June 30, 2016: Oscar Voting Board Announces Diverse Class of New Invitees, Miss Teen USA to Drop Swimsuit Competition, I.O.C. Ad Rules Spark Protest at Olympic Track Trials

1. OSCAR VOTING BOARD ANNOUNCES DIVERSE CLASS OF NEW INVITEES: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced a record 683 invites to new members in an effort to increase diversity in the Oscar voting organization. Of the new invitees—which include actors Idris Elba, Freida Pinto, Emma Watson, and John Boyega—46 percent are women and 41 percent are people of color. The Hollywood Reporter: "If all elect to join, it will begin to shift the demographic makeup of the Academy, which has been criticized in the past for being too old, too male and too white. According to the Academy, its membership was 75 percent male before this year's new members were recruited, and could move to 73 percent male once they join. Similarly, the Academy was 92 percent white before the latest list and could become 89 percent white in its wake. The class of 2016 includes 28 Oscar winners and 98 nominees, who collectively represent 109 nominations. Of the new invitees, 283 are considered international members, representing 59 countries. … The newest list follows a trend that has developed over the last few years as Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs and CEO Dawn Hudson have urged the organization to broaden its reach to include more women, minorities and international filmmakers. Last year, that resulted in 322 invitations, an increase over the the 271 invites sent out in 2014 and the 276 invites in 2014. Before those years, the annual invitation list usually resulted in less than 200 new faces making the cut: For example, there were 176 in 2012 and 178 in 2011. The Academy’s diversity push began even before the nominations were announced in 2014 for the 86th Oscars and a lack of minorities among the acting nominees led to the protest hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. But the resulting outcry, which only grew louder when the situation repeated itself in 2015, put added pressure on the organization to redouble its efforts." http://bit.ly/29fV8SU

2. MISS TEEN USA TO DROP SWIMSUIT COMPETITION: In an ongoing effort to modernize its pageants, Miss Universe has announced it will forego the swimsuit competition of Miss Teen USA this year and instead opt for an athletic wear competition. The pageant is slated to take place in Las Vegas in July. USA Today: “Pageant organizers have long said swimsuit portions were intended to show off the athleticism of the competitors. But Miss Teen USA's transition to athletic wear reads as less exploitative and more focused on the importance of physical fitness for its younger participants, aged 15-19. The move is consistent with the overall rebranding of the Miss Universe Organization, which has shifted under WME-IMG, the talent agency that purchased it from former owner Donald Trump in September. The sale came after NBC and Univision dropped the broadcast of Miss USA following comments the Republican presidential candidate made regarding illegal immigrants. … The pageant’s shift from swimsuits to activewear is also a smart business move, chasing the rise of athleisure fashion, says former Miss Virginia Nancy Redd. ‘Teens are spending .1 percent of their life in a bathing suit and 50 percent in athleisure. The pageant is following the trend of who can sponsor them.’” http://usat.ly/296vFwM

3. I.O.C. AD RULES SPARK PROTEST AT OLYMPIC TRACK TRIALS: A protest targeted at the International Olympic Committee's Rule 40—which prevents Olympic athletes from using likeness and names for any advertising campaigns for a month surrounding the Games—is slated to occur during the U.S. Olympic track and field trials, which begin in Eugene, Oregon, on Friday. Two-time Olympian Nick Symmonds plans to lead the protest. Sports Illustrated: "Any athletes that violate the rule could face sanctions that include disqualification and possibly the stripping of medals. In the latest revision of their rules, IOC will allow 'generic' or 'non-Olympic advertising' during the games. Rule 40 was initially established to protect official Olympic sponsors, who spend millions of dollars for exclusive marketing rights. Several athletes protested the rule at the 2012 Olympics in London by using #WeDemandChange2012. Symmonds’s movement, which he has branded as #OwnYourSkin, has called for athletes to wear black tape on their shoulder in solidarity. Symmonds and other volunteers will also offer tape and stickers to the estimated 24,000 fans expected to be in attendance who want to show their support. " http://on.si.com/292vlPX


The 2017 PCMA Education Conference will take place June 11-14 at the New York Marriott Marquis. The event is expected to attract more than 600 meeting planners and suppliers.


CHICAGO:  Hotel Chicago will offer "Pitchfork Perks" to anyone who books at least two nights during the Pitchfork Music Festival weekend July 15-17. Perks include Pedicab Rickshaw transportation to and from the festival, Haymarket craft beer samples, and breakfast tacos from Amanecer Breakfast Tacos in the hotel lobby.

Midnight Circus in the Parks tour will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a kickoff August 27-28 in Ogden Park. Through October 16, the circus theater performances will come to eight parks including Wicker Park, Independence Park, and Wells Park.

LAS VEGAS:  The fourth annual Life is Beautiful festival, slated for September 23-25, has announced its art program lineup, which includes murals from Bezt from Etam Cru, the Silent Room installation by Dutch London-based artist Simon Heijdens, and an aerial and ground installation from Poetic Kinetics.

LOS ANGELES:  Santa Ynez Valley-based nonprofit Veggie Rescue will partner with Solvang restaurant Bacon & Brine to host a pop-up charity dinner, "Farm to Village," on August 3. The dinner will take place on Second Street in downtown Solvang.

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has entered into an an agreement with Miami-Dade County to construct and operate a new 170,000-square-foot cruise terminal at PortMiami, on land leased from the county. The new terminal, designed by Broadway Malyan, will serve as a home port to Royal Caribbean International ships, including a 5,400-passenger Oasis-class ship.

NEW YORK:  The 62nd annual Summer Fancy Food Show, which was held Sunday through Tuesday at the Jacob Javits Center, had its largest attendance to date according to event host Specialty Food Association. More than 25,000 people gathered to sample specialty food and beverages from about 2,670 exhibitors. The event also presented the 44th annual Sofi Awards, which go to products and companies in the specialty-food industry.

South Street Seaport's second annual Festival of Independence will take place Sunday and Monday. The event will feature Northern Grade fashion market, bites from Smorgasburg vendors, and views of the Macy's fireworks show.

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Maddey’s Craft & Cru is now open in the former Church Street Station downtown. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, a large bar, and a menu focused on Italian fare.

PHILADELPHIA:  The Philadelphia Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention has announced specifics of each exhibit during PoliticalFest, which takes place at seven locations from July 22-27. Produced by LeapStarr Productions, the festival includes interviews with actors who have portrayed presidents onscreen at the National Constitution Center, political exhibits from C-Span at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and an interactive exhibit highlighting the Civil Rights Act and Voters Rights Act at the Historical Society of Philadelphia.

PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE:  Slated to open in September, the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa has appointed four new hires: Terri Benich as area director of sales and marketing; Kristen Neibergs as director of business and luxury sales; Peach Duty as director of events; and Rachel Jessop as director of group sales.

SAN FRANCISCO:  Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Parc 55 San Francisco have appointed Deborah Josue as complex senior sales manager.

TORONTO:  Caribbean music and cultural festival Island Soul will take place July 29-August 1 at Harbourfront Centre's waterfront.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  REI is re-opening its REI Community Space at Wunder Garten and launching its "United Outside" campaign that will offer various outdoor activities to people in the community. Activities scheduled to take place in the NoMa neighborhood include a sneak peak of the camping apparel brand's flagship store on July 11, a "Free Weekend" with select local services being offered for free on July 16-17, and Outdoor Women's Night on July 21.

The Art of Catering Food 2016, presented by Catersource and the International Caterers Association, will take place August 15-17. The Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel will be the event's main location, but there will be some off-site activities, such as visits to local catering operations.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Carla Hay, Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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