October 3, 2018: James Beard Awards Make Rule Changes to Diversify, Garrison Keillor Dropped From Book Festival After Backlash Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Alicia Keys, Norman Lear, and Other Celebs to Join 'Protest Kavanaugh' Event in Washington

By Ian Zelaya October 3, 2018, 9:00 AM EDT

1. JAMES BEARD AWARDS MAKE RULE CHANGES TO DIVERSIFY: The James Beard Foundation is making changes to its rules and regulations in an effort to make its awards more diverse. The changes were announced Tuesday and will be implemented immediately for the upcoming nomination season, which begins this month and ends with the awards gala in May. The New York Times: "'The idea is to make sure it’s more indicative of who is working in the industry and that people are doing what they should be doing,' said Anne Quatrano, the Atlanta chef who oversees the awards. Most notably, the powerful volunteer committees that govern which restaurants, chefs, media outlets, and publications are nominated for medals will aim to be at least as diverse as the United States population. The larger groups of judges who vote on winners will face a similar mandate. The committees, which will initially use Census Bureau statistics as a guide, won’t remove members to achieve racial and gender parity, but rather will fill vacancies or expand the committees to increase diversity, she said. The organization will also stop adding people to its Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America list. Although the list includes such notable names as Martha Stewart, Alice Waters, and the late Jonathan Gold, it also includes men who have been caught up in sexual abuse and harassment scandals, including Mario Batali and John Besh. ... The foundation is also waiving some media entry fees in an effort to attract new voices. First-time entrants in the journalism awards may submit work without charge. Entry fees for its other media categories, including books, broadcast, and design, will be waived for the first two weeks of the submission period, which begins October 15. (Restaurants and chefs don’t pay to enter.)"

2. GARRISON KEILLOR DROPPED FROM BOOK FESTIVAL AFTER BACKLASH OVER SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS: An event featuring Garrison Keillor at the Burlington Book Festival in Vermont has been canceled following outrage over allegations of sexual misconduct by the former A Prairie Home Companion host. USA Today: “The festival's founding director told Vermont Public Radio the appearance, which was set to be a fund-raiser, was scrapped following an outcry on social media. ‘No insensitivity to anyone was ever the intent,’ Rick Kisonak told VPR via email. ‘But the unexpected reaction on social media made it apparent some people viewed his booking as our condoning of sexual harassment. Nothing could be further from the truth.’ Monday evening, Keillor responded to the concerns in a Facebook post made on a story by the Burlington Free Press, a part of the USA Today Network. ‘I agreed to come to Burlington to raise money for the Festival, but if it troubles people, then I'm glad to stay home and do my hoop-stitching,’ he wrote. Keillor was fired from Minnesota Public Radio last year following allegations that he had inappropriately touched female show guests—allegations he has denied. Later in 2017, the Washington Post dropped Keillor's syndicated column.” 

3. ALICIA KEYS, NORMAN LEAR, AND OTHER CELEBS TO JOIN 'PROTEST KAVANAUGH' EVENT IN WASHINGTON: Celebrities are joining the protests of Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Alicia Keys, Michael Stipe, Norman Lear, and more are slated to make appearances outside E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse at a protest event on Thursday. Washington Post: “The Bravery Is Contagious event is backed by musicians, actors, and other artists, including husband-and-wife duo Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, Erykah Badu and Esperanza Spalding. The website for the protest—which is organized by the Party Majority PAC—encourages people to call their senators and lists the number for the Senate’s main switchboard, as well as the direct office numbers for Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.). With Republicans holding a 51-to-49 majority in the Senate, the four senators are considered key votes in the Kavanaugh confirmation. 'We anticipate a vote on the Senate floor to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as early as Friday,' reads a message from the PAC. 'It is critical we make our voices heard on the ground in Washington on Thursday.' A spokeswoman for one of the organizers said the artists listed are 'lending their names to the cause' and it isn’t clear if they will turn up in person."


CHICAGO:  The 35th annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival will take place November 1-9 at venues including Facets, Music Box Theatre, and Davis Theater. This festival will screen more than 250 films. 

LAS VEGAS:  Lucky Dragon hotel closed Tuesday, just months after it filed for bankruptcy and its casino and restaurants closed. Las Vegas Review-Journal:

LOS ANGELES:  Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival, a hip-hop festival curated by Tyler, the Creator, will take place November 10-11 at Dodger Stadium. Headliners will include SZA, Post Malone, and Lauryn Hill. 

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Miami Carnival Parade of Bands and Concert, presented by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, will take place October 7 at the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds.

NEW YORK:  The 15th annual New York Comedy Festival will take place November 5-11, featuring more than 200 comedians at more than 100 shows. The festival is presented by TBS.  

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

TORONTO:  The Happy Place, a traveling, interactive pop-up that features colorful installations themed around happiness, will make its first international stop in Toronto November 1-January 1 at Harbourfront Centre. 

The ninth annual Toronto Christmas Market will take place November 15-December 23 at the Distillery Historic District. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  At Yolk, a 10,000-square-foot creative space in Hyattsville, will host Masterclass: Flowers, Photography, Styling, & Art Direction on October 21. The workshop will be hosted by Design Army.  

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us:

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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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