1. LADY GAGA SAYS HALFTIME SHOW WILL BE INCLUSIVE: At a press conference on Thursday, Super Bowl halftime show headliner Lady Gaga said the performance will celebrate equality and inclusion. Associated Press: ”'This performance is for everyone. I want to, more than anything, create a moment that everyone that's watching will never forget,' she said in a press conference Thursday in Houston. Gaga wouldn't reveal what songs she would sing, how many costumes she'll wear or any staging details, but promised a 'tremendously athletic' show and no reappearance of her infamous meat dress. She also said there wouldn't be any wardrobe malfunctions—like Janet Jackson's infamous moment when she performed at the last Super Bowl held in Houston in 2004. … 'Essentially, that kid that couldn't get a seat at the cool kids table and that kid who was kicked out of the house because his mom and dad didn't accept him for who he was? That kid is going to have the stage for 13 minutes,' she said. 'And I'm excited to give it to them.' The performance at the NRG Stadium will also feature Tony Bennett, who Gaga called a 'tremendously wise man.'” http://apne.ws/2jCpDcK
2. TRUMP'S PROBABLE PICK FOR SOCIAL SECRETARY A LONGTIME DEMOCRAT: Natalie Jones, a longtime democrat and President Obama's former deputy chief of protocol, is the unlikely leading candidate for social secretary under President Trump's administration. Washington Post: “Before taking the powerful protocol job at the State Department, Jones was a finance director at the Democratic National Committee and for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. It’s highly unusual for a president to pick a holdover from a previous administration for the sensitive job, which involves planning events at the White House—from high-stakes state dinners to Easter-egg rolls—that communicate the president and first lady’s agenda to the world. The social secretary reports to the first lady, but works closely with the president. The pick would signal that Melania Trump is willing to turn to political veterans, and not just those in the tight New York circle that the Trumps inhabit, to steer her tenure in Washington. ... Jones is known for being gracious, polished, and ultra-connected—on both sides of the aisle. She likely came onto the Trumps’ radar screens because of her role planning “Diplomacy by Design,” an October event highlighting the fashion industry’s cultural and economic power, which was followed by an elegant reception at the Blair House." http://wapo.st/2k18Hcn
3. WOMEN'S MARCH ORGANIZERS LAUNCH NEW FEATURE FOR COMMUNITY GATHERINGS: The organizers of the Women's March on Washington have launched a new feature aimed to facilitate community gatherings this month. TechCrunch: “The organizers this morning announced the launch of Next Up Huddles, community gatherings that will be held from February 2nd through 12th, 2017. The goal with the huddles is to turn first-time activists into committed participants across a range of issues, including civil rights, healthcare and the environment. Instead of Facebook pages, events or groups, interested participants are being redirected to a new page on the Women’s March site, which has you first enter your zip code in order to locate the events nearby. If none are in your area, you can also choose to host an event yourself. It’s basically a bare-bones version of Meetup.com for the Women’s March supporters. The organization will announce actions and activities that these smaller groups will help to carry out, including things like building out local action networks and working toward specific state and federal agendas, it says. When you find an event you want to attend, you click a button to RSVP and register. But this all takes place directly on the site. Facebook isn’t involved.” http://tcrn.ch/2kwvQXf
* LOCAL NEWS *
COAST TO COAST: .VER, a provider of production equipment and engineering support, has announced an expansion of its lighting division with new lighting locations in Orlando and Chicago.
BOSTON: The Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition will take place October 4-6 at the Hynes Convention Center. The event will be produced by Leading Edge Expositions, L.L.C.
CHICAGO: 4 Star Restaurant Group's 11th concept Ella Elli is slated to open March 7 in Lakeview. Designed by Grip, the 2,200-square-foot, 75-seat restaurant will serve globally-inspired cuisine, wine, and cocktails.
LOS ANGELES: Essence and the Paley Center for Media will host “The Power of Our Presence—An Exhibition Celebrating the 10 Year Anniversary of the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards” from February 8-28 at the Paley Center's Beverly Hills location. The Black History Month exhibit will feature costumes from lead female TV characters from shows, including costumes worn by Kerry Washington in Scandal and Tracee Ellis Ross in Black-ish.
The John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary's 32nd annual Odyssey Ball is slated for March 25 at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles
MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA: International barbecue competition Cochon555 will take place March 26 at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. The event will feature pork-based dishes from 30 chef-competitors.
NEW YORK: The 16th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival will open with the world premiere of the documentary Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives on April 19 at Radio City Music Hall. The festival, which is presented by AT&T, runs through April 30.
The 16th annual Architectural Digest Design Show will take place March 16-19 at Piers 92 and 94. The event will feature products from more than 400 brands, and host product launches, theater programming, and more special events.
For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork
ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA: The Human Growth Foundation will host Family Day at SeaWorld Orlando on September 23. The event will include information about the latest developments regarding childhood growth disorders, medical insurance, and more.
TORONTO: Creative production company BaAM Productions has appointed Steve Lange as vice president of brand experience.
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Capital Pride 2017 announced the official event theme as “Unapologetically Proud” at the fifth annual Pride Reveal event at Sax Restaurant & Lounge on Thursday.
The Newseum's second annual Free Expression Awards will honor Apple C.E.O. Tim Cook on April 18.
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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.
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