The VIPP Report: Open enrollment underway for youth interested in the arts

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(Louisville, KY) The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy (WLPAA) d.b.a. West Louisville Boys and West Louisville Girls Choirs, (WLBC/WLGC) is holding its annual Open Enrollment for new students, boys and girls, ages 8 to 18.

Auditions will be held at the Artspace, 323 West Broadway, 4th floor next door to the Brown Theater. Open Enrollment has already begun and ends Friday October 13th.

Members of the Boys & Girls Choirs rehearse twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The WLPAA is more than just singing.  They offer college scholarships, After School Tutorials, private Acoustic Guitar lessons and performance opportunities locally and statewide.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in any of the WLPAA program offerings, contact information is below:

McDaniel Bluitt, Boys Choir Director, Cell: (502) 376-7840, E-mail: wlbc_wlgc@yahoo.com

Travis Schuster, Acoustical Guitar Instructor,Cell: (502) 909-5939, E-mail: travisschuster2@gmail.com

Mamie Bluitt, Girls Choir Director, Cell: (502) 418-7236, E-mail: mamiegr@gmail.com

If you would like to set up an interview with McDaniel Bluitt, Founder/Director of the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy contact us at info@vippcommunications.com. If you are unable to do an interview, we request that you post the information for us.

We are also preparing for our annual Hope Awards. Please Save the Date of Saturday, December 9th at the University Club. Please consider purchasing a table and/or sponsoring a youth.

For additional information go to http://www.westlouisvilleperformingarts.org.

History

West Louisville Boys Choir began in November 1990. The choir is directed by McDaniel Bluitt, a retired vocal music teacher with twenty-nine (29) years of experience. He received his B. M. ED. from the University of Louisville School Of Music and a Masters in Counseling from Western Kentucky University. The Boys Choir has performed throughout the commonwealth, for mayors, governors other national dignitaries. The Boys Choir’s first European Tour established international prominence in Paris, France and London, England. They received a superior rating during their first international music competition in the Bahamas. They were also awarded first place in the Music Festival at Sea.

The West Louisville Girls Choir made its debut in November 2002. The choir is directed by Mrs. Mamie Bluitt who received her B.M.ED. from the University of Louisville School of Music. The Girls Choir is also a performing choir.   Some of its more notable performances are: Governor Patton’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration in Frankfort, Kentucky, ECHO, Women for Women Conference and at Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Their first Southwestern Tour to Texas was held in 2010.

 

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The VIPP Report: Birdgang Brand Apparel announces former Cardinal and LA Ram Jamon Brown to their Louisville Legends Series

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(Louisville, KY) The University of Louisville Football Team started their season with a win against former UofL star Jeff Brohm’s scrappy Purdue Boilermaker team. Consequently, we are now just days away from the kick off of the National Football League (NFL) season as well!  This time of year, and the excitement behind both football seasons, make it the perfect time for Louisville-based Birdgang Brand Clothing, to add to its “Louisville Legends” Series. This specific line of clothing, which Birdgang introduced with Super Bowl 39 MVP Deion Branch as its initial athlete, was created out of respect and love for former UofL greats, their contribution to the University, as well as for the fans of these particular past players. Added to this very prestigious list, is Louisville’s “Home Grown” Jamon Brown!

Jamon starred at Louisville’s Fern Creek High School, The University of Louisville, and is now the starting right guard for the Los Angeles Rams, clearing the way on the line of scrimmage for 2015 NFL Rookie of the Year Todd Gurley. “SACRIFICE” is the exclusive design that Jamon and Birdgang Brand brainstormed about, the one word that embodies the life and career of an offensive lineman! Or? Maybe it embodies the life of an at home mom, or an awesome front line employee that gets little recognition? Or? Maybe it embodies the life of our military men and women, that give their lives freely on a daily basis! Or? Maybe our first responders to situations like Hurricane Harvey-the men and women that run into disastrous situations, while others look or run away. Or? Maybe it’s our at-risk youth, of which Jamon is very active through his JBrown Foundation, and teaching them that SACRIFICE breeds success. Whichever it is, this design fits the mold of anyone that has given their time and energy, seeking very little in return.

“The sacrifice shirt really speaks for itself,” says Jamon. “Being an offensive lineman, you’re constantly making sacrifices! You are consistently the least recognized but are a part of the bigger goal, and take on some of the biggest responsibilities, in the process of building success. This design takes you into the perspective of an offensive lineman, and others making sacrifices! For me, it’s just the selfless attitude that I have, and I think many lineman like myself have as well. So, the words and phrases of this shirt, puts you in the shoes of an individual that puts the TEAM, before themselves. The ultimate Sacrifice!”

The exclusive “Sacrifice” Design will go on sale this Friday for a limited time only and is in high demand, as a portion of the proceeds will benefit The JBrown Foundation. The Foundation has a focus on our “At Risk” Youth in Louisville and abroad, and helping them to realize their fullest potential, with an end-goal of influencing them, and others to be givers. The link below is equipped with the pricing details of the shirt. There’s also a direct path (toward the middle of the page once the link is opened), to the JBrown Foundation for those that want to donate directly, and stay abreast with the happenings of the Foundation.  If you would like to purchase the “Sacrifice” design we’ve provided the following link: https://birdgangpledge.ignitecx.com/sacrifice.

To setup an interview with Jamon Brown and/or members of Birdgang Brand Clothing please contact Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com.  To learn more about Birdgang Brand visit www.wearebirdgang.com.

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Please note-This Saturday, (September 9th) Birdgang Brand/Cardinal Phone Repair will be having its first “Game Watch Party” at their new store this Saturday, Kicking off at 1030am with Cornhole and other tailgating activities before the Noon game time vs UNC. 2948 Yorkshire Blvd at the Intersection of Taylorsville Rd and Breckinridge Lane in Hikes Point. Jamon Brown “Sacrifice” shirts can be Pre-ordered at the Game Watch Party as well. Event sponsored by The JBrown Foundation.

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The VIPP Report: Hit stage play “My War Wounds”announces encore performance

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BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: STAGE PLAY BRINGS AWARENESS TO TWO MAJOR HEALTH ISSUES AND THE EFFECTS IT HAS ON PATIENTS AND THEIR CAREGIVERS

Lexington, KY— In the hit stage play, My War Wounds, playwright and visionary, Leslie Pryor highlights the warning signs, symptoms and struggles of individuals with brain tumors, as well as the struggles and symptoms of a disease many families know all too well—breast cancer. After so much open dialogue the stage play became a resource tool for some 1200 people.

There will be an encore presentation of My War Wounds on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 6 p.m. at the Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center, 300 E Third St, Lexington KY 40508. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.  We are excited to announce that comedian Laronda Clay will be our show’s host and saxophonist Benny J will perform during the evening. There will be vendors, plenty of food, a photographer to capture special moments, door prizes and plenty of information about breast cancer for organizations on location in case our guests have any questions.

Headaches, nausea, blurred or double vision, dizziness, trouble walking all could be something minor or symptoms to something so much bigger. So, when 13-year-old Alijah Owens started experiencing migraines and falling down at school without warning, he knew something was wrong. Soon, his eyes turned red and glossy, his face became disfigured and his hearing declined.

Initially, doctors misdiagnosed it as an allergy or vertigo but unfortunately Alijah had a massive brain tumor.  Parents at this point, normally have more questions than answers when they get the diagnosis.  For Alijah and his family, it resulted in more than 30 hours of surgery, months of therapy and having to learn to walk all over again. He was literally in a fight—a war—for his life.

According to the American Brain Tumor Association, brain tumors are the most common form of tumors among children under the age of 25 and represent 20% of all childhood cancers.  Many have no idea of these statistics until after the diagnosis is given.

My War Wounds, is a true testament of never knowing what a person is dealing with when they are not at school, church and/or work.  Many suffer in silence and have no outlet to relieve their stress and anxiety which many times can be misdirected.  This inspirational story of courage and fear, love and hate is sure to take audience members on an emotional roller coaster they’ll never forget. When a mother, who is facing her own share of health challenges, is confronted with a life-threatening sickness of her daughter, will she keep the faith or let her family be ripped to shreds?

A portion of the proceeds will support the American Cancer Society; General admission tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. VIP tickets $35 with preferred seating in advance. Group rates for 15 or more people. To purchase tickets, visit Lexingtonlyric.com online.  Processing fees not included.  For more information or media interviews, email LesliePryorProductions@gmail.com or call 502.414.4104.

The encore presentation was made possible due to the support of the Arts Council of Louisville and House of Prayer Church.

To setup an interview with Ms. Leslie Pryor and cast members please contact Sherlene Shanklin at 502-295-0435 or by emailing sshanklin@vippcommunications.com.

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 Established in 2012, Leslie Pryor Productions was formed as a result of a layoff and a prayer. As a faith-based company, Leslie Pryor Productions believes in giving back to the community at large while educating and entertaining through life-changing productions. Productions to date include, Struggles I Have Been Through, Twists and Turns of Faith and the hit stage play, My War Wounds.

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The VIPP Report: The “Showdown” takes place on the basketball court bringing “All Stars” to the hardwood to support area youth and Hurricane Harvey victims

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(Louisville, KY) It’s all about the bragging rights in the All-Star Showdown 2017 on Sunday, September 3rd at Old Male High School Gym, 911 S. Brook Street (corner of Brook and Breckenridge). Tickets are $10 for adults and $3 for youth 12 and under.

At 3:00 p.m. there will be a championship league game.  So, the East End Team of Louisville, Lou-Ville Champs will go up against the Buffalo All Star Pro Team from Lexington coached by 1978 NCAA Champion and Kentucky Wildcat James Lee.  It’s the battle for bragging rights.  During halftime fans, will get to enjoy a dunk contest.  You need to be in attendance to see the unbelievable dunks that will be attempted.

You will get your money’s worth with this event.  A second game has been added.  It’s the All-Star Game featuring former NBA & NCAA champion for the Kentucky Wildcats Derek Anderson, former Louisville Cardinals stars BJ Flynn, Nate Johnson and Alvin Sims will participate in the game. We’ve also confirmed that two Louisville Metro Police Officers Joplin Johnson and Thomas Coleman will play in this game. Louisville native and NBA star D’Angelo Russell graciously sponsored the official All Star Showdown Nike uniforms for the 5pm game.

Two former University of Louisville athletes Tony Williams and Mario Urrutia along with their dynamic teams created this concept to give back to the youth in the community.  Williams played 10 years in the European professional basketball league and works tirelessly to assist the youth in the community.  After playing for the Cardinals, Urrutia played in the NFL and currently helps other youth seeking the same success by developing them at the Super Student Athletes, LIFE Center. They provide guidance both on and off the football field.    Throughout the day, you will see youth be showcased in various ways so they can be exposed to positive figures in the community.

You will also get to see Kentucky State University’s Marching Band. They will travel from Frankfort to be a part of the game. There will be a step show during the HBCU halftime explosion.

This event is for the sharp shooters because there will be a Montgomery Chevrolet 3 Point Contest. Former Harlem Globetrotter, Dirt Bowl legend and Louisville native Gerald Gray will participate in Beat the Pro Challenge.

There will even be a $1,000 Lawyer for the City Half Court Long Shot Challenge sponsored by Attorney Brandon Lawrence.

This family friendly event will not only recognize the youth in the community but due to Hurricane Harvey, organizers felt the need to assist with aid by holding a moment of silence at the start of the game and introducing Derek Anderson’s AOK Foundation for hurricane relief fund and explain how you can help throughout the event.  Organizers have family and friends affected and want to let them know they care.

The response has been overwhelming when it comes to giving back.  We would like to thank some 30 sponsors that made this event which include Denny & Susan Crum, Bias Tilford Jr., Beargrass Missionary Church & Iron Sharpens Men’s Church Group, UPS Store St. Matthews Woodlawn Plaza, Derby Oil-Man, Lawrence “Red” Herring, Parkland Laundry, Media-Pros, Wade Houston and Frank Minnifield and family.

All four of the urban radio outlets in the area have agreed to be a part of the event by hosting different hours throughout the day.  B96, 93.1 The Beat, WLOU/104.7 and 107.9 The Beat in Lexington will all broadcast from the event.  There will be on-site interviews with KySports.TV. They will also live stream the games. To keep the activities moving Mario Martin of “The Mario Show” will be the emcee for the day.

Members of the Aspire Academy, which features some of the top high school prospects in the country will be in attendance. Hoops for Christ Philip Morrison will do a dribble dance routine with youth on the court.  With all this fun, you will get hungry so we have the 502 Café food truck serving food just outside the door.

If you would like to setup an interview with Tony Williams and Mario Urrutia please contact Sherlene Shanklin, VIPP Communications at 502-295-0435 or by email at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com.

Crews will be setting up on Friday and Sunday if you would like to do a preview story.  We also invite you to do live shots during our games.  There will be plenty of things going on and we will have coordinators, supporters and players made available to you.

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The VIPP Report: 5th Annual African Heritage Festival kicks off in Louisville on August 25th

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A Celebration of Unity, Art, Culture, & History Across the African Diaspora

The 5th Annual African Heritage Festival will be held in various locations around the city of Louisville Friday, August 25th through Sunday August 27th.  The event celebrates unity, culture, art and history across the African Diaspora.

The festival is hosted by Bridge Kids International, the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage (KCAAH), the Kentucky Old School Sports Association (KOSSA), HoneyTree Publishing, and Moments to Remember.

The African Heritage Festival is organized by a dynamic team representing a variety of countries and backgrounds. The whole city is invited to this unifying event that will be fun, educational, and certainly full of flavor. Last year’s festival drew approximately 2000 participants, and with this year’s new additions, we only anticipate that the celebration will continue to grow.

Opening Ceremony — Friday, August 25th – Kentucky Center for African American Heritage:

Opening Ceremony will kick off the weekend with a reception and program honoring African heritage, culture, history and art.

Festival Day — Saturday, August 26th

The African Heritage Festival will be a joyous event for the whole family with great food, music, dance, sports, theater, fashion, cultural demonstrations, children’s activities, resources for healthy living and so much more. What a great way to honor African, African-American and Caribbean cultures in Louisville and add to the revitalization efforts in the historic Russell neighborhood. All activities are free and open to the public. Some highlights include:

  • 8:00am: Soccer Tournament Begins – Champions Park, 2050 River Road soccer tournament held at Champions Park, organized by KOSSA, featuring 10 teams from at least 5 states with players representing 20 countries of origin
  • 10:00am:  Parade Begins – a parade of marching bands, dance teams, bicycle groups, community organizations and more down Muhammad Ali Blvd. starting at 9th Street and ending at 18th Street where the festival will take place in front of the KCAAH
  • 10:00am – 12:00pm: the widely beloved Books & Breakfast!
  • 11:00am: Festival activities begin and will feature live entertainment, “Under the Story Tree” storytelling fest, and other children’s activities. Food, merchandise and informational vendors from across the city and the surrounding region will be in attendance.
  • 12:00pm: Basketball tournament begins – a street basketball tournament presented by KOSSA and the organizers of the Dirt Bowl
  • 12:00pm – 5:00pm: A how-to fair with community members teaching useful and fun things
  • 7:00pm: Festival ends

 Sunday, August 27th – Invoke… Called by the Ancestors (performance begins 2:30 pm)

This year, we are excited to announce that a third day will be incorporated into the festival! Please come out on Sunday, August 27th for “Invoke … Called by the Ancestors” performed by Sankofa Dance Theater. The Baltimore based dance company presents world-class, authentic African art in the form of dance, music, and folkways for national and international audiences. Sankofa Dance Theater’s work is rooted in healing and bringing intercultural understanding to the global village while staying true to the definition of the word “Sankofa” — which means to learn from the past in an effort to build for the future. The show will begin promptly at 2:30pm and will feature a special appearance by spoken word artists Hannah Drake and Tytianna Wells smith –performing A Mother’s Tears. Tickets for Sunday’s are available on Eventbrite and at Better Days Records West (Lyles Mall). Proceeds will go towards the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. We would like to thank The Brown Forman Foundation, The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureaus, and Metro Louisville for sponsoring this event, and their dedication to making world renowned talent accessible to the larger community.

The African Heritage Festival was founded in 2013 when Bridge Kids International approached KCAAH about hosting the event at the Center as a way to build relationships among and celebrate Louisville’s African Diaspora. In four years, the event has grown from a mostly indoor event to a street festival and has more than doubled in size. Bridge Kids continues to coordinate the overall planning, but the African Heritage Festival has truly become the pride of all of the presenting organizations, planning committee, participants and volunteers.

Bridge Kids International is a Louisville, KY based global non-profit organization helping young people of Africa and the African Diaspora, aged 13-25, unleash their social entrepreneurial spirits to solve economic development, education, environmental, girls’ rights, and health challenges and build sustainable communities.  Bridge Kids operates from a belief that the interaction between culture, community, and connection leads to healing, restoration, and the evolution of individuals and communities.  BKI is rooted in African heritage culture, works to build communities that nurture young people, and seeks to strengthen relationships across Africa and the African Diaspora. Bridge Kids currently operates in 6 countries – Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal and the USA.

The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage’s (KCAAH) mission is to enhance the public’s knowledge about the history, heritage and cultural contributions of African Americans in Kentucky. In addition to its commitment to preserving the traditions and accomplishments of the past, the Center is a vital, contemporary institution, providing space for cultural programs, exhibitions and performances of all types. KCAAH’s brand is “One More River to Cross,” a history examined through Kentucky stories about African American history from its African origins through the Freedom Struggle against slavery and Jim Crow laws, to the modern Civil and Human Rights Movements in the 20th century.

 

 

 

 

The VIPP Report: Sankofa Dance Theater will perform during the African Heritage Festival in Louisville

 

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The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (KCAAH), presents the Sankofa Dance Theater on Sunday, August 27th at 2:30pm at the center which is located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.

The theater group will perform Invoke … called by the Ancestors.  The name of the group “Sankofa” means you need to learn about the past, so you can build for the future. The Baltimore based dance company presents world-class, authentic African art in the form of dance, music, and folkways for national and international audiences. The theater’s work is rooted in healing and bringing intercultural understanding to the global village while staying true to their mission.

There will also be a special performance by Hannah Drake and Tytianna Wells Smith.  They will perform “A Mother’s Tears”.

Logo_no_TxtAdmission is $15 and you can purchase tickets at KCAAH, Eventbrite and Better Days West, (Lyles Mall).

We would like to thank our supporters: the Brown-Forman Foundation, Louisville Metro Government, Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau and 93.1 The Beat.

The 5th Annual African Heritage Festival will be held in various locations around the city of Louisville Friday, August 25th through Sunday August 27th.  The event celebrates unity, culture, art and history across the African Diaspora.

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The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage’s (KCAAH) mission is to enhance the public’s knowledge about the history, heritage and cultural contributions of African Americans in Kentucky. In addition to its commitment to preserving the traditions and accomplishments of the past, the Center is a vital, contemporary institution, providing space for cultural programs, exhibitions and performances of all types. KCAAH’s brand is “One More River to Cross,” a history examined through Kentucky stories about African American history from its African origins through the Freedom Struggle against slavery and Jim Crow laws, to the modern Civil and Human Rights Movements in the 20th century.

 

The VIPP Report: Jazz fans can sit under the “twin spires” and listen to some great music this weekend

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This weekend jazz will fill the air under the historic “twin spires” at Churchill Downs.  The 2nd Annual Derby City Jazz Festival will delight jazz enthusiast and novice alike because of the buffet of talent headed to the city.

This year’s lineup is stellar with some very familiar names in the jazz industry. Saxophonist and contemporary jazz artist Marion Meadows is on the schedule to perform Friday night. He’s worked with artists like The Temptations, Michael Bolton, the late Eartha Kitt and Brook Benton just to name a few.

Also, performing this weekend is Kayla Waters.  She’s considered a smooth jazz artist whose a pianist and sings during her performances. She’s opened for artists like Patrice Rushen, Stevie Wonder and Maysa.

Maysa is on the Derby City Jazz Festival schedule.  She will be in concert on Saturday.  If you’ve never heard of the artist.  She was originally with the British group Incognito.  This jazz-influenced R & B singer has dynamic vocals and she’s one of the must see artists when attending the festival.

So, see just with the several artists I’ve mentioned all of them have a different vibe.  You should find someone over the two days that you will simply love.  So, go out and experience the flavor of the Derby City Jazz Festival.  Gates will open at 2:00 pm. Entertainment begins on both days at 4:00 pm and will end around 12:00 am.  The concert will be held in the Paddock Area on the Plaza Stage which organizers says creates the perfect back drop.  Don’t forget to bring your own seating for the summer sun and then evening moonlight with fantastic music.

Here’s Friday’s lineup:

  • Benny J and Friends with special guest Bamm Davis
  • Urban Jazz Coalition featuring Adria Shahid
  • Lad Tizer and Karen Briggs
  • Althea Rene’ featuring Ariel O’Neal
  • Marion Meadows
  • Marcus Johnson
  • Jam Session: Chris Miskel Band

 

Saturday’s lineup:

  • Benny J and Friends with special guest Bamm Davis
  • Kayla Waters
  • Matt Marshak
  • Bob Baldwin with Urban Jazz Coalition
  • Maysa
  • Mike Phillips
  • Nick Colionne

 

Tickets start at $50 for general admission.  To purchase tickets go to www.derbycityjazzfest.com.  Follow Sherlene Shanklin on Twitter @sherlenemediapr and Facebook at @SherleneShanklinMediaPRPro for event announcements, ticket giveaways and breaking news. https://www.facebook.com/SherleneShanklinMediaPRPro/