Edgar Eiotown, a respected artist and the longtime and award-winning visual display coordinator for AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s ‘Out of the Closet’ thrift store chain, lands first place on HBO Max’s ‘Craftopia’ program, Season 2, Episode 2 (“Bow-Wow Ween”)
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#OTC–The longtime and award-winning visual display coordinator for AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s (AHF) Out of the Closet thrift store chain, has won first place in a crafting and design competition in a special episode of HBO Max’s innovative reality program, “Craftopia.”
Edgar Eiotown, a respected artist who has designed windows and other visual displays for AHF’s 21 ‘Out of the Closet’ stores for over 20 years, triumphed over two other “Craftopia” contestants in a special Halloween-themed design competition that was the focus of Episode 2, Season 2 of the HBO Max program titled “Bow-Wow Ween.” Eiotown learned of his victory just prior to HBO Max’s streaming of the episode, which began streaming last week (October 7).
“For over twenty years, Edgar has worked his special magic with our Out of the Closet windows and visual displays harnessing his keen artistic sensibility and real-world practical design skills in his work helping to raise funds and awareness about AHF and our mission delivering HIV/AIDS prevention, care and services,” said Jonathan Kreuyer, General Manager of AHF’s Out of the Closet Store chain. “I am thrilled to learn of his win here, a well-deserved recognition of his unique talent and vision.”
In the “Bow-Wow Ween” episode of “Craftopia,” Eiotown went up against two other artists, all of whom were given two crafting assignments. The first was to create a Halloween costume for a dog (which another contestant prevailed at), and second, to create a piece of wearable art representing the concept of ‘split personality.’ Eiotown handily won this portion of the competition, creating an elaborate black, red, yellow and white costume featuring a Venetian- or Kabuki-style face mask designed with two intricately painted and distinct halves. To underscore the concept of split personality and heighten the impact of his artistic vision in his presentation to the judges, Eiotown’s mask also opened at one point right down the middle, top-to-bottom across the nose line, to reveal that he had made his face up and painted it identically as the mask—however, each half of his painted face was now the reverse of the beautifully handcrafted mask.
“Edgar: on behalf of all your Out of the Closet and AHF colleagues, we offer our congratulations and are so proud of you for your spectacular work on HBO Max’s Craftopia,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “Out of the Closet remains a powerhouse brand and not-so-secret weapon for AHF. Your visual artistry over the years on our behalf has been equally remarkable, adding fun to the shopping experience while helping us honor our mission of service. It is particularly amazing that you could do that much beautiful and intricate work under that kind of time pressure on your Craftopia episode. You are much more than a craftsman you are an artist. Bravo!”
In addition to his work for Out of the Closet, Eiotown is indeed also an artist whose work can be viewed at his eponymous website: www.eiotown.com. Eiotown marked his 20th year working for Out of the Closet this past April. AHF’s Out of the Closet thrift store chain celebrated its 30th anniversary last October. The OTC stores—all of which Eiotown oversees for visual display—consists of 21 stores in seven states (with another outlet set to open in San Diego at the end of October).
Over the years Eiotown’s design work for Out of the Closet has been officially honored with awards and recognitions in Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas.
Out of the Closet Thrift stores provide people a fun, cause-worthy place to shop and donate gently used goods in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS. Many Out of the Closet Thrift Stores make HIV testing easy with fixed-site testing in stores. Many Out of the Closet sites are also connected to an AHF Pharmacy, providing a convenient one-stop experience for clients to shop and pick up their medications.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.6 million individuals in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us @aidshealthcare.
TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2021 /CNW/ – They’re back! Today, Crave announced the fierce and fiery cast of 12 Canadian queens competing to become Canada’s next Drag Superstar. It was also revealed that CANADA’S DRAG RACE, which took home five Canadian Screen Awards for its inaugural season including Best Competition Series, returns for its 10-episode sophomore season on Thursday, Oct. 14at 9 p.m. ET, with new episodes rolling out Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.
Each episode of CANADA’S DRAG RACE tests competitors’ talents, and challenges them to master singing, dancing, acting, impersonation, design, and improvisation. One competitor is eliminated at the end of each episode, until one queen is left standing with the crown, scepter, and title of Canada’s next Drag Superstar.
Throughout this journey, the queens share their personal struggles, successes, and showcase the importance of celebrating everyone’s charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. In addition to RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE fan-favourites like Snatch Game, Rumails, and Untucked, Season 2 is also set to bring audiences a few surprises and ‘RU-veals,’ while also celebrating the uniqueness of Canada’s drag scene and queer community.
AIDS Walk Atlanta & Music Fest returns to Piedmont Park Saturday, September 25, 2021
Canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, this 30th annual event—which raises thousands of dollars to support 10 local AIDS service organizations—culminates with a free concert featuring Atlanta’s own Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Sevyn Streeter
ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The annual AIDS Walk Atlanta and Music Fest presented by AHF Pharmacy, will return to Piedmont Park, on Saturday, September 25, 2021, after having been canceled last year due to COVID-19 restrictions prohibiting large-scale public gatherings. The event, which attracts thousands of attendees from across the metro Atlanta community, will begin at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) starting with a 5K run and walk and culminating with a free concert event.
Now in its 30th year, AIDS Walk Atlanta has become one of the most anticipated outdoor fundraising events in the metro area. Previous artists, including Monica, Erica Campbell, Amara La Negra, Raheem DeVaughn, Mumu Fresh and Grace Gibson, have performed at the AIDS Walk. This year’s event will feature Atlanta’s own award-winning hip-hop artist and actor, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, as the headliner as well as R & B vocalist, Sevyn Streeter. With a goal of raising $1 million, this year’s event will provide unrestricted funds to support the following ten non-profit organizations:
A Vision for Hope
Center for Black Women’s Wellness
Center for Pan Asian Community Services
National AIDS Education & Services for Minorities
Positive Impact Health Centers
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the producer of the annual walk and music fest since 2019, enhances the impact of the fundraising, by contributing a dollar-for-dollar match for all monies raised by each of the benefiting organizations.
“This annual event offers a time to create a greater awareness of the impact of HIV and AIDS on the local Atlanta community, as well as an opportunity to bring together thousands of individuals from across the region to raise critical funds for these 10 worthy organizations,” stated Dawn Averill, AHF Atlanta regional director. “AHF is proud to present this event as one of the many ways that we educate and empower the local community to join the fight against HIV and AIDS.”
To learn more about registering for the walk or run, create a team or join a team, go to aidswalkatlanta.com.
According to Georgia Department of Public Health:
70% of individuals living with HIV resided in the City of Atlanta;
Across the state, Fulton and DeKalb have the highest numbers and rates of persons diagnosed with, and living with HIV;
79% of those diagnosed with HIV were male, 19% female, 2% transgender, with Black Americans accounting for the racial group most impacted by HIV
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.6 million individuals in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us @aidshealthcare.
AHF East Coast:
Imara Canady National Director, Communications and Community Engagement, AHF
A 100% 2SLGBTQI+ Line-up for 2021 Including: Rita Baga, Maxime Landry, Sandy Duperval, Jeremy Dutcher, Tamara Weber and many more
MONTRÉAL, June 29, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – The Montréal Pride Festival presented by TD Bank Group, will be a hybrid event entirely adapted to the conditions of the 2021 summer season under the theme Together for All. The festival will strive to be more inclusive than ever in its representation all of the identities of our communities sexual and gender diverse through its programming featuring artist who are all part of the sexual and gender diversity ad showcasing the community organisations that work in support of and advocate for the rights of the 2SLGBTQI+ communities. The Montréal Pride Festival is therefore inviting all festival goers to take in its diversified programming both online and, under conditions that follow public health guidance, in-person next August 9 to 15. Montréal Pride will offer up over 70 hours of content, 5 conferences, 5 DJ sets some of which will be presented at iconic venues, 32 community projects that will be announced shortly and 4 large scale spectacular shows along with plenty of other surprises to be unveiled soon.
“I am especially proud and humbled to represent such a diverse programming that reflects our communities. This year, the obstacles and challenges for our communities, especially for the most vulnerable ones, were enormous, yet our ability to mobilize and support each other has never been greater! Our communities have once again demonstrated their strength, resilience and most importantly, their ability to overcome obstacles and emerge stronger! “said Sandy Duperval, spokesperson for the event.
“As the LGBTQ2+ community continues to foster change all around us, we know everyone’s help is required to pursue this journey. Pride is a movement that unites us in celebration of social progress and diversity. Through the TD Ready Commitment, the Bank’s global corporate citizenship platform, we are proud to support Pride 2021 and other LGBTQ2+ initiatives that help pave the way to a more inclusive and sustainable future.” Sylvie Demers, Chair, Québec Market, TD Bank Group
Every day, the Festival will be posting capsules online that touch on mental health issues as well as The BIPOC Hours (focused on the Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit and People of Colour communities) which includes an hour of content on the realities faced by Black, Asian, Two-Spirit, Latinx and Arab persons. Additionally, a series of 5 conferences will be held at the Le National Theatre before an audience.
This year, four pre-taped super shows will be offered along with the spectacular Opening and Closing evening ceremonies. These pre-taped events will be broadcast in the evening on MAtv among other, during the week.
Festival Grand Opening presented by TD (August 9) To mark the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Montréal Pride will feature an exhilarating performance by none other than Two-Spirit artist and activist from New-Brunswick, Jeremy Dutcher. This live performance will mark the launch of the hybrid festival and will be hosted by Montréal Pride spokesperson Sandy Duperval.
Xcellence, presented by Trojan (August 11) A show celebrating racialized queer and/or trans persons and applauding all aspects of our identities. Be ready to experience some unforgettable moments with highly colorful performances delivered by an eXceptional variety of our local artists. Tamara Weber, Lonely Boy, Magbeta, Redgee, Christopher Marlot, Barb Tarbox, Zaya Solange and Hua Li will thrill you!
FeminiX, presented by FIDO (August 12) An electrifying show featuring only women of the diversity who will deliver vibrant and stunning performances as they distill a musical cocktail of pop, rap, indie, and R&B over 90 minutes of eXciting celebrations. Calamine, Flora Gionest, Andy Jon, Shah Frank, Sheenah Ko, Eadsé, Poulin and Bayla are but a few of the artists who will be performing on this night.
MajestiX, presented by TD (August 13) This iconic show regroups all of our eXtraordinary local drag royalty under the MajestiX theme. They will all be performing their majestic and magical numbers with Barbada and Uma Gahd as your hosts. EXpect incredibly camp, pop as well as eXcentric performances from Kiara, Alice Wildflower, Bambi Dextrous, Gabry Elle, Heaven Genderfuck, Gisele Lullaby, Lady BOom BoOm, Manny, Marla Deer, Veils of Bollywood, Misty Waterfalls, Peggy Sue, Prudence, RV Metal, Velma Jones and Will Charmer!
Cabaret Orgullo LatinX, presented by Casino de Montréal (August 14) A Latino Burlesque Canada production, this show will include burlesque, boylesque and drag numbers along with poems and erotic tales. All the artists performing are all Latinx and most of them live in Québec and Ontario. Expect a hot evening in the company of Anaconda LaSabrosa, Augusto Bitter, Black Mamba, Castro, Cherry Topp, El Toro, Gay Jesus, Lolita Blanca, Miami Minx and Salty Margarita!
Live Closing Event (August 15) The closing event show will present the live performances of Québec artists Rita Baga and Maxime Landry with Sandy Duperval as presenter. Expect to sing, dance, and just enjoy yourself thanks to the talents of these homegrown artists who are part of the sexual and gender diversity.
On Wednesday August 11, 5pm, at the District Video Lounge, OutTV and Romeo & Fils invite you to the launch of Boy Boy Montréal, the documentary series that will reveal everything you ever wanted to know about the gay porn industry in Montréal. Pride Day at La Ronde will return on August 13 and the 10th edition of Fierté littéraire will run over several days with nine different public events with audience under the theme” Les mots qui démasquent” (Words that Unmask)! Moreover, a new film feature has been added: [email protected]é, all we are, an online event giving access to 27 short films, while the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec will present BAnQ est fière: 3 activities under the theme of intersectionality. Another novelty, a circus cabaret out of time and genres will be presented by Le Monastère on August 12-13 and 14 in Le Jardin, at the the bell tower of St Jax Church, in person!
Several DJs will also be part of the celebrations and their performances will be broadcast at 9:30 p.m. on Twitch. You will hear Karsten Sollors (Chicago), Ralphi Rosario (Chicago), Crème Brûlée (Montréal) and Gayance (Montréal). An event not to be missed will be Mundo Disko presented by TD on Saturday, August 14. Participating DJs will be announced shortly as well as the spectacular venues where they will be performing from virtually.
Pride in the Village As we will be unable to congregate at a unique outdoor site, Montréal Pride will be focusing on an enhanced presence in the Village. Festival goers in the Village will have access to the Community Days, an outdoor (and a virtual) art gallery, which will present the exhibition Ensemble pour toustes with the collaboration of Gallea, and mini stages with animation providing entertainment.
Community Days, presented by TD This event that is so important for our communities will be back in a different format this year to ensure compliance with public health measures and participant safety. For the five days from Tuesday to Saturday, 15 fully-equipped tents will be installed at predetermined locations along Sainte-Catherine Street in the Village and every day, a different community organisation will occupy one of the spaces for the day in order to meet with the public and inform them of their mission and services they provide to specific clientele.
The Pride March Another Montréal Pride flagship event, the Parade will also be back but in a slightly modified version for this particular year only, in order to comply with health measures in place and the safety of all. The Pride March will therefore take place on Sunday, August 15 and will not feature any motorised vehicles or floats. More details about the March will be announced later to community groups and individuals wishing to take part.
Les apéros SAQ This year, various Québec alcoholic products, Village restaurants, festival programming and the SAQ’s 100th anniversary will be honoured via Les apéros SAQ, a series of 3 video vignettes featuring Montréal drags broadcast throughout the week! A great way to discover places to enjoy the festival programming while enjoying a local meal and cocktail!
Thank You to Our Partners Montréal Pride wishes to express its sincere appreciation to its partners without whom the Festival would not take place: TD Bank Group, Casino de Montréal, The Government of Québec, the Government of Canada, the Ville de Montréal, Québecor, Tourisme Montréal, Fido, Trojan, LSM, MAtv, Fugues, Greencopper, SAQ, SDC du Village, OutTV, BLG and the RÉMI.
About the Montréal Pride Festival Since 2007, at the initiative of Montréal’s 2SLGBTQI+ communities, the Montréal Pride Festival has been promoting their rights and celebrating their cultural richness and social advances. The largest gathering of the sexually and gender diverse (SGD) communities in the Francophone world, it works locally on a daily basis while serving as a beacon of hope for people living in 2SLGBTQI+ hostile regions of the globe. In 2020, the festival produced a 360 Edition with all of its festivities presented in a digital format in compliance with health measures in place then. In 2021, the festivities are being held from August 9 to 15 and will present a hybrid program mixing in-person physical events with virtual presentations. More information is available on the web page, the Facebook page, as well as Twitter and Instagram accounts.
SOURCE Montréal Pride Celebrations
CONTACT: For interview requests: Nathalie Roy, Media Relations Consultant, [email protected], (514) 889-3622
LOS ANGELES, June 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Jeffrey Rohrer, former NFL linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys and the first NFL player to enter a same-sex marriage, releases original song, “Come Build A Rainbow With Me”, to continue the celebrations of PRIDE beyond Pride Month. Written and performed by Rohrer, as a Dallas Cowboy emoji character, the tune is meant to spread a positive message of love and understanding.
Jeffrey Rohrer, the first NFL player to enter a same-sex marriage, releases original song to celebrate PRIDE.
Last week, Carl Nassib made NFL history by publicly coming out. It was a courageous step previously taken by Esera Tuaolo, Ryan O’Callaghan, Michael Sam and Rohrer himself in 2018 when he married his partner, Celebrity Aesthetician Joshua Ross of SkinLab. “It was a beautiful thing and a great moment for the NFL. I’ve dedicated this song to Carl and to anyone else who’s coming out. It takes a lot of courage and as someone who has been through it, it’s important to get the message out that it’s ok to be gay,” says Rohrer.
Rohrer wrote the “Come Build A Rainbow With Me” lyrics to help build an understanding between the gay community and society. His favorite verse, “love those that hate you, and those that berate you, be bigger than them, come build a rainbow with me” expresses that love wins.
“This is my contribution to pride and I want it to serve as an art piece that spreads joy,” says Rohrer. His hope is that it will help continue the celebration of pride throughout the year.
About Jeffrey Rohrer: Jeffrey Rohrer is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Yale University and was drafted in the second round of the 1982 NFL Draft. Since his retirement from the NFL, Rohrer has become an award winning Commercial TV Producer, including the production of three top ten Super Bowl TV commercials. His additional artistic talents are painting, singing, guitar playing and song writing.
Guided by its purpose of care and commitment to understanding and inclusion, Hyatt proudly sponsors NYC Pride 2021 for the second year, as part of a three-year commitment at the Platinum level
CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) invites guests to celebrate Pride 2021 with special offers from New York and Los Angeles to Amsterdam and beyond. As a proud Platinum Sponsor of NYC Pride since 2019, Hyatt builds experiences to promote understanding through travel, and encourages guests to proudly be who they are and live their most authentic self with comfortable stays and unique offerings.
“We’re proud to continue supporting our LGBTQ+ colleagues and guests this month and beyond,” said Joan Bottarini, Chief Financial Officer, Hyatt, and Executive Sponsor, HyPride. “We always invite guests to confidently, comfortably and proudly stay as they are at Hyatt hotels, and we welcome everyone to celebrate pride with us. Our ongoing commitment to understanding and inclusion goes far beyond words and is supported by meaningful action.”
Hyatt’s carefully curated and celebratory pride offerings include up to 20% off a qualifying hotel stay with the code “PRIDE” at select locations throughout the U.S. and globally, as they celebrate pride through the end of the year. Guests can find participating hotels and full terms and conditions at hyatt.com/pride.
In addition to the special rates, Hyatt will be celebrating pride through unique experiential offerings including:
Andaz West Hollywood will offer a GROOV3 Dance Fit class hosted by founder and Apple Fitness trainer, Ben Allen on Thurs., June 24 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Fri., June 25, the property will also host a Pride Comedy night starting at 7 p.m., featuring a “best of Los Angeles” LGBTQ+ lineup. Both events will be followed by an after party with a DJ performance at The Sundeck rooftop pool bar.
Gild Hall, A Thompson Hotel will kick-off New York City Pride festivities on Fri., June 25 with a happy hour between 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. for World of Hyatt elite members and Hyatt Sales Force VIPs to enjoy food and drinks while enjoying music and Drag Queen performances. A silent auction will also be held to benefit The Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization focused on suicide prevention efforts for the LGBTQ+ community.
Andaz 5th Avenue will celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with a block party on Sat., June 26 with a pop-up, complete with a moss wall art installation for photo opportunities to commemorate Pride 2021 and DJ performances, all in conjunction with New York Pride festivities. The public event will take place between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Hyatt Union Square New York will have a bodega-themed booth in conjunction with Pride Fest on Sun., June 27 starting at 11 a.m., featuring specialty products from partners of “Hyatt Loves Local,” an initiative to support local small businesses across the globe, as well as stations to learn more about World of Hyatt, careers and DE&I and social responsibility efforts.
The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel will host an exclusive party at Temple Court rooftop, welcoming World of Hyatt elite members and Hyatt Sales Force VIPs to enjoy a brunch viewing party of the virtual Pride march on Sun., June 27 between noon and 4 p.m., complete with delicious bites and drinks.
Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong has curated several pride-inspired experiences, including ‘Hyatt Centric Pride’ goody bags, a rainbow wall installation for the perfect backdrop to capture the best moments, a ‘spin the rainbow wheel’ at Cruise rooftop restaurant & bar and a pride-inspired cake at The Farmhouse. Guests can also enjoy Chow Ciao Chow’s mini art exhibition, which experiments with painting faces using different colors for different personalities.
Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo has curated a special Pride cocktail for guests dining at Chao Pescao Small Plates & Bar, a restaurant offering Latin American and Caribbean favorites in a relaxed atmosphere with views of Marina Papagayo and Culebra Bay and live music. The hotel will also be coordinating an organization-wide food drive, benefitting Asociación Diversidad de Género Puntarenas, a local association supporting Transgender community members without homes.
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht will offer two experiences in collaboration with AIX rosé from Maison Saint Aix estate of Provence, France, in August to celebrate Amsterdam Pride. On Fri., Aug. 6, guests will get a chance to enjoy a 90-minute canal cruise starting at 6 p.m. guided by one of the famous Floating Amsterdam captains with complimentary AIX rosé, bites from Bluespoon Restaurant & Bar and AIX x Andaz goody bags. On Aug. 8, enjoy a Drag Bingo Brunch from noon to 3:30 p.m. with live entertainment, raffles and more surprises while enjoying a Mediterranean brunch spread and AIX rosé.
As more cities and countries begin to plan their pride celebrations, be on the lookout for more pride offers and experiences in Chicago, Miami, Munich, Stockholm, London and more to celebrate pride all year long.
Guided by its purpose of care, Hyatt’s multi-layered Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment further enhances its operational guidance and resources around colleague and guest safety and peace of mind. More information on Hyatt’s commitment can be found here: hyatt.com/care-and-cleanliness.
Terms and Conditions
Offer valid only for reservations made in advance for stays at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts (excluding Hyatt Ziva™, Hyatt Zilara™, Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties, UrCove, and MGM properties).Must request offer code PRIDE at time of booking to qualify for discount. One night’s deposit required. Bookings under this offer can be cancelled at no charge up to 72 hours prior to check-in. Offer available for a limited time while shown as available on the applicable Hyatt site. Discount percent applies to room rate only. Reservations subject to availability. Any limitations or restrictions included in the published offer shall apply. Offer not valid with groups, conventions, other promotional offers, tour packages or special rate programs. Rate is per room, per night, based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted and excludes, unless specifically noted, service charges, mandatory resort or destination fees, applicable taxes and other incidental expenses. Additional charges may apply for additional guests or room type upgrades. Offer not valid in conjunction with previously booked or held stays and may not be combined with other offers. Not redeemable for cash or other substitutions. Any unauthorized transfer, sale, distribution or reproduction constitutes fraud.
To learn more about other offers and experiences, please visit hyatt.com/offers.
The term “Hyatt” is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates.
About Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company offering 20 premier brands. As of March 31, 2021, the Company’s portfolio included more than 1,000 hotel, all-inclusive, and wellness resort properties in 68 countries across six continents. The Company’s purpose to care for people so they can be their best informs its business decisions and growth strategy and is intended to attract and retain top employees, build relationships with guests and create value for shareholders. The Company’s subsidiaries operate, manage, franchise, own, lease, develop, license, or provide services to hotels, resorts, branded residences, and vacation ownership properties, including under the Park Hyatt®, Miraval®, Grand Hyatt®, Alila®, Andaz®, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Destination by Hyatt™, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Ziva™, Hyatt Zilara™, Thompson Hotels®, Hyatt Centric®, Caption by Hyatt, JdV by Hyatt™, Hyatt House®, Hyatt Place®, tommie™, UrCove, and Hyatt Residence Club® brand names, and operates the World of Hyatt® loyalty program that provides distinct benefits and exclusive experiences to its valued members. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com.
VALLETTA, Malta, June 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Kindred continues to collaborate with Relax Gaming to create avatars exclusively for Kindred customers. This special collaboration results in the design of industry-first LGBTQ+ avatars exclusive for Kindred customers and springs from an internal Kindred Group network idea to celebrate the Pride Month.
Kindred Group has together with Relax Gaming created industry-first LGBTQ+ avatars, available exclusively for Kindred customers. The idea of designing unique LGBTQ+ avatars was developed in Kindred’s LGBTQ+ Network meetings. Following a discussion between Kindred and Relax Gaming, an avatar design like the exclusive HexaBingo/HexaPro avatars was developed. The LGBTQ+ avatars blend in with current avatar options but provide an alternative option for customers to present themselves online.
“The accumulative impact over time of these adjustments and inclusion is important for minority-identifying individuals and I am glad that we, as a company, can be a part of that. Internally it means Kindred employees can be proud to work for a diverse and inclusive company, whatever their gender or sexual identity. This is not a tick-box exercise for Kindred, this is aligned with our corporate values and our broader Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy. It might be seen as a small thing for many but we know it brings reassurance that most LGBTQ+ people don’t often see,” says Gavin Hayward, Chief Human Resources Officer, Kindred Group.
“It’s amazing to work for a company that is open to suggestions like this. It’s a big world, and there are a lot of different people out there. I have been part of the LGBTQ+ community for many years, and I’m thrilled to see these acknowledgements of inclusion from the mainstream. The difference is vast from when I started in this industry 20 years ago, and it’s thanks to individuals and companies like Kindred driving change,” concludes Katharine Arnsby, Poker and Bingo Team Lead and a member of Kindred’s LGBTQ+ Network.
For more information: Maria Angell Dupont, External Communications Manager, Kindred Group +46 72 165 15 17 [email protected]
BOSTON, June 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Disney’s beloved catalog of songs will be reimagined by the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) in Disney PRIDE in Concert, a musical celebration of LGBTQ life, love, family, and perseverance, June 25-26, 2022 at Boston Symphony Hall. The show will draw inspiration from iconic Disney films like The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Mary Poppins; modern classics like Coco, Zootopia, and Wreck-It Ralph; and the magical music of Disney Parks. The multimedia extravaganza will feature BGMC’s 250-member chorus and a 20-piece orchestra performing sparkling new musical arrangements by BGMC Assistant Music Director Chad Weirick, accompanied by visuals designed by BGMC Director of Video Michael Willer using assets from Disney’s films and archives. Providing the narrative of the show, personal stories from an array of diverse chorus members will be interwoven throughout the musical performances, showcasing the individual meaning and connections drawn from Disney’s timeless and universal music. Tickets will go on-sale via the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus in early 2022.
“Disney movies and musicals have long resonated deeply in the LGBTQ community because they often mirror our experiences in a society that hasn’t always welcomed us,” said Reuben M. Reynolds, III, BGMC’s Music Director. “Characters are often struggling to fit in and to accept themselves, they long for a love that feels unattainable, they’ve lost their family of origin and had to create a new one, yet they persevere and find joy in life. They express their alienation, desire, and determination in beautiful songs that have given solace and empowerment to generations of LGBTQ people. Naturally, we’re overjoyed at the chance to make the thematic connections between the Disney canon and the LGBTQ experience explicit by infusing the music with the stories of our lives.”
Disney PRIDE in Concert is being produced in conjunction with Disney Concerts, the concert production and licensing division of Disney Music Group. It will feature all-new musical arrangements by Chad Weirick and a book by BGMC Executive Producer Bill Casey and Tom Choinski. Disney PRIDE in Concert will also be available for licensing in the future through Disney Concerts for performance by choruses around the world for all voice parts and voice configurations. This collaboration is the first time Disney Concerts has partnered with an organization to create an LGBTQ-specific concert package.
Disney PRIDE in Concert will take place during LGBTQ Pride Month, which commemorates a pivotal point in LGBTQ history: the Stonewall Riots of June 1969, when patrons of the Stonewall Bar rebelled and fought back against the constant anti-gay harassment by New York City police of LGBTQ people and spaces.
“Disney PRIDE in Concert will likely be the first in-person performance of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus in two years. We think it’s the perfect way to come out of the pandemic to thank our singers, patrons and fans who have been so patient and supportive during the hiatus,” said Craig Coogan, Executive Director of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. “We are grateful to partner with Disney and share their commitment to showcasing the voices and stories of diverse communities, a value that is so close to our hearts, we’re coming back in a spectacular way. We can’t wait to perform this concert for audiences and have the show become part of the songbook for choruses around the world.”
The concert is part of BGMC’s hybrid 2021-22 season, which also includes a Holiday Special on WCVB-Channel 5 in December and the release of the documentary “Milestones” to mark BGMC’s 40th anniversary.
About Disney Concerts Disney Concerts is the concert production and licensing division of Disney Music Group, the music arm of The Walt Disney Company. Disney Concerts produces concerts and tours, and licenses Disney music and visual content to symphony orchestras and presenters on a worldwide basis. Disney Concerts’ concert packages include a variety of formats, such as “live to picture” film concerts and themed instrumental and vocal compilation concerts, and range from instrumental-only symphonic performances to multimedia productions featuring live vocalists and choir. Current titles include the Star Wars Film Concert Series (Episodes IV-VIII), Toy Story, Aladdin, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Disney Princess – The Concert, Coco, The Lion King, Up and The Nightmare Before Christmas, which in 2019 accounted for over 900 performances in many of the world’s top concert venues.
About Boston Gay Men’s Chorus The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus is one of New England’s largest and most successful community-based choruses. Founded in 1982, the 200-voice ensemble is celebrated for its outstanding musicianship, creative programming, and groundbreaking community outreach. Under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Reuben M. Reynolds III, the BGMC sings a wide spectrum of classical and popular music and creates social change by providing a positive, affirming image of the gay and lesbian community. The Chorus is heard live by more than 10,000 people each season and thousands more through recording, television and internet broadcasts. CBS-WBZ named the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus one of the “top 5” choruses in the city of Boston. The Boston Business Journal in 2018, 2019, and 2020 named BGMC one of the top performing arts organizations in the city. BGMC is a Cultural Ambassador — being the first LGBTQ chorus to perform in Poland in 2005, the Middle East in 2015 and in South Africa in June 2018.
As we reckon with recent history, many of us are having to reconsider how larger social structures – such as racism and homophobia – have impacted our relationships. Dionysus on the Down Low gets right to the heart of the personal and political struggles that can haunt intimate relationships. We see David and Matthew try to figure out if love is enough to hold them together despite their differences.
CULVER CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Amazon Studios today released a comprehensive Inclusion Policy that extends its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity for its content and productions, as well as a Playbook with guidelines for its collaborators in the creative community. These guides offer detailed and actionable recommendations as Amazon Studios continues to seek out stories and storytelling that amplify voices across race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability (including mental health), body size, gender, gender identity, and gender expression for the global Prime Video audience.
“Amazon Studios has long prioritized telling innovative and inclusive stories from a diverse range of creative talent, delighting our global audiences. We wanted to move beyond good intentions to creating mechanisms that hold us accountable to a high bar. This Inclusion Policy and Inclusion Playbook adds important, additional depth and guidance for our internal teams and external partners to ensure we continue to advance our shared mission of amplifying the best creatives and content around the world,” said Latasha Gillespie, Executive Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Amazon Studios.
“With the establishment of our Inclusion Policy and Inclusion Playbook, Amazon Studios has committed itself to being a thought and action leader in the transformation of our industry,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “We know how much work there is to be done to improve representation both on camera and behind the scenes, and it starts at home, with us. With clear directives and a commitment to accountability, these guides provide a path toward a more equitable future, both on- and off-camera.”
Amazon Studios shared the Policy and Playbook with creators, including Gloria Calderón Kellett, creator and executive producer of the upcoming Amazon Original series With Love. Said Kellett, “I am so proud to be a part of a creative community at Amazon that understands the importance of what I’ve been doing my whole career. Inclusive hiring is what makes change. Opportunity and an eye towards changing things through action is what makes change. Thrilled that Amazon has put together this playbook to start important conversations with their other creatives. This is real action and commitment and I’m thrilled to see it!”
Greg Daniels, creator and executive producer of Upload, said: “Having worked with Amazon Studios for several years, I can confirm their commitment to inclusiveness is deep, sincere, sensitive and practical. These new guidelines should encourage talented people from historically underrepresented groups to feel more confident about making a career in Hollywood.”
Establishing expectations for Amazon Studios and its creative partners, the Inclusion Policy covers four primary areas: Developing Stories and Characters, Hiring and Production, Reporting and Documentation, and Meeting Goals. The policy ensures meaningful visibility in Amazon Studios’ content and throughout all aspects of the production process — both in the stories being told and the people hired to tell them. The policy includes specific goals for Amazon Studios productions, including:
Each film or series with a creative team of three or more people in above-the-line roles (Directors, Writers, Producers) should ideally include a minimum 30% women and 30% members of an underrepresented racial/ethnic group. This aspirational goal will increase to 50% by 2024.
Casting actors whose identity (gender, gender identity, nationality, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability) aligns with the character they will be playing.
Aiming to include one character from each of the following categories in speaking roles, with minimum 50% of these to be women: LGBTQIA+, person with a disability, and three regionally underrepresented race/ethnic/cultural groups. A single character can fulfill one or more of these identities.
Seeking at least three bids from vendors or suppliers on productions, one of which must be from a woman-owned business and one from a minority-owned business.
Pay equity across casting, behind the camera staff and crew, and for vendors and suppliers.
Amazon Studios will provide a report template for each production to indicate whether these expectations were met, that will be submitted within one month of the completion of principal photography. This reporting exceeds the minimum standards set by the Academy, but ensures Amazon is poised to report on the diversity of their films for Academy Award contention.
Through the setting of goals and tracking of adherence to these policies, Amazon Studios expands its commitment to increasing representation on camera and behind the scenes, contributing to efforts to move the industry forward to a more inclusive future.
The Inclusion Playbook puts in place intentional practices to minimize and disrupt biases, providing specific guidance that will help everyone within and working with Amazon Studios to meet the expectations set in the Inclusion Policy. The Playbook provides direction on how to make inclusive decisions, while telling authentic stories and hiring the best people for the job; knowledge of where to go for help, including tools to make inclusive decisions; tools to identify criteria for making creative choices, leading to balanced, consistent and informed decisions; and ways to foster curiosity and ask questions to disrupt the status quo about “how things are done.”
Amazon Studios worked closely with Dr. Stacy Smith and Dr. Katherine Pieper of USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, and with Brenda Robinson of the International Documentary Association and Gamechanger Films on the creation of the Policy and Playbook. The studio also consulted with leading organizations devoted to advancing the visibility and responsible depictions of underrepresented or marginalized people, including GLAAD, Illuminative, Think Tank for Inclusion & Equity, and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund.
“Frankly, the outcomes of DEI work within the entertainment industry have not been swift or sweeping. In part, that can be attributed to disingenuous approaches to address the systemic barriers to entry that have long plagued Hollywood,” said Smith. “But now, Amazon Studios has created a comprehensive new blueprint that will change Hollywood by elevating those who have historically lacked access. I’m immensely proud of this new policy and I know it will be a gamechanger throughout an industry often resistant to real change.”
These Inclusion documents have been guided by the Amazon Studios DEI team, whose focus is to:
1. Ensure diverse representation of talent (in front of and behind the camera, above and below the line).
2. Dismantle longstanding barriers to success in the Industry and inspect our processes so we do not create or perpetuate inequities.
3. And tell inclusive narratives to reach a globally diverse audience.