Axe Bahia: The Power of Art in an Afro-Brazilian Metropolis at the Fowler Museum

Press Release Photo

Los Angeles, CA—Axé Bahia: The Power of Art in an Afro-Brazilian Metropolis explores the distinctive cultural identity of the city of Salvador, the coastal capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia and a sister city of Los Angeles. Founded in 1549, it is Brazil’s third largest metropolis, with a population of more than three million, the majority of whom have African ancestry. This exhibition—the most comprehensive presentation of Afro-Brazilian art ever realized in the U.S.—examines how artistic practices express and shape crucial aspects of identity and experience in Bahia and beyond. Dating primarily from the mid-twentieth to the early twenty-first century, and including sculpture, painting, photography, video, and installation art, the selected works illustrate the ways in which seminal artists (Brazilians and resident foreigners alike) have expanded the visual richness of Bahian culture. They also demonstrate potent, and often provocative, responses to the legacy of slavery and ongoing forms of inequality.


In Salvador, the Yoruba-derived word axé (pronounced “ah-sheh”) serves as a Bahian catchword, ranging in meanings from “blessings” or “peace” to “let it be so!” or “right on!” As understood in the theology of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé, axé is the intangible energy or vital force that infuses life and carries the potential for positive change in the world—a power that manifests most visibly in ritual and art.


“This exhibition draws on decades of collective research by many scholars living across the globe,” said Fowler Museum Director Marla C. Berns. “The strong support the Getty provided for the exploratory phase of this project gave the curatorial team significant access to the many familiar artists working in Bahia today as well as identifying those who are deserving of recognition. Axé Bahia offers a well-timed and unparalleled opportunity to examine the cultural importance of the city of Salvador, the wide range of AfroBrazilian artistic practices, and the broader domains of African diaspora and Latin American art history.”


According to exhibition co-curator Patrick A. Polk, “The essence of Axé Bahia is revelation. How does art help to reveal what it means to be black or Afrodescendente (of African descent) in Brazil? In selecting works, we sought out artists who speak directly to crucial, and often fraught, realities of race and cultural heritage. The exhibition also hinges on specific ways in which Afro-Brazilian traditions such as Candomblé and Carnaval can express empowering notions of self and community; acts that can be inherently transformative.”


Presented as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, this exhibition anchors a three-part program exploring Brazil’s African history and cultural heritage, which includes Lineage through Landscape: Tracing Egun in Brazil by Fran Siegel (through December 10, 2017) and Africa/Americas: Photographic Portraits by Pierre Verger (September 10, 2017–January 21, 2018). Major support is provided by grants from the Getty Foundation.


Paulo P. Lima, Ph.D. Named Senior Vice President and Chair of the Newly Created Arts & Culture Practice

Paulo P. Lima, Ph.D. Named Senior Vice President and Chair of the Newly Created

Arts & Culture Practice

Agency Appoints Long-Time Senior Leader to Further Drive Capabilities



LOS ANGELES (December 1, 2016) Effective today, Paulo P. Lima, Ph.D. will serve as senior vice president and chair of the Arts & Culture Practice. Dr. Lima has held various roles in his 12 years with LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS such as senior counselor and vice president, managing director, Hispanic Practice. In this newly created role, Dr. Lima will play an integral part in further driving the agency’s presence in the arts and culture industry.  


Dr. Lima offers a diverse range of experience to the Arts & Culture Practice. In addition to serving on the agency’s senior leadership team and his role as managing director for the agency’s Hispanic Practice, he also serves as the firm’s official photographer. For more than a decade, Dr. Lima has provided account management, strategic and creative counsel, community and media relations for clients including, Center Theatre Group (Ahmanson, Mark Taper and Kirk Douglas), Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, The Pasadena Playhouse, Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT), California African American Museum (CAAM), and more.


“As Santa Barbara County’s governmental arts agency, we strive to connect to the tremendous diversity of our constituents’ cultures, and to celebrate that diversity,” said Sarah York Rubin, executive director of the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture. “Dr. Lima, a gifted teaching artist who has worked with Santa Barbara City College, uses art as a vehicle to explore culture, specifically the Afro-Brazilian community, creating pathways for dialogue and future collaboration.”


The seasoned integrated marketing communications specialist has successfully executed projects for Center Theatre Group, The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, REDCAT and The Pasadena Playhouse. Relying on his experience in the field, his efforts drove an increase in ticket sales for productions such as The Trip to Bountiful, Ain’t Misbehavin, DanceBrazil, Satchmo at the Waldorf, Fly, Julia and Companhia Urbana de Dança. In addition, Dr. Lima played a key role in leading communication efforts for the California African American Museum, significantly raising the organization’s presence across Los Angeles. Most recently, he executed a private reception welcoming the newly appointed Santa Barbara County Arts Commission Executive Director Sarah York Rubin.



“What impresses me most about Dr. Lima is his ability to approach complex problems from a different lens,” said Mr. Kim L. Hunter, president and CEO of LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS. “His academic training in geography, fine arts, and performance studies brings non-traditional insight as well as creative and innovative strategic thought to our clients. Having provided value to both our clients and to the agency in the areas of the Hispanic consumer market for the past 12 years, Dr. Lima will be able to capitalize on his passion of the arts.”


A Brazilian native, Dr. Lima also serves as the editorial director of, the first website dedicated to bridging the gap between the African American and Afro-Brazilian cultures. As editorial director, he develops content and story ideas and sells digital ads.


“It’s an exciting time for the agency, as we continue to expand its presence in the arts and culture sector,” said Dr. Lima. “I look forward to leading the Arts & Culture Practice and leveraging my background and experience in the field to effectively share the importance of the arts, particularly among the African American, Hispanic and LGBTQ markets.”


Prior to joining LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS, Dr. Lima spent 12 years in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries, where he first served as customer service director for United Airlines in the São Paulo International Airport. After relocating to the United States, Dr. Lima continued his career in the hospitality industry with the Charter at Beaver Creek in Avon, Colo.


As an advocate for diversity and inclusion, Dr. Lima teaches a course titled “Diversity in American Drama” at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, where he is an adjunct professor. Dr. Lima has a doctorate in theater and performance studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Carnival Corporation to Donate $2 Million to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History & Culture

Carnival Corporation to Donate $2 Million to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History & Culture

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 28, 2016 -  Carnival Corporation, through its philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, is donating $2 million to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History & Culture.  Eleven years in the making and built at a cost of $540 million, the museum opened Sept. 24 on the National Mall with a dedication ceremony featuring remarks by President Barack Obama and a three-day music and spoken-word festival called "Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration." In recognition of the gift, NMAAHC has designated Carnival Corporation a Founding Donor of the museum.

"The National Museum of African American History & Culture is a celebration of the many contributions African Americans have made to the history, culture and community of the United States," said Linda Coll, executive director of Carnival Foundation. "The organizations that Carnival Corporation supports through Carnival Foundation reflect the great value the company places on diversity and inclusion in the communities that we touch, and we are honored to be a part of this new museum."

The 390,000-square-foot National Museum of African American History & Culture is located on a 5-acre site adjacent to the Washington Monument. Its 12 inaugural exhibitions feature more than 3,000 objects and cover topics ranging from military and sports history to performing arts and the western and northern migration.   

Each day of the three-day "Freedom Sounds: A Community Celebration" had a theme: Friday was "Homecoming," Saturday was "Celebration" and Sunday was "Call and Response." The events and concerts highlighted music traditions such as jazz, R&B, gospel, folk, classical, New Orleans brass band, Afro-Latin jazz and hip-hop.

About the National Museum African America of History & Culture
The NMAAHC is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the museum has collected nearly 40,000 artifacts. Nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members of the museum. When the NMAAHC opened on Sept. 24, 2016, it became the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

About Carnival Foundation
Carnival Foundation oversees the many philanthropic endeavors of Carnival Corporation and its 10 affiliated cruise line brands as well as its employee-driven service group, the "Friends Uniting Neighbors" (F.U.N.) Team. Although Carnival Foundation's contributions are spread to communities where the brands operate, the company primarily focuses on organizations based inSouth Florida, where Carnival Corporation is headquartered. Through monetary and in-kind donations, innovative philanthropic programs, employee fundraisers and hands-on volunteer initiatives, Carnival Foundation and the brands of Carnival Corporation support a variety of organizations.

About Carnival Corporation
Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest leisure travel company in the world, and among the most profitable and financially strong in the industry.  With a portfolio of 10 cruise brands in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Line, Fathom, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard,  P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK).

Together, these brands operate 101 ships visiting over 700 ports around the world and totaling 225,000 lower berths with 18 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2022. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.

Carnival Corporation Sailing to Cuba

On March 21, 2016 Carnival Corporation announced that it has received approval from the Cuban government for the company to begin travel to the island on May 1, 2016. This exciting news coincided with the visit of American President Barack Obama to Cuba this week.

Carnival Corporation's newest brand Fathom will operate a 704-passenger vessel named MV Adonia to Cuba. This marks the first time in over 50 years a cruise ship is approved to sail from the United States to Cuba. Americans willing to experience Cuba will have the opportunity to visit the country by joining the Fathom team in several activities onboard focusing on Cuban and Caribbean-inspired music and film, Cuban-inspired menu options and culturally enriching options ranging from orientation on Cuba's history, customs, geography and culture.

"We are excited about Cuban approval and are ready to take travelers there through an extraordinary guest experience on the beautiful MV Adonia," said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. "This is a historic opportunity, and we know there is pent-up demand amongst Americans who want to experience Cuba."

Havana, Cuba (Source:

The seven-day cruise will include stops in three ports in Cuba. Departing from Port-Miami on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, the ship will make stops in Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. The MV Adonia returns to its homeport, PortMiami, at 7:30 am. Eastern Time Sunday.

Prices for seven-day itineraries to Cuba start at $1,800 per person and will vary by season. For additional information on booking, fees and prices please visit Cuban visas, taxes and port expenses also apply. Double check all required documentation when planning your trip!

Safe travels!!

Companhia Urbana de Danca Performs in Los Angeles at the REDCAT

(Companhia Urbana de Dança)

Companhia Urbana de Dança:

“So wonderful that it seems miraculous...promised a blend of hip-hop, urban and contemporary dance and knocked the ball out of the park.”The New York Times

"Forget the pedigree. For raw, edge-of-your-seat tension, this is the one to beat." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Tour de force of hip-hop dance-theatre." —Financial Times

The REDCAT website highlights the show by saying: "The audacious, vigorous, and highly inventive Brazilian dance ensemble Companhia Urbana de Dança is renowned for burning up the stage in an irresistible explosion of breakneck bravado, exuberant, high-speed energy, and powerhouse athleticism. Choreographer Sonia Destri Lie and the performers deconstruct the thrilling kinetics of Rio de Janeiro street dance, seamlessly fusing together hip-hop,  samba, capoeira, and contemporary forms. Their signature work ID: Entidades, inspired by the life stories of the company dancers, pulses with raw adrenaline to a high-voltage score by Brazilian composer Rodrigo Marçal. They also explore the joyful influence of pop culture and sizzling social dance in the critically-praised Na Pista, which prompted The New York Times to write that the company 'is so wonderful that it seems miraculous.'"

Confira! Check it out! Mention discount code URBANA for a 20% discount on your tickets.

REDCAT Presents the Los Angeles Premiere of JULIA by Christiane Jatahy

REDCAT presents the Los Angeles Debut of Brazilian Author and Director Christiane Jatahy Presenting


An Award Winning Multimedia Adaptation of

August Strindberg’s Miss Julie

(Photo by REDCAT/Calarts - promotional photo)

REDCAT, Calarts’ downtown center for contemporary arts, presents internationally praised Brazilian author and director Christiane Jatahy’s award-winning production Julia, Thursday February 18 to Sunday February 21, 2016. In Portuguese with english subtitles.

Jatahy expertly negotiates the boundaries between cinema and theater while exploring the reality of Brazil’s current society in her adaptation of the classic August Strindberg's work Miss Julie. With a contemporary lens, Jatahy integrates film technique on stage to break down boundaries between past and present, actor and character, and reality and fiction to create unusual encounters between actor and audience.

Winner of the Shell Award for Best Director in 2012, Julia premiéred in October 2011 in Rio de Janeiro and has toured to the following festivals: Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), Wiener Festwochen (Vienna), Theater Spektakel (Zurich), Noordezon Festival (Grooening), Temps d’Images (Paris), Rotterdam de Keuze Festival (Holanda) Mouseonturm (Frankfurt), Temporada Alta Girona e Centro Dramático Nacional (Madrid).
Jatahy has been researching new explorative scenic spaces since 1996, when she presented her plays in unconventional locations, and introduced interactions between the audience and the stage. In 2003, she intensified this investigation by producing dramas which subtly tested the limits between reality and fiction; the actor and the character; and concepts such as the ‘here-and-now,’ and the ‘rehearsed scene.’ Her objective is to create a living, dynamic relationship with the audience.

    (Photo by REDCAT/Calarts - Promotional photo)

In recent years, she has added audiovisual language to her plays by integrating video within the set. Thus, theatrical structures are broken down and surveillance cameras reveal the surrounding and behind-the-scene action of the live performance. In her work, A Falta que nos Move, theatre becomes film.

For more information and to purchase tickets call the REDCAT box office at 213-237-2800 or visit their website

History Takes Flight at The Pasadena Playhouse

By Ariana Tejero
Third-Year Screenwriting major
Italian Language and Theatre Arts double minor - Loyola Marymount University

The cast of "FLY" at The Pasadena Playhouse. Photo by Jim Cox Photography

The audience takes its seat. Cue utter darkness and a single spotlight on the star of the show: Tap Griot, played by the impassioned and soulful, Omar Edwards. As Tap Griot's shoes begin to tap the stage floors, the audience, captivated by the contrast between the lack of light, but breathtaking sounds of emotion, takes a brief journey through the hardships of African American History - from the Middle Passage, to Jim Crow, to the Civil Rights movement - but then pauses as the traveling comes to a sudden halt. An older version of Chet, played by the vibrant Desmond Newson, transports spectators to the U.S. Capitol steps in Washington, D.C. Tap Griot's struggle with the overwhelming honor bestowed upon Chet on that very twentieth day of January 2009 and the confusion of sentiments for Chet's former occupation as a Tuskegee Airman, echoes in Chet's profound commentary to the sea of reporters on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial: "History is the river we stand in." Therein commences the flashback and eighty subsequent minutes of tribute to the valiant Tuskegee Airmen. Hence begins FLY.



The ensuing homage paid to the elite group of African American fighter pilots from Tuskegee University, thrust overseas to guard American bombers flying over Europe and North Africa during World War II, could not serve as a more fitting addition to celebrate Black History Month in 2016. Ricardo Khan and Trey Ellis's mastery of drama and poetic genius reflects in the visual elements combined with clever dialogue and accurate historical context. The Red Tails, or 332nd Fighter Group, in particular, uphold a reputation for revolutionary heroism - not only on the battlefield, but also amongst their White airmen counterparts. History came full circle during this past Sunday's opening night performance, during which the surviving Tuskegee Airmen could be seen marveling at their stories on the stage. Khan and Ellis' skill for seamlessly inviting all generations of patrons shines through in the unique projections found in the background of the actors.

Omar Edwards in "FLY" at The Pasadena Playhouse. Photo by Jim Cox Photography

During an interview on the campus of Loyola Marymount University on January 28, Khan spoke about the process of "learning to fly," which, arduously, involved shadowing a select handful of the Airmen, in order to properly mimic the actions of flying onstage. For this reason, the audience's bewilderment at the verisimilitude of flight justifiably links to the evident extensive practice and acute talent of the entire crew. Mid-first act, during the four main characters' preliminary flying examinations, each audience member took flight on a wholly different journey than the previous. The flawless sound effects flowed effortlessly with the scenery projections and dramatic, yet all the while, comedic performances.

Each of the four leading men of the ensemble provides viewers with an Airman with whom to identify. In W.W.W. - W.W. for short - commonly known as "What Women Want," brought to life by the suave Brooks Brantly, a twist on the stereotypical "ladies man" can be found, tugging on the heartstrings of all ladies watching the performance. Oscar, or Terrell Wheeler, epitomizes brilliance in the archetype for his race. Oscar remains faithful to his admirable values and pride for his heritage, reminding viewers that each of the Airmen ventured to the University with, perhaps, diversified goals, yet, nonetheless, a common intention to serve their nation as African American (to-be) heroes. Damian Thompson's interpretation of J. Allen, a pilot from the Caribbean who channels a perspective of training veering more towards English than American, supports this idea that a plethora of backgrounds can be united by a common goal: to win the war, to fly, and to put African Americans on the map as apt pilots, just as any others.

The cast of "FLY" at The Pasadena Playhouse. Photo by Jim Cox Photography

The interactions amongst the four Tuskegee Airmen and their White officers or fellow fighter pilots represent camaraderie and unity, which, essentially, drove the U.S. to WWII success. Race as a social construct threads in an arguably clandestine fashion throughout the plot; similar to Tap Griot's continuous dancing to personify emotional turbulence, the issue or theme of racial discrimination takes second to a story of heroism, above all. Khan and Ellis's noteworthy writing refrains from shoving discriminatory behavior in the face of the onlooker. Rather, comedic references allude to the centuries of hardships faced by African Americans; nuances of ethnic inferiority plant seeds in viewers' minds that the path of the Tuskegee Airmen represents the furthest tale from a walk in the park, on many fronts. FLY touches upon brotherhood, death, and fear - to name a few. Standout comedic moments include the scuffle between the men in their quarters, quickly disguised as an intense workout session, complete with make-believe pushups, to impress the White officers. The dance scene evoking African heritage in front of the fire prior to the big day in the sky brings the audience to an enlightened laughter, followed by worry for the men about to embark on the most significant mission of their lifetime.


The emotional ending, tracing back to the opening scene with Chet's awe-inspiring moment in D.C., recalls the line: "History is the river we stand in." FLY, an entertaining, epic production, leaves each of its captivated and emotionally-struck viewers, in tears of joy, pride, and sadness, simultaneously. The ninety minutes to-be-cherished pass by too quickly but encourage twenty-first century Americans to reevaluate history as a continuously flowing basin, full of memorable moments and unbelievable achievements that construct the United States as the sovereign nation that now stands. The presence of the Tuskegee Airmen at opening night inspires all artists to take a stab at imprinting a mark on this ever-flowing "river" that invites all to stand in and with - to celebrate components of a historical track record that defines America as "united." History takes flight gracefully at The Pasadena Playhouse throughout the month of February - to not only celebrate Black culture but also to embrace heroes that forever changed its course.

For additional information on FLY please visit: or call 626.356.7529. The show is performing until February 21, 2016. You may use code LC20 for 20% discount on select tickets.


Fly opens at The Pasadena Playhouse in California

Playwrights Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan with Tuskegee Airmen at the opening reception for the play FLY at the Pasadena Playhouse (Photo by Paulo Lima)

On Sunday, January 31, 2016, The Pasadena Playhouse proudly opened the play Fly, by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan. For the opening night, seven original Tuskegee Airmen were present, which made the night a special moment for the celebration of African American history.

Several celebrities were present at the event, including actress Angela Basset, featured below.

Angela Bassett at the opening night of the play Fly at The Pasadena Playhouse (Photo by Paulo Lima)

After the show successfully opened, the cast proudly took some time to join the visiting Tuskegee Airmen and women and their family and friends for some celebratory pictures inside the theater.

Playwrights Ricardo Khan and Trey Ellis join cast members and the Tuskegee Airmen for a historical photo (Photo by Paulo Lima)

With a focus on hope, endurance, and accomplishment, Fly tells the story of the first African-American Army Air Corp fighters known as the Tuskegee Airmen who flew over the skies of Europe and North Africa during WWII. Featuring a cast of eight men, including "Tap Griot," a dance who uses tap dance steps to set a mood that is part sublimated anger, part empowerment, Fly was hailed by The New York Times as "a superior piece of theatrical synergy." In honor of Black History month, The Pasadena Playhouse and Crossroads Theatre Company's production of Fly dramatizes the historic contributions made by the Tuskegee Airmen to the desegregation of the American military and the furthering of civil rights. Production runs until February 21, 2016.

The Pasadena Playhouse Proudly Presents FLY, by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan

The Pasadena Playhouse (Pasadena, Calif.) is proud to present FLY, by Terri Ellis and Ricardo Khan, from January 26 through February 21, 2016.

In commemoration of Black History month, LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS and are offering a 20% discount on tickets purchased with code: LC20.

Directed by Ricardo Khan, produced in association with Crossroads Theatre Company and with a focus on hope, endurance, and accomplishment, FLY tells the story of the first African-American Army Air Corp fighters known as the Tuskegee Airmen, who flew over the skies of Europe and North of Africa during World War II.

Where: The Pasadena Playhouse
39 S. El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101

When: January 26 - February 21, 2016

To purchase tickets using the discount code, please call The Pasadena Playhouse at 626.356.7529 or visit their website at (some restrictions apply)

Travll Named Winning Travel App At #DestinationHack Brazil, Sabre's First Developer Competition In Latin America

App powered by Sabre, Yelp!, Google APIs and a social media user experience wins challenge to build innovative online and mobile software capabilities that reinvent travel e-commerce.

São Paulo, Nov. 12, 2015 -- Sabre Corporation SABR, -1.29% the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, announced the winners of its first travel hackathon held in the Latin America region, based on their creative use of API technology and open developer platform powered by Sabre Dev Studio. DestinationHack Brazil was featured as the only travel technology contest during Sao Paulo Tech Week, a regional event focused on innovation and entrepreneurship.


Over the weekend and in more than twenty-four hours of intense programming and coding, ten developer teams including designers and marketers took part in the contest, gathering in Sao Paulo's Distrito venture building campus to create mobile apps, websites and aggregator meta-search tools. Each team worked around the clock to brainstorm new software and apps to enhance the way people shop and book travel

across platforms and devices, and to explore business opportunities as startup entrants to the industry.


All finalist apps and websites prototypes were built in response to three key challenges: inspire travelers to visit Brazil, create a seamless and mobile travel experience at the Rio 2016 Olympics, and think of outside-the-box ways to monetize travel and drive new business for agents, tour operators and corporate buyers.


The winner of the first grand prize, Travll, is an app that helps users to plan trips in a fun way and without the need to visit tens of external websites such as blogs, review sites, or social media. Travll was built using a Node.JS server that interacts with Sabre APIs, Yelp!, Google APIs and the Android OS. The winning app was created by Mauricio Giordano, Full Stack developer student of IT systems at USP Sao Carlos, and Bruno Lemos, co-founder of InEvent and student of computer engineering at USP Sao Carlos. Their app was rewarded a first prize of 5,000 Reais, and a six month lease contract in the Distrito venture campus to run their startup. "It was the most amazing app we've done in a 24-hour hackathon," said the team.

Winners in each category were elected by a panel of industry experts: Andre Freller (VP, technology at Reserva Facil), Marcio Chaer (Co-Founder at Rock Innovation), Artur Andrade (Chief Editor, Panrotas publishing), Ricardo Freire (Founder,, and Felix Rode (Director, Technology and Innovation at Argo IT). The apps ideas were evaluated based on their technical quality, design and user experience, potential to reinvent the travel ecosystem, and best utilization of Sabre APIs.


"It was amazing to see many exceptional quality ideas within just 24 hours, witnessing developers' restless enthusiasm to create innovative apps that can empower the travel industry," said Luiz Ambar, vice president of Sabre in Brazil and southern Latin America. "Our panel of judges, each of them an influential expert in the many aspects of the travel industry, chose Travll as the first Destination Hack Brazil winner app as it brings an innovative and engaging approach to how consumers expect to shop and book travel in a dynamic and highly personalized way."

"Their creativity was such that they leveraged the best API technology provided by Sabre and other leading technology companies, with the same approach to a seamless multi-device experience Sabre takes for our core software solutions for travel," Ambar said.


As partner sponsor of DestinationHack, Brazilian technology provider Argo IT also recognized TravelAnalytics as the app with most potential in business development, with a special prize of 5,000 Reais and a 2-month mentoring program from Argo IT to support their entrepreneurship by sharing expertise in corporate travel and e-commerce solutions. TravelAnalytics, a web platform created by Andre Wilson (computing science and PhD business management), Caio Oliveira (IT architecture and development) and Robert Willian Gil (software development and analysis), provides a comprehensive dashboard to analyze the highly competitive and complex events management market, for either corporate or leisure travel. The app also delivers an outlook for travel demand.

DestinationHack Brazil also recognized other outstanding apps to help them bring their ideas to market, including:

  • 2 [nd] Sabre Prize - 3,000 Reais and a 3-month lease contract with Distrito venture campus – Awarded to GottAGuide, a mobile and web platform that connects travelers to professional tour guides to further personalize their online shopping. GottaGuide, developed with a focus to drive inbound tourism, was created by Gillian Arruda, Rafael Saraceni, Lucas Villarreal and Pedro Senise.
  • 3 [rd] Sabre prize – 2,000 Reais – Awarded to TravelAnalytics.
  • VoyenBus People's Choice – round-trip bus tickets Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro – Awarded to Travll.

Sabre's #DestinationHack in Sao Paulo has resulted in a technology incubation event showcasing a broad number of new applications that have the potential to change the travel experience, with special mention to: Cremer as an aggregator for corporate travel, mobile app Itairu that helps travelers to explore in-destination services while driving leads to agencies, Mee#z to create events within major gatherings for sports or live concerts, CaraVamo to connect travelers based on profiles and trip themes, SocialTrip to inspire destinations and provide airfares based on "Likes" and "Follows", Wr2Go as an interactive photo gallery enabling behavioral shopping and analytics, and SmartMatch as an online booking platform that connects travelers with shared interests.


Developers were invited to use more than 150 application programming interfaces (APIs) available in Sabre Dev Studio, Sabre's industry-first open platform providing IT developers with immediate access to a sandbox, sample code documentation, prototypes and demos.


About Sabre Corporation

Sabre Corporation is the leading technology provider to the global travel industry. Sabre's software, data, mobile and distribution solutions are used by hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network and crew management. Sabre also operates a leading global travel marketplace, which processes more than $120 billion of estimated travel spend annually by connecting travel buyers and suppliers. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.


#DestinationHack Brasil: Travel and Tourism Technology Hackathon Organized in Sao Paulo

By Julio Neto (São Paulo)

#DestinationHack Brasil: Using Technology to Enhance Travel and Tourism Experience


Travel has been a great experience for many people. So much so that the number of tourists around the world has increased in the past few years. According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), approximately 1.1 billion people traveled in 2014, with tourism growing by almost 5 percent.

The volume of money circulating also shows the size of this market. Only in Brazil, the amount reached 492 billion reais among direct and indirect activities related to travel and tourism. In 2014, the country was the tenth largest economy in the world as it relates to tourism, and the second in Latin America (behind Mexico). Worldwide, the amount of money spent on tourism reached 7.6 trillion dollars, according to research conducted by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

One of the factors that encourage many people to pick up their luggage and travel is technology. Many tourists have planned their travel by visiting blogs, websites and reservation applications (apps). These channels are revolutionizing the way people organize travel, whether it is leisure or business. Without leaving the comfort of their home, consumers can buy tickets, make hotel and airline reservations and avoid long lines and busy traffic.  


With all this development, the travel technology market still has a lot of room for expansion and it is in constant search for innovation. The challenge for developers and companies in the industry is how to improve and enhance the traveler’s experience.

To encourage new ideas and entrepreneurial activities in this segment, the Texas-based company, Sabre, hosted this weekend the #Destination Hack Brasil.  The first developing competition event focused on travel and tourism was part of the São Paulo Tech Week 2015, and it ran from November 6 through November 8 at the Distrito Venture Building Campus in São Paulo.


Event Participants (Photo by Julio Neto)



#DestinationHack Brasil working room - Distrito Venture Building, Sao Paulo (Photo by Julio Neto)



Also called hackathon, the programming marathon invited developers and engineers to develop software and create applications serving mobile and wearable devices (such as smart phones and watches). The event received about 120 applications and participants were challenged to develop solutions in a period of 26 hours. Organizers divided the participants in teams of up to five people, who received technical support from Sabre DV Studio platform, which offered the necessary tools throughout the event.

"Developers had access to APIs - application programming interfaces – that enhanced their access to information and reduced technical difficulties that would have been hard to overcome otherwise.  We worked to offer enhanced technology that can open up possibilities and revolutionize the travel and tourism experience worldwide,” explained Alexandre Xavier, Sabre product manager.





Alexandre Xavier, Sabre Product Manager (Photo by Julio Neto)



In an effort to unite creativity and technology, and leveraging Brazil’s vocation for innovation and entrepreneurship, #DestinationHack Brasil offered a unique experience for developers in Latin America.  “Brazilians are able to adjust according to the needs of the market.  We often have to reinvent ourselves and to think outside of the box in order to expand our businesses and create a new travel experience for our consumers,” said Alexandre Cordeiro, marketing manager at Sabre.    




Alexandre Cordeiro, Sabre Marketing Manager/Event Organizer (Photo by Julio Neto)



The event ended on Sunday, November 8, and the winners will be announced this week.  About R$10.000,00 will be distributed among the winners of the best work. Five people from different areas of travel and tourism formed the panel of judges. It is expected that participants at the #DestinationHack Brasil developed an idea that transforms the lives and enhances the experience of millions of travelers around the world.

Sabre brings Destination Hack Brasil to Sao Paulo in November

Developers’ marathon competition runs as part of the 2015 Sao Paulo Tech Week, challenging creative teams to build apps that transforms the travel experience and to drive businesses

SAO PAULO, Brazil, Oct. 27, 2015Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, announces the launch of its global developer competition, #DestinationHack powered by Sabre Dev Studio, in Brazil during the weekend of Nov. 6 - 8.

Destination Hack Brazil is held as part of São Paulo Tech Week, Latin America’s leading event with workshops, conferences and hackathons in an inspiring full-week program focused on promoting innovation and entrepreneurship. Sabre’s developer marathon is also supported by Start-Up Brasil, a Federal Government acceleration program that works with 183 startups around Brazil.

The event’s general brainstorming session kicks off on Saturday at 9 a.m., followed by twenty-four hours of intense programming, creative thinking and problem-solving for apps that could change the way people travel. Sabre is inviting developers across the country and from a variety of backgrounds – from students to start-ups to those working for some of the travel industry’s biggest brands, to register their teams at

Over the weekend developers will gather in Sao Paulo’s Distrito venture building campus, to be challenged to think outside-of-the-box to create technology and apps with the potential of reinventing travel for millions of consumers. The competition includes the chance to win prizes valued in R$10,000, and the opportunity to have their prototype recognized as an idea that could enhance the travel experience globally.

DestinationHack’s judge panel includes renowned experts in travel, technology, startups and business development from Brazil.

“We are excited to host our leading travel technology developers competition in the flagship country for technology companies operating across Latin America, and have Sabre as partner and supporter of the Sao Paulo Tech Week—all to help position Sao Paulo as an innovation hub around the world,” said Luiz Ambar, vice president of Sabre in Brazil and southern Latin America.

“Destination Hack provides the growing Brazilian developer community with an opportunity to unleash creativity by creating revolutionary apps for travel and tourism,” said Ambar.

In this round-the-clock coding contest, participants will have free unlimited access to a set of more than 150 application programming interfaces (APIs) powered by Sabre Dev Studio ( – Sabre’s industry-first open platform providing IT developers with immediate access to a sandbox, sample code documentation, prototypes and demos. Developers will also tackle REST APIs optimized for mobile applications, as well as other open technology provider tools, to create their prototypes.

Related Videos:

Alexandre Xavier, Product Marketing Manager, Sabre Dev Studio, invites developers to #DestinationHack Brazil.

Learn how to Reinvent the concept of travel.

About Sabre Corporation

Sabre Corporation is the leading technology provider to the global travel industry. Sabre’s software, data, mobile and distribution solutions are used by hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network and crew management. Sabre also operates a leading global travel marketplace, which processes more than $110 billion of estimated travel spend annually by connecting travel buyers and suppliers. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.

HopeLine from Verizon Encourages Consumers to Go Purple in Support of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Verizon Will Offer Purple Accessories throughout October to Support the National Domestic Violence Hotline


WHAT:  This October, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, HopeLine® from Verizon offers people across the country two easy ways to help take action against domestic violence:


1.     Purchase exclusive purple accessories, including a headset, phone case, tablet case and more, at Verizon store or online, and HopeLine will donate $1, to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, up to $100,000.


2.     Donate used wireless phones, chargers and accessories, from any carrier, at a Verizon store to help HopeLine reach its goal of collecting 1 million phone donations by the end of 2015 to support victims and survivors of domestic violence.


WHO:     Verizon’s HopeLine program collects used wireless phones, chargers and accessories and turns them into financial support for non-profit domestic violence organizations nationwide.  Through HopeLine, Verizon also donates wireless phones, complete with voice and text messaging service, to domestic violence shelters for use by victims and survivors.


WHEN: October 1 – 31, 2015 (National Domestic Violence Awareness Month)


WHY: Verizon has a longstanding commitment to domestic violence awareness and prevention, which has been a philanthropic focus since 2001 through the HopeLine program. Verizon recognizes domestic violence is a national problem that impacts our communities, neighbors, coworkers, friends and family members. We believe our network and technologies – and our people –can be a part of the solution.




Black in the Americas: Paradise Lost or Found?

By Jehan Roberson*

Large slave gathering at a Brazilian coffee farm, 1885 (copyright Marc Ferrez)

"In Brazil... the Negro is taught not only to regard himself the equal of the white man, but he is given an opportunity to prove it. There is no walk of Brazilian life, official or unofficial, where he is not welcome and which he has not filled."- J.A. Rogers, From Superman to Man (1924)


The legacy of race in the Americas is a long storied one, to say the least. It is a legacy colored (no pun intended) by the frequent comparison of the status of Blacks in the U.S. and Blacks in Brazil. Once considered a “racial paradise,” Brazil has long been a place and subject of interest for U.S. scholars mentally tussling with what it means to be Black in America.


And while many in the 19th century drafted reports of a racial utopia in the southern America, the history of slavery and persisting injustices against Brazil’s black population starkly contrasted the prevailing harmonious narrative. Perhaps of most importance is that even though free Blacks and mixed-race persons occupied many positions of power in local and state government during the 19th century, Brazil was nonetheless the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery in 1888. Equally as interesting is that many of these reports emerged as White-led efforts to prove that Black and White coexistence was possible.


As far back as April 1838, one such essay appeared in the edition of Colored American, where the authors spoke glowingly of the contributions of Black farmers, merchants, doctors, priests, and more as evidence of racial harmony in both Brazil and Trinidad. In his article “Racial Paradise or Run-Around?”, David J. Hellwig notes that the writers “sought to discredit the fears that led to the establishment of [B]lack codes in Ohio” (44). Although this and other similar reports did not stop the development of Black codes in Ohio and other parts of the U.S., Brazil still came to hold a place in the American imagination as a sort of racial paradise, with the promise of a better life for all.


Presented with such dichotomous examples, sentiments of a better life in the southern hemisphere were not only echoed by such notables as Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, J.A. Rogers, and W.E.B. DuBois but actively heralded Brazil as an option for those seeking refuge from racial prejudice and persecution in the United States. The most repeated refrain was the nation’s absence of racial delineations– people were not described as Black or White, they were all Brazilian. DuBois gained notoriety for his now-infamous theory of “double consciousness,” or the division a Black person experiences as part of society while simultaneously being excluded from many facets of that same society. Such patriotism in the face of a people not considered to be fully human was more than appealing to him and to other prominent Black leaders in the U.S.; it was the realization of a dream.


However, as the era of the second World War passed and the Civil Rights Movement began to take shape, DuBois became one of the most prominent voices to sing an altogether new song on the so-called racial utopia. As the world entered the 1940s and the U.S. entered World War II, the Jim Crow laws which characterized the 1930s were slowly being repealed and the racial climate of the northern America began to shift once again. This, coupled with more opportunities for travel and research to Brazil led many to champion previous assertions of the nation’s lack of a race issue. For DuBois in particular, his previous beliefs about Brazil– and specifically the mixing of races that he saw as proof positive of racial harmony– would give way to the irrefutable facts of Black Brazilians’ position at the bottom of the nation’s social and economic hierarchies. That Brazil’s poor population was mostly Black and its slums, or favelas, were primarily occupied by the same people struck few as merely coincidence. Moreover, the racial amalgamation he once believed was a possible solution to the issue of race became the focus of what DuBois viewed was an attempt to erase Brazil’s African ancestry, to “whitewash” its history. Though the racial surfaces of the United States and Brazil were, at a glance, noticeably different, DuBois and the U.S. Black intelligentsia would solemnly note that the deeper issues of prejudice and discrimination were the two countries’ tragic commonalities.

(W.E.B. Dubois)

* Jehan Roberson is a writer who recently received her MA in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University. She is interested in Black literature and art of the hemisphere and is currently at work on her first novel.



LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS Celebrates 25th Year Anniversary



(From L to R:   Sandra Bonito, Administrator; Jocelyn Robinson, Vice President, Community Engagement- Colorado; Ericka Iniguez, Senior Programs & Outreach Manager with The LAGRANT Foundation; Mr. Kim L. Hunter, President & CEO; Krusty the Clown; Jade Stevens, Special Projects Manager; Keisha Brown, Senior Vice President; and Nelly Alonso, Programs & Communications Associate with The LAGRANT Foundation) 



Multicultural Communications Agency Celebrates Major Milestone With a Series of Cultural and Educational Events Throughout the Year


Los Angeles, September 15, 2015--LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS (LC), a multicultural integrated marketing communications firm, celebrated 25 years in business on September 1, 2015 with a fun trip to Universal Studios. Since its opening in 1990, LC’s expertise and services have supported clients in developing culturally relevant and sensitive advertising, marketing and public relations campaigns that target the African American, Hispanic and LGBT Consumer Markets.  


LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS was founded by President and CEO Mr. Kim L. Hunter. With more than three decades of experience in communications, Hunter realized there was a need to develop strategies and campaigns targeting multicultural markets. Hunter is also the Chairman and CEO of The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF), a nonprofit that provides scholarships, internships/entry-level jobs, career and professional development workshops, and mentors to African American/Black, Alaska Native/Native American, Asian American/ Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino undergraduate and graduate students; and Managing Partner of KLH & Associates, a multicultural executive search firm.


“There are many factors that can attest to the firm’s sustainability, however the overarching theme is the unwavering commitment to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations,” said Hunter. “For the past 25 years, staying client focused has been the underlying thread that positively affects our clients and agency.”



The firm has had the pleasure of representing a variety of clients including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and non-profit. Establishing itself as a pioneer in multicultural marketing, LC has received numerous awards from organizations including PRWeek, SABRE Awards, Hermes Creative Awards, among others.


Since inception, LC has expanded from its foundation of developing award winning campaigns to raise awareness on social marketing and healthcare issues, such as HIV/AIDS, infant mortality, tobacco control and teen pregnancy, to include an overall six industries of focus: healthcare, social marketing, utilities, financial services, automotive and travel and tourism industries.  The Hispanic Practice also now targets the Brazilian Consumer Market and provides in-language Portuguese services. This led to the launch of, a website owned by the firm devoted to educating African Americans on the diversity of the Afro-Brazilian culture.

The firm also recently introduced POLISH (Political, Opportunity, Leverage, Integrity, Strategy and Honest), the firm’s public affairs division that promotes and supports women seeking elected office at the local, regional and national levels, with a strong emphasis on women of color. Through POLISH, the firm has coordinated Senator Holly J. Mitchell’s community swearing in ceremony and fifth annual Christmas in July program along with providing support for California State Controller Betty Yee, 26th State Senatorial candidate Betsy Butler and Carolyn Ramsay, candidate for Los Angeles City Council for District 4.

“LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS has been a key part of my communications efforts over the past 15 years," said Roger Frizzell, senior vice president and chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. "We are fortunate to have such great partners for our business.”


To celebrate LC’s milestone, the firm will host a series of cultural and educational events, both internally and externally, with past, current and potential clients and employees. The first event took place on September 1st, where staff visited Universal Studios Hollywood. Other activities include, but are not limited to, the LC team going on California Resources Corporation’s refinery tour, creating masterpieces at a private Paint Nite, touring USC Pacific Asia Museum and Japanese American National Museum, cruising the Pacific shoreline with Carnival Cruise Line,  attending The Pasadena Playhouse’s ‘Casa Valentina’ and ‘Real Women Have Curves’  productions. For the holidays, the firm will host its annual holiday celebration at entertainment complex L.A. Live, to include a reception and activities. Be sure to follow LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS’ Facebook and Twitter page for the firm’s latest news and upcoming events.


New Travel Organization Will Build on Buy Black Movement

Los Angeles, September 4, 2015 – The fast growing “Buy Black” movement that is emerging out of the efforts of several influential African American leaders to generate sustained economic development in the Black community has given birth to The Black Traveler, LLC, a new travel platform designed to organize and develop the Black tourism industry in the U.S., Canada and around the globe.

Spearheaded by Solomon and Gloria Herbert, long-time owners of Los Angeles-based Black Meetings & Tourism and other travel industry veterans, The Black Traveler, LLC will create a multi-sided travel platform for Black travelers, travel agents and travel and hospitality vendors.   A new website, will be launched in early September – and have its debut at the Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington.

“We are going to put the lessons we’ve learned from other sharing-economy businesses such as Uber and AirBnB to use within the Black community. will facilitate direct contact between Black travelers who want to enjoy travel that is specific to their own unique needs with Black-owned travel businesses who have a far greater sensitivity to those needs”, says Mr. Herbert.  “Travel is not a one-size-fits-all business, so our new platform will enable Black travelers to book directly or to request the assistance of a Black travel agent for more complicated travel,” according to his wife and partner of 30 years, Gloria Herbert.

Ernest J. Wilson, III Joins Cal Wellness' Board of Directors

Ernest J. Wilson, III Joins Cal Wellness' Board of Directors

Wilson is a Seasoned Leader in Education, Communications and Public Policy


The California Wellness Foundation’s (Cal Wellness) Board of Directors elected a new member, Ernest J. Wilson III, who is Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, a professor of political science and a faculty fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. His service is effective immediately.


“We are excited to welcome Dr. Wilson to the Board and believe he will bring new expertise to the Foundation,” said Elizabeth M. Gomez, Cal Wellness’ Board chair. “He has a fresh perspective from his work related to academia, communications and political science. We are all looking forward to working with him as Cal Wellness implements its Advancing Wellness grants program."  


Wilson is the Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication at USC’s Annenberg School, a renowned higher education institution that offers multidisciplinary approaches to the study of communication and journalism. He also heads USC Annenberg’s Third Space, an initiative that helps create a talent pool of next-generation leaders who will shape the future of media, communications, entertainment and business.


He holds a doctorate in political science and has served as director of international programs and resources on the National Security Council at the White House; director of the Policy and Planning Unit for the U.S. Information Agency; deputy director of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission; an advisor for President Barack Obama’s transition team; and a board member and board chair of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


(Program participants during 3D printing demonstration)

Program Launches: More than 50 African American Middle School Boys Spend Summer on Campus Learning Coding and 3D Design in Pioneering Tech Mentorship Program


Verizon and Morgan State University gather STEM educators, Civil Rights leaders, elected officials, corporate leaders, community advocates, college students and parents for an interactive discussion on “Creating opportunities for minority boys to thrive in the classroom and beyond”


BALTIMORE – For the first time in Baltimore, Verizon and Morgan State University gathered to give an inside look at Minority Male Makers, a new program that equips young African American middle school males with technology and entrepreneurial skills. At the official launch event, community leaders, civil rights organizations, educators, students, advocates and journalists came together for an interactive discussion addressing the underrepresentation of minority men in STEM fields, and steps that can be taken to close the gaps. Following the discussion, attendees were able to see the students in action with a live technology demonstration.




(Student in Action)

Much attention has been given to the importance of engaging girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), but very few are talking about the promise technology skills hold for young, African American boys. Now, the new first-of-its-kind program, Minority Male Makers is using hands-on technology skills to give minority men greater opportunities; delivering the promise of a brighter future, in school and careers; it’s starting as early as middle school.




(Tony Lewis, Vice President of State Government Affairs, Verizon) 



The Minority Male Makers Program, developed by Verizon, is a two-year program that seeks to prepare more than 700 minority middle school boys across the country with high-level skills – from 3D design to app development.

Morgan State University is one of four leading Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the nation that is directing this pioneering program, instructing the students daily during intensive, all-day technology classes on campus this summer. The students will also be paired with minority college men as mentors, in collaboration with the National CARES Mentoring Movement.




(Rose Kirk, Verizon Foundation President and Dr. David Wilson, Morgan State University President)

For more information about Verizon’s philanthropic work, visit; or for regular updates, visit the Foundation on Facebook ( and Twitter (

For more information on Morgan State University and its programs, visit




On June 27, Verizon completed another leg of it’s Now Playing Tour, a mini-music festival, at Verizon Wireless Store- Inglewood in Los Angeles hosted by Terrence J. Guests were invited to enjoy a free concert by Wale and DeJ Loaf for an unforgettable music moment, all to create excitement for the upcoming ESSENCE Music Festival, a Verizon partner.


On-site activations had something for everyone, including video and photo booths, product demo stations, celebrity meet-and-greets, photo opportunities, device giveaways and a chance to win tickets to the ESSENCE Music Festival.  Los Angeles was The Now Playing Tour’s final stop before the ESSENCE Festival.

Concert-goers were also encouraged to take action against domestic violence by donating old phones and accessories on-site to HopeLine® from Verizon.  HopeLine is a program that supports domestic violence organizations across the country and has set a goal to reach 1 million phone donations by the end of the year.

For more information about Verizon's Now Playing Tour or to find events near you, visit and don’t forget to post on social media with #VerizonLive.

Carnival Corporation Granted U.S. Approval for Travel to Cuba

World’s largest travel and leisure company granted U.S. licenses to operate direct U.S.-to-Cuba travel for the purpose of providing cultural exchange


Company intends for fathom, its new purpose-travel brand, to begin full-week sailings to Cuba, beginning in May 2016, in addition to fathom’s full-week sailings to the Dominican Republic


MIAMI, July 7, 2015 — Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world's largest travel and leisure company, today announced that the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Commerce granted approval for the company to begin travel to Cuba. Carnival Corporation intends to take travelers to Cuba beginning in May 2016 via its newly launched fathom brand – a new social impact travel brand providing purpose-oriented, social impact experiences, initially in the Dominican Republic.


Carnival Corporation intends to operate fathom travel itineraries directly to Cuba for the purpose of providing cultural, artistic, faith-based and humanitarian exchanges between American and Cuban citizens. Authorized under current U.S.-to-Cuba travel guidelines, the new Cuban itineraries on fathom will strictly comply with U.S. Department of Treasury rules that allow licensed travel companies to transport approved travelers to Cuba to engage in activities that support the Cuban people. Carnival Corporation is in active discussions and plans to work with the appropriate authorities in Cuba so that Cuban approval is granted.


Beginning in April 2016, fathom will embark on weekly seven-day voyages from Port Miami aboard the MV Adonia, a 710-passenger vessel redeployed from Carnival Corporation’s P&O Cruises (UK) brand. fathom’s first impact destination will be the northern region of the Dominican Republic, where Carnival Corporation’s new port of call, Amber Cove, will serve as home base.


Following the inaugural April month of voyages to the Dominican Republic, fathom intends to offer both Dominican and Cuban itineraries on a systematic and regular basis, giving travelers the opportunity to choose from two destinations and a range of activities from social impact in the Dominican Republic and educational and cultural exchanges in both countries designed to have a positive, transformative effect on the lives of the travelers.


“We are excited about receiving U.S. approval as the very important first step to ultimately take travelers to Cuba under the existing 12 criteria for authorized travel. We look forward to working with the Cuban authorities for their approval to help make the social, cultural and humanitarian exchanges between U.S. citizens and the people of Cuba a reality,” said Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation. 


Tara Russell, president of fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corporation, added: “We’re incredibly excited and humbled by this potential opportunity to help travelers experience the amazing beauty and culture of Cuba, while being able to provide educational and cultural exchange activities that will benefit both the traveler and the Cuban people."


Led by Russell’s strong background in social entrepreneurship, fathom seeks to develop lasting social impact partnerships that allow for meaningful personal enrichment of the traveler, while providing systematic, long-term educational, environmental and economic development benefits in its partner countries.


Additional information can be found on,,,,,,,, and

Some Facts About Blacks in Cuba

  • During the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Cuba received twice as many African slaves than America, which led to the population of Afro-Cubans.  Blacks in Cuba have also migrated from other islands such as Haiti and Jamaica.
  • Slavery was fully abolished in Cuba on October 7, 1886.
  • Havana, the capital of Cuba, has the largest population of Blacks in Cuba.
  • One of Cubans most important legacies lies within the Santería religion, also known as Lukumí by most Cubans. The Santería religion was developed as a result of the African Diaspora.
  •  Music in Cuban was largely influenced by West African music.



  •  Popular Festivals in Havana, Cuba


Havana Jazz festival

Havana Carnival

  • The most popular Cuban artist is Afro-Cuban painter/sculpturer Manuel Mendive.  Mendive began his career in the early 1960s during a period when dominant Cuban Abstract Expressionism was waning.  This paved new ground by moving beyond the reliance on mainstream western art forms such as Cubism and Surrealism. He is also known for his street performances frequently held in Havana, Cuba titled Las Cabezas.  During Las Cabezas, Mendive moves through the streets of Cuba with close to 350 people dancing and wearing masks that resemble his paintings.




Corporate America Sailing For Global Social Impact: Carnival Corporation Launches fathom

On June 4, Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest travel and leisure company, launched a new brand called fathom™.  Focused on offering consumers a meaningful travel experience, fathom™ is defining a new travel category called “social impact travel”, which offers consumers with ways to connect and work alongside the communities they visit.

The company’s first destination will be the Dominican Republic, a country known for its spectacular beauty and with great needs for sustainable development.

Beginning in April 2016, fathom will embark on seven-day voyages from PortMiami aboard the MV Adonia, a 710-passenger vessel redeployed from Carnival Corporation's P&O Cruises (UK) for the start-up of the new operation. Depending on their passions, interests and skills, travelers will have the opportunity to choose from a range of social impact activities and experiences both onboard and onshore.

“We believe travel is a meaningful way to allow for personal growth while making purposeful and engaging contributions to the world,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “fathom™ will give travelers a unique opportunity to work alongside local people as part of a larger scale effort that will demonstrably improve lives. Both our travelers and the local citizens will learn and benefit from the opportunity to serve together.”

Tara Russell, serving as President of fathom and as Global Impact Lead for Carnival Corporation, assured that “fathom was created to meet the real hunger in the world for purpose, while at the same time tackling profound social issues through a sustainable business model.” She also emphasized that “because fathom will bring hundreds of travelers to a destination on a regular basis, they will know they played an important role in ensuring the region flourishes.”

Most of fathom travelers are expected to be between 20 and 60 years old who are eager to discover their individual gifts, and unleash their personal passions and talents to improve the world. 

The new brand selected the Puerto Plata region of the Dominican Republic as its first impact destination based on a number of factors: genuine needs, infrastructure to support social initiatives, and enthusiasm for the fathom concept by locals at all layers of society. fathom will work closely with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to connect travelers with significant and sustainable activities.

This new initiative will focus on education, environment and economic development:


  • Educational: Work side by side with Dominican school teachers in classrooms to teach English skills and help boost students’ academic performance; and participate in adult-learning programs to teach small groups of community members conversational English to help improve their ability to qualify for jobs that provide higher level of income.

  • Environmental: Provide hands-on support to craft and build water filters—using clay, a natural resource found locally—and deliver those filters to families throughout the community to provide healthy drinking water. With limited piped water supply, this will make a meaningful difference in the quality of people’s lives throughout the region.

  • Economic Development: Help cultivate cacao plants and organic fertilizers at a nursery and assist a local women’s cooperative in producing artisan chocolates. This activity is designed to produce high-quality plants to increase farmers’ yields through sustainable practices and—importantly—create income opportunities for rural women. Over time, this activity will allow the cooperative to increase their workforce so the cooperative can achieve economic independence.


When not participating in social activities, travelers will enjoy exploring the beauty of the region, experiencing the many Dominican beaches and sites of interest, or participating in any one of an array of different recreational activities available to the entire family of Carnival Corporation brands visiting Amber Cove and the Puerto Plata region.

This is a great opportunity for travelers who may have not been on a cruise and for those who have had the experience and wish to give back in a meaningful way.

Travelers may reserve a spot on future fathom sailings by calling any travel agent or visiting or by calling 1-855-9fathom. Prices for the seven-day trip to the Dominican Republic start at $1,540 per person. There will be four pricing levels, based on cabin configuration and location. 

Brazilian Photographer and Artist Paulo P. Lima, Ph.D. and Abstract Artist Angela Ungurean Showcase Their Artwork at the Universal Art Gallery in Venice, CA




The Dreaming in Colors Exhibition Features Photography, Brazilian Baroque

Figurines and Abstract Paintings


LOS ANGELES (April 27, 2015) Universal Art Gallery proudly presents the work of Brazilian artist and photographer Paulo P. Lima, Ph.D. in collaboration with abstract artist Angela Ungurean as it launches the Dreaming in Colors exhibition in Venice, California from May 16 through June 30, 2015. Dr. Lima will be showcasing his photography and latest collection of Brazilian Baroque Figurines, whereas Ms. Ungurean will be featuring her collection of abstract paintings using acrylic.


Dr. Lima’s photography collection features a variety of subjects ranging from images of Baianas, an iconic representation of women who sell acarajé on the streets of Salvador, Bahia to pictures of dressed figurines, animals, people and Afro-Brazilian religious ceremonies in Brazil. For this exhibition, the artist will also showcase his collection of dressed figurines inspired by his Afro-Brazilian heritage. Dressed figurines are vintage replicas of Santos that evoke the Brazilian Baroque art tradition from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.


“It is a pleasure to share a glimpse of Afro-Brazilian culture and traditions with everyone through my artwork,” states Dr. Lima. “I am delighted to display my photography and figurines at this exhibition hosted by the Universal Art Gallery.”


Dr. Lima’s work can also be seen at the exhibition AfroBrazil: Art and Identities, currently displayed at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This exhibition focuses on Brazil’s complex heritage and contributions to the world. In addition, Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Calif ) has been showcasing Dr. Lima’s collection of photos at her offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. since October 2013. Dr. Lima holds a doctoral degree in Theatre and Performance Studies from UCLA. For more information on Dr. Lima’s work, please visit his website at or He can also be reached via phone: 310.500.9184 or email at


Abstract Artist Angela Ungurean will also be showcasing her collection of paintings in Dreaming In Colors. She is passionate about utilizing color for her art, which she believes greatly inspires and drives her creativity. “Color is in my DNA,” said Angela. Using every day objects such as sponges, rubber balls, and water spray bottles to accomplish special effects in her paintings, Ms. Ungurean’s artwork is created without the use of brushes. Her favorite medium is acrylic, which she enjoys for its quick drying time.


Ms. Ungurean attended Otis College of Art and Design Continuing Education Program and she continues to develop her work on a daily basis. Angela teaches a seminar utilizing art as a vehicle to help participants access their creative side. Targeting corporate settings, Ms. Ungurean strives to use art as a way to build self-esteem and create change. A prolific artist, Ms. Ungurean can be reached via email at or phone at 310.804.2347.

About Universal Art Gallery


Founded in 1993 by Lucas da Silva and Marcia de Paula, Universal Art Gallery was located on Ocean Side Walk in Venice, California. As the business developed, the store moved to the current location on Lincoln Boulevard in Los Angeles’ West Side. With projects ranging from wholesale to retail art services, mirrors, lacquers and posters, Universal Art Gallery was voted “Best Framer in Los Angeles” by the Los Angeles Magazine in 2001. The gallery retains a small family-run business approach and a stellar reputation for delivering quality timely services at highly competitive prices. Lucas and Marcia take great pride in their flexible and friendly approach toward client needs. For more information on Universal Art Gallery, visit

CASA SAMBA: Home To Afro-Brazilian Traditions in New Orleans

Photo by CASA SAMBA 

New Orleans, with its vibrant culture and passion for music, is home of a cultural center space dedicated to combining traditional music, vocals, theater, dance and drumming to capture the spirit of Carnival in Brazil, Afro-Brazilian traditions and history. C.A.S.A. SAMBA (Cosmopolitan Amigo Samba Association) was founded in 1987 by Curtis Pierre, Bill Lennon, Chuck and Carolyn Barber. Casa Samba's vision is to train children and adults in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf South into aspiring practitioners of Brazilian traditional music, dance and cultural arts.

In a 1993 Proclamation, Mayor Sidney Barthelemy recognized Casa Samba as the first Samba School based in New Orleans. Mr. Curtis Pierre, Casa Samba’s Director, specializes in Brazilian percussion and capoeira. He is well known as one of the three best Malabaristas (pandeiro jugglers) in the U.S.

Curtis Pierre first learned about Brazilian percussion in the early 1980s and developed a long association and friendship with percussionists such as Bill Summers, Munyungo Jackson, Ron Powell and renowned Brazilian drummer/ percussionist Airto Moreira. Airto has always been the "SPARK" that inspired Mr. Pierre and heightened his percussion career in Brazilian folk music. In the past twenty-five years he has studied and played with various Samba groups, African dance companies, percussion ensembles, reggae and pop music groups. He has also appeared in video and movie spots and performed solo.

In the past twenty years Mr. Pierre has studied Samba School percussion at several Escolas de Samba in Rio De Janeiro, including Portela, Vila Isabel, Estação Primeira de Mangueira, Salgueiro, Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel, Viradouro, and ILE AIYE (1988), the first established afro-bloco Samba group in Bahia.

Mr. Pierre studied and trained Capoeira Angola, an Afro-Brazilian martial art form, with Mestres João Pequeno, João Grande, Jurandir, Jogo de Dentro,  Morias,  Angolinha, Bira, and Contra-Mestre Valmir. He is currently studying with Mestre Cobrinha Mansa from Bahia, who has played a superior role in the development of Capoeira Angola in the United States. 

Famous for his “malabarismo” (pandeiro juggling), Mr. Pierre studied the technique with Ron Powell and Mestre de Malabarismo (pandeiro juggler) Edgar Aguiar of OBA OBA, from Rio de Janeiro.  He has also studied with Carlinhos “Pandeiro De Ouro.”

Often studying and learning new techniques for his performances, Curtis Pierre has dedicated some time to collaborate and study with Master Drummer Jorge Alabe, (Bateria director for OBA OBA).  Jorge Alabe grew up immersed in Candomblé and in the rich Brazilian musical culture. He is an "alabê" at one of the oldest Candomblé religious houses in Brazil - Casa Branca. The title of "alabê" means that he has obtained the highest level in drumming and master of ceremony in the Candomblé religion. This name is rarely bestowed on drummers unless they have been initiated, mastered and have years of experience in Candomblé rituals. 

To learn more about CASA Samba and his director, Mr. Curtis Pierre, please visit the website: or

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Brings Satchmo at the Waldorf to Los Angeles



‘Satchmo’ arrives in Los Angeles following sold out engagements at the Long Wharf Theatre, Shakespeare & Company and Off Broadway in New York


LOS ANGELES (April 21, 2015) Described as “an absorbing and uplifting new play,” Terry Teachout’s Satchmo at The Waldorf makes its debut in Los Angeles this May at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Running from Tuesday, May 26 through Sunday, June 7 for a limited 15-performance engagement at the Lovelace Theater, Satchmo portrays the racial struggles and musical triumphs of the man who invented jazz, Louis Armstrong. Press opening is scheduled for May 27.


Starring Obie-winner John Douglas Thompson as Armstrong, Miles Davis and Joe Glaser, this exhilarating one-man show looks to give its audience an insight into the realities that Armstrong faced as he lived through a changing society in the late 60s.


“He was the joyous entertainer who sang ‘Hello, Dolly!’ and ‘What a Wonderful World’ and made millions of people feel warm inside,” said Teachout. “But Satchmo at the Waldorf is also about the private Armstrong. The fact that Satchmo (as he loved to call himself) had two sides to his personality doesn’t mean that the public man was somehow less real than the private one. Like all geniuses, Armstrong was complicated, and that complexity was part of what made his music so beautiful and profound.”


Set backstage during one of Armstrong’s last performances before his death in 1971, the play centers around the complex relationship Armstrong had with his manager of more than thirty-five years, Joe Glaser. As he wanders off with a recorder on hand, Armstrong reflects on his life’s journey recounting everything from his rough childhood to the moment his fame skyrocketed.


Known for having changed the sound of jazz, Armstrong created the jazz language that is known and recognized today. He was one of the most influential and important jazz artists of his time and many critics have gone as far as to claim that his 1920s recordings with the Hot Fives and Sevens were the single most important recordings in jazz history.


Teachout was inspired to write the play, his first, after completing Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, a biography on the life of the great Satchmo. There were aspects of the musician’s life that evoked more questions for him, particularly his career-long dealings with his mob-connected manager Joe Glaser. Unsure how Armstrong really felt about the man who steered his career, Teachout felt there was a dramatic truth to be explored that was absent from the unembellished biographical record.


Directed by Gordon Edelstein, Satchmo at The Waldorf played several sold out engagements at the Long Wharf Theatre, Shakespeare & Company and Off Broadway in New York. Both cast and designers received a number of riveting reviews from several publications for their work. The New Yorker, for example, described the show as “an altogether riveting performance.”


In 2013, Thompson won the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle “Outstanding Solo Performance” awards for Satchmo at the Waldorf and was described by The New York Times as one of the most compelling classical stage actors of his generation.


For additional information or to purchase tickets, please visit The Wallis at For box office information, please call 310.746.4000 or visit The Wallis Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.


Calendar Listing for Satchmo at the Waldorf




Lovelace Theater

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210


Performance Schedule:

Tuesday, May 26 through Sunday, June 7, 2015

Tuesday – Friday at 8:30 PM; Saturdays at 3:30 PM, 8:30 PM; Sundays at 2:30 PM, 7:30 PM.  Running time is 90 minutes with no intermission.



This production contains strong, adult language. Suggested for mature high school students and up.



Price: $50 - $60

In Person – Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services

9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

By Phone – 310-746-4000 

Online –



About the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (aka “The Wallis”) brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music, performed by many of the world’s most talented and sought-after artists. With eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles, and its notability as the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis offers original and revered works from across the U.S. and around the globe. This fall marks The Wallis’ second season, which also includes its prestigious “Arts & Ideas” series, conversations with guests from the realms of culture, literature and politics. Housed in a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot venue designed by Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA of Studio Pali Fekete architects, The Wallis celebrates the classic and the modern. This is reflected in the juxtaposition of the restored, original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places) that serves as the theater’s dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and houses the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, as well as a theater school for young people, and the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together, these two structures embrace the city’s history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for LA-area visitors and residents alike. 

The Music Center Presents Alvin Ailey in Los Angeles

The Music Center is Los Angeles is proud to present one of the newest choreographies by Matthew Rushing, Odetta. The American group Alvin Ailey will be presenting several choreographies in Los Angeles this weekend and they are all worth watching. One of the pieces that most attracted me was ODETTA. The music, dance, costumes, lights, all came together to provide the audience with a strong connection to the lovely songs of American musician Odetta Holmes. 

Check out some excerpts of the show by clicking in the link below:

Excerpts from the ballet ODETTA by Matthew Rushing. This world premiere is a tribute to Odetta -- one of the most influential singers of the 20th century -- and marries soul-stirring movement to songs by "the queen of American folk music." More information:

Carlinhos Brown: Brazilian Musician and Philanthropist

"Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown (Antônio Carlos Santos de Freitas) was born in Candeal Pequeno, Salvador, Bahia in 1962. 

Talented percussionist Carlinhos Brown found his way as a composer and vocalist, displaying all his musical virtues in several albums which were released after 1996's Alfagamabetizado. He has had over 200 of his songs recorded by many interpreters like Marisa Monte ("Segue o Seco," "Maria de Verdade," "Arrepio," "Magamalabares"), Gal Costa, Daniela Mercury ("Rapunzel," "Rimas Irmãs"), Cássia Eller, Daúde ("Lavanda"), and Sepultura. More than 30 of them reached the Brazilian top parade. Sérgio Mendes's Brasileiro, which had five songs by Brown, was awarded with a Grammy. Brown also recorded with Herbie Hancock.

Carlinhos Brown's first and most important percussion mentor was Mestre Pintado do Bongô (Osvaldo Alves da Silva), with whom he learned to highly regard the rich tradition of Brazilian folklore (especially that of Bahia). In 1980, Brown, already one of the most-reputed percussionists in Bahia, worked in a small recording company in Salvador, where he polished his recording and production skills doing jingles. At the same time, he turned his perception towards a synthesis of Brazilian rhythms with international pop music, being among the first waves of world music. His first composition to hit the radios was "Visão Do Ciclope," recorded by Luís Caldas in 1984. In the next year, he was invited by Caetano Veloso to join his band. Veloso recorded Brown's "Meia Lua Inteira" (Estrangeiro, 1989), which was later included in the soundtrack of the soap opera Tieta. In that period, Brown also worked with Gilberto Gil and Gal Costa and participated in world tours by names like João Gilberto, Djavan, and João Bosco. In the '90s, he formed the Timbalada, a drum band with more than 120 instrumentalists and singers which recorded several albums and developed its own successful trajectory, which began in the Carnival of Bahia. The Timbalada was Brown's first project that he dedicated to promoting social actions directed to young poor boys and girls from Salvador; among its goals, the project aimed to provide education for street children."


Sergio Mendes: Decades of Love for Brazilian Music in the U.S.

"Producer, composer, keyboardist and vocalist, Sergio Mendes’ influence on the music industry has spanned five decades and continues to evolve through new collaborations and mediums. One of the most internationally successful Brazilian artists of all time, Mendes has recorded more than 35 albums, many of which went gold or platinum, and he’s a three-time Grammy® Award winner. 

In 2012, in collaboration with Carlinhos Brown, Mendes received his first Oscar® nomination in the music category for “Real In Rio” from the animated, 3-D feature film “Rio.” In addition to being the executive music producer for the blockbuster film, he also contributed five songs to the movie. The soundtrack, Rio: Music from the Motion Picture, featured re-recorded versions of his hits “Mas Que Nada” and “Valsa Carioca.” Mendes, once again, was responsible for bringing the distinctive rhythms of Brazil to a global audience. Sergio Mendes also provided the music for the upcoming animated feature sequel Rio 2. The movie will feature new Brazilian artists. The film is directed by Carlos Saldanha who directed the original 2011 film. 

Mendes started his career with 1961’s Dance Moderno and the groups Bossa Rio and the Sergio Mendes Trio. From the mid-1960s to the late ’70s, Mendes established his legendary status by taking numerous albums and singles to the top of the charts. But it was Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 which sparked global stardom. Performing “The Look of Love” at the 1968 Oscars, their version went top 10, quickly followed by the hits “The Fool on the Hill” and “Scarborough Fair.”

 Enjoying immense popularity, Mendes added soul and funk to his jazz and pop, but always with a Brazilian rhythm. His earlier single, “Mas Que Nada,” marked the first time that a song sung entirely in Portuguese hit Billboard’s Pop chart in the U.S. Mendes’ signature mix of bossa nova/samba and his distinctive pop instrumentation features melodies with distinct sophistication and alluring sexiness that ultimately came to define Brazilian music for many music enthusiasts around the world. In the ’80s, he scored with the No. 1 Adult Contemporary and pop top-10 hit “Never Gonna Let You Go.” And in 1992 Mendes was awarded his first Grammy® in the category of Best World Music for his album Brasileiro. Since then, Mendes has gone on to be honored with two Latin Grammy® awards for Best Brazilian Record, Timeless (2006) and Bom Tempo (2010), which was also nominated for a 2010 Grammy® award. 

Mendes’ innovation and versatility has enabled him to collaborate with a wide a range of artists. In 2006, his Timeless CD was a collaboration with contemporary pop, rock, urban and hip-hop artists, including Justin Timberlake, John Legend, and Black Eyed Peas—with a re-recording of his early gem “Mas Que Nada” alongside Gracinha Leporace, Mendes’ wife. 2008’s Encanto featured neo-soulster Ledisi and Spanish-language favorite Juanes.

Mendes’ iconic album: HERB ALPERT PRESENTS SERGIO MENDES & BRASIL ’66 was also inducted into the Grammy® Hall of Fame, joining Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The U.S.A., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech, the Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main St., and others in the 2012 class of historically significant recordings. Currently, Mendes continues to tour worldwide as well as composing and producing for his album projects. Mendes and his cool factor continue to be ever present. 

2014 sees the release of his latest album MAGIC, a collection of new songs, recorded with a host of friends and special guests including John Legend, Will.I.Am, Carlinhos Brown and more. Magic also features the 2014 World Cup hit single One Nation."

Verizon Ignites Innovation with Kickoff of 2015 Powerful Answers Award


Third annual award challenge opens for submissions today, and will award $6M to powerful technology solutions in Transportation, Emergency Response, and Internet of Things


BASKING RIDGE, N.J., April 7, 2015 – Expanding its ongoing commitment to innovation and social responsibility, Verizon said today it is now accepting ideas for its 2015 Powerful Answers Award program. 


Now in its third year, Verizon’s Powerful Answers Award offers innovators, developers and entrepreneurs a total of  $6M in cash prizes, plus the opportunity for winners to participate in an Accelerator program designed to help develop their ideas and bring solutions to market faster.   


The Verizon Powerful Answers Award program seeks ideas that leverage cutting-edge technology to create solutions that deliver social good.   The 2015 program is seeking ideas in three core categories, each with three subcategories:


·       Transportation: How can technology enable better, more efficient ways to reduce the complexities of transportation and distribution in the physical world?

o   Smarter Driving

o   Public Transport & Sharing

o   Logistics and Distribution

·       Emergency Response: How can technology enable first responders and emergency crews to locate and save lives faster; what solutions can improve long-term recovery for survivors?

o   First Responders

o   Search and Rescue

o   Long Term Relief

·       Internet of Things:  How can using technology behind the Internet of Things (IoT) enable new intelligent actions that will have wide-scale and beneficial impacts in the following areas?

o   Connected Health

o   Smart Cities

o   Smart Agriculture


Ideas can be submitted beginning today through June 18, 2015, at Submissions will be judged by panels of industry experts, and winners will be announced in late 2015.


Verizon will award cash prizes of $1 million to the top winner in each of the three core categories.  The second prize winner in each category will receive $500,000 and two third-prize winners in each category will receive $250,000, for a total of $6 million.  


“Verizon is committed to supporting innovation at all levels, from early stage startups to more developed companies through a variety of initiatives including the Powerful Answers Award, Verizon Ventures’ portfolio and investments, and through the Accelerator program for Powerful Answers Award winners,” said John Doherty, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Verizon Ventures.  “We’ve seen previous winners enjoy great success, and look forward to the new ideas and solutions this year’s program generates.”




New Accelerator Program for Powerful Answers Award Winners Helps Get Solutions to Market Faster


The Verizon Powerful Answers Award Accelerator program at BootUp Academy, designed to strategically accelerate the growth of participating Powerful Answers Award winners, was recently launched for the 2014 winners.


The Accelerator provides 2014 winners with customized programs built to accelerate growth and drive go-to-market strategies. Based at BootUp Academy in the heart of Silicon Valley, participants embark on intensive workshops and knowledge exchange sessions that provide “best practices”  in business planning, product development, UX/UI design, global go-to-market strategies, communications, financing and growth hacking.  The 2014 winners in the program also have the opportunity to be connected with Verizon Subject Matter Expert Mentors, global advisors, investors, thought leaders and industry experts who can support the acceleration of their powerful answers into sustainable, meaningful companies. 


To learn more about the Verizon Powerful Answers Award program or to submit your idea, please visit: Follow the journey with these innovators on Twitter at #VZPAA.


About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 106 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries. A Dow 30 company with more than $120 billion in 2013 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 178,500. For more information, visit

Carnival Corporation Names Julia M. Brown to newly formed position of Chief Procurement Officer

Carnival Corporation Names Julia M. Brown to newly formed position of Chief Procurement Officer

Brown brings 25 years of leadership and global procurement experience to new role designed to strengthen strategic partnerships with company’s network of suppliers around the world

Los Angeles (March 27, 2015) -- Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world's largest travel and leisure company, today named Julia M. Brown to the newly created role of Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) overseeing strategic sourcing and supplier relationship management.

As part of this new role, Brown will work closely with the company’s nine brands and their support groups  to strategically procure goods and services to further strengthen the company’s supplier relationships and leverage its global scale.

"We are excited to have Julia join us as part of our global management team and take on this new role that will be critical in helping us further leverage our scale, accelerating our drive to double-digit returns on invested capital," said Arnold Donald, president & CEO for Carnival Corporation & plc. "I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Julia through our mutual association with the Executive Leadership Council, and she not only has an exceptional track record of leading procurement at companies with massive global operations, but also has a highly strategic and collaborative approach that will help us partner more closely with our suppliers to exceed guest expectations and drive value for the business.”

Carnival Corporation’s Chief Operations Officer Alan Buckelew added, “As we have become increasingly global, the role of coordinating our procurement and supply chains has become more and more complex. At the same time, our global sourcing function creates opportunities for us to improve guest experiences onboard our ships and collaborate across our brands to operate more efficiently. Julia brings a depth of leadership and experience that will help us capitalize on those opportunities, as we build on the success our teams have already achieved.”

Brown will report to Josh Leibowitz, chief strategy officer for Carnival Corporation, and will be based at the company’s headquarters in Miami.

"Julia is a highly respected individual with a collaborative and engaging style that has earned her a strong reputation for being able to build and inspire global teams. She will be an incredible addition to our global leadership team, and we’re excited to see her positive impacts on our organization," said Leibowitz. “Our brands are increasingly working together to deepen relationships with our suppliers, so I look forward to working closely with Julia and our brand leaders to amplify those efforts, drive strategic sourcing partnerships and support our strategy to leverage our scale and exceed guest expectations."

Brown most recently served as CPO on the global management team at Mondelēz International, which split from Kraft Foods in 2012. Prior to the split, Brown served as CPO and SVP of global procurement at Kraft Foods, responsible for the company’s $30 billion strategic sourcing function. Prior to Kraft, she served as CPO and VP of corporate procurement and contract manufacturing at Clorox. Brown began her career at Procter & Gamble and also served in strategic roles at Diageo and Gillette. 

Brown is on the board for the Executive Leadership Foundation and also serves as a trustee for the African American Experience Fund, which is part of The National Park Service. She also serves as a board member for the Primo Center in Chicago.

Brown has been named as one of the top 100 most “Influential Blacks in Corporate America” by Savoy Magazine, the top 100 Women to Watch by Today’s Chicago Woman and listed in Black Enterprise’s Top 75 Most Powerful Women in Business. She received a Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada.

About Carnival Corporation
Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise company in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK).

Together, these brands operate 101 ships totaling 216,000 lower berths with nine new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2015 and 2018. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices. Additional information can be found on, 


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Designed to Dispel Common Misconceptions

#FlashTag #CAAMinLA


LOS ANGELES (March 27, 2015) The California African American Museum (CAAM) presents FlashTag, a creative engagement project and exhibition designed to give visitors the opportunity to experience the creative process of “graffiti” artists, and to breakdown the misperceptions about street artists and the aerosol culture. FlashTag features four art crews who will “tag” a gallery at CAAM from March 26 through March 29, during museum hours for public viewing. Their completed artworks will be on view at CAAM from March 29 through August 2, 2015. On Saturday, March 28 from noon until 3 p.m., DJ A Ski will provide music while the artists work.  


To avoid problems such as over-spray and poor air quality the artists were quick to adjust and made the decision to flaunt their artistic abilities with brushes.  A minimum of 15 artists will participate in this live and creative endeavor.


“This was not about curating a typical art exhibition, it was about collaborating, engaging others and providing unique experiences.  FlashTag gave me the opportunity to collaborate with some amazing, creative minds who will give the public a chance to experience this form of art from a different perspective,” says CAAM’s Visual Arts Curator Vida L. Brown.  “More importantly, I wanted to give the artists and the public the opportunity to share a visual and verbal dialogue, which I hope will help dispel the common misconceptions about graffiti art being gang related.”



Crew leader of Rockin’ the Nation, Cre8, who considers himself a street writer will fill CAAM’s walls with epic lettering.  Cre8 spends most of his days working on various projects and teaching young street artists how to take their art forms and make something positive such as a commissioned street art design or mural. Cre8’s work can be found on the walls of Venice Beach or in the McDonald’s “Spread Lovin’” commercial that aired during African American Heritage Month 2015.


Crew leader Rufus, has entitled his team’s project for CAAM, Broken Wings.  The mural will feature fallen rappers including 2Pac, from whom the title was inspired by.


Additionally, multi-disciplinary aerosol expressionist Sano will take part in the exhibition.  Sano is responsible for creating plutonium paint, described as an ultra supreme professional grade of aerosol spray paint. Prolific in Los Angeles, Sano worked on MOCA’s Art in the Streets exhibition in 2011, and was part of the 2014 SCRATCH exhibition curated by Getty at the El Segundo Museum of Art.


Exhibitions and events at CAAM are free and open to the public. Parking is $10 in the lot adjacent to CAAM, at 39th and Figueroa Streets.  CAAM is located at 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, 90037. For more information on CAAM visit Related Hashtags -  #FlashTag #CAAMinLA #Aerosol #AeroSoul Follow CAAM on Instagram @CAAMinLosAngeles and on Twitter/Facebook @CAAMinLA.



Exhibitions in the CAAM Galleries


CAAM Courtyard Series: From Women’s Hands ongoing through May 3, 2015


Light Catchers opens March 20 – June 7, 2015


Lookin’ Back in Front of Me: Selected Works of Mark Steven Greenfield, 1974-2014 ongoing through July 5, 2015


The African American Journey West – Permanent Collection, ongoing




The California African American Museum (CAAM) is a state agency charged with researching, collecting, preserving and interpreting for public enrichment the history, art and culture of African Americans. Collaboratively operating in partnership with its 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum, CAAM houses a permanent collection of over 4,000 objects of art, artifacts and historical documents, and a publicly accessible Research Library containing more than 20,000 volumes.

Book Illustrates the Life of Babalorixa Balbino Daniel de Paula

This book highlights the life of babalorixá (high priest) Balbino Daniel de Paula, from Salvador, Bahia.  In his youth and adulthood, there have been so many important episodes, difficulties, revelations and significant figures that it would take several books to cover every detail of his life’s trajectory. Even so, a group of writers and photographers has taken up the challenge of telling his story in a single volume. This task was even more complex because to speak of Balbino’s life also means talking about the worship of eguns on Itaparica Island, about the Daniel de Paula family, about faith in the orixás, about Ilê Axé Opô Afonjá, Mãe Senhora, friends like Pierre Verger, and Ilê Axé Opô Aganju. Therefore, it also involves recounting some of the struggles and victories of people of African descent in Brazil and the ways they have found to stay alive and proud.

The book is beautifully illustrated, with images of religious ceremonies, Orixás dress, and daily life in a candomblé terreiro. 

Obarayi: Babalorixá Balbino Daniel de Paula / text by Agnes Machado and Aline Queiroz; photography by Dada Jacques... et al. Salvador: Barabo, 2009.




Gilberto Gil to Perform at the Royce Hall, UCLA


An Evening With Gilberto Gil


Gilberto Gil will be visiting Los Angeles in April, 2015 and performing at UCLA. This highly-expected show will take place at the Royce Hall on April 18, 2015 at 8pm. Here is some information provided by the Royce Hall Calendar of Events:

"Gilberto Gil’s illustrious career spans four decades with more than 30 albums released, multiple Grammy Awards, six gold records, four platinum singles, and more than five million albums sold. As a singer, guitarist, composer, and diplomat, Gil plays a key role in the modernization of Brazilian popular music and culture throughout the world. And he takes that role very seriously: from 2003 to 2008 he served as his country’s Minister of Culture. The evening’s program will focus on the jazzy, urbane bossa nova of cosmopolitan Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, paying tribute to seminal recording artist and father of the form, João Gilberto." 


Samsung Galaxy Core Prime Available on the Verizon Wireless Network


Samsung Galaxy Core Prime™ Available on the Verizon Wireless Network

Easy to Use Smartphone for $8 a month on Verizon Edge

When you pick up your first smartphone you want it to be an easy and smooth experience. Think less “how do I” questions and more texting, selfies and YouTube videos. The upcoming Samsung Galaxy Core Prime™ combines that ease of use with a reliable network for a smooth experience.

Easy Mode™ on the Galaxy Core Prime creates a simplified homescreen with pre-set apps like Messaging, Camera and Gallery. Enlarged icons are front and center, making it easy to quickly find the apps you’ll use most...  Easy Mode is customizable so adding your favorite apps is simple. Frequent and favorite contacts are available with a quick swipe to the right from the homescreen.

Since it will likely be with you throughout the day, having a good camera and lasting battery are essential to the smartphone experience. The Galaxy Core Prime has a 5-megapixel rear camera with various modes like Best Photo that takes a series of pictures, letting you pick the best one to save and share. The 2-megapixel front-facing camera lets you video chat with family or Snapchat with friends with ease.

The XLTE-ready Samsung Galaxy Core Prime has been available online and in Verizon Wireless stores since March 5 for $29.99 with new two-year activation. The smartphone will be $8 a month on Verizon Edge for eligible customers.

Samsung and Galaxy Core Prime are both trademarks of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. 


Jack and Jill of America Encourages Early Childhood Literacy and Parental Involvement

Mrs Tammy King, National President, Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

Nation’s premier African-American family organization partners with authors to bring stories to life through technology and calls for parents to spend more time with children.


Washington, D.C.Jack and Jill of America, Inc., a national organization of mothers focused on helping African-American youth reach their full potential, is taking its Bedtime Stories program to the next level with a call to action prompted by the children’s book No Cell Phone Day, written by Delfeayo Marsalis and illustrated by Reginald William Butler.

“We are excited to introduce children to this award winning book through our national Bedtime Stories webinar series,” said Jack and Jill of America National President Tammy King. “Not only is this a great story to support early childhood literacy, but it’s a wonderful call to action for parents to spend time with their children reading and experiencing life.”


Jack and Jill of America Bedtime Stories is an early childhood literacy initiative that provides a unique resource of children’s books that entertain, promote self-esteem, support language development and simply make reading fun for pre-k through 3rd grade children. The program also taps into the organization’s focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and math by inviting children from across the nation to participate in a live webinar with the author of a children’s book. The author reads a story while children are logged in from the comfort of their homes or wherever they may be.

To kick off 2015, the organization will present two webinars that will feature the author reading No Cell Phone Day to children across the nation. In addition, the organization encouraged parents and other adults to put their cell phones aside on Sunday, January 25 to dedicate focused time with children.

According to a Highlights magazine survey of 1,500 children, the use of cell phones is the number one source of parental distraction. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed believe parents are too distracted to listen.

“As busy moms and dads, we often are as tied to our cell phones as our children are,” King added. “This wonderfully written story reminds us of the value of spending quality time with our children. We encourage parents to take the day to experience what it’s like to really enjoy each other without the interruption of texting, tweeting and cell phone conversations that take you away from being fully present with loved ones.”

For more information, visit .







DanceBrazil Enlightens the Audience in California

Dancers from DanceBrazil and choreographer Guilherme Durarte during reception following the grand opening of Gueto, Búzios and Fé do Sertão at "The Wallis" in Beverly Hills

Brazilian dancers enlightened Los Angeles and Beverly Hills with their performance at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 6 and 7, 2015. The audience was delighted with their physicality of movement inspired by Afro-Brazilian dance and Capoeira. The company premiered two new pieces on the West Coast, Gueto and Búzios. The program also featured Jelon Vieira's acclaimed choreography Fé do Sertão (2013). Publisher Mr. Kim L. Hunter with DanceBrazil Choreographer Guilherme Durarte 



Harlem's Fashion Row Presents Style Beat During Grammy Weekend

Four multicultural fashion designers showcased their collections to a selected group of celebrities and influencers for Harlem Fashion Row's inaugural event in Los Angeles


Los Angeles (February 8, 2015) - Harlem's Fashion Row (HFR) presented Style Beat, its inaugural event in Los Angeles during Grammy Awards weekend. The red carpet took place on the afternoon of Friday, February 6, 2015 at an exclusive private state in Beverly Hills, California. HFR is a unique movement founded to increase diversity in fashion by producing events to educate, stimulate, and advance opportunities for emerging designers of color. Collections by four multicultural fashion designers were showcased to a select group of 250 guests. The featured designers were the legendary L.A.-based designer Kevan Hall, custom menswear designer Waraire Boswell, and emerging designers, Joseph Bethune and "Project Runway" finalist Kimberly Goldson


The event featured a one-on-one conversation with Kevan Hall and HFR's Founder/CEO Brandice Henderson-Daniel. Following their conversation, the runway show enlightened the audience with exclusive and creative design. 


Mrs. Brandice Henderson-Daniel cheerfully thanked the audience for their presence and reminded them on the importance of supporting multicultural fashion designers. "I've dreamt of expanding Harlem's Fashion Row to Los Angeles and now it's become a reality. It's our first-ever event on the West Coast and we're excited to introduce our brand to the entertainment community and continue to present diversity in fashion," she said. 


Verizon Wireless was one of the major event partners and its presence during the event emphasized the program "Potential of Us". "Potential of Us" is a unique movement that uses Verizon technology to inspire everyone, especially the African American community, to take whatever moves them and turn that potential into something powerful. "With a network behind me like Verizon, friends and family, I have been able to merge fashion with technology and reach heights unimaginable by bringing Harlem Fashion Row to Los Angeles and the West Coast," concluded Mrs. Henderson-Daniel. 


For more information on "PotentialofUS" and more inspiring stories visit To learn more about Harlem Fashion Row, visit their website



From left to right, Latasha Owens-Hobdy, Manager, Multicultural Marketing (Verizon Wireless), Brandice Henderson-Daniel, Founder/CEO (Harlem Fashion Row) and Jessica Thorpe, Public Relations Manager, Multicultural Communications (Verizon Wireless)




Guests attending Harlem's Fashion Row in Los Angeles






Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (“The Wallis”) presents DanceBrazil (Jelon Vieira, Artistic Director) for three performances only, February 6-7, 2015 in the Bram Goldsmith Theater.  The program includes the West Coast premieres of Gueto, choreographed by Vieira to music of Marcos Carvalho, and Búzios, choreographed by Guilherme Durarte to music of Leo Jesus.  The program also features Viera’s 2013 Fé do Sertão, also set to music by Carvalho.  The company will also conduct masterclasses in Afro-Brazilian movement (February 5) and Capoeira (February 7).


For over 30 years, New York City-based DanceBrazil has thrilled audiences across the United States and throughout the world with its dazzling artistry, which is inspired by the cultural tapestry of Brazil. Whether in the streets or on stage in the most prestigious theaters, the dancers of DanceBrazil never fail to enthrall audiences with the company’s unique fusion of Afro-Brazilian movement, contemporary dance and Capoeira, the traditional dance form that had its origins in Africa and evolved in colonial Brazil. 


The company will round out its program with its 2013 dance Fé do Sertão. Sertão, a largely rural area of Northeastern Brazil is known for its extremely arid climate and brief growing season, which has also helped foster its strong faith and the close-knit communities that support one another through many lean months of the year. Vieira’s piece honors that community with a dance that fetes the esteemed Festival of São João, which celebrates the end of the rainy season and the annual corn harvest.


Artistic Director Jelon Vieira – one of the staunchest proponents of Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music – founded DanceBrazil in 1977. Initially formed from grassroots workshops at the Clark Center for the Arts in New York City, Vieira and Loremil Machado were among the first artists to bring traditional Afro-Brazilian dance to the United States. Alvin Ailey, who would join his board of directors in 1980, was the one who suggested the name and in its early days helped focus the objectives of the company. 


For 38 years, Vieira has led the company in breathtaking performances for audiences in Europe, Asia and the United States, as well as in his home country of Brazil. In 2008, he was awarded one of 11 National Heritage Fellowships, the United States’ highest honor for those in the folk and traditional arts.


The New York Times said, “the performers of DanceBrazil exist in a ravishing, hard-working paradise … what matters here above all is the gorgeously full physicality of movement, allied to music.  The beauty and style of these dancers is already a treat to the senses.  Legs maintain powerful extensions like searchlights.  The pliancy of those torsos is often breathtaking — not just in the way backs tip so powerfully and freely this way and that, but also in the ways that shoulders or stomach muscles contract and pulsate rhythmically.  The dancers glow enthusiastically as they let rip at highest energy.”


DanceBrazil is also offering student masterclasses with a limited number of places held for the public.   On February 5 at 6pm, an Afro-Brazilian Class (all ages welcome) is based on the traditional and contemporary dances developed in the northeastern state of Bahia. The movements are based on the gesture of the Orixás dance, the energetic Maculele and the beautiful samba de roda and other influences from the folkloric dances in the region of Bahia. The class will be accompanied by live drumming.


On February 7 at 11 am, a Capoeira class (all ages welcome) will concentrate on the Afro-Brazilian art form which combines fight, dance, rhythm and movement.  Capoeira was originally developed by Africans brought to Brazil as slaves in the 1500s. The class will introduce basic movements (ginga) with emphasis on the roda (circular formation) - where the dialogue between players takes place and becomes a conversation through movement which can take on many shades of meaning.  Students will be introduced to the instruments used in Capoeira (berimbaus, pandeiros and atabaque) and songs that are sung in the roda.


Tickets are available at or by calling 310-746-4000 or in person at The Wallis Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.  




Venue: Bram Goldsmith Theater

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210


Performance February 6 & 7, 2015

Schedule:                  Friday, February 6 at 8:00 PM

    Saturday, February 7 at 3:00 PM;

                                    Saturday, February 7 at 8:00 PM


Tickets: Price: $39 - $99

 In Person – Wallis Annenberg Center Ticket Services,

9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA             90210

By Phone - 310-746-4000  


Master                   February 5 at 6 pm – Afro Brazilian Class

Classes:                  February 7 at 11 am – Capoeira class

                                 Price: $10 per class

                                 Information at or by          calling 310-746-4000


About The Wallis

Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (aka “The Wallis”) brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music, performed by many of the world’s most talented and sought-after artists. With eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles, and its notability as the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis offers original and revered works from across the US and around the globe. This fall marks The Wallis' second season, which also includes its prestigious "Arts & Ideas" series, conversations with guests from the realms of culture, literature and politics. Housed in a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot venue designed by Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA of Studio Pali Fekete architects, The Wallis celebrates the classic and the modern. This is reflected in the juxtaposition of the restored, original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places) that serves as the theater’s dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and houses the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, as well as a theater school for young people, and the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together, these two structures embrace the city’s history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for LA-area visitors and residents alike. 


The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Brings DanceBrazil to California

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is proud to present DanceBrazil, an Afro-Brazilian dance group based in New York, as part of their 2014-2015 season. DanceBrazil is composed of talented Brazilian dancers who thrive on stage to bring their audience full physicality of movement that represents the company's unique fusion of Afro-Brazilian movement, contemporary dance and Capoeira. Capoeira is the traditional dance/martial arts form that had its origins in Africa and evolved in colonial Brazil as a means of fighting enslavement. 

In 1977 DanceBrazil was founded by Jelon Vieira after evolving from grass-roots workshops at the Clark Center for the Arts in New York City. Alvin Ailey joined the board of directors in 1980 and helped focus the objectives of DanceBrazil, emphasizing the company's ability to speak to a broad North American community. Within a few years, DanceBrazil premiered at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. In 1985, DanceBrazil premiered Orfeo Negro at the Riverside Dance Festival to critical and popular acclaim. For the last 36 years, DanceBrazil has thrilled audiences across the United States and throughout the world with its dazzling artistry, which is inspired by the cultural tapestry of Brazil. 

Performances will take place at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, CA.

February 6 at 8:00p.m.
February 7 at 3:00p.m. and 8:00p.m.

Full of part-time students can find rush tickets available at select shows! Go to THEWALLIS.ORG/RUSH for more information.


The Exhibition AfroBrasil: Art and Identities Looks to Address the Complexities of Brazil’s Heritage Across Frontiers

LOS ANGELES (December 4, 2014) Brazilian designer and photographer Paulo P. Lima, Ph.D. debuts his first national exhibition at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico on December 12, 2014. As part of the AfroBrasil: Art and Identities exhibition, his collection highlights a number of photographed images and dressed figurines that feature elements of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé, a religion that has been deeply rooted in Brazil dating back to the slave trade. The exhibition, which includes other Afro-Brazilian artists, focuses on Brazil’s complex heritage and contributions. 

Dr. Lima’s collection features a number of Afro-Brazilian traditions including images of Baianas, which is an iconic representation of women who sell food on the streets of Salvador and other Brazilian cities.  Additionally, the collection features dressed figurines that were inspired by the Brazilian Baroque art tradition of “Santos de Roca” from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Using handcrafted felts, silks and recycled materials, Dr. Lima dresses wooden figurines to represent his diverse Afro-Brazilian heritage.

The work developed for this collection was inspired and developed while he conducted research as a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  During his stay in the cities of São Paulo and Salvador, Bahia, Dr. Lima used his fieldwork photography to register various moments of religious and secular performances. “I am thrilled to participate at the AfroBrasil: Art and Identities Exhibition,” said Dr. Lima. “It is a great opportunity for me to contribute to the exposure of Afro-Brazilian culture and heritage.”

AfroBrasil: Art and Identities has been curated to include two other distinct and inter-related exhibition sections. From lithographs to photography, the exhibition can be visited in any order so that different connections can be made and different perspectives gained.

With more than 20 years in the art industry, AfroBrasil: Art and Identities is Dr. Lima’s fourth and largest exhibition to date. In 2010, he created his first collection of eight wooden Baroque inspired figurines. His first photography exhibition has been showcased at the Los Angeles and Washington D.C. offices of Congresswoman Karen Bass since 2013. 

Dr. Lima received his doctorate in Theater and Performance Studies at UCLA, where he studied garments from the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé, which is practiced in several Brazilian cities, including his hometown of São Paulo.  His dissertation, Candomblé and Its Living Garments, touches upon issues of race, gender and class, in the use of dress for religious and secular performances in São Paulo and Salvador, Bahia.

November 20th - Black Consciousness Day in Brazil

Photo by Paulo Lima (2013). All Rights Reserved.

The 20th of November is a symbol for all the black movement in Brazil. The date marks the death of Zumbi dos Palmares, who died in 1695, an icon of resistance to slavery and the main mark of freedom. The Day of Black Consciousness was established in the country to be celebrated on November 20 by Law No. 10639, January 2003. The same law made it compulsory to teach about history and Afro-Brazilian Culture.

The states with the largest number of cities that have joined the holidays are Mato Grosso and Rio de Janeiro. It is noteworthy that the Bahia state with the largest contingent of black population in the country, does not have the date as a holiday in any city  

The date of November 20 was chosen because it marks the death of Zumbi dos Palmares. He was killed in 1695 after being denounced by a fellow and captured by the Portuguese. The day also recorded the end of the Quilombo dos Palmares, the largest in the country, located in Alagoas. The site came to house more than 30,000 blacks. In the last Assembly of the Congress of Black Women and Black Men (Conneb), held in Sao Paulo, many leaders, including those participating in the Union of Black Equality (UNEGRO), proposed November 20 to become a national holiday.


The California Wellness Foundation Announces Launch of its Advancing Wellness Grants Program

Woodland Hills (CA) – The California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness) today announced the launch of its new Advancing Wellness grants program designed to promote equity through advocacy and access. The grantmaking will focus on three interconnected portfolios: Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care; Promoting Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods; and Expanding Education and Employment Pathways. The grants program also includes the Opportunity Fund to support innovation in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.  


“We are excited to launch the next phase of our grantmaking,” said Judy Belk, president and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation.  “Advancing Wellness builds on the Foundation’s long history of responding to the needs of California communities and addressing the root causes of health and wellness inequities.”


The process for submitting letters of interest to the Foundation has been streamlined with the introduction of an online grants application process to increase efficiency and support grantees’ efforts. Grantseekers can apply here.


Building upon its legacy, the Foundation remains committed to responsive, statewide grantmaking; core operating support; funding of direct services, public policy and capacity building; and improving the health of underserved populations.


Grants made under the Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care portfolio will be related to: the equitable implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the health care safety net; oral health care for low-income adults, including seniors; and increasing diversity in the health care professions.


Grants made under the Promoting Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods portfolio will be related to: ensuring that effective systems, infrastructures and resources are in place to support healthy living and to minimize trauma and injury resulting from violence, particularly gun violence.


Grants made under the Expanding Education and Employment Pathways portfolio will be related to: charting a path to greater access to resources, opportunities, and support for adolescents and young adults whom Cal Wellness defines as “resilient youth,” i.e., young people who are in, or have exited, the juvenile justice system; are current or former foster youth; have been or are currently homeless or runaways; or are pregnant and/or parenting youth. The goals of this portfolio are also to ensure that there is access to sufficient income and other resources through fair employment and appropriate government benefits, as well as the building and protection of financial assets for resilient youth, military veterans and formerly incarcerated adults.


The Opportunity Fund will support capacity building, public policy and innovation among nonprofit agencies and philanthropic organizations working to improve the health of Californians.


To view a video and other materials on the grantmaking program, please visit the newsroom.


The California Wellness Foundation is a private independent foundation created in 1992 with a mission to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. Since its founding in 1992, Cal Wellness has awarded 7,523 grants totaling more than $899 million.

Brazilian Singer Seu Jorge to Perform in Los Angeles and New York

Brazilian singer Seu Jorge will be performing in Los Angeles and New York city during the month of November. Acclaimed musician in Brazil, Seu Jorge explores a myriad of musical genres with a strong passion for Samba.

According to the Luckman Fine Arts Complex website, "Seu Jorge's works draw from his childhood experience navigating a favela outside of Rio de Janeiro. His melodies are stripped and untainted fusing classic American and European soul music with psychedelic samba. Best know for his contributions to the soundrack for the film A Life Aquatic and for his portrayal in the celebrated film City of God - which drew worldwide attention to the modern reality of poverty and life in the slums - Seu Jorge is an icon in the making." 

Los Angeles, CA - November 8, 2014 - 8p.m. - Luckman Fine Arts Complex

New York, NY - November 10-12, 14-16, 18-19, 2014 - Blue Note Jazz Club

Brazilian Singer Milton Nascimento at the Royce Hall

Milton Nascimento celebrates a fifty-year career in Los Angeles. The Brazilian singer will perform at the Royce Hall (UCLA) on Friday, November 28, 2014 at 8p.m. Mr. Nascimento's career has been a great success. His voice and talent have celebrated the Afro-Brazilian experience in Brazil with songs such as Travessia, Coração de Estudante, Maria Maria, Nada Será Como Antes, and much more.

If you are in California celebrating Thanksgiving, it would be a real treat to see Milton Nascimento performing songs from his latest album Milton Nascimento - Uma Travessia (a crossing). His show will feature classic songs from his repertoire. Enjoy!

Prolific Los Angeles Artist Mark Steven Greenfield Inspired by the Afro-Brazilian culture

Mark Steven Greenfield, one of Los Angeles’ most prolific African American artists, has a retrospective exhibition at the California African American Museum (CAAM) titled “Lookin’ Back in Front of Me: Selected Works of Mark Greenfield, 1974 – 2014.” The exhibition is ongoing at CAAM now through April 5, 2015.



The Egungun that Saved Florida, 2013. Ink on Duralar, Acrylic; courtesy of the artist Mark Steven Greenfield and the Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York


A Los Angeles native and former director of the Watts Towers Art Center, Greenfield was mentored and influenced by artists John T. Riddle Jr., William Pajaud and Charles White. However, it was in 2013, during his fellowship at Instituto Sacatar in Bahia, Brazil, that the Afro-Brazilian culture captured his attention and influenced his work.  Moved by the late Afro-Brazilian artist Mestre Didi (Deoscoredes Maximiliano dos Santos, December 2, 1917 - October 6, 2013) he created his series Egunguns.


Title: Hey, Hey, It’s Ya Birthday (2014); Ink on Duralar, Acrylic; Courtesy of the artist Mark Steven Greenfield and the Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York




Lookin’ Back in Front of Me includes more than 100 pieces, and displays a body of work that Greenfield himself has described as unapologetically didactic as it is based on his research of literature, cinema, history, and the visual arts. The artist’s interests range from early investigations of the Science of Creative Intelligence (Cosmos series)--a meditative practice that stirred large abstract interpretations of the astrophysical--to figurative work inspired by Sun Ra and Parliament Funkadelic (Afrofuturistic works).  Greenfield has also delved into the artistic renaissance of L.A.’s Crenshaw community (Crenshaw’s Consciousness series), gang culture, genealogy (Iconography and Sunday’s Best pieces), and more recently, African-American stereotypes (Blackatcha, Doo Dahz, and Animalicious), and the re-contextualization of American appropriations of African spiritual practices (Egunguns). 


CAAM exhibitions are free and open to the public.  For more information visit







Viver Brasil: Exploring Afro-Brazilian Heritage Through Dance

Viver Brasil.

Photo by Tim Agler

VIVER BRASIL, founded in 1997 by Linda Yudin and Luiz Badaró, is deeply rooted in the African heritage of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, and embodies the beautiful and mythic stories of Afro-Brazilian culture. A full music ensemble and vivid costuming highlight Viver Brasil’s onstage jubilance, echoing the Directors’ vision of honoring Brazil’s African legacy through bold contemporary dance theater. As a Los Angeles-based dance company, Viver Brasil reflects the vitality of its global home and the artistic excellence and diversity of its company members. Through rigorous research and continuous dialogue with living masters and virtuoso musicians and choreographers in Bahia, Viver Brasil has garnered a reputation as the premier West Coast Brazilian dance organization.

For more information on the company, visit:


LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS announced today, Senior Counselor Paulo P. Lima, Ph.D., has been appointed to lead the firm’s Hispanic Practice as Vice President, Managing Director. As head of the Hispanic Practice, Dr. Lima will be responsible for new business development, overall strategic direction and day-to-day management.


For the past 10 years, Dr. Lima has served on the agency’s senior leadership team where he has provided strategic and creative counsel, community and media relations and research for such Hispanic Practice clients, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Zimmer, L.A. Care Health Plan, Community Health Councils, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and The Foundation of Health Coverage Education, among others.


“I could not be more ecstatic about Paulo’s new role at the agency,” said Mr. Kim L. Hunter, CEO of LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS. “As one of our senior staff, Dr. Lima has continuously delivered results. He has a great reputation and understanding of the total Hispanic consumer market, which has leveraged much of our clients successful campaigns.”


A native of Brazil, Dr. Lima also serves as the editorial director of, the first website dedicated to bridging the gap between the African American and Afro-Brazilian cultures. In this role, his duties include writing articles, developing story ideas and overseeing business strategic planning and development for the website.


Prior to working for LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS, Dr. Lima spent 12 years in the travel and tourism industry. He began his career by serving as customer service director for United Airlines in the São Paulo International Airport, Brazil. Dr. Lima was responsible for supporting the company's core business objectives including reliability, customer satisfaction and profitability. In addition, he managed a team of 35 employees.


After relocating to the United States, Dr. Lima continued his career in the travel and tourism industry at the Charter at Beaver Creek in Avon, Colo., where he was responsible with assisting with sales, reservations and the special requests of hotel guests and condominium owners.


Dr. Lima has extensive experience in the overall travel and tourism industry, which is reflected in his knowledge and professional background. His wide-ranging abilities include comprehensive training in hotel and aviation operations as well as customer service.

This spring, Dr. Lima received his doctorate in Theater and Performance Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied garments from the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé, which is practiced in several Brazilian cities, including his hometown of São Paulo.  His dissertation, Candomblé and Its Living Garments, touches upon issues of race, gender and class, in the use of dress for religious and secular performances in São Paulo and Salvador, Bahia.


In 2013, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) debuted Dr. Lima’s first photography collection, Afro-Brazilian Devotion. The critically acclaimed exhibit of large-scale photographs, showcased cultural elements from Candomblé. A prolific artist, Dr. Lima will also serve as the firm’s official photographer.


Tip #4 Weather in Brazil

Like any area, weather in Brazil varies from place to place. June marks the beginning of winter in Brazil, but certain regions, mainly the hilly areas of the southeast, the center-west, and part of the south, are usually in a time of dry and sunny weather. On the northeastern coast, it is rainier than in the summer months. In southern and southeastern Brazil, temperatures might drop below the 30s, especially at night. As for World Cup host cities, the weather may be as follows:  in Rio de Jainero, it is the dry season; the average high is 77 F. In Bahia, Salvador it is a wet season, it can rain for days, but the good news is that temperatures never fall below 68 F. In Sao Paulo, the weather is a little crazy; one minute it can feel like summer with temperatures reaching to 68 F and the next minute it can drop to 41 F feeling like winter.  In Brasilia, weather is a little tricky, it can get very hot during the day, but chilly at night, temperatures can drop to 59 F. Make sure to pack accordingly, depending on where you stay.


Fore more information on World Cup Host Cities check out



Tip #3 Clothing

Since the weather in Brazil is usually warm, natives prefer to wear casual, informal, comfortable clothes. Just like Americans, most Brazilians wear jeans, shorts and T-shirts during the day. But because June marks the beginning of winter in Brazil, it tends to get cooler so make sure you bring warm clothes for the night. As for evening/party wear, a little formal will be great, but nothing too fancy like a sexy party dress for women and a button down shirts with a blazer for men. Footwear usually consists of sandals (havaianas flip flops) and tennis shoes. Try to avoid expensive tennis shoes, since shoes may immediately identify you as an American, or at least a “rico” a rich person. Most of all, dress simple, stylish, and inexpensive.



Tip #2 Etiquette

Every country has it’s own etiquette. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts while touring Brazil:

  • DO greet and say good-bye to each person present.
  • Women kiss twice, once on each cheek, starting on the left cheek. Men shake hands when greeting one another, while maintaining steady eye contact.
  •  DO arrive about a half hour late for dinner. For a larger party, arrive about an hour late.
  • The thumbs up gesture is used everywhere and all the time in Brazil.
  • DON'T make the "OK" sign with your hand. It's considered a very rude gesture in Brazil.
  • DON'T tip at restaurants unless the service was outstanding. It's not customary in Brazil. There is usually a 10 % service fee at the end of the bill, but paying it is optional.
  • DON'T tip cab drivers. The bill for a taxi ride is rounded up to the next whole number.
  • DO give a small tip to hotel porters. R$5 ($5 U.S. dollars) to R$10 ($4.50 U.S. dollars) will do.
  • DO NOT sit on your towel, while at the beach, sit on a chair or the sand.
  • DON’T bring food to the beach; there are plenty of friendly vendors in case you get hungry.
  • DO leave everything at home. Avoid making yourself a target for thieves. Leave your expensive jewelry, watches, cameras, phones and tablet devices at home. 

To learn more check out this video 

Tip # 1 Portuguese Key Words

Portuguese is the official language of Brazil. Outside of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, not many Brazilians speak English. 

With that in mind, it will be helpful to come prepared with a few keywords that might help you get around Brazil. 

Então? Tudo bem? [eng-ta-ong? too-doo bah-ing?] 

Which means: "So, how are you?" or "So, what's up"

Bom dia [bong-deer] 

Which means: "Good morning."

Boa tarde [boah-tard]
Which means : "Good afternoon."

Boa noite [boah-no-ee-te] 

Which means: "Good evening" or "Good night."

Obrigado/ Obrigada [oobree-gado] or [oobree-gadah]
Men say "obridgado" and women say "obrigada" to say "thank you."

Desculpe! Fala inglês? [des-cool-peh! fah-la een-glaysh?]

Which means "Excuse me do you speak English?"

Não falo muito português! [nah fahloo moo-too poor-too-gaysh] 
Which means "I only speak a little Portuguese."

To learn more, check out this YouTube video.