Posts tagged with "virtual event"

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.

Red Wine, 360 MAGAZINE

Sandra’s Wine Life × Thomas Preti Events to Savor

Sandra Guibord, CEO and Founder of  Sandra’s Wine Life,  today announced the formal launch of her already successful partnership with Thomas Preti Events to Savor.

The wine educator and top New York caterer have pivoted their businesses, traditionally in-person wine education courses and large-scale in-person events respectively, to provide services virtually, shipping their wine and culinary creations to virtual event participants located throughout the United States for meetings, holiday parties, as well as Sandra Wine Life’s Wine Seminars.

Both companies have experienced tremendous success with this new model, working independently and together. Since the onset of the pandemic when physical events were put on hold, Sandra’s Wine Life has held four virtual events per week at minimum and experienced a growth rate of 100%.

 “Our new normal has empowered me to shift my business, previously in-person wine education seminars for top financial institutions, legal firms and non-profits, into a virtual format,” said Sandra Guibord.

“Through this experience, Sandra’s Wine Life has gained new clients and enthusiasts. I have not lost one client during the pandemic – in fact, I have grown my business 100%,” Guibord continued. “This additional partnership with New York’s top caterer, Thomas Preti, is a testament to the opportunities that can be created through collaboration during this unique moment in history.”

“Sandra and I have worked together, supporting the same clientele, yet separately, for nearly 10 years with tremendous success. I’m thrilled to now add our company’s catering expertise – traditionally shared in New York City’s most prestigious event venues – virtually through our new ‘Preti, Set, Go!’ offering,” added Thomas Preti, Founder of Thomas Preti Events to Savor.

“Although events are now primarily virtual, we continue to be able to provide cuisine that is just as beautifully presented and flavorful as for live, in-person events,” continued Preti. “The additional success that we’ve experienced teaming up with Sandra’s Wine Life has been incredible, with dozens of new events added, as well as the ability to now provide a full-service food and wine offering for virtual events.”

Sandra’s Wine Life Virtual Wine Seminars offer an array of custom and pre-packaged wine courses for beginners to wine connoisseurs. Thomas Preti Events’ ‘Preti, Set, Go!’ culinary offering is available to pair with Sandra Guibord’s wine selections for any of the virtual wine seminars. 

Seminar topics include a primer about wine and pairing called ‘All About Wine Tasting & Discussion,’ frequently hosted alongside a top wine industry expert. More topics include, ‘Wine & Cinema Tasting,’ including the preview of the film, ‘Wine Calling’ which captures the story of France’s natural winemaking movement, as well as ‘Wine & Opera’ which presents relevant wines and conversation alongside a ‘live’ virtual performance by International opera singers, Charles Castronovo and Ekaterina Siurina, from Berlin, Germany. 

With two decades of wine expertise and knowledge, Sandra Guibord offers wine tips and thought leadership for selecting and drinking wine that fits into everyone’s lifestyle. Sandra’s Wine Life celebrates selecting and enjoying wines for entertaining, gift giving, romance, parties and life’s many other occasions that call for a fabulous glass of wine.

About Sandra Guibord, Sandra’s Wine Life 

Sandra Guibord, CEO and Founder of Sandra’s Wine Life has over two decades of experience the media and entertainment business. A former Wilhelmina model and actress, including soap operas, network television series, films and corporate spokesperson roles, Sandra is now a preeminent guide within the wine and spirits community. She assists top corporations, legal firms, and nonprofits with entertaining their top clientele and senior executives.

Utilizing her hands-on learnings gained through vineyard internships and travel to wine regions worldwide, Sandra Guibord has made the often vexing world of wine enjoyable through her fun, festive and informative approach that has been well received by wine enthusiasts from novices to connoisseurs. She offers from practical wine advice for casual events (virtual and in-person), business dinners, romantic dates, and building custom wine collections. Sandra will be unveiling her first book, titled ‘Wine Identity’ in early 2021.

Learn more about Sandra’s Wine Life and Sandra Guibord’s event offerings at www.sandraswinelife.com.

About Thomas Preti Events To Savor

Since 1987, Thomas Preti Events to Savor has seamlessly orchestrated thousands of events at New York’s most prestigious venues. Our team has earned a reputation for delivering an unmatched culinary experience and first-class service by tailoring the needs of each event to enhance its unique image and style.

You’re not just choosing a menu. You’re choosing an experience. People who know caterers choose Thomas Preti for the events that matter. When we promise grilled grouper, that’s precisely what we serve. Grilled perfectly. Served impeccably. We’ve been delighting our clients and their guests for over 30 years. We’ve seen fads come and go. We don’t follow fads. We focus on what really matters. Real food, prepared in surprising and delicious ways. Preti is famous for delivering what we promise, flawlessly.

In 2020, we launched Preti, Set, Go!, a modern evolution of the classic Thomas Preti experience, individually packaged & delivered to you!

GirlTrek Photo Curtsey of Jewel Bush

GirlTrek Virtual Celebration

GirlTrek, the largest health movement and nonprofit for Black women in the United States, is officially now a sisterhood of 1 MILLION Black women – and counting!

To celebrate mobilizing 1 million Black women to use radical self-care and walking as the first practical step to leading healthier, more fulfilled lives, GirlTrek is hosting the biggest party for Black women 2020 has seen on Sunday, November 29th at 7 p.m. EST on GirlTrek’s Facebook LIVE

It will be a moment of gratitude and reflection centered in a celebration of our stories — the brilliant displays of uprising, change-making, freedom-claiming Black women. Women that have one by one, neighborhood by neighborhood, powered and propelled this movement to a literal unleashing of 1 million Black women! Together, we have been walking and building this movement for a decade. There’s no way in the world that we’d let this landmark moment pass without rejoicing.

The one-and-only D-Nice is set to spin. Performances include India Arie, Baby Rose, poet Aja Monet, and Tawiah.  

GirlTrek is the most effective public health solution in the country. GirlTrek was co-founded by two friends, T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison. Over the years, the organization, which originally began as an email walking challenge among friends, expanded to a nationwide movement inspiring radical healing and health transformation among Black women. 

Based on membership data collection, in 2019, 26% of GirlTrek members reported taking less medication after committing to a daily walking practice; 61% of women lost weight since the previous year; 40% of women continued to see improvement in symptoms from a previous health condition and 98% of those who have been diagnosed with depression said walking has improved their symptoms. 

Join a sisterhood of 1 million — and growing —  by taking the pledge at GirlTrek.org. GirlTrek is free to join. Check out GirlTrek on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Rita Azar Illustrates an Entertainment Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Napoleon Dynamite – cast reunion

Key cast members of the 2004 comedy film “Napoleon Dynamite” will be reuniting virtually in a special pre-recorded program available at 5:00 pm PST/8:00 pm EST on December 4 on YouTube. The hosted reunion will be the first time many of the cast have interacted since the film first burst out of the Sundance Film Festival and became an international smash.

Jon Heder (Napoleon), Efren Ramirez (Pedro), Jon Gries (Uncle Rico), Tina Majorino (Deb), Haylie Duff (Summer) and, Shondrella Avery (LaFawnduh) are joined by several other surprise cast members for the program. The event will also serve as a fundraiser for The Hunger Project (thp.org) to end hunger worldwide. 

Entitled “Cyber Dynamite” due to its virtual nature, the online reunion follows in the footsteps of other recent pop culture online reunions, and while it will be free to view, donations are being sought to support The Hunger Project. In addition, a select group of special items from some of the cast will be available by raffle to donors contributing $75 or more. Item descriptions are available on The Hunger Project’sevent page: https://thp.org/events/cyber-dynamite-napoleon-dynamite-benefit-reunion/.

About Napoleon Dynamite:

The quirky 2004 comedy directed by Jared Hess was purchased by Fox Searchlight after its Sundance Film Festival debut and grossed over $46 million on a $400k budget. The film became a cult classic and spawned an animated series on Fox in 2012. 

About The Hunger Project:

The Hunger Project is an organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger. It’s community-led programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, reaching 16.5 million people who have been mobilized to lead themselves out of hunger and poverty. Their work prioritizes progress in gender equality, health, education, nutrition and income generation in rural areas.

Annual Fundraiser for Teen Cancer America

“TEA WITH VICTORIA SUMMER” FEATURING SHERYL CROW, ALFIE BOE AND LESLEY NICOL TO BENEFIT TEEN CANCER AMERICA 

Virtual British Tea, Presented by Lawrence Charles of Charles& Co. and First Citizens Bank, Goes Global on Saturday, Dec. 12

Actress Victoria Summer will host her third annual British Tea for Teen Cancer America on Saturday, December 12, in a virtual online setting that will feature Grammy winner Sheryl Crow, Tony Award winner Alfie Boe and actress Lesley Nicol, known for her portrayal of the manor chef Mrs. Patmore on the Emmy-winning series Downton Abbey.

“Tea with Victoria Summer,” beginning in the U.S. at 3 p.m. ET, will give guests exclusive insight to the timeless British tradition of afternoon tea. The live-streamed global event will raise critical funds for TCA, the national non-profit co-founded by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who, providing facilities and support for adolescents and young adults with cancer.

The interactive tea party will include a master class in making vegan scones from scratch with Italian Michelin star chef Fabrizio Vaccaro. There will also be primer on proper tea etiquette with William Hanson, Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and regarded as Great Britain’s most trusted authority on etiquette and civility.

This special event is presented by Lawrence Charles, founder of organic luxury tea brand Charles & Company, and TCA corporate partner First Citizens Bank. Ticket information is available at the fundraiser’s Eventbrite page.

Attendees will learn how to make a tea cocktail with Charles, a preeminent tea purveyor and international expert in the tradition of British tea. Charles is known for his collaborations with the James Beard Foundation, British Polo Day, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and the British Royal family.  

The work of TCA will be highlighted in a conversation between Victoria Summer and a young cancer survivor who will share personal experiences and sing a duet with the hostess.

Summer, a global ambassador for TCA, began her career on stage before transitioning to film acting where she has achieved international stardom. She played Julie Andrews in Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, was featured in director Michael Bay’s blockbuster, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and starred opposite Chris Klein in the World War One drama, Game of Aces. Summer recently shot a supporting role in the period TV drama, Glow & Darkness, and starts shooting indie biopic Vindication Swim in the UK in January. The actress and producer also created the show Next Generation Role Model which shines the spotlight on leaders of the future. 

TCA’s mission is to improve the experience, outcomes and survival of teens and young adults with cancer by providing programs and specialized facilities designed especially for them in hospitals throughout the U.S.

For information about corporate sponsorship opportunities connected to “Tea with Victoria Summer,” please contact Michelle Aland at  Michelle@TeenCancerAmerica.org.

About Teen Cancer America

Teen Cancer America seeks to bridge the gap between pediatric and adult oncology care by helping the health providers and health systems develop specialized programs and facilities for this age group. TCA brings together physicians and allied healthcare professionals in both pediatric and adult oncology. Age-targeted care for this population is necessary for medical and appropriate psychosocial development. Outcomes associated with some cancers that target this age group have not improved in over 30 years. Teens and young adults with cancer are long overdue for an upgrade and TCA can hopefully light the fire in America’s health systems. For more information, email Michelle Aland (michelle@teencanceramerica.org) or visit www.teencanceramerica.org.

DVF illustration by Kaelin Felix for 360 magazine

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Last week, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum reached more than 1,000 supporters and raised nearly $3 million during their eleventh annual “What You Do Matters” New York Tribute Event. This event is held in support of the Museum’s critical role as a living memorial to the Holocaust. This year, fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg served as master of ceremonies for the event’s inaugural virtual platform.

Von Furstenberg shared her personal connection to the Holocaust and the Museum, “As a daughter of a Holocaust survivor, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is especially personal to me. … My mother used to tell me, ‘God saved me so that I gave you life. By giving you life, you gave me my life back, you are my torch of freedom.’”

Von Furstenberg’s mother was arrested in occupied Belgium in 1944 when she was just 21 years old and was transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where she spent 13 months as a forced laborer, surviving at a mere 49 pounds. Her daughter was born nine months later despite doctors’ warnings of the impossibility of a safe pregnancy.

“I have been involved in the Museum since its inception,” Von Furstenberg said. “When you think about the moment we are living now – the enormity of changes and challenges – remember this history and its lessons about the fragility of freedom, the nature of hate and the consequences of indifference could not be more relevant…We have to make sure that everybody remembers. To remember is to give voice to the six million that were silenced.”

During the virtual event, celebrities including Jason Alexander, Jamie Lee Curtis, David Eigenberg, Morgan Freeman, Camryn Manheim, Tim Matheson and Daniela Ruah read excerpts from the Museum’s collections, giving voice to the victims of the Holocaust, and participated in the Museum’s pledge to Holocaust survivors to never forget.

The New York virtual tribute event also featured an interview with 100-year-old Benjamin Ferencz, the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor, and the Museum’s partner in the Ferencz International Justice Initiative.  Ferencz said that in order to have a better and more peaceful world than the one he’s witnessed, the slogan “never give up” must be added to his well-known philosophy of “law not war.”

Photograph of Diane von Furstenberg and her mother, next to live shot of Diane von Furstenberg
Photograph of Diane von Furstenberg and her mother, next to live shot of Diane von Furstenberg
Ben Ferencz and Naomi Kikoler, Director, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide
Ben Ferencz and Naomi Kikoler, Director, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide

McDonald’s sponsors K-pop event – the KCON:TACT season 2 premier

Fans can connect virtually with hit group, The Boyz, through a special segment presented by McDonald’s

If you are a K-pop stan, McDonald’s has your back this KCON season as a premier sponsor of the world’s largest celebration of Korean culture and music. Starting today through October 25, fans can experience KCON:TACT season 2, virtually, from their living room (or location of choice).

On Sunday, October 25, fans can watch “Crush Moment with The Boyz,” a special segment sponsored by McDonald’s that will feature the 11-member boy group, a headlining KCON:TACT performer. Over the last couple of weeks via social media, The Boyz invited their loyal fan base, “THE B,” to share the first moment they fell in love with the group. The Boyz will choose the top moments and reenact them during the segment.

“We’re excited to continue our partnership with KCON for the sixth consecutive year, and especially during this time when people’s access to fun and meaningful events and moments are limited and vastly different,” said Elizabeth Campbell, McDonald’s Senior Director of Cultural Engagement. “­We recognize how important K-Pop is to our customers and are proud to continue celebrating this iconic cultural event, and giving fans access to The Boyz.”

McDonald’s has been a long-time sponsor of KCON with pop-ups at both the New York and Los Angeles events. Last year, convention attendees sampled World Famous Fries® and ice cream, met their favorite K-pop idols, and tried their hand at winning branded goodies through retro-style arcade machines. McDonald’s was also the livestream sponsor, bringing the concert directly to fans watching at home.

“We are excited to partner with McDonald’s to connect with our fans virtually, and give them a special moment,” said The Boyz. “We can’t wait for this segment as we know our beloved THE B is going to love it.”

For details about the full 10-day KCON:TACT experience, visit www.kconusa.com. The entire program will be streamed exclusively on Mnet K-Pop (www.youtube.com/mnet) and KCON official YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/kcon).

About McDonald’s USA

McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to nearly 25 million customers every day. Ninety-five percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook. www.facebook.com/mcdonalds.

About KCON USA

KCON USA (kconusa.com) is the largest fan festival in North America celebrating Korean culture and music. The convention launched in 2012 with over 10,000 fans attending and has more than doubled annually since to over 158,000 fans. KCON is now established in Los Angeles as the annual flagship event for American fans of Hallyu and Asian pop culture, providing the largest forum for fans to directly connect with each other, as well as artists and professionals from the Korean entertainment industry. In 2017, the brand further expanded internationally, presenting KCON in Mexico and Australia as well as returning to Japan. KCON has also held events in France, UAE and Thailand.

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Independence Day Drink

2020 Labor Day Celebrations

By Cassandra Yany

In the face of COVID-19, Labor Day weekend looked very different his year. Absent were the large family cookouts and pool parties, or the big end-of-summer beach crowds. Many cities even had to omit public fireworks to prevent mass gatherings. Though the long weekend did not bring the celebrations we’re used to, there were still plenty of safe ways to enjoy the holiday.

Virtual events allow you to take part in more activities in different locations than you would have been able to physically. Made in America, a festival started by Jay-Z in 2012, was set to take place in Philadelphia this past weekend. On July 1, festival organizers announced that it would be rescheduled to Labor Day weekend 2021. They said in a statement “Collectively, we are fighting parallel pandemics, COVID-19, systemic racism and police brutality. Now is the time to protect the health of our artists, fans, partners and community as well as focus on our support for organizations and individuals fighting for social justice and equality in our country.”

This year’s lineup went unannounced, but last year’s festival was headlined by Travis Scott and Cardi B. Since the physical festival was canceled, a livestream showcasing the best performances took place on the music streaming service TIDAL throughout the weekend. The virtual festival included sets from Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Lizzo, Coldplay, Rihanna and many other chart-topping artists.

Nationally, a Labor Day virtual race was held by The Best Races for runners to run anywhere on their own time and submit their results. Participants who registered for the full package received a personal coach who was available Monday through Friday to provide help and answer questions during training, and provided encouragement and support on the day of the race.

Runners across the country were able to choose the distance of the race they wanted to participate in. Depending on what package they signed up for, they received a certificate of completion and digital medal, a 3-inch medal sent to their homes, a printable custom bib, a custom digital photo card that contains the race results, a digital running journal, a t-shirt, optional course maps and an optional pen pal program. 

Based in Portland, the Oregon Labor Movement held a statewide virtual Labor Day celebration and call to action on Monday. The organizers brought light to issues taking place in the state saying, “Working Oregonians are facing three crises at once: a deadly global pandemic, an economic free fall, and long-standing institutional racism.”

The event began at noon and featured talks from Oregon’s labor leaders, elected officials, and working Oregon citizens regarding their desire for change and their pursuit toward justice for workers. This event came after Portland’s rise to national prominence for their Black Lives Matter demonstrations and federal agents entering the city in recent months.

A number of virtual events were held in Los Angeles this past weekend, as well. HomeState, the LA-based Texas Kitchen, held its first Margarita Showdown in 2019, but had to move it online this year due to the pandemic and social distancing measures. The virtual event took place Saturday via livestream. Margarita makers in the area competed to see whose drink was the best.

Voters received eight bottled margaritas, along with limes and garnishing salt to try the different submissions from the safety of their homes. The winner chosen was El Compadre, a local Mexcian restaurant. The event was hosted by comedian Cristela Alonzo, and featured musical performances by Chicano Batman, Spoon, Questlove, Fred Armisen, Local Natives and Angela Muñoz. All proceeds from the event benefit the organization No Us Without You! and the Watts Empowerment Center.

The Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories in Santa Monica hosted a virtual Labor Day Pies class on Sunday. In the class, participants were taught how to make a s’mores pie and key lime pie. Registration for the class included access to the Zoom video meeting, as well as the recipe and shopping list. Recipes can also be found on Gourmandise’s Instagram.

Some cities were able to hold in-person events following social distancing guidelines. Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, located in the Seaport District, upheld its tradition of free admission on Labor Day. The museum is typically closed on Mondays, but was open from 10 am to 5 pm for guests who reserved tickets. 

Monday was the last day for guests to see the exhibits Tschabalala Self: Out of Body and Carolina Caycedo: Cosmotarrayas. Also on display were the Sterling Ruby, Nina Chanel Abney and Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama exhibits. The ICA has increased cleaning and follows Massachusetts COVID guidelines by requiring all staff and visitors to wear face coverings, and allowing a restricted number of guests each hour. Spaces that don’t allow physical distancing are temporarily closed, and exhibition labels and printed materials have been made available online to reduce touch surfaces.


In New York City, a Labor Day Paint in the Park event was held in Central Park. The two-hour socially distant class was led by a master artist who gave step-by-step painting instructions. Participants were required to wear masks and sit six feet apart. Admission included a pre-sketched canvas and painting supplies, and parties were encouraged to bring food and drinks to snack on during the class.

For those who wanted to enjoy the holiday by relaxing at home with their favorite movie or TV show, a number of stores had sales to mark the end of summer. There were countless deals that shoppers could take advantage of to celebrate their work.
Many workers have faced great adversity within the past eight months, some losing their positions and having to move quickly to find a new one, and others doing their job in a way they never thought they would have to. Whether you stayed in or got out of the house for some socially-distant fun, Monday was definitely a day worth celebrating.

President Ford Birthday Illustration by Mina Tocalini

President Ford’s Birthday

To commemorate President Gerald R. Ford’s 107th birthday on July 14, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation is hosting events virtually this year due to COVID-19, including Facebook Live videos of the annual wreath laying ceremony and a panel discussion regarding the first-ever children’s book about President Ford.

The commemoration begins with a Facebook Live of the wreath laying ceremony at 9 a.m. July 14, at the Gerald R. Ford and Betty B. Ford burial site on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. The ceremony is a combination of two traditions. The first, a long-standing presidential tradition of observing each deceased president’s birthday, during which the sitting president sends a wreath to be presented by a military officer. President Donald J. Trump’s wreath will be placed by Brig. General Paul Rogers. The second is a personal tribute established by first lady Betty Ford in 2007, which includes the presentation of a wreath from the Ford family. The family’ wreath will be placed by President Ford’s nieces and nephews. Following the ceremony, the Army Chorus will honor President Ford with a virtual choral tribute. The ceremony is available for public viewing on the Foundation’s Facebook page at 9 a.m.

In addition to the wreath laying ceremony, a children’s book about President Ford will be released to the public. “Truth and Honor: The President Ford Story,” written by Lindsey McDivitt, tells the story of President Ford at various stages in his life, from his early childhood years and his years at the University of Michigan, to his years in the Navy, Congress and then his presidency in the 1970s.

To celebrate the book’s release, the Foundation will host a Facebook Live panel discussion on the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation’s Facebook page. The panel discussion begins at 7 p.m. with McDivitt, and Mike Ford and Steve Ford, sons of President Ford and Betty Ford. The virtual discussion features the Ford brothers candidly sharing some of their fondest childhood memories of their parents and the lessons they learned from them. McDivitt shares her inspiration behind “Truth and Honor,” and the importance of providing high quality children’s books that teach history and provide role models. The panel presentation will be archived on the Foundation’s DeVos Learning Center website to be viewed any time.

Video trailers of “Truth and Honor: The President Ford Story” are available on Vimeo. “Truth and Honor: The President Ford Story,” is now available online and in select book stores, including Schuler Books. To purchase your copy online, visit: Amazon.com and Sleeping Bear Press.

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation fosters increased awareness of the life, career, values, and legacy of America’s 38th President.  It does so through activities designed to promote the high ideals of integrity, honesty, and candor that defined President Ford’s extraordinary career of public service. The Foundation promotes the ideas, values, commitment to public service and historical legacy of President Gerald R. Ford and further promotes greater civic engagement and recognition of integrity wherever it exists in the public arena.  It supports permanent and changing exhibits designed to promote historical literacy; conferences; educational outreach and other programs, both scholarly and popular, including at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.

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