BRINGING IN THE HOLIDAYS WITH JAZZ AND SHOPPING AT THE VILLAGE

(Louisville, KY) MOLO Village is hosting Holiday Jazz & Shopping at the Village on Friday, December 9th at The Village@West Jefferson located at 1219 West Jefferson Street in Suite 204.

We invite you to this free event which will run from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Dr. Jamesetta Ferguson, President & CEO of MOLO Village says “As the Russell community continues to thrive
so does the need for shopping options. We invite you to come out and enjoy some great music while shopping
for your holiday needs with local vendors. We take pride in showcasing local entrepreneurs and we support
them any chance we get. We also invite you to checkout our brick n’ mortar businesses at The Village. When
you visit.”

Please post and/or announce our holiday event. If you would like to setup an interview, contact VIPP
communications by calling 502-341-7306 or by email at info@vippcommunications.com. If you would like to
be a vendor contact MOLO Village at 502-513-6682.

WHO: MOLO Village

WHAT: Hosting Holiday Jazz & Shopping at the Village

WHEN: Friday, December 9, 2022

WHERE: The Village @ West Jefferson, 1219 West Jefferson Street, Suite 204

TIME: 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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News conference announcement: Reckoning Inc. and Roots 101 will hold a news conference to announce a new exhibit just before Veterans Day

Media Advisory

(Louisville, KY) Reckoning Inc. and Roots 101 African American Museum will hold a news conference to announce a photographic exhibit entitled We Fought for Our Freedom: Kentucky’s African American Civil War Soldiers.

WHAT: We will officially open the photographic exhibit, which will remain at the museum through December 31, 2022. We will also explain that the soldiers featured in the exhibit were all enslaved men from Kentucky who joined the Union Army’s 108th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment, which was founded in Louisville. The regiment was assigned to a military prison in Rock Island, IL, guarding Confederate prisoners.

WHEN: Thursday, November 10th at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Roots 101 African American Museum, located at 124 N. 1st Street, Louisville, KY 40202

WHO:

  • Dan Gediman, Executive Director, Reckoning, Inc.
  • Denyce Peyton, Kentucky U.S. Colored Troops Project Director, Reckoning, Inc.
  • Lamont Collins, Founder/CEO, Roots 101 African American Museum
  • Descendants of Harrison Mudd, a member of the 123trd U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment, also founded in Louisville.

VISUALS: We will have a power point during the program, and you will have an opportunity to tour the exhibit

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit our website reckoninginc.org

Reckoning, Inc. is 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to examine the legacy of slavery in America, and to create ways for communities to engage with this information through research projects, media productions, educational curricula, online content, and other means.

The Kentucky U.S. Colored Troops Project is made possible by grants from the Gheens Foundation, J. Graham Brown Foundation, Humana Foundation, Community Foundation of Louisville, Brown-Forman, LG&E and KU Foundation, David A. Jones, Jr. and Mary Gwen Wheeler, Hardscuffle, Inc., Sociable Weaver Foundation, Snowy Owl Foundation, Kentucky Humanities, Kentucky Arts Council, Brooke Brown Barzun and Matthew Barzun, American Historical Association, and the Owsley Brown III Philanthropic Foundation.

West Louisville Performing Arts Academy celebrate 33 years of helping youth through arts

WLPAA will be in concert and honor community leaders

(Louisville, KY) The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy (WLPAA) will host its 33rd Hope Awards Dinner Concert at6:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 12th at the Galt House Hotel, 140 North Fourth Street in the Grand Ballroom.

This year’s McDaniel Bluitt Hope Award recipient and keynote speaker will be Dr. Teresa Reed, Dean for the School of Music at the University of Louisville.

Additional awards will be presented during the program to recognizes community leaders who support WLPAA.

McDaniel Bluitt, Executive Director says “We are really excited to be in-person this year. It is so important to keep our youth motivated. This awards dinner gives them a chance to highlight their talent in front of a room full of people who are there to support them. We were one of very few organizations that were able to keep our youth engaged during the pandemic with the generous support of sponsors as we continued to meet and help our youth during such a challenging time. We cannot wait to dress up and have them share what they have been working on for the last two years. We hope you come out and support us” 

Tickets are $100.00 for adults and $50.00 for students. Tickets are available on Eventbrite and/or by contacting WLPAA by email at wlbc_wlgc@yahoo.com.

We would like to thank our supporters over the 33 years and this year’s donors; LG&E, PNC Bank, Gheen’s Foundation, Direct Relief, and the Fund for the Arts.

To arrange an interview with McDaniel Bluitt, founder of the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy, contact: info@vippcommunications.com or http://www.westlouisvilleperformjngarts.org.

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History

West Louisville Boys Choir began in November 1990. The choir is directed by McDaniel Bluitt, a retired vocal music teacher with twenty-nine (29) years of experience. He received his B. M. ED. from the University of Louisville School of Music and a Masters in Counseling from Western Kentucky University. The Boys Choir has performed throughout the commonwealth, for mayors, governors’ other national dignitaries. The Boys Choir’s first European Tour established international prominence in Paris, France and London, England. They received a superior rating during their first international music competition in the Bahamas. They were also awarded first place in the Music Festival at Sea.

The West Louisville Girls Choir made its debut in November 2002. The choir is directed by Mrs. Mamie Bluitt who received her B.M.ED. from the University of Louisville School of Music. The Girls Choir is also a performing choir. Some of its more notable performances are Governor Patton’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration in Frankfort, Kentucky, ECHO, Women for Women Conference and at Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Their first Southwestern Tour to Texas was held in 2010.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will make a stop by Roots 101 this weekend to have cookies and coco with some of their biggest fans

(Louisville, KY) Roots 101 African American Museum invites you to “Cookies & Coco with The Clauses”. Starting Friday, November 4th through Sunday, November 6th.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will take your holiday five-by-seven (5×7) printed photo for $25.00. Parents get in free if the child they are accompanying is taking photos. To make sure each family is satisfied with their photo. Each session is scheduled up to 45 minutes if it is needed.

There will even be a special appearance by the Grinch and Black Panther. There will also be three drawing for gifts.

To schedule your session call 812-207-3433.

 WHO: Roots 101 African American Museum

WHAT: Hosting along with Santa George Smithers “Cookies & Coco with The Clauses”

WHEN: November 4th-6th (Friday through Sunday)

WHERE: Roots 101, 124 N. 1st Street, Louisville

TIME:  Friday and Saturday 1:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.

For additional information on “Cookies & Coco with The Clauses” or to reserve a date for your holiday events, call Lamont Collins at Roots 101 at 502-384-1949. To learn more about Roots 101 African American Museum visit our website www.roots-=101.org.  

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Kentucky native is racking up awards at film festivals across the country

Ericka Nicole Malone

ERICKA NICOLE MALONE ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES HULU DEAL

Official Release

(Los Angeles, California) Louisville, native, former Western Kentucky University, (WKU) student, Ericka Nicole Malone of Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment, LLC, is available for interviews. The Youth Performing Arts School, (YPAS), graduate of Manual High, a JCPS school is a successful writer, director, and executive producer. He latest award-winning project is “Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story” starring Ledisi, Columbus Short, Janet Hubert, Keith David, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Keith Robinson.

Malone says “I am so excited about this latest project; we took this film to various film festivals receiving so much attention. I am so excited to announce that this project you can now see the film on Hulu. This is a major deal for film and my production company. I am so proud of my Kentucky roots and every opportunity I get I acknowledge my home state.”

ERICKA NICOLE MALONE ENTERTAINMENT is a production company focused on the development, production/co-production and distribution of film, television, and animated projects nationwide. 

To setup an interview via phone and/or zoom, contact Sherlene Shanklin at VIPP Communications at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com or by calling 502.341-7306.

To read learn more on the Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment go to www.erickanicolemalone.com.

To see the official trailer https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=remember+me+the+mahalia+jackson+story&docid=608026812518581063&mid=FE5AFC0CF9B3F0B12F5EFE5AFC0CF9B3F0B12F5E&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

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VIPP Communications is a full-service, public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele ranges from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see how we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

TheVIPPReport: Louisville native Marzz shoots for the stars

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

Inside the Mercury Ballroom on a June summer night, Louisville’s newest sensation Marzz waits in anticipation to give fans a show.

As music fills the streets of South Fourth Street, crowds begin lining up with tickets in hand, ready to see the return of the up and coming R&B singer at the Ballroom.

“I feel it’s the atmosphere is what makes it so different,” they said.

Marzz, who is signed to Keep Cool/RCA Records, is back at the venue for a second time where others like fellow Louisvillians Bryson Tiller and Jack Harlow have also graced the stage.

“I just wanted to connect and vibe with yall, this is my home,” they said.

This night, it’s different. It’s the first time since releasing their full-length album “Love Letters” to fans – Martians as they call them, across the country.

“Baby, that’s my heartbeat. Got me looking – going crazy,” they said.

The journey to Marzz started in Louisville for Laria McCormick, a Fairdale High School graduate. The humble beginnings put the singer on the path to reaching for the stars.

They started singing in church from an early age where their mother and grandmother were both heavily involved in church leadership.

“Since I was a kid, I grew up in church. Singing in the children’s choir, I feel like that had a lot influence too. Literally being a pk, my aunties and them always had me singing solo in the choir, I used to hate it cuz it’s like literally all eyes on me,” Marzz said.

Marzz said their sound and gender identity, which is non-binary, moved them away from the church and toward the R&B billboard charts.

Marzz prefers the pronouns “they, their and them” – not “she.”

“I feel like in the church there was a lot of judgmental people. You know what I’m saying, it’s kind of weird to transition from that, but it felt good to transition into a place where I felt welcome – where I knew that ain’t nobody going to judge me,” they said.

Drawing from personal experiences of hardship and heartache, Marzz poured out feelings on pages of notebooks – each with different colors – that would eventually become the inspiration for their debut release.

“I feel like really didn’t start getting into song writing in my music until I was like 11. You know what I’m saying, that’s when my mom and dad was going through a divorce. I kind of just went to notebooks. You know, just expressing myself, I wasn’t a real verbal kid growing up. I have different color notebooks that I write in,” they said.

It wasn’t until an Instagram post, standing out from the typical scrolling, that garnered the attention of super producer Timbaland. The stars began aligning for the young artist.

“Usually, I get like 300 views but then the day that I posted it this Jhené Aiko freestyle I believe. I had went in my phone, I woke up, and I see my phone kept going off – what’s going on with my phone and I look on my Instagram — I seen Timbaland repost it and I was like hold up – I was like hold up I started screaming, I was crying. I was like is this really him?” they said.

The social media post, plus their connection with Timbaland and several recordings in tow, landed them in front of RCA Records.

The songs of love and heartache would be released as a six-track EP that would take on a deeper meaning.

“Just me exploring, you know, figuring out self, loving myself, and understanding who I am as a person, you know what I’m saying.”

The standout single, “Countless Times,” dives right into their world.

The Mercury Ballroom would seem as far away as the moon, where Marzz was headed. 

They captured national attention performing during the Soul Train Awards on the BET Amplified stage, receiving kudos from the likes of JaRule.

From that moment, Marzz skyrocketed into the stratosphere. They have been named a “Future Five Artist” by SiriusXM and Billboard magazine’s “R&B Rookie Artist” in April.

“It was a super humbling moment for me. I was like dang, ‘this is so incredible’, you know what I’m saying? I was like, speechless, I was like they really mess with me. I appreciate all the love cuz what else can I say other than thank you for hearing me,” they said.

The young artist’s career is coming at a time when the tide is changing in the music industry. Social media is playing a huge role in how hits are determined.

Their meaningful melodic vibe is separating them from the rest, pushing the realm of R&B music beyond its limits.

“I think I’m outside the box, like I don’t think that I make just R&B music. I make everything, like, it don’t matter what it is. I don’t even know if it’s got a name to it. The genre or the type of – whatever the beat or wherever the beat is taking me, that’s where I go,” they said.

Music and the way hits are made might be changing, but it’s not about topping the charts for the young artist.

“I ain’t gon’ lie I don’t think I would be this far—you know what I mean? I still have so much more to go but I’m super grateful to be where I am at,” they said.

It’s the emotions of break-up and finding new love that gives Marzz and their Martians a world of their own .Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.comor follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram

To see the story click the link: https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/marzz-louisville-music-r-b-music/417-64505fd4-3d92-4a20-a750-66a6ec7f50bf

TheVIPPReport: Bsmith Entertainment and the Breonna Taylor Foundation event announcement

TAKING PLACE THE WEEK THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN HER 29TH BIRTHDAY

(Louisville, KY) Bsmith Entertainment along with the Breonna Taylor Foundation presents a Caribbean Luau Party on Sunday, June 12th at Lynn Family Stadium. The event is remembrance and celebration of life for Breonna Taylor who died on March 13, 2020, after being fatally shot in her apartment by officers of the Louisville Police Dept. The event will be held from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

The Caribbean Luau Party…the greatest show on earth celebrating the birthday of Taylor will feature local artists, sounds by DY Znyce and DJ Lil Jerry hosted by B96.5 Bella Rae. There will be additional acts and surprise guests announced closer to the event.

Organizer Brandon Smith of Bsmith Entertainment says “We wanted to collaborate with the Breonna Taylor Foundation to keep her name alive by celebrating her birthday in a positive light. So many people in the city and throughout the nation still honor Breonna everyday whether it is profile pictures on social media or uplifting her name in positive ways. B Smith Entertainment wanted to use what we do best by helping to create a memorable experience for our audience to commemorate this beautiful soul that has sparked a movement and call for change in America and around the world. “

A representative from the Breonna Taylor Foundation says “There is no denying we will forever mourn the loss of Breonna. The fight for justice on Breonna’s behalf will never cease. However, The Breonna Taylor Foundation and Breonna’s loved ones are also committed to reattaching joy to Breonna’s name by energizing her legacy of love and light. With this assignment in mind, we are preparing to celebrate Breonna’s birthday the Breewayy.” The representative goes on to say, “The Breonna Taylor Foundation is supporting event producer, B. Smith’s Luau themed party. B. Smith is a trusted event producer in the community, and we reached out to him to collaborate. The majority of his audience are Breonna’s peers which is why this event is of such importance. This is the perfect space for Breonna’s friends, loved ones, and rising activist to responsibly celebrate her life.”

You can purchase tickets which start at $40 at Remix (Jefferson Mall), Exclusive Wear, Better Days West and online at Eventbrite at Luaudayparty502.eventbrite.com The link is provided: http://Luaudayparty502.eventbrite.com.

The event is being sponsored by B96.5 and supported by the Breonna Taylor Foundation. If you would like to be sponsor. Contact Brandon Smith at blsmith502@gmail.com.

To setup interviews, contact Smith and/or VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com. We will send an alert if Tamika Palmer would like to speak ahead of the event. To learn more at Bsmith Entertainment you can visit their site at Bsmithentertainment.com.

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VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see how we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

TheVIPPReport: Louisville’s own dancer/model/actress Jhana Waddell making a name for herself in the entertainment industry

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

Courtesy Jhana Waddell

A rising star in the entertainment realm is backing up some of the biggest entertainers in 2022. Louisville native Jhana Waddell is showing up in music videos and live shows like Beyonce’s Academy Awards performance at the open of the show to performing with Mary J. Blige at the halftime of the Super Bowl 56.

I’ve been staying in touch with Jhana since I’ve learned of her great success. I spoke to her just days after the Super Bowl in February and she was still on a high after the performance and how it was a surprise to everyone but her parents. Jhana says “It was no secret.  I told them. (laughing) They were beyond supportive and they love Mary J. Blige. They know as me being a professional dancer this is a big deal.  So, everybody was getting calls the weeks leading up till asking are you ready, are ready, are you ready. Yes guys I’m so ready. I’m so excited It was all super exciting.” 

Jhana grew up in the Park Duvalle and Shawnee neighborhoods attending YPAS,(Youth Performing Arts School), Spelman, a HBCU and then finishing at the University of Louisville.  The professional dancer whose trained in ballet, modern, dance and tap currently lives in L.A. took me through how she was chosen to perform with the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul. 

Jhana says “We have auditions out here. I have an agent. The agent relays that there’s an audition. You’ve been selected here’s the time, here’s the location. So you come with your best hair and makeup. Come with your best self ready to perform. So you learn the step. You perform in front of the choreographer. If they like you they let your agent know. Hey we want to use them. This will be the days of rehearsal and day of the show.”

Courtesy Jhana Waddell

During big productions normally the artist or host normally has a fill-in to stand in for them so they don’t have to be there all day. I asked did Mary J ever practice with her? She says “Yeah, not very surprising. It was fun you know. It showed that her as an artist she too wanted to make sure it looks good and felt right. So, we practiced with her and stand ins.  She was there a lot.  So, I’m off her left shoulder which when you look at the video I’m on the right. I’m the second on the right. Um but yeah. it was so fun.”

I asked her to explain the feeling when she knew it was showtime.  Jhana tells me “It’s so indescribable the breathe of everybody when you walk into the stadium and it’s just full and packed with people. It’s a pandemic so I haven’t seen that many people in so long.  I felt like tears of joy and my smile immediately came out. I’m so happy this is just a big experience.  Here we go. We’re about to do it.”

She’s no stranger for big moments. She’s performed at many of the biggest music award shows with Selena Gomez to Bruno Mars and touring with Lil Baby and Future.  She has some exciting news she hopes to share with us soon.

She gave some advice if you want to be in the same field.  She said to trust yourself, follow your heart, be consistent, know your craft and research where you want to move were just a few of the positive words of encouragement she gave.   

►Contact WHAS11’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. 

To see the television version to this story just click the link: https://www.whas11.com/video/entertainment/television/programs/the411/the-411-louisville-native-opens-up-about-super-bowl-performance/417-bccc1974-a671-44bc-978f-a2e71ddfa889

TheVIPPReport: Surekha Kulkarni talks to me about why she moved her family from India to Louisville

Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month

Special Report–Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television ABC Louisville

Surekha Kulkarni and her husband moved their family from India in 1986 to Louisville to make sure her young son had every opportunity to be the best he could be. She tells me why she made the sacrifice. “We did not move here for money or fame or fortune we came here because of a school.” Her young son was in kindergarten and she had learned he was dyslexic needed additional educational instruction which the de Paul School in Louisville, Kentucky provided.

We felt it was not a choice really, so we moved a family of four. With no job, no way of knowing but the school was there. And it was actually a totally different experience for me. She says “After moving here, I have experienced so much! I’ve done so much.”

Kulkarni says a recession was going on and all the degrees and experience her husband had still did not help him get a job at first. She says “When he couldn’t get a job. We decided to buy a grocery store so that way we could get food.” They owned and operated the store for years at Oak and Swan Streets called the 828 with no previous experience. She goes on to say that the community embraced and supported them. “They just accepted me but They could not pronounce our names so they changed it I became Sue and Suhas  became Sam. So Sue and Sam of the store.”

When not working in the store Kulkarni volunteered at the school. Kulkarni says “So my son started school from day one and we appreciate and let so grateful, I started working in library as a volunteer just a way to give back. That might be what started, my beginnings of volunteering career.”

Within three years, the family was on track which gave her the confidence to say you can do whatever you want. She went to India for a stay and decided to take a jewelry class in her free time. “So, I took this class and I enjoyed it so much that I haven’t stopped” Kulkarni says.

Then The Beaded Treasures Project was created. She volunteered with the Kentucky Refuge Ministries. Where she says, “I found that I really enjoyed it and loved teaching and connecting. It was amazing to see the transformation. Because in the beginning, these women came from various countries, like Iraq, and the Congo. All faced terrible ravages. They were traumatized.”

Beaded Treasures not only generated wealth but generated self-esteem, a sense of purpose and self-sufficiency. Kulkarni says “I saw that not only were they making jewelry, and selling it at the events, five of them started working full time, three of them started working on their education. Some had finished high school and some had a couple of years of college. One of them now has gone back to Nepal. To start a school because growing there was no school in her village.”

In 2019, Beaded Treasures became a part of Volunteers of America. “This was way more that I expected. Quite amazing like. I had somehow became a part of their transformation. Transformation from diffident to confident, and dependent to independent.

I wanted to know what she wanted to remember her by. She says “That I tried! I want people to know that if you just step out of your comfort zone there’s no stopping you. I’m the perfect example of that. We are the ones that hold ourselves back. And we can make a difference. Each one of us can make a difference. Look at me!”

Kulkarni has a new project “Empowering Beads”. It will be a pop-up shop this summer on the weekends in Norton Commons.

►Contact WHAS11’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

To see the television version of my story, click the link provided:

https://www.whas11.com/article/news/community/moments-that-matter/surekha-kulkarni-beaded-treasures-project-community-women-empowerment-inspiration/417-3e873a14-d190-4191-84cf-66a5868e79ef

TheVIPPReport: Robin Givens, actress/director will start filming her lasted movie in Louisville later this week and extras are needed

The Nana Project starring Mercedes Ruehl will start filming Wednesday

Photo by Stephan Mu00fcller on Pexels.com

Special Report: Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 News, ABC Louisville

The buzz is still in the air from all of the celebrity sightings during Kentucky Derby weekend and other films being shot around the state featuring major Hollywood stars.

Actress Robin Givens is set to return to the area to shoot another film, according to her team.

Her new movie, “The Nana Project” will be shot around the Louisville area.

The storyline is set in a retirement home with a “feisty chess master” played by Academy Award winner Mercedes Ruehl.

Her character Helen “Nana” Lewis has two estranged grandsons Andrew and Cody who will be played by Nolan Gould and Will Peltz.

The family will head out on a road trip to support Nana’s rise to the state championships.

They are expected to begin filming on May 18 and will be here through June 4.

We hear the filming was scheduled for another city, but I have learned Louisville is a good spot.

It could be from the great response that was given to the “The Cookout” that was also filmed in Louisville and directed by Givens.

Submission instructions can be found by clicking the following link: https://www.facebook.com/Alexis-Leggett-Casting-118037106989200

You need to be fully vaccinated for this project. You need to provide proof of vaccination and take a mandatory COVID-19 test upon arrival on your shoot date.

If you get a role in this film, please let me know.

►Contact WHAS11’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Original report: https://www.whas11.com/article/entertainment/television/programs/the411/the-nana-project-robin-givens-louisville-mercedes-ruehl-alexis-leggett-casting/417-2d6ff00d-20c4-457c-a342-9cb8bec8d966

TheVIPPReport: Jamey Aebersold shares his love for jazz

Jamey Aebersold

Tucked away on a New Albany street named after his family. Jazz master Jamey Aebersold has been playing music for most of his life. I caught up with him in his studio which is covered with some 15 thousand vinyl albums, thousands of photos which he calls the Smithsonian Jazz Institute of the Midwest. He talks to me about how he was introduced to jazz.  He says “Jazz is the coming thing. When I was young, I got my driver’s license at 16. I got me a 35 dollar car.  I drove to Louisville, in westend where jazz was playing. Every club had jazz. Rock-n-roll had not been invented yet.  Country western wasn’t popular so jazz was basically everywhere. I would go to those places and listen to them.  I would wonder what was going on in their minds.

He never liked to stick to the traditional format. Aebersold says “My dad like Dixieland music. I bought some records. Yeah, I liked it but then when I heard Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, I kinda went that way.” As he hand gestured.   

He goes on to say “It was years later, I would realize that was the foundation that I needed those scales and cords and the fingering of it, so forth…because that would allow me to play what I heard in my head.  (as he hummed a tune) then add a cord to it. That’s how I got started.” 

Jamey told me that he was not a good student and the teacher actually returned his money because he just didn’t have the patience to play the standard scales and cords. In his mind, he was just copying what he saw in the music book.  He wanted to play what was in his head which we know today as improvisation.  When he got older he did receive his formal training and we talked about it.  He said, “I went to Indiana University and they didn’t have saxophone but they put me on the woodwind degree. So, I had to take lessons in oboe the flute, the basson, clarinet, and I don’t think I took saxophone lessons from anyone but the second year a guy was getting his graduate degree and they let him give me lessons. I played the first jazz recital at Indiana University which was a big deal back then 1960/61.” He talked about the audience giving his a standing ovation for that performance.   

Aebersold was very humble, knowledgeable, and full wisdom that we could of literally stayed with him all day and still would not of been able to cover everything he’s accomplished.  He  Performing in the all over the world and receiving so many accolades along the way.  From receiving the National Endowment for the Arts which is the highest honor given to jazz musicians in the U.S. to receiving the Indiana Governor’s Arts Award by Mitch Daniels. He had a table full of awards, even a letter from the White House from President Barack Obama.   

I wanted to know if he thought jazz was a lost art. He responded quickly by saying “No, no, no. I tell you why. When people play jazz they use their imagination. They are very creative and its coming from here to the fingers and that’s not going to stop.”

He says anyone can improvise. He says, “Too many don’t even try because they feel like they are not good enough”. 

I wanted to know what would be his legacy.  He says there’s to much to do now to worry about the future.  There’s still so much to do now.  He gave some good advice that he hopes more people would apply to their life and that was to be nice to people. 

To learn more about Jamey Aebersold and his Jazz Play-A-Longs, go to jazzbooks.com.  you may even see him a classroom if you attend Bellarmine, I-U, or U of L.     

Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

To see the television version of the story. Click the link provided: https://www.whas11.com/article/news/community/moments-that-matter/jamey-aebersold-new-albany-jazz-muscian-beallarmine-uofl-indiana-university-teacher-music/417-c14b168b-979e-430c-b9e6-198f5d81fe57

TheVIPPReport: Julia Youngblood, honoring women in our community

Julia Youngblood

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11, ABC Affiliate

Many may not know the name Julia Youngblood but countless youth and artists know her as the woman who gave them a chance to expand their horizons. I sit down with her to talk about the importance of giving back. 

Youngblood is one of the quiet forces in our community making sure the arts is available for anyone whose interested.  She worked at the Kentucky Arts Reach program. Dedicating her life to make the community better. 

Youngblood says “For the 16 years I took care of it.  I really worked on opening up the space more and more for communities especially communities of color or folks that might of felt like they really could walk in that door.  I produced 100s of events open mics and many performances on many big stages, all the stages throughout the building.”

Introducing some 50 thousand people to the Kentucky Center for the Arts space that normally would not of had that opportunity. She says “One of my biggest joys was creating culturally related performance pieces that came from the community.  It wasn’t me creating those pieces. It was reaching out to the community and saying what do you want to express today. To me that’s extremely powerful.”  

Youngblood currently owns Youngblood Harmonizing Arts. She took me to a time in her life when she decided to focus on helping others. She took me back to when she was 20 years old.  “A really pivotal part of my life. I lost the ability to walk at the time they thought I had multiple sclerosis . Over time being helped by many other people I was able to get well.”  She goes on to say “Once I really got to where I was able to function and walk again I thought that I just want my life to be of service.” 

Her unique way of looking at life and understanding that expression is a part of the process when healing a community. She says “A lot of time people feel the need to feel seen and that’s a healing.” 

Youngblood admits she’s not outspoken but her now 90 year old mother gave her some advice when she was younger. “Walk into any space and sit down.  So that is what I hope for all of us in life that we call all walk in and feel like it okay to be where we are.”

She tells me that her mom and 25 year old daughter Johnny Storm inspire her.  She goes onto say she appreciates how her daughter views life. Youngblood, a self-taught artist has an art exhibit with almost 40 pieces ranging from paintings to print on textiles.

Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

To see the television version of the story, click the link https://www.whas11.com/article/news/community/moments-that-matter/julia-youngblood-harmonizing-arts-lodgic-kentucky-performing-arts-artsreach/417-2988a064-00aa-42cb-b148-694888bc87e8

The VIPP Report: The Walnut Street Revue announces new date for their concert

UPDATE: Due to rise of COVID-19 cases in Kentucky the concert will be rescheduled to Saturday, February 26th

WALNUT STREET REVUE RETURNS TO IN-PERSON CONCERT AS WE KICKOFF BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Recognizing the contributions that Louisville natives made to music

(Louisville, KY) As we celebrate the Legacy of Black Louisville, Legacies Unlimited, Inc. presents The Walnut Street Revue “Let’s Groove Again” at 7:30pm on Saturday, January 29,2022 (moved to Saturday, February 26th) at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (KCAAH) located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. 

It’s a special evening consisting of exhibits and the historic musical contributions of African Americans from Louisville to the entertainment industry.  The Walnut Street Revue “Let’s Groove Again” will pay tribute to the achievements not only to the city but to the nation and the world. 

As we take a stroll down Walnut Street known today as Muhammad Ali Blvd., we take you back to the 1930’s, 40’s & 50’s.  We are excited to have Rob Lee, Michael Johnson, Yvette Nicole, Paulette Johnson, Erica Denise amongst other talented artists who will set the scene of yesteryear along the strip that generated stars and helped keep dreams alive for aspiring entertainers. 

Special guests for the evening will be Frankie Raymore & the Groove Masters featuring Tony Fish and Daria Raymore.

Tickets are now available for The Walnut Street Revue “Let’s Grove Again” at Better Days Records in Lyles Mall and 921 Barrett Ave., or you can purchase tickets online at Red Pin Tix | The Walnut Street Revue 2022

Masks and proof of vaccination required for entry.

This event was made possible with the support of The Owsley Brown II Family Foundation, Hardscuffle Inc., WLKY-TV, and George & Mary Lee Fischer. 

To setup an interview with Ken Clay of Legacies Unlimited, please contact VIPP Communications at 502-341-7306 or by email at info@vippcommunications.com

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The VIPP Report: Walnut Street Revue returns to in-person concert in January 2022

WALNUT STREET REVUE RETURNS TO IN-PERSON CONCERT AS WE KICKOFF BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Recognizing the contributions that Louisville natives made to music

(Louisville, KY) As we celebrate the Legacy of Black Louisville, Legacies Unlimited, Inc. presents The Walnut Street Revue “Let’s Groove Again” at 7:30pm on Saturday, January 29,2022 at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (KCAAH) located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. 

It’s a special evening consisting of exhibits and the historic musical contributions of African Americans from Louisville to the entertainment industry.  The Walnut Street Revue “Let’s Groove Again” will pay tribute to the achievements not only to the city but to the nation and the world. 

As we take a stroll down Walnut Street known today as Muhammad Ali Blvd., we take you back to the 1930’s, 40’s & 50’s.  We are excited to have Rob Lee, Michael Johnson, Yvette Nicole, Paulette Johnson, Erica Denise amongst other talented artists who will set the scene of yesteryear along the strip that generated stars and helped keep dreams alive for aspiring entertainers. 

Special guests for the evening will be the soulful Tony Fish & the Groove Masters joined by Daria Raymore, one of Louisville’s premiere vocalists.

Tickets are now available for The Walnut Street Revue “Let’s Grove Again” at Better Days Records in Lyles Mall and 921 Barrett Ave., or you can purchase tickets online at Red Pin Tix | The Walnut Street Revue 2022

Masks and proof of vaccination required for entry.

This event was made possible with the support of The Owsley Brown II Family Foundation, Hardscuffle Inc., WLKY-TV, and George & Mary Lee Fischer. 

To setup an interview with Ken Clay of Legacies Unlimited, please contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com

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The VIPP Report: Remembering photojournalist Bud Dorsey

By Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 ABC Louisville

In today’s ‘Your Story’. Remembering famed photographer Bud Dorsey.  Who died last week at the age of 80. I spoke to Yvonne Coleman Bach, Associate Publisher and Editor who worked with him and called him a good friend. 

He could tell a story without even saying a word.  Charles ‘Bud’ Dorsey got his start with the Louisville Defender Newspaper.  I spoke to Bach about the paper that’s been in existence for over 80 years and Dorsey’s impact. 

Bach says “Bud was wonderful. I started working with Bud in the mid-1980’s.  What we try and do is bring that positive back and to let people know there’s a lot of positive things happening in the community.” 

Dorsey somedays didn’t wait for an assignment.  He went where the news was happening.  Coleman-Bach says “Working with Bud was unreal because he made my job easier. He never let me down.  He was looking and watching for things to happened and he was always there.”

Coleman-Bach says Bud had that dedication and a strong love for what he was doing even when he had to go home and care for his small children alone.  She adds “One of the things people don’t know about Bud. He has four kids and his wife died at a very young at a very early age.  Left him with four kids the youngest one under a year old.” 

Even with all of that going on he captured the essence and soul of the community.  Coleman-Bach says “He was out there for the civil rights marches, he was out there for the little league ball games he was out there for everything that was going on in the community and it showed that positive side.”   Helped create special bonds with Central High classmates like Muhammad Ali.  “The few times I was with Bud where Muhammad Ali is concerned. Every time he saw Bud, even when he couldn’t speak, when he saw Bud he would give some type of sign like oh there’s Bud.” 

I asked Coleman-Bach about some of his best moments. Coleman-Bach says “I think the coverage he did on Ali and I have to go back and say too a second one is Louis Coleman.  Bud did some fabulous coverage with Louis Coleman. He went to different cities with him. Consistently following him and following the work he was doing.  Which is very important in the community.”

It wasn’t hard for Coleman-Bach to describe Dorsey as a father and photographer.  She says “Even when talking about his as a photographer or a dad he was absolutely amazing. /Coleman 4:16-24 Bud was able to capture the community, the West Louisville community like no one could and I don’t think anyone else will.” 

In his own words, he wanted to make sure his work lived on.  Dorsey says “I want to try and leave a legacy for my grandkids and great grandkids. It’s a great place to be and a great place to live.” 

I wanted to share with you a photo Dorsey took of me some 20 years ago.  I’ve kept it all these years.  I was speaking at the Louisville Black Expo to a group of students interested in television production. 

There will be a community memorial service on Saturday where Bach will speak.  The service is from noon to two at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage at 17th and Ali. 

►Contact The 411’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. 

To see the story, click the following link https://www.whas11.com/mobile/article/features/bud-dorsey-louisville-photographer-defender-remember/417-4f8b6b1f-0174-4f5f-a135-3741d919880d

The VIPP Report: Introducing you to the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy

By Sherlene Shanklin

In today’s Your Story. Their name has changed but their music remains the same bringing all genres of music to West Louisville. I talk to the founder about their success. You recognize them as the West Louisville Boys Choir. 

In 1990, McDaniel Bluitt started The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy originally named the Moore Temple Boys Choir.  In 2002, the choir expanded by adding girls to the program. 

McDaniel says “We started the program because kids needed a way they can be engaged positively and doing the kinds of things that can make them productive members of the community.” 

Two current students, Sylvia Lontz and Alexandria Bluitt were introduced to the program differently but both believe it’s an amazing opportunity and everyone feels like family. 

Sylvia Lontz is heading to Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) this fall.  She says “I personally found out about this choir from my former choir director at Central High School.  He introduced it to me.  I though it would be an amazing opportunity for me and my younger sister.” 

Alexandria Bluitt is currently in high school but understands the importance of legacy.  She says “I’ve been in this choir ever since I was 4 or 5 years old.  Considering my grandparents started the choir.  This choir gave me a sense of family, not because they started it but because of the connections I made with people in this choir.”

The program is a melting pot of talents discovered within each child.  A. Bluitt goes on to say “It gives me a sense of structure.  For me personally anyway and I believe everyone needs a foundation to build on top of.”

M. Bluitt says “It’s a part of our slogan its more than just music…its more than just singing because children bring with us whatever they have with them at the time.  Some have training prior to coming to me while others haven’t.” 

They’ve had a chance to travel and perform all over the world from Bahamas to Las Vegas, and all over the state of Kentucky.  With that exposure caused some of his former students to think out of the box.   Key’mon Murrah & Kay’mon Murrah both participated in the program.  As adults they are both classically trained. 

Key’mon is moving to New York.  He says “I’m going to Juilliard in the fall for a graduate diploma. And then I have me Opera debut this winter.”

Kay’mon remains in the area to help others interested in the arts.  He says “I’m working with Kentucky Opera at various events but right now im working as a board member for the public arts commission in Lexington, KY. So that’s been really fulfilling. “

Mr. Bluitt says “Music evolves its never to stay the same.” And so does its leadership. His son Joshua will take the helm and carry on the tradition.  Bluitt says he will still be around consulting and help counsel but feels it’s the right time to pass the baton so his son can take the program even further. 

McDaniel says “One of the things its accomplishing its helping to dispel the myth in the minds of so many people.  Not just Black people, White people m Jewish people not just men but men and women.  They get a chance to see the program that’s holistic.  They get a chance to see the program as positive and believe it or not got their children in it. That’s ongoing and I’m proud of that.” 

Kay’mon says “You have to be open for new things and be willing to absorb it all. I really believe once you start that process you will be able to fly anywhere.”

The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy has a 100% graduation rate and they now enjoy new home for their program.  You can now find their studio in the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage at 17th and West Ali.  To support go to www.wlpaa.org

►Contact Your Story’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. 

To see the story, click the link below.

https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/west-louisville-boys-choir-community-impact/417-4eb6cf86-d4de-447d-8908-f17c26b0b202

The VIPP Report: Your next Miss Kentucky and Miss America Outstanding Teen is…….

YOUR NEXT MISS KENTUCKY AND MISS AMERICA’S OUTSTANDING TEEN REPRESENTING THE COMMONWEALTH  IN THE MISS AMERICA COMPETITION WILL BE…….

June 20, 2021

(Louisville, KY)  After four days going through preliminaries we now know who will be representatives in the Miss America competition representing Kentucky..  The winner was crowned d in front of a large audience  held at the Kentucky International Convention Center in downtown Louisville.  This year’s winner is Haley Wheeler, (Miss Louisville Metro). 

This year’s Miss Kentucky Outstanding Teen is Chloe Yates., (Miss Nulu). 

These programs empower young women across Kentucky through pageantry to develop the leadership skills and confidence to achieve their biggest goals in life. The Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization continues to develop role models for communities not only in Kentucky but the world.

Awarding over $70,000 in cash scholarships and over $2 million in in-kind scholarships, the Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization is a celebration of the talent, scholastic achievement and commitment to service of Kentucky’s finest young women. This organization is so much more than a crown…it is changing Kentucky, one young woman at a time!

To set up an interview, please contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com.

For additional information on the pageant please visit www.misskentucky.org.

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The VIPP Report: Kentucky woman wins ‘Best Short Film’ at Dreamer’s Film Festival

ERICKA NICOLE MALONE ENTERTAINMENT’S ‘DREAMS FROM THE EDGE’ TAKES HOME BEST SHORT FILM AT THE DREAMER’S SHORT FILM FESTIVAL IN LONDON

(Los Angeles, California) A Louisville, Kentucky native takes home the United Kingdom’s Dreamer’s Film Festival’s Best Short Film. Ericka Nicole Malone’s international short film ‘Dreams from the Edge’ starring Mary Curry, Alexia Faith Roberts and Bernadette Stanis is awarded the top honor during the festival.

Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment, LLC is working to bring positive images from Black actors to the big screen by making it her business to make films with historic, educational value with a social consciousness in mind. ‘Dreams from the Edge’ is a short film that tells the story of a young girl by the name of Davina, (Alexia Faith Roberts) who tries to embrace her uniqueness. Davina sets to make it in Hollywood and follow her dreams, facing many obstacles attempting to derail her, including emotional challenges from her mother, Rose (Bernadette Stanis). It speaks to difficulties we often face in work/life balance.

Writer, Director and Executive Producer of the short film, Ericka Nicole Malone says ‘Dreams from the Edge’, is more than a young Black woman following her dream but it speaks about the inclusiveness of people who may be different but they are the very people who make our society so unique. I wanted that to be reflect in this film. By receiving such a prestigious honor my message is relatable, understandable and universal because everyone has a dream to be successful.”

To learn more about Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment and the current projects she’s working on like ‘Remember Me The Mahalia Jackson Story starring Ledisi, Columbus Short, Janet Hubert, Keith David, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Keith Robinson go to www.erickanicolemalone.com.

To setup an interview, contact Sherlene Shanklin at VIPP Communications at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com.

ERICKA NICOLE MALONE ENTERTAINMENT is a production company focused on the development, production/co-production and distribution of film, television, and animated projects nationwide. 

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VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see how we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

The VIPP Report: DCorey Johnson’s rendition of the National Anthem is opening doors for the young star

The story and video that went viral of a nine-year old Louisville sensation with a special gift

By Sherlene M. Shanklin

Louisville, Kentucky

For the last few weeks, my story of DCorey (DC) Johnson has been truly an unbelievable journey.  I was tagged on Facebook by several friends and family members because I do a segment for WHAS11 Television, ABC Affiliate in Louisville called The411.  I highlight people and organizations who you normally don’t see on a newscast until I started doing it.  I currently, have a new segment called “Your Story”. I thought he could talk to me about all of the attention he has received.

I watched the video of DCorey multiple times around 11:00 pm one night.  Instead of going to bed I reached out to the Jefferson County Public Schools, (JCPS) public information office to see if I could get permission to go into Bates Elementary School to speak to the student and his parents. 

The first story on DCorey Johnson before the world met this young superstar with a big voice. Sherlene Shanklin’s story #SherlenesStory

I had to move quick because I knew this child had a gift and I wanted to be the first to speak to him.  I got the interview setup and was assigned a photojournalist to assist me with the story. 

Everyone that knows me, know that I’m not a morning person. So, I had a hard time going to sleep.  So, as I laid there watching the clock afraid that I would oversleep for the interview.  I starting thinking about different scenarios.  What if the third grader is actually shy and I can’t get him to talk.  So, I considered a few alternatives just in case. 

Well, I hate that I worried about it because there was no need to worry about this rising star what so ever.  DCorey was full of personality and at one point I just let the nine year old go.  He laughed, talked and one thing we all know children speak is the truth.  He had no problem explaining to me who did and did not help him on his musical journey. 

DCorey Johnson Photo by Sherlene Shanklin

DCorey gave me so much material to work with. I actually had enough for multiple stories.  I was wrapping up the interview, I promised to follow the third  grader on his journey. 

As I drove home from the interview, I envisioned how the story would look and sound.  Because of COVID-19 restrictions my photographer and I work from our homes but we had already discussed a game plan. 

Once I handed off the approved script, I voiced the package. I sent it Phillip for editing.  I felt great about the wording, my pacing and the interview itself. I knew Phillip would make it come to life.

Just a few hours later, we were ready for air.  When the story aired on WHAS11, ABC Louisville my phone starting ringing from text messages, social media messages and people wanting to congratulate me on the story.  I knew if I was getting that type of response I could only imagine what the Johnson family was getting. 

I have a company that host events and someone texted me asking, “Don’t you remember in your KY Derby event that DCorey played young Michael Jackson in the tribute?”  I remembered the amazing talent and I remember that a child received a standing ovation but I had not put two and two together. 

As soon as I got a link to my story, I started to circulate.  Within a couple of hours ABC contacted me and wanted to know who was this gifted child?  Because I worked for an ABC affiliate tv stations all over the country were running my story. I have gotten calls Tennessee to Washington. The network used my video and script and made stories that aired on almost every show from World News Tonight to GMA3.  I have received some of the craziest calls from professional sports venues to large scale prominent productions wanting me to help get in touch with the child’s parents. 

I’m in contact with his mother and we touch base every few days so I can give her the messages and she shares with me what is happening behind the scenes.  I hang up somedays saying “I’m witnessing the makings of a future star.”  I cant wait to share more on DCorey. 

I’ve provided a link of my story for you to review.  Kentucky student singing National Anthem on PA system goes viral | whas11.com

You will be amazed if you watch other stations around the world use my wording and approach to the story.  As a journalist and storyteller to see your work hit numerous media outlets and they keep its original form for three weeks is a testament to myself and Phillip’s work.  Its hard to change when it was done so beautifully the first time. 

Checkout some of my other stories.  I think you will like my style and approach to storytelling.  Articles by Sherlene M Shanklin | WHAS-TV (Louisville, KY) Journalist | Muck Rack

Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

The VIPP Report: Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month by talking to Olympic Silver Medalist Grandmaster Hwang

Sherlene M. Shanklin

May is Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month.  I spoke to a man who was born in Korea but now calls Louisville his home.
Raising a family and teaching our children the art of Taekwondo.  In today’s Moments that Matter, I introduce you to Jung Oh Grandmaster Hwang.

I have seen the business & community leader many times but this was the first time I had the opportunity to sit down with him.  I had so many questions and he was sincere and patient with me.

Grandmaster Hwang called me before the interview to make sure I found his studio.  I told him I was just waiting outside awaiting my photojournalist to arrive.  The door swings open and he came out to greet me.  He stood out there with me until we were ready to begin. 

As we entered Hwang’s Marital Arts we were welcomed by students.  They were clapping and cheering as we entered the venue.  Once we entered they gave us a demonstration of what they have learned under Hwang.  His daughter Mimi was directing the students but he was off to the side giving additional instruction.    

Mimi led me to his office so we could sit and talk.  I had so many questions.  Some of the most simple questions in Asian culture like is it disrespectful to bow when you don’t know the meaning.  I have to say he was very patient with me to make sure I understood. 

So, when we officially started the interview I asked him to give the pronunciation of his name. 

He says “My name is Jung Oh Hwang”.  He tells me where he was born. “I’m from South Korea. I come to the United States in 1987 I studied at the University of Tennessee.”
When he was in elementary school in South Korea he started learning taekwondo and judo.  Leading him to the Olympics not once but twice.  He missed the opportunity of a third because his country sat out.  Hwang says “Seoul Korea boycotted the Olympic games so he had to wait for more years for his chance to compete. 
1984 changed my life I got a silver medal at that time.” 

Hwang also tells me that he was the international referee for his sport in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. 

Hwang, his wife Sun and their two year daughter Mimi came to America in 1987. Eventually moving to Louisville and opening three martial arts studios in the city.  He says “Louisville is my hometown.  I love Louisville. Louisville is the best city. I love Louisville.” 

He also loves to teach children the core values of his heritage that we all can relate to regardless of where you are from.  “I wanted to give more opportunity to children to learn respect, discipline, and positive attitude.  He can do, she can do, why not me? Yes I can positive attitude.” 

Grandmaster Hwang believes every person should have the following: Focus, Discipline and Respect this is very very important.
In Asian culture It’s mind and body together. That’s respect.  That’s for all Asians especially Marital Arts.  Giving over a million dollars to charity like the Crusade for Children, and now starting his own foundation.  He just wants to leave a legacy of hope. 

Hwang says “I want to share my Olympic three’s. Never, never never give up. You know.  Teach the generation they quickly give up. We always never, never, never give up. Yes, I can I can do it!”

Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

To see the story, click the link https://www.whas11.com/amp/article/news/community/moments-that-matter/grandmaster-hwang-teaches-his-students-respect-and-discipline-in-louisville/417-8fd30281-40c1-4b7b-8aea-9832046c7f3b

The VIPP Report: The Muhammad Ali Center announces Laura Douglas as their first Black woman interim president

Laura Douglas

By Sherlene Shanklin, Special Report with WHAS11, ABC Louisville

After nearly a decade in Louisville, Donald Lassere will leave the Muhammad Ali Center and move back to his hometown of Chicago. In his seat as president and CEO, Laura Douglas.
In ‘Your Story’ I sit down with the respected corporate leader.  

To many in the community she is called the stabilizer.  Because she helps corporations and non-profits maintain their business practices while stabilizing their leadership. 

First, Laura Douglas did it at TARC; now she’s moving to the Muhammad Ali Center; serving as its first Black woman president.  Making history in her hometown. 

Douglas discusses her family and her close connection to the city. “Well, I grew up here in the Russell neighborhood.  I had eight brothers and sisters.  We started out at James Bond Elementary School which is now Byck. I went to Western Junior High School and to Shawnee High School. 

After graduation, Douglas continued her education to become an attorney.  She explained her career path. “I started out my career as a lawyer, I’m a graduate of the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and I’ve been a general counsel at several organizations and my most recent position was at LGE and I retired from there.  Throughout my career I have always been a volunteer and I’ve always served on a number of boards in the community.  And one of the places I invested a great deal of my board serve was here at the Muhammad Ali Center.”

As the immediate past board chair, she is now ready to get the doors of the Ali center reopened.  Douglas says “Here at the Muhammad Ali Center the good news is, it’s an outstanding organization with a very impeccable national a reputation.  My role is here is to keep the ship steady in the water as the board looks for a permanent CEO. I’m happy to do that”.

Douglas came out of retirement to take on this role, but i wanted to know if she planned to go back into retirement, as she shaped the next generation’s CEO’s at home. Douglas with a smile says “Yes, yes I will.  I was a granny and my grandchildren kinda run my life for me.”

Douglas is excited about keeping the Ali Center moving until the national search is completed which could take up to six months.  Douglas’ family is happy about her and understand the importance of the position but see what her family thinks her most important title is to them.  She says “My family is proud but one thing they remind me every day, I’m just granny as far as they are concerned and I’m mom.”

June will mark the fifth anniversary of Muhammad Ali’s passing.  The Ali Festival will honor him with his six core principles:  Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect and Spirituality. I asked Douglas did she expect the opportunities she’s seeing today?
She says “As a small child I know my mother and father encouraged all of us to expand our horizon and to dream big. I’m really fortunate to have the opportunity and to be able to continue to work in a community that I really love

Laura Douglas and Sherlene Shanklin

The Muhammad Ali Center will reopen to the public on Thursday, April 1st. 

This year’s Ali Festival will be June 4th to the 13th.

The Truth Be Told Temporary Exhibit has been extended to 2022. 

The Muhammad Ali Center is located at 144 N. 6th Street, Louisville, KY 40202. 

Contact The 411’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram

To see the story click the link: https://www.whas11.com/video/news/community/louisville-native-laura-douglas-named-muhammad-ali-centers-interim-president/417-738e504a-52d4-47fb-8bdd-f03f6ffcf312

The VIPP Report: Muhammad Ali’s caregiver opens up to Sherlene Shanklin for the first time since the GOAT’s passing

Special Report from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11, Louisville

Orginially aired on January 14, 2021

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On Sunday, Muhammad Ali would have been 79. 

On June 3rd, 2016 Ali passed away and thousands lined the streets of Louisville to thank the champ who was not only a boxing champion but an activist and philanthropist respected by many across the world.

For the first time, in an exclusive interview, WHAS11 talked to the person who was his childhood friend, caregiver and sister-in-law. You saw her in many photos over the years. 

Now, Whas11’s Sherlene Shanklin tells you her story of the Champ you didn’t know.

Marilyn Williams says “Muhammad’s mother Odessa Clay and my mother Marguerite Williams were best friends.”

Their families were very close. As a child, she looked up to him as a big brother having no idea that years later she would call him her brother-in-law.

‘Lonnie Ali is my big sister,” Williams said.

Prior to working with family, she was a successful entrepreneur owning her own salon and then worked at the Ford Plant right here in Louisville.

So, when Lonnie was looking for someone to help with their business affairs and later assist Ali and with his Parkinson’s diagnosis, Marilyn was the perfect choice to be his caregiver while some even thought she was their bodyguard.

“I was his security because if you got close to Muhammad you were in trouble if you weren’t supposed to be there,” said Williams.

She talked to me about being a caregiver for Ali. “I knew I had to do the best I could do. I had to be the best. I had to be on it. I knew this man. I knew him ever since I was a child so I had to be on it.”

People always asked, could he speak after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s? Williams said, “Muhammad could smile, stars eyes would just sparkle and he talked a lot with his eyes, he talked with his voice, his hands. He definitely got his message across.”

Anytime ‘the Champ’ could get home he did and Marilyn shared this fond memory.

“Muhammad loved Louisville. You say Louisville if I was working and I said I was going on vacation. Where are you going? I said I’m going to Louisville. I wanna go.”

I also asked Williams could she tell me something about Ali people didn’t know. She sighs before answering–“Muhammad and Lonnie will say this too. He had a kind and loving heart. He saw nothing wrong with no one. He would be with kings and queens, presidents and then turn around and be with the poorest person on this earth or the sickest person on this earth. It didn’t matter to him. He loved all.”

To see everything happening in Louisville sometimes even along the street that bears his name and across the country how does that make you feel?

“Well I can’t actually speak for Muhammad because he can speak for himself but a few things he taught me and that was respect for all mankind. One thing I asked him, I was always asking him questions when I was younger growing up and he told me that there’s good and bad in every race and every religion. There’s good and bad,” Williams said.

The final question of the interview I had to ask what she misses the most about the GOAT?

With tears in her eyes, she responded by saying “His eyes, his kindness, his spirit, his spirit was so beautiful. To be around him he gave you energy. Even if there was a gray day outside he made the sunshine.”

I had to use the video one more time of Louisville’s own, the man who had no problem telling you “I’m still the greatest!!!”

Link to the WHAS11 story https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/muhammad-ali-caregiver-marilyn-williams-talks-greatest-of-all-time-goat-champ/417-b3ecdbeb-97b1-4062-9e01-ecf439074c89

Since the story aired on WHAS11, an ABC/Tegna affiliate here’s some of the other stations that picked up my story:

King5.com, 11Alive.com, WTHR.com, 12newsnow.com, ksdk.com, WUSA9.com, kentuckydailynews.com, firstcoastnews.com, kcentv.com, wkyc.com, wfmynews2.com, WLTX.com and MSN.com.

The VIPP Report: Remembering Muhammad Ali on what would have been his 79th birthday

For the FIRST time, his life-long caregiver sits down with me for more than a hour telling me things so many people have no idea about the ‘Greatest of All Time’. This is just a small portion of my interview that I wanted to share.

 

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11, ABC Louisville

Muhammad Ali and Sherlene Shanklin at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On Sunday, Muhammad Ali would have been 79. 

On June 3rd, 2016 Ali passed away and thousands lined the streets of Louisville to thank the champ who was not only a boxing champion but an activist and philanthropist respected by many across the world.

For the first time, in an exclusive interview, WHAS11 talked to the person who was his childhood friend, caregiver and sister-in-law. You saw her in many photos over the years. 

Now, Whas11’s Sherlene Shanklin tells you her story of the Champ you didn’t know.

Marilyn Williams says “Muhammad’s mother Odessa Clay and my mother Marguerite Williams were best friends.”

Their families were very close. As a child, she looked up to him as a big brother having no idea that years later she would call him her brother-in-law.

‘Lonnie Ali is my big sister,” Williams said.

Prior to working with family, she was a successful entrepreneur owning her own salon and then worked at the Ford Plant right here in Louisville.

So, when Lonnie was looking for someone to help with their business affairs and later assist Ali and with his Parkinson’s diagnosis, Marilyn was the perfect choice to be his caregiver while some even thought she was their bodyguard.

“I was his security because if you got close to Muhammad you were in trouble if you weren’t supposed to be there,” said Williams.

She talked to me about being a caregiver for Ali. “I knew I had to do the best I could do. I had to be the best. I had to be on it. I knew this man. I knew him ever since I was a child so I had to be on it.”

People always asked, could he speak after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s? Williams said, “Muhammad could smile, stars eyes would just sparkle and he talked a lot with his eyes, he talked with his voice, his hands. He definitely got his message across.”

Anytime ‘the Champ’ could get home he did and Marilyn shared this fond memory.

“Muhammad loved Louisville. You say Louisville if I was working and I said I was going on vacation. Where are you going? I said I’m going to Louisville. I wanna go.”

Williams showing me a piece of art that Ali created.

I also asked Williams could she tell me something about Ali people didn’t know. She sighs before answering–“Muhammad and Lonnie will say this too. He had a kind and loving heart. He saw nothing wrong with no one. He would be with kings and queens, presidents and then turn around and be with the poorest person on this earth or the sickest person on this earth. It didn’t matter to him. He loved all.”

To see everything happening in Louisville sometimes even along the street that bears his name and across the country how does that make you feel?

“Well I can’t actually speak for Muhammad because he can speak for himself but a few things he taught me and that was respect for all mankind. One thing I asked him, I was always asking him questions when I was younger growing up and he told me that there’s good and bad in every race and every religion. There’s good and bad,” Williams said.

The final question of the interview I had to ask what she misses the most about the GOAT?

With tears in her eyes, she responded by saying “His eyes, his kindness, his spirit, his spirit was so beautiful. To be around him he gave you energy. Even if there was a gray day outside he made the sunshine.”

I had to use the video one more time of Louisville’s own, the man who had no problem telling you “I’m still the greatest!!!”

Here’s the link to the story. -> https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/muhammad-alis-caregiver-marilyn-williams-talks-greatest-of-all-time-goat-champ/417-b3ecdbeb-97b1-4062-9e01-ecf439074c89

Contact Sherlene Shanklin at sherlene@sherleneshanklin.com or follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Sherlene Shanklin is an EMMY Award winning journalist. Two-time Society of Professional Journalists, (SPJ) winner for sports writing and best use of social media. Multiple award winner for the Associated Press. Career spans nearly 30 years with an emphasis but not limited to news in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

VIPP Communications End of 2020 Message

As the year ends, we have experienced things that we never thought would happen in our lifetime from the pandemic to the struggle for social justice. Have you ever heard the phrase, “This was the worst year and best year of my life?”  This holds true for us. 

Many of you have put a pause on business opportunities while some were able to create new ventures.  

VIPP Communications is open and still working to cater to your specialized needs while assisting the community we love and want to see get back on track. 

In 2021, we will be launching new projects and adding even more services.  We do more than public relations and event management.  You will see our name on various initiatives from diversity & inclusion, research, developing and maintaining brands to becoming a celebrity book editor.  Please look at our site for additional services.

We will also begin to add additional team members once the pandemic is officially over and travel restrictions are lifted.  We believe in mentoring those who are willing to learn in a professional setting. 

We just wanted to thank you for the business, and we look forward to working with you in 2021. 

Take a look at our website http://www.vippcommunications.com. Follow us on social: FB/IG @vippcommunications & Twitter @vippcomm

The VIPP Report: One of the world’s top African American sculptors is honored by his hometown

Ed Hamilton named Louisvillian of the Year

(Louisville, KY) You’ve seen his works from The Amistad, Muhammad Ali’s steel boxing gloves both in Louisville, The African American Civil War Memorial, ‘Spirit of Freedom’ in Washington to the Unfinished March of the late Dr. Martin Luther King in Newport News.  Now, the American Advertising Federation of Louisville announces that Ed Hamilton will receive the “Louisvillian of the Year” award. 

Hamilton is receiving the award for his outstanding achievement and generous personal contributions in the areas of civic, educational and business.  The sculptor only needed to possess only one of the three, but this talented humanitarian is a true community ambassador who works tirelessly who in turn is an inspiration to so many within Louisville and communities around the U.S. The national acclaimed sculptor gives his time and talents.

Ed Hamilton says “As a citizen of Louisville, KY, I’m proud and honored to have been chosen as the recipient of the 2020 Louisvillian of the Year award.  I know I owe my success to many who saw my talent during the early years of my artistic journey.

It is in the spirit of family, parents that adopted me and are now deceased, Edward Norton and Amy Jane Camp Hamilton.   They raised me to have respect for all people, the value of hard work and development of moral values.  This enabled me to extend myself into the Louisville community. 

To the love of my life and soul mate of 54 years of marriage, Bernadette, I seriously believe if not for her love and support, I would not be the man, the father, or the artist that I am today.  How lucky I am to be alive today.

I extend blessings to all past recipients and indeed I’m in good company.”

Other works Hamilton has designed is the 16th President of the United States and Kentucky native Abraham Lincoln with the Lincoln Memorial which is located along the Ohio River in downtown Louisville. He’s known for but not limited to is The Booker T. Washington Memorial in Hampton, VA, Joe Louis Memorial in Detroit, MI, and the Amistad Memorial in New Haven, CT just to name a few of the many works you can visit around the U.S. 

To learn more about Ed Hamilton and his works contact, Sherlene Shanklin with VIPP Communications for appearance and speaking engagement availability at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com.

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VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

The VIPP Report: Putting the ‘Soul’ back into WLOU & 104.7FM

THE HEART AND “SOUL” OF THE URBAN COMMUNITY CHANGES MUSIC FORMAT AS IT CONTINUES TO USE ITS VOICE AS A PLATFORM FOR CHANGE

(Louisville, KY) On Friday, August 7, 2020 at 10:47 am the sound of 1350AM WLOU & 104.7FM returned to its original format of soul music.

With the new stereo sound, you will see a new logo and station tagline, but the roots of the station remain intact but with a broader appeal from news and information but filling a void in the community when it comes to soul music. The format will give listeners an opportunity to go back down memory lane with music from Earth, Wind & Fire, O’Jays, Stylistics, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, Sade, Isley Brothers, Anita Baker plus many more.

“The Original Soul of Louisville” adds Archie Dale as the General Manager and Mark Gunn as Program Director and Afternoon Drive On-Air Personality to the already dynamic team of Krystal “Miss Krystal” Goodner in the Morning Drive and others to be announced.

With 70 years on the airwaves, WLOU is one of the oldest urban stations in the U.S. So, when it was acquired by David B. Smith Sr., long time radio personality, program director and co-owner of Kentuckiana Broadcast Group he wanted to make sure its rich history was celebrated but also be a voice for African Americans. Gunn says “We’re reaching the underserved adult Black demographic by going a lot deeper musically than the other Gold based stations in the market. In addition to REAL Soul Music, WLOU continues to deal with the soul of Louisville by directly addressing social issues we are facing today and to be an information hub to our listeners not only on the air, in the community but on our social platforms.

Smith’s love for radio has been a constant especially in Louisville and Southern Indiana so when he heard that the station maybe acquired from someone outside the region he says “Passing up the opportunity to purchase such a legendary station was not an option. The possibility of WLOU being owned by anyone not from here just wouldn’t be right”. “I’m honored to walk in the footsteps of former owner The Reverend Dr. William E. Summers III”.

With more than 30 years in the radio industry, Smith says they are not deleting the Gospel programming but moving it to our sister station, AM 1240, WLLV.

For additional information, contact VP/GM WLOU/WLLV Archie Dale at 502.776.1240

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HISTORY

On October 21st, 1951, AM 1350, WLOU hit the airwaves as the Soul Of Louisville to become one of the first five full-time R&B stations in the country and over time, one of the top – rated stations in the nation.

The tradition of excellence and service to the Black Community was brought to the forefront by legendary on–air personalities like “Super Neal” O’Ray, Brenda “20th Century Fox” Banks, Bill Price and Tony Fields to name a few with The Reverend Doctor William E. Summers III leading the charge.

VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

The VIPP Report: Kentucky Woman Is Making Waves In The Entertainment Industry

ericka-malone

FROM STAGEPLAYS TO A DRAMA SERIES AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

(Las Vegas, Nevada) Louisville native Ericka Nicole Malone, CEO of Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment, LLC is making a name for herself in the film/television industry. Malone is the creative behind many projects you see from tv, the big screen to stage plays. Now, the screenwriter, playwriter, producer and director announce an animation project and several projects in the optioned phase. One we can discuss is a one-hour TV drama series entitled ‘Della’.  The scripted drama illustrates and puts a spotlight on corruption against women in an urban Kentucky town where a Black female vigilante unleashes her revenge. It will leave you at the edge of your seat.

Malone to date has produced more than nine stage plays which include “In Love with Tyrone”, starring actors Robin Givens, and Leon.

One of her most recent projects, she was the executive producer for “Ward of the State” sitcom pilot. It tells the story of a rich heiress accustomed to a certain lifestyle loss it all after her fourth husband suddenly dies leaving her broke forcing her to move in with her daughter into a middle-class neighborhood. The cast consist of Janet Hubert (Fresh Prince of Bel Air), Aloma Wright (Suits) and Vanessa Williams (Soul Food.)

Ericka Nicole Malone says “There’s so many things that I’m grateful for even during a pandemic we are still able to tell great stories.  I have first-hand knowledge of Louisville because its home to me.  I hate to see everything happening from protests to the Breonna Taylor case.  That’s a storyline that the world is watching unfold.  Even, with so much uncertainty, I still want young people in the community to know that you can achieve even with adversity.  I’m a testimony and I want to be a positive example not only for people who look like me but anyone trying to follow their dreams.  Every opportunity I get to go home I do.  There’s so many unsung heroes that need their story told and I hope someday I will get to tell them.”

To see read Ericka Nicole Malone’s bio and project list go to www.erickanicolemalone.com. To setup an interview contact Sherlene Shanklin at VIPP Communications at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com.

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Ericka

http://www.erickanicolemalone.com

VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  www.vippcommunications.com

The VIPP Report: Metro Disability Coalition announces their Breaking Barriers Spotlight Award honorees

dshull

       METRO DISABILITY COALITION THANK THEIR UNSUNG HEROES AT AN AWARDS CEREMONY

(Louisville, KY) The Metro Disability Coalition invites you to attend their 21st Annual Breaking Barriers Spotlight Awards on Monday, March 16th from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at the Rudd Heart & Lung Center located at 201 Abraham Flexner Way.

There will be a reception prior to the ceremony for special guests, honorees and those participating in the program.   This year’s theme is Working Toward a Fully Accessible Community for All Disabled Individuals.

MDCThe awards ceremony will honor community unsung heroes and community leaders in their various fields from service workers, educators to youth who go above and beyond the call of duty to assist those in need. Several Jefferson County Public Schools, (JCPS) students and faculty will be honored.

Here’s a list of this year’s Breaking Barriers Spotlight Award honorees:

Ms. BJ Levis

Lifetime Achievement Award

Nina Mosely

Merit Award

Dia Erpenbeck

Cedric Jones

Jenny Tyree

Sonora Crosby

Jodi Grajek

Cheikh El Moustapha

Certificate of Merit

United Auto Workers Ramp Building Program

Community Honoree

Breaking Barriers Spotlight Student & Teacher Awards recipients: 

Students

Ava Baker

Goldsmith Elementary

Makenzie Harman

Georia Chaffie Tapp

Gabrielle Runyon

duPont Manual High School

Teachers

Pamela St. John

ECE Teacher

Lincoln Elementary

Performing Arts School

Eileen Foote

Implementation Coach

Crosby Middle School

Christina Delk

Itinerant Teacher

Marion C. Moore High School

Our guest speaker will be Rev. Corrie Shull, Senior Pastor of the Burnett Avenue Baptist Church.  He also serves as the sixth district board member for the Jefferson County Public Schools Board of Education.  Under his leadership at Burnett Ave, the congregation has experienced tremendous growth through the addition of hundreds of families into church membership, creating relevant ministries, implementing twenty-first century technology and embracing new and dynamic ways of engaging people from all walks of life for the purpose of life transformation.

A proponent of education, Rev. Shull holds degrees from Fisk University and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and works as an adjunct professor for Louisville area colleges.

Some our special guests will be Michelle Dillard, Assistant Superintendent, JCPS; Metro Council President David James and Metro Councilwoman Barbara Sexton-Smith.

We would like to thank the following that support the Metro Disability Coalition not only for this event but support us throughout the year: University of Louisville Health, Bates Memorial Disability Ministry.

Bridgehaven, The Center for Accessible Living, Council on Developmental Disabilities, Dayspring, God’s Gatekeepers St Stephen Youth Ushers, Independence Seekers, Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare. KIPDA, Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission. NAMI, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Superior Van & Mobility.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Marcellus Mayes by calling 502-774-8993 or Ronel McCombs at 502-836-1245

If you would like to setup an interview with a member of the Metro Disability Coalition for the 21st Annual Breaking Barriers Spotlight Awards held on Monday, March 16th at the Rudd Heart & Lung Center please contact VIPP Communications at  info@vippcommunications.com.

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The Metro Disability Coalition is an organization of individuals and agencies in Louisville, KY who advocate for those with disabilities to have a better quality of life.  The 501c (3) organization was established in 2001.

Metro Disability Coalition Board Members

Marcellus Mayes, Bobbie James, Cheryl Medley, Ronel McCombs, Chuck Rogers, Beverly Peterson, Elaine Weisbard, Ira Grupper, Ronnie White, Teddy Young, Antonio Wickliffe, Manetta Lemkheitir, Charlie Sims, Grace Smith, Bill Wright and Goldina Lofton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The VIPP Report: The Stamina Foundation Throws Their “Rose” Into the Kentucky Derby Gala Field

With an over-the-top couture fashion show led by a Project Runway designer and entertainment by a Grammy Award nominated artist the Grandstand Gala is a sure bet

(Louisville, KY) The Stamina Foundation is happy to announce their inaugural Grandstand Gala during Kentucky Derby weekend in Louisville, KY.  As racing fans begin to arrive in the city, they will find out that this event on Thursday, April 30th will set the tone for style influencers trying to make a fashion statement during the Run for the Roses.  The Grandstand Gala will take place at the Kentucky International Convention Center, (KICC) Ballroom at 7:00 p.m. located at 221 S. 4th Street.

The lavish Derby event will have a red-carpet entrance as partygoers enjoy a runway style show featuring Project Runway’s Season 17 and Louisville native Frankie Lewis’, Frankie Lew Demi-Couture Collection.  The designer will debut her summer collection with one of a kind pieces. We will give you an exclusive look periodically showing you the designer working and creating right up until the models hit the runway Derby week.

Frankie Lew Is a demi couture fashion house that specializes in artistic clothing for every occasion. Guests should feel free to be bold and make a statement. Unconventional materials are our favorite because they destroy the limits of fashion and expression. Join us in a night of wearable art and fashion freedom.

Dr. Ashley Anderson, co-founder of the Grandstand Gala understands that the world not only watches the “Run for Roses” but for its unique and bold style. She says “The Kentucky Derby is known across the world for its fashion! This event pays homage to that by tapping Project Runway Designer and Louisville’s own, Frankie Lewis to provide inspiration for attendee attire and by putting designs from artists, designers and boutiques on display in a live fashion exhibition.  We couldn’t be more excited about this event.”

Grammy Award nominated artist Raheem DeVaughn will be the Grandstand Gala’s featured entertainer.  The R&B and Neo Soul artist known as “Radio Raheem” and “The Love King” continues to make great music with hits like “Woman”, “Just Right”, “You”, “Ridiculous” and his latest hit the “Love Reunion” is his seventh studio album entitled by the same name.

The singer/songwriter will take Derby fans through a love experience as we countdown Kentucky Derby 146.  DJ Reggie Reg will provide entertainment throughout the evening.

During the gala, NBA champion and Louisville native Derek Anderson and his wife, entrepreneur and community leader Dr. Ashley Anderson will present this year’s Grandstand Gala 2020 award honorees.  The AOK Inspiration Award will be presented to Allan Houston, former NBA all-star.  The AOK Commitment to the Community Award will be presented to Nicole Hayden, founder of Friends of Nicole 50/50 Mentoring Collaborative, Inc.

Houston, a Louisville native played in the NBA for 12 seasons in which he played for the New York Knicks nine of those seasons. He also won a gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.  The two-time NBA all-star shooting guard retired and currently serves as special assistant to the general manager for the Knicks and the general manager of the Westchester Knicks, the Knicks’ G League team.  He’s not being honored for his accomplishments on the court but what he’s done off the court as a humanitarian through the Allan Houston Legacy Foundation and the Allan Houston Mentoring Initiative.  Houston is married to Tamara Houston and they have seven children.

Hayden, a Louisville native and Miss Plus America 2014 works tirelessly to educate the community with the resources and information needed to build confidence and leadership skills essential for transitioning youth through their educational journey.  The Founder & President of Friends of Nicole 50/50 Mentoring Collaborative Inc. gives her opportunities to be a role model.  Her #IOWNCONFIDENCE campaign motivates and inspires not only locally but nationally.

Derek Anderson, co-founder of the Grandstand Gala says “We’re so excited to bring a new event to our city.  The Grandstand Gala will offer the unique opportunity to celebrate Derby week and support the local fashion scene while supporting the mission and programming of the Stamina Foundation within the community.”

Tickets are $150 for individual tickets and they can be purchased on Eventbrite.  To reserve a table and/or to be a sponsor contact DrA@AshleyDAnderson.com.

Proceeds from the inaugural Grandstand Gala held on Thursday, April 30th at the KICC benefit the programs of the Stamina Foundation.  The foundation is a 501©3 organization with the mission to empower youth and young adults with the resources and life skills they need to follow their dreams.

The Stamina Foundation will pursue this mission with educational programming and events throughout the year, but the first major project will be the development of the Stamina Academy. The purpose of the Stamina Academy is to teach life skills to youth both in and out of the school system with the goal of bringing this generation back to life’s basic skills: manners, being respectful to others, self-confidence, self-motivation, and self-education.

Youth today are greatly influenced by their peers and social media. Without proper guidance or a positive infrastructure, they tend to go down a bad road, which results in negative, long-term life consequences. Stamina will teach youth to identify and pursue their passions and to focus on being great instead of trying to fit in. For additional information go to http://www.staminafd.com.

To obtain media credentials and/or to setup interviews contact Sherlene Shanklin, VIPP Communications at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com. ***Stay tuned for special guest announcements. ***

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musi#EverythingisAOK

 

The VIPP Report: Miss USA Deshauna Barber will be in Louisville to speak at Black Achievers Celebration

GTY_deshauna_barber_courtestyABC

By Sherlene M. Shanklin

With scholarship as their main objective, the Chestnut Street Family YMCA Black Achievers program announces their keynote speaker for their 41st celebration.

Miss USA 2016 DeShauna Barber will be the keynote speaker.  The U.S. Army Reserve Captain will motivate young aspiring leaders to stay disciplined as they follow their dreams even when there’s a hardship not to stop trying to reach their goals.

Youth Achiever of the Year is Tajalia Tillman who attends DuPont Manual High School.

The 41st YMCA Black Achievers Celebration will be held on Saturday, February 22nd at the Galt House Hotel at 5:30pm.  Tickets are $100 per person and they can be purchases and the Chestnut Street YMCA or by emailing ljohnson@ymcalouisville.org.

The YMCA Black Achievers Program includes events such as Spring Break College Tours, Community Service Projects, Leadership training, ACT workshops, college & career fairs plus much more.

I have the great honor of announcing the scholarships and institutions they plan to attend.  For many families, this will be the first time they will hear the school and the amount of scholarship money their child will receive.  It’s truly an exciting moment and I have to say that when I received the long list of names and the amount of money they will get in scholarships it’s super impressive and I can only imagine what their families will feel on Saturday.

Congratulations to the scholars of the Chestnut Street Family YMCA Black Achievers.  Our future is in great hands with your leadership.

The VIPP Report: Raphael Saadiq makes a stop at Paristown Hall

Raphael saadiq promotion photo

Saadiq writes about real-life situations that no one wants to talk about but necessary for healing and you get a chance to hear him live at Paristown Hall

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It’s exciting to see how much the entertainment circuit has grown over the years in the Bluegrass market. All types of genres, all forms of art and of course the area has some top notch venues.

Grammy Award winning R & B musician, songwriter and the man artists go to for collaborations will be in Louisville for a concert.

Raphael Saadiq will be at the Old Forester Paristown Hall on Monday, February 17th. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the show will begin at 8:00 p.m. with some new music off of his latest solo project, Jimmy Lee. It was released in August.

The former member of Tony! Toni! Tone! entitled the album after his late brother who died of a heroin overdose.  Through music, Saadiq will take you through the journey of addiction and later loss which many times causes confusion and sadness.

Over Saadiq’s 40 year career, he has many chart-topping hits from “Something Keeps Calling”, “Good Man” to “Ask of You”.  He’s produced songs for John Legend, Solange Knowles, TLC, En Vogue and the late Whitney Houston.

General admission tickets are $35.00 but if you feel like a V.I.P. experience that evening they have a premium ticket which will cost you a little more. Also, there’s a meet and greet ticket available.

The VIPP Report: Showcasing Kentucky Black Authors in Lexington at an Expo

AuthorsExpoLexington2020

In celebration of Black History Month, it’s the Kentucky Black Authors Expo at the Lyric Theatre, 300 E. Third Street in Lexington on Saturday, February 22nd from 11:00am to 4:00pm.

Some of the authors featured will be Rev. Dr. Jim Thurman, Frank “X” Walker, Rev. Dr.C.B. Akins, Rev. Herbert Owens, Vanessa Sanford, Ron Spriggs, Dr. Junior Greenlee, Rosetta Quisenberry. James “Chali” Jones, Shonda White plus many other talented writers.

The Kentucky Black Authors Expo is free and open to the public.

AuthorsExpoLexington

 

The VIPP Report: Ball N’ Out is common for Rupp Arena but Wild N’ Out takes over in March

wild n out

There’s some shows that you just can’t turn away from. I’m surfing the channels and I always have to stop on MTV’s Wild N’ Out. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable when it comes to pop culture but I literally learn something new every time I watch that show.  It’s a rap and comedy battle on steroids, performances by top artists and the latest in trends. With its resurgence of the show Nick Cannon has decided to hit the road.

Save the date of Tuesday, March 24th for Wild N’ Out in Lexington, KY.  The show will be held in Rupp Arena.

Fans of the show can expect some standup as well as some music performances.  Some of the cast members you will get to see on tour, DC Young Fly, Karious Miller, Emmanuel Hudson, Justina Valentine and DJ D-Wreck.  The 27-city tour kicks off in March with the lineup changing up for each city along with some surprise guests.

Tickets start around $30.00.  You can purchase tickets at LiveNation.com, Ticketmaster.com and the Lexington Center Ticket Office.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at thevippreport@vippcommunications.com.  Follow us on Twitter @thevippreport @vippcomm.

The VIPP Report: Celebrating the Legacy of Black Louisville with entertainment memories from the past

Jazz at the Top Hat 2020

(Louisville, KY) Music is healing to the soul and jazz is the essence of the heart and when you combine the two, you celebrate music and its legacy.  Legacies Unlimited Inc. presents Jazz At The Top Hat Club featuring the jazz renderings of saxophonist Rick DeBow and The Palm Room Crew on Friday, January 24th at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (KCAAH) located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd formerly known as Old Walnut Street at 7:30pm.

Although members of the group CRISIS have not played as a unit for a number of years, they will come together as The Palm Room Crew for this Jazz At The Top Hat event.

We invite you to The Top Hat Club, it’s the place to be and to be seen as we celebrate the legacy of Black Louisville. Tickets are $35 for general admission.

On Saturday, January 25th, it’s “Ladies Night Out” with The Walnut Street Revue.  We take you back to the 1930’s, 40’s and 50s.  Louisville legends song stylist Tanita Gaines and showstopper Sheryl Rouse will perform.

Ken Clay, founder of Legacies Unlimited says “Its two evenings full of great music and memories.  We take you down memory lane as we remember our music legends from Louisville in particular Old Walnut with music powerhouses of today.  We will also honor an entertainer on that Saturday with the Helen Humes Jazz Legend Award.  We’ve only given the award to a handful of people over the years, but we feel the particular artist we will honor is so deserving.  We invite you both evenings as we party Old Walnut Street style.”

The award is named in honor of Helen Humes. A jazz and blues singer from Louisville, KY who was a vocalist with Count Basie’s band.  Enthusiasts and historians have documented that Humes was a vital voice in the swing-era.  Helping them shape and define the sound of vocal swing music.  The only child of a school teacher and her father was the first black attorney in the city.  In 1937, Basie asked Humes to join his band, replacing Billie Holiday. The Louisville music icon  recorded her last album in 1980 and died from cancer in 1981 at the age of 68 years old.

Tickets for The Walnut Street Revue are $50 for general admission and $60 for cabaret seating. (limited space)

Celebrating the Legacy of Black Louisville is presented by Legacies Unlimited in partnership with the KCAAH.  It is made possible through support from Christy Brown, the Owsley Brown II Family Foundation, Hardscuffle Inc., WLKY-TV and George & Mary Lee Fischer.

Tickets for the both JAZZ AT THE TOP HAT and WALNUT STREET REVUE are available at Better Days Records in Lyles Mall or at 1765 Bardstown Road. You can also purchase them online at redpintix.com.

Please announce and/or post our event to your entertainment/event calendar.  To set-up an interview, please contact VIPP Communications at  info@vippcommunications.com.

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Jazz at the TOP Hat 2020 BACK

The VIPP Report: It’s the countdown into the new year benefiting area youth

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The Stamina Foundation rings in 2020 with a clear vision for the year ahead

(Louisville, KY) The Stamina Foundation presents their inaugural New Year’s Eve Soiree hosted by Louisville native former NCAA & NBA Champion Derek Anderson and his wife Dr. Ashley Anderson at the Hyatt Regency Louisville at 9:00 p.m.

It will be an evening filled with great entertainment by The Unlimited Show Band featuring Sheryl Rouse and DJ Reggie Regg.  There will be a special performance by Hannah Drake that you don’t want to miss.  The emcee for the evening will be Oremeyi Kareem.

It’s a party with a purpose benefiting the Stamina Foundation Food Insecurity Endowment that will be used to support initiatives in the community combating hunger among our youth. General admission tickets are $75, and VIP is $125.  You can purchase them on Eventbrite.com.

Please post our announcement on your NYE event calendars and announce on your shows.  If you have any questions and/or would like to setup an interview, contact booking@vippcommunications.com.

The Stamina Foundation New Year’s Eve Soiree was made possible due to the support of the following community leaders who tirelessly give back to organizations who are trying to make a difference through compassion.  A special thank you to: Papa John’s, Pride Realty, Nail Talk, Citizens Union Bank, Republic Bank, LGE and KU Foundation, WellCare, Norton Healthcare, AFM Threads, VOME’, Simply Thai and Heine Brothers.  To be a sponsor and/or purchase a table contact us at AOK@staminafd.com.

To learn more about the Stamina Foundation visit www/staminafd.com.

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VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production fivippnewlogorm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  http://vippcommunications.com

The VIPP Report: WLPAA 30 Year Celebration: “A Million Dreams”

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(Louisville, KY) The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy (WLPAA) will host its 30 Year Celebration: “A Million Years” 6:00 p.m. Saturday December 14, 2019 at the Omni Hotel Louisville in the Olmstead Ballroom.

The emcee for the evening will be the Honorable District #4 Councilwoman, Barbara Sexton Smith. Special guest for the evening will be the Honorable Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville.

Come!!  Enjoy!! The evening will be filled with the “sounds of hope,” orchestral sounds from Jubals Strings, and fine dining, and tribute will be given to McDaniel Bluitt, founder/director of the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy, for 30 years of service.

The Academy invites you to support the children as they celebrate this momentous occasion. Adult tickets are $100.00, student tickets are $50.00.  All tickets may be purchased at: Artspace, 4th floor 323 West Broadway

For more information regarding the 30 Year Celebration contact Kathy Washington, Event Coordinator (502) 235-0745.

To arrange an interview with McDaniel Bluitt, founder of the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy, contact: info@vippcommunications.com or http://www.westlouisvilleperformjngarts.org.

History

West Louisville Boys Choir began in November 1990. The choir is directed by McDaniel Bluitt, a retired vocal music teacher with twenty-nine (29) years of experience. He received his B. M. ED. from the University of Louisville School of Music and a Masters in Counseling from Western Kentucky University. The Boys Choir has performed throughout the commonwealth, for mayors, governors other national dignitaries. The Boys Choir’s first European Tour established international prominence in Paris, France and London, England. They received a superior rating during their first international music competition in the Bahamas. They were also awarded first place in the Music Festival at Sea.

The West Louisville Girls Choir made its debut in November 2002. The choir is directed by Mrs. Mamie Bluitt who received her B.M.ED. from the University of Louisville School of Music. The Girls Choir is also a performing choir.   Some of its more notable performances are: Governor Patton’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration in Frankfort, Kentucky, ECHO, Women for Women Conference and at Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Their first Southwestern Tour to Texas was held in 2010.

 

The VIPP Report: Tickets go on sale today for legendary ‘Supreme’ Diana Ross

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Courtesy: Louisville Palace Promotions

Ross will ease on down to the Palace in 2020.  The superstar will be in Louisville at the Louisville Palace on Sunday, February 23rd

Ross is one of the most successful recording artists of our time.  The Motown legend got her start as the lead singer for the Supremes and then went on to have an unbelievable solo career with hits like “I’m Coming Out”, “Endless Love”,” “Touch Me in the Morning” just to name a handful of her mega hits. 

The multi-Grammy Award winning performer will be backed up by a six-piece band during her show.  Her last performance in Louisville was April 26, 2012.

Tickets go on sale today at 10:00 am for the Louisville, Kentucky concert.

If you have a story idea, send it to thevippreport@vippcommunications,com.  Follow us on Twitter @thevippreport.   

The VIPP Report: Junior J releases his latest single and gives his hometown a chance to hear it first

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RISING R&B ARTIST RELEASES LATEST SINGLE AT A RELEASE PARTY THIS SUNDAY

 (Louisville, KY) Louisville native singer/songwriter Junior “Junior J” Jackson invites you to his I’m Selfish, A Day with Junior J on Sunday, November 3rd at the Mellwood Arts Center, 1860 Mellwood Avenue.  The party is from 5:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Junior J’s single release party featuring TEO will be hosted by Louisville natives Black and Smoke E. Digglera.  The two R&B stars are members of Playa formed in the Derby City and now they are the two newest members of Dru Hill.

DJ Lifesaver will control the vibe throughout the evening with R & B and Soul music fans in mind.

Junior J SelfishcoverJunior J says “This is a surreal moment for me.  It’s been a long time coming and now I have an opportunity to share my music with the world thanks to J Rock Entertainment.  I’m honored and grateful for the support of my city that’s why I wanted them to get a sneak preview of what’s ahead.  To have Smoke E. Digglera and Black host this event is monumental.  To have these two talented artists support me is a big deal and when I get the opportunity to return the favor to an up and coming artist, I will do the same.”

After Junior J’s party he begins to prepare for Saturday, November 9th at the KFC Yum! Center where he will open for the Louisville Soul Music Festival featuring Keith Sweat, Anthony Hamilton, Joe and Angie Stone.

To setup an interview and/or request additional information on Junior “Junior J” Jackson contact VIPP Communications at info at vippcommunications dot com. 

To book Junior J for your concert and/or event contact J Rock Entertainment at jrock216@gmail.com.

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The VIPP Report: The first African American secretary for the Smithsonian visits KCAAH in Louisville

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By Sherlene M. Shanklin

On September 25th at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage they hosted An Extraordinary Evening with Dr. Lonnie Bunch.

Dr. Bunch is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute.  That consists of 19 museums, nine research centers and the National Zoo.  He was previously the founding director of the National Museum of African American History.

The Heritage Center is located a 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard in Louisville, Ky.

See link for my WHAS11.com photo gallery Dr. Lonnie Bunch in Louisville, Ky

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The VIPP Report: Chris Tucker announces Kentucky comedy show

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Twenty-twenty is shaping up to be a big year for entertainment coming to the Bluegrass.  Comedian/actor Chris Tucker announces his return to Louisville.  The Rush Hour and Friday star has attended the Kentucky Derby and other events while in Louisville. He even took the stage to sing with the late Teena Marie at the Grand Gala, a Kentucky Derby Event but this time he will take the stage to do stand up.  Save the date of Friday, March 6th at the Louisville Palace.

Tickets are already on sale and they start at $39.50.  Doors will open at 7:00 p.m. and the show begins at 8:00 p.m. Fans will not be allowed to take photos and/or record portions of the show.  Tucker and his team just want you to sit back and just take in the comedy experience.

 

The VIPP Report: Snoop Dogg’s I Wanna Thank Me Tour will make a stop in Louisville

Snoop Dogg scheduled to perform in Louisville

Courtesy: Snoop Dogg promotional photo for I Wanna Thank Me Tour

Special Announcement by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11, ABC Affiliate Louisville

When you get a song stuck in your head and you begin to sing it, everyone around you tends to hum it too.  I started singing Snoop’s song and everyone wanted to know why I was humming his song.  You didn’t hear?  He’s coming to Louisville.  The “I Wanna Thank Me” Tour will drop it like it’s hot at the Louisville Palace on Saturday, January 25th.

Doors will open at 7:00 p.m. for the hip hop superstar.  The show will begin at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets go on sale Friday, October 25th at 10 am.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at The411@whas11.com.  You can follow me on social for the latest in entertainment and community news.

The VIPP Report: JB Smoove performs at the Kentucky Center

JB Smoove

Courtesy: JB Smoove official promo photo

Special contribution Sherlene M. Shanklin, WHAS11, The411, ABC Louisville

(Louisville, KY) The Kentucky Center presents multi-talented comedian/actor Jerry “JB Smoove” Brooks.  The author of The Book of Leon: Philosophy of a Fool, based on his character Leon where he’s loved by so many fans who watch the HBO comedy series “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.  He actually got his start by appearing on Def Comedy Jam in 1995.  He’s appeared on countless shows and programs from Saturday Night Live, ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat to the Real Husbands of Hollywood.

He will be at the Kentucky Center on Friday, October 25th in Bomhard Theater.  His stand up act is for mature adults due to the language and theme of the show.

Tickets are $38.50 and they are still available at the time of this report.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at The411@whas11.com.  You can follow me on social for the latest in community and entertainment news.

FB: @Sherlene Shanklin

Twitter: @sherlenemediapr

IG: @sherlenemediapro

 

The VIPP Report: Music industry professional gives back by hosting a free workshop in Louisville

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Learn the industry standard from the man who secretly shapes artists for major labels

(Louisville, KY) Have you ever wondered how some aspiring artist(s) get the record deal while others do not?  It’s all about the A, B, C’s of Music and being able to understand what the label expects from you.  On Sunday, October 13th in Louisville, KY by one of the best kept secrets in the music industry Dorian “King D” Washington will host a “Music 101” workshop at the Hardrock Café at Fourth Street Live from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The free music workshop will discuss publishing, radio, marketing, music plus much more.  This event is for anyone wanting to learn about the industry and how it works.

The question many artists ask, “Do I have to move?”  Washington says, “You can make it from anywhere no excuse.”  Where did he get that mentality?  You have to hear his story and road to success on the Sunday, October 13th.

“Music 101” Louisville was made possible due to the partnership of The Orchard, Sony Music, New Wave Distribution, South Coast Music Group, Hitmaker and D. Wash Management.

Space is limited so to sign up for the workshop and/or request additional information send your information to dorian at newwavedistro dot com.

If you would like to setup an interview Dorian Washington and/or to be a sponsor for future industry events, please contact VIPP Communications at sshanklin at vippcommunications dot com. 

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The Hardrock Café is located at 424 S. 4th Street in downtown Louisville, KY.

VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  http://vippcommunications.com

 

The VIPP Report: The Kingdom Choir will perform in Kentucky

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They were introduced to the world when they performed “Stand By Me” at the 2018 Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

Now, The Kingdom Choir announces their North American tour.  On Wednesday, October 16th they will travel to Louisville  and perform at Brown Theatre.

Founded in 1994. The choir draws their inspiration from various Christian traditions and is dedicated to creating a sound that reflects the community.

Tickets start at $25.00 for the two hour show.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at thevippreport at vippcommunications dot com.

 

The VIPP Report: KCAAH will host a grand re-introduction event featuring the first secretary the Smithsonian

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Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 an ABC affiliate, Louisville

Louisville, KY,  When you think of re-introduction you think about how you are going to embrace change.  The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (Heritage Center) will turn a page to history by starting a new chapter with the launch of their Inaugural Quarterly Membership event that they are calling “An Extraordinary Evening” honoring Dr. Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution on Wednesday, September 25th at the Heritage Center from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

I’ve had several people ask me who is Dr. Bunch?  He’s the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian and the first African American to hold the position.  He assumed the position on June 16, 2019 where he now oversees 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, along with numerous research centers and several education units and centers.

His past position was the director of Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The re-introduction event will hold it’s first bourbon tasting west of 9th Street which will feature 12 top tier exclusive brands which they call the “Bourbon Alley”.  Woodford Reserve’s Master Taster Katie Farley will be sharing her craft with the guests. At this event, they will also honor the first African American master distiller on record Uncle Nearest.

Did you know that Brough Brothers Distillery has a micro-distillery in West Louisville?  They will also be apart of the event.

Dr. Neeli Bendapudi, President of UofL will serve as the emcee for the event as Mayor Greg Fischer, and other elected officials and dignitaries will be in attendance as guests enjoy a tour of new exhibits, cocktails, food pairings and of course networking opportunities.

For additional information visit the Heritage Center’s site at www.kcaah.org.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at The411@whas11.com.  You can follow me on social for the real-time news and announcements at Twitter @sherlenemediapr & FB @SherleneShanklin.

The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage is located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.

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Sherlene Shanklin: KCAAH welcomes Dr. Lonnie Bunch of the Smithsonian

The VIPP Report: KCAAH’s Grand Re-Introduction Event Featuring Dr. Lonnie Bunch

An Extraordinary Evening

KCAAH’s Grand Re-Introduction Event Featuring Dr. Lonnie Bunch

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Kentucky Center for African American Heritage

1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd, Louisville, KY

 LOUISVILLE, Ky. September 25 –The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage  (Heritage Center)  is embracing the change of season with a rebirth on Wednesday, September 25th from 5 – 8:30 pm. The evening will launch the Inaugural Quarterly Membership Event with “An Extraordinary Evening” honoring esteemed guest Dr. Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and Founding Director, National Museum of African American History.  In June 2019, Dr. Bunch assumed the helm as the 14th Secretary – and first African American – of the 19 museums of the Smithsonian Institution; its nine research centers, and the National Zoo.

The evening will begin with Louisville’s first bourbon tasting west of 9th Street, featuring 12 top tier, exclusive brands. Katie Farley, Woodford Reserve’s Master Taster will be sharing her craft in this “Bourbon Alley”. Sample Uncle Nearest, the small batch whiskey distilled to honor the first African American master distiller on record in the U.S, and Brough Brothers spirits crafted by our neighbors in the West End. These and other featured brands pay homage to the center’s drive for inclusivity.

Dr. Neeli Bendapudi will emcee our program of comments from Dr. Bunch and Aukram Burton, Heritage Center Executive Director, special presentations by elected officials, and a tour of Heritage Center new exhibits, cocktails, southern savory food pairings, and networking opportunities will all follow.

Doors will open at 5pm on September 25th at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. Obtain entry with the purchase of a “Circle of Friends” membership to the Heritage Center for $125 per person.  In addition to admission to the Extraordinary Evening, membership benefits include admittance to three additional quarterly Heritage Center events; JB&B Holiday Celebration – Dec 2019; Miss Ida B. Wells – March 2020; Juneteenth Film Festival – June 2020.
Purchase online via Eventbrite link. Or call Kelly Dettor at 502 – 894 – 9768.

About Kentucky Center for African American Heritage
KCAAH is situated in the heart of the historic Russell Neighborhood, located in Louisville’s West End Corridor, an area undergoing revitalization and slated to become an arts and cultural district.
Located at 18th and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, the Heritage center occupies a 55,000 sq. foot campus and overlooks the area that once was Old Walnut Street. This area holds special significance for Kentuckiana’s African American community.
The Heritage Center is the result of a collection of African American educators, artists, and historians who have collaborated to give the long-dormant history of African American’s in their region the voice and platform it deserves.  This group evolved from the Louisville and Jefferson County African American Heritage Committee into its current mold, with a single unifying goal of promoting the Kentuckiana region’s black heritage.
The Center is a vital contemporary institution, providing space for performances of all types giving the rich heritage of African Americans the platform they deserve. The Center’s long-term goals include various spaces for career specific learning for students such as music, recording, trade industries and theater. 
1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd., Louisville, KY  40203

www.kcaah.org

Sponsors for the Grand Re-Introduction event include:

Presenting Sponsor, Brown-Forman;

Platinum Sponsors, Humana; University of Louisville, Office of Research and Innovation

Reception Sponsor, Strothman and Company

Supporting Table Sponsors: AARP KY, ACTORS Theatre, HJI Supply Chain Solutions, Louisville Healthcare CEO Council, Louisville Tourism, Republic Bank, Signature HealthCARE, TOPS Magazine, York Management, Inc.