July 26, 2018: Kennedy Center Honors to Award ‘Hamilton,’ Cher, and Reba McEntire, Target Draws Backlash for Event That Paid Homage to Legendary New York Rock Club, Musicians Condemn Austrian Festival For Not Taking Action on Sexual Assault Claim

By Ian Zelaya July 26, 2018, 9:27 AM EDT

1. KENNEDY CENTER HONORS TO AWARD 'HAMILTON,' CHER, AND REBA MCENTIRE: The 41st annual Kennedy Center Honors will honor Cher, Philip Glass, Reba McEntire, and Wayne Shorter. Hamilton co-creators Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler, and Alex Lacamoire will receive a special arts honor. Washington Post: “Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter acknowledged that the decision to honor a work of art is a dramatic change in the Honors’ four-decade history, but she said it was warranted because of Hamilton’s enormous influence. The hip-hop musical about the Founding Fathers has garnered international attention, brought new fans to Broadway, and received a Pulitzer Prize and Grammy and Tony awards. ‘Our conversations were about how powerful this work has been, what it has done to the conversation, the coverage it has received, and how powerfully it has impacted every single individual,’ Rutter said. ‘How can we acknowledge it now, while it’s happening?’ The musical’s four creators will be the youngest to receive a Kennedy Center Honor. Miranda is 38; Kail, 40; Lacamoire, 43; and Blankenbuehler, 48. LL Cool J, one of last year’s winners, and Stevie Wonder were 49 when they were given the award. The selection of Hamilton and its young creators—who were behind the earlier In the Heights musical—also represents the Kennedy Center’s focus on current art, Rutter said. ‘Part of our current identity is to celebrate greatness that has already been achieved and greatness that is happening now,’ she said. The award continues a trend of recognizing artists whose works are featured on the arts center’s stages. In 2015, Carole King was honored weeks after her biographical musical, Beautiful, was presented, and 2017 honoree Gloria Estefan was saluted the month before her musical, On Your Feet, opened at the Kennedy Center.”

2. TARGET DRAWS BACKLASH FOR MARKETING EVENT THAT PAID HOMAGE TO LEGENDARY NEW YORK ROCK CLUB: Target celebrated the opening of a new store in New York's East Village by recreating the entrance of the legendary rock club CBGB—and quickly drew backlash from residents in the area and musicians who had performed at the club, which was open from 1973 to 2006. The New York Times: “Instead of 'CBGB,' the awning read 'TRGT' and 'BANDS' in bold red lettering. But the 'bands' were Target-branded Band-Aids and exercise bands. The display windows showcased TRGT T-shirts, foam hands, and a poster emblazoned with 'The Resistance'—none of which were for sale. The backlash online was swift. Jeremiah Moss, the author of Vanishing New York, a book about the city’s gentrification, wrote on his blog that the display 'might be the most deplorable commodification of local neighborhood culture I’ve ever witnessed.' In a TV interview with Fox 5, Laura Sewell, the executive director of the East Village Community Coalition, called the gesture 'really pretty tasteless.' 'To find a Disney fake version of whatever it was they thought we were—they’re just off,' she said. In a statement, Target said, 'We often host a one-day celebration that shows the neighborhood how excited we are to be part of their community. We sincerely apologize if some eventgoers felt it was not the best way to capture the spirit of the neighborhood,' the statement continued. 'We always appreciate guest feedback and will take it into consideration as we plan for future opening events.'"

3. MUSICIANS CONDEMN AUSTRIAN FESTIVAL FOR NOT TAKING ACTION ON SEXUAL ASSAULT CLAIMS: Five female musicians accused an Austrian classical music festival of not taking action on sexual assault complaints they made for years against the event’s artistic director. Associated Press: “The artists alleged that Austrian conductor Gustav Kuhn subjected them to unwanted kisses, groping, bullying, and public humiliation during their time at the Tyrolean Festival Erl between 1998 and 2017. ‘Repeatedly the borders of personal dignity and respect were ignored and exceeded,’ the five musicians said. ‘We are outraged that despite the well-known facts necessary consequences have not been drawn so far,’ they said. In a statement, a lawyer for the festival, Michael Krueger, called the open letter ‘simply irresponsible.’ He said Kuhn would defend himself legally against the allegations. The five musicians—Belarusian violinist Aliona Dargel, German soprano Bettine Kampp, Albanian violinist Ninela Lamaj, German mezzo-soprano Julia Oesch, and Swiss soprano Mona Somm—also criticized authorities for failing to act on complaints. … At the start of this year’s festival, its president Hans Peter Haselsteiner had criticized a local blogger for publishing allegations about Kuhn, saying the conductor ‘still doesn’t hide what he likes. And wine, women, and song are things we can all understand.’”


ATLANTA:  Food service and catering company Proof of the Pudding has removed plastic straws from its partner venues and catered events. 

CHICAGO:  Dance for Life, an organization that mobilizes the city’s dance community by raising money through dance, will host a gala reception August 18 at Hilton Chicago. The gala will take place before the 27th annual Dance for Life Chicago performance at Roosevelt University’s Auditorium Theatre. 

LAS VEGAS:  The Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon will take place November 10-11. Toyota is the title sponsor of the event and will also sponsor the Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series that takes place before the race on November 11. 

JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa has launched two new suites in the Palms Tower. The Aviation Suite spans more than 2,400 square feet and the Penthouse Suite spans nearly 2,300 square feet. 

LOS ANGELES:  The Paley Center for Media will host “A Special Evening with Dionne Warwick: Then Came You,” as part of its PaleyLive summer 2018 season on August 1. Larry King will moderate the event. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club is slated to open in Miami Beach in September. 

NEW YORK:  Ice cream shop Ample Hills is opening a 15,000-square-foot factory, museum, and store in Red Hook today. Eater:

Madison Square Garden will enter a multi-year sponsorship and marketing deal with Pepsi September 1. The deal will make the brand the exclusive non-alcoholic drink and snack partner of M.S.G. venues. 

Time Out New York’s Battle of the Burger will take place August 16 at LIC Landing in Long Island City. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  To celebrate the completion of the Bentway, a public space under the Gardiner Expressway, a block party will be hosted there August 25. The event will have family-friendly games, an open-air arcade from Hand Eye Society, roaming live musical performances, and a street dance competition presented by Funky Facilitators. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Ian Zelaya, and Kristine Liao in New York.

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