Posts tagged with "movement"

Ballet illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

SF Ballet Performs GEORGE BALANCHINE’S JEWELS 

GEORGE BALANCHINE’S JEWELS SPARKLES ON SCREEN AT SAN FRANCISCO BALLET, APRIL 1–21 

The 2021 Digital Season’s Jewels stream is dedicated
to the memory of Elyse Borne

Newly filmed Emeralds, captured at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco in January 2021, tops Balanchine’s dazzling, abstract triptych

San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) streams George Balanchine’s Jewels on Program 04, April 1–21 of the 2021 Digital Season, featuring a newly-captured Emeralds to accompany archival recordings of Rubies and Diamonds. Filmed on stage at the War Memorial Opera House in January of 2021, Emeralds was captured under strict safety protocols in compliance with the San Francisco Department of Public Health guidelines which protect artists, production crews, and the greater public. Tickets to the digital stream of Jewels begin at $29. Casting is available at this link.

SF Ballet Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson dedicates the 2021 Digital Season’s Jewels stream to the memory of Elyse Borne, a leading Balanchine répétiteur who staged dozens of ballets for the Company, beginning in 1996 with Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco. Borne passed away in December of 2019, shortly after rehearsing Jewels with SF Ballet to prepare for live performance in the 2020 Season. “While recording Emeralds on stage this year we all thought fondly of Elyse,” says Tomasson. “She and I met while dancing for New York City Ballet in the 1970s and 80s. We were both aware of how fortunate we were to be a part of that last generation of dancers who worked directly with Balanchine. She joined us as ballet master in 1997 after working with companies all over the world, and over the following six years, she guided and supported the dancers here with expertise, grace, and humor. She will always be a long-remembered colleague and dear friend.” Alongside Borne and the George Balanchine Trust, Tomasson has remained committed to documenting and preserving the choreographer’s work for future generations, programming at least one Balanchine ballet each year of his leadership of SF Ballet.

Called “a perfect introduction to ballet” (The New York Times) and inspired by the designs of jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels, Jewels was last seen in full at SF Ballet in 2009. Jewels premiered in full in 1967 at New York City Ballet and consists of three one-act ballets that span the musical and balletic traditions of France (Emeralds), the United States (Rubies), and Russia (Diamonds), with costumes designed by Barbara Karinska to fit each act. Emeralds alludes to the 19th-century dances of French romantics and is set to excerpts from Gabriel Faure’s Pelléas et Mélisande (1898) and Shylock (1889). Rubies is a feat of athleticism, set to the irregular, modernist, jazz-inspired Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra by Igor Stravinsky. Diamonds invokes memories of Imperial Russia in a grand and formal display of classical ballet and is set to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 in D major. SF Ballet Orchestra performs in each ballet, with newly recorded music for Emeralds captured using approved safety protocols at Skywalker Studios and the SF Conservatory of Music, produced and engineered by Leslie Ann Jones.

Tickets to Jewels are available now as single stream tickets for $29, or within the Premium Plus Digital Package, which offers unlimited viewing of the remaining programs in the 2021 Digital Season, in addition to exclusive bonus content, for $289. Tickets and packages may be purchased online. For more information, call Ticket Services at 415-865-2000, Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm. Click here to view digital viewing tips.

Celebrating Jewels

SF Ballet hosts Celebrating Jewels on April 20 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., online via Zoom. The event unites former New York City Ballet principal dancers Kay Mazzo, Mimi Paul, and Edward Villella, alongside Helgi Tomasson, to discuss their memories and insight into Balanchine’s iconic ballet. General admission tickets to Celebrating Jewels are $20, donors and subscribers receive access to the program for a reduced rate or for free.

San Francisco Ballet Pop-Up Shop

San Francisco Ballet hosts a pop-up shop open to the public on April 2 and 3 from 10 to 3 p.m., observing COVID-19 regulations as suggested by the City of San Francisco. In celebration of Jewels, the pop-up is offering a 25% discount on all jewelry. The pop-up shop is held at 2400 Cesar Chavez, San Francisco, 94124. Parking is free. Donors and subscribers can access the sale early on Thursday, April 1 from 10 to 3 p.m. Contact their website with questions.

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Jewels
A Ballet in Three Parts  

Composers: Gabriel Fauré, Igor Stravinsky, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Elyse Borne, Judith Fugate, Sandra Jennings
Additional Coaching by: Helgi Tomasson

World Premiere: April 13, 1967—New York City Ballet, New York State Theater; New York, New York

San Francisco Ballet Premiere: March 12, 2002—War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California

© The George Balanchine Trust

Emeralds
Captured on January 28, 2021 

Composer: Gabriel Fauré
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Elyse Borne and Sandra Jennings
Additional Décor for Emeralds: Susan Touhy
Costume Design: Karinska, Recreated by Haydee Morales
Rehearsal Assistants: Ricardo Bustamante, Tina LeBlanc

Rubies
Captured on February 2, 2016  

Composer: Igor Stravinsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Elyse Borne
Costume Design: Karinska
Original “Rubies” Lighting Design: Ronald Bates
Rehearsal Assistant: Tina LeBlanc

San Francisco Ballet Premiere: January 30, 1987—War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California

Diamonds
Captured on March 12, 2017  

Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Judith Fugate
Costume Design: Karinska
Rehearsal Assistants: Felipe Diaz, Betsy Erickson

ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO BALLET
San Francisco Ballet, long recognized for pushing boundaries in dance, has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933, including performing the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first 20th-century American Coppélia. SF Ballet is one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States and currently presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. The mission of SF Ballet is to share its joy of dance with the widest possible audience—in its community and worldwide—and to provide the highest caliber of dance training in its School. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson, the Company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world.

Becky Hill The Art of Rave

Becky Hill – The Art of Rave

With her new single ‘Heaven On My Mind’ currently climbing high in the UK Official Charts Top 40, hitmaking singer-songwriter Becky Hill releases the second episode of her podcast, The Art of Rave. Over the course of the series, Becky discussed rave culture with some of its legendary pioneers, including DJ Zinc, Roni Size, Pete Tong, Sister Bliss, Groove Armada, Fabio & Grooverider and more.

In episode two of The Art of Rave Becky and Andy C cover a wide range of topics including Andy’s first rave experience (courtesy of his sister), the effect of technology on the “classic” and “happy accidents” in the studio, how a passion for sci-fi (and a disinterest in studying at school) shaped Andy’s early days of making music, setting up RAM records, legendary club nights AWOL and Movement, pirate radio, cutting dubs at Music House, and how the rave scene is in a better place than it’s ever been.

As with all Becky’s guests on The Art of Rave, Andy C brings along three records that mean or say something to him, whether that’s because they’re by an artist that influenced him, remind him of a specific place or time, or feature a beat that defined his sound. These records are: ‘Know How’ by Young MC, ‘Valley Of The Shadows’ by Origin Unknown, and ‘LFO’ by LFO.

Meanwhile, Becky selects the Andy C (& Shimon) record that exemplifies why she handpicked him as a guest for the series: ‘Bodyrock’, which Andy remembers playing for the first time at Movement at Bar Rumba after a drum n bass awards show.

While Becky Hill has an irrefutable aptitude for writing chart smashing pop music, her roots are firmly ensconced in electronic music. The Art of Rave provides the perfect platform for Becky to delve deep into the dance music scene she is so passionate about.

Episode 2 of Becky Hill’s The Art of Rave podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, the Acast app, Spotify, and all other podcast platforms today HERE.

EXCERPTS FROM EPISODE 2 OF THE ART OF RAVE

On how Becky & Andy C first met

Becky: “The first time I met you was in some dodgy little cabin at the back of Global Gathering. I managed to sneak my way into your dressing room, and I started gushing about how much of a fan I was of yours and I just saw this look on your face go: ‘How did she get here? Who, did she show her boobs to the security guard?’ I was actually touring with Rudimental at the time and I decided to go ‘Oh I’m the girl that did Afterglow’ and everything changed…”

Andy C: “It all fell into place. And that kind of blew my mind that moment, having played that tune one thousand times by then and being amazed by the vocal and that tune. I thought it was incredible.”

On Andy C’s first rave experience and where his musical journey began

Andy C: “My sister’s five years older, and she was going out to all the early raves like Sunrise and Fantasia. I just wanted to be part of her gang… I was nicking mixtapes off her and drawing acid faces and all that… And she took me and my best mate James to an illegal rave in a barn in Essex, which was billed as an engagement party, but it was actually a rave. I was thirteen, and that was the first time I had any kind of experience of a rave. It was exciting, it weren’t that full, but it was a dusty barn with a few lights and some DJs playing.”

Andy C: “I was obsessed with Shut Up and Dance, listening to Pirate Radio… I’d be getting up for school and I’d be listening to Pirate Radio. At lunchtime, I’d have it on my Walkman. If anyone wants to know what a Walkman is, you can google it!”

Becky: “I had one once!”

Andy C: “I was very focused on wanting to be in music and I used to do my mates’ mixtapes. I used to stay up all night DJing, doing mixes at home and used to bring in mixtapes to school and that was my currency at school – sorting out people [with] mixtapes and stuff.”

Andy C on getting together and working with Ant Miles

Andy C: “Ant was a friend of the family, me and my Dad… One day he comes round and he listens to me doing these crazy [things]. I’d sampled three million beats, and basically had them all playing at the same time, chopped up in different ways… He had a studio set up and [said] ‘do you wanna come round? l I’ll come and pick you up and we can just jam and see what happens’… We just hit it off, you know. Loved hanging out. We had a great, likewise passion for like Sci-Fi and geekiness and used to watch Star Trek. Ants a big Treky. So we’d have that on, and we started making these tunes and sampling crazy stuff.”

Andy C on starting RAM Records

Andy C: “I’m 16, just done my exams at school, I think, (I can’t remember doing them). I didn’t pick up the results, my best mate James actually picked up the exam results for me, (bless him). I think he’s still got them. [My sister] was like, ‘why don’t you start a record label?’ and I was like, ‘what do you mean start a record label? How do you do that? What shall we call it?’ So, we were having dinner and we were thinking up all these silly names and she was like ‘well you know you’re an Aries’. And that’s where the name RAM comes from… And she sat down with a felt-tip pen and hand-drew the logo at the dinner table.”

Andy C on the making of Origin Unknown ‘Valley of the Shadows’ and that ‘Long Dark Tunnel’ sample

Andy C: “[Ant and I] just had this magical four or five hours in the studio one night when I was 16 and that’s where ‘Valley of the Shadows’ came from… The lights are off in the studio, Ant’s dancing around by the drinks machine he had in the studio, and the font it had that spelt out ‘drinks’ became the Origin Unknown font and [the name] Origin Unknown actually comes from a line from 2001 Space Odyssey, because we’re Sci-Fi geeks.”

Andy C: “[‘Long Dark Tunnel’] was sampled from a BBC documentary called QED about near-death experiences [which featured a] lady who actually had a near-death experience, you know when you’re going down a tunnel, in childbirth. Her name’s Barbara. Fortunately, she survived. As did the child… And years later, ‘Valley of the Shadows’ was getting played on Kiss I think, and we got a letter to RAM. I can’t remember exactly what it said, but it was something like ‘you don’t know me, but I heard your song on Kiss FM the other week and that lady’s voice is my Mum’s voice.'”

Becky: “Was the person messaging you the child that survived?”

Andy C: “I think possibly, yeah. Amazing. Like no way. So, we ended up getting in contact with Barbara”

Becky: “Was she due any PRS?”

Andy C: “Yeah, absolutely!”

On how technological advances have affected production

Becky: “Producing sounds a lot harder back in the day than it does now”

Andy C: “And out of that, because it was more difficult, mistakes happened, you didn’t quite understand how it happened, but it just sounded cool.”

Becky: “Right, so happy accidents?”

Andy C: “Today you get very analytical about it. So, you sometimes analyse those accidents and you don’t go with them, because in the technical understanding it’s not right.”

On cutting dubs at Music House

Andy C: “[Music House on] Holloway Road was where we went to cut our dubs. So the DJs would get in the queue and [it was] first come first served, unless Jah Shaka turned up and he was having a Soundsystem battle, in which case you were straight to the back of the queue and he’d be cutting 3 million dubs and you’d probably wait two weeks… It was kind of a hierarchical system. There were the dons, (Rider, Fabio, Frost), and naturally there’d be a sort of eco system where you’d sort of think “I thought I was third in the queue and now I’m sixth.” But it was all good. We’d just go for food runs and go get everybody food and drink and stuff. It was cool. What a community. You could turn up there at midday and still be there at one in the morning, but all you’d be generally talking about was music, tunes, raves, what’s coming up and all the DJs.”

On music discovery, then and now, and how that has affected the “classic”

Andy C: “[There used to be] the buzz of hearing a tune on Pirate Radio, [when] they didn’t say what it was and you’re dialling the studio [to] be like ‘what was that tune you just played three tunes ago?’, or recording it on your TDK tape machine and wearing that tape to the ground now. The difference is, we could be sitting here now and I could be like ‘do you remember this tune from 1994?’ and you’d be like ‘what?’ and I’d be like ‘boom, YouTube.’ It just exists. Is that worse? I don’t know. Is it better? Does it accelerate music faster? Does it mean it’s more throwaway? Possibly, because of the nature of this, it’s harder for classics to take hold. Because of the fast turnaround of music these days, a few potential classics haven’t become ‘classics’ because they haven’t been given the chance to breathe and grow and naturally [and] lay down their foundations. Whereas, back in the day, tunes would have to exits for 6 to 12 or 18 months before they was even obtainable. So, they became classics by the sheer nature of that.”

On how raving has changed for the better, Glastonbury and drum n bass today

Andy C: “Rave has changed massively, because now the access to it is so much easier. More organised choices. You wanna go to an overseas festival, well you’ve got multiple [choices]. You can pick and choose, you can try one every year. That’s a beautiful thing… So even though raving has changed in a big, big way… I think that raving is the best it’s ever been. I think that now people purposely organise stuff that’s a bit more grimy, so you can have that experience. We’ve all got Glastonbury, if we wanna get grimy, it’s right there for us and the British weather will provide it… We’ve also got the small grimy clubs… Drum n bass is so healthy right now with the influx of new producers.”

Becky: “Yeah. You’ve got this whole thing about horns now, in drum and bass rollers…”

Andy C: “That is where the real shit’s born and that’s where the next generation and the next decade will carry forward… I honestly think I see people having fun in so many different places, whether it be at the gigs I’m playing at, or whether it be that I come across stuff on Instagram, which looks fantastic, ‘cause I vibe off of that as well.”

Becky: “That’s amazing! I don’t feel like I’ve missed out anymore. I feel like I can go to raves now and live the best rave life that there has ever been.”

About Becky Hill

Renowned for her show-stopping vocal prowess and her credentials as a hitmaking songwriter, 25-year-old Becky Hill is one of Britain’s most in-demand musical exports of the moment.

Following a killer 2019 with the release of three hits – including ‘I Could Get Used to This’ (with Weiss), and ‘Lose Control’ (with Meduza and Goodboys) – Becky Hill closed the year as the 2nd most listened to British female artist on Spotify in the UK.

Becky has not only notched up over 1.5 billion streams but also 18 million monthly Spotify listeners. She has an impressive string of hits to her name, having written and performed on nine singles which charted in the top 40 of the UK official singles chart, including the recently released ‘Better Off Without You’ (which spent 5 weeks in the Top 20 of the UK Official Singles chart), the chart-toping, number 1, (‘Gecko (Overdrive)’ with Oliver Heldens) and two top 10 singles (‘Wish You Well’ with Sigala and ‘Afterglow’ with Wilkinson).

Over and above this, she has collaborated with the likes of Rudimental, Matoma, Lil Simz, and more, while her songwriting skills have been enlisted by artists ranging from MK, Tiesto, Jax Jones, and Martin Solveig through to MNEK and Little Mix.

Follow Becky Hill: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Rhea Roberts-Johnson in 360 MAGAZINE talks about Coachella and Goldenvoice.

Goldenvoice Black – Trailblazer

By Neecole Cockerham

Rhea Roberts-Johnson is the first Black woman to be promoted to a VP position at Goldenvoice, an AEG subsidiary. The new executive is also a new mother to an energetic toddler named Story, with her husband industry impresario Marcus Johnson.

As if having a career and being a full-time mom doesn’t take up enough time in the day, Goldenvoice staff and vendors have been forced to postpone Coachella, one of the world’s leading music festivals, due to the COVID-19. The coronavirus disease has created an unprecedented pandemic.

In the midst of the quarantine, the abnormally shut in citizens of the United States, witnessed via a cell phone recording, the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, who pressed his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and forty six seconds. At that moment Black people in the United States were forced into a position that challenged our civil liberties and stripped away our dignity as if we were inhumane. People of all races, from all walks of life took to the streets – men, women and children. The coordinated, mostly peaceful marches were organized by activists and the Black Lives Matter Movement. The protesters began to mobilize and protests began across the U.S and and on every continent around the world. People banded together for an unprecedented globalization of civil unrest and demanded change for the rights of Black people in America against the country’s systemic oppressed law enforcement agencies, and the society that inadvertently supported their actions.

The times are somewhat changing – as universal corporate offices have taken a short but hard look at themselves and the systemic racism that they have promoted through the years. Corporations are challenged with how they hire, retain and promote people of color within their organizations. They are being held to task to begin to fill openings with qualified Blacks and other people of color instead of continually engaging in white employment nepotism, frat boys and a Becky in tow.

The round table at Goldenvoice was a diverse group of people who acknowledged the repugnant feeling of what their eyes had seen and everyone’s heart had felt.

I sat down with Roberts-Johnson, to ask the down to earth, prestigious executive a few questions over a Zoom conference. I’ve known Rhea for a number of years, so it was easy to dive into a conversation that was just as she is – honest and candid.

Can you explain GV Black?

“Goldenvoice Black was birthed from round table discussions of Black employees, who for some time, have exchanged views of working as Blacks in a predominantly white environment – it is the voice of the people. GV Black has become a source of comfort to communicate what being Black means in today’s climate. Our social responsibility is to have acknowledgment from the corporation in which we work, the need to bring equality and more diversity to our workforce and to outline and monitor productive steps to insure that this equality is met.”

Do you have any fear in being a part of a revolutionary entity within the internal confines of a corporate environment?

“As a woman we are already marginalized in this environment. As a Black woman and a mother of a Black male child, I am more interested in social equity not just for now but for the future of those who come after me. I had no mirror to show me insight into how to maneuver in the world of behind the scenes entertainment. The conversations we were having at Goldenvoice were more than just about talking. We were all hurting just like many people and it was important for us to say something and even more important to agree on the actions that we would take to support diversity, elevate youth and develop community under the Goldenvoice umbrella.”

The music festival Coachella released its first statement ever about their position on injustice. The declaration issued by Coachella would be the words of Rhea Roberts-Johnson.

The poetic rhyme scheme is just 5 lines shy of a Sonnet and reads like a mission statement of hope:

We do not stand for injustice.

We do not stand for racism.

We do not stand for bigotry.

We stand for music.

We stand for celebration.

We stand for love.

We stand for unity.

We stand for Black Lives.

They Matter.

~Coachella

Now that the protesting has come to a halt, the pandemic is at an all time high; Goldenvoice employees are working from home or either furloughed… Goldenvoice recently posted on social media and received backlash from a few public critics, because of the word “bodies”..Can you comment on it?

“I’m actually glad that you asked this question. Before I go into what it means, I have to mention that the statement was written by Black employees, and had the public known that, it may have been received differently. Surprise! There are Black people that work at Goldenvoice (I’m sure that’s shocking to some since in its early days the company booked a lot of punk rock bands). We used the word “bodies” as a metaphor to draw attention to the objectification of Black people. Many types of Black and brown people in this country are dehumanized and not allowed the luxury of full humanity as so many others are. We also used it to emphasize the history of physical violence against Black people in our country whether it be through slavery, lynching, police brutality, etc. It’s a common term used by social justice activists, and having come from one of them, there probably wouldn’t have been a peep. Coming from a festival, some people were taken aback.”

Rhea I think to be silent nowadays is to be in agreement. Maybe those taken “aback” will be propelled into recognizing the truth and understanding the ladder is merely semantics.

What is next for GV Black?

“Without giving up too much too soon, we along with our non-Black allies at the company, are working diligently to create an even more inclusive environment for our employees, fans, artists, vendors, etc.”

Rhea Roberts-Johnson is a rare breed. She has a silent strength that exists when you can only imagine the amount of pressure that is being experienced to incite change. As we wait to see what’s next to come you can feel a glimmer of hope. Goldenvoice, GV Black and Coachella are consciously pioneering trailblazers for utilizing their platform to be all inclusive and unite people as one just as music does.

Racial justice illustration by Mina Tocalini

Racial Justice

The Magnanimity of The Moment

Learning from Our Past in Today’s Fight for Racial Justice

By Jason Green

The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and far too many other black bodies have answered Langston Hughes’ prophetic question: “What happens to a dream deferred?” As justified anger and frustration have exploded across communities large and small, I have quietly questioned whether there is room for community building. I thought for a moment that our collective hurt and fatigue might be so great that there simply might not be space for hope and reconciliation. The idea of searching for fellowship felt naïve and insignificant.

Seven years ago, as I sat at the bedside of my then 95-year-old grandmother, she told me how, in 1968, her all-black church merged with two all-white congregations (themselves split generations earlier over the issue of slavery) in the wake of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Given the tumultuous backdrop, I was surprised by their decision to join, but I will be forever moved by the intentional community building that has kept their congregation together for more than 50 years. The hardest decision wasn’t the one to come together, it was the decision to stay together.

Last week, on our weekly call, my Grandmother Green reawakened my spirit. “We have to keep working and praying and not give up,” she extolled. “Even if things are not going our way we have to have that faith, and do the work. It was important that they see my face in the choir in 1968. Well, it’s just as important today.” She helped me realize in times like these, we need to be reminded of what is possible and to be vigilant about the hard work required to achieve it.

I’ve spent years chronicling how those three congregations came together in 1968 and how they have persisted, purposefully integrated, for more than 50 years. Below are three lessons I’ve learned from that experience that can inform how we collectively move forward today:

•Establish A Clear Goal

As they stumbled through the early days of the church merger, leadership of each congregation gathered to agree to the goal of coming together. A specific shared outcome gave them something to hold tight to when the path got difficult. As individual groups began working toward their own agenda, it armed the broader coalition with a mission to pull them back to. In this moment, people have begun working in different directions to speak out against and organize in support of racial justice. There is not one way to do the work — in fact, there must be a multitude of strategies, activities, and actors. To be successful, we must define the objective to hold others accountable to if their efforts achieve progress toward that shared goal, not question if their strategies happen to be similar or different to our own.

•Trust Must Be Built

When the churches merged, each harbored fear, skepticism, and animosity. There wasn’t the hugging and hand-holding you’d expect in church. To overcome, they had to be intentional; this started with acknowledging the pain of their history and being deliberate about difficult conversations. No meeting would end if someone still had something to say. Leadership demanded people share their concerns and complaints, though sometimes harsh, and those concerns were addressed. The work that faces us now is deep and structural and must push beyond performance. It will require addressing a history of hurt and creating alliances, with both traditional and non-traditional allies, to meet the magnanimity of the moment. At times, it will require taking the first step, even when you took the first step last time, and recognizing that sometimes, alliances will fray. Work to build trust anyway.

•Be Prepared To Go Alone

For those in the movement, this moment feels like a turning point, and there’s a desire to draw a line in the sand: “If you aren’t with us now, then you are against us.” But the reality is there will be folks who, even in this moment, will not be prepared to take action. Because we know that for something to be truly gained, something must be given up, there will be those who aren’t prepared for what change will mean for them. In 1968, my grandfather disagreed with the proposed church merger. My grandmother, my father, and his brother, decided to merge, despite Grandpa’s objection. We must be prepared to do the work, knowing that it is rooted in righteousness, and that there will be some who are not ready for change, even amongst those whom we love and respect. Move forward anyway, but resist the temptation to draw those terminal lines in the sand. Continue to build bridges for others to come on the journey. My grandfather joined the merged congregation years later. Before he died, he was one of its trustees.

Like the church merger, our democracy is one big social experiment that requires engagement and vigilance if it will ever reach its promise. Elections have consequences, and policy has impact. To see change, we must be active at the federal, state, and local levels to enable leadership that aligns with our values and implements policies that reflect the communities we represent.

But elections cannot eradicate racism, and policy cannot force neighbors to see each other with dignity, value and respect. This moment does not call for an “either or” approach; this must be a “yes and” strategy. And, if we want to eradicate the poison that killed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice, and every other individual lost due to racist acts, then in addition to external activation, we must look inward to understand what each of us is prepared to do, give, and change in this moment.

Last week, my grandmother turned 102, and as we discussed plans for her socially distanced drive-by birthday parade, we also talked about the current state of the world. As I expressed frustration regarding the lack of national leadership and exhaustion that this is where we find ourselves, in true Grandma Green fashion, she said, “I hear all that, but what are you gonna do? What are you prepared to do for those who look like you and those who don’t? For those who don’t pray like you? For those who don’t love like you? What are you gonna do to inspire fellowship and build the community that we all want to see?”

I guess I know what to give for her birthday this year. Join me in making change. Across the country. Within our communities. And in ourselves.

Jason Green is a Maryland-based attorney, entrepreneur and filmmaker. Green recently directed Finding Fellowship, a documentary inspired by conversations with his grandmother which focuses on the unlikely merger of three racially segregated churches in 1968. Green is the co-founder of SkillSmart, Inc., a workforce development company that creates transparent paths to economic prosperity. A current Commissioner for the Montgomery County Commission on Remembrance and Reconciliation, Green also previously served as Associate White House Counsel to President Barack Obama.

Rita Azar, 360 Magazine, illustration, corporation

Companies Profiting from BLM

By Eamonn Burke

As the nation grapples with the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, among many others over many years, protests have called for massive police and corporate reform. Changes have already been made, as major companies and institutions have begun to exclude forms of racism and include new reforms and statements. However, as with many corporate sentiments, the genuine nature of these statements is being called into question and exposed as hollow.

It has become a trend for major companies to undertake policies and claim responsibility for social issues, in what is known as “Political Corporate Social Responsibility.” Media is flooded with brands preaching change and pledging to be a part of it. In today’s instant society, however, it is difficult to discern the true motives of these businesses in their support of the BLM movement.

Major companies like Microsoft and Amazon have been actively projecting support for the BLM movement, yet both corporations have shockingly low involvement of black people within their company structure. Intel joined in the trend with a cringey tweet as well.

Fast food companies like Wendy’s and Burger King, and Popeyes have also seemingly been using the movement to boost their reputation using tweets and ads, despite the fact that they thrive on minimum wage workers who are often people of color. The stark insensitivity is reminiscent of Pepsi’s distasteful ad that was pulled amidst the movement in 2017. Some companies, however, didn’t even try to voice support. One such company was Starbucks, who announced that employees were forbidden from wearing BLM merchandise, a policy that has since been reversed. Other food brands such as Quaker Oats are making real changes – the Aunt Jemima brand will be dropped because of it’s racial stereotyping, as well as Uncle Ben’s.

Following a petition signed by more than 5,000 people, Trader Joe’s announced in July that they would be changing the names of their “racist packaging” such as “Trader Ming’s” and “Trader José.” San Francisco High School student Briones Bedell, who started the petition, claimed that “The Trader Joe’s branding is racist because it exoticizes other cultures — it presents ‘Joe’ as the default ‘normal’ and the other characters falling outside of it.”

The company is now going back on that promise, and have says in a new statement that “We disagree that any of these labels are racist,” arguing that they are meant to show appreciation for these cultures. Company spokeswoman Kenya Friend-Daniel originally had accepted the petition, acknowledging that it may have the opposite effect of its intended inclusiveness. Now, however, she says that they will only look into these types of changes from employees, not from petitions online.

The racial revolution in the wake of George Floyd’s death has seen the downfall of other brands and images such as Aunt Jemima and the Washington Redskins, but Trader Joe’s is the first prominent one to resist the “cancel culture.”

What consumers really want, however, is not posts on social media. They want real action and real change. This means companies should “Open Their Purse” and donate to anti-racism organizations. Many companies have, but many have also donated to campaigns for Congress people that are rejected by the NAACP.

The public is skeptical of these statements and promises, and not without reason. The history of major businesses like Bank of America and Goldman Sachs have in the past had to cover up allegations of discrimation, and others fail to include minority members in their top ranks. Other major institutions like the NFL condemned the kneeling for the National Anthem just a few years ago, but is now apologizing and admitting the players were right. The question remains: have sentiments truly changed?

Brands and institutions are recognizing that being anti-racist and pro-BLM is selling more than ever. “Costs Signals,” which are the cost that companies pay to undertake these policy changes, are what should be used for judgement, says UPenn Marketing Professor Cait Lamberton to ABC News. Andre Perry, another ABC correspondent from Brookings Institution, warns that “These statements are a sign of defensiveness more so than an indication that they are proactively working to deconstruct racism in this country.”

For a list of donations made by major companies click here.

Rev. Barber Letter to Nation

Social justice leader Rev. Barber delivers letter to nation, holds news conference Sunday amidst police killing and protests Social justice leader Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II will deliver a letter to the nation in the midst of a police killing and protests on Pentecost Sunday morning.

The delivery of the letter will be live-streamed across the nation after Rev. Barber was asked by many to share a moral perspective on this moment.

It was less than a week ago that a video was released showing an African American man, George Floyd, drawing his last breaths as a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck.

“The lethal violence of racist officers is only one manifestation of the systemic racism that is choking the life out of American democracy,” Barber said. “This moment demands that all who care about the American experiment in democracy listen closely and deeply to the uprising that is itself a collective gasp for life.”

A remote and in-person news conference will be held from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Eastern on Sunday from Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where Rev. Barber is the pastor. Reporters can cover the news conference at the church at 2110 N. William St. in Goldsboro. They also can ask questions by registering here.

After you register, you will receive a confirmation and email with information about joining the webinar. Rev. Barber is president of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. “As a pastor, I turn to Scripture in times of crisis, and I have prayed with the prophet Isaiah that God would open my ears to offer a word that might sustain those who are distressed,” Barber said. “I have prayed with Jeremiah that we will not try to heal the wound of the people lightly and that we will not fail to recognize how the wounds of poverty demand social surgery and a strong antibiotic of truth to cleanse a septic democracy.

In the church we are preparing for the season of Pentecost, when we recall how God’s spirit allowed people from various backgrounds to each hear the truth in their own tongue. I pray this letter might be likewise received.”

The Poor People’s Campaign:

A National Call for Moral Revival, is building a generationally transformative digital gathering called the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington on June 20, 2020. At that assembly, we will demand that both major political parties address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism by implementing our Moral Agenda.

Swatch Spring/Summer 2019 Collection

A futuristic mix of techniques and materials ignite vivid colors, express street and pop art, and turn on positive vibes for the hottest seasons of the year: Swatch introduces its Spring/Summer 2019 collection with three themed lines that all play a part in the never-ending style revolution.

Continuous movement is at the heart of Transformation, fusing a whole spectrum of color with shapes and patterns. This vivid line embarks on a journey of discovery, with optical illusions as well as the sheer simplicity of transparent design. New polarized glass features a semi-transparent mirror coating and creates pastel tones when exposed to light. The message is clear – imagination has no limits!

Listen to Me equals an action-packed trek through the urban jungle. Serving as a canvas for all kinds of talents and exuding strength and confidence, their self-expression is the impetus for making real change a reality. A tribute to street heart and pop art!

Tutti frutti has never looked this good! Energy Boost whets appetites for adventure with electric colors and bold contrasts that boost positive vibes. Freshly squeezed juices and smoothies are more than just a trend – they’re all about delicious results. This tasty line bolsters vitality, giving much-needed energy for the summer ahead.

Swatch’s Spring-Summer 2019 collection isn’t for the faint of heart. Transformation, Listen to Me, and Energy Boost are the gateway to metamorphosis, daring to defy the ordinary. After all, who knows what extraordinary evolution the future may hold?

 

Flash Mob Disrupts UN 20,000 Rally For World Law to Save Humanity

A Broadway actor leapt over a barricade to the front of the United Nations Assembly and interrupted the proceedings with a demand for peace and world law to protect human rights for all.

“And if you won’t do it, step aside and a Peoples World Assembly will arise from our own ranks to do it,” shouted actor Garry Davis, a war veteran and former bomber pilot.

UN security forces grabbed Davis, but as they tussled with him, war-hero Robert Sarrazac leapt up on the opposite balcony and shouted in French: “In the name of the people of the world not represented here, I interrupt!”

Other protesters scattered among the audience leapt up to continue the speech: “The nations you represent divide us and lead us to the abyss of total war.”

Delegates were shocked–until it became clear this was a coordinated action. Then many applauded and joined in.

On December 9, outside the UN, 20,000 supporters rallied to demand that world law be passed to protect human rights for all.

The December 9th rally was a historic first, in that it occurred seventy years ago today, and was part of the massive people-power movement which helped trigger the unanimous passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) the very next day: December 10th, 1948.

In a clip released to the press at http://vimeo.com/297521680 one of the protesters, Pierre Bergé, said the interruption of the United Nations General Assembly in Paris was planned and executed by “very famous writers” including Albert Camus.

Bergé called the disruption “a political comedy” and said it was designed to give people hope for a better way to run our world. “We have to dream, because the only way to catch the reality is to dream.”

The hidden history of how one man’s bold action helped spark a massive movement on the eve of this great leap forward for humanity is told in a forthcoming film “The World is My Country.”

Here is an excerpt:

Because this 70th anniversary event is so relevant to the hot-button issues in today’s world, the filmmakers are making a special password-protected preview version available online–for one week only. To sign up for this advance preview click on this link and select “Free Preview.”

Los Angeles area media and others are invited to meet the director at a preview screening of the film December 8th at 6:30 PM at 3916 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City 90230.

For more information about Garry and the passage of the UDHR see the article in the German magazine Spiegel.

TIMEX’s Newest Launch

TIMEX is delighted to reveal their newest launch of the best-selling 1960’s TIMEX Marlin.

The latest drop features exclusive new color palettes and for the first time ever, a design specifically made for women.

The Gentleman’s Standard now extends to the Ladies Choice. This reissue of our classic 1960s timepiece pairs the purity and pleasure of a hand-wound mechanical movement with the timeless sophistication of a sleek design. Now available with rose-gold details and a white leather strap. Sold exclusively on TIMEX.com

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Timex Marlin Women’s

Timex.com Exclusive– $199

Hand-Wound Movement

Stainless Steel Case with Rose-Gold Tone Finish

Silver-Tone Dial

Domed Acrylic Crystal

Genuine Leather White strap

Water Resistant to 30M

43mm Case Size / 18mm Lug  Width

New for men, hot on the heels of the Marlin Blackout, the Timex + Todd Snyder Marlin Mesh–the latest collaboration in the brands’ ongoing partnership–is an elevated yet sporty take on the gentleman’s standard, with its stainless–steel case, silver-tone dial and stainless-steel mesh band.

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TODD SNYDER Colorway– $209

Hand-Wound Movement

Stainless Steel Case

Silver-Tone Dial

Domed Acrylic Crystal

Stainless Steel Mesh Band

Water Resistant to 30M

34mm Case Size / 18mm Lug Width

The Limited edition at Mr. Porter brings elegant flair to the Marlin with a show-stopping gold tone case, paired with a lizard grain leather strap–making a classic and refined look that is made for sipping martinis.

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MR. PORTER Colorway– $199

Hand-wound Movement

Stainless Steel Case with Gold-tone Finish

Silver-Tone Dial

Domed Acrylic Crystal

Genuine Leather Strap with Black Lizard Grain Pattern

Water Resistant to 30M

34mm Case Size / 18mm Lug Width

Paris FW x Haute Couture

During Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture, on Tuesday, July 3,

Maison des Centraliens has hosted three young designers with their Fall- Winter Collections 2018-2019:

 

ABE by Ariane Chaumeil Jewelry  “Miroir”

There is magic and mystery in a mirror : the reflexion of who looks into it is real, but reversed.  Since we gaze at ourselves, all fantasies become possible and brings us back to face each other, and to what the world has to face. As a two-way mirror, you can see without being seen. Step through and find out with this collection, and the part of your soul using your imagination, whether it is dark or whether radiant…

The fall winter collection of the ABE by Ariane Chaumeil house, whose crafting remains done with the blowtorch glass, becomes richer with a new proposition: the metal paste making. Sculpted and cast, the metal paste is modelled, sanded, fired at high temperature, brushed and rubbed with a burnisher and polished several times in order to get pieces of golden and white bronze, and of pure copper, with a shiny, ancient rendering.

 

A couture collection by  designer Armine Ohanyan

A couture collection made in France, entirely handmade, intimately inspired by nature, showing the natural elements in all their forms. Ice, crystallization, rain, wind, dew and roots. Crystallized in these surroundings, the Human Being becomes Nature. The Nature is everlasting, nothing can stop it. It is the true beauty, perfection. For depicting this cycle of evolution, Armine Ohanyan uses the new technologies such as 3D printing or materials crafting, which play an important role in her creation process. Her art investigations never end, like the movement that she shows in its different forms and their ranges of colours and materials. Her creations are futuristic, modern, with a wide beauty touch.

 

Baroqco Jewelry

Designers Imelda and Eduardo aka Baroqco are citizens of the world . Their roots are from Dutch Chinese Indonesian and Portuguese descent, and this diversity is what provides foundation that leads to the inspiration and creation. BaroQco comes from Baroque, an era of change from simplicity to lively and exuberant detail. BaroQco stands alone with its unique grandeur and ability to surprise and to achieve a sense of awe. Imelda and Eduardo started to create jewelry as they were looking for a tiara or crown for their wedding day. At that time there were not a lot of options, so they decided to create their own tiara which lead others to ask whether they could also make necklaces and earrings.

« As we embrace the impressionism, we strive not only for the outer but especially for the inner-beauty. In our creations we want to push boundaries of artistic techniques. And therefore the BaroQco is a book without an End. »

The materials are opal ,gold and Swarovski and all the metalwork are nickel free, the usage of non toxic and – hazardous for plating makes the jewelry more ecofriendly.

 

 

See pictures below :

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