*Los Angeles, CA – WACO (Where Art Can Occur) Theater Center, Los Angeles’s premiere non-profit gallery and cultural center, announced it will host a Virtual Celebration to raise funds for its programs and families impacted by COVID-19.
The event, which is a free and open public benefit program, will stream on WACO’s Facebook and YouTube channels on Saturday, September 19th, at 5:00 pm (PDT). A virtual art auction preview can be viewed by texting WACO2020 to 243-725. Virtual art gallery will be available until Sunday, September 27.
WACO Theater Center proudly welcomes back global beauty and personal care brand SheaMoisture as the Presenting Sponsor for the 2020 Virtual Celebration. The brand has been a consistent supporter of WACO programs since 2016, working closely with the Center to passionately foster art and education initiatives for underserved youth.
The Virtual Celebration will celebrate various forms of art that uplift the community, empower entrepreneurship, and sow back into local programs.
The online event will be hosted by WACO Co-Artistic Directors Richard Lawson and Tina Knowles Lawson, champions of art and culture who founded the non-profit gallery and performance complex.
“WACO was created to stand at the intersection of Black culture and art. For the past three years, we have worked to create a safe space for students to be nourished, grow, and learn,” said Tina Knowles Lawson. “This year, our gathering will feel and look different, but the mission unequivocally remains the same,” said Co-Artistic Director Richard Lawson. “We are looking forward to continuing the tradition of celebrating art and Black culture to create meaningful change for our children.”
The Virtual Celebration will benefit the performing arts, visual art, education and mentorship programs within WACO Theater Center, focusing on providing support to selected families affected by COVID-19. The evening will be filled with surprises, including highlights from the Wearable Art Gala and a special celebrity version of “Ms. Tina’s Corny Jokes.” The highly anticipated art auction will be in a virtual format, with proceeds going to the featured artists and WACO families affected by the pandemic and Covid-19 virus. A preview and registration for the auction can be completed by texting WACO2020 to 243-725.
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Jay-Z, Solange Knowles, Samuel L. Jackson, Kelly Rowland, Octavia Spencer, Tiffany Haddish, Angela Bassett, Lynn Whitfield, Issa Rae, Yara Shahidi, Megan Thee Stallion, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Lena Waithe, Cynthia Erivo, and Lil Rel Howery are confirmed to participate with music provided by DJ Millie.
Beyoncé Knowles Carter, Solange Knowles, Bianca Lawson, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams will serve as Honorary Chairpersons for the Virtual Celebration.
WACO’s Virtual Celebration will include an online virtual silent auction. The preview began August 25th, and features fine art works by artists such as Robert Pruitt, ‘The Pretty Artist’ Tiffanie Anderson, Chaz Guest, Ron Bass, Samuel Levi Jones, Harry Adams,Tyler Clark, Quiana Parks, Toni Scott, Gherdai Hassell, Charis Kelley, A. Nichel, Erica Puckett and designer Lorraine Schwartz among others.
The auction will raise money for WACO Theater Center programs which consist of enrichment and leadership initiatives that empower inner-city students ages 12-14, exposing children to all aspects of art and life that they would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience. Money raised will also help families affected by COVID-19.
WACO has received a variety of art pieces from luminaries Kehinde Wiley, Lauren Halsey, Barnette, Bethany Collins, Genevieve Gagnaird, Eduardo Sarbia, and Radcliffe Bailey. The virtual art gallery will be available for viewing until Sunday, September 27th.
Business and entertainment industry leaders serving on WACO’s 2020 Virtual Celebration Host Committee include Kawanna Brown, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Cheryl Creuzot, Babe Evans, Melba Farquhar, Lela Rochon Fuqua, Mai Lassiter, Holly Robinson-Peete, Robi Reed, Eula Smith and Jo-An Turman. WACO’s Board of Directors include Glynn Turman, Ralph and Melba Farquhar, Angeliki G. Jack, John Wiseman, and Steve Pamon.
The Celebration will be part of WACO’s virtual Theatrical Season 2020-21, which will include a myriad of productions including spoken word, stage readings, and celebrating award-winning playwrights.
Since its inception, WACO has presented the Wearable Art Gala as its annual fundraising event. The Gala will return to the Barker Hangar next year on Saturday, June 5, 2021.
ABOUT WACO THEATER CENTER
The Lawson’s state-of-the-art cultural center in Los Angeles, which houses Richard Lawson Studios, recently presented the 50th-anniversary production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, No Place to be Somebody, by Charles Gordone. Lawson served as Director and Knowles Lawson as Hair and Makeup Designer. The pair is committed to providing a creative center where art can occur and empower actors, artists, and youth within a diversified pool of LA communities to celebrate their own talent and artistry. For programs, classes, and upcoming productions and events, visit www.WACOTheaterCenter.com and follow @WacoTheater on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
AUCTION PREVIEW, REGISTRATION, DONATIONS AND SPONSORS
For more information, visit www.wacotheatercenter.com. WACO Theater Center is a registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.
SheaMoisture is committed to serving those who have been underserved. Shea butter is one of the brand’s core ingredients, praised for its hydrating, nourishing, and repairing properties, and is ethically sourced from women’s co-ops in Northern Ghana as part of SheaMoisture’s purpose-driven Community Commerce business model. Built on the core belief that commerce can bring true economic independence to communities and empower women to break the cycles of poverty, the brand directly reinvests in the communities it serves throughout the US. SheaMoisture continues to create economic opportunities for women and other minority entrepreneurs in its ecosystem with engaging events, investment funds and educational programs. SheaMoisture is a global beauty leader in the hair care, bath, body, skin care, baby and men’s categories, and is distributed in retailers throughout the world. SheaMoisture is a subsidiary of Unilever.
Joseph Williams LA | NYC | HOUSTON
Ben Crump to Announce Suit Against Local Jacksonville HOA for Harassment Over Back Lives Matter flag
*JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump; co-counsels Matthew Dietz and David Cronin; Keenya Robertson, National Fair Housing Alliance Chairperson; and Antoine Mickle will hold a virtual news conference on Nov. 24 at 11 a.m. ET to announce a federal lawsuit against River Point Community Association, River City Management Services, Shantell Hughes (community president), and Sharleen Thompson-Messinese (property manager).
On Oct. 20, 2020, Mickle, a homeowner and resident of the River Point community in Jacksonville, Florida, received a letter from the River Point Community Association advising him that the Black Lives Matter flag displayed on his property was in violation of the community’s rules and was considered a “nuisance.” Although there were many other flags displayed throughout the community including those in support of sports teams, the Trump campaign, and Blue Lives Matter, the owners of those flags did not receive any letters of reprimand and were not asked to remove them from their properties. It is evident from the Association’s actions that Mickle was harassed and discriminated against because of his race and support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Attorney Ben Crump
Attorney Matthew Dietz
Attorney David Cronin
Keenya Robertson, National Fair Housing Alliance Chairperson
November 24, 2020, at 11 a.m ET
Register in advance for the Zoom virtual press conference:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the press conference via Zoo
ABOUT BEN CRUMP LAW
Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump and his national network of specialized attorneys have spearheaded a legal movement to better protect the rights of marginalized citizens. He has led landscape-changing civil rights cases and represented clients in a wide range of areas including civil rights, personal injury, labor and employment, class actions, and more. Ben Crump Law is dedicated to holding the powerful accountable. For more, visit BenCrump.com or call (800) 935-8111.
Matthew W. Dietz, Esq. is a nationally known civil rights lawyer and litigation director of Disability Independence Group, Disability Independence Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes recruitment, education and employment of persons with disabilities thereby improving their lives through competitive employment and financial stability; and through the changing of society’s perception of person with disabilities.
BHERC Festival Panels Feature Top Film & TV Pros and 140+ Must-See Films Offered in Final Weeks
*(Hollywood, CA) – As The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) reaches midway of the month-long 26th Annual African American Film Marketplace & S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase (AAFM SEMSFS) airing online at www.BHERC.TV now through Saturday, November 28, 2020, Executive Director and Festival Curator John Forbes is pleased to announce the programming for the final two weeks of the festival. The virtual festival has entertained more than 5300 attendees from across the globe who have watched on-demand the industry panels, special events and screenings and the 140 curated films with stories of all genres told by diverse filmmakers from 18 countries and 20 US states of all ages, the youngest being nine years old.
As the festival begins its closing two weeks, BHERC invites the public to consider the festival as their choice or entertainment, inspiration and enlightenment during the upcoming Holiday season and recently stricter imposed nation-wide stay-at-home orders. The festival continues to offer the complete portfolio of 140 films that may be sorted and selected by genres such as: Action, Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Historical, Horror, Inspirational, Music, Romance, Sci-Fi, Spoken Word, and Thriller. They may also explore by topics such as Art, Diversity, Family, Faith-Based, LGBTQ, Mental Health, People with Disabilities and Social Justice. The festival also plays host to a few young filmmakers from Film schools such as: Academy of Art, Florida State University, High Definition Film Academy, Loyola Marymount University, New York Film Academy, Oral Roberts University, University of California Los Angeles, and University of Southern California. However, the youngest filmmaker is a self-taught nine-year old.
In addition, the November 20 thru 22, weekend offers a bonanza of diverse panels. Beginning this Friday, newcomers and those interested in a career in television can log and join professionals as they discuss share vital insight and information in the panel “The Road To Hollywood,” Friday, November 20, 2020, 5:00PM (PDT). Top television professionals will discuss the various careers within the industry such as: casting, make-up, screen writing, editing, visual effects, cinematography, animation, producing and directing. They will discuss how to go about assessing your skills and deciding which category to pursue. The all important question, “Should I go to film school?” How can I get experience. Once you get the experience, how do you get the jobs. Where do you look for the jobs, how do you build your network. “There are many paths to a successful career. Some have been thru film school many have not,” stated Sandra Evers-Manly, President and Founder, BHERC. “In all of the paths we will explore we will find that the elements of passion, determination and patience were fundamental to those successes.” The moderator is Academy Award-nominated filmmaker David Massey, “Last Breeze of Summer.” Panelists include Tamera Gregory, Head of Television of Wilmore Films; Illunga Adell, Writer “Sanford and Son” (first Black writer for a TV sitcom); Mary Jo Miller, Associate Director Operations, Walt Disney; Frank Bennett Gonzales, Executive in Charge of Diversity, Programs and Committee; Directors Guild of America, INC. (DGA) and Attorney Danielle M. Forbes, Counsel Writer Guild of America, West, INC. (WGA).
Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 11:00AM (PDT) BHERC hosts “Cinematographers on Cinematography”. The panel will share what it means to be a working cinematographer, or director of photography (DP), what they do? What equipment is used, lighting techniques, and challenges faced to “get the shot.” Best practices for partnership with Directors and what aspiring Directors should know. What DP’s can do to make this relationship successful. Do you shoot with or without and editor? Who else to you work with? What skills do you need to be a Cinematographer? Moderated by Mobolaji Olambiwonnu, Director of Photography (DP), filmmaker and Founder, SPORAS. Panelists include: John Njaga Demps, DP; Emmy-winning John Simmons, ASC.; Emmy-winning Donald A. Morgan, ASC, and Michelle Crenshaw, DP.
Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 5:00PM (PDT) BHERC hosts “The McHenry Trial: Don’t Judge a Kid by Their Hoodie” screening. The story of a young and brilliant academic phenom who passes the bar exam at age 14 and finds himself defending his homeless father on a murder charge. He faces an old school segregationist judge, and an arrogant prosecutor preparing to celebrate his 50th consecutive case win. Moderated by Emmy-nominated William Allen Young, Actor-Director “Code Black”, “Moesha.” Panelists include: Ken Sagoes, Executive Producer-Writer-Director, Karen Bolt, Producer and cast: Loretta Devine (Doris McHenry unconfirmed), Kaleb Alexander Roberts (DeShawn McHenry), Hiram A. Murray (Shawn McHenry), Melvin Ward (Norman McHenry), Bob Rumnock (Judge Carnige), Thomas Gipson (Prosecutor Brad), Pablo Sandstrom (Lawyer Eric Askew), Kevin Flood (Lawyer Ozwald Askew), Temple Poteat (Lawyer Kerri Turner), Sammie Wayne IV (Harvey Venson), Michael Nelson (Logan Parmell), Ronan Barbour (Guard).
Sunday, November 22, 2020 4:00PM (PDT) Join President and Founder Sandra Evers-Manly, cousin of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers as she leads the audience through a screening and discussion of selected courageous Social Justice films from the 2020 festival. During the discussion, the audience is invited to share how these films and “social justice” films in general impact and/or inform their actions and involvement in social justice issues.
Closing Night Celebration is a call to support Black Business. In lieu of the fan favorite in-person Closing Night “Soul Food & Film” event, BHERC asks that attendees locate and order their “Soul Food” or favored cuisine from a local Black business to enjoy during our VIRTUAL closing night “Soul Food & Film” program Sunday, November 29, 2020 5:00PM (PDT). In Los Angeles BHERC recommends Gwen’s Specialty Cakes & Catering. Call 310.677.9979 to place orders https://www.gwensspecialtycakes.com.
Don’t miss these exciting events during the final two weeks of the 26th Annual African American Film Marketplace & S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase (AAFM SEMSFS). Register Today at www.BHERC.TV for panels and Festival passes. $75.00 for a full Festival Pass, $25.00 for a Day Pass and $10.00 for a block of 5 films. All panels and special events are Free.
About BHERC TV
In February 2020 BHERC launched BHERC TV a leading world-wide provider of narrative and documentary short films about the African American experience, as well as content from across the diaspora and diverse populations. Offering an affordable streaming entertainment service with paid memberships in over seven countries, BHERC TV members enjoy a wide variety of genres and languages and may watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Film lovers can play, pause and resume watching without commercials. Find out more on BHERC.TV
About Black Hollywood Education & Resource Center
Founded in 1996 by Sandra Evers-Manly, BHERC is a nonprofit, public benefit organization designed to advocate, educate, research, develop, and preserve the history and future of African Americans in film and television. BHERC programs include film festivals, mentoring, book signings, script readings, film and animation contests, scholarships, and other programs and special events. BHERC recognizes the contributions of African American men and women in front of and behind the scenes in the entertainment industry.
BE ACTIVE – ENGAGED – INSPIRED – www.BHERC.ORG
Theresa King and The Experience Christian Ministries Host Drive-by Essentials Giveaway in South LA
*SOUTH LOS ANGELES – Eradicate The Hate, Inc., Experience Christian Ministries & Helpmates for Hope prove that we can work together, and we are stronger together. The collaborative group recently came together with one common goal and that was to serve those in need and provide essentials for our most vulnerable during this crucial time.
“Nothing brings me more joy than to be able to bring quality resources to these hard-hit communities. I couldn’t do this without the backing of Matthew 25, who believed in my vision from thousands of miles away. The pandemic has affected these people disproportionately, and they need to know they matter,” says Theresa King.
“Our goal is to reduce the need for our most vulnerable to have to come out of their homes during the growing pandemic and the possibility of heightened civil unrest surrounding the election”, says Pastor Shep Crawford.
Pastors Shep Crawford & Dr. Shalonda Crawford of the Experience Christian Ministries, well known for the work they do in the South Los Angeles community, providing meals, clothing, counseling and other resources partnered with Theresa King, of Eradicate the Hate Inc., known as the “go to” person to coordinate, connect and provide churches and other organizations to food, programs and essentials for more than 2 decades along with Angelina Looney, founder of Helpmates for Hope joined the effort offering winter coats for children & youth and backpacks with kids essentials as well.
On the Sunday afternoon before the 2020 presidential election, cars aligned the tight knitted residential area on 51st Street waiting to enter the turn style at South Park to get some much-needed food and essentials. Many residence arrived nearly an hour before gates were scheduled to open at 1:30p.m. causing a bit of gridlock, requiring gates to open early to reduce the interruption of the flow traffic on the already busy street. The drive-thru event offered items such as detergent, diapers, household cleaning products, shampoo & conditioner, toothpaste, mouthwashes, razors, hand soaps, bath gels, food products and children’s coats and more. https://abc7.com/community-events/south-la-holds-grab-and-go-event-amid-election-pandemic-fears/7586738/
Check out pics from the event:
About Eradicate the Hate, Inc.
Eradicate The Hate, Inc founded by Theresa King is based in Los Angeles, CA. The organization addresses systemic prejudice in our society by creating and promoting human services programs that build community relations and empower its people. Eradicate the Hate sponsors community giveaways of food, and in-kind goods to needy families year-round. Currently, Eradicate the Hate is assisting individuals and families impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic by making weekly deliveries of food and product. They also provide food and product to seniors on the weekly basis. The organization serves as a distributor of food and products for other non-profit organizations and agencies who are taking care of the community. To learn more visit www.eradicatethehate.com
About The Experience Christian Ministries
The Experience Christian Ministries (ECM) was founded in 2010, Sr. Pastor Shep Crawford & Co-Pastor Dr. Shalonda Crawford. After making its home in South Los Angeles in 2015, ECM quickly became one of the fasted growing churches in Los Angeles attracting many youth and young adults. Pastor Shep is committed to preaching the uncompromised Word of God along with the message of Grace. The power couple and their congregation are very hands on in the community. Pastor Shep known for his work with (peaceful) OG rival gang members to be a voice for positive change in their communities, feeding & clothing those in need, leading community clean-ups, and promoting peaceful living environments and opportunities in the neighborhood, while co-Pastor Dr. Shalonda and her team work to provide tangible resources for woman & children in distress as well as mental health and physical health assistance and resources. To learn more visit www.theECM.org.
Reid J~Rich, Sr. Publicist
Infinite Scope PR
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