The VIPP Report: The story Emilio and Gloria Estefan opens tonight in Louisville

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By Sherlene Shanklin

The phrase “On Your Feet” is symbolic for both Emilio and Gloria Estefan. One would automatically think it’s an eruption into a standing ovation which they receive during performances.

It’s goes a little deeper than that.

On March 20, 1990, Gloria’s tour bus crashed while in a snowstorm where she fractured her spine and required extensive rehab.  Doctors at one point thought she would never walk again but Estefan’s determination proved everyone wrong.

In fact, in less than a year, she was walking again and resumed her tour, performing one of her hits “On Your Feet”.

Fast-forward to 2019, now there’s a Broadway musical created by the Estefans with the same name.

Starting tonight through March 17, “On Your Feet” will be at the Kentucky Center in Louisville.  Coincidentally, it ends in Louisville just three days from the anniversary of that crash that changed Gloria and Emilio’s life.

The musical takes you behind the scenes, giving an intimate look at leaving their lives in Cuba, moving to Miami with nothing and their rise to international acclaim. The Estefans hit it big on both Spanish and mainstream charts.

The dynamic couple and business partners describe their journey of resilience by saying in the face of adversity, they found a way to end up on their feet earning a combined 26 Grammy Awards.

Tickets start at $37.00.  You need to check their website kentuckycenter.org for available show times.

The VIPP Report: Preparing area youth to be the greatest in the arts arena

LCCC

A NEW THEATER ALONG THE MUHAMMAD ALI ARTS, CULTURE & INNOVATION DISTRICT
LCCC RAISES ROOF FOR GRAND LYRIC THEATER            

Louisville Central Community Centers, the developer of the Muhammad Ali 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.  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 Grand Lyric Theater will consist of 300 seats and will be home to LCCC’s Kids Art Academy, a youth arts education program with a focus on all facets of performing arts.  It 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 service as another venue that community groups will use the facility 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 use to be the historic Walnut Street (now known as Muhammad Ali Blvd.) between 6th to 15th Streets, which was 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 sponsors are needed 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, It provides an array of services including early childhood education, youth development, workforce development training, small business and neighborhood development activities.

#CreateGrandThings

The VIPP Report: Dance company Dorrance Dance performs in Louisville

Kentucky Center announce Dorrance Dance as part of their Brown-Forman Midnite Ramble Series. Photo sent as promotion with release.

As part of the Brown-Forman Midnite Ramble its Dorrance Dance.  They will be at the Brown Theatre on Wednesday, January 23rd

Tickets start at $20.00.  the dance company honors tap dance and its compelling content.

You can purchase tickets at the Kentucky Center box office, Kentuckycenter.org or by calling 502-584-7777. 

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

The VIPP Report: Jazz artists begin to arrive in Louisville to pay tribute to Lionel Hampton for his contributions in music

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LOUISVILLE, KY – The Lincoln Foundation in partnership with Dick Sisto, Ken Clay, Owsley Brown III, Louisville Public Media, Owsley Brown II Family Foundation, The Kentucky Center, Mike Balter Mallets and Vandoren Saxophone Reeds proudly announces the inaugural Lionel Hampton Tribute Concert Showcase. The event will take place in the Bomhard Theater of the Kentucky Center on Saturday October 7th at 7:30 p.m.  The concert will be a live-recording.

 Dick Sisto, on vibraphone, is the artistic and music director who will lead a group of featured jazz artists who will pay tribute to jazz greats past and present.  They include Barry Ries, trumpet; Bobby Broom, guitar; Bobby Floyd, keyboards; Jim Anderson, bass; Art Gore, drums and special guest Harry Skoler, clarinet (Berklee College of Music). These experienced artists have played with jazz greats such as Lionel Hampton, Sonny Rollins, Count Basie, Benny Golson, and George Benson.

            Louisville native Lionel Hampton was born on April 20, 1908. He popularized the vibraphone and played with the Benny Goodman Quartet before becoming a successful bandleader. Hampton received honors from Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He performed well into his 90s before passing away in 2002.

           Mayor Greg Fischer and the city of Louisville have embraced this event and hope to honor this hometown jazz great and innovator with an official Lionel Hampton dedication day. The event will also feature a showcase of young percussion students on the vibraphone and drums.  A music scholarship will be considered for one of the participating youth.

           Tickets start at $30.00 and they are still available at the Kentucky Center Box Office.  Proceeds from the event will benefit Lincoln Foundation’s signature Whitney M. YOUNG Scholars Program®.  During the concert, a representative from Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky will make a special announcement that will impact the youth in the scholars program.

           Lincoln Foundation has empowered disadvantaged youth to overcome adversity through education since its inception by Berea College over 100 years ago. The mission of the organization is to provide educational enrichment programs that develop and support youth in overcoming barriers to achievement. Lincoln Foundation outcomes demonstrate that students can break the cycle of poverty in their families through higher education. Students are holistically developed in an educational culture that stresses academic achievement and graduation from college.  Lincoln Foundation annually serves approximately 600 students from two years of age through college with its year-round, nontraditional educational enrichment programs.

For additional information, please contact Paula Campbell at 502.585.4733 ext. 203 or Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com or visit our website at www.lincolnfdn.org.

LincolnFoundation 

The VIPP Report: Open enrollment underway for youth interested in the arts

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(Louisville, KY) The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy (WLPAA) d.b.a. West Louisville Boys and West Louisville Girls Choirs, (WLBC/WLGC) is holding its annual Open Enrollment for new students, boys and girls, ages 8 to 18.

Auditions will be held at the Artspace, 323 West Broadway, 4th floor next door to the Brown Theater. Open Enrollment has already begun and ends Friday October 13th.

Members of the Boys & Girls Choirs rehearse twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The WLPAA is more than just singing.  They offer college scholarships, After School Tutorials, private Acoustic Guitar lessons and performance opportunities locally and statewide.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in any of the WLPAA program offerings, contact information is below:

McDaniel Bluitt, Boys Choir Director, Cell: (502) 376-7840, E-mail: wlbc_wlgc@yahoo.com

Travis Schuster, Acoustical Guitar Instructor,Cell: (502) 909-5939, E-mail: travisschuster2@gmail.com

Mamie Bluitt, Girls Choir Director, Cell: (502) 418-7236, E-mail: mamiegr@gmail.com

If you would like to set up an interview with McDaniel Bluitt, Founder/Director of the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy contact us at info@vippcommunications.com. If you are unable to do an interview, we request that you post the information for us.

We are also preparing for our annual Hope Awards. Please Save the Date of Saturday, December 9th at the University Club. Please consider purchasing a table and/or sponsoring a youth.

For additional information go to http://www.westlouisvilleperformingarts.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: Arts Council of Louisville will celebrate Women’s History Month

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Sherlene Shanklin with WHAS11 Television and the owner of VIPP Communications (The VIPP Report, VIPP Style and Ivy Promotions) will be one of the guest speakers.

You are cordially invited the HISTORIC program celebrating Women’s History Month. Workshops of great interest and issues with local leaders discussing “Where do we go from here?” The topics are: JOBS; SOCIAL JUSTICE; ARTS EDUCATION; YOUTH LEADERSHIP; BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP; BANKING & FINANCE; MEDIA; HEALTHY & WELLNESS.

KICKING OFF this exciting day of activities are arts presentations of “A Bus Ride with Mrs. Rosa Parks” and performers from Belize Dance Intermix.

At noon, there’s A MEMORIAL TRIBUTE TO THE LEGACY OF LOUISVILLE BLACK WOMEN & LUNCHEON opens with a traditional African Drum Call and dance with Harlina Churn Diallo. A tradition African Ceremony is done by as a Libation by Nana Akosua Bakeman Gyeaboa, LCSW, LCAD, CCTP, CNHP, ND in the Hotel Ballroom. Arts presented during the meal are “I AM ANGELA DAVIS” by Ayana Churn and a MIME by “Sunni.”

The distinguished Professor Dr. Joy Carew, Ph.D. of Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville will be the keynote speaker.

RECOGNITION OF BLACK WOMEN: Ruth Bryant; Sarah Martin; Abby Fife; Mary Ann Fisher; Representative Mae-Street-Kidd; Harriett Porter; Dani Porter; Delores Baker; Anita Neil; Alderwoman Louise Reynolds; Zambia Nkrumah White; Alderwoman Lois Morris; Mary Alyce Sweeney; Senator Georgia Montgomery Davis Powers; Maude Brown Porter; Mildred Neal; Samiyra Shabazz; Judith E. Green; Juanita Burks; Dollye Cunningham; Zephra Mae Miller; Attorney Alberta Jones; Barbara Miller; Geneva Cooper Rich; Wilma Claybourne; Hilda Butler; Zephra Mae Miller; Mattie Coffield; Jewel K. McNari; Lucy Gantt Sheppard; Gladys Carter; Emma L. Minnis, Ida Louise King; Jimmy White; Milton Page; Lillian Cole-Singleton, Margaret Yeager, Lucille Madry; Anna L. Huddleston; Effie Mae Jewell, Georgia Eugene; Maude Benboe; Vera Dockery; Eleanor Hutchinson; Rebecca Shashu Tucker; Lillian D. Anthony; Grace James; Amy Hamilton; Rose Banks and to all our divine and benevolent African Ancestors who gave us the best of themselves. (A partial listing).

CLOSING PANEL DISCUSSION ~ Q & A with the community.

TOPIC -“WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?”
*ELECTED METRO LOUISVILLE COUNCILWOMEN & JCPS- Ms. Jessica Green; Dr. Barbara Shanklin; Ms. Mary Woolridge and Ms. Cheri Bryant Hamilton & Elected Jefferson County Public School Board Member Ms. Diane Porter.

ADJOURNMENT AFFIRMATION

MAKING MOVES: THE POWER OF BLACK WOMEN
EVENT DATE: Saturday = March ;18, 2017 – Open to the public
Place: Hotel Louisville,120 West Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202
Time: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Doors open at 8:30 AM
Contact: Nana Yaa Asantewaa (502) 567-2787
Email: louisvillearts@aol.com
Presented by Arts Council of Louisville, Inc. – Disability Accessible

TICKETS – ONLINE – www.Eventbrite.com <community>
and can be purchased at BETTER DAYS WEST REC0RDS,
LYLES MALL 26TH & BROADWAY

The VIPP Report: The Hope Awards will recognize a long-time supporter of the Beecher Terrace neighborhood

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CEREMONY WILL BE HELD THIS SATURDAY AT THE UNIVERSITY CLUB

(Louisville, KY) The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy (WLPAA) d.b.a. West Louisville Boys and the West Louisville Girls Choirs, (WLBC/WLGC) invite you to attend their 17th Annual Hope Awards Dinner Concert on Saturday, February 4th at the University Club on U of L’s Belknap Campus. Time is 6:00 p.m.

This year’s honoree will be Ms. Rose Livingston, founder of “The Beech”, an After-School Tutorial Center located in the heart of the Beecher Terrace neighborhood.  Ms. Livingston is a retired dedicated educator and administrator from Jefferson County Public Schools, (JCPS).

McDaniel Bluitt, Boys Choir Director says, “Ms. Livingston has worked tirelessly in the underprivileged communities of Louisville.  Her labor of love has now attracted the attention of not only Louisville’s inner city neighborhoods, but has also garnered her the respect and recognition of the city of Louisville.”  Her goal was to educate children of the community so they could be successful both in the classroom and in life.  She is an unsung hero and on Saturday evening we just want to publicly say, “thank you.”  

WLPAA will also appreciate Ralph Bonmon, Marshall Yancey and Sherlene Shanklin.   It takes a village to keep our youth on the right track and such patrons as these make it easier.”

Tickets for the 17th Annual Hope Awards are $100 for adults and $50 for students.  They can be purchased at 323 West Broadway, Artspace, 4th floor.  For more information, please contact Mrs. Shajuana Campbell at 502-553-1383 or McDaniel Bluitt at 502-376-7840.  Emcees for this occasion will be Bill and Angela Price.

If you would like to set up an interview, contact us at info@vippcommunications.com.

For additional information go to www.westlouisvilleperformingarts.org.

WLPAA

History

West Louisville Boys Choir began in November 1990. The choir is directed by McDaniel Bluitt, a retired vocal music teacher with twenty-eight (28) years of experience.  He received his B. M. ED. from the University of  Louisville School of Music and a Masters degree 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, Pre-Show for the Nutcracker and at Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The Girls Choir has also toured New York, Las Vegas, Nevada  and Los Angele, California. Their first Southwestern Tour to Texas was held in 2010.

If you have a story idea, send it to thevippreport@vippcommunications.com.  You can follow us on Twitter @thevippreport @vippcomm