“WHEN WE LAST SPOKE” MOVIE

Fans of the show “Little House on the Prairie,” saw Melissa Gilbert grow from a young girl to a loving wife and mother over nine seasons.  Melissa is now both an accomplished actress and the author of several books. In a new movie, Melissa Gilbert plays a loving grandmother, Ruby, in the film “When We Last Spoke.”  Based on the novel by Marci Henna, “When We Last Spoke” is the story of two sisters in 1967 who are raised by their grandparents in the small town of Fireside, Texas. It’s a coming of age story that is both humorous and heartwarming.

About the movie:  In 1967, sisters Juliet (Darby Camp) and Evangeline (Chandler Head) are abandoned by their mother at their unsuspecting grandparents’ farm in the small southern town of Fireside. Stunned by their sudden arrival, tender-hearted Walt (Corbin Bernsen) and champion fiddler Ruby (Melissa Gilbert) graciously stand-in for the missing parents and create one blue-ribbon recipe for a loving family. Fireside, home of radio Station KOFF, keeps secrets, broken promises, and to-die-for sundaes that serve as the backdrop for this heartwarming story full of surprises. Top it all off with the unexpected appearance of Walt’s ailing mother—eccentric, Emily Dickinson-quoting Itasca (played by Emmy and Academy Award winner Cloris Leachman), and laughter and tears abound.

When We Last Spoke” will be in theaters for a four-night showing on October 27th, 29th, 30th, and 31st of 2020.  Tickets are available for sale online at Fathomevents.com.

The Newark #Museum of #Art Acquires Major Work by Bisa Butler

The Warmth of Other Sons to be featured in

Virtual Exhibition during the Newark Arts Festival, Oct. 8-11

 The Newark Museum of Art, New Jersey’s largest art institution, announced today that it has acquired a large-scale artwork by Essex County resident Bisa Butler, a rising star among contemporary Black artists in the United States, known for her quilted portraits celebrating Black life.

The Warmth of Other Sons is loosely based on source material including historic photographs of Black families that migrated from the South to the North looking for economic prosperity. Standing at 9 feet high by 12 feet wide, this exuberant, multi-layered artwork is a significant acquisition by the Museum and will be included in Art + Tech: Perception, Access, Power, a virtual group show developed in partnership with the Newark Arts Festival, opening on October 8, 2020.

Drawing on a rich history of African American quilters, Butler stitches and layers her portrait quilts using carefully selected fabrics, including, cotton, silk, wool, and velvet. The title of this monumental work is a reference to Isabella Wilkerson’s critically acclaimed chronicle of the Great Migration, The Warmth of Other Suns, published in 2010.

Butler currently resides in West Orange, New Jersey, where she has a well-established studio practice and deep roots in the local community. She is an active member of the Newark arts community and previously taught in the Newark Public Schools for 10 years.

Local art enthusiasts will get an early glimpse of The Warmth of Other Sons virtually during the Newark Arts Festival, from October 8-11. Thereafter, this work will make its debut in Bisa Butler: Portraits, a solo exhibition organized by The Art Institute of Chicago, opening on November 16th. Mid next year The Warmth of Other Sons will return to The Newark Museum of Art where it will be installed in the Museum’s Seeing America galleries.

Bisa Butler, The Warmth of Other Sons, 2020
Velvet, wool, Vlisco cotton, silk, 108 x 104 in.
Collection of The Newark Museum of Art
Purchase 2020 Collections Exchange Fund 2020.1
Photo courtesy Claire Oliver Gallery © Bisa Butler

“Bisa’s art speaks to the deeply layered, complex, and vibrant histories of Black American life and the diaspora. Her work is especially meaningful as the country reckons with long-standing social and economic inequities impacting Black and Brown citizens, now in sharper relief with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Catherine Evans, Deputy Director, Collections & Curatorial Strategies at The Newark Museum of Art. “We are immensely proud to bring Ms. Butler’s powerfully affirming artwork into the Museum’s collection.”

Butler was born in Orange, New Jersey, the daughter of a college president and a French teacher. She grew up in South Orange, the youngest of four siblings. Her artistic talent was first recognized at the age of four, when she won a blue ribbon in an art competition.

Butler graduated Cum Laude from Howard University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. It was during her education at Howard that she began to experiment with fabric as a medium and became interested in collage techniques. She then went on to earn a Master of Arts degree from Montclair State University in 2005. A dedicated arts educator, she was a high school art teacher for 13 years, serving for 10 years in the Newark Public Schools and three at her alma mater, Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey.

“Honoring art by local artists and artists of color is a core tenet of this institution,” said Linda C. Harrison, director and CEO of The Newark Museum of Art. “We believe guests of all ages, races, and genders will find inspiration when they see the amazing work from contemporary artists and artists from Black and Brown diasporas. Art can unite people in a way that few other mediums can do, and Bisa’s work is an example of that unification.”

Butler’s work is currently the focus of a solo exhibition Bisa Butler: Portraits at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York, which remains on view through October 4th. That exhibition will then travel to the Art Institute of Chicago this fall. In addition to The Newark Museum of Art, her works are included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; The Toledo Museum of Art; and Orlando Museum of Art, among others.

In 2019, Butler was a finalist for the Museum of Arts and Design’s Burke Prize. Her portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai was featured as a cover for Time magazine’s special issue honoring the 100 Women of the Year in 2020.

PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism

“PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism,” premieres on October 9. The half-hour program will feature candid and authentic conversations between kids and their parents about race and racial justice-related topics in an age-appropriate way and offer viewers ideas to build on as they continue these important conversations at home. The special will be hosted by Amanda Gorman, the writer, activist and first-ever Youth Poet Laureate of the U.S. 

As Gorman shares in the show, when something is confusing or uncomfortable, she likes to talk about it. Growing up, she would participate in daily family meetings, where the kids got to pick any topic they wanted to discuss, whatever was on their minds. It is that same spirit that moved Gorman, whose poetry often discusses race, to become involved in the timely production.

In addition to the frank, up-to-the-minute conversations on the subject, “PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism” will include relevant content from the popular PBS KIDS series Daniel Tiger’s NeighborhoodArthur and Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum. Just following the special will be the premiere of a brand-new episode of the animated PBS KIDS series, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum, featuring Harriet Tubman as well as an Arthur short created “in memory of civil rights legend John Lewis,” as noted on-screen.

PBS KIDS announced a new special, “PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism,” premiering October 9. The half-hour program will feature authentic conversations between real children and their parents, and will include content from PBS KIDS series DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOODARTHUR and XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM. The show will feature kids and their parents talking about race and racial justice-related topics in an age-appropriate way, such as noticing differences in race, understanding what racism can look like, and embracing the role we all have to play in standing up for ourselves and each other — offering viewers ideas to build on as they continue these important conversations at home.

The special will debut as part of PBS KIDS Family Night on the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel, and will also be available on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings), and streaming on pbskids.org, the PBS KIDS Video app and on PBS KIDS’ FacebookYouTube, and Instagram.

“PBS KIDS believes kids are capable of understanding and talking through tough, but important issues with the adults in their lives – something that has been core to our mission for the last 50 years,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “Through the PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism special, our goal is to support parents in talking with their children about race, anti-Black racism in our country, and how to be actively anti-racist. Parents have increasingly asked us for these resources, and we hope that this special will provide a helpful starting point in whatever way they choose to have these conversations with their children.”

PBS KIDS Talk About,” previously an online-only video series, models authentic and practical parent-child conversations that reflect PBS KIDS’ core values of kindness and curiosity, and has included real families addressing topics such as feelings and emotions, relationships and family, curiosity and wonder, bravery and courage, and self-confidence and determination.

To support this new offering, PBS KIDS provides a variety of resources to help parents talk to young children about race and racism. This resource hub on PBS KIDS for Parents includes articles, a webinar, booklists, links to programming, and more tips and resources to help parents have meaningful conversations with young children about race, racism, and being anti-racist.

Produced by Crossroads Productions for PBS, the special was developed in consultation with Dr. Aisha White (Director, The P.R.I.D.E Program (Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education)), Dr. Renée Wilson-Simmons (Executive Director, ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) Awareness Foundation), and Dr. Dana Winters (Director of Simple Interactions and Academic Programs; Assistant Professor of Child and Family Studies, Fred Rogers Center). The “PBS KIDS Talk About” series and the “PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism” special were created with major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Avoid the “Covid Slide”- Keep Your Kids Learning While Having Fun!

If you are like me, you are willing to try ANYTHING to keep your kids active and learning over the summer- not to mention, really, since Covid became part of our existence. It’s hard when they aren’t in school, and many of us don’t know what to do to keep them from losing knowledge (or from wanting to be in front of the TV and video games all day, ugh). Here are a few DIY kits we’ve really loved.

Solar-Powered Rovers

Click Here for more info and to buy for your kids!

Want to build fun solar-powered vehicles and devices that move using electricity generated directly from sunlight? With this kit, you can construct five motorized models. Build three types of solar cars, a solar fan, and a solar robot model. Conduct science experiments with each model to learn about gear ratios, solar cells, and more. The ultralight materials, including strong bamboo rods, make your models speedy and durable. A modular gearing system lets you test out three different gear ratios. Experiment with a solar cell, electric motor, gears, and ultralight materials. Build five different solar-powered models. Learn about how solar cells work and  about the energy from the sun. Ages 8+ MSRP: $19.95.

Creatto

Click Here for more info and to buy for your kids!

With CREATTO, you can design and construct illuminated, three-dimensional creations that literally light up your life! The kit includes flexible yet durable interlocking plastic tiles and a string of LED lights that you can piece together to make animals, decorations, or your own custom creations. Each set includes an illustrated manual with easy, step-by-step instructions for multiple designs, but the building possibilities are nearly limitless using your imagination. Creatto is available in 3 fun sizes: mini, medi, and maxi. Kids can choose to build: Moonlight Elephant Safari: Ages 6+ MSRP: $9.95; Magical Moose & Forest Friends: Ages 6+ MSRP: $9.95; Starlight Kitty & Cutie Crew: Ages 8+ MSRP: $19.95; Shimmer Shark & Ocean Pals: Ages 9+ MSRP: $29.95; Sparkle Unicorn & Friends: Ages 9+ MSRP: $29.95.

Singer Jesse Neo Launches Gemtracks

Over the years, British-Australian singer, Jesse Neo has worn many hats; that of an international DJ, music reviewer and an artist of electronic music since 2017. These experiences not only have they helped him gain popularity, but it has also helped him launch a new music platform called Gemtracks.

Jesse explained why he moved over to starting the music platform. “I want people to know that I am a versatile and flexible writer who can easily adapt to different genres,” he told us. “I started out in the electronic music scene and have worked as a beat maker for major labels and media companies within the genre. However, as my taste in music changed, I felt like I could give other sounds a go too. That’s why I created Gemtracks as a way to showcase my work in whatever genre I feel like doing at a specific moment.”

While Gemtracks was initially a repository for Jesse’s unused tracks, he eventually turned the website into a marketplace where anyone could sell beats. This means artists and labels can visit Gemtracks and purchase unused beats for their own vocal releases.

“There is so much happening in the music scene today, that leveraging technology is the only way forward to harness the multitude of talent available across the globe,” Jesse explained. “I remember when I was working with a company, before a song it releases, several contracts must be signed, along with attending several meetings. My goal for Gemtracks is to enable all these tiresome tasks to be avoided through automation so that artists can concentrate on their music.

A beat sold over Gemtracks may sometimes go up as high as $600, as it can be sold only once, and the rights are transferred to the buyer. This means the buyer can distribute as many copies of the song as they want without having to pay any royalties.

Today, almost 300 people have signed up. Some of the well-known producers like Beowülf, Taylor Carroll, Milana Leybovich, I.Y.F.F.E, and Lucas Gold, who have worked with Universal, Sony or Warner.

Besides being a marketplace, Gemtracks also has a section dedicated to educating those new the industry. For example, there is a blog filled with articles, videos and tutorials on how to make it in the industry. For those that like to read, there is also a free eBook for download on how to skyrocket your career.

“I’m actually in the process of adding new features to the website too,” Jesse continued proudly. “I have just launched a directory to hire music producers, book music studios and even contribute to a Q&A database. My goal is to turn Gemtracks into the ultimate resource destination for musicians releasing music.”

As you can see, Gemtracks is a wonderful addition to the music industry. Artists can easily find assets for their songs, and producers can make some extra income. If this sounds interesting to you, make sure you head over to buy beats now!

 

STORY LAND FINALIZES 2020 SCHEDULE, EXTENDS SEASON PASSES THROUGH 2021

storyland

NH’s best amusement park for kids will conclude 2020 season on Labor Day

Glen, NH – August 20, 2020 – A roller coaster of a season at Story Land will come to a close next month. The good news: there’s still time to enjoy some summer fun with family and friends! Labor Day, Monday, September 7 will be your last chance to visit the Land Where Fantasy Lives, and tickets are just $19.99 for the remainder of the season.

To thank Guests for their patience and support, Story Land will automatically extend all 2020 Standard and Premium Season Passes to include the entire 2021 Season. Guests who previously purchased a 2021 Season Pass extension for Standard or Premium Passes will automatically receive a credit equal to the price paid for the extension product.

“We are so grateful for our entire Team, as well as our Guests, for adapting to these extraordinary times. Without their efforts, this year would not have been possible,” said Story Land General Manager, Eric Dziedzic. “Our Team Members implemented enhanced health and safety measures with unmatched enthusiasm and care, and allowed us to create the cleanest and safest environment possible for every visitor in 2020. We’ll wrap up this season on a positive note on Labor Day, and start getting ready for 2021.”

Preparations for the 2021 season will begin immediately after the park closes on September 7. Story Land looks forward to the return of many of its beloved attractions in 2021, including live shows and characters, which were sorely missed in 2020 due to essential safety precautions. Popular events like Sensory Sensitive Weekends, Coasting for Kids, and Story Land’s adults-only Nostalgia Nights are all slated to return in 2021.

Story Land will continue to operate five days per week, Friday through Tuesday, through September 7, 2020. The park is open 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and welcomes families to enjoy the last few weeks of summer in the Land Where Fantasy Lives!  Story Land continues to offer heavily discounted single-day admission at just $19.99 per person for the remainder of the summer. For more information, please visit www.StoryLandNH.com .

ADVENTURE AQUARIUM ANNOUNCES TEMPORARY CLOSURE

Sharing

While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Adventure Aquarium, we are committed to putting the health and safety of our team members, animals, and guests first. Doing our part to help prevent further spread of the illness in our community is important to us, and therefore we will be temporarily closing to the public effective Monday, March 16, 2020 as a precautionary measure and are planning on reopening on Saturday, March 28, 2020.

Our devoted animal husbandry teams and essential personnel will continue to maintain the vital systems and processes that ensure the highest level of care for the animals and aquatic life here at Adventure Aquarium. These team members have been trained on hygiene policies, social distancing methods, and have access to personal protective gear. Additional team members, who cannot work remotely, will receive paid leave.

During this time, we will continue to follow recommendations of public health officials and monitor the situation with regular updates posted to our website, adventureaquarium.com, and on our FacebookInstagram, and Twitter pages. We will work with guests to reschedule their visit or refund tickets as needed.

For further details, please call us at 844-474-FISH (3474) and visit adventureaquarium.com for FAQs pertaining to the temporary closure.

Adventure Aquarium continues to watch the conditions within the area, consult with its medical experts, and follow CDC guidelines. The aquarium will communicate any additional changes should they occur.

ABOUT ADVENTURE AQUARIUM

Adventure Aquarium is just minutes from downtown Philadelphia on the Camden Waterfront and features one-of-a-kind exhibits with more than 15,000 aquatic species throughout two million gallons of water. The Aquarium is home to the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast, including the only great hammerhead shark on exhibit in the United States, the only aquarium in the world to exhibit hippos, one of only six facilities in the US to have Little Blue penguins as permanent residents and exhibits the longest Shark Bridge in the world, a unique V-shaped rope suspension bridge just inches over Shark Realm. Adventure Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is held to the absolute highest standards in animal care and exhibition. Open daily.  For more information, visit AdventureAquarium.com.

New England Aquarium offering virtual programming during temporary closures

With students across New England home from school amid closures related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, the New England Aquarium is offering special virtual programming to keep families engaged.

Each day at 11:00 a.m., content will be posted on the Aquarium’s social media platforms that includes live videos with educators, a behind-the-scenes look at animal care, and fun activities for children. Online visitors will also find a special webpage on neaq.org to take a “virtual visit” to the Aquarium, featuring video, at-home projects, and other educational resources. This page will be updated regularly with fresh material.

Last week, the Aquarium made the decision to close to the public and suspend all events and educational programming for a minimum of three weeks as a precautionary move to protect staff and visitors and ensure continued care for the animals. Much of the special programming available online will focus on the important work still happening at the Aquarium amid the closure.

“Even though our doors are closed to the public, a limited number of Aquarium staff are onsite daily caring for and supporting our nearly 20,000 animals,” said Vikki N. Spruill, President and CEO. “Engaging and inspiring the public about the wonders of our blue planet is central to our mission. We are delighted to be able to provide an educational outlet for families and their students who are losing valuable time in the classroom.”

The New England Aquarium has a long-standing tradition of supporting education outside its walls. That includes homeschool program offerings, classroom resources for teachers, and educational tools for parents.

The public can find special features and projects on:

NEAQ.org

Facebook – @NewEnglandAquarium

Twitter – @NEAQ

Instagram – @newenglandaquarium