The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy is giving “hope” during the holiday season

Celebrating 34 years with a dinner concert at the University Club

(Louisville, KY) The West Louisville Performing Arts Academy (WLPAA) will host its 34th Hope Awards Dinner Concert at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 2nd at the University Club located at 200 E. Brandeis Street.

This year’s McDaniel Bluitt Hope Award recipient and keynote speaker will be Dr. Kelly McCants, Cardiologist for Norton Medical Group.
Additional awards will be presented during the program to recognize the supporters of WLPAA.

McDaniel Bluitt, Executive Director says “Every year we add youth to the choirs, so this annual gala gives them concert experience, opportunity for family and friends to support them and to highlight leaders and businesses that support us. This year’s speaker, Dr. McCants is a true leader in his field and I want to introduce my students that with hard work and determination anything is possible in whatever field, you chose to be in. We invite you to come out and celebrate our 34th anniversary. Enjoy good music, food, and a motivational speech by Dr. McCants.”

Tickets are $100.00 for adults and $50.00 for students. Tickets are available on Eventbrite and/or by contacting Mamie Bluitt, WLPAA by calling 502-418-7236 or by email at mamiegr@gmail.com.

We would like to thank all our supporters over the last 34 years. This year’s Hope Awards Dinner Concert was funded in part by the Fund for the Arts.

To arrange an interview with McDaniel Bluitt, founder of the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy, contact: info@vippcommunications.com.

To learn more about the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy visit our website at http://www.westlouisvilleperformjngarts.org.

Smoketown Community Land Trust breaking the barriers to help enrich the lives of its residents

Mayor Craig Greenberg will participate in the community celebration

(Louisville, KY) The Smoketown Community Land Trust, (SCLT) invites you to its launch and official introduction to the community on Saturday, December 2nd at 1:00 p.m. at the Camp Edwards Community Center located at 701 S. Hancock Street. 

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg, SCLT board members, dignitaries and community leaders will be in attendance and will speak during the program. 

SCLT was developed to empower Smoketown residents and to preserve the rich heritage of the historical Smoketown community when Blacks moved into the community.  In the 1800s post-civil war, freed African Americans migrated to the area seeking economic opportunities, housing, building churches and schools. The community thrived for many years and the Smoketown Community Land Trust will centralize services to better serve the community.  

The SCLT board was created to work with residents and give them space to make direct contributions to plan, design and build sustainable affordable housing ensuring the longevity of the community, creating pathways to homeownership, revitalize community pride and its rich history. 

We would like to thank our partners: Louisville Metro Government, REBOUND, Bates Community Development Corporation, River City Housing, Community Foundation of Louisville, Center for Neighborhoods and Grounded Solutions Network. Representatives from each organization will be present for the launch. 

The program will begin around 1:30 p.m. With the introduction of Mayor Greenberg. Also, during the program the official logo will be unveiled. There will be opportunities to see how people can get involved, learn about its mission. The celebration is free to the public with food, fun, raffles, and entertainment. 

If you would like to setup an interview prior to the event, please contact Theresa Boyd with River City Housing at 502-587-6763 or VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com

MEDIA NOTE:  We know that you have a lot of events and/or games to cover on December 2nd.  If you need our team to pull representatives when you arrive for interviews, we will be happy to accommodate your requests.  We feel this is an important initiative that the community needs to be made aware of and its benefits to help the community. 

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MELANnaire Marketplace holiday marketplace preparing for ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Small Business Saturday’

(Louisville, KY) As we prepare for Thanksgiving, the MELANnaire Marketplace Holiday Market team is working to get ready for one of the busiest days for consumers and that’s ‘Black Friday’ and the following day dedicated for small business which we refer to as ‘Black-owned Saturday’. 

The MELANnaire Marketplace Holiday Market is in third week at Mall St. Matthews and have welcomed so many friends, family, neighbors, and supporters into the storefront where dozens of Black-owned businesses sell and promote their products and/or services. 

“Now with two of the busiest shopping days ahead of us, vendors are stocking up with the anticipation and excited that they have an opportunity to participate at this level.  In a mall, a storefront, and the assistance of the MELANnaire team.  We are inviting shoppers to stop by our retail space to see the wonderful and unique gift ideas.  You will find yourself with an arm full of merchandise.  It’s basically a mall within a mall because except few feet a new business is represented says Nachand Trabue, founder of MELANnaire Marketplace

The holiday market displays dozens of local minority businesses all in one space so holiday shoppers can get an opportunity to support multiple small businesses at one large retail space. Featuring products- clothing apparel, handcrafted jewelry, signature cotton candy, popcorn books, toys, candles plus
much more.

The MELANnaire Marketplace Holiday Market will be open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until January 2, 2024.  Our store hours are open on the same schedule as Mall St. Matthews.

The marketplace is located near the entrance of El Napal and Women’s Dillards on the backside of the mall. 

If you would like to be a vendor and/or be a sponsor, please contact MELANnaire Marketplace at www.melannaire.com
 

Please announce and/or post on your community calendars.  If you have any questions or would like to interview Nachand Trabue, please contact VIPP Communications at 502-341-7306.

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

Follow us on social media and take photos using the following hashtags so we
can share your experience #MELANnairesLou, #BLACKbusinessesMatterLOU
#MELANnaireMarketplace.

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

MELANnaire Marketplace holiday marketplace heads into its second weekend at Mall St. Matthews

(Louisville, KY) The MELANnaire Marketplace Holiday Market is in its second week, and we are receiving rave reviews from the layout of the storefront to the quality of the merchandise from its MELANnaires. 

We invite you to stop by as the mall traffic begins to pick up as we anticipate a busy ‘Black Friday”.  The marketplace displays dozens of local minority businesses all in one space so holiday shoppers can get an opportunity to support multiple small businesses at one large retail space. This week we will have some new products- clothing apparel, handcrafted jewelry, signature cotton candy, popcorn books, toys, candles and so much.

Nachand Trabue, founder of MELANnaire Marketplace says “The first weekend was successful for our entrepreneurs.  It’s hard to have a storefront during the holidays but we are honored to be a vessel, a liaison to be able to organize all the businesses to work together and to see customers come in purchase their items is truly a blessing.  We have gift ideas for all ages, and we invite you to stop by and see the fantastic selections,”

The MELANnaire Marketplace Holiday Market will be open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until January 2, 2024.  Our store hours are open on the same schedule as Mall St. Matthews. We call every Friday “Black Owned Friday”.

The marketplace is located near the entrance of El Napal and Women’s Dillards on the backside of the mall. 

If you would like to be a vendor and/or be a sponsor, please contact MELANnaire Marketplace at www.melannaire.com.   

Please announce and/or post on your community calendars.  If you have any questions or would like to interview Nachand Trabue, please contact VIPP Communications at 502-341-7306.

“Where Black Businesses Matter”

Follow us on social media and take photos using the following hashtags so we can share your experience #MELANnairesLou, #BLACKbusinessesMatterLOU & #MELANnaireMarketplace.

Instagram:  @melannairemarketplace

The new Miss Black Kentucky USA is crowned this evening in Louisville

The new Miss Black Kentucky USA is crowned this evening in Louisville

This afternoon, family friends and supporters gathered at the Women’s Club of Louisville to see Sophia Crowder of Louisville be crowned Miss Black Kentucky USA.  In the Talented Teen division Helena Gordon of Louisville competed and won and Ciara Johnson of Louisville won in the Ms. Division.  All three winners will represent Kentucky in the Miss Black USA in 2024.

The Queen Mother Foundation will oversee their various appearances and opportunities over the next year so the community will get to know Miss Crowder, Ms. Ciara Johnson, and Talented Teen Helena Gordon. 

Also, this evening we currents queens got an opportunity to thank everyone for the opportunities they received over the past year. 

This afternoon we had a lot to celebrate.  Last year’s winner in the Miss division, Miss Ariel Thompson went on to win Miss Black USA in Washington, DC and will reign for the next 12 months.

Dr. Ashley Anderson, Executive Director of Miss Black Kentucky USA says “Contestants had a great opportunity to showcase their talents and be their authentic selves.  I found twenty wonderful ladies who worked hard to get to this point. When they walked across the stage I, along with family and friends felt a sense of pride.  It’s more than winning a crown and a title but it begins a service of volunteerism, scholarship, and pride of who you are.  This was a special evening for us all and I can’t wait to see what the royal court will do today and beyond.”

To set up an interview to meet the new Miss, Ms., and Talented Teen Miss Black Kentucky USA and/or Dr. Anderson to see how you can be a part of Miss Black Kentucky USA 2024, please contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com.

Here’s this year’s participants:

Talented Teens

  1. Sanaia Rae’Patterson
  2. Bria Byrd
  3. Aliyah Parker
  4. Kelyse Greer
  5. Helena Gordon-WINNER

Miss

  • Sophia Crowder-WINNER
  • Seryn Bentley
  • JayLa Hudson
  • Jade Spaulding
  • Aya Tennyson
  • Jada Turley

Ms.

  1. Princess K Cureton
  2. Shikira Tunstill
  3. Ciara Johnson-WINNER
  4. Kenisha Watkins
  5. Chanson Calhoun
  6. LaShandra Logan
  7. Sherae Thompson
  8. Deara Porter
  9. Crissa Candler

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Twenty ladies will compete for the titles of Miss, Ms., and Talented Teen Miss Black Kentucky USA this weekend in Louisville

Queen Mother Foundation is excited to announce the date of Miss Black Kentucky USA. On Sunday, October 29th, at 3:00 pm at The Women’s Club of Louisville, 1320 South Fourth Street our community will witness the crowning of three women who will represent Kentucky in Miss Black USA 2024.

After a successful restart in 2022, Kentucky will have five (5) in the talented teen division, six (6) in the Miss. division and nine (9) in the Ms. division competing for the crown. Each looking forward to the experience along with the activities leading up to the October 15th event.

Tickets are now on sale, and you can purchase them on Eventbrite. We have provided a link for promotion. Miss Black Kentucky 2023.

Last year’s winner in the Miss division, Miss Ariel Thompson went on to win Miss Black USA in Washington, DC and will reign for the next 12 months.

Dr. Ashley Anderson, Executive Director of Miss Black Kentucky USA says “I am so happy to give women of color the opportunity. It is more than just a pageant but a chance for these young ladies to showcase themselves. This is something the community can be proud of because we are helping prepare our future leaders. The contestants are free to be who they are as they embrace their heritage. I invite you to come out and support them as they compete for scholarships which will help with their future career goals.” 

To be a sponsor and/or if you would like to set up an interview with Dr. Anderson and/or last year’s winners please contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com.

Here’s this year’s participants:

Talented Teens

  1. Sanaia Rae’Patterson
  2. Bria Byrd
  3. Aliyah Parker
  4. Kelyse Greer
  5. Helena Gordon

Miss

  • Sophia Crowder
  • Seryn Bentley
  • JayLa Hudson
  • Jade Spaulding
  • Aya Tennyson
  • Jada Turley

Ms.

  1. Princess K Cureton
  2. Shikira Tunstill
  3. Ciara Johnson
  4. Kenisha Watkins
  5. Chanson Calhoun
  6. LaShandra Logan
  7. Sherae Thompson
  8. Deara Porter
  9. Crissa Candler

The crowning of the new Miss Black Kentucky USA is just two weeks away

UPDATED:  DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES OUT OF OUR CONTROL THE DATE AND VENUE OF THE 2023 PAGEANT HAS CHANGED

The new date for the pageant is October 27th-29th.  The winners will be announced on Sunday, October 29th at 3:00 pm at The Women’s Club of Louisville, 1320 South Fourth Street in downtown Louisville. 

Twenty-seven ladies will compete for the titles of Miss, Ms., and Talented Teen Miss Black Kentucky USA

United Crown Productions is excited to announce the date of Miss Black Kentucky USA. On Sunday, October 15th, at 3:00 pm at Memorial Auditorium our community will witness the crowning of three women who will represent Kentucky in Miss Black USA 2024.

After a successful restart in 2022, Kentucky will have six (6) in the talented teen division, eight (8) in the Miss. division and thirteen (13) in the Ms. division competing for the crown. Each looking forward to the experience along with the activities leading up to the October 15th event.

Tickets are now on sale, and you can purchase them on Eventbrite. We have provided a link for promotion. Miss Black Kentucky 2023.

Last year’s winner in the Miss division, Miss Ariel Thompson went on to win Miss Black USA in Washington, DC and will reign for the next 12 months.

Dr. Ashley Anderson, Executive Director of Miss Black Kentucky USA says “I am so happy to give women of color the opportunity. It is more than just a pageant but a chance for these young ladies to showcase themselves. This is something the community can be proud of because we are helping prepare our future leaders. The contestants are free to be who they are as they embrace their heritage. I invite you to come out and support them as they compete for scholarships which will help with their future career goals.” 

To be a sponsor and/or if you would like to set up an interview with Dr. Anderson and/or last year’s winners please contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com.

Stay tuned for additional information and the names of the contestants and the counties and/or cities they represent.

Louisville native Miss Ariel Thompson crowned Miss Black USA

August 6, 2023

MEDIA ALERT

(Washington, DC) Tonight, in Washington the Miss Black USA crowned a winner.  Louisville, Kentucky native Ariel Thompson will represent the scholarship pageant. Her reign begins this evening and Thompson will hold the title for one year. 

Thompson will return to Louisville later this week.  To set up an interview contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com or by calling 502.341.7306. 

For the first time in more than ten years, Kentucky was represented in the pageant.  Miss Ariel Thompson, Ms. Dominique Joy Thompson and Nia Franklin all travelled to Washington to compete. 

We would like to congratulate Miss Talented Teen Nia Franklin.  This evening, she placed first runner-up.  Ms. Dominique Joy Thompson won the fitness competition in the Ms. Division. 

Dr. Ashley Anderson says “I’m so excited about Ariel’s win.  She earned this great honor, and we are celebrating this huge accomplishment.  I’m excited for all three of our delegates.  Nia and Joy represented their divisions and gave us momentum heading into this year’s Miss Black Kentucky.  It’s a great feeling.  This was a great evening.  To hear the audience cheering for the young ladies brought tears to my eyes. These ladies have worked hard and represented this pageant in a grand way.”

The birth of the Miss Black Kentucky USA franchise is one that will have an impact on young women of Kentucky for generations to come. Beyond the scholarships that will be awarded in Miss, Ms., and Teen divisions, the life skills programming will be sure to elevate the minds and lives of all participants. It will groom leaders, shed light on issues of concern in the community, and meaningfully fund the educational pursuits of Black women in Kentucky. It is my intent that this program becomes the largest scholarship funding source for young women of color across Kentucky.

Again, to set up an interview with any of our Kentucky delegates, please contact VIPP Communications at info@vippcommunications.com. 

Kentucky native announces a scholarship fund to help aspiring artists

ERICKA NICOLE MALONE ENTERTAINMENT WILL AWARD FOUR SCHOLARSHIPS TO KENTUCKY STUDENTS INTERESTED IN THE ARTS

(Los Angeles, California) Louisville, native and 2023 NAACP Image Award winner Ericka Nicole Malone of Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment, LLC, announces the creation of the Ericka Nicole Malone Essay Writing Mentorship which includes four scholarships ranging from $250 to $5000. The scholarships are for high school seniors and current college level students majoring and/or minoring in arts in a Kentucky accredited school.

Ericka Nicole Malone says “I am excited to announce this opportunity. It is important that I give back to my hometown and the first people to believe in my writing ability which has given me so many chances to create produce and direct films you can see today.  Kentucky has a lot of hidden gems and I honestly believe that there is so many creative writers in the community that just need a chance.  With these scholarships, someone wanting to follow their dreams will now have a chance to fulfill them and that is what made me create this initiative so I can follow them along their career.” 

The Ericka Nicole Malone Scholarship can be used for tuition, school fees, books, housing, and food. To be eligible for the scholarship individuals must reside in Kentucky, have at least a 2.5 grade point average, (GPA), on a 4.0 grading scale, already enrolled in the College of Arts and/or accepted into an accredited college institution, performing arts school, trade or vocational school that has an arts program.

As part of the consideration process. You need to submit an essay, (up to one thousand words) on what you want to pursue in the arts and why this scholarship is important. Submit your essay to info@vippcommunications.com. Your deadline is August 4, 2023. Recipients will be announced on August 22, 2023.

Malone attended the Youth Performing Arts School, (YPAS), graduate of Manual High, a JCPS school is a successful writer, director, and executive producer. He latest award-winning project is “Remember ME: The Mahalia Jackson Story” starring Ledisi, Columbus Short, Janet Hubert, Keith David, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Keith Robinson.

ERICKA NICOLE MALONE ENTERTAINMENT is a production company focused on the development, production/co-production and distribution of film, television, and animated projects nationwide. 

To setup an interview via phone and/or zoom, contact Sherlene Shanklin at VIPP Communications at sshanklin@vippcommunications.com or by calling 502.341-7306.  To read learn more on the Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment go to www.erickanicolemalone.com.      

Unveiling of the William J. Simmons Portrait at the Heritage Center

Unveiling of the William J. Simmons Portrait at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage

The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage (Heritage Center), in partnership with Simmons College of Kentucky, invites the press and public to the unveiling of the William J. Simmons portrait on Monday, June 26, 2023, at 10 a.m. at 1701 West Muhammad Ali Blvd., Louisville, Kentucky. Simmons’ portrait will be a permanent installation joining other life-sized portraits in the Heritage Center’s Brown-Forman Great Hall Gallery, depicting African American leaders in the arts, civil rights, education, innovation, media, military, and sports. 

Dr. Rev. William J. Simmons (June 29, 1849 – October 30, 1890) went from enslavement to becoming Simmons College of Kentucky’s second president from 1880–1890, for whom the school was eventually named. Simmons College was the first school for higher education established for African Americans in Kentucky. The college was the vision of 12 formerly enslaved Africans who were members of the General Association of Baptists within the state. Their tenacity was fueled by their understanding of the importance of education for the sons and daughters who were formerly enslaved. 

Simmons developed multiple programs, including the teacher education program and one of the few Black medical schools at a Black college. Additionally, Simmons produced Kentucky’s first black medical doctor, Artishia Gilbert. In addition, he was a writer, journalist, and educator. In 1886 he became President of the American National Baptist Convention, one of the organizations that would merge to form the National Baptist Convention, USA. He was elected President of the Colored Press Association for his work as editor of the American Baptist, a newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky.

Simmons is best known for his 1887 work, Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive, and Rising. The book compiled brief biographies of one hundred seventy-seven prominent African American men across the United States. Men of Mark was a best seller and the most extensive collection of African American biographies.

Aukram Burton, Executive Director at the Heritage Center, says:

“The time is overdue for Dr. Rev. William J. Simmons’ portrait to be a permanent installation at the Heritage Center to ensure that visitors will learn about Simmons’ accomplishments as a transformational leader who built a rigorous and inclusive learning environment that promoted academic excellence during an era that denied African Americans the liberties they should have enjoyed as U.S. citizens.

For media inquiries contact VIPP Communications at info at vippcommunications dot com or by calling KCAAH at 502-583-4100. 

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