May 1, 2018: N.R.A. Convention Bans Guns During Trump and Pence Speeches, White House Correspondents' Organizers Propose Changes to Future Dinners, NBC Partners With Google to Launch VR Experiences

By Ian Zelaya May 1, 2018, 8:38 AM EDT

1. N.R.A. CONVENTION BANS GUNS DURING TRUMP AND PENCE SPEECHES: Attendees at the National Rifle Association Annual Meetings and Exhibits, which takes place in Dallas this weekend, will be able to carry firearms—except when President Trump and Vice President Pence speak. Associated Press: “A White House official said Monday that Trump will attend Friday. Pence had already been slated to speak at Friday’s leadership forum. The NRA posted a notice on its website saying that the arena will be under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Secret Service during the leadership forum. It’s standard for the Secret Service to bar firearms from being carried into places visited by the people they protect, regardless of state laws. Other prohibited items include toy guns and knives, according to the NRA posting. Some students at the Parkland, Florida, high school where 17 people were killed in February criticized the NRA on social media for what they see as hypocrisy. ‘It’s ironic that they feel they need to ban guns to protect themselves especially after their main philosophy has been more guns equals more protection yet they don’t think they need to protect our kids in the same way,’ David Hogg, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas who has pushed for stricter gun control since the shooting. Guns were also banned during Trump’s appearance at the NRA’s annual meeting in Atlanta last year.”

2. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS' ORGANIZERS PROPOSE CHANGES TO FUTURE DINNERS: After comedian Michelle Wolf received criticism from journalists and members of the Trump administration for her set at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner Saturday, members have proposed changes for future iterations of the dinner. CNN: “The proximate reason for the debate: President Trump's snubbing of the association for a second straight year and Michelle Wolf's performance at Saturday night's dinner. But this debate predates Saturday night. Aspects of the dinner have been controversial for decades. 'As somebody who has said for a very long time that the dinner should be 'boring,' that is to say focused on journalists and the work of good reporters, I am very open to suggestions about how to change it,' the association's incoming president, Olivier Knox, said in an interview on Monday. The dinner is a key date on Washington's social calendar. But its organizers admit that it needs to be rethought in an age of increasing political polarization and constant attacks on the media. ... Wolf's performance has become an object for partisan warfare, with conservatives claiming it proves the press corps' hatred of Trump. The president himself tweeted on Monday that the dinner was 'embarrassing' and the event is 'dead'—indicating he won't be attending next year either. So should there be a change? Lots of ideas are bouncing around, both among correspondents and outsiders: Invite pair of comedians, one with a liberal bent and one with a conservative bent; Book a singer as the featured entertainer instead of a comedian. (Aretha Franklin performed in 1999 after Clinton-era dinner controversy.); Put the dinner on pause, or end it altogether; Change the dinner to make its focus the promotion of journalism and freedom of the press."

3. NBC PARTNERS WITH GOOGLE TO LAUNCH VR EXPERIENCES: NBC Universal has partnered with Google to debut virtual-reality experiences on YouTube. The VR experiences are related to shows on NBC and its affiliates. TechCrunch: “The two said that they will be working together to produce at least 10 multi-episode VR productions that will run as extra content alongside core programming on NBC itself and its network of other channels. Users can watch in VR on Google Cardboard or Daydream View, and it will also be hosted on YouTube for those not immersively inclined. Google said that it will also down the line make some of the content available on the VR180 format for 4K, three-dimensional video. Initial programs that will get the VR treatment include NBC’s 'Saturday Night Live' (which has already produced a selection of VR productions here, here, and here); reality show 'Vanderpump Rules' from Bravo; and content from SYFY WIRE, the website for the Syfy TV channel. … This is not the first time that NBC Universal has tried out content on VR: as one example it also worked with Intel and Oculus to bring Olympic content to headsets. It’s also become a very standard part of TV programming to develop additional content that can be watched by fans alongside the core TV show, to help extend touch-points with an audience who may otherwise only be seen for 22 minutes each week, at best. VR presents another opportunity for that, too.”


CHICAGO:  The 25th annual Chicago Underground Film Festival will run June 6-10. Events and screenings will take place at Logan Theatre, Elastic Arts, and the Burlington. 

LOS ANGELES:  The 35th annual California Strawberry Festival will take place May 19-20 at Strawberry Meadows of College Park in Oxnard. The event will have more than 50 booths serving strawberry dishes, along with live music, chef cooking demos, and a build-your-own strawberry shortcake tent. 

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The inaugural South Beach Mango Festival will take place August 5 at Lummus Park. The event, which will serve mango-centric dishes from local chefs, benefits Big Brother and Big Sisters of Miami. 

NEW YORK:  The 33rd annual Lucille Lortel Awards, which recognizes Off-Broadway productions, will take place May 6 at the NYU Skirball Center. Laura Benanti and Jeremy Shamos will host the event. 

Relish Caterers & Event Planning will cater Fox’s upfront event, its 11th year catering the event. Among the food stations and cocktails at the May 14 event at Wollman Rink in Central Park is a 40-foot sushi bar.

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Westgate Resorts will host its seventh annual Westgate Military Weekend May 3-6, honoring more than 1,200 U.S. military families, veterans, and Gold Star families with a free vacation at Westgate Vacation Villas & Town Center Resort.

TORONTO:  The Canadian Journalism Foundation will host its inaugural World News Day event Thursday at the CBC Barbara Frum Atrium. The event, which will feature testimonials from citizens and journalists who told their stories, will be hosted by Ian Hanomansing, co-host of CBC News’s The National

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Room to Rebloom—a nonprofit that provides local low-income women and families who have been victims of domestic violence with design services and resources to build homes—will host its fourth annual Rebloom on the Roof fund-raiser May 17 at the Fathom Gallery. The event will serve fare from Casa Luca and cocktails from DC Modern Luxury. 

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

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