Live from the MIA

28 01 2015

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A good friend of mine is launching a new radio station “LIVE from the MIA!” It’s being billed as “Your Station for Every Generation!” It’ll offer a great mix of news, pop culture, movie reviews, celebrity interview and of course MUSIC!

Check it out at http://livefromthemia.tumblr.com/

WATCH the promo below for a taste of Live from the MIA…



Troy Simmons at Context Art Fair

23 11 2014

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I couldn’t be more excited for Troy Simmons and his solo show at the Context Art Fair. I met Troy some years back through his wife who is also in the TV biz and since then I’ve become more familiar with his art, and it’s just so impressive how far he has been able to take his craft through his hard work and dedication. And – early December in Miami is kind of a big deal in the art world when Art Basel sets up shop and the world’s focus on art shift to the spotlight on South Florida. Congratulations to Troy and I wish him continued success!!

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See the official press release below.

Local artist Troy Simmons has immersed himself in his latest artwork, exploring the evolution of urbanism and nature’s persistence to coexist. A consistent theme, which echoes true to his intense fascination with nature and modern Brutalist Architecture.

Under the direction of JanKossen Contemporary Art Gallery in Basel, Switzerland, Simmons will showcase his new concrete work during a solo show at CONTEXT Miami Art Fair December 2nd-7th at booth #E75. He will also have several pieces on display at SCOPE Art Show Miami Beach.

His massive, large-scale concrete canvases are a mix of acrylic paints and raw materials. At first glance, the magnitude of his work is clearly realized. Most of his pieces weigh more than 100 pounds. A rough and raw relationship often described as a cataclysmic illustration of urbanism.

Simmons calls his work a “re-incarnation of the Arte Povera genre” where the inclusion of simple natural elements, such as wood and soil takes an integral part in the creation of the art. His intended goal is to create a playful mix of the hard and soft, expressing the ideological perceptions of binary relationships.

Rochi Llaneza, Former Executive Director of Hardcore Contemporary Art, curated his first show in Miami in 2009. She says, “Creating an algorithm of inspired imagery, Simmons’ connection to his ecological charged pieces is clearly reflected in his use of re-purposed materials.”

The inspiration behind his latest collection evolved after a recent trip to Germany. He spent time with his wife’s family exploring Baden-Wurttemberg in the southern part of the country. The postwar architecture is a fragmentation of Germany’s traditional heritage mixed with simple modern construction.

Simmons currently works as a full-time artist, but his educational background is in Architecture and Environmental Science. He studied at Sam Houston State University and worked as an Environmental Lab Technician in Houston, Texas. He later went on to Oklahoma State University and earned a degree in Architectural Design.

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Simmons is a Resident Artist at the Bakehouse Artist Complex in Miami’s Wynwood Art District. Sample of his current work at www.TroySimmonsStudio.com.



Birthday in the Nation’s Capitol

30 09 2014

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I spent my (pre) birthday weekend in the U.S. Capitol with some of my best girlfriend’s. I’m not really big on making a BIG deal out of my birthday as I get up there in age…LOL, but since a few of my girls have relocated to the area and a few others willing to travel to hang out for a girl’s weekend…why not?

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My first night in town we had dinner at The Hamilton, which is not only a very tasty DC spot, but they have a great ambiance and a performance venue there as well. A couple of my fellow NFL Pro Cheer Alumni gals (Joi and Mari) came out to break bread with me, and we shared so many laughs…weekend got off to a great start.

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The next day we did some sightseeing…whenever you are in DC, a stop at 1600 Penn is a must! It was a beautiful weather over the weekend for walking around and taking in the DC sights…we squeezed in a little shopping too! ;)

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That night we enjoyed a yummy dinner at STK in Dupont Circle. Pictured above (l-r) Cat, Dara, Cherisse, Norma, me, Rene and Rohelia. I am so flattered that all these girls made time to hang out…we all get so busy in our lives that sometimes it is tough to find time, and especially as a Mom now, my social calendar revolves around their activities…it was kind of different to be around so many “grown ups!” haha

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One of the other big motivators to get to DC that weekend was to see my girl Anjelah Johnson’s show at Warner Theatre! She provided lots of laughs and I even got some one on one time with her at brucnh before we all headed home the next day.

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Fun times for sure…it was “Miami” reunited in DC!! :) Love my girls!!!



You KNOW You’re an NFL Cheerleader IF…

12 08 2014

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I’m a former NFL Cheerleader for 2 different NFL teams (Raiders and Cardinals) and recently we had a reunion with women representing 24 different teams over the past 50 years! Anyhow, my “roomie” for the event was Shannon Oleen, a former KC Chiefs Cheerleader turned Inspirational Speaker. She was one of the speakers during our Saturday night gala and delivered a great message to all the attendees, preceded by her very TRUE and very FUNNY “Top 10 — You know you were a (former) NFL Cheerleader IF…” She tested it (the list) out on me beforehand and she was dead on!!!

So, I wanted to re-post her blog and share it with all of you!!! And — to all my fellow NFL Cheerleaders (Alumni, Current and Future), would love it if you chimed in on just HOW TRUE this all is!!!

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Top 10 Reasons, you know you were a former NFL Cheerleader:

10. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because to this day, you cannot take a photo without the classic top pop.

9. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because you have the best grapevine in your Zumba class.

8. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because you have mastered the art of putting on eyelashes or nails, while driving. Shhhh!

7. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because to this day you can still educate any man about the game of football, all of the rules and you can spot a tight end from a mile away, because you know your football facts!

6. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, if you are out for a girls weekend and you happen to bust out into sidelines #6.

5. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because you know exactly which number, and which shade of red lipstick suits you.

4. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because you’ve been asked a 1,000 times how many, and which players you’ve dated.

3. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because to this day, your husband’s cousin’s boyfriend still asks you if you can get free tickets to this year’s season home opener.

2. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because every time you step into a stadium, you get that tingle in your belly when you hear the national anthem.

1. You know you were a former NFL Cheerleader, because at the NFL Cheer Alumni Reunion, we took over the dance floor all night long.



24 Hours in Atlanta

4 08 2014

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I had a whirlwind weekend in Atlanta this past weekend, and while I would’ve loved to have been able to have been there a little longer, it was an unforgettable 24 hours in the ATL. The reason that brought me there was to attend the 2014 national Football Cheerleaders Reunion. The event is still in it’s baby stages, this only being the 2nd reunion ever to include all Alumni from NFL teams across the map. I missed the 1st reunion in 2012, as I had just had my first child, but I knew I wasn’t going to miss this one! The Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders Alumni hosted this event, and did an absolutely amazing job putting it all together. I’m so glad my limited time did not deter me from attending, it was so totally worth it to be there for the Saturday night gala and stand among some 250+ women, all Alumni of the various NFL Cheers teams…even the ones that don’t exist anymore!

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There is nothing like being in a room full of women who have gone through the auditions, practices, workouts and game days you love and cherish. It’s an amazing almost indescribable experience, an instant bond, like being in a sorority, a real sisterhood where you KNOW these women KNOW exactly what it’s like to stand and cheer on the NFL sidelines.

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All in all, 24 teams spanning 50 years of NFL Cheerleading, were represented, some that don’t even exist anymore. So if you didn’t know…now you do. The Pittsburgh Steelerettes, Chicago Honey Bears and Houston Oilers Derrick Dolls all had alumni in attendance. And –while I was the lone Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader alumni, there was also a former St. Louis Cardinals cheerleader in the building!

In the photo above are current and former directors of NFL Cheer Teams…and in the center is Suzanne Mitchell, the original director for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, a legendary woman, who spoke to us about how it all came to be…it was such an emotional moment feeling the deep love and appreciation everyone in the room has for her, knowing she was a huge part in paving the way for what the opportunity has become today.

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I had a great time meeting A Raiderette sister, Elaine, who was an LA Raiderette before moving to Indy where she danced for the Pacers and Colts. I met the very sweet Lisa Guerrero who is a fellow broadcaster and former LA Rams Cheerleader…her resume also includes directing the Falcons and Patriots Cheerleaders. My roomie for the weekend is a fellow AFC West Alumni Cheerleader, Shannon Oleen who was a Chiefs Cheerleader. She is also an amazing public speaker who delivers inspirational messages and impressed at the Alumni Gala with her “10 Reasons You KNOW You’re an NFL Cheerleader.” All of them, so much fun!!!

There is nothing like line dancing and doing the “Wobble” with 200 plus former cheerleaders or busting out with game day choreography with your sisters on the dance floor. Cheers go out to Mickey Crawford who runs the Atlanta Alumni group and made this reunion happen, along with Terri Lamb who is the head of the Redskins Cheer Alumni group. I have had the pleasure of knowing them both for a few years now and I see their vision for uniting all the talented and amazing women who all share the distinction of being NFL Cheerleaders. I feel so blessed to have made so many new friends and just to be part of this elite network of women who are my sisters. I can’t wait for our next shin dig in 2016! Buffalo or bust!!!



Positive Images for Inner City Youth

29 04 2014

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A good friend of mine, Dr. Jaseon Outlaw, is on a mission…to actively change the way inner city youth are often times portrayed in the (mainstream) media, and instead highlight, present and focus on the positive images in the community! I commend his effort and action to create an organization designed to lift, enlighten and create change for the benefit of inner city youth…in his hometown of Oakland, CA!

Positive Images for Inner City Youth is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes.  Seeking 501(c)(3) non-profit organization status,  Positive Images seeks to promote and expose inner city youth to realistic and positive images of those representative of the community.  This is a direct response to the mainstream media’s decision to focus on inner city violence and the psychological implications that reality television has on defining the identities of inner city youth.

The vision for Positive Images is to expand the realm of career and lifestyle choices for inner city youth, by providing a barrage of positive imagery in the areas of career, education, arts, healthy living, and family.

Since “Positive Images” is a brand new endeavor, they need your help to grow the organization and spread the message of positive images! So, if you can, please strongly consider donating a few dollars to the organization http://positiveimagesoakland.org/

And — If you have not already mentored a young person in your community, please do so…

 



Time is Illmatic

11 04 2014

Time Is Illmatic, a documentary film that explores Nas’ 1994 debut album, Illmatic. The film is set to debut at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 16 and will hit theaters shortly after. This documentary was Directed and Produced by a friend of mine, One9, and pretty much since I made his acquaintance he has spoken about this project.

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As a hip hop fan (the 90’s was my era), I can’t wait to watch the film and for my friend, I am thrilled and excited for him to finally get to share his hard work, dedication and passion for “Time Is Illmatic” with the world! Watch the trailer below…

Time Is Illmatic is a feature length documentary film that delves deep into the making of Nas’ 1994 debut album, Illmatic, and the social conditions that influenced its creation.

Twenty years after its release, Illmatic has become a hip-hop benchmark that encapsulates the socio-political outlook, enduring spirit, and collective angst of a generation of young black men searching for their voice in America.

Time is Illmatic tracks the musical legacy of the Jones family, handed down to Nas from his jazz musician father, Olu Dara. It also examines the social conditions and environmental influences that contributed to Nas’ worldview.

Along the way, Time Is Illmatic shows how Nas—with the support of his Queensbridge neighborhood crew, the loyalty of his younger brother Jabari “Jungle” Fret, and sacrifices of his mother, Ann Jones—overcame insurmountable odds to create the greatest work of music from hip-hop’s second golden era.

With support from Ford Foundation & Tribeca Film Insitute.



UNFILTERED – A DOCUMENTARY

7 04 2014

UNFILTERED – A DOCUMENTARY premiered in March 2014 at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Sunkissed London presents Unfiltered, a mini-documentary that captures the distinct views of a group of globally-influenced women as they craft a life for themselves in the UK. Watch as the women speak openly about the highlights and challenges of leaving their homeland to create a life anew in London.

Filmed modestly in natural light to allow the genuine authenticity of each woman to shine through, Unfiltered will leave viewers with thought-provoking insight from a global community of women living and learning in London.

Executive Produced by: Kelliann McDonald, Gabriel McKenzie, Rachel Hart; Filmed by: Ejovi Agarin; Directed by: Kelliann McDonald; Edited by: Kelliann McDonald.

Click HERE to view the premiere photo album for Unfiltered.

Kudos to Kelliann who I’m sure worked tirelessly to get this project filmed and completed, GREAT JOB!