Posts tagged with "Georgia"

LaMelo Ball illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 magazine

LaMelo Ball Joins PUMA

By Justin Lyons

LaMelo Ball, top 2020 NBA Draft prospect and younger brother of New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball, signed with the sports company PUMA for a long-term sponsorship deal.

Ball said he’s excited to join the PUMA family as he kicks off his basketball career.

“I believe the brand is the perfect partner for me because PUMA will allow me to just be myself. I want to be 100-percent authentic whether that’s playing basketball or showing off my personal style, and that’s what I want to do with PUMA,” Ball said.

The 6-foot-7-inch guard with elite passing skills opted out of college basketball in favor of professional contracts in Lithuania and Australia.

Adam Petrick, the global director of brand and marketing at PUMA, said Ball is a natural fit for PUMA because of his personal style and his “physical gifts and dynamic play on the court.”

“We are thrilled to add him to our roster of talented athletes, and at just 19 years old, we can’t wait to see his impact on the broader culture surrounding basketball,” Petrick said.

The first collaboration between the young phenom and PUMA will come in the form of a PUMA x LaMelo Ball T-shirt and hoodie set. The set will release Nov. 18, the same day as the 2020 NBA Draft where Ball is expected to go in the top five.

PUMA also intends to blur lines between sports, culture, music and fashion with its approach to the collaboration with Ball, which will likely be seen in the form of shirts, shoes and other apparel.

The partnership will follow PUMA’s “Not From Here” concept, something Ball cooked up himself to represent his unique attitude.

“I don’t know what normal is. I personally chose a different path to achieve my success because that defines who I am,” Ball said. “I know some people think I am mysterious or ‘not from here,’ and I might have to agree. I am someone who likes to be different and consider myself to be one of one. That’s the message I want to share in my upcoming projects with PUMA.”

Ball and PUMA will also join forces to host basketball camps, clothing donations, court refurbishments and more to support programs that encourage young athletes stay active.

With names like RJ Barrett, Kyle Kuzma and Deandre Ayton highlighting the list, Ball is the latest in a line of young talent to join PUMA.

In Ball’s 2019-2020 season as a member of the Illawarra Hawks, he played just 12 games before injuring himself during practice and deciding to leave for the NBA Draft. He averaged 17 points, 6.8 assists and 7.6 rebounds per game.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft after winning the NBA Draft Lottery. The Timberwolves had a 14% chance at landing the first pick, tied for the best odds with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, the team holding the worst record in the league.

With the Timberwolves trading for star guard D’Angelo Russell last season, mock drafts appear to have Minnesota targeting Anthony Edwards, the wing player out of Georgia.

Without a consensus first pick, there is also speculation that Minnesota could trade out of the first pick, opening an opportunity for a team looking for a point guard with passing abilities like Ball’s.

It all remains to be seen the night of the Draft Nov. 18, where one thing is for sure: LaMelo Ball’s name will be called.

Elixir

By Payton Saso

Twin sister music group, Elixir, may be new to the music scene but should definitely be on your radar.

Originally from Carroliton, Georgia, the sisters, Aleeya and Aleexus Crowder, were raised in a structured and comfortable home, but that never hindered their creative abilities. The twins say that they were able to discover their musical talents from the encouragement of their parents to stimulate their creative side.

Once a shared past-time the twins loved, music quickly transitioned to a hobby to a career.

By channeling influence from the realness of nature, lyrically emphasizing the truth, and the hopes to provide relief through music, the twins have released nine songs across the streaming platform Spotify.

With their devotion to individuality and putting out creative energy through their music, it is no surprise that they feel inspired from Masego and Andre 3000 as well.

While the onset of the pandemic has halted many artists ability to grow and perform, Elixir is using this time to tap into their creativity. When asked how they’ve been using their time they said, “We have been working on more music and projects and we also are starting a new business wire wrapping healing stones that is keeping us busy as well.”

With live performances also on halt, Elixir is planning a virtual performance toward the end of October in order to still connect with their fans, while still following regulations.

What’s next for the twins? Well, they say they plan on creating and sharing music videos for their previously released singles and continue to grow as a duo.

Instagram

Website

Camera illustration by Allison Christensen

The Untitled Space’s Online Exhibitions

The Untitled Space is pleased to present “Lola Jiblazee: True World Story,” an online solo exhibition premiering on Tuesday July 21st. Lola Jiblazee is a New York based artist from Tbilisi, Georgia who primarily works with acrylic paint and digital forms. Influenced in her formative years by strong female role models during Georgia’s Civil War, Lola developed a passion to echo the empowerment of women. Lola Jiblazee’s latest series “True World Story” explores hope, love, and courage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Isolated during the lockdown, Lola turned to social media and asked her followers to share their positive quarantine stories. Those stories inspired her latest series, with each painting including the personal story of her subjects.

Jiblazee grew up in the Republic of Georgia in the nineties during their Civil War. She had been under curfew and isolated, went without water and electricity, and was separated from loved ones for months. She struggled to overcome the PTSD that ensued but the experiences also made her stronger. Through her artwork, she attempts to convey how others can find joy in simple things which can help overcome tough times and remind people how beautiful life can be.

In addition, the Untitled Space continues to present “Tom Smith: STRIP” the first in a series of online summer solo exhibitions. In celebration of LGTBQ Pride Month, “Tom Smith: STRIP” premiered his fantasy installations on Tuesday June 30th, 2020

Indira Cesarine Studio and The Untitled Space showcase “The Labyrinth,” an installation and exhibition of works featuring photography, video, painting, and sculpture, as well as a series of performances inspired by the artwork. The exhibition opened with an artist reception on March 12th, 2020 featuring a special performance by renowned modern dancer Katherine Crockett. Due to the pandemic, the exhibition closed on March 13th, and the updated exhibition dates are June 24 – August 28, 2020 by appointment according to CDC guidelines.

There is also select artwork from Sarupa Sidaarth, Anna Sampson, and Chistina Massey on virtual display at The Untitled Space. Be sure to explore their digital galleries and look forward to socially distant viewings in person.

banging gavel illustration

Georgia Governor Sues Atlanta Mayor

By Eamonn Burke

Amidst a large spike in Covid-19 cases across the United States, the governor of Georgia has sued the mayor of Atlanta, a hotspot for the virus. The lawsuit, filed yesterday, is filed against the mayor for mandating strict health measures, meaning masks. Governor Brian Kemp (R) claims that the mayor’s “disastrous policies threaten the lives and livelihood of our citizens.” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D), accepted the decision, saying “We’ll see him in court.” She also suggested that the governor had crossed a line with this challenge.

This comes as Georgia’s cases and deaths are rising, reaching numbers that the state has not yet seen since the pandemic began. It is evidence of a growing political polarization surrounding masks and other Covid-related health measures. Governor Kemp claims legal authority to set state-wide measures, while Mayor Bottoms defends her actions as following the course recommended by health experts.

The two also disagree on re-opening measures, as Kemp opened Georgia before any other state, when even President Trump thought it was “too soon.” Mayor Bottoms, however, is pushing for Georgia to return to phase one of re-opening. Kemp dismissed it as a “recommendation”, and extended his own executive order to overrule any local mandates for masks.

“While we all agree that wearing a mask is effective, I’m confident that Georgians don’t need a mandate to do the right thing,” the governor said at a news conference yesterday.

book, reading, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

Clark Atlanta University × T.I.

Clark Atlanta University (CAU) President George T. French Jr. is thinking outside the box when it comes to educating, enlightening and empowering CAU students.

The university is partnering with three-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist, actor, producer, songwriter and entrepreneur Tip “T.I.” Harris to create an amazing experience for CAU undergraduate students this Fall.

“HBCUs have a vital role in our community and have managed to withstand even while being some of the most under-resourced institutions,” said T.I.  “Our national HBCUs continue to underscore the fact that we have always had to do more with less. I am excited to be partnering with Clark Atlanta University in my hometown – Atlanta.”

I applaud their innovative approach to ensuring their students are educated beyond the traditional textbook curriculum. I am honored to end my voice and unique experiences to the betterment of today’s young people and to do my part to lift the legacy of historical black colleges and universities across the nation,” T.I. said.

T.I. will be tag teaming with Presidential Leadership Scholar and hip-hop aficionado, Dr. Melva K. Williams on the “Business of Trap Music.”  Williams brought forward the concept as a way to expose the life, career, entrepreneurial success, experiences, and the like of national recording artist, T.I., to the HBCU community. Williams is a prominent figure in higher education and is a long-time educator, HBCU advocate, and co-founder for the Higher Education Leadership Foundation (H.E.L.F.).  She also serves as a Vice Chancellor for Southern University Shreveport and New Orleans.

“In higher education it is important that we challenge, empower and equip our students with the proper resources to excel,” said President George T. French Jr., “I believe the best way to do this is to understand their culture and create life-long experiences that will not only motivate our scholars but present them with opportunities to help them become globally competitive,” French said.

Trap Music is a sub-genre of hip-hop music and is a cultural phenomenon that involves a variety of art forms. The genre has been embraced worldwide, has been infused with other types of music and has become a part of everyday living. The effect of Trap Music is well known, but the business of Trap Music and its ability to enlighten and educate will be explored on the campus of Clark Atlanta University.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CLARK ATLANTA UNIVERSITY: Website | Instagram | Twitter

Minority Report

A comprehensive report of the continuation and influx of unjustified treatment towards minorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

February 23: 25-year-old Georgia resident Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot while running unarmed. No arrests were made immediately, but Gregory and Travis McMichael, who claim to have been making a citizen’s arrest, have since been apprehended more than 2 months after the shooting and charged with murder and aggravated assault. The murder and its delayed action have sparked nationwide protests and calls for justice. The lawyer, hired by Ahmaud’s family, was also hired by another African American victim – Breonna Taylor.

March 13Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her Louisville home after police entered the house on a search warrant. Taylor and her boyfriend believed they were burglars and began firing at the police. The shootout left 26-year-old Taylor dead and her boyfriend, 27, arrested and charged with assault and attempted murder of a police officer. Neither Taylor nor her boyfriend Walker had a criminal record, but Walker had a firearm license.

March 23: A newly released video shows a 68-year-old black Missouri woman by the name of Marvia Gray and her son Derek being forcefully arrested on the floor of a department store on March 23rd. The two were accused falsely of trying to steal a television and were injured when thrown on the floor by police, according to Gray. They were however, arrested for assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.

April 18Steven Taylor, 33, was shot to death by police in a California Walmart while attempting to steal from the store and threatening violent acts with a baseball bat. Taylor was fatally shot, however, after becoming a non-threat, it prompted the family to call for charges against the officers. Taylor was also allegedly in a mental health crisis and has a history of disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Taylor leaves behind three children and three siblings.

April 24: Austin Police murdered 42-year old Michael Ramos after a nearby 911 call about a possible drug deal. The police shot Ramos when he was out of his car, with his hands above his head. When Ramos re-entered his vehicle and began driving away, he was shot again and soon after, died. A later investigation found no sign of a firearm in the car.

April 28: A shootout with police in Florida killed 26-year-old Jonas Joseph after his car was pulled over. Joseph began firing at police, who returned fire and killed the young man.

May 6: 21-year-old Sean Reed was killed by police following a vehicle pursuit on the evening of May 6, 2020. The police pursued Reed after being seen driving erratically on the highway. The pursuit terminated, but when Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Assistant Chief Chris Bailey spotted the car parked, he approached. Reed tried to flee, but the confrontation left the young man dead. A crowd of protestors at the scene demanded the reasoning for the officer’s use of force.

May 9: 48-year-old Adrian Medearis was killed after being pulled over under suspicion of driving while intoxicated in Houston. The officer conducted a sobriety test, and attempted to arrest Medearis, a well-known local Gospel singer and choir director, but he resisted arrest and was fatally shot  in the ensuing altercation. His family and community are demanding the release of the video.

May 18: A Sarasota police officer was filmed using excessive force and kneeling on Patrick Carroll’s neck during an arrest. The video was put on social media and the officer in question has been put on administrative leave weeks after the event.

May 25: A woman named Amy Cooper called the cops on Christian Cooper, a Harvard alumnus and former Marvel Comics editor. The 57-year-old man was bird watching in Central Park when she approached him without her dog on the leash. After he asked her to put the dog on a leash, she called the police and claimed to be threatened. The altercation went viral after Christian Cooper posted a video of the event on social media, recording the woman aggressively restraining her dog and her saying, “I’m going to tell them [the police] there’s an African American man threatening my life.” Amy Cooper has since publicly apologized. But, Cooper has faced repercussions beyond negative comments on Twitter. She has been fired from her job at Franklin Templeton Investments, where she was vice president, and her dog has been rescued by a pet shelter.

Also on Monday May 25th, a Minneapolis man named George Floyd was murdered by police after an officer knelt on his neck despite his cries for help. Floyd was taken to a hospital where he died, and four officers were fired soon after the incident. A police statement says that Floyd was being investigated for a “forgery in progress” and resisted arrest. But, surveillance video of the arrest shows Floyd complying with the officers. On May 29th, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with murder and manslaughter, four days after George Floyd’s death. On June 3rd, the other three officers involved in George Floyd’s murder, J.A. Keung, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao, were arrested and charged with Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Murder and Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Manslaughter. Floyd’s murder sparked protests around the country with citizens looting and setting fire to buildings. The protestors have been met with tear gas and rubber bullets from police officers.

Allison Christensen, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery

May 28: At a protest in Minneapolis, 43-year-old Calvin L. Horton Jr. was fatally shot and a suspect is in custody.

A Mississippi cop is on leave after a video is released of him choking a young suspect.

May 29: CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested while reporting on the protest in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, another CNN reporter, Josh Campbell, says he was treated very differently by police and allowed to stay and report. Jimenez is black and Latino whereas Campbell is white. All three CNN workers were released from custody an hour later.

21-year-old Javar Harrell was not protesting but was fatally shot near protests in Detroit. It is unclear if his death is tied to protests.

May 30: The “Rally To End Modern Day Lynching” took place in Harlem in honor of George Floyd. The rally emphasizes that participants should still practice social distancing and wear a mask. Also on May 30th, participants will honor Floyd at the site of Eric Garner‘s murder in 2014. These New York protests became progressively more violent into the evening. Governor Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency and curfew for Atlanta in preparation for planned protests on May 31st. After four days of protests, Governor Newsom declares a state of emergency in Los Angeles. The courthouse and city hall were set on fire in Nashville.

A 21-year old unnamed man was fatally shot at a protest in Detroit.

In Dallas, a machete-yielding storeowner confronted protesters and was then violently beaten by the crowd; the man is now in stable condition.

Chris Beaty, 38, was killed from multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene in Indianapolis.

May 31: After setting fires and looting in Santa Monica, the city declared a curfew. Curfews have since been set all around the country.

Italia Kelly, 22, and another victim were fatally shot while leaving a protest in Davenport, Iowa.

In Victorville, CA, Malcolm Harsch, 38, was found hanging from a tree and authorities are investigating the event as a potential homicide. Harsch’s family says they are very skeptical of his death being by suicide.

June 1: In Minneapolis, a group of men attacked Iyanna Dior, a black transgender woman; Dior is okay and in stable condition now.

53-year-old David McAtee was shot as national Guard troops and Louisville police broke up a protest; some footage shows McAtee shooting at police but it is unclear who fired their guns first because the officers involved did not activate their body cameras. The Louisville Metro Police Chief, Steve Conrad, was immediately fired because of the officers’ unactivated cameras.

16-year-old Jahmel Leach was tased in the face by NYPD and could be permanently disfigured from the attack. It is unclear why the police officers used force to arrest Leach.

June 2: Six Atlanta police officers have been fired and arrested for using excessive force towards Messiah Young and Taniyah Pilgrim, two young black people leaving the protests.

77-year-old David Dorn, a retired St. Louis police captain, was fatally shot by looters of a pawnshop after responding to an alarm.

June 4: At 3:45pm, NAACP holds a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in honor of George Floyd live on their Twitter.

June 5: All 57 members of the Buffalo Police Department’s emergency response team resigned in protest for police brutality – particularly seen in a video of Buffalo police pushing an unarmed man.

Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian resigns from the company’s board and urges the company to replace his spot with a black candidate.

In a YouTube video, Robert L. Johnson, the first black American billionaire and co-founder of BET, talks to The Breakfast Club about racism and reparations.

20-year-old Dounya Zayer was violently shoved by a police officer at a protest in Brooklyn, NY. 

June 6: Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand pledge $100 million donation over the next 10 years to organizations promoting social justice and racial equality.

A video shows protestors creating a human shield to protect NYPD officers fro rioters throwing objects at the policemen. 

June 7: Virginia governor plans to remove Robert E. Lee statue later this week.

CEO of CrossFit Greg Glassman’s insensitive tweet about George Floyd has caused Glassman to face serious backlash. Partners of CrossFit, like Reebok or Rogue Fitness, and athletes, including Brooke Wells and Richard Froning, released statements that they will cut ties with CrossFit.

BLM protestors in Bristol pull down statue of Edward Colton, a slave trader who transported nearly 100,000 slaves in the 17th century. 

Harry H. Rogers drove into a group of protestors near Richmond, Virginia. Rogers identifies as the leader of the Ku Klux Klan and prosecutors are investigating the assault as a potential hate crime.

June 8: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces police reform legislation called The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 which would ban chokeholds, establish a national database to track police misconduct, and more.

Minneapolis City Council announce plans to defund the Minneapolis police department.

GoFundMe suspends Candace Owens’ account saying that Owens, “spread hate, discrimination, intolerance and falsehoods against the black community.”

June 9: Greg Glassman, the CEO and founder of CrossFit, retires after his inappropriate tweet about George Floyd’s murder.

New York Police Chief Mike O’Meara shames the press for vilifying police officers in a video here.

June 10: In Palmdale, CA, 24-year-old black man named Robert Fuller,  was found hanging from a tree in what was originally described as an apparent suicide. Citizens are demanding that Fuller’s death is investigated as a homicide.

June 11:  After Trump’s comments about Seattle protestors being “domestic terrorists” and that law enforcement must “dominate the streets” to “take back Seattle,” Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan clarifies that the protestors are not threatening and that the president’s claims are unconstitutional.

June 12: Atlanta police fatally shot Rayshard Brooks, 27, at a Wendy’s drive-thru. Brooks’ murder caused Atlanta police chief Erika Shields to resign.

June 13: Patrick Hutchinson, a black personal trainer from London, rescued ‘far-right’ protester who was badly beaten during protest clashes in London.

A young, black FedEx driver named Brandon Brackins turned to social media to tell his followers how he was called racial slurs while working. 

June 16: A story resurfaces from 2006 when black, Buffalo, NY cop Cariol Horne was fired for stopping her white colleague from choking a handcuffed suspect.

Philadelphia court supervisor Michael Henkel is fired after video shows him tearing down BLM signs.

June 17: Quaker Oats plans to retire their Aunt Jemima branding and logo after acknowledging the racial stereotyping.

June 18: A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy fatally shot 18-year-old Andres Guardado.

June 20: Rioters storm the streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma during President Trump’s rally. 

June 21: A NYPD officer is on unpaid suspension after a chokehold incident in Queens.

June 22: Department of Justice is investigating a noose found in Bubba Wallace‘s NASCAR garage. Wallace is the only black driver in NASCAR’s top circuit. On June 23, the FBI determines that Wallace was not the target of a hate crime.

August 23: Jacob Blake is shot by Kenosha police officers after breaking up a nearby fight that two other women were having. Blake was unarmed and shot seven times in the back. He is currently hospitalized for his injuries.

 

 

Looking for ways to help? Here are some places to donate to:

George Floyd Memorial Fund

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Louisville Community Bail Fund

National Bail Out

Transgender Law Center In Memory of Tony McDade

Brooklyn Community Bail Fund

Dream Defenders

North Star Health Collective

The Louisville Community Bail Fund

The Freedom Fund

Northwest Community Bail Fund


Sara Sandman, 360 MAGAZINE, illustration

Genius Garage

The Genius Garage, a non-profit educational charity that provides engineering experience to college students, is the new home for a 1967 Morgan Plus Four Drop Head Coupe donated by a philanthropic family from Georgia whose wish was to help keep the legacy of their late grandfather’s English car alive for many years to come through teaching and inspiring young engineers and craftsmen.

“I am really excited that a historic car that otherwise would have been relegated to a collection or a museum is going to be something that will be able to teach, be hands on and inspire students for years to come,” said Casey Putsch, who established the Genius Garage, “A car like this that was built in the older ways of craftsmanship which can teach lessons and inspire students for years to come. The plan is for it to live with the Genius Garage and the students will maintain it, drive it and an appreciate the way it should be. It is the best way to cultivate the love of vintage automobiles and carry the passion forward for future generations.”

ABOUT THE GENIUS GARAGE

Founded in 2014 by automotive designer and race car driver Casey Putsch, established the Genius Garage as a college internship program to bridge the gap from academia to industry. The Genius Garage’s goal is to provides college engineering student with their “dream shot” to careers in the automotive and aerospace industries. The programs are set up to best cultivate and develop the student’s real-world hands on experience and problem solving by restoring and racing vintage race cars and building a BD5 microjet, restoring a Long EZ aircraft and a full-scale (38-foot) flying replica of a Pterosaur. The Genius Garage race cars currently include an IMSA GTO tube frame Corvette, a C3 widebody Greenwood Corvette IMSA racer and a ‘90’s carbon fiber monocoque Nissan prototype race car, all of which are the complete responsibility of students in their engineering and preparation.

View the Genius Garage’s site here and check out videos on the garage on students’ experiences with it here.

FOLLOW CASEY PUTSCH: YouTube | Instagram

Jacquees, Christmas, album, cash money records, 360 MAGAZINE

Jacquees – Christmas In Decatur

Surprising fans everywhere with the ultimate stocking stuffer, rising superstar and multi-platinum singer Jacquees unveils his first-ever holiday album Christmas In Decatur today on Cash Money Records.

The first single “Christmas Without You” highlights his range, on the heartfelt, lovelorn, seasonal song over delicate acoustic guitar, faint jingle bells, and production from ForteBowie.  Jacquees also welcomes FYB and Bluff City to a hype holiday party on “FYB Christmas” and the video for “It’s Christmas,” featuring Lil Reign wasĺ added to MTV Mistle YO! Playlist.

Christmas In Decatur follows hot on the heels of his second full-length R&B album, King of R&B—out now. It includes singles “Your Peace” featuring Lil Baby [22.8 million Spotify streams], “Verify” featuring Young Thug and Gunna [9.5 million Spotify streams], and “Risk It All” featuring Tory Lanez [3.3 million Spotify streams]. Pitchfork called it “slick and ambitious, and The Atlantic dubbed it “a refreshing work of classically inspired R&B.

Next up, Jacquees will embark on “The King of R&B” Tour, which kicks off on Friday, January 17th, 2020 in San Antonio, TX.  The tour will roll through major markets coast-to-coast including San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. and concludes with a hometown show in Atlanta, GA on Thursday, March 5th.

Get into the spirit and spend with Christmas In Decatur with Jacquees now.

Wine and Wildflowers

Wine and Wildflowers Make Gatlinburg The Perfect Spring Destination

By Patrick T Cooper

What is on your travel list for spring? Here is your specific guide to EAT, STAY, and PLAY in the  Great Smoky Mountains. Gatlinburg, Tennessee may have fallen under your radar. However, I have two reasons you should answer the call to action by The Great Smoky Mountains. I will humbly admit Gatlinburg, Tennessee was a sleeper for me. Beyond the fanfare and huge presence of the legendary Dolly Parton I was unsure what to expect from my visit. Fortunately, I was enamored with brilliant southern hospitality and a warm embrace during my visit for the Smoky Mountain Winefest Weekend and the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. There is gallons of the good stuff (wine) in Gatlinburg and tons of activities that will have you returning seasonally to build a lifetime of memories.

Eat

When all is said and done wine tasting and hiking, then walk a half block from the hotel to the Log Cabin House. The food and service are unparalleled. Seriously, there a tons of dining experiences in walking distance from the hotel, I decided to patronize this establishment three times over my weekend stay. From my first dining experience, it was as if I met an old friend from the moment my server greeted me. Did I mention, the joint has the absolute best hash browns known to man. Take my advice and sprinkle your belly with this delightful southern dish you will not be disappointed.

Stay

Whether you are a solo traveler or with family and friends the convenience of being downtown Gatlinburg is a definite advantage. While the Swiss themed chalets and cottages in the mountains quite tempting, it is best to opt for the convenience of the Courtyard Marriott so that you may drink responsibly. Literally, steps away from the city center you can nestle down and perhaps stumble back to your hotel after dinner and enjoying local attractions. By the way, the indoor and outdoor oversized fireplaces make this hotel cozy, chic, and comfortable for fireside chats with friends to recap the fun of the day.

Play

Smoky Mountain Winefest Weekend

Who is ready to sip wine? We will not twist your arm but the local wineries make it easy to indulge. Wine is about what you love and by far my favorite wine find during this travel excursion was Tennessee Homemade Wines Proper Peach. Considering I’m a Georgia native it is only fitting that I gravitated to the acidic bliss of  this beverage. The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts serves as a cool backdrop for this friendly event paired with delicious local fare. Grab your tickets and get to Smoky Mountains. Click here for more details about Smoky Mountain Winefest Weekend

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

Don’t forget to wear your most comfortable shoes or footwear suitable for hiking in the great outdoors. Porters Creek Trail is phenomenal. While the hike is not arduous the rocks and  slippery paths require support to keep your feet firmly planted. The multitude and medley of exotic colors are will have you in heaven. The tour guides are passionate about educating you on the different species of wildflowers which will have you engaged the entire experience. Be sure to fully charge your camera as the flowers make for the most brilliant natural photography. Click here for more details about the Wildflower Pilgrimage

Patrick T. Cooper On Social

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Joseph Magnus National Growth Strategy

D.C.-Based Heritage Spirits Brand Joseph Magnus Unveils National Growth Strategy

Initiatives include strengthened leadership team, expanded distribution and warehousing, new product introductions and revitalization of its D.C. cocktail room

Jos. A. Magnus & Co., a 127-year-old award-winning spirits brand, today announced details of its aggressive national growth strategy. Key initiatives include an expanded and experienced leadership team, broadened national distribution and barrel warehousing capabilities and the launch of several Magnus special releases in 2019.

In addition, Magnus revealed plans to temporarily close and refurbish its Washington, D.C. cocktail room, consistent with the brand’s legacy. Updates will include the addition of pre-Prohibition artifacts on loan from the Magnus family archives, with the cocktail room expected to reopen in spring 2019.

The company’s bourbon and gin products are now available across 28 states, including California, New York, Texas, Illinois and Georgia. The leadership changes announced include:

  •         Ali Anderson has been promoted to general manager of Magnus from her previous position as director of sales. In her new role, she will work alongside a nationwide distributor of premium and craft spirits to leverage the company’s scaling production capabilities.
  •       Nancy Fraley, Master Blender, who has overseen the production of many of Magnus’ award-winning bourbons, including Joseph Magnus Bourbon, Cigar Blend Bourbon and Murray Hill Club, will continue to guide the Magnus production team and create several special releases for 2019.
  •         Thom Spelde joins Magnus as vice president of production, bringing more than 20 years of experience in the manufacturing industry to the Company. Peter Boardman joins Magnus as distiller from Philadelphia Distilling Co., maker of Bluecoat Gin. He has 10 years of distilling experience. Both Spelde and Boardman will oversee production and the construction of a new barrel warehouse facility in Virginia to meet growing demand.

“We are excited by the opportunity to share the Magnus experience with customers in twenty-eight states,” commented Ali Anderson. “We will continue to deliver remarkable spirits to connoisseurs in D.C. and across the country.”

For more information about Jos. A. Magnus & Co. or to purchase spirits, visit josephmagnus.com.

About Jos. A. Magnus & Co.

Inspired by the legacy of pre-Prohibition distiller Joseph Magnus, the premium bourbon and gins of Jos. A. Magnus & Co. promise “remarkable spirits for remarkable people.” Building on 127 years of rich history, the company now distributes premium spirits in 28 states and delights patrons at its distillery and tasting room located in Washington, D.C. The spirits have garnered the nation’s top awards, including multiple double gold medals, and best-in-class bourbon and gin recognitions, using the very same techniques that Joseph Magnus practiced more than 100 years ago. For more information on Jos. A. Magnus & Co. spirits, legacy and distribution, visit josephmagnus.com.