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AI’s Fashion Students Present 'Red Carpet' Event

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By Lea Michelle Cash –

Recently at the Art Institute-Inland Empire, Sherry West, the executive producer and Academic Director of Fashion Design, Dawn Knapp and Cecilia Ng, both co-producers, along with Phyllis Clark, instructor of Fashion retail marketing and a list of others hosted a fashion show featuring their students and a second fashion show featuring Project Runway eighth season finalist Michael Costello.

Costello, 27, a native of Palm Springs who is living his dream since a very young age, opened his fist boutique in Palm Springs at the age of 15. At 16, following a oneyear internship with Mackie, he took a job designing clothes for Claire’s Collection, the design house responsible for stunning gowns featured on red carpets at the Emmy, Oscar, and Grammy Award ceremonies.

He is also noted for dressing Vanna White and the girls from “Price is Right”. Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige, Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton, Celine Dion, and Mya have all worn his creative designs. Although, the outstanding, award winning celebrity fashion designer was celebrated and featured his 2011 African print Spring couture collections, the night belong to the Art Institute fashion design students creating big dreams of their own.

For example, Bertha Harris, 64, has loved sewing, designing, and drawing all of her life. She recently retired from the County of Riverside as a drafter of maps. She loves designing wedding dresses. With her dream planted firmly in her heart she headed to the Inland Empire’s Art Institute and is scheduled to graduate in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design. Harris said, “I’m living my dream and taking it slow. Because my son says, mom take it slow. But I am so happy to be designing and doing things associated with fashion.” In the student’s fashion show she presented a breathtaking beautiful wedding gown with hand sewn sequenced butterflies featured throughout the garment. “I like butterflies” says Harris, “so I thought a wedding gown should have butterflies on it.”

“The Red Carpet” event was a success as the room filled with over 200 people, delighted with the unveiling of each perfect design presented by runway models who volunteered their time. Delicious finger foods were provided by the Art Institute.

Marinello the School of Beauty also sponsored the event. They supplied the make-up artists and hair stylists.

After both fashion shows were featured, the stage was opened to a question and answer segment in which Costello inspired the audience and future fashion design students to live their dreams and to never give up on believing the could become a valued member in the fashion industry.

83rd Academy Award Nominees

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By Lea Michelle Cash –

In the early morning hour on Tuesday, January 25, many were waiting to hear just who made it as an Academy Award nominee for the most glamorous star-studded night of the year.

Over 400 media professionals from around the globe, dined on breakfast bagels and gourmet coffee, before entering the prestigious Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Academy president, Tom Sherak and Oscar winning actress and Academy member, Mo’Nique made public the list of nominations in 10-24 categories. Last year Mo’Nique received her first Oscar nomination and won for her supporting performance in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” She currently hosts her own late-night talk show, "The Mo'Nique Show," on BET, which features interviews with the hottest hit makers in Black entertainment.

This year, the Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood, and televised live on the ABC Television Network.

Televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide, the Oscar presentation will be hosted by Anne Hathaway, along with James Franco.

The five top 2011 Academy Award nominations are:

Best Picture

"Black Swan" Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers

"The Fighter" David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers

"Inception" Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers

"The Kids Are All Right" Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy- Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers

"The King's Speech" Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers

"127 Hours" Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers

"The Social Network" Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán, Producers

"Toy Story 3" Darla K. Anderson, Producer

"True Grit" Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers

"Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan- Yorkin, Producers

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Javier Bardem in "Biutiful"

Jeff Bridges in "True Grit"

Jesse Eisenberg in "The Social Network"

Colin Firth in "The King's Speech"

James Franco in "127 Hours"

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale in "The Fighter"

John Hawkes in "Winter's Bone"

Jeremy Renner in "The Town"

Mark Ruffalo in "The Kids Are All Right"

Geoffrey Rush in "The King's Speech"

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Annette Bening in "The Kids Are All Right"

Nicole Kidman in "Rabbit Hole"

Jennifer Lawrence in "Winter's Bone"

Natalie Portman in "Black Swan"

Michelle Williams in "Blue Valentine"

Oprah's Half-Sister Revelation Rocks Show's Ratings

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By Marisa Guthrie –

LOS ANGELES - If only every daytime talk show host had a long-lost half sister.

Oprah Winfrey scored her best ratings in nearly six years with Monday's show during which Winfrey revealed that she had a half-sister she never knew.

The installment of Winfrey's daytime talker averaged a 9.6 household rating (according to metered market weighted averages). That's the highest episode since Winfrey's post-Oscar party installment on February 28, 2005.

Winfrey teased the big reveal on her show last Friday promising a "shocking family secret" that she said "literally shook me to the core."

Winfrey's younger half-sister Patricia was given up for adoption by Winfrey's mother in 1963. At the time, Winfrey was living with her father and did not know her mother was pregnant. Of course, this is not the first personal detail that Winfrey has unveiled on her daytime show. She has also revealed that she was molested as a child and lost a baby at 14.

(Editing by Zorianna Kit)

Oldies but Goodies: Cornelius Grant's Gift

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By Victoria Taylor –

Cornelius Grant, the gifted guitarist, artist, and music director for The Temptations (and one of their surviving members) has a relentless pursuit to carry on the legacy of his day. Here is a small glimpse on a large scale of what Mr. Grant is working on. One thing for certain about Mr. Grant is his love for the past, present, and future. He is not the typically retired artist, and music director, in fact he is the opposite, constantly looking for new talent to promote, and old school talent to appreciate. He is the CEO of Flashback International a multifaceted company, which showcases new talented artists, musicians, and writers, while it embraces the forerunners of the past. This energetic, highly exclaimed talented man is boiling with bright ideas. He can be spotted in West Hollywood, California where he resides. Getting to know Mr. Grant all over again is easier than it seems. Anyone can catch up with him through social networking mediums such as Facebook and Myspace, but to really get to know Mr. Grant one must listen to him on his internet radio station called Cornelius Grant’s Flashbacks and NewTraks, which can be streamed online from his website.

Mr. Grant himself hosts the online radio show along side Ms. Sylkie Green, an award winning radio and television personality. The two of them make this an “engaging twohour program” highlighting “old school jams from the 60s, 70s, and 80s” combined with “one-on-one interviews with artists from the past.” His plan is to one-day convert the radio show into a television show giving its viewer a visual glimpse into the lives of their favorite artist.

Mr. Grant is also pleased to announce the launch of his magazine, a line of cigars, some Temptation memorabilia, and music that can be purchased on his company’s website and his non-profit organization called Starz of Tomorrow. His aim for this organization is to showcase new solo artists, group artists, choreographers, writers, directors, sound engineers, and those working behind the scenes. He wishes to give them an opportunity of a lifetime because he remembers what it was like being a young aspiring artist. Starz of Tomorrow is making room for everyone to have their chance at being a star.

In the world of entertainment, and music it’s obvious that new talent is on the horizon, but one must not forget about the old school. Mr. Grant has felt the need to appreciate artists of the past not only by interviewing them and playing their music on his radio show, but also by awarding those who are still around. The ‘Skoole Award’ is something Mr. Grant has been diligent in seeing come to pass.

“It is an award for old school artist that have paved the way for us,” said Mr. Grant with pleasure. The 2011 Skoole Awards will be held on February 11, 2011 at Los Angeles Marriott, Grand Ballroom in Los Angeles, California, where he will be presenting an award to artists such as Little Richard, and others. This event is going to be an exciting day for all those in attendance it’s a mixture of a Valentines Dinner, a Pre-Grammy Party, a Silent Auction (where they will be auctioning off an Escalade), live performances from the Starz of Tomorrow, and so much more.

To purchase a ticket contact 424-209-0156, or visit the website at corneliusgrant.com.

Drake Gears Up To Perform At San Manuel

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Inland Empire Gets a Big Dose of Chart-topping R&B Artist

Thursday, February 10, 2011, San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino welcomes rising rapper, R&B singer and chart topper Drake to the stage. Tickets on sale now, and available at Ticketmaster.com and the San Manuel Box Office for $70, $80 and $90.

Known initially for his role as Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Canadian born Drake stepped out as a rapper and singer with pop appeal in 2006. His first major exposure as a singer was “Replacement Girl,” which featured up-and-comer Trey Songz that was featured on BET’s 106 & Park program as its “Joint of the Day.”

Supported by the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne, a songwriter since age 10, he began recording his first official album with Universal Motown Records in 2009. The debut album, “So Far Gone” peaked at number six on the U.S Billboard 200 chart, won a 2010 Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year and was certified gold by the RIAA with over 500,000 copies sold in the United States. The album released the successful hit “Best I Ever Had,” which reached number two on the Billboard Top 100.

“Thank Me Later”, his next album released in 2010, provided the hit single “Over,” which hit #14 on the Top 100. The second single “Find Your Love” became his most successful single from the album, and peaked at number five on the Hot 100. The latest single, “Miss Me” featuring Lil Wayne, reached number 15.

“Thank Me Later” sold 447,000 copies in its first week and reached number one on the Billboard 200. Not only is Drake a successful singer and television actor, he has taken on roles in video games and hosting, including the first annual Ovo Festival, which featured a rap star list of Jay-Z, Eminem, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, and many more.

The successful artist, who is also a philanthropist, was featured on K’Naan’s “Wavin Flag” song to help with Haiti relief efforts.

Every Thursday night with headliner entertainment, San Manuel gives away $1,000 just for seeing the show. To be eligible to win, guests only need a ticket to the show, a Club Serrano card and to be 21 or older. Guests can enter beginning at noon on such days. Three drawings will be held on those nights: $250 at 7:20 p.m., $250 at 10:00 p.m. and $500 at 11:00 p.m. Winners must be present.

NOTE: Doors open at 6:30. Must be 21 to enter Casino. Please gamble responsibly.

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BVN National News Wire