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: 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: 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.

The VIPP Report: KCAAH announces plans to develop a Media Arts Center named to honor Kentucky native Colonel Charles Young

The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage announce plans to develop a Media Arts Center named to honor the Legendary Colonel Charles Young

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Logo_no_TxtThe Kentucky Center for African American Heritage (Heritage Center) is embarking on the expansion of a new Media Arts Center in a vacant 14,000 square foot wing on the campus. The proposed media arts center will be a state-of-the-art facility serving as the communication arm of one of the primary heritage centers in the state of Kentucky. The Media Arts Center will house a 40′ x 50′ “black-box” with a maximum seating capacity of 200, providing a unique and versatile space where artists of all disciplines showcase their creative work. The center’s layout will also include a lower and upper level. The lower level will include a dressing room with sink and toilets, green rooms, options for loading in and out, public restrooms, office and storage spaces. The upper level will include editing suites, sound booths, meeting rooms and access to the control room and lighting grid over-looking the “black-box” theatre. This venue will offer local artist and media producers a platform to produce video, theatre, music, dance, literary, public lectures, community forums and more.

The new Media Arts Center will offer a professional learning environment where media and the arts are used to promote and preserve Kentucky’s African American heritage and the shared heritage with the African Diaspora by hosting and producing programs, performances, exhibits, and a repository of video programs that will be broadcasted and/or distributed throughout Kentucky and the nation. The fund-raising goal for the project is 3.5 million dollars.

To initiate this capital campaign, the Heritage Center has retained the services of Charles Blatcher III, as the Project Fundraising Director for the construction and development of the new Colonel Charles Young Media Arts Center located on the 68,000 square foot campus in Louisville, Kentucky.

Mr. Blatcher brings a wealth of experience working as a principal organizer for the National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations (NCOBVO). The coalition came together in unity of purpose to promote a greater understanding of the important role Black service men and service women perform in the defense of the nation. As chairman, Mr. Blatcher has led the coalition as the chief advocate for Black Military History and Colonel Charles Young.  Under his leadership, the call for the posthumous honorary promotion for Colonel Charles Young to the rank of Brigadier General has gained prominence. He is not a stranger to Kentucky. He has played a major role in promoting educational tourism in the Kentucky/Ohio region. The Coalition dubbed the route connecting the Colonel’s birth cabin in Mays Lick, Kentucky to the national monument and archives in Wilberforce, Ohio as “the Colonel Charles Young Corridor.” We have seen some things move in a positive direction under his leadership.  We look forward to the expertise and dedication he brings to the Media project.  Mr. Blatcher recounts why naming the Media Arts Center in honor of Colonel Charles Young:

I welcome the opportunity to be a part of developing the Media Arts Center. Especially in the name of the legendary Colonel Charles Young. It’s an honor he deserves. In his period of history, he was more than an outstanding Soldier, he was a great communicator as a visual artist, musician, and poet, who spoke several languages. Colonel Young stood with

intellectuals of the times, such as W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, and poet, novelist, and playwright Paul Laurence Dunbar who were among his close friends.

Colonel Young has a presence in African-American art and literature. One of the most notable instances of this is Countée Cullen’s 1925 poem “In Memory of Colonel Charles Young.” Another case of Young’s legacy in literature is from his close friend, W.E.B. Du Bois, who spoke at Young’s eulogy. DuBois claimed that “The life of Charles Young was a triumph of tragedy.” Charles Young is also represented in paintings and other art. Notably, a painting by J.W. Shannon titled “Portrait of Cadet Charles Young,” which currently belongs to The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio.

He was a creative man who left behind a treasure of musical scores, poetry, and writings. The thought of him one day having his name above a Media Arts Center would have pleased him. What is pleasing for me is to think one day some of his work may be presented in a theater in a building named in his honor. I welcome being a part of making it happen. I am optimistic in the pride this effort will bring to the Community, City of Louisville and the State of Kentucky.

KCAAH is working in tandem with the Black Media Collaborative (BMC). BMC is a network of media professionals including directors, producers, writers and specialist working in the film, television, radio, animation, theatre, literature, journalism and Internet industries. BMC is dedicated to developing media literacy and skilled people in the production of media to provide significant economic, employment and cultural benefits in our community.   BMC will provide the human resource capacity to develop an onsite media production facility which will be dedicated to radio, film, video and theatre productions, which will provide both training and performing venue.

The center will also collaborate with the African American Theatre Program (AATP) at the University of Louisville. AATP produces theatrical productions about Black life in Kentucky and throughout the African Diaspora. Founded in 1993, the African American Theatre Program is committed to staging works by new and established African American dramatists, developing a broad audience for African American theatre, and offering an in-depth curriculum that focuses on the theory and craft of acting, directing, and designing for Black Theatre.

To setup and interview please contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com.

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VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event mgmt & 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://www.vippcommunications.com.

 

 

 

The VIPP Report: LCCC will raise the roof in a ceremony for a new theater

PREPARING AREA YOUTH TO BE THE GREATEST IN THE ARTS ARENA WITH A NEW THEATER ALONG THE MUHAMMAD ALI ARTS, CULTURE AND INNOVATION DISTRICT

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LCCC RAISES ROOF FOR GRAND LYRIC THEATER   

Louisville Central Community Centers, the developer of the Muhammad Ali Boulevard Arts, Culture and Innovation District, is constructing a performing arts facility to support its Kids Art Academy and the continued development of the district at its’ Old Walnut Street Development at 1300 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.

On Friday, February 15, 2019 at 10:00 am there will be a roof raising ceremony with key stakeholders in the community, LCCC and advocators to bring Muhammad Ali Blvd back to life will be in attendance to lend their support.  Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith, an arts enthusiast, former Councilman David Tandy, Fund for the Arts’ CEO, Christen Boone, and representatives of the Norton Foundation and the Gheens Foundation all have confirmed their participation in the ceremony.  Representatives of the LCCC Kids Art Academy, the Tiny Tykes Theater Troupe and the Youth Repertory Theater Troupe of Louisville will perform to celebrate this achievement.

During the era between 1940-60’s, there was a theatre that was considered the hub where artists showcased their talents, which many went on to become professional entertainers performing alongside entertainment legends like Helen Hune, the jazz and blues singer with Count Basie’s band.  So, in 2019 we will revitalize the name The Grand Theater and Lyric Theater on historic Old Walnut Street in Louisville, KY in hopes of bringing life back into the arts and the community with a rich history in arts and entertainment.

The 300-seat Grand Lyric Theater will be home to LCCC’s Kids Art Academy (KAA), a youth arts education program with a focus on all facets of performing arts for over three decades.  KAA currently serves hundreds of school-age youth annually and has produced theater troupe sell-out productions of “Broadway-quality” musicals as “Beauty and The Beast”, “Black Nativity”, “A Christmas Carol”, “Once On This Island” and the nationally acclaimed show, “The Wiz.”. This state-of-the art facility will also serve as another venue for community groups to use for training, rehearsals and performances.

National experts from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) of Washington, DC endorsed LCCC’s economic revitalization vision by recommending to our community that Muhammad Ali Blvd. between 6th to 21st Streets be transformed into a cultural arts commercial district to help create a vibrant corridor that supports economic development and job creation west of Ninth Street.  This plan aligns itself with what used to be the historic Walnut Street (now known as Muhammad Ali Blvd.) between 6th to 15th Streets, an area once the commercial heart of the black community that contained thriving businesses, professional offices, restaurants and entertainment venues prior to the razing of the commercial district by an urban renewal plan in the 1960s. This plan has been included with support of Louisville Metro and Louisville Metro Housing Authority as an important part of the transformation of Russell.

Partial funding has been provided by U. S. Housing & Urban Development through its community development block grant to the city of Louisville and a number of private sources.  To complete the theater, additional sponsorship and naming opportunities are available to support:

  • lighting, sound and recording systems – $265,000
  • main stage, staging area and loading dock area – $140,000
  • rehearsal, restrooms and dressing rooms – $270,000
  • lobby, vestibule and restrooms – $250,000
  • seating, coat check and storage – $280,000

To setup an interview to discuss the Grand Lyric Theater and/or to setup a tour after the roof raising contact VIPP Communications at booking@vippcommunications.com.  We will see you on Friday, February 15th for the ceremony.  Please arrive at least 15 minutes in advance so you can be in position to get everything you need for your stories.

 Louisville Central Community Centers Inc. is celebrating its 70th year of service to residents of the Russell neighborhood and west Louisville community.  As an anchor institution, LCCC provides an array of services including early childhood education, youth development, workforce development training, small business and neighborhood development activities.

The VIPP Report: Will he win the “Hart” of Oscar fans?

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By Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Louisville, ABC Affiliate

And the hosting duties of the 2019 Academy Awards goes to none other than comedian/actor Kevin Hart.  The Academy did not get to make the announcement but the man with 64.9 million good friends also known as his Instagram followers received the “exclusive” announcement.

Hart announced Tuesday evening by posting an Oscar with the message saying “The day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time….To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced that stage is unbelievable.”

KevinHart tour media photoThis is not the first time the academy asked Hart to be the host but Hart feels like this is the right time for him to take on this task and mark it off his bucket list.

He thanked his fans for their support and of course his close friends and family but what was so powerful was acknowledging his late mother by saying “I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now.”

The 91st Academy Awards will present some 20 plus awards for their artistic and technical merit in the film industry.  You can see the show live on Sunday, February 24, 2019 on ABC.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at the411@vippcommunications.com.  Follow Sherlene Shanklin on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr and Instagram @Sherlenemediapro.

Follow The VIPP Report on Twitter @thevippreport and @vippcomm.

The VIPP Report: Accessories that “Make A Statement”

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The holiday season is quickly approaching and many have no idea what to buy as gifts.  You find yourself getting the wrong size or the wrong color.  Why not just give them accessories that can go with anything!  VIPP Style Accessories is preparing for  Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.  Accessorize your life with great statement pieces.   The online accessories store has a little something for everyone.

Go to http://www.vippstyle.com and review their selections.  New items will be added daily to get you ready for holiday parties, gift ideas and of course New Year’s Eve.

Follow them on IG: @vipp_style; FB: @vippstyleaccessories.

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping from Team VIPP Style!!!!!

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The VIPP Report: Kin Killin’ Kin Travelling Art Exhibition in Louisville at KCAAH

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(Louisville, KY) The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage is exhibiting James Pate’s KKK Series Kin Killin’ Kin Traveling Art Exhibition September 14 – November 12, 2018. The artist James Pate’s exhibit features scenes of young African-American men donned in Ku Klux Klan hoods committing acts of violence, creating an overt comparison between gang violence and the terrorism of the KKK. Pate says, “the numbers of Blacks killed by other Blacks since reconstruction far exceeds those lynched by “Whites”. Sadly, this pattern continued year after year, up to the present day”. The Center for Disease Control cites homicide as the leading cause of death for Black males between the age of 15 and 34.

Pate’s Kin Killin’ Kin is designed to shock and stop the viewer. Pate says “mainly, I want kids to pause and reflect”.

To close out the exhibition, a Youth Voices Against Violence Forum will held at the Heritage Center on Saturday, November 3, 2018, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. During this forum, District 15 Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton will facilitate a panel of youth from our community who will discuss the themes of gun violence and other forms of violence occurring in our society today. This panel of youth will examine the themes of gun violence within the context of public health, bystander action, healing through arts, and mobilizing for change through community dialogues.

Kin Killin’ Kin curator Willis Bing Davis says, “art holds the power to promote change”. For Davis, that’s partly because art is a language that everyone understands. “It is the universal connection of the art,” he said. “Art is one of the things that touches all of us.” Art is also a liberating language, he says. “Sometimes the art can say something that we can’t say in words.”

The Heritage Center views this exhibition as a powerful tool to promote community dialogue and community action by delving deeper into the themes of the exhibit, highlighting current efforts in violence prevention in Metro Louisville and cultivating the youth voice in the community. The Heritage Center recognizes the increase in gun violence and its impact on the communities it serves and presents Kin Killin’ Kin for the community to take action.

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The VIPP Report: Kin Killin’ Kin Artist James Pate Visits Louisville

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(Louisville, KY) The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage is exhibiting James Pate’s KKK Series Kin Killin’ Kin Traveling Art Exhibition September 14 – November 12, 2018. The artist James Pate will give a gallery talk during the opening reception on Friday, September 21, 2018, 6:00 – 9:00 pm. Pate will discuss what motivated him to create Kin Killin’ Kin featuring scenes of young African-American men donned in Ku Klux Klan hoods committing acts of violence, creating an overt comparison between gang violence and the terrorism of the KKK. Pate says, “the numbers of Blacks killed by other Blacks since reconstruction far exceeds those lynched by “Whites”. Sadly, this pattern continued year after year, up to the present day”. The Center for Disease Control cites homicide as the leading cause of death for Black males between the age of 15 and 34.

Pate’s Kin Killin’ Kin is designed to shock and stop the viewer. Pate says “mainly, I want kids to pause and reflect”.

To close out the exhibition, a Youth Voices Against Violence Forum will held at the Heritage Center on Saturday, November 3, 2018, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. During this forum, District 15 Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton will facilitate a panel of youth from our community who will discuss the themes of gun violence and other forms of violence occurring in our society today. This panel of youth will examine the themes of gun violence within the context of public health, bystander action, healing through arts, and mobilizing for change through community dialogues.

Kin Killin’ Kin curator Willis Bing Davis says, “art holds the power to promote change”. For Davis, that’s partly because art is a language that everyone understands. “It is the universal connection of the art,” he said. “Art is one of the things that touches all of us.” Art is also a liberating language, he says. “Sometimes the art can say something that we can’t say in words.”

The Heritage Center views this exhibition as a powerful tool to promote community dialogue and community action by delving deeper into the themes of the exhibit, highlighting current efforts in violence prevention in Metro Louisville and cultivating the youth voice in the community. The Heritage Center recognizes the increase in gun violence and its impact on the communities it serves and presents Kin Killin’ Kin for the community to take action.

If you would like to setup an interview and/or tour the exhibit, contact Sherlene Shanklin with VIPP Communications at 502-295-0435 or by email info@vippcommunications.com.  We hope you are able to post on your calendars so your viewers and/or listeners get an opportunity to see the exhibit while in Louisville.

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The VIPP Report: The Soul of Russell Arts & Cultural Festival will be held at the Heritage Center in the heart of the Russell Neighborhood

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(Louisville, KY) The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (KCAAH) in collaboration with the Kentucky Music Heritage Foundation presents the Soul of Russell Arts & Cultural Festival August 24th & 25th.  The Soul of Russell Arts and Cultural Festival will be two amazing nights celebrating the blues and jazz tradition in Kentucky at the Heritage Center in Louisville.

On Friday, August 24th, 2018 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm local blues and jazz artists will perform Saluting Past Blues and Jazz Giants from Kentucky, showcasing artists: Tanita Gaines, Karan Chavis, Carla Reisert and the Midwest Creole Ensemble, will perform music remembering Mary Anne Fisher, Helen Humes, Sara Martin, Barrington “Boogie” Martin, William “Roach” Cochram, and special tribute to Bluesman Steve Ferguson.

On Saturday, August 25th from 1:00 pm to 4:00pm, the festival will take you back in history with Kentucky Music from 1840s through the 1920s.  At 1:00 pm it’s Gallery Talk: Doug Van Buren About the Exhibition by the Kentucky Music Heritage Foundation currently on display at KCAAH.  This conversation is scheduled to conclude around 2:15 pm (approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes).

From 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm its From Jug Band to Blues and Jazz.  Michael L. Jones and Keith S. Clements will facilitate a presentation and discussion about the rich history of Jug Band Music the origin of Blues and Jazz in Kentucky. These two presentations are free and open to the public.

Also, on Saturday evening, August 25th from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm it’s the Soulful Sounds of Derby Town.  The evening will showcase some of Louisville’s rich talent featuring Robbie Bartlett, Marjorie Marshall, Paula Yarbrough, Ron Lewis “Mr. Wonderful” and The Villeffect Band.

This year’s mistress of ceremony for both evenings will be The Glamour Girl of Comedy Kimberly Vaughn.  The Heritage Center is located in the heart of the Russell Neighborhood at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.  Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and/or $35 for both nights

 If you would like to setup an interview and/or covering this year’s Soul of Russell Arts & Cultural Festival contact VIPP Communications at 502-582-7216 or by email at info@vippcommunications.com.

For additional information visit the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage at http://www.kcaah.org  Follow us on our social media platforms: Twitter @kygriot/FB @kygriot.

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The VIPP Report: Two-time Super Bowl Champ Deion Branch will host a free Skills & Drills Camp in Louisville

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(Louisville, KY) Former University of Louisville and two-time Super Bowl champ and SB XXXIX MVP Deion Branch announces the date of his upcoming 9th Annual Skills and Drills Camp in Louisville.  Save the date of Saturday, July 21st at the Baptist Health Performance Training Facility, 12101 Sycamore Station Place. Registration begins at 8:00 am and the camp is from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.   The camp is for youth ages 7 to 18.  The registration fee is waived thanks to the Deion Branch Foundation so the camp is FREE but you need to register online.  THE CAMP AND SPACE IS LIMITED SO SIGN UP ASAP.  Go to www.deionbranchfoundation.org to register.

Branch says “This year, I decided to change things up a little to help some youth in the community who’ve really wanted to participate but could not afford the registration fee. We will do some offensive and defensive drills and some NFL and college level conditioning to see what your child needs to work on if they want to play football. This camp gives them a chance to learn proper technique, health and wellness plus sportsmanship.”

The Deion Branch Charitable Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to offer support to children’s mental, physical, emotional wellbeing and for those who have been infected with meningitis.  The DBCF’s mission is to help with research and to find a cure to ease the struggle for children like Deion’s son. The foundation goal is to assist by providing programs and initiatives aimed at improving their quality of life. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  For more information on the foundation go to http://www.deionbranchfoundation.org.

If you would like to be a sponsor and/or donate items for goodie bags, please contact William Hicks at 334-507-3632 or Sherlene Shanklin at 502-295-0435.  To register your child for the 9th Annual Skills & Drills Camp go to http://www.deionbranchfoundation.org and fill out the online registration form.

To setup an interview with Deion Branch about the camp held on Saturday, July 21st, please call Sherlene Shanklin, Branch’s publicist 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. 

The VIPP Report: I.M.A.G.I.N.E. PEACE NOW at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage

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(Louisville, KY)  As a direct reaction to the violence overwhelming our communities, The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in collaboration with ArtSeed presents I.M.A.G.I.N.E. PEACE NOW (Innovative Merger of Art and Guns to Inspire New Expressions of Peace Now).

Approximately 50 works from I.M.A.G.I.N.E. PEACE NOW, will be exhibited at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in Louisville, Kentucky. The opening reception will be on Saturday, January 20, 2018 3-6 pm and will be on display until March 17, 2018 at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, 1701 West Muhammad Ali Blvd., Louisville, Kentucky 40203 (Free & Open to the Public).

I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now is organized by renowned metal smith artist Boris Bally, featuring decommissioned guns transformed into art objects by artists from the United States and five other countries. Bally brings together like-minded artists from around the world to make a powerful statement about gun violence in America and artistic expressions of peace.   C-Belles-3637 copy copy

I.M.A.G.I.N.E. PEACE NOW constructs a theoretical portrait of violence — calling on themes of greed, machismo, death, systematic oppression, irony, and beauty. Each artist’s interpretation of the gun as an object is insightful. The exhibitions will serve as an artistic catalyst for not only critical discussion, but ongoing action.

The bulk of the I.M.A.G.I.N.E. PEACE NOW exhibit will be shown at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. In addition, ArtSeed will host a small exhibition at their gallery, 1931 East Spring Street, New Albany, Indiana, from January 12 thru March 16, 2018. The exhibition will include six works from the I.M.A.G.I.N.E. PEACE NOW exhibit in conjunction with the works of Louisville artist, Kenneth Hayden. Hayden, is a native Kentuckian whose work has been exhibited internationally and is included in public and private collections. Hayden’s use of gun and lotus imagery is inspired by the 1960’s antiwar movement.

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The VIPP Report: Artist Mark Lenn Johnson to showcase his work at Louisville’s Kore Art Gallery

 

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Courtesy: Mark Lenn Johnson

A PORTION OF EACH SALE GOES TO BENEFIT THE RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE

(Lexington, KY) Having just recently returned from Paris, France where images from his new Fountainfalls series were on exhibit, Kentucky artist, glassmaker, abstract painter and creative photographer Mark Lenn Johnson will showcase selected pieces from his entire body of work on December 3 at the Kore Art Gallery, located at 1860 Mellwood Ave, Bldg A-116 & 117 (inside Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Complex).  A portion of each sale will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House.

Johnson says “What an unbelievable year it has been.  I was blessed to have been invited and have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to show my work in New York and Paris, France and the feedback from those events has been overwhelming.  My work is now on display in Helsinki, Finland thanks to Ava Galleria and I will be part of their show in Tokyo next year.  And now, to return home to the honor of having my work on display at, and added to the permanent collection of, Eastern Kentucky University’s John Grant Crabbe Main Library is just really special.  I can’t thank everyone enough for their support including the team at Kore Art Gallery.”

You can see Johnson’s work at Kore Art Gallery December 3rd through December 31st.  A reception that’s free and open to the public will be held on Saturday, December 3rd at 5:00 pm

For additional information about Mark Lenn Johnson go to www.marklennjohnson.com and www.Facebook.com/imakeglass.

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

If you have a story idea send it to TheVIPPReport@vippcommunications.com.  You can follow us on Twitter @thevippreport @vippcomm.  If you need a media consultant/trainer and/or publicist contact our office.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook @ facebook/marklennjohnson or facebook.com/imakeglass
Instagram @MarkLennJohnson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

online at http://www.LouisvillePalace.com or by calling 1.800.745.3000.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you have a story idea, and/or would like to advertise contact us at TheVIPPReport@VIPPCommunications.com.  You can follow us on Twitter @VIPPComm and @TheVIPPReport

The VIPP Report: Jack Honey’s Art, Beats & Lyrics comes to Louisville

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WHAT:   Art, Beats and Lyrics, the traveling art and music tour presented by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, is coming to Louisville. What began as a small art show in Atlanta, has grown to be one of the world’s largest tours of its kind. In its 11th year, the multi-city tour showcases some of today’s best upcoming artists, along with seasoned veterans in art and music under one roof.

Visual masterpieces will be on display from featured artists Dubelyoo, Kazilla and Diana Contreras, among many other notable names recognized globally. The event will also include appearances from national hip-hop artist Twista along with Rich Medina, DJ Wally Sparks, DJ Larmarrous and DJ Hi-Definition. Previous featured acts have included Kendrick Lamar, 8Ball and MJG, Pastor Troy and Master P. Additional details are available at www.JackHoneyABL.com.

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WHO:                          Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Art, Beats & Lyrics

WHEN:                        Saturday, May 7th  2016     8 p.m.

WHERE:                      The Icehouse 226 E Washington St.

MEDIA CONTACT:   VIPP Communications     Sshanklin@vippcommunications.com

MEDIA                        Visual artists, Dubelyoo, Kazilla and Diana Contreras are available for                                               media interviews upon request.

DETAILS:                   Be Fly. Drink Responsibly.  Visit us at wwwJackHoneyABL.com

JACK DANIEL’S TENNESSEE HONEY is a trademark of JACK DANIEL PROPERTIES INC. ©2015. Jack Daniel’s.  Whiskey Specialty, 35% ALC./VOL.(70 proof). Produced and Bottled by JACK DANIEL DISTILLERY, Lynchburg, TENNESSEE, U.S.A.