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buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...

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Friday, November 20, 2015


buzzz worthy. . .

Detroit, MI (November 20, 2015) – Today, award-winning singer, fashion designer and television star Kierra Sheard has released LED, an EP that had her teaming up with her brother, producer J. Drew Sheard II and contributing producer Jor’Dan Armstrong. In a similar vein as recent full-length public releases from artists BeyoncĂ© and J. Cole, Kierra decided to forego the tradition of promoting singles through radio in advance of today’s release. Available digitally on iTunes, the 8-track EP is made up of an array of sounds and styles that will give you a back-in-the-day vibe. The title track, “LED,” has a strong sound and message that is sure to keep your head bobbing while listening. Other songs on the project include “Make Me Better,” “Oh Jesus” and “So Easy,” and all will have listeners transported to wherever the music leads them.
On what helped inspire Kierra to give LED the sound that she and J. Drew did, she says, "A youngster who knows real music. You'll hear a 90's feel in the presentation of this music. Prince-inspired, Marvin Gaye-inspired. My goal is to give listeners a sound that they can take everywhere. I'm hoping to put God in people's atmosphere and they not even know it until later. It's something for in the meantime, but it’s fun and creative.”
Be sure to catch Kierra on her four-city pop-up shop tour for her new high-end, full-figured clothing line, Eleven60. The tour will include stops in Atlanta (November 21st), Washington DC (November 27th), New York (November 28th) and Chicago (December 4th). Kierra is also touring with Tasha Cobbs on her “One Place Live” tour. For additional events, please see below.
Kierra Sheard: LED Track Listing
1.      Intro 
2.      LED 
3.      Make Me Better
4.      Real Friend
5.      Take Me There
6.      Oh Jesus 
7.      So Easy 
8.      Reality
To say connected with Kierra Sheard, visit:
Twitter/Instagram: @KierraSheard
Facebook: KierraSheard
Upcoming Event Dates for Kierra Sheard below:
November 20, 2015
Spirit of Faith 
2261 Oxon Run Drive 
Temple Hills, MD 20748
December 5, 2015 
Greater Christ Temple Church (North Campus) 
8800 Thorton Road 
Stockton, CA 95209
December 10, 2015 
One Place Live Tour 
New Light Church 
1535 Greensmark Drive 
Houston, TX 77067
December 17, 2015
One Place Live Tour 
North View Christian Church 
200 Dome Lane 
Dothan, AL 36303
January 9, 2015
Kingdom Life Ministries 
1172 Orangeburg Mall Circle 
Orangeburg, SC 29115
January 22, 2015 
One Place Live Tour 
Faith Church 
13001 Gravois Road 
Sunset Hills, MO 63127
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2015 Grammy Hall of Fame Inductees Announcement

buzzz worthy. . .


26 Recordings Added to the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame®
Residing at the GRAMMY Museum®

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Nov. 18, 2015) — Continuing the tradition of preserving and celebrating timeless recordings, The Recording Academy® has announced the newest additions to its vaunted GRAMMY Hall Of Fame®. This latest round of inducted recordings continues to highlight diversity and recording excellence, and acknowledges both singles and album recordings of all genres at least 25 years old that exhibit qualitative or historical significance. Recordings are reviewed annually by a special member committee comprised of eminent and knowledgeable professionals from all branches of the recording arts, with final approval by The Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees. With 26 new titles, the list, now in its 43rd year, currently totals 1,013 recordings and is on display at the GRAMMY Museum® at L.A. LIVE.

"The Recording Academy remains dedicated to celebrating a wide variety of great music through the decades," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "Spanning more than 50 years, the 2016 GRAMMY Hall Of Fame entries are an outstanding collection, marked by both historical and cultural significance. These works have influenced and inspired both music creators and fans for generations and we are proud to induct them into our catalog of distinguished recordings."

Representing a great variety of tracks and albums, the 2016 GRAMMY Hall Of Fame inductees range from the Andrews Sisters' "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree (With Anyone Else But Me)" to the Grateful Dead's American Beauty album. Also added to the highly regarded list are Blondie's "Heart Of Glass," Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful," John Coltrane's 1961 album Lush Life, Roberta Flack's 1969 album First Take, Fleetwood Mac's self-titled 1975 album, and the O'Jays' "For The Love Of Money." Other inductees include recordings by Jimmy Buffett, Fats Domino, Bob Dylan And The Band, John Lee Hooker, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, the Pretenders, and the Zombies, among others.

For more information about the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame or the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards® (which will be broadcast live on Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network) please visit GRAMMY.com.
Nominees for the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be announced in a live broadcast on CBS on Dec.7.
Eligible recipients receive an official certificate from The Recording Academy. For a full list of recordings inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, please go to www.grammy.org/recording-academy/awards/hall-of-fame.

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit www.grammy.com.
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Live Peformance Launches New Genre in E-Publishing

buzzz worthy. . .

Live Performance Launches New Genre in E-Publishing

Fictional Series Looks Like a Fashion Magazine, Creates Narrative Commerce Experience
SANTA FE, N.M., Nov. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Haute Fiction, an episodic e-series with the aesthetic and commercial properties of a fashion magazine, will launch in a theatrical presentation by author Theresa DiGiorgio at El Museo Cultural on December 6, 2015.
Haute Fiction creates the first narrative commerce series designed in multi-column, full color magazine layout. The cross genre format combines magazine publishing, brand marketing, fashion and women's fiction in an interactive web platform. Each chapter is presented with original imagery and links to fashion brand, commerce and social media sites. With a click, Haute Fiction readers become shoppers.
Haute Fiction tells the story of a woman searching for something to wear as she professes, "My closet has a more interesting life than I do. If only I had the kind of life I accessorized for." Inside her closet, she reflects on her life story, one article of clothing at a time. The series takes you on a fashionable journey of romantic and professional conquests, illusions, the bonds of friendship, perceived successes, women's fragility and strength, and an understanding of the power of identity. "The concept of Haute Fiction widens the publishing landscape," says DiGiorgio. "Haute Fiction has the allure of a fashion magazine and the depth of a novel, combined with the accessibility of web technology. Haute Fiction offers an immersive experience designed for today's modern woman. In an industry where it is vital to grab attention and make an emotional connection, the marketing potential of this concept is boundless."

Haute Fiction is self-published. Sponsorships and marketing opportunities are available. DiGiorgio is a first time novelist with a background in creative marketing. For information, reference: hautefiction.com
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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Downton Abbey finale viewing event in Atlanta

buzzz worthy. . .

Bid a fond farewell to the worldwide phenomenon and see the first episode of "Downton Abbey: Season 6" before anyone else. Join Georgia Public Broadcasting on Thursday, December 17th at 200 Peachtree for "An Evening at Downton Abbey" with special guest Jessica Fellowes, official "Downton Abbey" companion book author.
Choose from three VIP ticket packages. Options include a meet and greet book signing with Jessica Fellowes, dinner and dancing, exclusive silent auction and a luxurious night at the Ritz Carlton Downtown. Get your tickets at https://secure3.convio.net/gpb/site/Ecommerce?store_id=5981 or reserve a table by calling 404-685-2608.

“Downton Abbey” Season 6 premieres in the U.S. on PBS on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016.  The ending will already be spoiled by the time it airs in America as final episode in Europe airs on Christmas Day. 

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buzzz worthy. . .

First Single “Wanna Be Happy?” #1 Digital Gospel Track
For Ten Weeks Straight
Dallas, TX -- Multi-GRAMMY® Award-winning artist, songwriter, producer and music icon, Kirk Franklin, released his eleventh studio album LOSING MY RELIGION (Fo Yo Soul Recordings / RCA Records). Franklin’s highly anticipated album, LOSING MY RELIGION boasts 13 soul-stirring tracks including the #1 lead single, “Wanna Be Happy?”.  The single debuted at #1 on Billboard and broke the record previously set by Franklin with “I Smile (2011)” to become the best first-week digital single in gospel sales history.  
The central message of LOSING MY RELIGION, which features guest artists, Kim Burrell, Tasha Cobbs, Zacardi Cortez, Lalah Hathaway, Tamela Mann, Tasha Page-Lockhart and Sarah Reeves, is for one to truly see and understand the most essential aspect of their faith, and that’s their relationship with God. When asked what he hopes that listeners take away from the album, Franklin says, "The most beautiful picture about the love of God is that my trying doesn't replace my trusting...religion may point out what's wrong, but it doesn't give me the power to make it right. This album is the soundtrack to how love rescued me from the law".

LOSING MY RELIGION offers the classic Kirk Franklin sound that has inspired so many people over the past 20+ years, but may be his most introspective work yet.  The album is now available everywhere music is sold, including all major digital retailers.
Losing My Religion – Track Listing:
1.      Losing My Religion
2.      Miracles
3.      123 Victory
4.      Road Trip
5.      Pray For Me
6.      Wanna Be Happy?
7.      It’s Time (featuring Tasha Page-Lockhart and Zacardi Cortez)
8.      True Story
9.      Over
10.  When (featuring Kim Burrell and Lalah Hathaway)
11.  My World Needs You (featuring Sarah Reeves, Tasha Cobbs and Tamela Mann)
12.  Intercession
13.  No Sleep
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Gospel History: "Best Of" album from gospel pioneer Marion Williams released

buzzz worthy. . .

Anthony Heilbut and Marion Williams in 1987.

Were it not for Gospel music, Rock 'n' Roll, Rhythm & Blues, Soul and the Blues would not exist. Gospel music, from its earliest church moan, has been the bedrock of American music. One of its greatest proponents is Marion Williams who Rolling Stone Magazine called "the greatest singer ever." The Pioneering Gospel singer's unrelenting four-octave range, unrivaled swooping phrases, uncanny sense of timing, mesmerizing whoops, leaps and growls, changed music and not just Gospel forever. The essence of Marion Williams' sound is evidenced in the music of such diverse music icons as Nina Simone, Little Richard, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and The Beatles. Little Richard's octave-leaping high whoops on "Tutti Frutti" and other classics are testament to Marion Williams' influence and Aretha Franklin's versions of Williams' biggest hits "Surely God Is Able" and "Packin' Up," confirm the 'Queen of Soul's' admiration for the Gospel great. Shanachie Entertainment's newly issued Marion Williams release, Packin' Up: The Best of Marion Williams,illustrates the depth of Marion Williams' artistry. From hair-raising and raucous Rock 'n' Roll inflected show-stopping performances, to the more subtle folkloric understated takes and blues and jazz tinged sets, Packin' Up: The Best of Marion Williams is exhilarating from the first note to the last. This must-have collection brilliant captures Williams' ecstatic highs and haunting lows and proves why she will remain one of the greatest musical forces in American music.
Produced by noted gospel scholar and Grammy winning producer Anthony Heilbut, Packin' Up: The Best of Marion Williams features 26 tracks that include 13 previously unissued cuts and extensive liner notes written by Heilbut, the author of the groundbreaking book, The Gospel Sound, which remains in print after 44 years and is one of the definitive books on gospel music. James Baldwin called it "A very beautiful book...tough and lucid."    His latest critically lauded book, The Fan Who Knew To Much: The Secret Closets of American Culture won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. Heilbut states, "Marion Williams' improvisatory skills, her usage of time and sense of harmony place her among the best of the American singers right alongside Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington and Mahalia Jackson." He adds, "From solemn a cappella hymns that could have been field recordings to the fiercely rhythmic songs identified with the sanctified church and male quartets to the blues-saturated compositions of the mid-40s, Marion was the only one of the classic gospel singers who excelled in all sub-genres. Who else could have inspired such diverse musical figures as Little Richard and Nina Simone?" Tony Heilbut was a 16-year old freshman at Queens College when he first met Williams. As a youth, the native New Yorker attended many of the Apollo Theatre's gospel concerts. Later as a first-year Ph D. Student at Harvard, he was responsible for bringing Marion to the school, undoubtedly the first time the gospel sound had swept that austere institution. Heilbut never imagined that he would later go on to produce and become life-long friends with Williams. He would also become one of her greatest champions. On the strength of their collaborations with one another, Marion would go on to become the only gospel singer to receive a MacArthur Genius Grant or Kennedy Center Honors Award.
Packin' Up: The Best of Marion Williams features performances from 1957 to 1993 and radiates the richness and power of gospel music. Highlights include the riveting title track, recorded at the famed 1957 Newport Jazz Festival, which beautifully illustrates how much Rock 'n Roll owes Marion Williams.
Further evidence is given on the memorable tracks "Didn't It Rain," You've Got to Move" and the politically and socially charged "The New Burying Ground," which references such charged issues as welfare and Medicare. Marion Williams heavily influenced the iconic Nina Simone, can be heard on one of Nina's biggest hits "I Wish I Knew How It Felt To Be Free." The way the 'High Priestess of Soul' teases the beat and climaxes to a rousing finale pays homage to Marion's captivating and spell-binding performances. "I Have A Friend," "Motherless Children," "I'll Be All Right" and "Live The Life" are all songs that show how Marion may have laid down foundation for some of the deeply rooted gospel undertow heard throughout Nina Simone's music.
A young Marion Williams singing to an enthralled C.L. Franklin (Aretha Franklin's Father) around 1955

Marion Williams was born a survivor in Miami, FL. She was the youngest of eleven children and only three of her siblings survived past their first year. Her mother sang in the church choir and before long Marion was singing right beside her. As a teen during a visit to Philadelphia Marion had the great fortune to be heard singing by Clara and Gertrude Ward who instantly recognized her talent and invited her to join the Ward Singers, a premier gospel group at the time. Williams toured the world with them and in 1959 she formed her own gospel group, the Stars of Faith, which toured widely and by 1965 she set out on her own. In 1991, Williams performed as a gospel singer in the film Fried Green Tomatoes though her scene is available only in the director's cut. The movie was dedicated to her. In 1993, not long before her untimely passing, Marion was honored by the MacArthur Foundation.  They declared that Williams was among "the last surviving links to gospel's golden age...one of the most versatile singers of her generation." The same year, Williams was also one of the recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors. Her tribute included an all-star lineup featuring appearances by Billy Preston, Little Richard and Aretha Franklin. Little Richard declared on stage that evening, "I love you baby because you made me a star, because you gave me my note." With the release of Packin' Up: The Best of Marion Williams may Marion Williams' song be everlasting and her legacy shine ever so brightly.

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White House and Dept. of Labor invest millions in TechHire Grants Competition, launching today

Launch $100 Million TechHire Grant Competition Including $50 Million for Young Americans

Today, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, Cabinet Secretary and Chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force Broderick Johnson, and Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, will travel to Baltimore, Maryland to announce new steps to advance the President’s TechHire initiative and expand opportunities for young Americans to get trained and placed into well-paying tech jobs. Baltimore is launching its TechHire initiative to expand pathways into tech jobs to those who have historically been left out of Baltimore’s economy and those who are underrepresented in tech fields. 

America has about 5.5 million open jobs today. Over half a million job openings are in information technology fields such as software development, network administration, and cybersecurity—rapidly growing sectors with many more jobs than just a decade ago. Whether in manufacturing, advertising, retail or banking, the average salary in a job that requires information technology (IT) skills is 50 percent higher than the average private-sector American job.  

Businesses have added 13.5 million jobs over 68 straight months of private-sector job growth, extending the longest streak on record. While this progress is significant, employers are in critical need of tech talent and too many Americans lack the skills and experience to access these well-paying jobs. Over six million young Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 are out of school and work, which represents a significant untapped resource of productivity and talent for the country.

That is why in March 2015, President Obama launched TechHire, a bold multi-sector effort and call to action to empower Americans with the skills they need, through universities and community colleges, but also nontraditional approaches like “coding bootcamps” and high-quality online courses that can rapidly train workers for a well-paying job, often in just a few months.

Since then, 35 cities, states, and rural areas with more than 500 employer partners in need of this workforce, have begun working together to find new ways to recruit and place applicants based on their actual skills and to create more fast track tech training opportunities. The President has set a goal of reaching more than 40 communities by the end of 2015.

Today, the Administration announced new steps to ensure that Americans, including youth and young adults ages 17-29, individuals with disabilities, individuals with limited English proficiency, and individuals with criminal records, get access including:

  • $100 Million TechHire Grant Competition. Earlier this year, the President announced that as a part of the TechHire initiative, the Administration would commit $100 million to expanding accelerated tech training. Today, the Department of Labor (DOL) is releasing the application for those grants. They will award $100 million or more in H-1B funds, including at least $50 million specifically dedicated to supporting young Americans, ages 17-29, with barriers to training and employment, to partnerships that can that rapidly train and connect workers to well-paying, high-growth jobs across industries such as information technology, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing.

     $20 Million Training to Work Grant Competition. Building off the President’s announcement from earlier this month of new actions to promote rehabilitation and reintegration for the formerly incarcerated, today the Administration is also announcing the launch of the fourth round of DOL’s Training to Work grant competition that will award approximately 14 grants to expand access to tech jobs and other high growth occupations for adults ages 18 and older returning from correctional facilities. Interested applicants may apply to this opportunity here.

     14 Cities and States Have Made New Commitments to Expand Access to Tech Training and Jobs Since the Launch. Since the launch of TechHire earlier this year, the President has announced that 14 new communities including Baltimore have responded to the TechHire initiative with commitments to work with employer partners on new ways to recruit and place applicants based on their skills, create more accelerated tech training opportunities, and invest in innovative placement programs to connect trained workers with entrepreneurial opportunities and well-paying jobs. Today, the City of Baltimore is launching its TechHire initiative with an emphasis on including those who have historically been left out of Baltimore’s economy and those who are underrepresented in tech fields. 

            New cities and states that have joined since March

Akron, OH
Baltimore, MD
Birmingham, AL
Cincinnati, OH
Lynchburg, VA
New Haven, CT
Newark, NJ
New Orleans, LA
Oakland, CA

Pittsburgh, PA
Rhode Island
San Jose, CA
Washington, DC
More Details on Today’s Announcements:

$100 Million TechHire Grant Competition Includes at Least $50 Million for Young Americans

The DOL competition will award $100 million or more in H-1B funds, including at least $50 million specifically dedicated to supporting young Americans ages 17-29 with employment and training barriers. Grants will be awarded to approximately 30-40 grantees to pilot and scale innovative partnerships between employers, labor organizations, community colleges, and other training providers, local and state governments, the workforce system, non-profits and faith-based organizations that:

1)      Expand access to accelerated learning options that provide a quick path to good jobs, such as “bootcamp” style programs, online options, and competency-based programs.
2)      Use data and innovative hiring practices to expand openness to non-traditional hiring by working with employers to build robust data on where they have the greatest needs, identify what skills they are looking for, and build willingness to hire from both nontraditional and traditional training programs.
3)      Offer specialized training strategies, supportive services, and other participant-focused services that assist targeted populations to overcome barriers, including networking and job search, active job development, transportation, mentoring, and financial counseling.
4)      Connect people to jobs with hiring on-ramp programs with steps ranging from investing in and working with industry-trusted organizations, which will vouch for those who have the skills to do the job, but who may lack the typical profile of degrees and career experience.

While this funding opportunity supports the broader goals of the White House TechHire Initiative, there is no preference given to designated TechHire communities.

Interested applicants can find more information on the TechHire Grants Competition at the Grants.gov application page and at DOL’s TechHire page.

$20 Million Training to Work Grant Competition

The DOL Training to Work competition will award approximately 14 grants totaling $20 million to collaborative partnerships among employers, industry associations, work release programs, and the workforce system that:

1)      Create career pathways into high-demand occupations and industries, such as tech.
2)      Target services to areas with high rates of poverty and crime, with special consideration for communities designated by the Administration as Promise Zones.
3)      Provide a coordinated suite of customized services, including case management, mentoring, education, training, job placement, and post-employment services.

TechHire Progress Since the Launch

     In June at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the President set a goal to double the number of TechHire cities and states from 21 to over 40 by the end of 2015.  Since then, 14 new communities have made independent commitments to make sure that Americans can find work based on their skills and not just their degree, to create more accelerated tech training opportunities, and to invest in innovative placement programs to connect diverse workers with entrepreneurial opportunities and jobs.

     Additionally, several communities that launched initiatives in March have been making progress in their pilot efforts. For example:

      Memphis, Tennessee is partnering with local correctional facilities and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology to offer a new one-stop career center inside correctional facilities to train non-violent offenders prior to their release in PC repair, networking, and application development. They are partnering with Seedco to assist with soft-skills and career path development as well.
      New York City, New York through the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline, has launched the City University of New York Tech Prep program to connect a broad group of individuals, including women and minorities, across the system’s numerous campuses, with industry-informed training and connections to internships or full-time software development jobs with the help of employers like Etsy, Foursquare, Goldman Sachs, MongoDB and Trello.
      In Minneapolis, Minnesota the first class of graduates from the Minneapolis partner Prime Digital Academy are being hired. Additionally, they have launched a $500 scholarship for any student of color applying to participate in the program this year.

·         Launch of Baltimore TechHire Initiative. Today Baltimore is launching its TechHire initiative, which will provide alternative pathways to web development, advertising technology, digital fabrication, and cybersecurity jobs for residents including the unemployed, underemployed, and formerly incarcerated. The initiative will be led by OneBaltimore, which will launch a TechHire Council with primary partners including the Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Employment Development, Greater Baltimore Urban League, Code in the Schools, Betamore, the Center for Urban Families, and Goodwill. Employer partners include Verizon, Browns Communications, Delmock Technology, G&G Solutions, Locas Technology, Digit All Systems, Intellibit, SeeFuture, Microsoft, and BITH energy group. The initiative will also be integrated into the work of My Brother’s Keeper Baltimore in support of its Local Action Plan goal to strengthen and expand career-exploration and training programs for opportunity youth. 

The President’s Agenda to Create Pathways to the Middle-Class through High-Quality, Job-Driven Training. TechHire is part of the President’s broader agenda to invest in job-driven training for young Americans and others to get into better, well-paying jobs.

     Vice President Biden’s Job-Driven Training Review. Last July, the Administration—with the leadership of Vice President Biden—released a plan to expand the number of pathways for Americans to gain the skills they need to get better, higher-paying jobs and increase access to those pathways. Since then, we have taken a number of steps to realize that vision, which is laid out in this progress report.

The President’s FY 2016 Budget Connecting for Opportunity proposal provides $1.5 billion to fund subsidized summer and year-round job opportunities for 600,000 youth and initiates a competitive grant program for municipalities to create educational and career pathways for disconnected youth.

     Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (“EQUIP”) Title IV Experiment.   Some non-traditional learning providers (MOOC’s, bootcamps, etc.) show evidence of excellent student outcomes and employment outcomes.  However, without financial aid, these programs are largely inaccessible to low-income students. To meet this need, the Department of Education is currently accepting applications for a new financial aid experiment that will allow students to access to Title IV student aid to enroll in non-traditional programs that are partnering with educational to produce strong student and employment outcomes. Letters of interest received prior to December 14, 2015, will receive priority consideration.

     Performance Partnership Pilots (P3) for Disconnected Youth. P3 provides communities with flexibility to implement innovative programs to improve education, employment, and other key outcomes for disconnected youth. The Administration launched the P3 initiative to work with communities to strengthen efforts to overcome challenges through new flexibility in how federal funds are used. State, local, and tribal governments will have an opportunity to test new strategies for serving disconnected youth, including by pooling funding for programs and services and better coordinating and aligning the systems that serve youth.  This Fall, the Department of Education, in partnership with the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Justice, as well as Corporation for National and Community Service and Institute For Museum and Library Services, selected the first round of nine pilots including Broward County, FL; Chicago, IL; East Baton Rouge, LA; Indianapolis, IN; Los Angeles, CA; the State of Oklahoma; Seattle, WA; Southeastern, KY; and Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, a Federally-recognized Indian tribe.

     VA Accelerated Learning Competition. To ensure that Veterans can take full advantage of innovative learning models, VA has applied $5 million in innovation funding in FY15 and continuing into FY16 to leverage accelerated learning and test its effectiveness for transitioning Servicemembers and Veterans. The initiative is focused on amplifying Veteran’s and transitioning Servicemembers’ Information Technology experience through fast-tracked training leading to industry certification. Since its launch, the program received an overwhelming applicant response and students are currently progressing through the initial training phase of the program.
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MUSIC THERAPY(PHOTOS): Deitrick Haddon hosts a gospel paint 'n sip

buzzz worthy. . .

 Gospel artist taps into the wine and art socializing trend 

Deitrick Haddon preps his palette to paint at his first gospel paint 'n sip held at Uncorked in DC on Sunday, November 15, 2015.  The award winning gospel recording artist came up with the concept to celebrate the release of his latest album, "Masterpiece."

Award winning Gospel artist and "Preachers of L.A." Executive Producer Deitrick Haddon tested the DC market on Sunday, holding an exclusive paint 'n sip CD listening  party for the new album "Masterpiece." Appropriately held at Christian owned Uncorked art shop in the heart of the artsy Adams Morgan district, guests received a ticket for painting and their choice of a glass of red or white wine. Haddon joined fans at the blank canvas and created his own unique piece of fine art as his music played overhead. The event was such a rousing success the label, eOne has decided to expand the concept to New York, Atlanta and L.A.  There is more to come in a future full report. . .

Deitrick Haddon with Mona Austin.

I tapped into my inner Renoir  and created a piece for Paris in light of the recent terrorist attack.
I call it "Paris Rouge."
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Monday, November 16, 2015


buzzz worthy. . Los Angeles, CA (November 16, 2015) - On Wednesday, December 9, at 8:00 p.m., Carnegie Hall presents two of gospel music’s biggest stars—Donnie McClurkin and Kim Burrell—in a one-of-a-kind participatory concert in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. Under the musical direction of the multi-faceted producer, composer, and director Ray Chew, the multiple Grammy Award–winning McClurkin is joined by Burrell—an exuberant vocalist who has performed with stars from the worlds of gospel, jazz, and R&B—to lead an all-star ensemble in a concert where the audience joins voices with the artists on stage as part of what McClurkin calls a “landmark sing-along concert.” Tickets, priced at $32–$62 are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling Carnegie Charge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org. McClurkin and Burrell’s humble beginnings before rising to world renowned status in the music industry keeps them firmly planted as their talents continue to make room for them on mainstream platforms. The two artists are familiar faces to the award-winning gospel competition show Sunday Best that recently wrapped its 8th Season on the BET Networks. McClurkin earned a trophy case full of Grammy, Dove, and Stellar Awards plus other honors including two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Gospel Artist. In 2001, He graduated to establishing Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, New York, all the while continuing to release new recordings, including Again (2003) and the double-CD Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs (2005)—which each won a coveted Grammy Award—followed by We All Are One / Live in Detroit (2008) and Duets (2011), which featured collaborations with Tramaine Hawkins, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Preashea Hilliard, Tye Tribbett, Erica and Tina Campbell, Israel Houghton, Marvin Sapp, John P. Kee, and Justin Savage. When asked what appeals to him about the sing-a-long for the gospel concert McClurkin replied, “The sing-along format gives us the opportunity to interact with the audience - for them to sing along with us - and for us to enjoy the concert as “one” instead of it being just the artist singing to a few thousand. The thousands will sing together as one!” Since her first solo project, 1997’s Try Me Again, Burrell has shared the stage with great gospel artists such as Pastor Shirley Caesar, Albertina Walker, Pastor Donnie McClurkin, Karen Clark-Sheard, Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, and Pastor Marvin Winans, just to name a few. She has also worked with secular artists such as Missy Elliot, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, George Duke, Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, Whitney Houston, Harry Connick Jr., and many more. Burrell overwhelmed the music industry on Tommy Boy Gospel with her hit projects Everlasting Life (1998) and Kim Burrell Live (2001), featuring hits like "I Keep Holding On," "I Come To You More Than I Give," "Anything," "Victory," and "I'll Be There." Her project, The Love Album (2011), won a Dove Award, two Stellar Awards, and was nominated for a Grammy Award. Burrell just released the highly anticipated new CD From a Different Place, which will enamor gospel fans and win many fans beyond the confines of gospel music. Her new album-which is her sixth solo release, demonstrates exactly why she has influenced legions of singers and garnered devoted fans all around the world. Burrell’s new single “Thank You Jesus (That’s What He’s Done)” is currently Top 30 on the Gospel chart and steadily rising. Music Director Ray Chew served as music director for Fox’s American Idol, where he inspired some of the best talent in the competition’s history and produced over 300 contestant iTunes downloads. He has also served as music director for it’s Showtime at the Apollo, BET’s Sunday Best. BET Honors, Celebration of Gospel, and the BET Awards. Ray’s music direction is sought after for prestigious music specials and historic landmark events, including the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, the 2015 Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony, the 2008 Democratic National Convention, The President’s Inaugural Neighborhood Ball and the 44th Annual NAACP Image Awards. In 2014, with the blessings of Milton DeLugg—who had previously held the position for 50 years—Ray was handed the baton to musically direct NBC’s broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, an 88-year tradition. From the Hollywood Bowl in L.A. to the Nobel Peace Prize broadcast in Norway, Ray’s in demand sound can be found on various television and film scores. In 2010 at Carnegie Hall, he curated A Night of Inspiration, a sold-out, all-star concert at the famed venue, where he conducted a 63-piece orchestra joined by a 125 voice mass choir and notable artists from the gospel and secular communities. Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.
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