhibits works in film, television, and digital media. 

SOURCE: Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation

13 May 2021

Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It

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Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It
Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It (image via nielsen.com)
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian American community has experienced a 145% increase in hate crimes; with incidents ranging from verbal harassment to deadly assaults. Despite widespread condemnation of these acts, Nielsen's newly published Asian American Diverse Intelligence Series report, Hope And Action, found that anti-Asian hate speech online actually increased in the beginning of this year. And while many major U.S. brands have taken action to combat racism targeting Asian Americans, some of these same companies are also unintentionally funding online hate speech through their advertising. 

  • From January - March 2021, $153 million was spent on digital ads on U.S.-based URLs that have published content with anti-Asian rhetoric. The top ad categories monetizing this hate speech included TV stations and networks ($29.7 million ad spend), department stores ($6 million), apparel ($4.1 million), miscellaneous retail ($3.9 million), travel ($629K), and arms and ammunition ($122K).
The Nielsen study, which incorporated the use of artificial intelligence, found more than 250 ad campaigns appearing on 1,280 website URLs that featured the use of racist terminology and conspiracies related to coronavirus origins, Asians and China. Once the offensive content was isolated, over 5,000 ad occurrences were identified. 

  • Ad campaigns from a dozen Fortune 500 companies and at least 66 brands were found adjacent to content that included anti-Asian hate speech.

Ad-supported anti-Asian hate speech in digital content:

From news reporting to op-eds, incendiary terms (e.g., "China virus," "Wuhan plague") and subjective language connecting blame for the pandemic to Chinese and Asian people has been pervasive across digital content. 

Nielsen also found that certain key words and phrases have actually increased this year as the U.S. approached the one year anniversary of national lockdown orders in March. News sites that published articles flagged as including anti-Asian hate speech were visited by 38.1 million people during Q1 2021.

  • Nearly one-third of the hate speech in March 2021 came from one site. This one domain collected in excess of $100,000 in digital ad revenue from three top advertising categories: department stores, miscellaneous organization and apparel, footwear and accessory stores.

What brands can do right now:

Nielsen's findings highlight an opportunity for brands to take action against funding hate speech online. Companies and their advertising partners are urged to be in constant review as language emerges that is harmful to the Asian American community — and to their brand. 

  • Additionally, ad servers must consider how changes in rhetoric can be reflected in their algorithms.
"As consumers are demanding more from brands and businesses, corporate social responsibility is now about brand safety," said Jay Dennis, Nielsen EVP, Advertisers and Industries. "Nielsen is excited to bring new products and metrics to marketers so that brands can make better decisions to support content that is inclusive and representative, and to avoid placing content adjacent to hate speech."
Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It
Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It (image via nielsen.com)

About the Asian American community:

With a population of 18.9 million, Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the United States. Since 2000, the Asian American population has increased in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the percentage of anti-Asian hate crimes has surged 145% nationally (2020 vs. 2019), according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism

  • These incidents have also risen to alarming rates in such cities as: New York (833%), Philadelphia (200%), Cleveland (200%), San Jose (150%), Boston (133%) and Los Angeles (114%).
"In this evolving digital media landscape and as consumers demand more accountability, brands need to be increasingly diligent about the kinds of platforms their ads appear on and the types of content they support; whether it's directly or inadvertently," stated Patricia Ratulangi, Nielsen VP, Global Communications, Diversity Equity & Inclusion. "Companies need to ensure their advertising dollars aren't fueling anti-Asian sentiment online, which puts Asian American communities at risk."
"Corporate accountability is more essential than ever to Asian Americans," said Connie Chung Joe, CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. "While it's certainly not easy, brands will need to take a more conscientious approach towards their digital advertising spending if they want to truly stand with this community. The connection between online hate speech and hate crimes in real life is undeniable."
SOURCE: Nielsen

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