Posts tagged with "rita azar"

Rita Azar illustration for entrepreneur article for 360 MAGAZINE

Art and design incubator at FIU develops entrepreneurial leaders in the creative sector

Quincy Chery is an artist, professional barber and a self-proclaimed “jack of all trades.” Growing up, he had a knack for creating one-of-a-kind products you could not find anywhere else. He has mass-produced a myriad of things ranging from phone cases and basketballs to his own original clothing line. 

While earning his undergraduate degree in art, Chery found a place that allowed him to not only structure and lay out his designs more clearly, but also to develop his own brick-and-mortar-store where he could sell his work. That place was the Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator (RA+DI) at Florida International University

FIU’s Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator is an innovative arts entrepreneurship space for teaching art and design students how to turn their ideas into profitable businesses.

Chery is now the proud owner of the Cutting Gallery, a barbershop and art gallery storefront in Miramar, Florida, where he cuts hair professionally, and sells his original creations and the work of other local artists around South Florida.

“Being involved in the incubator allowed me to meet and connect with some truly talented artists,” Quincy says. “And now with my store, I get to showcase and expose their work to the community. As an artist, one of the things that hinder us the most is, you can be talented, but no one sees your work. I have been able to take what I learned in school, and the connections I made, and combine them to benefit the art community.”

And he is just one of many success stories to come out of the incubator. 

The Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator launched in 2017, in collaboration with FIU’s College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts and The Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation, with an initial cohort of eight fellows. 

Each year, the incubator selects a new cohort of fellows for a one or two-year residency to work with two faculty designers who operate their own on-site studios while also overseeing the fellows’ development of startup businesses or patents. Each fellow also receives a full scholarship during their residency.

The incubator is now on its fourth cohort.

Bridging the gap between talent and entrepreneurship:

The incubator’s focus on art and design sets it apart from other incubators. Fellows learn about the business side of an artistic operation, including marketing, running a company, seeking venture capital, scaling and packaging. They come to understand how their practice as designers and artists translates directly to business as they design, demonstrate, pitch and sell their products, combining experiential learning, fieldwork and professional networking.

“Entrepreneurship education within academic art and design departments has been introduced into our university curricula to prepare graduates to actively participate in the process of building creative economies in our distinct communities,” said Jacek Kolasiński, director of the RA+DI. “These initiatives have focused on a search for new strategies and prospects to empower young artists and designers to create more sustainable economic futures for themselves and foster their creative energies to re-envision our future and prepare them to solve society’s most pressing challenges.”

RA+DI trains students to become employers who will create jobs instead of having to seek employment. Additionally, there is a focus on developing entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds who design products for underrepresented communities.

Fellow Latricia Russell joined the incubator in 2018 and launched LR Beauty Co., her namesake beauty brand that offers professional makeup, skin therapy and hair braiding. She discovered the RA+DI while on her way to class one day and asked Kolasiński about renting out space for a beauty event she was hosting. Kolansińki ended up explaining how the fellowship program could actually grow her business and encouraged her to apply.

“I’m a thinker. I like to plan everything before taking action but participating in RA+DI has helped me to not just plan, but also how to act on my plans,” Russell said. “I feel more confident about testing my ideas and now affectionately refer to the incubator as ‘a space for doers.’”

After completing her fellowship and graduating from FIU, Russell had the skills she needed to convert her business from a travel studio experience, where she drove to and serviced clients on-location exclusively, to opening her own beauty studio. 

Art, design and technology all come together:

The Ratcliffe Incubator also uses its platform to help others understand how art, design and technology shape our world. And it is bringing these conversations right to people’s homes with its new podcast series titled “Ratcliffe Technology Conversations.” 

RA+DI director, Kolansińki, leads the series where he, along with guests, fellows, other artists and designers explore how technology merges in our world, our communities and all around us with topics ranging from NASA design and technology, to mangroves and the future of art and design during these unprecedented times.

“’RA+DI Technology Conversations’ is a program for everyone interested in technology and new tools to transform creative practices, business endeavors and personal lives,” Kolansińki says.

Its first episode “Mission to Mars” featured NASA project manager Andrew Johnson, who worked on Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN). TRN enables the Perseverance rover, which is set to land on Mars on February 18, 2021, to send back vital information of life on the planet. 

“Ratcliffe Technology Conversations” can be streamed on Spotify

 Philanthropic ties:

The late Philip and Carole Ratcliffe created the Ratcliffe Foundation in 2003 with a vision to provide access to education and training for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to grow their ventures, create jobs and expand economic opportunities in local communities.

Based in Annapolis, Maryland, the Ratcliffe Foundation provides funds to institutions to encourage entrepreneurship in non-traditional business fields such as skilled trades, arts & design and aquaculture & environmental sciences. It strives to integrate its programs with local communities through mentorships and business involvement. 

“The FIU Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator aligns closely with our foundation’s vision and we are deeply pleased to support its mission to provide students in creative fields with the tools necessary to succeed as entrepreneurs,” said Carlene Cassidy, chief executive officer of the Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation.

The Ratcliffe Foundation donated an initial gift of $831,000 in 2017 to open the incubator at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami, followed by a secondary gift of $631,000. The gifts provided funding for the incubator for a three-year period, $450,000 in scholarships, monthly lecture series, state-of-the-art technology, office space, a small business library, market research assistance, legal and accounting support, seed capital programs and training.

Last November, the Ratcliffe Foundation awarded the incubator another $2.5 million gift to aid in the incubator’s mission of developing diverse, entrepreneurial leaders in the creative sector and boost South Florida’s economy. 

The gift also supports micro-credentialing, co-curricular and experiential programming, and competition and entrepreneurship showcases, among other initiatives.

“This new four-year commitment from the Ratcliffe Foundation is a testament to the success of the early stages of this program and to its bright future. We are deeply grateful to the Foundation for its partnership as we continue to elevate and expand the Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator,” said Oliver Ionita, CARTA’s senior director of development.

Helping in a time of need:

Early last year, the foundation also provided an additional emergency grant of $10,000 for the purchase of five 3-D printers that allowed the incubator to print more than 1,000 face shields for local healthcare workers in conjunction with FIU’s Miami Beach Urban Studios and College of Engineering & Computing

It gave the RA+DI fellows a unique opportunity to learn how to produce essential personal protective equipment (PPE) and serve the community.

Some RA+DI fellows also used the opportunity to expand their own fellowship business projects to help the community during the height of the pandemic.

Arina Polyanskaya took her business project, Re-dress — which focuses on repurposing second-hand clothing into custom fabric squares for furniture designs, pet beds and more — and created face masks for the community. With the help and support from the Ratcliffe Incubator, Polyanskaya created more than 50 masks in just four weeks. 

“A family member of mine works in a local hospital and, since the beginning of quarantine, she’s been really concerned with the amount of protective wear available for health care workers, as well as for the general public,” Polyanskaya adds. “Making fabric squares felt inappropriate with this pandemic going on, so I thought there must be a way to utilize my skills and materials in assisting with controlling the spread of the virus. And I found it through sewing face masks.”

Other fellows provided the community with a much-needed escape amidst the pandemic through their art.

Denis Rovinsky opened his own art studio and shared virtual exhibitions for the public to enjoy. His work focuses on kinetic installations that use sound and light as a means of expression. Growing up in Russia, Rovinsky didn’t think a career as an artist was in his future, but he says the incubator helped him learn to think like an entrepreneur and “show him the path to becoming an artist without starving to do it.”

Whether it is current or former fellows, this one-of-a-kind incubator based in South Florida, is giving artists and designers a look into the business world and a space to turn their ideas into reality while creating their own employment opportunities.  

Rita Azar illustration for a sports article in 360 magazine

OHIO STATE ABUSE ALLEGATIONS DOCUSERIES

Docuseries will be the first of its kind to extensively examine the decades-long scandal uncovered in the Sports Illustrated digital cover story by Executive Editor Jon Wertheim 

Smokehouse Pictures and Sports Illustrated Studios announced today that they will produce a docuseries based on Wertheim’s groundbreaking digital cover story detailing prolific alleged abuse at Ohio State University (OSU). The series will further detail the scandal that lasted three decades and left many questioning how this victimization went largely unreported.

Sports Illustrated executive editor and senior writer Jon Wertheim – one of the most accomplished sports journalists in America – broke the story on the October 5, 2020 digital cover: “Why Aren’t More People Talking About the Ohio State Sex Abuse Scandal?” The in-depth expose revealed the extent of Ohio State’s sports doctor Richard Strauss’ alleged sexual assaults and manipulation of over 350 (reported) student athletes.

Jon Wertheim explained: “This article uncovers the most widespread sexual abuse scandal in the history of American higher education. It is a story about power, abuse, enabling and the hierarchy of college sports that had been concealed for far too long. Because these courageous men made the decision to remain silent no longer, we can finally begin to hold the abuser, and those who were complicit in their silence, accountable for their actions–and inactions. With the help of 101 Studios, Authentic Brands Group and Smokehouse Pictures, their voices and stories–harrowing as they are–will be amplified.”

For the first time ever – UFC Heavyweight Champion and OSU alum, Mark Coleman, provided Wertheim with his detailed account and disclosed Strauss’ administration of anabolic steroids. In addition, Coleman (among others) has alleged that Congressman Jim Jordan knowingly ignored Strauss’ alleged abuse to the athletes as he served as the OSU Assistant Wrestling Coach from 1986-1994. No one believed that the alphas of campus, the star wrestlers and NFL-bound football players, could be sexually abused by a man.

Even after the school identified merit behind Strauss’ alleged abuse claims, he was simply and quietly let go. No formal reports were ever filed, and he remained on the university’s payroll as a tenured professor.  Strauss’ behavior continued unchecked when he was able to open a private men’s clinic in Columbus, just down the street from campus. He continued to operate this clinic until his death by suicide in 2005.

George Clooney and Grant Heslov from Smokehouse Pictures emphasized: “We’re very pleased to partner with 101 Studios and Sports Illustrated in bringing this devastating and tragic story to light.”

“It’s enormously important that we continue to shine a light on this ongoing, painful story and further explore its wide-ranging effects” said Marc Rosen, President, Entertainment at Authentic Brands Group, who in partnership with 101 Studios formed Sports Illustrated Studios in 2020. Rosen continued: “We are lucky to be able to tap into the exceptional journalism of Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim, and we are incredibly proud and humbled to bring even more awareness to his investigation.”

Strauss’ hundreds of victims continue to seek justice. Only 162 have reached a settlement of $250,000 each and there are over 250 claims still pending.

George Clooney and Grant Heslov of Smokehouse Pictures will serve as Executive Producers along with Jon Wertheim, Jamie Salter, Corey Salter and Marc Rosen of Sports Illustrated Studios, and David Glasser, Ron Burkle and Bob Yari of 101 Studios.

Andrew Kramer of Loeb & Loeb negotiated the deal on behalf of Sports Illustrated Studios.

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About Smokehouse Pictures:

Smokehouse Pictures is a motion picture and television company founded in 2006 by George Clooney and Grant Heslov.  Smokehouse’s film Good Night and Good Luck, garnered a total of six Academy nominations including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.  The company also produced the Academy Award-winning Best Picture Argo, the Academy Award nominated The Ides of March and August: Osage County as well as: Suburbicon, Money Monster, Our Brand is Crisis, The Monuments Men, The American, Leatherheads and The Men Who Stare at Goats. Clooney and Heslov also directed and served as Executive Producers on the Golden Globe and Emmy nominated Catch-22, a six-part limited series for Hulu based on the Joseph Heller novel. Their most recent project was The Midnight Sky for Netflix which Clooney starred in and directed.  Smokehouse is currently in production on the Clooney directed The Tender Bar for Amazon.

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About Sports Illustrated Studios

Established in 2020, Sports Illustrated Studios is a media production company that develops, produces, and distributes long-form film, television, and audio content based on the stories of world-class Sports Illustrated journalists from today, tomorrow, and the past 65 years of the brand’s history. Sports Illustrated Studios seeks to reimagine and recreate the most memorable moments in sports history in cutting edge and unexpected ways for audiences worldwide. Upcoming projects include Paradise Found based on the true story of high school football coach Rick Prinz; the feature film Red Rose Crew based on the riveting true story of the US international women’s crew team and the docuseries Covers, a behind-the-scenes look at Sports Illustrated’s top cover stories of all time.

Healthcare Equity article illustrated by Rita Azar for 360 MAGAZINE

The Importance of Education for Advancing Healthcare Equity

By: Maria Hernandez, Ph.D.

If you’ve been tracking the nation’s progress in the fight against Covid-19, physicians and public health officials of color have been highlighting the need for health equity in the national dialogue. As the data on mortality rates becomes clearer, there is no mistake that the pandemic is impacting African American and Latino communities to a much greater extent. Current mortality rates for Blacks and Latinos is almost 2.8 times that of whites suggesting significant health inequities exist. The discussion about why these inequities are taking place has been less clear and even less clear is how to address this reality.

The key may be in educating healthcare providers about the root cause of these inequities and empowering patients that access healthcare systems.

Health inequities are the differences in health outcomes due to unfair conditions or factors that different populations may face. These factors can include access to quality care, inadequate housing, lack of access to quality food, poverty and systemic racism. Public health researchers and healthcare providers have known about health inequities in the US for over 40 years and the research about what to do point to a confluence of factors that center on economic, educational and social change. Even before the pandemic, Native American and Black women are 2.5 times more likely to die in childbirth than Whites. Women are under diagnosed for heart disease.

Research points to the presence of unconscious and systemic bias as well as a lack of culturally competent care.

https://www.cbpp.org/research/poverty-and-inequality/tracking-the-covid-19-recessions-effects-on-food-housing-andThe pandemic exacerbated the impact of these factors in profound ways. If we look at the fact that essential front line workers–cashiers, bus drivers, food service providers, healthcare workers, postal carriers, warehouse workers, receptionists–have high concentrations of Black and Latino workers, it becomes much easier to understand why so many victims of Covid-19 are from these communities. And if we also explore the role poverty plays in the pandemic, we know that crowded housing conditions where social distancing is not possible has been a factor. The reality is that low income, hourly workers are not able to do their jobs remotely using telecommuting or video conferencing. Many of these workers also experience a harder time finding personal protective equipment that can be a burden for tight household budgets.

The pandemic has set the stage for profound changes in healthcare and its about time.

Two important responses that have emerged in the nation’s healthcare systems is an awareness that physicians, nurses and other caretakers must accept that–like all other human beings–they suffer from unconscious biases. It’s those snap judgements about a person’s race, ethnicity, age, ability, and socioeconomic status that enter into each encounter which can influence the recommended course of care. Those biases can be positive or negative but we all make those associations. The pandemic has accelerated the

extent to which hospitals are seeking training for front line staff and providers in order to reduce the likelihood of these biases and provide more culturally competent care.

These programs include an awareness of how bias impacts the experiences of patients and what may be important factors to consider in working with different populations. Culturally competent care encourages staff to look at how the patient may be experiencing their illness and what their own understanding of how to improve their health. It means taking into account the patients cultural of reference and listening to their unique needs.

Another response is the effort hospitals are making to partner with community clinics, faith based organizations and community organizations to win the trust of patients. This was present before the pandemic, but it has taken on a new sense of urgency as vaccine adoption rates have faltered in Black and Brown communities. Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, not for profit hospitals which are the majority of facilities in the US have been asked to report what community benefits they provide to address known community needs.

Despite all of these approaches for improved healthcare services for diverse patients, it will take years before all health systems are aligned on their approach to advance health equity.

The most vulnerable patients need quality care now.

A visit to the doctor—even on-line—may require some key steps to ensure the best care is made available. Three steps that can make a big difference for patient visits. First, bring an advocate with you–a family member or friend who will join you in your visit and support your being heard or to help you ask the right questions. You’ll have to give them permission to be with you given privacy rules in healthcare but it’s worth it. Having a trusted advocate can be a big relief if there’s a lot of options to explore or if there’s different treatment steps involved. There’s a growing field of professional Patient Advocates — sometimes called Patient Navigators that help individuals with navigating treatment options, getting insurance payments, and arranging for home health care if needed. Your health may rely on having someone who understands the complexity of healthcare systems to support you.

Next, review the information your physician provides about the condition or illness and the medicines you may be asked to take. Ask your doctor what information you most need to understand for your treatment or what to do to support your health. Most physicians will provide information on a condition or point you to a reputable website for more information like the Mayo Clinic Review what your physician provides to be informed about the options and treatments presented.

Last, communicate with your care team throughout the course of your treatment or care. If you are struggling with side effects in your treatment or symptoms worsen, call your doctor or the nurse practitioner assigned to your care. Take an active role–with your advocate–to look at options for continued treatment. Poor communication with your physician can put you at greater risk for poor health outcomes. During these challenging days, preparing for each time you visit your physician can set the stage for you to receive the very best care available

About the author -Maria Hernandez, Ph.D., President and COO of Impact4Health is a thought leader in health equity and pay for success initiatives designed to address the upstream social determinants of health among vulnerable populations.  Maria currently leads the Alameda County Pay for Success Asthma Initiative which is testing the feasibility of reducing asthma-related emergencies using health education and proven home-based environmental interventions for children.  

Rita Azar illustration for 360 MAGAZINE article on immigration

American Attitudes Towards Immigrants

New Report: What Immigration Issues Do Americans Hold Sacred?

Why has immigration moved from being a mundane policy issue into one of the most hotly-debated topics in American politics today? Why was family separation so widely rebuked by the public and why is building a border wall so divisive?

Answers to these questions can be found in a new report published by the Center for Inclusion and Belonging at the American Immigration Council and Over Zero, titled: “What Immigration Issues Do Americans Hold Sacred? A Psychological Journey into American Attitudes Towards Immigrants” by Nichole Argo, Ph.D. and Kate Jassin, Ph.D.

The report—and the behavioral survey upon which it is based—overcome the limitations of traditional polling by digging deeper into how deeply respondents think about immigration issues, and why they feel the way that they do. 

In March 2020, the authors conducted a nationally representative survey to examine 14 key immigration issues. They asked respondents to choose between an open or restrictive stance on each issue, then reflect on how much it mattered to them. They then asked how much money it would take for respondents to give up this value.  

Stances that cannot be traded away for any amount of money are considered “sacred values.” They are processed in the brain differently than regular values, and efforts to argue or negotiate around them as if they are regular values are likely to backfire.

How sacred is immigration in the United States today to those on the right and the left? Very. This is one explanation for why the debate becomes so heated on immigration and easily divides Americans. 

What are the beliefs, values, experiences, and attitudes most associated with open or restrictive sacralization and what can we do about it?  

View the full report and key findings here

Rita Azar illustration for 360 magazine relationship article.

6 Cool Entertainment Options for Partners Spending Lockdown Apart

To stay and keep our partners safe, the COVID-19 pandemic might require that we spend some time away from our partners. Being away from their partners can be agonizing for a lot of people and this is why you should try to find ways to connect with your partner every chance you get if you are not spending lockdown together. Below, we will look at some cool and creative entertainment options that you can enjoy alone or with your partner if you are forced to spend lockdown apart.

Listen to the Same Album/Playlist

Streaming services have come a long way and it is now possible to listen to whole albums through your phone and computer. An added advantage is the ability to share an album or playlist with your partner. By doing this, you can listen to the same album or music at the same time.

It might not be the same as spending time together physically, but it will bring you together.

Watch a Movie Together

As with listening to the same music, you can also watch the same movie with your partner. As you know, there are a plethora of streaming services to choose from. However, if you do not want or cannot afford to pay for a streaming service, there are still free movie streaming services such as Tubi that have a catalogue of original movies and shows you can enjoy together.

There is so much you can do with both of the ideas above including using them on a themed date night or a special night you would like to spend together.

Indulge in Some Casino Games

If you love casino games, you can try some of the new games that are being released by various developers to help people cope with long periods of self-isolation. The good thing about playing your favourite games at an online casino is that it is possible to invite your partner to the same casino so you can play a few games against each other. This is not only a great way to spend some time together, it is also a great way to have some fun and some light-hearted competition.

If your partner does not like casino games, you can still engage in some online gambling to have fun, and, if you are feeling competitive, to hopefully win some money. Regardless of whether you want to play slots games alone or with your partner, you should always ensure you are playing at a reputable online slots casino.

With innumerable casinos online available, you might find it confusing to find the right one. Fortunately, you can use online casino review websites to find information about the casinos you might be considering. Review websites such as Online Casino Reviews posts in-depth reviews of popular casinos in South Africa and all over the world. Whether you are looking to play card, table or slot games, Online Casino Reviews has all the information and reviews you need to make the right choice.

Have a Virtual Date Night

While you might not be physically together that does not mean you cannot go on dates, even if they have to be virtual dates. Virtual date night affords you the excuse to dress up, look nice, and rekindle the charm of being in the dating stage again.

The good thing about virtual dates is that as long as you have an internet connection, they can take place anywhere. Maybe you have a beautiful balcony overlooking the city? Or a patch of grass in your garden that you like? You are only limited by your creativity!

Make a Digital Photo Album

It is sad spending wells or months away from your partner, but you can remind yourself why you love them and what they mean to you by creating a digital photo album or a slide show.

Each of the photos included in the album or slideshow should be chosen for a reason. You can always do it together using a share album or folder on a cloud-hosting service. Looking at memories can be a great bonding experience for both of you and help you feel together even when you are apart.

Send Voice Memos

If you have been texting with your partner all day, sending them a voice memo is a fun and entertaining way to reach out to them. The good thing about voice memos is that they can be as long as you like and be about anything.

If you want to go a step further, you can always take a video and send it to your partner. This can come in handy when you do not have time to make a video call.

Spending some time apart during quarantine can make things feel worse than they really are. While it may not be possible to physically spend some time with your partner, you can still find creative, cool, and entertaining ways to spend some time together, although virtually.

Football Image for 360 Magazine by Rita Azar

Howard University x WHOOP

Howard University Department of Athletics and WHOOP, the human performance company, have announced a new multi-year deal that names WHOOP the Official Performance Partner of the school. The initial launch of the partnership will bring unparalleled physiological analytics via wearable technology to nearly 150 student-athletes across five programs: Men’s & Women’s Basketball, Football, and Men’s & Women’s Golf for their inaugural season.

“We are extremely excited to partner with WHOOP,” said Howard Director of Athletics Kery Davis. “This will give our department more insight on making decisions during competition, and will create healthy habits for our student-athletes, coaches and staff that last a lifetime.”

WHOOP harnesses critical biometric data to inform student-athletes’ choices around sleep (quality, duration and regularity), workout and non-workout strain (cardiovascular load) and recovery (capacity to adapt to stimulus).

“WHOOP is an invaluable resource in providing actionable feedback to our student-athletes,” said Howard Director of Sports Medicine Lynson Willis. “The technology has been a key step in moving the Sports Medicine Department forward and has already become a real game changer.”

Howard Athletics will have access to an unprecedented amount of insights into their well-being. WHOOP will empower student-athletes to optimize all aspects of human performance, offering in-depth onboarding training and ongoing support remotely to optimize the user experience.

“The best athletes in the world use WHOOP to understand their bodies and this new partnership will help Howard University’s student-athletes take their performance to the next level,” said WHOOP Founder & CEO Will Ahmed. “As the Official Fitness Wearable of both the PGA and LPGA Tours, we are especially proud to support the Men’s & Women’s Golf teams in their first-ever season.”

Howard Athletics WHOOP members will have an exclusive view into their own data for personal analysis and the ability to opt-in to team insights with coaches, colleagues, teammates and training staff.

About Howard Athletics

The Howard University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics sponsors 21 NCAA Division I men and women varsity sports. The programs represent five conferences: The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), Northeast Conference (NEC), Sun Belt Conference (SBC), Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and Atlantic Sun (ASUN) Conference.

About WHOOP

WHOOP, the human performance company, provides a membership for 24/7 coaching to improve health. The WHOOP membership comes with free hardware (the new Whoop Strap 3.0), a coaching platform designed to optimize your behavior, and a community of high performers. WHOOP members range from professional athletes and Fortune 500 CEOs to fitness enthusiasts and endurance competitors to executives and military personnel. Studies show WHOOP can positively change behavior, increase sleep, and improve physiological biomarkers. Founded in 2012, WHOOP is based in Boston and has raised more than $200 million in venture capital. Visit www.whoop.com for the latest company news and connect with WHOOP on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

For more information, visit the Bison Athletics website at www.HUBison.com, or WHOOP at www.whoop.com.

Rita Azar illustrates wine article for 360 MAGAZINE

ADAMVS Winery

With so many wineries now offering virtual tastings as a way to connect consumers with their favorite winery, ADAMVS winery in Napa Valley is now offering more than just a virtual tasting. ADAMVS has created a wine country harvest offering, connecting consumers with CA’s wine country at a time when most cannot visit during this spectacular season.

Consumers can choose from a variety of ADAMVS’ library wines which can be sent to their home in a hand-crafted wooden box along with a selection of handmade seasonal harvest-inspired items from ADAMVS’ 80-acre Howell Mountain property.

Items include: 2020 ADAMVS Cabernet Sauvignon jam, orchard fig jam; apple butter; mulled spice mix; dried oregano; ADAMVS herb salt; lavender shortbread and a few other seasonally-inspired harvest specialty items. Also included are seasonal recipe pairings from the Estate’s culinary director.

To enhance the offering further, recipients can schedule a private, virtual tasting with ADAMVS’s Owner, Denise Adams. Denise encourages guests to also invite others to the virtual tasting, to connect for a reunion over fine wine.

Rita Azar illustrates adult beverages and popsicles in 360 Magazine

Drake’s Organic Spiked Ice Pops

Drake’s Organic Spirits recently announced that its Drake’s Organic Spiked Ice freeze-and-eat adult pops are outselling established national vodka and tequila brands in California, according to sales numbers from Southern Glazer Wine & Spirits, the largest wine and spirits distributor in the United States.

Drake’s Organic Spiked Ice are handheld ice pops that feature 15% ABV and only 80 calories each. Spiked Ice is available in four flavors: Mango Rum Punch, Vodka Lemonade, Watermelon Martini and Classic Mojito. Award-winning all-organic, ultra-premium vodka and white rum makes up Drake’s Organic Spirits. As a result, they contain no artificial colors or flavors and freeze with twice the ABV as other brands.

“We know consumers care about the ingredients that go into the products they’re eating and drinking.” No state is as committed to organic products and sustainability than California. In California, 90% of households buy organic on a regular basis. Drake’s Organic Spirits commits to producing spirits made with the highest quality organic, non-GMO ingredients. These are better for the body and planet,” said Drake’s Founder and CEO Mark Anderson.

Drake’s Organic Spirits is the first and only spirit line in the world to be certified USDA organic, non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free, vegan and kosher. As a result, the five certifications ensure a cleaner drinking option that comes only from the highest quality organic ingredients.

Drake’s Organic Premium Vodka was awarded Double Gold and Drake’s Organic White Rum received Gold at the most recent Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) Convention & Exposition in Orlando, FL. The judges are industry experts who blind taste-test each spirit. Therefore, the most prestigious in the industry recognizes and respects Drake’s Organic White Rum.

Drake’s Organic Spiked Ice, Organic Vodka, Organic White Rum, Organic Spiced Rum and Organic Mixes are available at hundreds of locations throughout California including select Ralphs, Save Mart, Lucky, FoodMaxx, Albertsons, Vons and Target stores. However, if you would like a complete list of locations offering Drake’s products, click HERE.

About Drake’s Organic Spirits

In 2017 Minneapolis-based Drake’s Organic Spirits launched. Drake’s sources the highest quality USDA organic and non-GMO Project Verified ingredients to create a line of ultra-premium spirits and mixers. The Drake’s spirit line currently consists of Drake’s Organic Vodka, Drake’s Organic White Rum and Drake’s Organic Spiced Rum. Organic cane sugar, rather than grain, which produces a smooth, clean aftertaste, makes up Drake’s Organic Spirits. Drake’s Spirits are all 12-times distilled, creating an ultra-premium hand-crafted spirit at a price that beats the leading premium brands. Drake’s recently began producing bulk sanitizer to meet the need for cleaner, safer environments.

Follow Drake’s Organic Sprits

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Illustration for 360 Magazine by Rita Azar

San Francisco Ballet Virtual Benefit

San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) announces details for its first-ever virtual benefit, Leap Into the New Year, to be held online via Socio on Thursday, January 14, 2021 to mark the opening of SF Ballet’s historic 88th Digital Season.

With a performance curated by Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson, the event includes delivered items, such as a meal, caviar, and gifts provided by McCalls Catering & Events; and wine provided by Rodney Strong Vineyards. The evening’s programming includes the SF Ballet performance debut of two of the Company’s new Principal Dancers, Nikisha Fogo and Julian MacKay, in the Act III pas de deux from Don Quixote, and an excerpt from a new work by Helgi Tomasson created on members of SF Ballet’s corps de ballet—click here to see a video about this work.

Leap Into the New Year also includes a newly produced prelude to Mrs. Robinson by Cathy Marston, featuring Principal Dancers Sarah Van Patten and Joseph Walsh, and excerpts from the Digital Season’s additional world premieres, Wooden Dimes by Danielle Rowe and a new work by Myles Thatcher. Complete programming and casting are included at the bottom of this release.

Proceeds from Leap Into the New Year will benefit a wide range of SF Ballet artistic initiatives, including new works, accessible digital content, scholarships and financial aid programs for San Francisco Ballet School students, and community education programs for youth, families, and seniors. The event begins at 6 pm with access to private virtual tables; a wine education session with the event’s wine sponsor, Rodney Strong Vineyards; and behind-the-scenes content from rehearsals, followed by a 7 pm performance.

Ticket holders at the Artistic Director, Principal, Producer, and Soloist levels will enjoy VIP programming, including the pas de deux from William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, rehearsed by Forsythe on Soloist Sasha Mukhamedov and Principal Dancer Aaron Robison, and the White Swan Pas De Deux from Helgi Tomasson’s Swan Lake performed by Fogo and MacKay.

Under the direction of Music Director Martin West, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra recorded music for the event using approved safety protocols at Skywalker Studios, 25th Street Recording, and the SF Conservatory of Music, which was produced, engineered and mastered by Leslie Ann Jones.

The evening is hosted by SF Ballet Soloist Madison Keesler, who will be styled by Neiman Marcus. All table guests will enjoy a private, virtual meet-and-greet with a Company dancer during the event and will have access to a virtual social wall where they can share photography and messages with other benefit-goers. Artistic Director and Principal level table guests will also have the option to request an on-site, socially-distanced photo-op with Drew Altizer Photography.

Tickets to the event start at $3,000 for a pair of guests or $1,600 for a virtual table of four for ENCORE! members. Guests who wish to receive a meal, wine, and gifts delivered to their home day-of must RSVP by December 31, 2020. Reservations may be made online or by contacting Emma Lundberg, SF Ballet’s Special Events Manager, at elundberg@sfballet.org or 415.865.6629.

LEAP INTO THE NEW YEAR’S PERFORMANCE PROGRAM 

Premier Presenting Producer

Osterweis Capital Management 

Presenting Producers

Frederick and Shelby Gans

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Linnea and George Roberts

Denise Littlefield Sobel

Excerpt from new work by Helgi Tomasson 

Composer: Jean Phillippe Rameau

Artistic Director Sponsor: Dr. Sunnie Evers

Featuring: JULIA ROWE, LEILI RACKOW, BIANCA TEIXERIA, NATASHA SHEEHAN

DIEGO CRUZ, LUCAS ERNI, LUCA FERRÒ, LLEYTON HO

Dedicated To… by Yuri Possokhov

Composer: Victor Osadchev

Artistic Director Sponsor: Jennifer and Steven Walske

Featuring: YUAN YUAN TAN 

Excerpt from Wooden Dimes, Danielle Rowe’s world premiere

Composer: James M. Stephenson

Artistic Director Sponsor: Alison and Michael Mauzé

Featuring: LUKE INGHAM, DORES ANDRÉ, MAX CAUTHORN 

Pas de Deux from Coppélia by Arthur Saint-Léon

Composer: Léo Delibes

Artistic Director Sponsors: Richard C. Barker; Yurie and Carl Pascarella

Featuring: MISA KURANAGA, ANGELO GRECO 

Excerpt from Myles Thatcher’s world premiere

Composer: Steve Reich

Artistic Director Sponsor: Christine Russell and Mark Schlesinger

CASTING TO BE ANNOUNCED 

Short film of Mrs. Robinson world premiere by Cathy Marston

Composer: Terry Davies

Artistic Director Sponsor: Fang and Gary Bridge

Featuring: SARAH VAN PATTEN, JOSEPH WALSH, LUKE INGHAM 

Act III Pas de Deux from Don Quixote by Alexander Gorsky and Marius Petipa

Staging and Additional Choreography by Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov

Composer: Ludwig Minkus

Artistic Director Sponsor: Diane B. Wilsey

Featuring: NIKISHA FOGO, JULIAN MACKAY

Pas de Deux from In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated by William Forsythe (VIP ONLY)

Composer: Thom Willems

Artistic Director Sponsor: James C. Hormel and Michael P. N. Hormel

Featuring: SASHA MUKHAMEDOV, AARON ROBISON

White Swan Pas De Deux from Swan Lake by Helgi Tomasson (VIP ONLY)

Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Featuring: NIKISHA FOGO, JULIAN MACKAY

ABOUT HELGI TOMASSON

Helgi Tomasson, one of the most venerated classical dancers of his generation, embarks on his 36th season with San Francisco Ballet in 2021. Born in Iceland, he danced with Harkness Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, and New York City Ballet, where he distinguished himself as a dancer of technical purity, musicality, and intelligence. Tomasson assumed leadership of SF Ballet in 1985. Under his direction, SF Ballet has become a company widely recognized as one of the finest in the world.

Tomasson has balanced devotion to the classics with an emphasis on new works, cultivating frequent collaborations and commissions with choreographers such as William Forsythe, Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Trey McIntyre, Cathy Marston, and Mark Morris, among many others. He has choreographed more than 50 works for the Company, including full-length productions of Swan LakeThe Sleeping BeautyRomeo & Juliet (taped for Lincoln Center at the Movies’ Great American Dance), Giselle, and Nutcracker (taped for PBS’s Great Performances).

He conceptualized the 1995 UNited We Dance festival, in which SF Ballet hosted 12 international companies; the 2008 New Works Festival, which included 10 world premieres by 10 acclaimed choreographers; and 2018 Unbound: A Festival of New Works. Tomasson has also connected SF Ballet to the world, through co-commissions with companies including American Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet, and Dutch National Ballet; and major tours to Paris, London, New York City, China, and his native Iceland. In 2020, Tomasson received the San Francisco Arts Medallion, created by the Museum of Performance + Design to recognize those individuals whose leadership, action, and generosity have benefited the cultural life of the San Francisco Bay Area.   

ABOUT THE 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.