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June 29, 2016: Essence Festival Expands With New Expos, G.O.P. Convention Security Fuels Unease, Fendi to Debut Traveling Pop-Up at Events in North America

1. ESSENCE FESTIVAL EXPANDS WITH NEW EXPOS: The Essence Festival will expand in its 22nd year with two new brand-focused daytime expos when it comes to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans this weekend. The expos, centered on “Money & Power” and “Beauty & Style,” are meant to attract attendees based on their interests. Advertising Age: “‘One of our objectives is to continue to program for the passion points of the audience,’ Essence President Michelle Ebanks said. ‘Beauty and style is a tremendous passion point for our audience. We've never had a beauty and style destination of this scale, and our partners Walmart, Carol's Daughter and Essence Beauty Box, among others, have partnered with us to create this destination.’ In addition to sponsors' presence and product giveaways, the Beauty & Style Expo will feature demonstrations by industry experts, hair and fashion shows, mini-makeovers, as well as trend tips from Essence editors and style influencers such as beauty mogul Tyra Banks, celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble and E! News correspondent Zuri Hall. The Money & Power Expo, which will focus on entrepreneurship and careers, has lined up sponsors including Prudential, Sam's Club, State Farm Bank, NASA and Walmart Pay. An Entrepreneurship Village will offer mentoring sessions for entrepreneurs at all stages of business development in partnership with the U.S. National Minority Business Development Association. Speakers including money coach Lynette Khalfani-Cox, Morgan Stanley Vice Chairman Carla Harris and 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star and businessowner Cynthia Bailey will offer financial advice.”

2. G.O.P. CONVENTION SECURITY FUELS UNEASE: The presence of hate groups, a still-to-be-determined security perimeter, and police questioning whether Cleveland is prepared to host are just some of the reasons anxiety and uneasiness are heightened surrounding the Republican National Convention. After a judge struck down the original security restrictions last week, the city has yet to issue a revised plan. Politico: “The Committee on Arrangements—the Republican Party’s convention-planning body—has yet to issue safety and logistical guidance to delegates, guests and media, who will be arriving in Cleveland en masse in two weeks. But they’ll be walking into the marquee event of a political cycle marked by intense polarization, racial tension and anger. Activists—both pro- and anti-Trump—will flood the streets of downtown Cleveland, sometimes simultaneously, and could create a volatile atmosphere for conventiongoers. … Many GOP officials and delegates say they’re confident in the safety measures that are in place. The convention itself, held inside Quicken Loans Arena, will be protected by the Secret Service, which will form a ‘hard’ perimeter in the immediate vicinity of the event. The Cleveland Police Department, with the aid of other departments from around Ohio and the country, will patrol the broader ‘event zone’ throughout the downtown area. It’s the streets themselves where tension will run highest. Cleveland’s protest zone, even in its revised form, will permit demonstrators to roam freely, so long as they don’t block pedestrian or vehicle traffic. That raises the prospect of pro- and anti-Trump groups meeting in the same vicinity. Groups like the anti-LGBT Westboro Baptist Church intend to rally, and a white supremacist group at the center of a violent outburst in California last week has pledged to show up in Cleveland too.”

3. FENDI TO DEBUT TRAVELING POP-UP AT EVENTS IN NORTH AMERICA: Luxury brand Fendi will launch a traveling pop-up concept tailored to the North American market at a variety of events this year. Women’s Wear Daily: “Starting from the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, a Fendi Ape car, a version of the Italian iconic three-wheeled truck, will be travelling across the country with a range of the brand’s most iconic products. Among the items on sale, Fendi will offer the ABC fur charms, the “Strap You” bag straps, as well as the new “Dotcom” handbag. The project will kick of in Montauk, New York, where Fendi will host a celebratory dinner at the Surf Lodge on Saturday. Then, the Fendi Ape car will stop by several locations, including Toronto during the city’s International Film Festival in September, Los Angeles in conjunction with the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on Oct. 15 and Miami in occasion of Art Basel in December.”


COAST TO COAST:  Punch Bowl Social has hired chef Matt Selby to oversee the Denver culinary operations at both the Baker neighborhood and the upcoming Stapleton locations, and to train new executive chefs from around the country as the eatery and entertainment venue continues to expand nationally. New locations will open in Indianapolis and Minneapolis later this year, and five more locations—in Sacramento; San Diego; Rancho Cucamonga, California; Chicago; and Dallas—are scheduled to open in 2017. A Brooklyn location will open in early 2018. Punch Bowl Social has current locations in Denver; Portland; Austin; Detroit; Cleveland; and Schaumburg, Illinois.

AUSTIN:  The inaugural Sound on Sound Fest will take place November 4-6 at Sherwood Forest Faire. The event will feature performances by Beach House and Phantogram.

BOSTON:  Ames Boston Hotel will join Curio—A Collection by Hilton in July. 

CHICAGO:  The 35th annual Chicago Music Awards will take place Friday in Union Park. Martin's International is presenting the event, which will be emceed by WGCI personality Bionce Foxx and blues musician Frank Pellegrino. Appearances will include J. Adams, Billy Branch, and Flex Crew.

Hyatt Regency Chicago is expanding its meeting and event space with 22 meeting spaces and boardrooms that can accommodate groups from 8 to 250. 

HOUSTON:  Terry Beutler, senior vice president of destination services at Visit Houston, passed away on Friday at the age of 61, following a brief illness.

LAS VEGAS:  Live event service provider G.E.S. has named three new hires: Nicholas Mirable is vice president of business development; Renee Mancino is senior account executive focused on corporate event business strategy and content development; and Rick Shahum is senior account executive focused on B2B and B2C services for the tech sector, consumer product companies, sports properties, and nonprofits.

Foundation Room at the House of Blues will host a DJ set by the Black Eyed Peas' Taboo on July 8. Tyson Beckford will host Supermodel Saturday on July 23.

LOS ANGELES:  The inaugural Now Hear This podcast festival will take place October 28-30 at the Anaheim Marriott. Produced by Midroll Media, the fan-focused festival will be headlined by notable podcasters Marc Maron, Scott Aukerman, and Lauren Lapkus. 

Nonprofit Baby2Baby has announced Jennifer Garner as the recipient of the “Giving Tree Award” at its fifth annual gala presented by John Paul Mitchell Systems, slated for November 12 at 3Labs.

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The 2016 Fort Lauderdale Fest will take place September 3 at the Riverwalk's Huizenga Plaza. The event will showcase local restaurants, breweries, wineries, and other businesses. Local bands will also perform live. 

MINNEAPOLIS:  The Starkey Hearing Foundation's 16th annual So the World May Hear awards gala will take place July 17 at RiverCentre in St. Paul. Honoring actress Jennifer Garner and humanitarian Paula Goldberg, the event will feature performances by John Mellencamp, Alice Cooper, and Jay Leno.

NEW ORLEANS:  The National Black M.B.A. Association is hosting an afternoon seminar titled "Money, Power, and Respect: The Key to Life?" at the Sheraton Hotel on Sunday. The discussion will be led by empowerment speaker Sheri Riley. 

NEW YORK:  Ellen's Stardust Diner will revive a City Hall tradition on July 7 by presenting New York's 106th mayor David N. Dinks with 89 pies for his 89th birthday. The pies will be donated to the Association to Benefit Children. 

The Alzheimer's Association's Rita Hayworth Gala Hamptons Kickoff celebration will take place July 29 in Water Mill.

The 148-room Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan Midtown West is slated to open in September. 

The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association's 2019 global convention will take place in New York, in conjunction with WorldPride and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. 

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Frontera Cocina is now open at Disney Springs. The restaurant from renowned chef Rick Bayless serves gourmet Mexican fare in a lively atmosphere with an open kitchen.

PHILADELPHIA:  Sand Castle Winery in Erwinna is hosting its Sensational event for fragrance and wine on July 10. The afternoon gathering, which is ticketed and open to the public, will include experts discussing the correlation of flavors and fragrances in wines.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  A Capital Fourth, the patriotic celebration televised every Fourth of July on PBS, will be live streamed on Facebook and the PBS website for the first time this year. The event, which is held on the U.S. Capitol's West Lawn, will have tributes to Team USA members who are participating in the Summer Olympics, as well as the 75th anniversary of the U.S.O. and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The event, hosted by Tom Bergeron, will include performances from Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins, Amber Riley, Jackie Evancho, Sutton Foster, and Yolanda Adams.

Pizzeria Vetri opened its first D.C. location on Monday. The new restaurant is open daily, has indoor seating for 57 guests, and can accommodate an additional 20 diners for seasonal outdoor seating. 

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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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