MELANnaire Marketplace holiday market will host a story and craft time that shoppers can enjoy

(Louisville, KY) As shoppers continue to enjoy the MELANnaire Marketplace holiday market.  Guests will have an opportunity to participate in a story & craft time on Sunday, December 17th from 2:00 pm to 3:00pm.  Gye Nyame Books & More will read Ariel Young’s “Does Santa Look Like Me?”.  Shoppers will also get a chance during that time to make a bookmark during the craft session. 

If you are still looking for that unique gift idea, stop by the holiday market to see what our Black owned business owners have to offer.  When you visit the MELANnaire Marketplace holiday market customers will find apparel, handcrafted jewelry, signature cotton candy, popcorn books, toys, accessories, candles plus much more.

Starting Monday, December 18th we will be open daily leading up to Christmas Day.  The holiday market will follow the schedule of the mall. 

Traffic is picking up at the mall and our MELANnaires are ready. We are excited to help you find that perfect gift.  We have two dozen businesses all in one storefront.  It’s like a mall within a mall. Every few feet we introduce you to a different business.  Plus, on the weekends we try and offer some type of entertainment for our shoppers.  I know even our youngest of shoppers will love the story time and craft making project we have planned.  So, bring the whole family this weekend. I can’t wait to thank you in person for supporting us.” says Nachand Trabue founder of MELANnaire Marketplace.

The MELANnaire Marketplace Holiday Market will be open daily until Christmas Day then we will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 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 Nopal 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. Please note that you need to contact the Mall PR team to notify them that you will be on the property for security purposes. 

“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.

Countdown to the holidays with great gift ideas at the MELANnaire Marketplace holiday market

Special performance by the troupe from Rush Trowel’s “The Soul of Christmas”

(Louisville, KY) The MELANnaire Marketplace holiday market is in full swing welcoming shoppers to their storefront in Mall St. Matthews.  Black-owned businesses update their inventory weekly so guests can visit multiple times as we prepare for Christmas and Kwanzaa.    

The MELANnaire Marketplace holiday market showcases businesses who do not have a storefront and/or a large team.  They assist the entrepreneurs in promoting and selling their products and services. When you visit the holiday market shoppers will find apparel, handcrafted jewelry, signature cotton candy, popcorn books, toys, accessories, candles plus much more.

This weekend, the cast of ‘The Soul of Christmas”, a production of Rush Trowel will be in the marketplace performing.  We invite you to come out shop and enjoy some great entertainment by one of Louisville’s premiere entertainment producers. 

We will also have youth from our future MELANnaire Mentor Program job shadowing as greeters.  Trabue says “We train and help develop job skills at a young age to instill in them the importance of work ethic and how to make money which in turn decreases violence in the community.  We are keeping them busy and showing them opportunities and introducing them to positive role models exceling right here in our community.”

Nachand Trabue founder of MELANnaire Marketplace says “We are happy to be able to organize a group of businesses who want exposure and an opportunity to sell their products in a mall setting.  Every week, we try and do something unique to give our shoppers a great MELANnaire experience and we are excited to have some of the cast members from ‘Soul of Christmas’ joining us.  They will definitely put you in the holiday spirit.” 

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 Nopal 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

Smoketown Community Land Trust announces Congressman Morgan McGarvey will attend and speak at the launch along with Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg

UPDATED: November 30, 2023 (added speaker to program in bold font)

Immediate Release

November 29, 2023

(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. 

Congressman Morgan McGarvey, Kentucky 3rd District, 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 Congressman McGarvey followed by 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

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.

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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CEO of Family & Children’s Place to Retire in 2024

Louisville, Ky. – Last week, Family & Children’s Place, one of the oldest nonprofits in the city of Louisville, announced their CEO and President Pam Darnall will retire in November 2024. The Board of Directors for the agency was told by Darnall back in November of 2022 of her retirement plan to allow the board plenty of time to find her successor.

“It has been my honor to serve in various roles with FCP since 1994. I am eternally grateful to my predecessors, who were patient and supportive role models as I learned what leadership is truly about,” Darnall said in an email to her staff after their team meeting, where Darnall announced her upcoming retirement.

Darnall began working at what was then called Family Place in 1994 as a program director and in 2001, she became the agency’s executive director. At a meeting with the CEO of Family & Children First Dan Fox, the two discussed the possibility of their organizations merging. In 2008, the two leaders created what is now known as Family & Children’s Place.

In 2016, Darnall was named an Enterprising Woman Making a Difference honoree. In 2021, she was listed as one of Business First’s Most Admired CEOs.

Celebrating their 140th anniversary in the community, Family & Children’s Place protects and heals family and children from child abuse and neglect. Their five programs (HANDS, Greater Louisville Head Start, Counseling, Child Advocacy Center, and School-Based Services) help establish healthy and safe environments for children and their families. Since 1994, Darnall has played a huge role in making the organization the staple it is in the community.

“For nearly 30 years, Pam has been a steadfast force at Family & Children’s Place, and she leaves big shoes to fill. We are grateful for her longtime dedication to the families and children who turn to Family & Children’s Place for the support and care they desperately need,” Family & Children’s Place Board of Directors Chair Richard Garner said in the same email sent to the staff following their team meeting.

The Board of Directors has formed a search committee and are working with Ashley|Rountree and Associates, a local firm specializing in nonprofit growth and sustainability, to determine the skills and abilities they are looking for in their next leader and identify high quality candidates.

If you wish to schedule an interview with Pam Darnall, please contact Allison Wiseman at awiseman@famchildplace.org or 502-645-5526.

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For more than 140 years, Family & Children’s Place has been a critical presence in Louisville, helping our most vulnerable citizens — children, that have experience physical and sexual abuse and neglect. We believe that every child deserves a happy, healthy childhood free from abuse and that every family should have the tools and resources to maintain self-sufficiency.

Our mission: We protect and heal children and families.