The VIPP Report: Harlem’s Alive! 55+ & Kickin will be at the Louisville Palace

You might have seen them in the national spotlight for their way of being able to put their lives into a story.  They represent those over 50 years of age.  Now, Alive! 55+ & Kickin’ will be in Louisville.

For two days and three shows at the Louisville Palace, February 25th and 26th you can see the talented individuals who tell their story of overcoming adversity and living life being over 55 years old.  louisvillealive55

Alive! will leave you empowered after seeing the show. Previous attendees call it “soulful”, “emotional”, and “funny” all in one show causing guests to clap and sing along with the show. Everyone has problems but how you work through them is what makes a person special. There’s a lot of special people in this production.

The show was conceived by Vy Higginsen and Ken Wydro, the duo behind “Mama, I Want to Sing,” the longest running off-Broadway ever produced.

Theater producer Higginsen conceived the musical as a way to preserve a special part of American culture – African-American music, both gospel and secular music like soul and R&B. But what she also did was find a pool of untapped talent, men and women in what she calls their “second half of life” just waiting for their chance to shine: Theo, spent 40 years in prison because of drug habit; Deborah lost a son to cancer; and Matthew was illiterate most of his life and used alcohol to cover his low self-esteem.

Higginsen says “I’m excited to bring this unique production to Louisville. It’s give a perspective into lives of those who’ve worked for many years, cared for children, got into trouble but overcame the obstacles to live their “silver” years with no regrets.”

The production is a part of the Mama Foundation. Their mission is to present, preserve, and promote the history and fundamentals of gospel, jazz, rhythm and blues music for current and future generations.

Tickets go on sale this Friday, October 28th. Premium reserved seating is $55.00, First floor reserved $45 and Reserved balcony seating is $35.

You can purchase them at the Louisville Palace box office, (625 S. 4th Street)

Better Days Records, 1765 Bardstown Road and 2600 W. Broadway

Jambuster’s Balloons & More, 4906 Poplar Level Rd.

online at or by calling 1.800.745.3000.

Alive! 55 & Kickin Louisville would like to thank AARP for their support and being the presenting sponsor. If you would like to be a sponsor, call Duane M. Lightfoot, Sr. 502-297-0123.


The VIPP Report: Kanye West adds second leg of SAINT PABLO TOUR


The SAINT PABLO TOUR has added a second leg of its tour and Louisville is added to the schedule.  Tickets go on sale Saturday, October 22nd at 10:00 am for Kanye West, the multi-Grammy Award winner.  The tour will stop in Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center on Tuesday, December 20th.

Tickets go on sale to the public at 10:00am on Saturday, October 22 at,, the KFC Yum! Center box office and all Ticketmaster outlets.

If you are an American Express® Card Member you can purchase tickets for the new dates before the general public beginning Wednesday, October 19 at 10:00 am through Friday, October 21 at 10:00 pm.

Kanye West adds another highlight to his amazing year – and another milestone to his legendary career – as “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1” goes #1 at Urban Radio this week. The 12th #1 urban record of Kanye’s career, and his first since 2012’s “Mercy,” ‘Father Stretch’ is steadily moving up the Top 10 at Rhythmic radio. Now, radio is buzzing about the next single from the universally acclaimed #1 album THE LIFE OF PABLO: “Fade.” Coming off an incredible video that premiered live at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, “Fade” has pushed into the Top 40 at pop radio and Top 20 at rhythm, continuing the ongoing buzz around THE LIFE OF PABLO as one of the albums of the year.

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The VIPP Report: Louisville native Alan “AP” Powell returns to his hometown and uses the city as a model for one of the most talked about forums in the U.S.




(Louisville, KY) Kentucky native Alan “AP” Powell defied all of the odds and become an executive in the realm of sports and entertainment. Powell grew up in West Louisville and attended Butler High School.   After graduating he attended College of Coastal Georgia for Physical Education where he played basketball.   Alan was recently honored by becoming an Ambassador of for his alma mater, College of Coastal Georgia. AP went on to pursue his bachelor’s degree and basketball scholarship from Missouri Valley College. After college, AP enlisted in the United States Army where he served for 3 years and was honored by playing on the All-Army Basketball Team.   Since leaving college and the Army, AP has become one of the nation’s foremost authorities on multicultural content and leveraging brand connections with multicultural audiences. AP started his career in the independent film and music business. Later, AP became Vice President at The Firm – a premiere entertainment management company in Beverly Hills. AP is currently Chairman and CEO of AP & Associates, LLC, which he found in 2004 to find a diverse approach between entertainment and corporate America.

The firm works with NASCAR, Diageo, Harley-Davidson, Coca-Cola, University of Phoenix, Telemundo, Comedy Central and Miller-Coors. Alan and his company have become one of the nation’s foremost authorities on multicultural content and leveraging brand connections with multicultural audiences.

AP also found the Checkered Flag Run Foundation in 2011, who’s mission is “investing in education to ensure every student & veteran gets to cross the finish line.” AP also currently serves as an advisory board member for the City of Phoenix Aviation Board, 8th District African-American Advisory Council, 7th Congressional District Congressman, Ruben Gallego’s Veterans Advisory Council and the Phoenix Military Veterans Commission.

Alan “AP” Powell says “Business is important to me but giving back to the community is my passion. My goal is to make an impact on giving more kids access to quality education and on helping Veterans be successful after their service to our country. I grew up in West Louisville and I worked hard to fulfill my dreams and now I feel It’s vital for me to make opportunities for others so they can achieve. I have a philosophy that I live by and that’s “turning contacts into contracts.   I’m trying to show others how to use the resources they have before them.”

Powell will be in Louisville on October 28th at the Hyatt Regency for The Bridge Forum in Louisville ( for an exclusive panel of Police Chiefs participating in a forum “Connecting Community Engagement with Police Professionalism.” This invitation-only forum seeks solutions and best practices from our nation’s top law enforcement professionals. Across the nation, we have seen the outcomes of officer – involved shootings and subsequently community protest. These incidents have sparked a national debate about the state of police relations.

The forum, founded by Powell will discuss best practices in community engagement that may be used as a new foundation for increased understanding and improved relations. We will explore conscious and unconscious biases that contribute to the dynamics of community engagement and perceptions and behavioral shifts in the community.

Powell says “With the recent violence and tense relationship between law enforcement and the community I decided to implement this forum to do more than discuss the problem but create solutions. I decided to take a proactive approach on this issue like I have in business career.     My goals is to get the right people in the room that can create change.  Louisville will be one of the models for this program that Nielsen and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund support. This will be one of many events and/or programs we hope to bring to my hometown in the next year.”

If you would like to setup an interview with Alan “AP” Powell please contact Sherlene Shanklin, VIPP Communications at

To learn more about Alan “AP” Powell & AP & Associates go to


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The VIPP Report: VIPP Communications’ President & CEO receives a prestigious honor at the Acts of Kindness Gala

If I’m dreaming please don’t wake me.  I had an unbelievable honor given to me by the Stamina Foundation’s Acts of Kindness Gala.  Former NBA star and a member of the 1996 men’s NCAA championship team for the Kentucky Wildcats Derek Anderson founded the Acts of Kindness movement. It gives people a chance to express their compassion through acts of kindness from simply giving a smile, opening a door to buying lunch for someone.  Many of the things you do today is considered A.O.K.  You don’t brag about it nor desire attention for doing right. People do acts of kindness because it’s the right thing to do.
On Friday, October 14th at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville nearly 300 people attended the inaugural gala.  If you know me, I don’t know how to sit in one place, I just always need to be doing something.  Anderson had me at table one and I thought that was so thoughtful  but when I’m apart of the event, I like to be in the back in case I need to get up and I don’t like disrupting the room and those around me.  Just before the event began, he gave me a thumbs up to get started. I had no idea what that meant at the time but he was trying to keep an eye on me because I’m the queen of sneaking out of a program.
I had a chance to actually sit down and enjoy the dinner and watch Derek and Ashley Miller honor Darrell Griffith for the Ali & Anderson Commitment To The Community Award and Heather French Henry receive the Muhammad Ali Peace & Kindness Award.
As I just needed to have one maybe two bites of the cheesecake before me, I could hear Derek say “She’s probably going to kill me but I want to recognize one more person.”  I think he said a few more very kind words but I have to be honest that the next 15 minutes were a complete blur.  I remember he said my name and asked me to come to the front but in don’t know how I got to the stage nor what I said.  I just know that he gave me the Derek Anderson Acts of Kindness Award.   I now know what it feels like to win an award like the Emmys and the Academy Awards and the person is speechless.
So, I want to have a do-over and do my speech now.  “I am beyond humbled by the honor and grateful that others acknowledged me for my efforts.  When you’re working, you have your head down and hardly ever notice what you are doing.  I was taught at a young age that kindness is a action and should be given freely without asking for anything in return.  I do things just because they are right.  This award goes to everyone who helped me realize that especially my parents, the late James Shanklin and mom Shirley Shanklin.  My mother says this all the time. “Sherlene you can’t live in this world alone.  You need to learn how to love and give back.  You never know when the shoe will be on the other foot and you are on the receiving end.”
The past few years, I thought I was broken but instead I’m stronger and wiser.  I found strength when I didn’t think I had any.  I’ve pulled off productions, events and projects that no one will ever believe.  I’m so blessed and want to thank Derek Anderson, Ashley Miller and the whole Stamina Foundation organization for giving me this honor.  Thank you!
You can follow me on my journey as I continue to spread Acts of Kindness on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram @Sherlenemediapro.
“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you too can move mountains” 

The VIPP Report: Lexington native gets invited to showcase his artwork in France


(Lexington, KY) Glassmaker, abstract painter and creative photographer Mark Lenn Johnson will head to one of the greatest places in the world when it comes to art. Johnson has been invited by Ava Galleria to participate in their art fair with international exhibitions in Paris, France.  Visitors from all over the world will get to see the Kentucky native’s creative photography October 21st through the 23rd at the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris where several images from Johnson’s Fountainfalls series will be on exhibit.  Gallery owners as well as the general public may purchase them to add to their collections.

Mark’s love of color and glass allows his creative juices to bloom into beautiful works of art.  His eye for detail is the inspiration behind his latest works as he invites you behind the lens to capture something as simple as a beautiful water drop and then encourages you to visualize the captured image which is free flowing, colorful, vibrant and soul stirring.

Johnson says “Art has been a part of my life as long as I can remember.  Every artist hopes that their work is seen and appreciated on the biggest stages and now I can say one of my dreams have come true.  Paris art galleries are among those that set the standard for the world so to have them invite me is an honor and a very surreal feeling.  It’s humbling and I don’t take that for granted.  I’m very honored that my art work is now being recognized”.

For additional information about Mark Lenn Johnson, his Fountainfalls series and his other art work go to
To setup an interview please contact Sherlene Shanklin, VIPP Communications at 502-295-0435 or by email at

Kentucky shows
Additional images from Johnson’s Fountainfalls series have been selected to the Kentucky Invitational Art Exhibit, hosted by Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for the Arts in Richmond Kentucky. The “sister” images – ‘Yara’, ‘Taura’, ‘Talora’ and ‘Maya’ – will be on display and available for sale through Dec 31, 2016.  Also of note, Eastern Kentucky University’s Library will be adding five images from Johnson’s series to its permanent collection.

Lastly, selected pieces of Johnson’s glasswork, abstract paintings and creative photography will be available at his art show in December at the Kore Gallery in Louisville.

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