Spirits

Usher illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Rémy Martin × Usher

Rémy Martin and Usher team up to celebrate two cultures of excellence:

Music and Cognac

“Team Up For Excellence ‐ The Film” Imagined in collaboration with FRED & FARID New York Brings to Life the History of Harmony Between these Cultural Entities Through a Musical Journey

Rémy Martin announces a collaborative new campaign with multi‐Grammy award winning musical artist, Usher to celebrate the harmonious blending of two cultures of timeless excellence: Music and Cognac. “Team Up For Excellence – The Film” highlights the cultural connection between Cognac and American music since 1917 in France, and how the two have been synonymous ever since.

In the Film imagined in collaboration with FRED &FARID New York, Usher narrates a story spanning the decades from the 1920’s to present day, which pays tribute to the multi‐cultural connections, celebrated styles and rhythms of the past. From Blues to Hip‐Hop, Swing Dancing to Break‐Dancing; Usher and Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal travel through decades in France and the US, to honor these cultural figures; both rooted in a shared philosophy of aiming for the stars.

“Music doesn’t need Cognac to exist, and Cognac doesn’t need Music to exist,” states Usher, “but what is beautiful is that they were meant to meet and when they did, they created cultural harmony.”

Teaming up with Usher and Rémy Martin, are globally recognized creatives including Raphael Saadiq, world‐renowned musical composer; Marci Rodgers, Academy‐Award winning costume stylist; Aakomon Jones, award winning dance choreographer; and director of the production; Jake Nava.

“I was really inspired by creating the historical music scenes in a way that felt true to the spirit of that moment, but also relevant and eye‐catching to a young contemporary audience,” states Jake Nava, “This dual priority informed my direction of all the music, dance and Usher’s performance.”

The heart and soul of cultural movements throughout history paved the way for future artists to innovate, while paying homage to their roots and the musical styles that came before them. The same respect for heritage is honored by Rémy Martin and Cellar Master, Baptiste Loiseau, who has inherited the savoir‐faire of the House from previous generations of cellar masters. Through this transmission of knowledge, Rémy Martin®1738 Accord Royal continues to encompass the spirit of celebrating depth of character and the excitement of indulging in moments of collective success.

“Rémy Martin has been at the center of celebration for centuries, and the celebratory nature of Music is synonymous with our history of honoring communities and culture,” said Amaury Vinclet, Global Executive Director of Rémy Martin “Acknowledging this collective success has been at the heart of Rémy Martin since 1724.”

Historically, Rémy Martin and Usher teamed up during his 2010 “OMG” world tour, where the Cognac brand was the official sponsor of after parties across the United States, Canada and Europe. Additionally, Usher co‐hosted the launch dinner for Producer Series with Jermaine Dupri in 2018.

“Team Up For Excellence – The Film is a monumental artistic achievement stemming from our collaboration and long‐standing relationship with our trusted creative global agency, FRED & FARID,” said Philippe Farnier, Chief Executive Officer for The House of Rémy Martin. “We celebrate this performance between our brand, creative agency and artist Usher. At Rémy Martin, we team up with those sharing our same quest for excellence, rooted in our values of people, terroir and time.”

For almost 300 years, the story of Rémy Martin has been one of family, partners and collective success. Teamwork has always been at the heart of the brand, passing the spirit of collaboration on to younger generations. The desire to team up with others in a quest for excellence has been a part of the Rémy Martin ethos since 1724, with the constant dedication to creating premium Cognac. To continually go further and aspire to achieve more is a reflection of the Centaur, Rémy Martin’s brand figurehead for 150 years. Following the launch in the United States, the short film will be screened and showcased globally.

CREDITS:

Brand: Rémy Martin

Title of ad: Team Up For Excellence ‐ The Film

Agency: FRED & FARID New York

Music: Raphael Saadiq

Costume stylist: Marci Rodgers

Dance choreographer: Aakomon Jones

Director: Jake Nava

ABOUT RÉMY MARTIN

Since 1724, Rémy Martin has produced premium spirits that consistently appeal to the world’s most discerning connoisseurs. A profound love of the land, a continuity of family ownership and   a passionate commitment to excellence has sustained Rémy Martin for nearly three centuries. As a result of its masterful production and generations of tradition in Cognac, Rémy Martin today produces Fine Champagne Cognacs, including Rémy Martin® XO, Rémy Martin® Tercet, Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal and Rémy Martin® V.S.O.P For additional information, visit the website.

ABOUT USHER

Challenging himself creatively, testing musical boundaries and being on the creative forefront of new and developing trends are characteristics that have defined Usher throughout his 20-year career. Usher has been ranked by the Recording Industry Assn. of America as one of the best‐selling artists in American music history, having sold over 65 million albums worldwide. He has won numerous awards including 8 Grammy Awards and was named the #1 Hot 100 artist of the 2000s decade. Usher has attained nine Hot 100 #1 hits and 18 Hot 100 top‐10 singles. His career in TV and Film includes 2 seasons as a coach on NBC’s The Voice as well as starring roles in films such as “Hands of Stone” and “Burden”. 2021 continues to be a busy year for Usher with an upcoming new album release and the launch of his much-anticipated Las Vegas residency at Caeser’s Palace. In the past year Usher’s two singles “Don’t Waste My Time” and “Bad Habit” both hit #1 on the Billboard R&B Charts. He also released “I Cry”, a powerful and emotional song about the social and racial injustices of our time. Usher is currently in the studio recording his 9th studio album which will be released late 2021.

ABOUT FRED & FARID New York

FRED & FARID is a purpose-driven company producing meaningful ideas, grounding brands into culture. Based in New York, Paris, FRED & FARID New York’s culture is a peculiar mix of the French sense of craft and taste, the Chinese sense of tactic and digital, and the American sense of vision and strategy. The agency focuses on creative consulting, brand strategy, branding, content & social activation, and has produced 1800+ creative campaigns for 250+ brands in 33+ industries, winning 950+ awards and 25+ industry titles – including the AdAge Small Agency 2020 Gold Newcomer of the Year, and Best Integrated Campaign of the Year.

Lil Yachty MICHIGAN BOY BOAT artwork for use by 360 Magazine

LIL YACHTY – MICHIGAN BOY BOAT

LIL YACHTY ANNOUNCES APRIL 23 RELEASE OF MICHIGAN BOY BOAT, REVEALS ARTWORK

WATCH THE TRAILER FOR THE MIXTAPE SPOTLIGHTING MICHIGAN RAPPERS HERE

Today Lil Yachty reveals the artwork and April 23 release date for his highly-anticipated mixtape “Michigan Boy Boat.” Featuring rappers from Detroit and Flint, Yachty unveiled a behind-the-scenes trailer filmed in the Great Lake State.

WATCH HERE.

Lil Yachty has long been collaborating with Michiganders. Since his 2017 Tee Grizzley collaboration “From the D to the A,” Yachty has been featured on songs with Michigan artists Sada BabyYN JayRNC Mike, and Krispylife Kitdd–and these were only primers.

“Yachty’s upcoming mixtape, Michigan Boy Boat, is an ode to the state where a new crop of MCs is currently restitching the fabric of modern hip-hop. It’s also a testament to one of the 23-year-old rapper’s greatest gifts: his ear for talent,” states Rolling Stone.

In February, Lil Yachty released a video for his song, “Royal Rumble,” which features six MCs from Michigan’s vibrant rap scenes. Along with Yachty, the song boasts Krispylife Kid, RMC Mike, Babyface Ray, Rio Da Yung OG and Icewear Vezzo.

Stereogum wrote of the song/video: “For the past few years, the Atlanta rap star Lil Yachty has been making tracks with the best rappers that the thriving Michigan underground has to offer. Yachty was arguably the first mainstream rapper to recognize the talent of people like Sada Baby and Rio Da Yung OG, and when he records tracks with guys like that, it usually brings out the best in him.” Pitchfork stated Yachty “always holds his own and makes everyone around him sound more motivated than usual.”

Lil Yachty has been busy. In between developing a heist movie based on the card game Uno, a series for HBO Max, diving into crypto currency, partnering with Reese’s Puffs cerealremixing the Saved by the Bell theme song, and becoming a favorite on TikTok, “hes a mentor and a mogul…”he’s become an elder statesman of a certain brand of young superstar — and something like the Gen Z answer to Diddy” (Rolling Stone).

Hot Wheels illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Hot Wheels Legends Tour

The Hot Wheels Legends Tour Kicks Off First North American Stop

Live Virtual Event on April 29

  • Presented by Mobil 1 and in partnership with throtl, premiere car culture livestream will take place on the Hot Wheels Facebook page and on throtl YouTube channel beginning at 5:00 p.m. PDT on Thursday, April 29
  • Hundreds of custom car creations have been submitted  
  • The winner will go on to compete for the chance to become the next Hot Wheels Garage of Legends inductee and have their custom car creation immortalized as a 1:64 Hot Wheels diecast toy

On Thursday, April 29, the global hunt for the 2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour winner continues with the first North American stop. Now in its fourth year, the world’s largest traveling car show resumes as a live virtual event that will take place on the Hot Wheels Facebook page and throtl YouTube channel beginning at 5:00 p.m. PDT. Hundreds of cars have been submitted by custom car builders across the United States and Canada, all competing to become the next Hot Wheels Garage of Legends inductee and have their ride turned into a Hot Wheels die-cast vehicle that will be sold–and played with by kids of all ages–around the world.

To watch this premiere automotive livestream event which will bring together every part of car culture, visit the Hot Wheels Legends Tour Facebook page or the throtl YouTube channel.

The 2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour is bigger than ever with stops spanning 13 countries and 5 continents. Presented by Mobil 1 and sponsored by Dynacraft and Milestone S.r.l., the first North American event continues this year’s first virtual stops in New Zealand (April 15) and Australia (April 22). Judging will take place live throughout the virtual event by known auto enthusiast personalities, including automotive YouTube sensation and builder TJ Hunt, throtl co-founder Mickey Andrade, motorsports ambassador Jarod DeAnda and top motorsports athlete Collete Davis, as well as Bryan Benedict, Director of Hot Wheels Die-Cast Design, Ted Wu, Global Head of Hot Wheels Design and Mobil 1 special guest and professional drifter, Ryan Tuerck.

“While we look forward to the Hot Wheels Legends Tour returning to in-person events, the virtual contest format has created opportunities for more fans across the United States and Canada to share their passion projects,” said Ted Wu, Global Head of Hot Wheels Design at Mattel. “With so many submissions already in North America and immensely popular events in Australia and New Zealand earlier this month, we’re confident this year’s competition will be fierce.”

Dates for future stops will be announced soon, and fans may register or learn more about the Hot Wheels Legends Tour by visiting Hot Wheels. Livestreams will be available to view on the Hot Wheels Facebook page, on Walmart and through automotive media partners in specific countries. Live events will be returning to U.S.-based Walmart stores this summer.

For further information and to register for an upcoming event, please visit the Hot Wheels website.

BeBe Shopp illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Miss America Partners with Rowan University

Miss America Partners with Rowan University for 100th Anniversary Archival Project

With an eye on history and ideals of beauty, students digitize Miss America archives

“There she is…”

One hundred years of artifacts from the Miss America Competition—from jeweled crowns and velvet capes to programs, photographs, judges’ books, oil paintings, films, and business records—tell more than the story of the competition.

They also provide a rich look at both American and New Jersey history and help illustrate how ideas surrounding beauty and women’s roles in society have changed over a century. 

Now, through a unique partnership with the Miss America Organization, Rowan University students are sifting through the organization’s expansive archives and digitizing the artifacts. Their work, currently underway in the Digital Scholarship Center at Campbell Library, will be the cornerstone of the new Rowan Digital Collections.

Scholars worldwide eventually will have access to the artifacts through the archive, hosted by Rowan Libraries.

Currently, the massive Miss America collection is tucked away in storage in South Jersey. The storage contains a treasure trove of floor-to-ceiling artifacts from the competition.

The Miss America Organization will continue to retain the physical artifacts. But the digitization, which began with program books and some oil paintings of former winners, will ensure the artifacts are categorized and documented–and available widely to future scholars.

The preservation partnership was orchestrated by University administrators, who were approached by the Miss America Organization.

‘An enduring feature of American culture’

“We’re excited Rowan is doing this, and we’re thrilled the University sees value in this project,” says Shantel Krebs, chair of the board and interim president and CEO of the Miss America Organization.

“This is New Jersey history. The digitization project will help others learn more about the quintessential competition and its evolution from a ‘bather’s revue’ into a nationally recognized non-profit that offers scholarship assistance and helps thousands of young women from America to improve their communities through service.”

The project will be a crucial resource to scholars and students, notes College of Humanities & Social Sciences Dean Nawal Ammar.  

“The Miss America competition has been an enduring feature of American culture, producing idealized images of female beauty and achievement,” says Ammar.

“However, the pageant also has been a space to challenge those images, both inside and outside the competition hall. This collection will be an invaluable source for the study of American history, culture, women’s history, business history, media studies, and many other topics.”

Project manager Katie Turner, a professor of history and American Studies, says Rowan students working on digitization are gaining first-hand experience of the archival process. 

“This is a great opportunity for our students to get their hands on history and to really see what goes into making a collection,” adds Turner. “Everything today is digitized for students. They often don’t get to see and touch historical documents. When you sift through paper and do research in an archive, there’s a real commitment to the work.”

Founded as a bather’s revue by businessmen in 1921 as a gimmick to lengthen the summer tourist season in Atlantic City by capitalizing on popular American ideals of female beauty, the competition in its early years was often a steppingstone for women who wanted to pursue show business careers. More than 100,000 people swarmed onto the Atlantic City Boardwalk the first year to watch 16-year-old Margaret Gorman be crowned.

Candidates in the 1920s were rated by judges on everything from the construction of their heads to their “grace of bearing” to their eyes, hair, torso, and hands. Every measurement—from ankles to biceps to head—was recorded by judges and assessed on a points system.

By the 1950s, the competition, under the leadership of Lenora Slaughter, the program’s director for more than 25 years, had been transformed into a source of scholarships for contestants. In 1958, more than $200,000 in scholarships were awarded.

A crown jewel for Atlantic City.

But the competition, a crown jewel for Atlantic City, has not been devoid of controversy. In 1968, it was the site of the first major women’s liberation protest in the United States, when the New York Radical Women, some 400 strong, protested on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. They maintained that the competition objectified women and upheld female stereotypes.

Protestors through the years also objected to the program’s exclusion of women of color. The first Black Miss America, Vanessa Williams, was crowned in 1983—more than 60 years after the competition’s founding.

That isn’t lost on Rowan senior English and writing arts major Destiny Hall, who is working on digitization. She started with the 1984 Miss America magazine, where Williams is featured prominently. Hall, a women’s and gender studies minor, says work on the project has been eye-opening as she explores her own views of feminism.

“Part of being a feminist is allowing women to be whatever they want to be. I have a complicated history with Miss America. In the beginning, I saw it as sexist. Now, I see it as a celebration of womanhood. Many of these women compete to further their careers,” says Hall, 22, who will attend graduate school at Columbia University in the fall as she pursues a career writing fiction for women.

“Through this project, I feel like I’m preserving history and I really appreciate that. It’s important to have this information and to have access to it.”

Freshman English major Grace Fox, who is pursuing the Thomas N. Bantivoglio Honors Concentration in the Honors College, is digitizing program books.

“I’m hoping I’ll find one nugget…something nobody knows about,” says Fox. “I’m definitely looking at the advertisements, the kinds of products they marketed, the images of fashion. There’s so much value in this work. It’s so applicable to things we talk about in class, including how societal views on women’s bodies are enmeshed in the culture we see.”

Robert Hilliker, interim associate provost and director of research engagement and scholarship at Rowan Libraries, and Michael Benson, digital scholarship specialist, are overseeing the digitization work. Additionally, Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication Director Julie Haynes, whose research focuses on depictions of gender in popular culture, is involved in the project.

About the collection

While programs, photos, and other ephemera are being scanned, other artifacts, such as crowns, trophies, and a Waterford scepter carried by winners, will be photographed. Scores of oil paintings and sketches of winners, including some sketches by renowned portrait artist Everett Kintsler, whose work includes official White House portraits of Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, will be digitized under the guidance of Rowan art historians.

Rowan’s Department of Radio/Television/Film may assist in digitizing hundreds of films and slides, some of which were donated by shore-area residents who religiously attended the annual Miss America parade on the Boardwalk.

“Prioritization of the digitization will be quite a project,” Hilliker notes. “The collection is so special from an archivist’s standpoint because it contains varied materials. That will make for some interesting research projects, but it also presents a lot of technical challenges. For our students, this project certainly will be an excellent apprenticeship in digital preservation.”

The collection is an eclectic mix.

The same storage that currently houses the unwieldy Golden Mermaid trophy, presented in the early 1920s to the winner, also includes the crown of 1955 winner Lee Meriwether, who went on to a successful television career. Then Miss California, Meriwether was the first Miss America to be crowned on television, an event that drew 27 million viewers.

Stars flocked to the competition over the years. Grace Kelly was a judge. Marilyn Monroe was the grand marshal of the parade in 1952. Eddie Fischer was a host before Bert Parks, famed singer of the “There She Is” Miss America theme, emceed for 24 years.

The collection also includes Slaughter’s personal scrapbooks. Some of her other papers are housed at the Smithsonian Institution.

Some of the artifacts, such as the film of Meriwether being crowned, were lost during an Atlantic City Nor’easter some years ago. That makes the digitization project particularly valuable, Krebs notes.

BeBe Shopp, Miss America 1948, says she’s delighted Rowan students are preserving Miss America’s legacy.

“This will make it easier for anyone to view our history and learn how Miss America has grown and become even more vital to young women today,” says Shopp, who represented Minnesota in the competition. “This is important. What an experience the students must be having combing through hundreds of thousands of documents and learning about our past. At my age, I’m thrilled that they are going to preserve me for ages to come.”

Supporting the archival work

The Miss America Organization has established a campaign to help fund the digitization project and preserve the thousands of artifacts in the organization’s 100-year history. Visit the organization’s funding site to learn more about supporting the work.

Taylor Swift illustration by Heather Skovlund (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Winter) for 360 Magazine

TAYLOR SWIFT – ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Taylor Swift Wins Album of the Year at Grammys

Taylor Swift × Disney+

Taylor’s announcement video on Twitter and Instagram

Watch Trailer HERE

Taylor Swift, Aaron Dessner (The National), Jack Antonoff (Bleachers) and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) created an album that crossed genres — a musical journey that allows us to cry and laugh, and during these trying times, makes us feel like we’re not quite so alone. They recorded “folklore” thousands of miles apart from each other and had never been in the same room together…

…until now

“folklore: the long pond studio sessions” was filmed in upstate New York in September 2020 and will premiere exclusively on Disney+ on Wednesday, November 25, at 12:01AM PT. Taylor, accompanied by co-producers Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff along with a guest appearance by Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), performs each song in order of her critically adored, five star album, “folklore” and for the very first time, reveals the stories and secrets behind all 17 songs.

“folklore: the long pond studio sessions” was directed by Taylor Swift and filmed on 6 x Lumix S1H mirrorless cameras with Leica lenses embedded in the studio, along with a one Alexa LF with an Angenieux 24-290 on a Furio robotic camera with 30+ feet of curved track.

Twitter: @DisneyPlus

Instagram: @DisneyPlus

Facebook: @DisneyPlus

About Disney+

Disney+ is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. As part of Disney’s Media and Entertainment Distribution segment, Disney+ is available on most internet-connected devices and offers commercial-free programming with a variety of original feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series and short-form content. Alongside unprecedented access to Disney’s incredible library of film and television entertainment, the service is also the exclusive streaming home for the latest releases from The Walt Disney Studios. Disney+ is available as part of a bundle offer that gives subscribers access to Disney+, Hulu (ad-supported), and ESPN+. Visit DisneyPlus.com to subscribe and/or learn more about the service.

TAYLOR SWIFT RELEASES FEARLESS (TAYLOR’S VERSION) ALBUM 

LISTEN HERE 

Today Taylor Swift released Fearless (Taylor’s Version).

The 27-track album of new recordings was produced by Taylor Swift, Chris Rowe, Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff and features musical collaborations with Colbie Caillat, Keith Urban and Maren Morris.

Fearless (Taylor’s Version) includes six never before released songs, including “Mr. Perfectly Fine” and “You All Over Me (Taylor’s Version)” featuring Maren Morris, which marks Taylor’s 130th Billboard Hot 100.  Taylor Swift now has the most entries in the Billboard Hot 100 of any female artist in history.

Taylor Swift released her second studio album, Fearless in 2008. It is the most awarded Country album of all time and received GRAMMY’s most prestigious accolade, Album of The Year Award in 2010. Taylor is the only female artist ever to have been honored in this category three times (Fearless1989 and folklore).

Fearless (Taylor’s Version) tracklisting

  1. Fearless (Taylor’s Version)
  2. Fifteen (Taylor’s Version)
  3. Love Story (Taylor’s Version)
  4. Hey Stephen (Taylor’s Version)
  5. White Horse (Taylor’s Version)
  6. You Belong with Me (Taylor’s Version)
  7. Breathe (Taylor’s Version) Featuring Colbie Caillat
  8. Tell Me Why (Taylor’s Version)
  9. You’re Not Sorry (Taylor’s Version)
  10. The Way I Loved You (Taylor’s Version)
  11. Forever & Always (Taylor’s Version)
  12. The Best Day (Taylor’s Version)
  13. Change (Taylor’s Version)
  14. Jump Then Fall (Taylor’s Version)
  15. Untouchable (Taylor’s Version)
  16. Forever & Always (Piano Version) (Taylor’s Version)
  17. Come in with the Rain (Taylor’s Version)
  18. Superstar (Taylor’s Version)
  19. The Other Side of the Door (Taylor’s Version)
  20. Today Was a Fairytale (Taylor’s Version)
  21. You All Over Me (from the Vault) Featuring Maren Morris
  22. Mr. Perfectly Fine (from the Vault)
  23. We Were Happy (from the Vault)
  24. That’s When (from the Vault) Featuring Keith Urban
  25. Don’t You (from the Vault)
  26. Bye Bye Baby (from the Vault)
  27. Bonus Track: Love Story (Taylor’s Version) – Elvira Remix
Lady Gaga illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Lady Gaga × Dom Pérignon

Today, more than ever, the world needs the power of creative freedom. A force to open up new horizons, to move us forward. A force that brings Lady Gaga and Dom Pérignon together for a collaboration.

This is the celebration of how pushing boundaries of creation, constant reinvention and passionate dedication to one’s craft can elevate us, individually and collectively.

Starting April 6, in the shape of an artistic project comprising an advertising campaign, limited edition bottles and a sculpture designed by Lady Gaga… Emerges an invitation to enter the shared universe of two iconic creators.

Because Dom Pérignon wholeheartedly embraces the causes of the artists it collaborates with, this alliance will empower meaningful support for Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.

Kia Damon illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Chef Kia Damon: Culinary Compassion In The Kitchen

By: Emily Bunn

This Women’s History Month, 360 Magazine sat down with Chef Kia Damon. Kia is the founder of Kia Feeds The People (KFTTP) and is a cofounder of Auxilio, both of which are non-profits aimed at combating food apartheid. We dished with Kia on how she discovered her passion for cooking, pathways towards increased Black and QTPOC representation in the culinary industry, and her upcoming video release with EFFEN Vodka and Queer Foods, which can be viewed here.

When did you first begin cooking? When did you realize you wanted to pursue it professionally?

“I started cooking in my early preteens. I have younger brothers as well, so once we were too old for day care, I had to step up as the older sibling to make sure we ate, especially more so during the summertime because I have working parents. But, it wasn’t until some years later when I started cooking independently for my own health reasons that I truly saw my strengths in cooking and realized that cooking professionally wasn’t a world that was so far away for me, that it was actually extremely attainable and extremely real. So I took the plunge, and to this day some of my family’s still very surprised, because I was definitely burning pots of rice, and they were like ‘this girl has no talents for the kitchen.’ Now I’m cooking and they still can’t believe it.”

We all know foods brings communities together. Are there any experiences you’ve had with community members through Kia Feeds The People that have stuck with you?

Yes! Honestly, the most connective part was before I even started cooking with KFTTP people when I was looking for guidance from a lot of my friends in the cooking community. Because KFTTP was birthed in a really tumultuous time, I felt like I couldn’t quite gather my thoughts and my feelings. I just felt so emotionally charged and stunted that I felt like I couldn’t even work or think or move because I felt so emotional about everything. But being able to lean into my friends and my chosen family who see me for who I am, who know me intimately and know my heart, they were able to guide me to where I am now and toward my mission for KFTTP. I’m super grateful. These are people that I’ve been able to cook with before, these are people that I’ve literally eaten with before–we’ve shared food out of deli containers at 3am–I’m very grateful for them. And I definitely could not have got to this place without them.”

Are you looking to expand KFTPP outside of Brooklyn, or just focus on this specific community?

“Because I am a Sagittarius, I definitely am looking to expand and looking to grow. I definitely have to make sure I build and flesh KFTTP out as much as possible in Brooklyn before I start thinking about moving other places. But I do have visions, not necessarily to just expand Kia Feeds The People, but to collaborate with other mutual aid organizations and non-profits that already exist in other cities, so that I can support them and [they] have more coverage where they are. I’m not the only one who’s doing this kind of work and it is definitely a collaborative, lifelong mission, so I want to lend hands to the people who are already in this game.”

What do you think is the biggest obstacle facing overcoming food apartheid?

Personally I think the biggest obstacle is still convincing people that it exists, because we live in such a individualistic world. If something doesn’t affect the next person, then they’re more likely to ignore it, you know. That’s why I think COVID really shook things up, because a lot of us were collectively put on our butts. you know. We’re like “whoa, wait a minute, is this one thing that is really proactively affecting us.” But regarding food apartheid, a lot of people are still familiar with it in terms of a “food desert.” Food desert is a word that’s been used for many years to describe this situation, and a “desert” implies that it is natural, because the world naturally created deserts. When you apply “food desert” to that idea, it implies that this place without food, this place without access to meals, is natural and that’s just the way that it’s supposed to be. But it’s completely unnatural, it’s completely systematic, and [after recognizing that] then we can start looking at it as something that is created by is created by systems. Then, we can put some realness to it and find how all of us are truly affected by them. So I think right now, it’s making sure people know what food apartheid is, and that it actually exists.”

Do you have a favorite meal or cocktail to prepare when you’re bringing family or friends together?

“My favorite meal is red beans and rice. I love a good pot of Louisiana-style red beans and rice, because honestly that–with some corn bread on top and so hot sauce– that really is the whole meal. You think you would need something else on the side but that’s really it. It’s so fulfilling, it’s so delicious, and I definitely try to bring it out when I get to be with my friends and family.”

The culinary world is a male-dominated industry. How can the culinary industry work to become more diverse, and have more Black, QTPOC chefs?

“I think it’s a starts with actually investing in the lives and careers of these black/brown/trans/ LGBTQ chefs because they exist. I know they exist because they’re my friends. And what happens is that maybe they’re put in positions of leadership or maybe not, but they’re they’re not given the same care, support or investment in their skills and education and their needs. You could put someone in a line chef position or position of leadership or whatever, but if there’s no follow through to make sure that they have what they need to be supported in those positions, they’re usually set up for failure, or set up to be harmed in some way. Or maybe a small business that’s LGBTQ or Black has a good profile, [but they may not be] getting access to grants or money. You have to have the follow through. It’s not that we don’t exist, it’s that we’re not properly supported when we are put at the forefront. That’s when it gets tricky and that’s when we’re left open to harm and failure.”

What are you most excited about regarding this video release with Queer Foods and EFFEN Vodka?

“I’m very excited for mom to see it first of all, I love my mommy and she is my number one fan. And she’s a Gemini, so I’m always looking for her approval. But I’m also excited to get to Kia Feeds The People and Queer Stories in front of the world. I feel like we can’t tell enough queer stories, there’s always someone’s story out there. Even though there’s this myth out there that there’s already enough representation, or that maybe it’s too much to keep talking about queer people, that’s actually far from the truth. I’m proud and honored that EFFEN Vodka wants to support what I’m doing and wants to get my story out there. My story is the story of a lot of other Black and brown and trans people’s stories, and it also feels good to partner with someone who sees me and wants to invest in my story and invest in supporting other diverse artists, both in their representation and practice. It just feels good to be seen, and I’m excited for everyone else to see me and to be seen. Just look! Everyone just look! I want everyone to look and feel pride in who we are.”

How can readers donate to Kia Feeds The People?

“You can head to my GoFundMe if you’re not in the city, or if you’re in Brooklyn you can come to a pop up. Please donate to my GoFundMe, I have it on my Instagram page. Share it with your friends, let them know what’s up. Or if you are in Bed-Stuy, you can find me at a pop-up– I have a few coming up in April, so I’m going to be all over the place. Come get some food or throw some money, either way I’ll be very grateful.”

To learn more about Kia, visit her website.

Kia’s EFFEN Rosé Vodka Grapefruit Cocktail

Ingredients: 

  • 2 parts EFFEN Rosé vodka
  • 1 oz of lime juice
  • ½ oz of cane syrup
  • 2 or 3 parts grapefruit juice

Mix the grapefruit juice, lime juice, simple syrup, EFFEN Rosé vodka and a spoonful of ice in a cocktail shaker. Stir and taste. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with grapefruit, and thyme. Drink responsibly + enjoy!

Kia’s Gumbo Recipe 

Ingredients

  • 8 oz andouille sausage
  • 1lb Boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 cups sliced okra, fresh or frozen
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp Creole seasoning
  • 1 tbsp of fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp Smoked paprika
  • ½ tbsp Ground sage
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh parsley

Directions

  • Season the chicken thighs with 2 tablespoons of creole seasoning, salt and pepper. Season well on both sides. Heat a skillet or cast iron to medium heat with enough oil to cover the bottom. When the pan is hot, sear the chicken in batches. Brown the chicken on both sides and set aside. The chicken does not have to be cooked through just yet.
  • In a large pot add the oil and heat to a medium high heat. Add the flour and whisk until it begins to cook. Lower the heat to medium low. Keep whisking the roux over a controlled and steady heat until the flour begins to darken into a deep brown. This takes about 30 minutes, so pace yourself.
  • Turn the heat down on the roux and add in your onion, bell pepper and celery. Stir into the roux, season with a few pinches of salt and sauté until fragrant and translucent. Add in your minced garlic and fresh thyme. Stir for another 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the chicken stock while whisking the roux. Do this part slowly because the roux will begin to thicken. Take your time and continue pouring in the stock until it’s completely incorporated.
  • Bring the pot to a boil, meanwhile slice the sausage in ¼ inch rounds on a slight bias. When the pot begins to boil, reduce to a simmer and add the chicken and sausage. Let the gumbo cook on low for an hour. You want time for the flour taste to cook out.
  • After an hour, add the remaining two tablespoons of creole seasoning, smoked paprika, ground sage and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Stir and add your sliced okra. Cook for another 10 minutes, add salt and pepper and hot sauce to taste then serve with rice and chopped parsley.
  • Enjoy!

Kia's EFFEN Rosé Vodka Grapefruit Cocktail Photo credit: Solène Michel  Recipe credit: Kia Damon, Kia Feeds The People for use by 360 Magazine

Photo credit: Solène Michel Recipe credit: Kia Damon, Kia Feeds The People

Kia Damon image shot by Elina Street for EFFEN Vodka and Queer Foods for use by 360 Magazine

Photo Credit: Solène Michel 

Canadian Goose with basketball illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

PETA Attacks NBA Over Sponsorship

PETA Attacks NBA Over Canada Goose Sponsorship

Natural Fibers Alliance Blows Foul on Extremism

This week members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) demanded the NBA scuttle its new multiyear partnership with Canada Goose. On Monday, the Canadian company announced a multi-year partnership with the NBA to develop specialized attire for NBA All-Star Games.

PETA has had a long-running campaign against Canada Goose because the company uses feathers and fur in some of its outerwear. PETA has vigorously attempted to ban the use of all leather, wool, fur, cashmere, down, and silk at the federal, state, and local levels because they are derived from animals–including the leather used to make basketballs.

Mike Brown, head of sustainability and communications with the Natural Fibers Alliance, issued the following response to PETA: PETA has gotten so extreme that it would ban basketballs simply because they’re made with leather. This is a lay-up for the league: Tell PETA to hit the showers.”

Not only does PETA’s advocacy against natural materials harm the environment but threatens consumers’ freedom of choice. Synthetic clothing is one of the top global polluters of waterways. Researchers estimate that synthetic fabrics alone are responsible for up to 35 percent of microplastic pollution in our oceans; synthetic clothing “sheds” microparticles when cleaned. Natural fibers, in contrast, are a sustainable and renewable resource.

The Natural Fibers Alliance is a newly formed environmental justice coalition representing wool, leather, fur, and other naturally produced materials. For additional comments or questions, contact Mike Brown.

Empowered Women Illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

CÎROC × COMBS ENTERPRISES EMPOWERED WOMEN

The first cohort of the 2021 Empowered Women honorees, including Iman, Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, and Fadia Kader, are announced in celebration of International Women’s Day.

 

Ciroc and Combs Enterprises are proud to announce the continuation of its Empowered Women platform. Empowered Women, first launched in 2016 by Combs Enterprises women-led executive team, uplifts, spotlights, and honors an eclectic and dynamic group of entrepreneurs, creatives, and businesswomen.

This year, Ciroc and Combs Enterprises partnered with Culture Creators, a cultural connectivity organization that aims to spotlight the contributions of individuals who have shaped the global view of Black culture. To further amplify the initiative, fittingly launched during Women’s History Month, Empowered Women will honor 50 successful women and share the narratives that formed them. Championing discussions around the value of mentorship, allyship, and leadership, Empowered Women highlights the importance of celebrating the current and uplifting the next generation of fearless leaders. Honorees represent five categories including social impact, technology, entertainment, art and style, and business.

Ciroc, Combs Enterprises, and Culture Creators will spotlight the honorees beginning in March and culminating this spring. The series will include custom digital content and exclusive honoree interviews shared via Culture Creators’ platforms, curated vodka cocktails, and an exclusive media partnership with women’s lifestyle publication, Elle Magazine.

It is an honor to continue to build and strengthen the Empowered Women platform alongside Culture Creators and Elle Magazine”, says Ingrid Best, Vice President of Global Marketing, Spirits, Combs Enterprises. “As a Black woman, it is my personal and professional mission to honor those who are breaking boundaries, while also providing a platform for us to continue to do the important work of mentoring and showing up for the next generation. We hope this program encourages young, budding professionals to push boundaries and redefine the status quo in their respective industries.”.

The first round of March 2021 honorees is below, representing the industry leaders paving the way for future generations.

 

Empowered Women Honorees – March:

  • Adrienne Lofton
  • Alencia Johnson
  • Brianna Agyemang
  • Caroline Yim
  • Dawn Dickson
  • Donna Stewart
  • Fadia Kadar
  • Heather Lowery
  • IMAN
  • Jamila Thomas
  • Morgan DeBaun
  • Sarah Jakes Roberts
  • Stephanie L. Young
  • Morgan Dixon
  • Valeshia Butterfield-Jones
  • Vanessa Garrison
  • Yvette Noel Schure

Joi Brown, Founder, and CEO of Culture Creators commented, “I started Culture Creators because I envisioned a platform that gives individuals who push the culture forward and strive for inclusion that flowers while they are still here while continuing to develop the next generation of leaders. Partnering with like-minded visionaries at Ciroc to bring Empowered Women to life marries the spirit of celebration and mentorship.”.

As part of its mission to propel Black culture, Culture Creators has consistently celebrated the accomplishments of key luminaries across a broad spectrum of industries, including entertainment, fashion, finance, technology, business, and more. The Innovators & Leaders Awards Brunch, Culture Creators’ annual signature event, exemplifies this mission and has previously honored Sylvia Rhone, Byron Allen, Marsai Martin, Jemele Hill, Kenya Barris, Charles D. King, and the late Andre Harrell, to name a few. In 2019, Culture Creators launched the first-ever C2 Summit, a platform that targets students of color across all universities and provides interactive educational experiences, employment opportunities, and creates access to leaders across various career paths. Today, Culture Creators further advances its mission with the launch of the Empowered Women platform.

Eddie Murphy illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Eddie Murphy to Receive Distinguished Artisan Award

Eddie Murphy to Receive Distinguished Artisan Award at 8th Annual Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards

Awards to be presented on April 3, 2021

Award-winning actor Eddie Murphy, best known for his work in the films Coming to America, Beverly Hills Cop, The Nutty Professor and Dreamgirls, among many others, will receive this year’s Distinguished Artisan Award at the 8th Annual  Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards (MUAHS, IATSE Local 706), celebrating the prolific spectrum of his versatile four-decade acting career on screen and television. Presenting the Distinguished Artisan Award to Murphy will be Arsenio Hall, star of Murphy’s upcoming movie Coming 2 America. For registration and information visit this website.

The reimagined awards gala, honoring outstanding achievements of both make-up artists and hair stylists in motion pictures, television, commercials and live theater, will be held virtually on Saturday, April 3, 2021.  The announcement was made today by Julie Socash, President of IATSE Local 706.

“From The Nutty Professor to Prince Akeem, Eddie Murphy is a legendary actor whose myriad of characters live in our hearts forever. He has expertly created memorable personalities in numerous award winning films, often portraying multiple characters in the same film. This award recognizes all the hours that he has spent in the make-up chair collaborating with our talented and innovative make-up artists and hair stylists, and we celebrate these great relationships and Eddie’s enormous talents,” said Socash.

Eddie Murphy is the most commercially successful Black actor in the history of the motion picture business, and is one of the industry’s top five box-office performers overall. At the tender age of 59, Murphy is on the very short list of actors who have starred in multiple $100 million pictures over the past three decades, from Beverly Hills Cop to Daddy Day Care.

Murphy was most recently seen portraying the legendary underground comic personality Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite Is My Name from Netflix, a performance which garnered him widespread critical acclaim as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Motion Picture —Musical/Comedy and a Critics Choice Association nomination for Best Actor. He also recently received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his return to his comedy alma mater, Saturday Night Live.

In 2007, Murphy received rave reviews and critical acclaim for his portrayal of James “Thunder” Early in the Dreamworks film Dreamgirls, a performance which would garner him the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, as well as earning him his first Academy Award nomination in the same category.

He is also the voice of Donkey in the Oscar®-winning animated film Shrek and its sequel, Shrek 2, which is the top-grossing animated film of all time. Murphy won an Annie Award and earned BAFTA and MTV Movie Award nominations for his performance in the first Shrek, and reprised the role of Donkey in the final installment of the hugely successful franchise, Shrek Goes Fourth. Murphy began his career as a stand-up comedian 45 years ago. In 1980, at the age of 19, he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live, and has since gone on to establish a successful career on the big screen.

His films have been among the highest-grossing comedies in the industry; they include  48 Hrs.Trading PlacesDr. DolittleComing to America and the Beverly Hills Cop franchise. Murphy garnered Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy for his performances in Beverly Hills CopTrading Places and 48 Hrs.

In 1989, Murphy made his directorial debut with Harlem Nights, a period comedy he also wrote and starred in, opposite Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx. In addition, Murphy starred in and produced the hit comedy Life, co-starring Martin Lawrence, and starred opposite Steve Martin in the comedy Bowfinger. He was also the voice of Mushu the Dragon in the successful animated epic Mulan.

In 1996, Murphy portrayed seven different characters in the worldwide box office smash The Nutty Professor, for which he received another Golden Globe Award nomination. He added a character to play a total of eight roles in the sequel, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, co-starring Janet Jackson. He also starred in Dr. Dolittle 2, Daddy Day Care, The Haunted Mansion, the romantic comedy Norbit — in which he played three characters as well as serving as the film’s producer and screenwriter, the caper comedy Tower Heist opposite Ben Stiller, and the drama Mr. Church.

The Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild’s Distinguished Artisan Award is given annually to those whose body of work in the film and television industry was richly enhanced by the consistent collaboration of make-up and hair styling artistry creating memorable characters throughout their career. Previous recipients include Sir Patrick Stewart, Melissa McCarthy, Gary Oldman, Johnny Depp, Ryan Murphy and Guillermo del Toro.

As previously announced, Matthew Mungle, Oscar® and Emmy®-winning make-up artist, and Terry Baliel, Emmy®-winning hair stylist, will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring an extraordinary spectrum of acclaimed work, exceptional contributions to the motion picture arts and sciences, and outstanding service to their union or the entertainment industry. The 8th Annual Awards Gala is produced by IngleDodd Media and Erick Weiss/Honeysweet Creative. Final ballot online voting closes on Thursday, March 18, 2021. Winners will be announced at the virtual 8th Annual Awards Gala on Saturday, April 3, 2021.

The Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards is sponsored by Presenting Level: HASK Beauty; Sapphire Levels: Nigel Beauty, Schwarzkopf Professional; Platinum Level: Ardell; Gold Level: The Criterion Group; Silver Level: Cinema Secrets, Premiere Products, Inc, Skindinavia, Skin Illustrator; Gift Box Sponsor: HMUA PAX, RCMA Makeup; Media SponsorsVariety, InStyle, ON MAKEUP Magazine and SHOOTonline.