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Meijer Brings Midwest Artists’ Works to Life in New Black History Month Collection Benefiting Urban Leagues USA – English 

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This month customers can find art by Black Indianapolis and Lansing-area artists featured on products in every Meijer supercenter

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — In celebration of Black History Month, Meijer launched a special collection of products featuring the art of three Black Midwestern artists – Dana Powell-Smith, Melina Brann and Shaunt’e Lewis – on products in every Meijer supercenter. The retailer will ultimately donate 5 percent of sales from the collection to Urban League affiliates in the artists’ home states of Indiana and Michigan.

In celebration of Black History Month, Meijer launched a special collection of products featuring the art of three Black Midwestern artists – Dana Powell-Smith, Melina Brann and Shaunt’e Lewis – on products in every Meijer supercenter. The retailer will ultimately donate 5 percent of sales from the collection to Urban League affiliates in the artists’ home states of Indiana and Michigan.

The collection includes a mix of paintings and digital art printed on decorative pillows, stationery, gift bags, canvas tote bags, key rings, kitchen towels and throw blankets, featuring the three winning pieces of art. The limited-edition products are available in all Meijer supercenters as supplies last now through Feb. 26.

The retailer selected the featured pieces from hundreds of submissions after putting out a call for culturally-inspired art in 2021 as part of its ongoing efforts to support underrepresented communities and ensure every customer sees themselves reflected on its shelves. The winning pieces were selected by Meijer merchants based on team member votes.

“What I love most about the art we’re highlighting is that while all three artists took inspiration from the same prompt of Black History Month, they each approached it from a totally different viewpoint with their own unique style,” said Carla Hendon, Director of Supplier Diversity and Indirect Procurement at Meijer. “It highlights the diversity we have within the Black community.”

For example, Lansing, Mich.-based social worker and artist Melina Brann purposefully uses a pastel color palette not typically associated with Black coloring to depict a “pyramid of faces” representing the building blocks of community.

“For this piece, I wanted to show how Black women and Black people in our community lift each other up,” Brann said. “I hope my art sends the message that we’re all in this together – no matter what we look like, no matter who we are – we can lift each other up and make anything happen.”

Indianapolis artist Dana Powell-Smith hopes to inspire viewers of her piece – which features bold “triangle people” that have become her calling card, against an abstract backdrop of names of important Black historical figures – to learn more about those who paved the way for the Black community. Among the names listed in the piece is Georgette Seabrooke Powell, a noted Harlem Renaissance muralist and illustrator, as well as Powell-Smith’s grandmother.

“To me, celebrating Black History Month means looking back. I hope that [customers] will take away a little history and really look into the names that are on [my art]… And maybe smile when they see my triangle people with their hairstyles,” Powell-Smith said. “I always want to make people smile with my art. It’s different, it’s a little quirky, but it’s relatable. That’s just really important to me – I want people to see themselves in it.”

In her piece, “Madam Queen,” Indianapolis artist Shaunt’e Lewis uses bold lines and colors to portray a powerful, empowered Black woman wearing a head covering, a common subject across her art. Lewis, who only began pursuing her art full-time in 2021, has already seen significant success in her community, painting a car live at the Indy500 and having art featured in the New York Times.

“It means quite a bit to me to know that this early on in my career, people believe in me enough to give me the opportunity to showcase my work in a major store like Meijer and that Meijer supports artists and local communities,” Lewis said. “It’s important for stores like Meijer to represent Black artists and all types of artists because we don’t always get to see ourselves in spaces like this.”

Meijer will donate 5 percent of the sales generated from the Black History Month art collection to Urban Leagues in the artists’ states – the Urban League of West Michigan and the Indianapolis Urban League.

This is the first of five local artist collections the retailer will unveil this year, with others tied to locally-inspired art, Women’s History Month, Pride Month and Hispanic Heritage Month to come. Customers can shop the Black History Month artist collection in stores or online at Meijer.com.

About Meijer: Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 501 supercenters, neighborhood markets, Meijer Grocery and Express locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer pioneered the “one-stop shopping” concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics. For additional information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @Meijer and @MeijerPR or become a fan on Facebook.

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Stonewall National Museum & Archives Photography Exhibit Featuring Laverne Cox at The City College of New York

Don’t miss the groundbreaking Stonewall National Museum & Archives Photography Exhibit with Laverne Cox at The City College of New York.

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In a groundbreaking move, the Stonewall National Museum & Archives Photography Exhibit, titled “Standing on the Shoulders of Heroes,” is set to arrive at The City College of New York from April 29th to May 7th. This exhibition will showcase the rich history and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community, with a special focus on renowned LGBTQ+ activist and actress, Laverne Cox.

Photography Exhibit with Laverne Cox at The City College of New York.
Screening of “There are Things to Do” by Mike Syers on May 7 with special guest Laverne Cox.

The highlight of the event is the panel featuring the remarkable Laverne Cox, who has been a trailblazer and advocate for the transgender community. Cox’s addition to the exhibit solidifies her status as a hero and role model for the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. She gained widespread recognition for her groundbreaking role in the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black,” and made history as the first transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in an acting category.

The evening of May 7th promises to be one of enlightenment and empowerment. It will commence with the screening of the short film “There are Things to Do” by documentary filmmaker Mike Syers. This film tells the inspiring story of Urvashi Vaid, an Indian-born American LGBTQ+ activist, writer, and author. Through her work, Vaid has played a crucial role in advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Following the screening, a discussion will take place with both the filmmaker and Laverne Cox, adding even more depth to the event.

The event also aims to pay tribute to LGBTQ+ advocacy within the City College community. CCNY student Shantal Rodriguez and CCNY alum Blaze Levario will be honored with the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership Urvashi Vaid Award for LGBTQ+ Advocacy. These two individuals have made a significant impact on campus, fostering inclusivity and promoting acceptance among their peers.

The executive director of the Stonewall National Museum & Archives, Robert Kesten, and the Richard J. Henley and Susan L. Davis Dean of CCNY’s Colin Powell School, Andrew Rich, will deliver special remarks, emphasizing the importance of the exhibition and event. Their presence highlights the significance of this monumental event in promoting inclusivity and acceptance.

The exhibit will be displayed at Shepard Hall’s Lincoln Corridor, providing an opportunity for students and community members to immerse themselves in the rich history and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. Those interested in viewing the exhibit can get more information by emailing events@ccny.cuny.edu.

This monumental event is co-sponsored by The City College of New York, CCNY’s LGBTQ+ Student Center, the Stonewall National Museum Archives & Library, The Foundation for City College, the Office of Institutional Advancement, Communications & External Relations, and the Colin Powell School. These organizations collaborate to demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity and fostering an environment of acceptance for all.

The “Standing on the Shoulders of Heroes” exhibit, featuring Laverne Cox and the remarkable individuals involved, is an extraordinary opportunity for the community to celebrate and honor the strides made by the LGBTQ+ community. It is a showcase of heroes past and present, highlighting the importance of standing up, speaking out, and continuing the fight for a more inclusive and accepting society.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. Education research organization Degree Choices ranks CCNY #1 nationally among universities for economic return on investment. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi (now Lightcast) puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. This year, CCNY launched its most expansive fundraising campaign, ever. The campaign, titled “Doing Remarkable Things Together” seeks to bring the College’s Foundation to more than $1 billion in total assets in support of the College mission. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/stonewall-museum-exhibit-standing-on-the-shoulders-of-heroes-comes-to-ccny-lgbtq-activist-laverne-cox-features-on-may-7-302127974.html

https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge

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Reflecting on the 2024 Oscars: A Night of Wins, Laughter, and Fashion Statements

The 2024 Oscars: A night of wins, laughter, and elegant fashion. No mentions of past controversies, just a focus on cinematic excellence.

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The 2024 Oscars night was a whirlwind of excitement, surprises, and elegance as the film industry’s finest gathered to celebrate cinematic achievements. Among the standout moments was the triumph of “Oppenheimer,” a biopic that not only captivated audiences but also dominated the awards, clinching seven accolades, including Best Picture. Christopher Nolan’s directorial prowess shone through as he claimed the Best Director title, while Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. were honored for their outstanding performances as Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively.

While “Oppenheimer” led the pack, “Poor Things” also made a mark with four wins, with Emma Stone’s portrayal earning her the coveted Best Actress award. The night was further enriched by captivating performances, including Ryan Gosling’s comedic surprises during his rendition of “I’m Just Ken” and the mesmerizing display of a dozen drummers in the performance of “Wahzhazhe.” The ceremony also featured memorable presenter antics, such as John Cena’s daring walk across the stage clad in nothing but an envelope.

The red carpet was ablaze with a stunning array of black, red, and metallic ensembles, showcasing the stars’ fashion prowess as they graced Hollywood’s grand event. Despite a few mishaps, like Emma Stone’s dress incident and Al Pacino’s potential oversight, the glamour and allure of the evening remained undiminished.

What truly stood out about this year’s Oscars was the absence of any reference to past controversies, notably the infamous Will Smith and Chris Rock incident from two years prior. Unlike previous telecasts, where the incident was repeatedly revisited, this year’s ceremony seemed to signal a collective move towards letting bygones be bygones. Host Jimmy Kimmel’s subtle nod to a bygone era of Oscars antics hinted at a shift in focus from past controversies to celebrating the artistry and talent that define the film industry.

As the curtain fell on the 2024 Oscars, it was evident that the night was not just about accolades and glamour but also about embracing new beginnings and a renewed focus on the magic of storytelling that unites us all. The 2024 Oscars will be remembered as a night of triumphs, laughter, and a subtle nod to moving forward—a celebration of cinema at its finest.

Source: AP

https://apnews.com/live/2024-Oscars-updates-winners

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Historic Moment: Space Shuttle Endeavour Takes Its Place at the California Science Center

Witness history as Space Shuttle Endeavour is lifted into its California Science Center home. Streaming live on Space.com at 12:30 a.m. EST.

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On the early morning of January 30, a monumental event is set to unfold as the space shuttle Endeavour is lifted into its new museum-exhibit home at the California Science Center. This complex operation, involving a towering 450-foot-tall crane, marks a historic achievement in exhibit installation, breaking new ground outside the realms of NASA or Air Force facilities.


Scheduled to commence at 12:30 a.m. EST (0530 GMT), viewers can witness the live action on Space.com, courtesy of the California Science Center, or directly via the Los Angeles museum. The duration of the lift remains uncertain, adding an element of suspense to this unprecedented event.

However, eager spectators should note that the Endeavour display won’t be immediately accessible. The future Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, a significant expansion of the California Science Center, is slated to become Endeavour’s permanent residence. With an anticipated 18-month construction period and subsequent artifact and exhibit installation, an official opening date is yet to be announced.

Endeavour, NASA’s youngest shuttle, holds a remarkable legacy, having completed 25 missions before the retirement of the space shuttle program in 2011. As it takes its place in this new chapter at the California Science Center, the Endeavour will continue to inspire and educate generations to come, embodying the spirit of human exploration and technological achievement.

Source: Space.com

https://www.space.com/space-shuttle-endeavour-museum-exhibit-stacking-webcast

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