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Monica Jeffs, Director of Admission for the Art Institute of California - Inland Empire with Rikke Van Johnson San Bernardino City Councilman.
Guiding teenagers into creative careers - and making a living doing something they love - is the main goal of the Summer Studio at The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire.  

"Today's young people determine their career destinations early," says Byron Chung, President of The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire.  "They look for exciting opportunities that will let them make an excellent living doing something they truly enjoy. Summer Studio is a great opportunity for high school students to find and identify those creative career positions."

The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire Summer Studio program is a four-day workshop for high school juniors and seniors in the Inland Empire region in California. Students may choose programs from any of the school's seven programs of study - Graphic Design, Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, Game Art & Design, Media Arts & Animation, Interior Design and Interactive Media Design.

"The idea behind the Summer Studio program is to let students explore the real world of the field that interests them most, and in the process they also benefit one of the area's nonprofit groups that can use their help," says Chung.  "We will work with the nonprofit on a mutually agreed upon project to benefit them, then present it to the organization and the students' families on the final day."

The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire views itself as not just an institution of higher learning, but also an integral part of the Inland Empire community.  Instead of having students work on a fictional project, Chung felt that the students would learn best from working with a real client and on a real project.   Faculty and staff members agreed and are enthusiastic about helping nonprofit organizations throughout the Inland Empire.

This year, The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire selected the Boys and Girls Club of San Bernardino as the focus of student's creative efforts.  The organization is excited about the opportunities. 

"We will help them with new menus for their Head Start program from our Culinary Arts department, a new website from the school's Media Arts & Animation program, a 30-second commercial from Game Art & Design, and a special events poster and a new brochure from the Graphic Design program," said Chung.

Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Mark Davis is very happy to have the help from the school and from students' participation in Summer Studio.  "When I joined the Club as director, one of the first things I did was to take down the website.  It had too much old information.  That is just one of the areas where we need a lot of help and we are really looking forward to the help we will receive from The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire."

The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire has a history of helping such organizations.  Last summer, the Summer Studio high school students helped San Bernardino's Inland Agency develop a poster that integrated the look of each of its four programs.  

Becky Foreman, Inland Agency's Executive Director, explains, "We work with low-income families in three counties, assisting with health, Medicare and youth development programs. We needed help creating an identity piece that really brought the vision of what we were doing together."

The students did just that and everyone was really pleased with the results. 

The Summer Studio project is a multi-faceted one: aiding the community's nonprofits; introducing the high school juniors and seniors to hands-on experiences instead of traditional academic classroom work; and introducing them to The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire. "It's just four days," says Admissions Director Monica Jeffs, "but it's a brief yet intense way to let high school students experience what it is like to attend The Art Institute and show them they can find a career doing something they love."  

When students enroll in Summer Studio, they first meet with an instructor from their selected program. Then they are divided into groups to work on various parts of their project. Ultimately all groups gather to put the entire project together, which is presented to the nonprofit organization. "This way we're giving the students an example of what their possible field of study entails in case they decide to later come to the school," Chung said.

The program was held at the school, located at 630 East Brier Drive, San Bernardino.  

For more information about the Summer Studio and The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire, call (909) 915-2100.

Host of Celebrity successes convene in Los Angeles to Motivate Aspiring Black Entrepreneurs

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By Billie Jordan

The crowd listened long and carefully as Susan Taylor, Editorial Director of Essence Magazine delivered her message. It was the success story of an ordinary girl from an underserved community who had never received any formal education.

The story was her own, her voice in whispers and then in passionate delivery as she described her journey.  She spoke to the audience as a mature authority on what it takes to make and be happy with success and leadership. "We are Black people and we need jobs. And we need you [Black people] to employ us," said Taylor. "This is what the Holy Spirit is calling us to do. The Holy Spirit is really opening the way for those of us who want to create a new world."

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums
Susan Taylor wasn't the only heavy hitter at the 10th Annual African American Business Summit, 2007 in Los Angeles, of which announced its merger with Turning Point Urban Business Summit.  Dennis Kimbro, Ph.D., and author of "Think and Grow Rich a Black Choice" presented as well.

The audience's anticipation of Kimbro's presentation was obvious. And his delivery met expectations. He spoke with enthralling anecdotes, rhymes and tales of interviews he'd experienced with the greats throughout his quest for discovering what makes the great- great.

"Dream big dreams, develop a dream vision, believe in yourself when no one else will, then commit yourself to excellence," Kimbro said. "Don't be average, please differentiate yourself from the crowd. Right now you live in a country that rewards differentiation. Watch the masses and go the other way."

Differentiation was a reoccurring theme throughout the business summit. Special guest and president of Gerry Foster Marketing, Gerry Foster's message was: Dare to be Different- Standing out in a Me- Too World."

According to Foster getting people to associate excellence, superiority and desirability must be the #1 priority of African American business owners. "It all comes down to making the decision that you are going to make the right impression everytime someone experiences you," Foster said. "If you want people to see the difference so that they will pay for the difference, the only way that can happen is if you stand out and get noticed."       

Foster went on to say that a problem with many Black business owners is that they go straight for the money without giving enough attention to excellence and creating a desirable brand.

Author Dr. Dennis Kimbro
Other revered panelist included L.A. City Councilman, Bernard C. Parks; the three Black mayors of California: Hon. Roosevelt Dorn of Inglewood, Hon, Ron Dellums of Oakland and Mayor-Pro Tem of Compton- Hon Isadore Hall lll; Congresswoman, Diane Watson and Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa.

The African American Business Summit celebrated its 10th Anniversary this year featuring celebrity guests and leading Black business owners with inspiration, tools, advice sessions and opportunities for Blacks to become entrepreneurs.

There was an urgent message from primary speakers on the importance of economic growth in Black communities. Business ownership was boasted as a primary solution for enabling the minority communities help for themselves, by themselves.

Next year the African American Business Summit will unveil the Turning Point Urban Business Summit. This unveiling is essentially a change in name and brand direction.

The new summit intends to no longer solely consider African Americans as a primary target market, but will continue to fulfill their mission of providing information and resources to the diverse urban marketplace.  

"The Urban Environment is changing and has changed. America is increasingly diverse. It is time for African American businesses to look at the changing face of America and not fight against it," said Patricia Means, founder, Turning Point Urban Summit.

Mary J. Blige To Appear At San Manuel Casino

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The Queen of Hip Hop Soul Is Part of San Manuel's Big 21st Anniversary Celebration

San Manuel Indian Nation, Calif. ˆ June 27, 2007 ˆ On Thursday, July 12, the queen of hip-hop soul, Mary J. Blige, helps San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino celebrate its 21st Anniversary. Tickets are available now at all Ticketmaster locations, including Ticketmaster.com, for $60, $70, and $80.

R&B's reigning queen, Mary J. Blige, is recognized as one of today's brightest recording stars. In 2006 and 2007 alone, her greatness has been recognized with nine Billboard Music Awards, two American Music Awards, and  three Grammy Awards. At this year's Grammys, she led all artists with eight nominations, capturing wins for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song (both for  Be Without You) and Best R&B Album (The Breakthrough).

Mary J. Blige
Mary J. has sold over 35-million albums worldwide in her illustrious career. All seven of her studio albums (beginning with What's the 411? in 1992 through The Breakthrough in 2005) have achieved the number one position on America's R&B chart. Five have gone at least Triple Platinum. Her latest, The Breakthrough, sold 727,000 copies its first week (December 20, 2005), the  largest first-week sales for an R&B solo female artist in SoundScan history.  Eleven of her singles have topped either the US R&B or Dance charts, led by  her smash hit Family Affair.

There is a 21 and older age requirement to enter the Casino and/or see the show.

Riverside Plays It Cool To Battle Summer Heat

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The City of Riverside now has 17 "Cool Centers" available during the hot summer months.

The centers are city facilities, such as libraries and community centers, equipped to offer temporary respite for people when excessive heat warnings are issued for the city.   Each center will have air conditioning, resting area and water available during open hours.

"Last July's oppressive heat wave killed as many as 140 people throughout California," said City Emergency Manager Anthony Coletta.  "Many of the victims were low-income, elderly, living alone or had medical conditions that left them vulnerable to heat-related illnesses.  We don't want that to happen in Riverside."

As recently as last year, there were only two cool centers.  Coletta thinks the more than 800 percent rise in centers this year will help Riversiders combat the summer heat.

"It's available for everyone and the neighborhood coverage is much more extensive," he said.

Riverside natives should be braced for what will be a scorching summer, Mayor Ron Loveridge said.

"The City of Riverside plans to be prepared for what is predicted to be a very hot summer," he said.   "These cooling stations can be a matter of life and death."

Excessive heat warnings are issued when the apparent temperature (heat index) or the real temperature hits 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cool Centers are located at:

Cesar Chavez Community Center (Bobby Bonds Park)

Joyce Jackson Community Center (Nichols Park)

Janet Goeske Senior Center (Sierra Street)

Ruth Lewis Community Center (Reid Park)

Eric M. Solander Community Center (Bryant Park)

Dales Senior Center (White Park)

Stratton Community Center (Bordwell Park)

Arlanza Community Center (Bryant Park)

Arlington Library (Hunt Park)

Renck Community Center (Hunt Park)

Ysmael Villegas Community Center (Villegas Park)

Casa Blanca Library (Madison Street)

La Sierra Community Center (La Sierra Park)

Main Library (Mission Inn Avenue)

Eastside Library (Chicago Avenue)

Marcy Library (Central Avenue)

La Sierra Library (La Sierra Avenue)

For tips on dealing with the heat or heat-related illnesses, go to http://www.riversideca.gov/.

Library Announces Summer Reading Program

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The City of Riverside Public Library begins its 10th annual summer reading program this weekend. 

Sign-ups for "Buzz Bee's Summer Reading Program" open tomorrow at all public library facilities.

The program gives children, ages 2 to 19, five unique programs:

  • "Buzz Bee's Baby Story Times" helps parents and caregivers learn to read to their children.
  • "Read-to-Me" is geared for preschoolers.
  • "Buzz's Summer Reading Game" is for elementary school children.
  • "B.A.R.K." is a pilot program where children reluctant to read aloud can read to friendly dogs.
  • "Teen Space" is a high-tech program that will utilize visual, written and spoken arts to create the experience of teens living in Riverside.

"The library is prepared for 6,000 children for the summer reading program this year," said Sue Struthers, youth services manager.

The summer reading program culminates Aug. 25 with a celebration at the Main Library plaza.

For more information on the summer program, call the Main Library at (951) 826-5369. 

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BVN National News Wire