Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Jim Henson Company Prepares to Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Jim Henson's Beloved Television Series Fraggle Rock


HOLLYWOOD, Calif., April 25, 2012 -- In recognition of the upcoming 2013 30th Anniversary of The Jim Henson Company's perennially favorite children's television series Fraggle Rock™ the Company has announced plans for the following celebrations, events and new product availability for fans of all ages. Ongoing updates and additional announcements will be made at;;
  • In preparation of the year-long campaign, The Jim Henson Company is partnering with Talenthouse, an influential online community of artists, whose sponsored engagement engine provides a unique platform to give artists and designers around the world an opportunity to create artwork that embodies the spirit and creativity of the Fraggle Rock brand. Artwork may be submitted in a contest which will begin on April 25th. Interested contributors can visit for details. The Grand prize winner will receive $2,500 plus a trip to Hollywood for the launch event and a private tour of The Jim Henson Company. Nine second prize winners will receive $500. All ten winners' designs will be considered for use on special 30th anniversary commemorative product.
  • Thirty brands, designers, and artists will be joining the Dance Your Cares Away Fraggle fun by offering unique products to commemorate the year. Companies and designers already on board include:
    • DRx Romanelli will design a line of DRx Fraggle Denim.
    • Celebrity designer Anita Ko in conjunction with Glamhouse will launch a line of "funky" costume jewelry.
    • Kamibashi will add a line of Fraggle Rock characters to their popular String Doll Gang line.
    • Music producer Bryan Ray Turcotte will collaborate with tastemaker Darren Romanelli to produce a compilation record featuring top indie artists' unique renditions of popular Fraggle songs.
"As a testament to the legacy of the brand and to honor Jim Henson's original vision, we are creating a 30th anniversary celebration that our loyal fans around the world will love and enjoy," said Melissa Segal, Senior Vice President, Global Consumer Products for The Jim Henson Company. "We are in discussions with several exciting brands that share our love of the Fraggle Rock property and look forward to announcing additional partners who want to join in the celebration."

Created by Jim Henson, Fraggle Rock stars a cast of five puppet creatures called Fraggles, diverse and quirky cave-dwelling creatures who live in an underground world alongside their hard working green neighbors, the Doozers and a family of enormous Gorgs. The three very diverse but yet surprisingly similar communities learn to live and work in harmony with music, fun and adventures.

Premiering in 1983, Fraggle Rock was seen in 80 countries in at least ten different languages. Fraggle Rock continues to enjoy a loyal international fan following. In its 88 episodes, the show encouraged an understanding and embracing of friendship and diversity and featured a unique mix of music from all genres from folk, blues, gospel, country and rock.

About The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include the Emmy® nominated "Sid the Science Kid," and "Dinosaur Train" as well as "Wilson & Ditch: Digging America" and "Pajanimals." Features include "The Dark Crystal," "Labyrinth," "MirrorMask," and "Unstable Fables" and television productions include "Fraggle Rock" and the sci-fi cult series "Farscape."

With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete with soundstage and postproduction facilities. Independently owned and operated by the five adult children of founder Jim Henson, the Company is also home to Jim Henson's Creature Shop™, a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group with international film, television and advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry's top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state-of-the-art and vintage equipment.

The Company's Henson Alternative brand has recently launched the national tour of "Stuffed and Unstrung," a live puppet improvisational show named one of the top 10 "Best Stage Shows of 2010" by Entertainment Weekly.; join us on; and follow us at

About Talenthouse
Talenthouse is the most influential online community of artists and creators, bringing aspiring talent and industry icons together to cultivate conversations and campaigns across the web. Artists always keep ownership of their own work using Talenthouse as a platform to make the connections that drive their careers forward. Brands and advertisers use our Sponsored Engagement Engine (SEE) to work with artists and leverage their influence across the social web. It's at Talenthouse that artists and brands engage to build an authentic community that rewards creativity and unlocks the value of collaboration.

SOURCE The Jim Henson Company

Screenvision Brings "The Beatles: The Lost Concert," A New Documentary About The Birth Of Beatlemania In America, To Cinemas Nationwide

Fab Four's First U.S. Concert, Unseen in Over 4 Decades, Comes to the Big Screen on May 17 & 22

Limited Engagement Features Interviews with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Chuck Berry, Duffy, Mark Ronson, Promoter Sid Bernstein, Louise Harrison and Many More

NEW YORK, April 24, 2012 -- Screenvision, in partnership with Ace Arts , and multiple-award winning music documentary producer Iambic Media, brings one of the music world's true "lost treasures" to the big screen with the feature presentation of "The Beatles: The Lost Concert." The new 92-minute documentary charts the birth and impact of Beatlemania in America and includes, in its entirety, their first-ever full U.S. concert performance from February 11, 1964 at D.C.'s Washington Coliseum, the only complete Beatles' concert available to fans, one which has remained unseen by movie theater audiences across the nation for over 47 years.

Rock superstar and American Idol judge Steven Tyler commented: "This blows away every performance I've ever seen, including Elvis!"

The story of their historic arrival in America and the impact they had is revealed through new interviews with more than 20 Beatles' associates, journalists, disc jockeys, concert attendees, historians and music luminaries and archival footage of the Fab Four. The list includes Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry , rock pioneer Chuck Berry , super producer Mark Ronson , journalists Maureen Cleave , Larry Kane and Ed Rudy , concert promoter Sid Bernstein , Beatle George's sister Louise Harrison , The Strokes' Albert Hammond Jr . and Nick Valensi , chart-topping U.K. songstress Duffy, renown Beatles historian Bruce Spizer, and Mike Mitchell , whose recently unearthed photos of the event are seen throughout the movie.

On February 11, 1964, two days after their record shattering appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," The Beatles traveled by train through a snowstorm to Washington, D.C. to perform their first-ever concert before an American audience at The Washington Coliseum, before an overbooked audience of 8,092 screaming (mostly female) teenagers.

Their 12-song set that lasted a little over a half-hour and included both chart-topping originals like "She Loves You" and high-energy covers like "Twist and Shout." Professionally filmed by an eight-camera crew and mixed live on location, the show was broadcast a month later via closed-circuit to movie theaters across America to two million teenagers. The film of the concert was then lost and remained unseen in its entirety by audiences for over 47 years! The original master tapes have now been restored and re-mastered and the entire concert, the ONLY complete Beatles concert available to fans, is included in The Beatles: The Lost Concert.

Sure to rekindle the fires of Beatlemania for both the generation who lived it and the younger ones influenced by it, the event will be shown in movie theaters across the U.S. in a limited engagement on May 17 and 22, 2012. In addition, a special World Premiere is scheduled at New York's landmark Ziegfield Theater on May 6 with two showings. For information, including detailed history, movie trailer and tickets, go to .

The resonating impact of the Beatles' in performance is illustrated in the raves given in interviews during the documentary. Commenting on them as musical competition for all who came in their wake, Mark Ronson , the producer behind hits from Amy Winehouse and Adele, adds: "You're always going to be standing in the shadow of The Beatles." U.K. pop sensation Duffy calls them "the Holy Grail of music," while Mike Mitchell , the young photographer who chronicled the show, adds: "The concert was like being in the delivery room at the birth of an entire generation." Tommy Roe , one of their opening acts that evening may have put it best: "This is history!"

Headquartered in New York, N.Y., Screenvision is a national leader in cinema advertising, offering on-screen advertising, in-lobby promotions and integrated marketing programs to national, regional and local advertisers and providing comprehensive cinema advertising representation services for its theatrical exhibitor partners. The Screenvision cinema advertising network is comprised of over 14,300 screens in 2,350+ theater locations across all 50 states and 94% of DMAs nationwide; delivering through more than 150 theatrical circuits, including 10 of the top 15 exhibitor companies. With the recent introduction of its new pre-show, The Limelight, Screenvision has created the first 2-screen configuration targeted to the big screen and mobile devices, enabling advertisers to fully capitalize upon mobile interactivity and social connectivity with their ad buys coast-to-coast. For more information:

Ace Arts, based in New York and England, specializes in distributing performing arts events, concerts and documentaries in North America.

SOURCE Screenvision

The Beach Boys Launch New Single and Announce New Album Details: 'That's Why God Made The Radio' to be Released June 5 by Capitol/EMI

Legendary Band's 50th Anniversary Celebration Includes New Album, a Major International Tour, and Commemorative Catalog Releases

National Television and Radio Appearances Confirmed

HOLLYWOOD, Calif., April 25, 2012 -- The founding members of The Beach Boys, one of the world's most legendary bands in popular music history, have reunited for a global 50th Anniversary celebration, including a new album release, a major international tour, and commemorative catalog releases. Today, The Beach Boys announce details about their new studio album, That's Why God Made The Radio, to be released June 5 by Capitol/EMI.
Beach Boys Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks recently completed their recording sessions at Los Angeles' Ocean Way Studios for That's Why God Made The Radio, the band's 29th studio album (including 2011's The SMiLE Sessions), the first in decades to feature all of the band's surviving original members. Produced by Brian Wilson and executive produced by Mike Love, the album's 11 new songs illustrate The Beach Boys' unique and evocative West Coast story with the band's timeless signature sound.

The album's lead single, "That's Why God Made The Radio," showcases The Beach Boys' soaring harmonies in an upbeat, beaming ode to music's radio champions around the world. Beginning today, the song is available for download purchase from all major digital service providers, and it makes its national radio premiere today on "Mike & Mike In the Morning" on ESPN Radio and ESPN 2 (6 AM-10 AM ET/PT, check local stations). A new lyrics video for the single has been launched today on VEVO and The Beach Boys' YouTube channel, where a video about the making of the song is also available for streaming.

"Radio was my whole education," says Brian Wilson. "Chuck Berry, Rosemary Clooney, The Four Freshmen, Phil Spector, Little Richard ... To hear 'That's Why God Made The Radio' on the radio would be a thrill beyond belief, it really would. It would be a thrill beyond belief."

"I got a lot of my appreciation for all of the creativity in the world, in terms of music, through the radio," says Mike Love. "For all of us who grew up in the '50s, '60s, '70s and beyond, the radio has played such a huge, important part in our lives. When we were kids, we'd sneak out of the house and go and sit in Brian's car and listen to the local radio stations on his car radio."

The album's other new songs include "Think About The Days," "Isn't It Time," "Spring Vacation," "Private Life Of Bill And Sue," "Shelter," "Daybreak Over The Ocean," "Beaches In Mind," "Strange World," "My Life Suite," and "Summer's Gone."

The Beach Boys' collaborative approach to writing and recording their new music is evidenced throughout the album, with all of the band members participating to create its glorious harmonies, lyrics, and arrangements.

"We've come full circle," says Al Jardine. "Sharing our memories and our present in the studio has been really remarkable. I can especially feel it when we're all singing around the mic together, because we all hear each other and we really lock in."

"We have reunited as a band, but we never 'un-reunited' as friends," says Bruce Johnston. "To be back in the studio with these guys is like a prayer that's been answered and I am thrilled to be sharing it with everybody."

"This is more like a family reunion than anything," says David Marks. "When we're together, we get along great. The chemistry always works the same as the last time we were together, and the five of us become a single element."

The Beach Boys' 50th Anniversary tour, the band's first major outing to include Brian Wilson in more than two decades, began this week in Tucson, with other North American stops including their first concert at the Hollywood Bowl since 1965, headlining performances at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival ("Jazz Fest") and Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, and concerts in major cities including New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Washington, DC, Toronto, and Montreal.

The Beach Boys have also confirmed concerts throughout Europe with additional European territories to be announced shortly. The Beach Boys will also perform shows in Japan, and concerts in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia will be announced soon. All confirmed tour dates can be found on

Starting May 1, a custom 72-page Beach Boys 'ZinePak magazine, bundled with an exclusive CD featuring 11 of the band's classic hits and their 2012 version of "Do It Again," will be available for purchase in the music department at Walmart stores nationwide. For more information and to purchase the 'ZinePak online, visit

The Beach Boys are scheduled to head to QVC Wednesday, May 16 to unveil their much-anticipated new release with a special hour-long live performance at 7 PM ET / 4 PM PT. During The Beach Boys' QSessions Live broadcast, fans will have the opportunity to order the new album, which has been specially packaged just for QVC shoppers with a greatest hits bonus CD, nearly a month before the new album's release date. The QVC-exclusive album package with bonus CD will be available starting May 16 at or (800) 345-1515, while supplies last.

The Beach Boys have confirmed several other national television appearances, including an interview on "CBS Sunday Morning" to air this Sunday, April 29, a multi-song performance and interview on NBC's "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" on May 7, a performance on NBC's "Tonight Show With Jay Leno" on June 6, and more to be announced.

Special radio events have also been confirmed, including a SiriusXM "Artist Confidential" performance and Q&A special to air Saturday, May 26 at 12 PM ET within the satellite network's "Beach Boys Endless Summer Weekend," a four-day Memorial Day Weekend tribute airing on '60s on 6, channel 6. Also during Memorial Day Weekend, Cumulus Radio Networks will premiere an exclusive, hour-long Beach Boys 50th Anniversary special on more than 150 Classic Hits/Oldies and AC stations across the U.S.

The Beach Boys and Capitol/EMI have also partnered for 50th Anniversary commemorative releases celebrating the band's entire catalog, with a new hits collection and a career-spanning box set planned for later this year.

For five decades, America's first pop band to reach the 50 year milestone has recorded and performed the music that has become the world's favorite soundtrack to summer. Founded in Hawthorne, California in 1961, The Beach Boys were originally comprised of the three teenaged Wilson brothers: Brian, Carl and Dennis, their cousin Mike Love, and school friend Al Jardine. In 1962, neighbor David Marks joined the group for their first wave of hits with Capitol Records, leaving in late 1963, and in 1965, Bruce Johnston joined the band when Brian Wilson retired from touring to focus on writing and producing for the group.

The Beach Boys signed with Capitol Records in July 1962 and released their first album, Surfin' Safari, that same year. The album spent 37 weeks on the Billboard chart, launching the young group known for its shimmering vocal harmonies and relaxed California style into international stardom. The Wilson/Love collaboration resulted in many huge international chart hits, and under Brian Wilson's musical leadership, the band's initial surf-rock focus was soon broadened to include other themes, making The Beach Boys America's preeminent band of the 1960s.

In 1966, The Beach Boys were one of the first bands to found its own record label with the launch of Brother Records, Inc. (BRI), with the band's members as its shareholders and Capitol Records as its distribution partner. BRI continues to manage The Beach Boys' intellectual property, including the band's catalog with Capitol/EMI and other label partners, as well as its name, logos, image and likeness.

The Beach Boys continue to hold Billboard / Nielsen SoundScan's record as the top-selling American band for albums and singles, and they are also the American group with the most Billboard Top 40 chart hits (36). 'Sounds Of Summer: The Very Best Of The Beach Boys' has achieved triple-Platinum sales status, and 'The SMiLE Sessions,' released to worldwide critical acclaim in November, has been heralded as 2011's #1 Reissue of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and recipients of The Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award, The Beach Boys are an American institution that is iconic around the world.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hollywood Stars and 42 Film Screenings Mark Sixth Annual GI Film Festival, May 14 - 20, 2012, in Washington, DC

Special Guests Include: Actors Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds), Brian McNamara and Sally Pressman (Army Wives), Television Personality Pat Sajak and Iconic Businessman and Philanthropist H. Ross Perot, Sr.

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2012 -- The award-winning GI Film Festival (GIFF), the nation's only military-themed film festival, is pleased to announce the full schedule of events for the 2012 event, which will feature premiere military film screenings, celebrity appearances, red carpet parties and more. The festival will take place Monday, May 14 through Sunday, May 20, 2012 in Washington, DC. For ticketing information and the program schedule, visit

The 6th annual GIFF film line-up offers 42 film screenings representing every branch of the military and spanning five wars. Over the course of the six-day event, the festival will offer 23 narrative films and 19 documentaries covering every genre conceivable – from action and adventure to drama and romance. And with at least a dozen World Premiere screenings, GIFF offers plenty of opportunities to discover emerging directors, writers, producers and actors. GIFF is proud to welcome many promising and established military veteran filmmakers as well.

"We were overwhelmed by the raw talent and emotion expressed in this year's film selections," explained Brandon Millett, Co-Founder and President of the GI Film Festival. "Our mission is to educate the public about the successes and sacrifices of the American military and this festival line-up perfectly exemplifies that mission."
In addition to offering the year's best independent films, the GI Film Festival will host special events every night during the six-day festival, including:
  • A Monday night special event honoring Mr. H. Ross Perot, Sr. for his lifelong support of the military, featuring a red carpet screening, awards ceremony and three-course dinner catered by Wolfgang Puck at the Newseum. (May 14)
  • A Tuesday night Congressional Reception honoring Vietnam War veterans featuring 2012 "GI Spirit Award" winner actor Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds) and keynote presentations by Reps. Geoff Davis (R-KY) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA). (May 15)
  • A Wednesday night event at the Canadian Embassy honoring the international warrior spirit with special guest emcee and television personality Pat Sajak. (May 16)
  • A Thursday night advanced screening of the upcoming Universal Pictures feature film BATTLESHIP, directed by Peter Berg. The BATTLESHIP screening will take place during the festival's Wounded Warrior Appreciation Night where wounded warriors from the DC metro area are the guests of honor. (May 17)
  • A Friday night red carpet event highlighting films documenting the attacks of 9/11 and the beginning of the War on Terror, featuring world premiere screenings of 8:46 and From Philadelphia to Fallujah . (May 18)
  • A Saturday night red carpet Salute to Military Spouses, which will feature the presentation of the Military Family Award to Army Wives co-stars Brian McNamara and Sally Pressman as well as the world premiere screening of Memorial Day , starring James Cromwell. (May 19)
  • A Sunday night "Best of the Festival" film awards ceremony featuring a special appearance by Longhorn the Comedian. (May 20)
The festival will also feature a "Filmmaker Boot Camp" on Friday, May 18 at the Canadian Embassy where top producers, directors and writers will provide filmmakers with inside tips and strategies for succeeding in film and television.

"One of the best parts of the festival is every day is so different. Whether our guests are honoring the contributions of wounded warriors or walking the red carpet with famous actors, there's a unique experience every night," said GIFF Co-Founder and Director Laura Law-Millett, a graduate of West Point and a veteran of the U.S. Army and Army Reserves.

Tickets run from $12 for a single screening or film block to $50 for a weekend pass and $250 for a full festival pass. Tickets for the H. Ross Perot, Sr. event must be purchased separately.

The GI Film Festival is a 501 c(3) non-profit educational organization dedicated to sharing the military experience in and out of the arena of war. The GIFF is the only film festival in the nation to exclusively celebrate the successes and sacrifices of the service member through the medium of film. Review the festival's 2012 schedule now, and start planning your visit!

GI Film Festival 2012 – reel stories, real heroes.

SOURCE GI Film Festival

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Clint Eastwood, and Melinda F. Gates Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

2012 class features national and international scholars, artists, scientists, writers and other professionals including historian David W. Blight, volcanologist Katharine V. Cashman, mathematician Ngo Bao Chau, cancer researcher Tyler Jacks, musician Sir Paul McCartney, playwright Neil Simon, and mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 17, 2012 -- The American Academy of Arts and Sciences today announced the election of 220 new members, continuing a 230-plus year history of recognizing some of the world's most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders.

One of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies, the Academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and culture, and education.

"Election to the Academy is both an honor for extraordinary accomplishment and a call to serve," said Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz . "We look forward to drawing on the knowledge and expertise of these distinguished men and women to advance solutions to the pressing policy challenges of the day."

An alphabetical list of the new members is located at: The new class listed by discipline is located at:

Members of the 2012 class include winners of the National Medal of Science, the Lasker Award, the Pulitzer and the Shaw prizes, the Fields Medal; MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships; the Kennedy Center Honors; Grammy, Emmy, Academy, and Tony awards; the Avery Fisher Prize, and election to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Scientists among the newly elected Fellows include: James Fraser Stoddart , a chemist whose work helped establish the field of molecular nanotechnology; Angela M. Belcher , who uses directed evolution to create new materials and devices with applications in electronics, energy, and medicine; geological scientist Katharine V. Cashman , who helped explain why volcanos erupt the way they do; Gregory B. Olson , one of the founders of computational materials design; astronomer Debra A. Fischer , who helped discover more than 200 planetary systems; Robert P. Colwell , chief architect of Intel's Pentium microprocessors; Tyler Jacks , who exploits gene-targeting technology in mice to understand cancer in humans; oncologist Brian Druker , whose research dramatically improved survival rates for leukemia patients; mathematician Ngo Bao Chau, winner of the Fields Medal; synthetic biology pioneer Jef Boeke ;psychologist Robert Seyfarth , whose field research with monkeys shed light on the evolutionary origins of language; and Griffin P. Rodgers , director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, whose research contributed to the first effective therapy for sickle cell anemia.

Social scientists include: economist Robert A. Moffitt , an authority on the incentives and disincentives inherent in the U.S. welfare system; Paul Mendes-Flohr , a leading scholar of modern Jewish thought and history; behavioral scientist Edward F. Diener , who pioneered methods of measuring well-being; legal scholar Shari S. Diamond , whose empirical research has influenced sentencing policy and jury procedures in U.S. courts; public finance economist Amy Finkelstein , whose work has shown how the structure of government programs affects health care choices and outcomes; political scientist James Druckman , who developed influential theories of how citizens form political opinions; and George F. Bass , a pioneer in underwater archaeology.

In the humanities and the arts, new members include: Civil War scholar David. W. Blight; Vicki L. Ruiz , whose research helped establish the field of Chicano/Latino history; Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon ; poet Gerald Stern ; sculptor Kiki Smith ; American film icons Clint Eastwood and Mel Brooks ; violinist Midori Goto ; pianist, conductor, and composer Andre Previn ; and mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade.

Elected in public affairs and journalism are: sustainability expert Kamaljit Singh Bawa ; former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Jr. ; veteran diplomat R. Nicholas Burns ; U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ; television journalist Judy Woodruff ; and Boston Globe editor Martin Baron.

Business leaders in the 2012 class include: Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos ; Merck and Company Chairman, President and CEO Kenneth C. Frazier ; Walt Disney Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger ; civic and business leader Penny S. Pritzker ; Loews Corporation President and CEO James S. Tisch ; and philanthropist and retired Citigroup Chairman Sanford I. Weill.

The new class also includes the leaders of educational, cultural, and philanthropic organizations including: Jared L. Cohon (Carnegie Mellon University); Melinda F. Gates (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation); Steven S. Koblik (Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens); Reynold Levy (Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts); Carolyn A. Martin (Amherst College); and Michael A. McRobbie (Indiana University).

The Academy elected 17 Foreign Honorary Members from Argentina, Canada , Egypt, Finland, France , Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. They include: Helmut Schwarz , President of Germany's Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; Dutch stem cell researcher Johannes C. Clevers ; French social anthropologist Philippe Descola; British playwright and director David Hare ; South African artist William Kentridge ; British recording artist Paul McCartney ; Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho ; British choreographer Christopher Wheeldon ; Argentinian commentator and politician Rodolfo Hector Terragno ; and Ismail Serageldin , director of Egypt's Bibliotheca Alexendrina.

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 6 , at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has elected leading "thinkers and doers" from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

SOURCE American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Jack Storms: A Cold Glass Sculptor -- One of Only Three in the US!

HENDERSON, Nev., April 17, 2012 -- Cold-glass sculpture artist extraordinaire Jack Storms has achieved recognition in both the public arena and the demanding world of fine art since he opened his own studio in 2004. Storms works in the very rare medium of cold-glass art and is one of three cold glass sculptors in the United States.

A true pioneer in the cold-glass world, Storms' award-winning work is sought by discriminating collectors around the world and has been commissioned for award ceremonies, as commemorative pieces and even as an emissarial gift to the President of Nigeria. Storms is one of the best-selling glass artists in the country today.Currently, there is a waiting list of up to six months for some of his pieces.

Drawing inspiration from both his heart and his mind when conceiving his artistic designs, Storms uses the theory of Fibonacci at the heart of each lead crystal sculpture. Fibonacci is a great mathematician that articulated the natural math seen in nature. Storms believes natural beauty is created, not manufactured. From the repetition florets of a flower to the scales of a pineapple's skin, Fibonacci numbers are found in the pattern of growth of every living thing in nature.

He combines pure, lead crystal and dichroic glass through a cold-glass production process. These beautifully reflective, hand-sculpted pieces begin with a core of dichroic glass pieces; each cut, polished and laminated until they shine like mirrors. This core is then wrapped in sculpted, optic glass which refracts the light passing through the pieces and creates a beautiful, hypnotic light show of fire and ice colors. This sculpture process is incredibly intense and physically challenging. In the entire world, there are only a handful of fine glass artisans working in this medium. It can take up to ten weeks to create just one of these amazing designs, and even longer for large and specialized pieces.

Go to to check out his collections. Jack is available for interviews, demonstrations as well as TV and Radio Appearances.

Related Links
Cold Glass Art
Glass Artist
Video: The Glass Sculptor
Video: In The Studio
Back This Project on Kickstarter

SOURCE Jack Storms

FastPencil PREMIERE Launches "The War Against the Luftwaffe 1943-1944, The Untold Story"

Historian and Author, L. Douglas Keeney, Publishes First Title of WWll Trilogy

CAMPBELL, Calif., April 17, 2012 -- Today FastPencil announced the launch of "The War Against the Luftwaffe 1943-1944, The Untold Story" by military historian, researcher and author L. Douglas Keeney. The book, the first in the Lost Histories of WWII Trilogy, shares recently declassified information that presents the history of World War II and recognizes D-Day as a milestone air war victory over Germany. The novel carries the highly selective FastPencil PREMIERE imprint reserved for very successful, best-selling authors and experts.

"The War Against the Luftwaffe" dives deep into the history of World War II and tackles the long-standing debate of how D-Day was not only a land invasion but an air war victory. D-Day was a key battle leading to the defeat of the Third Reich; and in this book, readers will learn about a risky transformation in commanders and a simple change in strategy.

"World War II and D-Day are two of the world's most significant events and due to recently declassified information, a new light has been shed on our history," said author L. Douglas Keeney. "I'm thrilled to share this information with readers and launch 'The War Against the Luftwaffe,' the first book of a trilogy that follows one of my life's passions."

The second book in the trilogy, "The Antisubmarine Command: The War Against The Nazi U-Boats 1942-1944" will be available through FastPencil PREMIERE this summer.

L. Douglas Keeney is co-founder of The Military Channel where he hosts the series "On Target." He has written 11 books on military history including "15 Minutes" and has received high praise from the Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Library Journal. He has also appeared on The Discovery Channel, CBS and the Learning Channel.

"'The War Against the Luftwaffe' is a captivating story about the people, strategy and technology responsible for the successes and near disasters during that time," said Steve Wilson, CEO and co-founder of FastPencil. "His book takes the history of WWII into a new direction we have not seen yet. We are ecstatic to have Doug come on board with FastPencil Premiere to publish his trilogy, as he is a fan of our speed to press and seamless publishing process."

Keeney is part of a growing number of best-selling authors signing with FastPencil PREMIERE for its proprietary partnerships in technology and distribution, speed to press, wider market reach, higher author royalties and greater transparency throughout the publishing process.

Pricing and Availability
"The War Against the Luftwaffe 1943-1944, The Untold Story" is available today in paperback for $14.95 and digital versions for $7.99 through the FastPencil PREMIERE Marketplace,, and major e-retailers including Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

About FastPencil
FastPencil powers publishing by enabling authors, publishers and enterprise customers to write, design, publish and sell books in print and digital formats through three publishing imprints: PREMIERE, Wavecrest and FastPencil's next-generation collaboration and distribution solutions produce quality books at any volume with simplicity, control, speed to market and higher margins. FastPencil offers enterprises and publishers a customizable platform to create books, manage content and develop imprints for unique branding. FastPencil PREMIERE houses a world-class, exclusive line of general interest titles by best-selling authors. The Wavecrest imprint offers packaged services and bookstore exposure to professional writers who have a strong community following and is optimized for all do-it-yourself authors.

For regular FastPencil updates follow us at .

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FastPencil is a registered trademark of FastPencil, Inc. All other registered or unregistered trademarks are the sole property of their respective owners.

SOURCE FastPencil

One Man, One Camera, One Dollar and Two Deaths

Garianno Lorenzo and Jordan Nichols are producers of the new UFC documentary entitled "FIGHT SPIRIT PRIDE" featuring the real life Karate Kid, Mark Hominick

LOS ANGELES, April 17, 2012 -- Mixed Martial Arts is the fastest growing sport in the world, because of its Gladiator combat appeal. It's also practiced as a form of self-defense with civilians, police and military. Surprisingly, there are still people that believe this sport is human cockfighting, yet there are more and more MMA schools opening up teaching self-defense. Mark Hominick, who's from a small town of 2500 people, dispels the idea of professional MMA fighters being illiterate backyard brawlers. He is one example of the quality of athletes that populate this emerging sport, to the credit of UFC President Dana White.

Mark Hominick is the real life Karate Kid. He's a small-town boy next-door good kid; who is very polite, well mannered, with a high education. Mark graduated with a degree in business, top 5 (not top 5%) Cum Laude with honors from the most prestigious business school in Ontario, Canada. This film is a document about his life, and the deaths that surround it.

Garianno Lorenzo, a filmmaker, and industry veteran, six years ago was sitting on his couch in Red Bank, NJ watching an uninteresting boxing match, and the decision he made to change the channel, gave birth to this film. He switched to a channel showing an Ultimate Fighting Championship fight between Mark Hominick and Yves Edwards. Hominick defeated Edwards in an outstanding victory. While giving his post victory interview with Fear Factor's Joe Rogan, Mark pushed back tears talking about his father dying of cancer. Lorenzo saw this and was moved into action.

With a camera, and a dollar, Garianno Lorenzo decided to set out on a six-year journey of filming the story of Mark Hominick. Garianno started filming at the time Mark was trying to train for his rematch to regain the title that he had previously defended nine times prior to his father's condition taking a turn for the worse. Lorenzo left his home in NJ, shut down his life and moved into London, ON Canada to film every waking moment of Mark's fight for his family and his career. As a labor of love Lorenzo filmed for three years consistently and three years periodically. He now has more than three Terabytes of footage stored on hard-drives.

Mark's father lost his fight with cancer and Mark lost his rematch to regain his title. Then, Mark was dropped from the UFC and WEC fighting organizations.

While his father was the most important male figure in Mark's life. The second most important male figure in Mark's life is his best friend, manager, mentor and trainer Shawn Tompkins. Just as Mark is coming to terms with the devastating loss of his dad, at his career low point, Mark suffered another blow with the untimely death of Shawn Tompkins late last year. Shawn passed away of a massive heart attack at the young age of 37 years old. In a very short period of time, Mark lost the two most important men in his life at the lowest point in his life, and career. The film captures how Mark fights his way back with the courage of a warrior.

By the time the movie ends, Mark is welcomed back into the UFC; he has a title fight on the horizon with the UFC, marries the girl of his dreams, builds a home, starts a successful business, and has a child. Although, Mark lost his father and his mentor, it's really a story about perseverance, internal strength, passion and heart, and that does take fight, spirit and pride.

The documentary features the most recognizable names in the sport including UFC president Dana White, actor Kevin James, Fear Factor's Joe Rogan, MMA legend Bas Rutten, UFC middle weight champion Georges St-Pierre, Sam Stout, Eddie Bravo and many others.

The film has quite a bit of traction and appreciation for the story in social media. Based on the buzz around the film within MMA and UFC fan sites; fans are eagerly waiting for the film's release. The film is currently wrapping up post-production
Demonstrated by his commitment, for six years Lorenzo funded the movie alone. And now has placed the film on the popular funding site Anyone interested in knowing more about this project should visit:

Directed By Garianno Lorenzo
Produced by Garianno Lorenzo and Jordan Nichols for Tyrant Entertainment
In association with Nichols Entertainment

Related Links:
Sirius Satellite Radio

SOURCE Garianno Lorenzo

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Film Independent Announces North American Premiere of Woody Allen's To Rome With Love for Opening Night at 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival


LOS ANGELES, April 12, 2012 -- Today the Los Angeles Film Festival, in conjunction with Presenting Media Sponsor the Los Angeles Times and Host Partner L.A. LIVE, announced the North American Premiere of Woody Allen's To Rome With Love as the opening night film for the 2012 Festival. The Festival is widely recognized as a world-class event, showcasing the best in new American and international cinema, and is produced by Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that also produces the Spirit Awards. The 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival will screen a diverse slate of over 200 feature films, shorts, and music videos, representing more than 30 countries, along with signature programs such as the Filmmaker Retreat, Ford Amphitheater Outdoor Screenings, Poolside Chats, Coffee Talks, Music Events and more.

Written and directed by Woody Allen, To Rome With Love is a story about a number of people in Italy - some American, some Italian, some residents, some visitors - and the romances and adventures and predicaments they get into. The film stars Allen, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page, and is produced by Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum. To Rome With Love is being released by Sony Pictures Classics on June 22, 2012.
"I can't think of a better way to kick off this year's festival than with the original independent filmmaker himself, Woody Allen. It's a true honor for Los Angeles to host the North American premiere of To Rome With Love," said Festival Director Stephanie Allain.

"We are thrilled to bring Woody Allen and the US premiere of his new film To Rome With Love at the LA Film Fest," said SPC's Co-President Tom Bernard. "The Festival is a premiere showcase for films and we couldn't be more excited that Stephanie and her team have chosen us to open the Festival."

"I've always wanted to make a film in Rome. It's obviously one of the great cities of the world, and when you make a film in a foreign city you get a chance to spend several months there, so shooting in Rome gave me and my family an opportunity to really enjoy a city I love in a way that I don't usually get to. I wrote the film especially for Rome because over the years and my many visits there little ideas occurred to me, and I was able to utilize those ideas to comic advantage, romantic advantage, combined with the visual beauty of Rome," said Woody Allen.

Returning to downtown Los Angeles, with its central hub at L.A. LIVE, the Festival will run from Thursday, June 14 to Sunday, June 24. Now in its eighteenth year, the Festival provides the movie-loving public with access to critically acclaimed filmmakers, film industry professionals, and emerging talent from around the world.

Passes are currently on sale to past Festival attendees and Film Independent members will be available to the general public on April 22. In addition to screenings and events, Festival passes provide access to a series of networking receptions and entry to the Filmmaker Lounge, where Festival pass holders can interact with Festival filmmakers and professionals in the film community.

General admission tickets to individual films go on sale beginning May 29. Contact the Ticket Office for passes, tickets and event information by calling 866.FILM.FEST (866-345-6337) or visit The Official Film Guide, the comprehensive source for all movie info, screenings, locations, and related events is produced by the Los Angeles Times. It will top The Los Angeles Times on Sunday, June 10 in Los Angeles and Orange County and be made available throughout downtown during the ten-day event.

Now in its eighteenth year, the Los Angeles Film Festival, supported by L.A. LIVE and The Los Angeles Times, is widely recognized as a world-class event, showcasing the best in new American and international cinema and providing the movie-loving public with access to some of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers, film industry professionals, and emerging talent from around the world.

The Festival features unique signature programs including the Filmmaker Retreat, Ford Amphitheater Outdoor Screenings, Poolside Chats, Coffee Talks, Music Events and more. Additionally, the Festival screens short films created by high school students and has a special section devoted to music videos.

Over 200 features, shorts, and music videos, representing more than 30 countries, make up the main body of the Festival.

The Festival hosts juried cash awards for best narrative and documentary features, best narrative, documentary and animated short film, and a jury award for best performance in the narrative competition. Audience awards are also presented to best documentary, narrative and international feature, short film and music video.

The Los Angeles Film Festival is presented in conjunction with Presenting Media Sponsor the Los Angeles Times and Host Partner L.A. LIVE, Principal and Opening Night Sponsor Virgin America and Platinum sponsors Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14, Deluxe Entertainment Services Group and EFILM and Nokia. Special support is provided by FOCUS FORWARD - a partnership between GE and Cinelan, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Official Screening Venue is Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14. The Los Angeles Athletic Club is the Official Host Hotel and Virgin America is the Official Airline Partner. WireImage is the Official Photography Agency and PR Newswire is the Official Breaking News Service of Film Independent.

More information can be found at .

Film Independent is a non-profit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent's Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff, and constituents, is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional, or a film lover.

Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artist-driven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers. Film Independent also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, showcasing the best of American and international cinema and the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent's Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project:Involve is Film Independent's signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.

Developed by AEG, L.A. LIVE is a 5.9 million square foot / $2.5 billion downtown Los Angeles sports, residential & entertainment district adjacent to STAPLES Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center featuring the recently opened Club Nokia, a 2,300 capacity live music venue, Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, a 7,100-seat live theatre, a 54-story, 1001-room convention "headquarters" destination (featuring The Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott hotels and 224 luxury condominiums - The Ritz Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE - all in a single tower) , the state-of-the-art Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 theatres, "broadcast" facilities for ESPN, a 100,000 square foot special events deck, the one-of-a-kind GRAMMY Museum® , saluting the history of music and the genre's best know awards show all headquartered around Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE, a 40,000 square foot outdoor event space, twelve signature restaurants along with entertainment, residential and office space.

Visit L.A. LIVE today at .

The Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of 1.9 million and 2.9 million on Sunday, more than 17 million unique visitors monthly and a combined print and online local weekly audience of 4.4 million. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Times has been covering Southern California for more than 130 years.

The Los Angeles Times Media Group (LATMG) businesses and affiliates also include The Envelope, Times Community News, LA, Los Angeles Times Magazine and Hoy Los Angeles which, combined with the flagship Los Angeles Times, reach approximately 5.1 million or 38% of all adults in the Southern California marketplace. LATMG also owns and operates California Community News as well as Tribune Direct's west coast division and is part of Tribune Company, one of the country's leading media companies with businesses in publishing, the Internet and broadcasting. Additional information is available at

SOURCE Film Independent

Comic Book Legend Stan Lee & POW! Entertainment Launches New Comic Convention with Comikaze Entertainment Inc

Los Angeles' Only Comic Convention Comikaze to rebrand as Stan Lee's Comikaze presented by POW! With This Year's Much Anticipated Annual Event In The Fall

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., April 12, 2012 -- Comikaze Entertainment Inc., the operator behind the largest multimedia pop culture, comic book, horror, anime and gaming convention in Greater Los Angeles, has announced a strategic partnership with world renowned pop culture icon Stan Lee and his company POW! Entertainment. With a staggering 40,000 attendee turnout and over 300 exhibitors during its 2011 debut, this one-of-a-kind-expo was promptly recognized and embraced by attendees, the comic convention industry, and the greater LA area. In fact, LA Weekly named Comikaze Expo the "Best New Convention".

Hosted at the Los Angeles Convention Center on September 15-16th 2012, 'Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo presented by POW! Entertainment,' promises a larger premier experience for attendees this year with an amazing line-up of attractions from vendors, exciting interactive contests, tons of celebrity autograph signings, the addition of movie screenings, incredible panel sessions and all new gaming tournaments. Comikaze Expo will also join other major Stan Lee and POW! Entertainment endeavors such as the release of Lee's dedicated digital hub "" with EQAL, 1821's "Romeo & Juliet: The War" and "Stan Lee's Kids Universe," A2 & Archie Comics' "Stan Lee's Mighty Seven," and "Stan Lee's World of Heroes" YouTube channel with Vuguru.

"The inauguration of Comikaze Expo demonstrated the mighty appetite and eager response from fans to experience a Los Angeles-based event that provides a variety of comic book and pop culture entertainment," said Stan Lee, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of POW! Entertainment. "We saw an opportunity to creatively take this event to new heights through our partnership and we seized it!"

Regina Carpinelli, Founder and CEO of Comikaze Entertainment Inc. commented: "Stan is one of the greatest entertainment icons of our generation and the godfather of modern comics. We expect him to be instrumental in developing the Los Angeles Comikaze Convention. We have partnered with one of pop cultures most celebrated figures and we plan to wow not only LA but also the world. Audiences can anticipate a highly interactive experience at Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo, unlike any other show. We want to change the way conventions are created and make an ultimate fan experience year round. Besides, it's about damn time Stan had his own convention!"

Gill Champion, CEO of POW! Entertainment, said: "Live events are an important element supporting POW!'s brand extension. Where else to better start this program then in our own back yard here in LA and with a proven venue and association."
Further announcements around Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo 2012 will be revealed leading up to the convention. Tickets are now available through pre-sale at $12 in honor of their inaugural 2011 show prices. Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo presented by POW! is also offering a unique ticket that enlists fans into the Stan Lee's Comikaze Army. This interactive ticket includes a weekend pass, armband, dog tag, military id for discounts on merchandise and select vendors as well as collector's edition posters(children under 12 enter for free) through
For more information, please visit, or

About Comikaze
Comikaze Expo is the largest multimedia pop culture convention in Los Angeles. The brainchild of Southern Californian Regina Carpinelli and her siblings, this unique event brings together the best in comics, gaming, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, anime and all other cult programming. Comikaze takes place September 15-16 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and offers a slate of innovative programming, panels, contests and other activities that provide fans access to their favorite artists and creators in this adventure-packed weekend. For more info, visit

About POW! Entertainment
POW! Entertainment, Inc., (OTCQB: POWN), a multi-media and entertainment company, was founded by noted comic book and entertainment figure Stan Lee, together with award-winning producer Gill Champion and intellectual property specialist Arthur Lieberman. POW!'s principals have extensive backgrounds in the entertainment industry encompassing the creation, production and licensing of original intellectual properties, including some of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time. POW! is capitalizing on this combined expertise to create and develop both the legacy and digital media components of the entertainment industry. This includes animation and live-action feature films, plus television, DVDs, multi-media, merchandising and related ancillary markets. POW! has established partnerships across the entertainment industry, including studios and networks, for the creation, licensing and distribution of new POW! character franchises. For further information visit

SOURCE Comikaze Entertainment Inc.; POW! Entertainment, Inc.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Celebrities Descend Upon New Hollywood Hotspot

The Stars are Shining Bright at Infusion Lounge Hollywood at Universal CityWalk

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., April 11, 2012 -- Glittering Hollywood celebrities have found a favorite new hangout. Infusion Lounge Hollywood, the glamorous new multi-level ultra lounge and nightclub at Universal CityWalk, is attracting a steady stream of stars from the television, film and music industries. Since opening last summer, Infusion Lounge Hollywood has already welcomed HBO, ABC and NBC personalities, a slew of reality stars, and an Emmy Awards viewing party in September which included more than 150 award-winning television actors, writers, directors and producers.

Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, True Blood featured actress Natasha Alam , Celebrity Matchmaker Jasmine Diaz, Ryan Allen Carrillo and the 'Fab3' team from ABC-TV's Expedition Impossible, the Dark Knight's Eric Roberts, American Idol sensation Kimberly Cole, and DJ Enferno from Madonna's Sticky & Sweet World Tour have all been special guests. Film production wrap parties, movie premiere events and after-parties from Universal CityWalk's Gibson Amphitheater also fill the 9800 sq. ft. of entertainment space.

Infusion Lounge Hollywood has also been discovered by local Los Angeles hipsters and international fashionistas who pack the two dance floors Wednesday through Saturday nights. World-class DJs deliver nonstop energy, spinning the latest Top 40 mash-ups, hip hop samples, Latin beats and house music on the club's state-of-the-art sound system.

An enormous smoke-breathing Chinese dragon leads guests into the exotic Asian-inspired interior that features glowing spider web lattice walls, LED light towers, giant carved lacquer medallions and a sweeping staircase. Signature cocktails prepared by expert mixologists have an Asian twist, such as the Dragon Bellini, the Singapore Sling and the Lychee Martini.

Ideally located in one of the world's most exciting entertainment destinations, Infusion Lounge Hollywood at Universal CityWalk is conveniently situated just minutes from virtually everywhere in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, with easy freeway access and security covered parking.

Infusion Lounge Hollywood opens everyday at 6 PM with Happy Hour drink specials until 9 PM. Club hours keep the music going and the party happening until 2 AM Thursdays through Saturdays. More information, weekly DJ lineups, and deluxe bottle service reservations are available at

About Infusion Lounge Hollywood at Universal CityWalk
Infusion Lounge Hollywood is a licensed concept of the Infusion Lounge Licensing Corporation and is managed by the C-Two Group.

SOURCE Infusion Lounge

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blowing Her Horn to Break Down Bias and Bullying

New CD Live Out Loud to Release on April 20th GLSEN Day of Silence

NORTHFIELD, N.J., April 10, 2012 -- Susan Goodman is on a mission: to eradicate bullying by helping students identify bias and empowering them to speak out against it. As a saxophonist-singer-songwriter, she's got a unique way of doing this: through a mix of urban, Afro-pop, and jazz flavored original songs, like those you'll hear on her new CD Live Out Loud . It's laced with her soulful sax solos, and lyrics that shine a light on the spectrum of bias -- from xenophobia to homophobia.

Susan (also known as Sooz) has been presenting STAND UP! SPEAK OUT!, a K-8 anti-bullying assembly program, for over a decade, based on songs she wrote while completing her studies in a Holocaust-Genocide Education program. Bullying is about power, but Sooz believes it's also about bias. Songs on Live out Loud are "breaking down bias and bullying" for music-savvy middle, high school, and college students: helping them to recognize and question bias, while cultivating the courage and compassion to speak out against it.

Bullying is a personal issue for Susan. She experienced it as a child, as did her two sons: one for being a "nerd," the other for being gay. The increasingly lethal effects of bullying planted the seeds for Live Out Loud. Tyler Clementi's death moved Susan to begin the project with songs on anti-gay bias and cyber bullying. She set an April 20 th release date to support The National Day of Silence, a student-led day of action to call attention to continued anti-LGBTQ bullying.

Sooz' songwriting will get you to turn up the music and tune in to the message. The Afro-beat opener Bein' Brave distinguishes snitchin' from speaking out: crucial, she says, because bullies are far outnumbered by bystanders. Think Before You Speak defines school as a "bias-free zone" where students have a "right to safety and civility." Perhaps most bold is the jazzy R&B Ally: "Prejudice is prejudice / xenophobe, homophobe, or member of the Klan / Ignorance breeds hate and fear / Straight boy, straight girl, say you'll be an Ally!" STAND UP! SPEAK OUT! and Live Out Loud are bound to turn bystanders into Allies.

Visit to hear CDs, find photos, bio, testimonials. Facebook: Contact for interviews, school or other speaking/performance engagements.

Contact: STAND UP! SPEAK OUT!, 609-432-6346,


The VH1 Save The Music Foundation Launches Songwriters Music Series Auction on

Perez Hilton Donates Special-Edition Pink DROID RAZR MAXX by Motorola; Motorola Mobility Foundation Grants $10,000 on His Behalf

NEW YORK, April 10, 2012 -- On Tuesday, April 10th, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation will launch the first phase of the 2012 Songwriters Music Series auction at online charity auction house, Charitybuzz at: A special-edition pink DROID RAZR MAXX by Motorola -- donated by Foundation supporter Perez Hilton and not available in stores -- is one of the many highlights in the auction. The Motorola Mobility Foundation has partnered with Hilton to offer this exclusive custom handset to the highest bidder, in addition to granting a $10,000 donation to the VH1 Save The Music Foundation on his behalf.

"The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is an incredible organization focusing on two areas that are very important to the Motorola Mobility Foundation: arts and education," said Eileen Sweeney, director of the Motorola Mobility Foundation. "We are excited that Motorola Mobility Foundation resources, as well as one of our most innovative products, are helping to contribute to such a worthy cause."

The 2012 Songwriters Music Series will launch in Chicago, IL with an acoustic performance by Award-winning, soul singer-songwriter Robin Thicke on Thursday, April 26th. A limited number of $100 Tickets are available at

This marks the first stop in the series, sponsored by Swiss watch company RAYMOND WEIL and William Hill Estate Wines, which will then travel to New York City in June and close out at the breathtaking William Hill Estate in Napa Valley this September. Last year's Songwriters Music Series featured performances by Glee star Matthew Morrison in New York, ACM Award-winning sibling trio The Band Perry in Nashville, Tennessee and GRAMMY® Award winning musician Colbie Caillat, as well as Billboard Magazine "2011 Artist To Watch" Andy Grammer in Los Angeles.

In addition to the pink DROID RAZR MAXX by Motorola, the Charitybuzz auction also features:
  • Two tickets to the 2012 MTV Movie Awards
  • Two tickets to the Here and Now Tour and a Meet & Greet with Gavin Rossdale
  • Two tickets to the VH1 Save The Music Foundation Songwriters Music Series Chicago and a Meet & Greet with Robin Thicke and two tickets to the 2012 Comedy Central Awards
"The first phase of our 2012 Songwriters Music Series auction on Charitybuzz contains some incredible items and experiences," said Paul Cothran, Vice President & Executive Director of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. "From meet & greets with rock stars to passes to some of the most exclusive premieres and award shows of the year, fans can bid for these one-of-a-kind opportunities with all of the proceeds benefitting the VH1 Save The Music Foundation."

The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America's public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child's complete education. To date, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation has provided more than $48 million in new musical instruments to 1,800 public schools in more than 100 cities around the country, impacting the lives of over 1.8 million children. Thanks to the generous support of the VH1 Save The Music Ambassadors, including Katy Perry, Daughtry, Lupe Fiasco, Jordin Sparks, Matthew Morrison, Vanessa Carlton, AJ McLean and Gavin Rossdale, the Foundation is able to generate awareness about the importance of music in a child's education.

The Songwriters Music Series benefits the VH1 Save The Music Foundation in their mission to provide children with access to a complete education that includes music. These intimate evenings serve as a platform for energized, informed and socially conscious individuals to network amidst great music, a sponsored bar and food. Each event will also feature today's emerging musicians and most celebrated artists/bands performing hit songs in support of the cause. In total, the 2011 Songwriters Music Series raised over $358,000 , which was enough to restore 11 music education programs nationwide. This year, the Foundation hopes to raise even more so that a greater number of students are provided the tools they need to create, innovate and become the next great leaders in an increasingly competitive world.

Beginning April 10th, please visit to bid on all of the exciting items and for more information or to see how you can get involved please visit


Monday, April 9, 2012


Beverly Hills, CA – The documentary short subjects "Living for 32" and "One Thousand Pictures: RFK’s Last Journey," and the documentary feature "This Way of Life" will screen as the next installment in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 30th annual "Contemporary Documentaries" series on Wednesday, April 18, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Admission to all screenings in the series is free.

Directed by Kevin Breslin and produced by Maria Cuomo Cole, "Living for 32" follows Colin Goddard, a survivor of the 2007 shooting spree that claimed the lives of 32 of his classmates at Virginia Tech, as he tries to live his life in a way that will honor the memory of those who died. Cole and Goddard will be present to take questions from the audience following the screening.

Produced by Jennifer Stoddart, "One Thousand Pictures: RFK’s Last Journey" recalls the thousands of people who lined the route in tribute when Robert F. Kennedy’s funeral train traveled from New York to Washington following his 1968 assassination.

Directed by Thomas Burstyn and produced by Barbara Sumner-Burstyn, "This Way of Life" tells the story of Peter Ottley Karena and his wife, Colleen, who live with their six children in the remote Ruahine Mountains of New Zealand. Their idyllic life is disrupted when men who claim to have purchased the family’s house and land from Peter’s estranged father arrive to take ownership of the property.

The 30th annual "Contemporary Documentaries" series continues through May 30, showcasing feature-length and short documentaries drawn from the 2010 Academy Award® nominations, including the winners, as well as other important and innovative films considered by the Academy that year.

All films will screen at the Linwood Dunn Theater at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. All seating is unreserved. The filmmakers will be present at screenings whenever possible.

The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. Free parking is available through the entrance on Homewood Avenue (one block north of Fountain Avenue). For additional information, visit or call (310) 247-3600.