Industry News: LeBron James' 'Graduate Together,' U.S. Travel's Virtual Road Trip, the Recording Academy's New Exec, and More

NATIONAL: "Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020" will air May 16 on ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. The one-hour virtual graduation event is the brainchild of XQ Institute, The LeBron James Family Foundation, and The Entertainment Industry Foundation, and will feature appearances from the Jonas Brothers, Ben Platt, Megan Rapinoe, Pharell Williams, and many more. The show is being produced by Done & Dusted and SpringHill Entertainment.

To celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, the U.S. Travel Association is hosting a "virtual road trip" on May 5. The Twitter-driven event highlights destinations, businesses, and attractions throughout the country by asking people to answer prompts and polls and highlight their favorite spots using the #VirtualRoadTrip hashtag. 

ATLANTA: Taffer's Tavern will open its first-ever Atlanta location in Alpharetta this July. To address concerns regarding opening amid the COVID-19 outbreak, restaurant brand owner Jon Taffer has created the Taffer’s Safe Dining System, which includes healthy safety measures such as no raw protein, medically safe preparation techniques (think masks, gloves, etc.), and reduced staffers, among other precautions. 

DALLAS: As the home of the frozen margarita, Visit Dallas and Mile Margarita are holding America’s Official Cinco de Mayo Happy Hour—virtually, of course—on Tuesday, May 5 beginning at 5 p.m. CT. The virtual event will be hosted by Dallas chefs Dean Fearing and Julian Rodarte via YouTube.

LOS ANGELES: Valeisha Butterfield Jones is the new chief diversity and inclusion officer of the Recording Academy. In the newly created role, Jones, the former global head of inclusion for Google, will work to apply inclusionary practices across the Academy, including in its events such as the Grammys.

The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival Connect 2020 event will run from May 5 through May 29, boasting a series of screenings (from features and short films to episodics), as well as Q&As, masterclasses, and music performances.

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA: The Miami Beach Convention Center has converted into a temporary hospital to help alleviate hospitals across the state. The final project, executed in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), includes 450 beds and 50,000 square feet of Noraplan Environcare rubber flooring.

NORWALK, CONN.: Lisa Choi Owens has joined the board of directors for event tech company Aventri. Owens is currently the chief revenue officer and head of global partnerships at TED.

With contributions from Ashton Pike in Atlanta, Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, and Michele Laufik in New York.

BizBash Buzz is the must-read digest of event industry news from BizBash.com.

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