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February 13, 2017: Grammys Offer Politically Charged Moments, N.F.L. Warns Texas May Lose Super Bowl Privileges Due to Anti-Trans Proposal, Hollywood Oscar Parties to Promote Social Justice

1. GRAMMYS OFFER POLITICALLY CHARGED MOMENTS: Adele won all of the major awards at the 59th annual Grammys on Sunday, but highlights also included performers and presenters using the show as an opportunity to speak out about the country's current political climate. The New York Times: "While Hollywood award shows this Oscar season have been notable for speeches that unquestionably addressed President Donald J. Trump, even when they did not use his name, the Grammys, which are not known for courting controversy, remained mostly about the music for a time. But just when it seemed like the show would end with only subtle nods to politics, Busta Rhymes and A Tribe Called Quest took the stage for a performance of 'We the People,' a blunt protest song. ... The earlier nods to the divisive political climate had been much gentler. Presenting the first award of the night, Jennifer Lopez quoted Toni Morrison. Alicia Keys sent a single-word tweet (“EQUALITY.”), in reference to a new Nike ad. Katy Perry, in performance, and Beyoncé, in an acceptance speech, nudged the night toward more political themes. Beyoncé, who won best urban contemporary album for 'Lemonade,' was the first person to touch on politics after winning a trophy. Though she did not refer to President Trump directly, she read from a golden note card, and spoke of beauty and racial identity as well as how important it was that her children see representations of themselves in popular culture, including 'the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House and the Grammys.'"

2. N.F.L. WARNS TEXAS MAY LOSE SUPER BOWL PRIVILEGES DUE TO ANTI-TRANS PROPOSAL: The N.F.L. has warned Texas that it may lose out on hosting another Super Bowl because of the state’s proposed “bathroom bill” that targets transgender people. Associated Press: “‘If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law there, that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events,’ league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in response to an email question about the Texas bill. Although the NFL released a statement about inclusiveness earlier this month prior to the Super Bowl in Houston, it didn't address whether the bill could put future such events at risk for the state. The NFL has selected future Super Bowl sites through 2021, none of which are in Texas. Dallas hosted the game in 2011 and three Super Bowls have been played in Texas since 2004, which is second only to Florida. Under the Texas bill, people would be required to use bathrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate. It's similar to a North Carolina law that prompted the NCAA to pull seven championship events from that state last year and is backed by Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a powerful figure in the state who had cited the Houston Super Bowl as proof that big events will stick around.”

3. HOLLYWOOD OSCAR PARTIES TO PROMOTE SOCIAL JUSTICE: While the United Talent Agency recently announced it would forego its annual Oscars party in favor of a refugee rally to protest President Trump, other major agencies still plan to host their annual soirees—but many will promote social justice initiatives. The Hollywood Reporter: "Although none of the other organizers on the Oscar weekend party circuit have announced plans to cancel their events—rival agencies CAA, WME-IMG and ICM Partners are expected to hold their customary fetes, although details have yet to be released—several are using their celebrations to promote various social justice causes. Global Green, which throws an environmentally conscious gala each year, will honor Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council chairman David Archambault II during its Feb. 22 party at TAO Los Angeles. The Standing Rock reservation has been at the center of a yearlong fight to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline from being built through its land, a cause that has attracted the support of many across the United States, including Hollywood. The Elton John AIDS Foundation, of course, will continue to raise funds for the singer’s non-profit, whose Oscar night viewing party raised $6.2 million last year to fund treatment for people living with HIV or AIDS."


CHICAGO:  The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group and Acme Hotel Company have debuted the ski lodge-theme Bunny Slope lounge at the Acme Hotel. The space offers a hot tub for private groups of as many as 18 and offers ski-inspired cocktails and fuzzy robes.

DALLAS/FORT WORTH:  The Jmblya music festival will take place May 5 in Fair Park and May 6 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. The event will be headlined by Chance the Rapper, Gucci Mane, and Migos.

HAMBURG, NEW JERSEY:  The ninth annual New Jersey Wine & Food Festival will take place March 31-April 2 at Crystal Springs Resort. Chef Daniel Boulud will serve as guest of honor for the festival, which will feature dishes from 30 restaurants and more than 100 wines at its grand tasting event.

LOS ANGELES:  The 19th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards will take place February 21 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Hosted by Mandy Moore and presented by Lacoste, the event will honor Meryl Streep, Jeffrey Kurland, and Lily Collins.

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Wakefield Brewing will host WakeFest 2017 at Mana Wynwood on Saturday to celebrate the brewery's second anniversary. The craft beer festival will offer tastings from 30 Florida breweries, 50 out-of-state U.S. breweries, and 11 international breweries.

NEW YORK:  Cookies for Kids' Cancer, a nonprofit dedicated to funding pediatric cancer research, will host its fourth annual benefit on Thursday at Metropolitan West. Event co-hosts Dan Kluger and Christina Tosi have curated a lineup of more than 30 chefs who will prepare dinners for individual tables of guests.

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Pandora—the World of Avatar will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on May 27. The new 12-acre land is based on the popular James Cameron film and will have a high-tech ride, Avatar Flight of Passage, along with bioluminescent rainforests and floating mountains.

TORONTO:  The fifth annual Toronto Black Film Festival runs Wednesday through Sunday at venues including Isabel Bader Theatre and Carlton Cinema.

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

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