Saturday, May 28, 2016

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY'S TASTE OF HOPE

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HIGH SOCIETY FOR A CAUSE

Photos By: Patrick McMullan
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Jean Shafiroff



Drew Nieporent With Jean Shafiroff And David Burke



The American Cancer Society hosted its 11th annual Taste of Hope event on Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. The prominent culinary, wine, and spirits event featured some of New York’s most popular restaurants, chefs and beverage vendors. Guests enjoyed a walk-around tasting where they had the chance to sample trademark dishes, premier wines and spirits, and inventive cocktails.


Participating restaurants and chefs included cancer survivors Eric LeVine of Morris Tap & Grill and Chef Antonio Prontelli of Rock Center Café. Dishes served ranged from savory delicacies such as Fish Tacos from Almond, Mini Pulled Pork Sliders from Dinosaur Bar-B-QUE and Watermelon Gazpacho with Lobster Salad from La Fonda Del Sol to the sweet Southern Style Cupcakes from Doc’s Cake Shop and Banana Pudding from Magnolia Bakery.


Restaurant and beverage participants included: AG Kitchen, Alidoro, Almond, BLT Prime, Calle Ocho, Fresco By Scotto, La Fonda Del Sol, Luke’s Lobster, Magnolia Bakery, Nobu New York, Rock Center Café, STK Downtown, Todd English, Triomphe, Voilà Chocolat and many more. Approximately 50 participating restaurants and beverage sponsors were represented at the event.

Alysia Reiner And David Alan Basche




Now in its 11th year, the event is presented annually by the American Cancer Society and the Taste of Hope volunteer committee and has raised over $1.5 Million to support the American Cancer Society’s mission and goal of eliminating cancer as a major health problem. The Society is currently investing more than $450 million in over 50 types of cancer research, with 103 new extramural grants that will go into effect this July. Like previous years, the event gathered over 800 affluent epicureans and philanthropists from the New York Metro area. This year's event was hosted by event chairs Mark D. Friedman & Jamie Koff and the 2016 Taste of Hope Volunteer Committee. The event raised over $200,000. American Cancer Society are still accepting donations via their website www.tasteofhopenyc.org.


An hour into the event, event chairs Mark D. Friedman & Jamie Koff took to the stage to introduce the 2016 event host Chris Wragge as well as this year’s honorees David Burke, Drew Nieporent and Jean Shafiroff. Friedman thanked the guests and honorees for coming and for their generous donations to the American Cancer Society and its work. Koff continued on to thank the event committee for all their hard work and dedication to the ACS mission.


The next person to take the microphone was CBS news anchor Chris Wragge and actor Richard Kind. Wragge started off mentioning the event’s great food, great drinks and great desserts, before asking who in the room had been affected by cancer in some way. Many hands were raised – showing just how all-affecting cancer is. Wragge encouraged everyone to help raise money for a cure, and mentioned that it was his fifth appearance at this important annual event.

Chris Wragge




Next, a video of the three honorees was displayed, following which the first honoree, David Burke, took to the stage. Culinary Honoree and award-winning celebrity chef David Burke, thanked guests and volunteers for making this event possible and the committee for being chosen as an honoree. Actor Richard Kind then stepped on to hand Burke an all clad sauté pan, inscribed with the Taste of Hope logo, jokingly noting that “you may not want to get panned, but tonight you will”, placing the pan on top of Burke’s head.


The next honoree to make an announcement was Corporate Honoree and Owner of Myriad Restaurant Group Drew Nieporent, who as Burke, thanked everyone for attending the event and mentioned how close to his heart the cause is, having lost his mother to cancer in 2000. Also Nieporent received a sauté pan from Kind, before introducing Jean Shafiroff.


Philanthropic Honoree and Author Jean Shafiroff thanked her fellow honorees, the American Cancer Society and all the volunteers who helped make the event possible. She pointed out the tremendous difference the ACS Hope Lodge makes in recovering cancer patients’ lives and how vital funding is to allow more research and resources for people struggling with cancer.


Concluding the announcements, Wragge and Kind took to the stage again to challenge the guests to donate $5,000 in 5 minutes. The live fundraising raised $8,000 in the next five minutes – contributing to the American Cancer Society’s mission to beat and treat cancer.


The event also featured a silent auction where guests bid on selected items exclusively offered to Taste of Hope. Highlights from the silent auction included: an exclusive Hamilton theater package, a Fiddler on the Roof theatre package, a Martha Stewart cooking kit, a Knicks pre-game ballkid experience and a golf tutorial by a PGA Tour superstar instructor.


Corporate sponsors of the event were Allstate, Don Q Rum, Eurostruct Inc, Freshdirect, Gentle Giant, Halstead Property, Sabert, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, UHY LLP, Umenoyado, Vinitaly International and Wine Spectator.



About Honoree David Burke:



Blurring the lines between chef, artist, entrepreneur and inventor, world-renowned chef David Burke is one of the leading pioneers in American cooking today. His fascination with ingredients and the art of the meal has fueled a thirty-year career marked by creativity, critical acclaim and the introduction of revolutionary products and cooking techniques.


Burke’s innovations and revolutionizing techniques appear on menus all over the world, including Pastrami Salmon (now available through Acme Smoked Fish), flavored oils and tuna tartare, GourmetPops, ready-to-serve cheesecake lollipops. Additionally, Burke is actively involved with culinology, an approach to food that blends the culinary arts and food technology. In 2011, Burke received the ultimate honor presented to inventors: a United States patent. It was awarded to him for the unique process by which he uses pink Himalayan salt to dry-age his steaks for up to 100 days and led to the citing of David Burke’s Primehouse in Chicago as the number one steakhouse in Chicago and the United States.


Over the years, Chef Burke has become one of the most recognized chefs on television, including appearances on two seasons of Top Chef Masters, a guest spot on the Every Day with Rachael Ray show, NBC’s TODAY Show, Bloomberg's small-business television series The Mentor, and more. In addition, Burke has published two cookbooks, Cooking With David Burke (1999) and David Burke’s New American Classics (2006) co-written by Judith Choate.


About Honoree Drew Nieporent:



Drew Nieporent is the founder of the famed Myriad Restaurant Group. Over the last 30 years, he has opened 36 acclaimed restaurants, including Tribeca Grill, Nobu New York, Nobu Fifty Seven, Nobu London, Nobu Next Door, Citi Field’s Acela Club and Madison Square Garden’s Daily Burger, as well as Crush Wine & Spirits. His latest restaurant, Bâtard, earned three-star ratings from The New York Times and New York Magazine, a coveted Michelin star (2014 and 2015), and the James Beard Foundation award for Best New Restaurant.


Drew has received James Beard awards for Outstanding Restaurateur (2009) and Humanitarian of the Year (2000). He is involved with dozens of charities including Citymeals on Wheels, Garden of Dreams, Food Allergy Research & Education and DIFFA.


About Honoree Jean Shafiroff:



Jean Shafiroff, philanthropist and humanitarian, is considered to be at the vanguard of a new movement of modern philanthropists. Jean's philanthropy goes beyond financial contributions and includes the gifts of extensive time and knowledge. Through her work she encourages and seeks to empower all individuals to become philanthropists so that they can build the fulfillment of giving into their lives. Jean Shafiroff is the author of Successful Philanthropy: How To Make a Life by What You Give, a practical guide to modern giving that redefines philanthropy for today’s era.


A volunteer fundraiser, leader and spokesperson for several charitable causes, the spectrum of Jean’s philanthropic work includes improving the lives of underserved populations, women’s rights and well-being, health care, animal welfare and resources for children in need, in addition to other causes. Jean serves on the boards of New York City Mission Society, New York Women’s Foundation, French Heritage Society, Couture Council (Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology), Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services (20+ years), Southampton Animal Shelter Honorary Board, and Southampton Bath & Tennis Club’s Charitable Foundation. Widely recognized for her philanthropic work, Jean has been recognized and featured in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Gotham Magazine, The New York Times, New York Social Diary, Avenue, Hamptons Magazine, and The Huffington Post, among others.


Jean works closely with the multiple causes she supports. Each year she chairs numerous galas and hosts events benefiting numerous not-for-profit organizations. She is particularly well-known for her leadership in raising money for many charities, including the Southampton Hospital, New York City Mission Society, New York Women's Foundation and Southampton Animal Shelter. Jean has been honored by several organizations including the New York City Mission Society, Youth Counseling League, Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, Surgeons of Hope, the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, Pet Philanthropy Circle, and Animal Zone International.


Jean holds an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University and a BS in physical therapy from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She has worked both in public finance and private partnerships on Wall Street. Prior to that, she was a physical therapist at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City. Jean is married to Martin Shafiroff, an investment advisor, and together they have two daughters, Jacqueline and Elizabeth, who share their mother’s interest in charitable causes. Jean and her family reside in both New York City and Southampton, NY.


For more information about Jean Shafiroff and Successful Philanthropy, please visit www.jeanshafiroff.com.


Successful Philanthropy [Hatherleigh Press/Penguin Random House] is available to order in Hardcover and E-Reader on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indiebound. The book is also available for purchase wherever books are sold.



About Taste of Hope and The American Cancer Society:



Taste of Hope, American Cancer Society’s signature culinary, wine and spirit tasting soirée continues to shine as one of Spring’s top events in New York. Since inception, Taste of Hope has raised more than $1.5 million to support the American Cancer Society’s mission and goal of eliminating cancer as a major health problem. 


For over 100 years, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has worked relentlessly to save lives and create a world with less cancer. Together with millions of their supporters worldwide, ACS help people stay well and get well, find cures, and fight back against cancer. The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the ACS has regional and local offices throughout the country that support 11 geographical Divisions to ensure they have a presence in every community. For more information about American Cancer Society, visit http://www.cancer.org

Friday, May 27, 2016

WAXMAN CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION LUNCH

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Collaborating for a Cure

Photos By: Rob Rich
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Ramona Singer With Jean Shafiroff



The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF) hosted its third annual Collaborating for a Cure Luncheon at the private Upper East Side residence of Andrea Stark. The event honored Oscar de la Renta with a fashion presentation showcasing the fashion house’s pre-fall 2016 designs before a private audience, and benefited the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. Guests in attendance included Samuel Waxman, Marion Waxman, Ramona Singer, Andrea Stark, Jean Shafiroff, Pamela Morgan, Erica Fineberg, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Ingeborg Rennert, Bernice Schwartz and Randi Schatz among others.


 Marion Waxman With Andrea Stark And Pamela Morgan




The luncheon was the third annual event of its kind to raise funds for the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, with all event proceeds benefiting the charity. Event Chair Pamela Morgan welcomed guests to the event prior to the fashion presentation, and thanked Andrea Stark for opening her home to host this year’s Ladies Luncheon. She introduced Marion Waxman who said a few words about the luncheon, and how it was initiated by Erica Fineberg three years ago.


Dr. Samuel Waxman spoke to the guests about the increasing risk of developing cancer as one ages and mentioned the organization’s new research program investigating the genetic causes of increased incidence of cancer as people age. He mentioned that this ongoing research aims to collaborate with the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Waxman went on to mention the important advances the foundation’s collaborative group of world-class scientists, known as the Institute Without Walls, has reached in trying to find less toxic cancer treatment methods. He also mentioned that SWCRF has made major breakthroughs in breast cancer research in the past few years, and how this important work is made possible by charitable donations.


Following Dr. Waxman’s speech, Chris Tully, Senior Director of RTW US at Oscar de la Renta went on to thank Dr. Waxman and the SWCRF for inviting them to showcase their fashions at this important fundraiser and mentioned Mr. de la Renta's own struggle with cancer that led to his passing in 2014. Ms. Tully introduced the pre-fall 2016 designs that the models would be showcasing, after which the fashion presentation took place.


A raffle was also held, featuring items such as a Large Metal Collar Necklace in Antique Gold from Lafayette 148; one month of unlimited blowouts and/or express styles at Glam & Go; a wallet from Hugo Boss; Long Silk Tassel Clip Earrings from Oscar de la Renta; a gift card toward Verve Medical Cosmetics and products from Firm Commitment, Tocca, Lollia & Jane Iredale; a John Varvatos package of colognes, sunglasses and his book; and a cashmere collection from Arlotta Cashmere.



About the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF)


The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation is an international organization dedicated to curing and preventing cancer. The Foundation is a pioneer in cancer research and its mission is to eradicate cancer by funding cutting-edge research that identifies and corrects abnormal gene function that causes cancer and develops minimally toxic treatments for patients. Through the Foundation’s collaborative group of world-class scientists, the Institute Without Walls, investigators share information and tools to speed the pace of cancer research. Since its inception in 1976, the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation has awarded approximately $90 million to support the work of more than 200 researchers across the globe.


For more information on SWCRF, visit: www.waxmancancer.org



THE ACCESSIBLE ART FAIR & PARTNER MVVO ART

Maria Van Vlodrop And Stephanie Manasseh



The Accessible Art Fair and its US partner MvVo ART, hosted a Jury Meeting where over 50 top contemporary artists were selected by a prominent jury on May 2nd, 2016. The lucky artists selected will be part of the 2016 Accessible Art Fair for top emerging and mid-career artists of quality which will be held at The National Arts Club in Gramercy Park, New York, November 1st to November 25th, 2016. The final list of participating artists will be released by the art fair’s primary media partner Artnet – the leading online resource for the international art market – later in May 2016.


The Jury Meeting was held at the Lowell Hotel in Manhattan – perfectly situated within the “museum mile”. At the meeting, the jurors made their final selection from a large pool of American, European and International artists. Neuhaus chocolates provided the jury with delectable chocolates to nibble on throughout the day. Primary media partner Artnet’ Editor in Chief Rozalia Jovanovic was a panelist at the jury meeting. A newly announced partner of the art fair is leading microblogging platform and social networking website Tumblr.


The 50 carefully selected artists will exhibit paintings, sculptures and photography encompassing a variety of styles. The prominent jury which handpicked these artists included experts from Sotheby’s, Gagosian Gallery, Christie’s Collectrium and Artnet. The artists selected will be offered the opportunity to show their art during the Accessible Art Fair’s month-long fair in November 2016 at The National Arts Club, whose mission is to stimulate, foster and promote public interest in the arts – providing artists with a platform to be discovered by the art world, collectors and the general public.


To ensure the quality of the works presented, the expert panel for the 2016 edition of the fair included: Stephanie Manasseh (Chief Curator), Rozalia Jovanovic (Editor in Chief at Artnet), Kevin Doyle (Sotheby’s), Shaune Arp (Gagosian Gallery), Ann Lydecker Bunge (Christie’s Collectrium), Shari Brownfield (Art Advisor), Rachel Rees (Sutton), Sophie Clauwaert (European Art Advisor)


The Accessible Art Fair, which is a concept originating from Brussels by Founder Stephanie Manasseh, breaks with traditional art boundaries. The artists are in direct contact with an art buying public as well as art influencers. MvVO ART’s Maria van Vlodrop describes the fair as a unique concept that she felt compelled to bring to New York given the wealth of talent looking to exhibit in one of the world’s most prominent art metropolises: “I am proud to partner with Stephanie and bring this new art fair to New York City and support emerging and established artists of quality in such an intimate venue as The National Arts Club in Gramercy Park.” Notable members of The National Arts Club include Martin Scorsese and Uma Thurman and works by famous artists such as Dali and Jeff Koons have been exhibited at the club.


Keeping in line with the Accessible Art Fair guidelines, artists get to keep the majority of their proceeds thanks to corporate sponsors committed to supporting the artists. European sponsors of the Accessible Art Fair have included BMW and Montblanc. All sponsorship or other inquiries for the 2016 New York Accessible Art Fair should be addressed to mariavanvlodrop@mvvoart.com.



About MvVO ART:


MvVo ART is in the business of creating opportunities for emerging and established artists of quality, collectors, corporate art sponsors and their guests to discover each other. At its debut in November 2016, MvVO ART will bring the Accessible Art Fair from its home in Brussels to the heart of the New York Art scene: The National Arts Club at Gramercy Park in Manhattan for a month long exhibition (November 1 to November 25, 2016). Maria van Vlodrop is the Founder and President of MvVO ART. In a new venture, Maria has partnered with Stephanie Manasseh, Founder & Director of Accessible Art Fair, to co-found and direct the Accessible Art Fair’s New York edition, uncover new talent and encourage organizations to associate their brands with art to provide their customers with unique experiences.


For more information about MvVO ART, visit http://www.mvvoart.com



About the Accessible Art Fair:


Accessible Art Fair’s mission is to offer a platform for artists and designers and make them accessible to a discerning audience. Accessible Art Fair offers the opportunity to purchase quality works of art and design and meet the creators behind the work. All their works are carefully selected and hand-picked by a panel of experts and guaranteed the quality of the art presented. Accessible Art Fair is the place to discover great talent. The Accessible Art Fair also strives to make the art purchasing experience as pleasant as possible by removing the barriers between the buyer and the artist. Founder Stephanie Manasseh started the organization in 2007 with the goal to create a platform for both talented emerging and established artists to sell their work to the art buying public.


For more information about the Accessible Art Fair, visit www.stephaniemanasseh.com


About the Lowell Hotel:


Established as a luxury hotel since 1927 and privately owned, The Lowell remains one of the few properties where guests feel the welcome of home every time they check in. The beautiful landmarked hotel on East 63rd Street, between Madison and Park Avenues, is a short stroll from New York City’s best shopping and just blocks from Central Park. Situated amongst the most exclusive addresses on the Upper East Side, The Lowell is the picture of classic New York elegance. Sixty percent of the hotel is dedicated to spacious suites, furnished with the comforts of a stylish pied-à-terre; luxurious terraces, kitchens, wood-burning fireplaces, and concierge services to cater one’s every whim. Long the New York hotel of choice for “in the know” world travelers, The Lowell is poised to become even more sought-after in late summer 2016 with a new restaurant and bar, library lounge, and garden in addition to updates to the lobby and Pembroke Room.


For more information about the Lowell Hotel, visit http://www.lowellhotel.com



The Lowell Hotel
28 East 63rd St (at Madison Ave)
New York, NY 10065



Photo By: Patrick McMullan


THE 34TH ANNUAL FRED & ADELE ASTAIRE AWARDS

Jane Krakowski



The 34th Annual Fred & Adele Astaire Awards, which recognizes outstanding achievements in dance on Broadway and in film. This year’s Award Recipients included Judith Jamison, Artistic Director Emerita at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Nigel Lythgoe, Creator & Executive Director of So You Think You Can Dance. Choreographer Maurice Hines received a special award for his body of work in the field of dance. Dr. Joan Fallon also received an award for special achievement in the field of autism and related disorders.


The gala evening, which was held at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York, commenced with a Red Carpet & VIP Cocktail Reception followed by the Performances & Awards Ceremony, after which a VIP After Party was held at the Hebrew Union College to which some 350 award recipients, performers and well-wishers attended. Over the course of the night, a number of special performances were made.


Maurice Hines & Judith Jamison
The evening’s presenters included Tony Award Nominee Patricia Birch, Tony Award Nominee Leanne Cope, Tony Award Nominee Don Correia, Tony Award Nominee Sandy Duncan, Tony Award Nominee Charlotte D’Amboise, Tony Award Nominee Robert Fairchild, Tony Award Winner Christopher Gattelli, Academy Award, Golden Globe and Tony Award Winner Joel Grey, Obie Award Winner Jackie Hoffman, Tony Award Nominee Terrence Mann, NYCB Principal Dancer Tiler Peck, Tony Award Winner Susan Stroman, Tony Award Nominee Tony Yazbeck, Producer Randi Zuckerberg. There were also several live performances throughout the evening, featuring Emmy Winner and Drama Desk Nominee Spencer Liff, So You Think You Can Dance Season 10 Winner Amy Yakima, Broadway Dancer Francesca Harper, Tony Award Nominee Desmond Richardson, Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre Company Member Rachael McLaren, and the cast of Broadway’s On Your Feet.


All proceeds from the event will benefit non-profit 501 c(3) organization The Douglas Watt Family Fund for the Performing Arts, which provides Dance and Movement Therapy for autistic and disabled children in New York City. The goal of the organization is to bring artistic expression to the developmentally disabled children in our community. The event was produced by Patricia Watt, NYC Dance Alliance, Fred Astaire Studios and consulting producers Todd Allan and Beth Bogush, with Associate Producers Jessica Zippin and Alix Michel.


The evening started off with the Latin inspired performance “Tradición” from the musical On Your Feet, written by Emilio Estefan and Gloria Estefan and choreographed by Sergio Trujilo. This was followed by a welcome speech from Patricia Watt and Joe Lanteri, after which the Special Achievement in the Field of Autism and Related Disorders Award was bestowed on Dr. Joan Fallon. This announcement was followed by a few words from Jessica Zippin about the organization’s Dance & Movement Therapy Program and the big difference it makes in the lives of children with autism and severe cognitive dysfunction.


The first dance award of the evening, presented by Kiera Chaplin, was won by Dave Scott for High Strung in the category Outstanding Choreography in a Feature Film of which the nominees included: Luke Broadlick, Teresa Espinosa, Alison Faulk & Channing Tatum (MagicMike XXL); Christopher Gattelli (Hail, Caesar!); Aakomon Jones (Pitch Perfect 2); Joey Pizzi (Lucky Stiff); Fatima Robinson & Charm Jordan (Dance Camp) and Dave Scott (High Strung).


Next was the evening’s second performance “Let’s Face the Music & Dance” by The Fred Astaire Dance Studios, choreographed by Steven Powell. The lively dance performance featured music from Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett.


For the first time this year, the Fred & Adele Astaire Awards recognized excellence in dance, movement, and choreography Off-Broadway. The Off-Broadway awards for the 2015-2016 season were presented next by Jackie Hoffman and Randi Zuckerberg.


Rumi Oyama (Sayonara) was the winner of the category for Outstanding Female Dancer Off-Broadway. Nominees included: Yesenia Ayala (Trip Of Love); Leslie Kritzer (Robber Bridegroom); Rumi Oyama (Sayonara); Jaime Lynn Verazin (Standard Time); Ellen Zolezzi (Cagney).


The award for Outstanding Male Dancer Off-Broadway was won by Robert Creighton (Cagney). The nominees included: Jeremy Benton (Cagney); Dave Thomas Brown (The Legend Of Georgia Mcbride); Robert Creighton (Cagney); Cory Lingner (Once Upon A Mattress); Matt McGrath (The Legend Of Georgia Mcbride).


The Award for Outstanding Choreography Off-Broadway resulted in a tie between Connor Gallagher (of The Robber Bridegroom) and Paul McGill (of The Legend of Georgia Mcbride). Nominees in this category included: Joshua Bergasse (Cagney); Martha Clarke (Angel Reapers); Connor Gallagher (The Robber Bridegroom); Paul McGill (The Legend Of Georgia Mcbride); James Ortiz, Claire Karpen & Will Gallacher (The Woodsman); Sergio Trujillo & Darrell Grand Moultrie (Invisible Thread).


The performance “A Humble Tribute” was then performed by dancers (and also choreographed by) Leo and John Manzari.


Next, Choreographer Maurice Hines, who appeared Off-Broadway this season in his show Tappin’ Through Life, was recognized with a special recognition award for Outstanding Body of Work in Dance. In his remarked he told the audience of how “my final work was choreography of ballet dancers for Stevie Wonder and I was working through the project a life-time of memories and experiences came flooding back.”


This was followed by two back-to-back performances. First, “Where Do I Begin”, choreographed by Spencer Liff, followed by “Dr. Jazz”, choreographed by Warren Carlyle.


The third special award recipient of the evening was Nigel Lythgoe, Creator & Executive Director of So You Think You Can Dance. In accepting the award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Dance he noted self-deprecatingly that, “I was the original Billy Elliot. I could take dance lessons only if I took boxing lessons also – after three broken noses dance and choreography became my true focus”.


The performance “For a Sophisticated Lady” was then held by Francesca Harper and Desmond Richardson, staged by Chet Walker and with music by Duke Ellington. After this, an excerpt from CRY (1971) was performed, choreographed by Alvin Ailey and restaged by Masazumi Chaya.


The fourth and last special award of the evening, presented by Patricia Birch and Joel Gray, was given to Judith Jamison, Artistic Director Emerita at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. When awarded the Douglas Watt Lifetime Achievement Award she noted that, “People always ask me ‘why did you want to be a dancer?’ to which I reply that I always felt I needed to be a dancer.”


Thereafter, the award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show was presented by Christopher Gattelli, and included: Bright Star, Dames at Sea, Fiddler on the Roof, Hamilton, On Your Feet, School of Rock, She Loves Me, Shuffle Along and Spring Awakening, with the Award being presented to Shuffle Along.


Phillip Attmore (of Shuffle Along) won the award for Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show, which was presented by Leanne Cope and Tony Yazbeck. Nominees included: Phillip Attmore (Shuffle Along); Alex Brightman (School of Rock); Daveed Diggs (Hamilton); Carlos E. Gonzalez (On Your Feet); Curtis Holland (Shuffle Along); Kendrick Jones (Shuffle Along); Luis Salgaldo (On Your Feet).


The category Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show, presented by Charlotte d’Amboise and Terrence Mann, included nominees: Mara Davi (Dames at Sea); Deanna Doyle (Tuck Everlasting); Sandra Mae Frank (Spring Awakening); Jane Krakowski (She Loves Me); Eloise Kropp (Dames at Sea); Ana Villafañe (On Your Feet); Adrienne Warren (Shuffle Along). The award was won by Jane Krakowski (She Loves Me).


The last award of the evening for Outstanding Choreographer in a Broadway Show, presented by Sandi Duncan and Don Correia, resulted in a three way tie between Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton), Savion Glover (Shuffle Along) and Sergio Trujillo (On Your Feet). The nominees were: Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton); Warren Carlyle (She Loves Me); Savion Glover (Shuffle Along); Lorin Latarro (Waitress); Spencer Liff (Spring Awakening); Casey Nicholaw (Tuck Everlasting); Josh Rhodes (Bright Star); Hofesh Shechter (Fiddler on the Roof); Randy Skinner (Dames at Sea) and Sergio Trujillo (On Your Feet).


The Awards Ceremony concluded with the performance “Gloria”, featuring a mix of Gloria Estefan music and choreographed by Justin M. Lewis and Mark Orsborn.


The Off-Broadway Committee was comprised of Andy Sandberg (Chair), Jonathan Herzog, Michael Milton, Nikki Feirt Atkins, Judith Jamison, and Lee Roy Reams. The winners were announced on May 16th at the annual Astaire Awards ceremony alongside the 2015-2016 Broadway and Film Awards.


The Nominating Committee Chair was Wendy Federman, supported by committee members: Nikki Atkins, Ted Chapin, Pat Collins, Don Correia, Sandy Duncan, Jonathan C. Herzog, Judith Jamison, Anna Kisselgoff, Pia Lindstrom, Donna McKechnie, Bruce Michael, Mary McColl, Michael Milton, Mary Beth O’Connor, Laura Penn, Wendy Perron, Lee Roy Reams, Andy Sandberg and Harry Haun.


The Honorary Committee for the 34th Annual Fred & Adele Astaire Awards was comprised of: Karole Armitage, Rob Ashford, Hinton Battle, Bob Balaban, Marisa Berenson, Anna Bergman, Patricia Birch, Chase Brock, Tricia Brouk, Ron Brown, Jeff Calhoun, Warren Carlyle, Marge Champion, Wayne Cilento, Louis Hirschfeld Cullman, Arlene Dahl, Jacques D’Amboise, Graciela Daniele, Peter Darling, Marguerite Derricks, Kelly Devine, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Eve Ensler, Daniel Ezralow, Jules Fisher, Roberta Flack, Wilhelmina Frankfurt, Mario Fratti, Christopher Gattelli, Mitzi Gaynor, Kearran Giovanni, Savion Glover, Joel Grey, Peggy Hickey, Steven Hoggett, JoAnn Hunter, Anne Jackson, Susan Jaffee, Denis Jones, Paul Katz, Larry Keigwin, Daniel Knechtges, Spencer Liff, Michele Lynch, Kathleen Marshall, Rob Marshall, Julie McDonald, Donna McKechnie, Joey McKneely, Stephen Mear, Liza Minnelli, Jerry Mitchell, Bebe Neuwirth, Phyllis Newman, Casey Nicholaw, Marsha Norman, Kenny Ortega, Robert Osbourne, Jeffrey Page, Daniel Pelzig, Jane Powell, Josh Prince, Ann Reinking, Michael Rubenstein, Wendy Seyb, Lisa Schriver, Randy Skinner, Victoria Traube, Sergio Trujillo, Anthony van Laast, Chet Walker, Patti Wilcox and Matt Williams.


About The Fred & Adele Astaire Awards


The Fred & Adele Astaire Awards were established in 1982 to recognize outstanding achievement in dance on Broadway and in film. The annual awards were established with the cooperation of Fred Astaire to also honor his sister Adele, who starred with her brother in ten Broadway musicals between 1917 and 1931. The Fred & Adele Awards remain the gold standard for excellence in dance and choreography on Broadway and film. Since 1982, additional awards have been added, including the award for best choreography in film, the lifetime achievement award, and a unique award determined annually for exceptional contribution to the field.


For more information and tickets, visit www.theastaireawards.org

Photos By: Patrick McMullan

JEAN SHAFIROFF SPEAKS @ AMERICAN RED CROSS

Jean Shafiroff With Dennis Dunne And Elizabeth Barker




NEWSDAY -- Long Island needs volunteers. Stat.

According to charity and governmental agencies, the number of Long Islanders who volunteer for the myriad needs in the two counties has dwindled significantly since superstorm Sandy in 2012. Officials spoke at the local chapter of the American Red Cross in Mineola on Tuesday morning, urging residents to step up and volunteer.


“There is a need for 4,000 more volunteers in the region,” said Liz Barker, the acting CEO for American Red Cross of Long Island. The chapter covers Nassau, Suffolk, New York City and the lower Hudson Valley. On Long Island, the American Red Cross has about 1,100 volunteers, she said.

The organization has positions from crisis team volunteers, to those who work behind the scenes to package, transport and help with paperwork.

Barker said volunteers have been on the scenes at plane crashes, house fires, blizzards and floods, “helping more than 1,000 Long Islanders get their lives back together.”

Legis. Dennis Dunne Sr. (R-Levittown) said the Red Cross was “at the table” during superstorm Sandy, and its volunteers are there whenever disaster hits.

“You don’t have to be an expert cook. You don’t have to be an expert speaker,” he said. “You can be a shy person . . . .There are so many jobs. Don’t be afraid to volunteer. We’ll find a place for you.”

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Both Barker and Dunne said other local organizations, including fire departments, ambulance companies and the Kiwanis, also are looking for volunteers.

A $4 million state grant from the federal government called Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response allowed Long Island fire departments to run an advertising campaign and offer incentives, such as tuition reimbursement at community colleges. This has kept levels at about 20,000 volunteers in Island fire departments, but the needs continue to rise, says Robert Leonard, spokesman for the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York.

“With the advent of more automatic smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, the volume of calls continue to rise, but the number of firefighters stays the same,” he said.

Traditional volunteer groups such as the Kiwanis and Lions Club also are looking for new volunteers, Dunne said.

Jean Shafiroff, who grew up in Hicksville, and now lives in both New York City and Southampton, has recently published a book, “Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life by What You Give,” spoke about the importance of volunteering, and the rewards.

“Volunteerism is a vital hallmark of our community, and an extension of ourselves and of our family to one another.”

“I know Long Island and I know they will step to the plate,” she said.

To volunteer, call the Long Island chapter of Red Cross at 877-RED-CROSS, or redcross.org/li. Those interested in the fire departments, ambulance companies or other community groups should call them directly.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

LAVERNE COX DAZZLES IN SIMON G JEWELRY

Laverne Cox



Laverne Cox was seen wearing Simon G Jewelry to the Billboard Music Awards After Party.The star was in pure fashion.


Photo Courtesy Of: Domain

NEA AWARDS BIG APPLE CIRCUS FOR PROGRAMS

Big Apple Circus



New York - National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects and partnerships in the NEA's second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $30,000 to support Big Apple Circus' renowned community outreach programs: Clown Care®, Circus of the Senses, Big Apple Circus Embraces Autism, and Vaudeville Visits. This is the circus' third year of funding for the programs, helping to bring the arts to under-served populations for yet another season.


"The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. "Supporting projects like the one from Big Apple Circus offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day."


To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring16. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov.


Big Apple Circus Community Outreach Programs


As a nonprofit performing arts institution, the Big Apple Circus is committed not only to thrilling audiences in the ring, but also to bringing the joy and wonder of circus into the community. Big Apple Circus creates direct, shared connections inside its one-ring Big Top AND in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools, in its New York City home and in cities across America.


"These performers, many from circus dynasties, preserve an important tradition, reinforced by the nonprofit Big Apple Circus's commendable community-service activities, notably the
Clown Care program, which entertains hospitalized children.

 This company ... doesn't only have awe-inspiring acrobatic skills; it has a lot of heart, too."


- The New York Times, 2014 Critics' Pick


Big Apple Circus Clown Care® brings the joy of classical circus to hospitalized children at 15 leading pediatric facilities across the United States. Performers collaborate with doctors and staff to design a program to fit the needs of each hospital. Members of the Clown Care team bring the healing power of humor to children with acute and chronic illnesses, visiting nearly 225,000 young patients every year.


Big Apple Circus Vaudeville Visits, a unique program created in 2004 to cater to the elderly in residential settings in the greater Chicago area, recently expanded to serve those in the hospital setting at the Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey. Twice each month, performers visit hospitalized elders in the Stroke, Respiratory Care, Long-Term Care, Cardiac Care, Abdominal Surgery, Orthopedic, and Neurology Units, bringing their own special brand of mischief and laughter and brightening the day for all. Vaudeville Visits is now also a pilot program at Gouverneur Health on Manhattan's Lower East Side, a public hospital that provides both critical and residential care to seniors and dementia patients.


Big Apple Circus offers a specially adapted performance of the show, Circus of the Senses,for children and adults with vision or hearing impairments and/or other disabilities. American Sign Language interpreters are positioned in spotlights throughout the tent, and wireless audio headsets transmit a live audio play-by-play description of the action in the ring. Braille or large-print descriptive programs are available for audience members. A "touch session" after the show offers a unique opportunity for pre-selected groups of visually impaired children to go into the ring to meet the artists and literally feel a clown nose, a juggler's clubs, or the silky coat of a performing dog.


Big Apple Circus Embraces Autism provides performances with modified lighting and sound as well as a staffed calming center, to meet the needs of children on the autism spectrum. Inclusion is a core value at Big Apple Circus, which is dedicated to delivering the finest circus entertainment to everyone, regardless of physical or cognitive ability, or economic circumstance.


Circus for All!distributes free and subsidized tickets to schools and nonprofit organizations serving low-income children and families, enabling many of them to experience the excitement and wonder of the circus for the very first time.


Circus After School teaches kids life skills such as teamwork, responsible risk-taking, and perseverance, through a structured program of learning and performing circus arts.


NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS 


Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America's rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016.


BIG APPLE CIRCUS


(Will Maitland Weiss, Executive Director; Guillaume Dufresnoy, Artistic Director)

Conceived and founded by Paul Binder and Michael Christensen to be a leading presenter of live family entertainment and a nonprofit performing arts institution, our nation-wide performances and community programs have made our 38-year history far-reaching and full. It all began in 1974, when American entertainers Binder and Christensen became juggling partners and took to the street corners of Europe. Their comedic juggling act was a hit, and they soon found themselves on the stage of the prestigious Nouveau Cirque de Paris. They returned home to America in 1976 with a vision: to entertain and improve the lives of millions of American children and families. One year later, they found a site for the first tent-raising in Battery Park, New York, and went on to create the award-winning, nonprofit Big Apple Circus. For more information, visit www.bigapplecircus.org.


BIG APPLE CIRCUS The Grand Tour!


Big Apple Circus continues it's 38th season traveling show,returning to Cunningham Park with the Queens Premiere of The Grand Tour!. Tickets start at $25, and the show runs from May 15 - June 12, 2016 under the Big Top at Cunningham Park, located at Union Turnpike and 196th Street in Oakland Gardens, NY 11363. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.bigapplecircus.org.


See high-flying acrobats, lovable clowns, the Wheel of Wonder, ponies, puppies and more! All seats less than 50 feet from the ring. In this all-new show, The Grand Tour transports audiences to the advent of the modern travel era, when the most adventuresome began touring the world in ships, planes, trains, and automobiles. Audiences will be awed by the world-class entertainers as they perform breathtaking acts from the four corners of the globe. Clowns, jugglers, acrobats, and aerialists from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America set off on a whirlwind adventure, accompanied by the live, seven-piece Big Apple Circus Band at each performance.


"The Grand Tour is a first-class jaunt."- The New York Times


"A class act ... Sophisticated and beautiful."- The Village Voice


"Language can't do justice to the visual and kinetic thrills of the Big Apple Circus. Just go!"
- Time Out New York


"Polished and fun."- Daily News


"The Finest Up-Close Circus in America."-Variety


"America's Best Circus for Children."- Parents Magazine


Four-time Big Apple Circus ringmaster John Kennedy Kane returns to introduce a variety of stunning performers: clowns Joel Jeske and Brent McBeth; third-generation circus animal trainer Jenny Vidbel with her pony and dog acts; aerialist Sergey Akimov; international juggling sensation AlexanderKoblikov; ninth-generation circus performer Chiara Anastasini with hula hoops; the Dominguez Brothers defying the law of gravity with their thrill-filled act featuring the Wheel of Wonder; Chinese hand balancers The Energy Trio; the African acrobatic troupe Zuma Zuma; and the Dosov Troupe soaring on the teeterboard.


The Grand Tour, conceived and created by Joel Jeske, is directed by Mark Lonergan (artistic director of Parallel Exit, the three-time Drama Desk Award-nominated physical theater company) with choreographer and associate director Antoinette DiPietropolo. Musical direction by Rob Slowik, with clown material created and directed by Joel Jeske. Set and lighting design by Maruti Evans, costume design by Oana Botez, and props design by Katie Fleming.


Big Apple Circus Embraces Autism will take place on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 11am. Big Apple Circus has joined with world-renowned Autism Spectrum Disorders experts to adapt The Grand Tour for families with members on the spectrum and create a joyful experience for all. The adapted show includes the same world-class artistry as the full performance with a shorter running time, adjusted lights and sound, a calming center, pictorial social narratives, and specially trained staff and volunteers to assure a memorable event for everyone! All tickets to this special performance, a 75-minute abbreviated show, are half price ($12.50-$37.50).


A special Big Apple Circus Member event, including dessert in the ring with the performers, will be held following the performance on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 4:30pm. For more information on how to become a Big Apple Circus Member, please visit http://www.bigapplecircus.org/join-and-give.


About Cunningham Park


Culture, sports, nature... and fun! All of these things abound in Cunningham Park, one of the largest parks in Queens. Assembled between 1928 and 1944 and named Cunningham Park in 1934, the space has developed into headquarters for countless athletic leagues, animals, playmates, and barbecue enthusiasts. Pick a pleasure and begin your explorations today! http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/cunningham-park


'LARRY KING NOW' CHATS WITH KATE BECKINSALE

Larry King With Kate Beckinsale



Acclaimed actress Kate Beckinsale sits with Larry King on the multi-Emmy nominated series “Larry King Now” and discusses a wide variety of topics with Larry, including the fifth installment of 'Underworld,' the continued fight for pay equality in Hollywood, and the 2016 U.S. election. Also, in a touching moment, Kate opens up about losing her father, famed British comic Richard Beckinsale.



Kate Beckinsale gets candid about what it was like to lose her father, famous comedian Richard Beckinsale, when she was a child, and the impact he left on both her and all of Great Britain. She admits that she used to confuse her father with John Lennon and explains why she feels some ownership over John Lennon because, “It was 1979 when he died, and John Lennon was 1980, and the feeling in the streets where we lived was very similar, so in my mind as a child, I’ve had the two events confused.”



Kate Beckinsale discusses what it was like working under the direction of Anna Foerster in the fifth installment of “Underworld,” due out later this year. Kate described working with her, saying “She was great.” Larry noted that women normally aren’t associated with action movies, to which Kate responded, “I didn’t notice any difference, really.”



The “Underworld” actress discusses pay inequality in Hollywood, noting that she found when a woman is earning the most on a film, often times there is an air of resentment on set, as if that shouldn't be the case. She says “There is definitely pay inequality, for sure,” and that “when a woman is earning a good deal of money...if she’s earning the most on the set, that can create it’s own problems. I think that there is still a kind of psychological block that probably needs still a few years to be ironed out about certain people’s resistance to that.”



Kate Beckinsale also discusses the impact her hugely popular vampire vs. werewolf film franchise “Underworld” had on the creation of other similar movies, like “Twilight,” even calling her movie “the grandma of ‘Twilight.’ She explains, “Pre-Underworld, I guess what made them go for it was somebody walked into a room and said, ‘I’ve got a novel idea. How about we put vampires and werewolves in the same movie?’ and obviously now, vampires and werewolves are in every single movie and every single of everything.”



Lastly, British actress Kate Beckinsale gives her uncensored thoughts on the 2016 U.S. presidential election and says “I find it all quite terrifying. I thought it was a joke at first, and it turns out it’s not.”



Plus, Kate Beckinsale exposes that she is co-writing a new dark comedy screenplay, and Larry attempts to cast himself as the male lead. Larry and Kate also play a game of “You Only Knew,” where Kate describes a hilarious encounter with “Hamilton’s” Daveed Diggs, and reveals that she “sort of licked him on the face.”



The episode is now LIVE on Ora.tv (episodes premiere daily 2pm EST)

JERRY O'CONNELL TO HOST ABC'S 'PEOPLES LIST'

Jerry O'Connell



NEW YORK - ABC News and People announced a new limited run summer series titled “People’s List” premiering Saturday, June 11 at 8 pm ET on ABC. The hour-long weekly program highlights the biggest stories in pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle, human interest and news features to bring viewers up to speed on what they may have missed. Plus, viewers will get an exclusive sneak peek at the top stories people will be talking about in the week ahead.

“People’s List” will be hosted by popular actor and father of two Jerry O’Connell and SuChin Pak, former MTV news correspondent. With the combined talent of ABC News and People, a team of all-star insiders will join O’Connell and Pak to bring a unique perspective to the biggest headlines of the week.

Each week, “People’s List” breaks down the five people you should be talking about – from your favorite celebrities to social media stars to everyday people making the world a better place. Additionally, the program will include People’s signature features including Scoop, PeopleStyle, PeoplePets, The Jess Cagle Interview (a video series hosted by the Editorial Director of People and Entertainment Weekly), and new segments including Home 360, a look behind the hedges and gates of America’s most fabulous celebrity homes, and Then and Now—an update of the iconic personalities from People Magazine’s iconic covers. Plus, the very latest in pop culture, style and trends.

"People takes us inside the most famous and fascinating lives in the world. From mega-stars to real people facing incredible circumstances, People has been a trusted friend for the biggest events in pop culture history,” said Morgan Hertzan, SVP ABC News, and Exec in Charge of ABC's Lincoln Square Productions.

“It’s one stop shopping for all things pop culture, celebrity and human interest. It’s what you’ll be talking about with your friends all weekend,” added Executive Producer Danielle Rossen.

“This series joins together two of the most trusted media brands in the world – ABC News and People. Partnering on this series gives us the opportunity to present the People brand to audiences in exciting new ways,” said Rich Battista, EVP, Time Inc. and President, Entertainment & Sports Group and Video. “We are thrilled to team up with ABC News to present stories that continue to entertain, inspire and empower our audience,” said Jess Cagle, Editorial Director for People and Entertainment Weekly.

“People’s List” premieres on SATURDAY, JUNE 11 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network. The series is produced by ABC'S Lincoln Square Productions. Danielle Rossen is the executive producer and Marc Victor is co-executive producer for Lincoln Square Productions, and Rich Battista and Jess Cagle are executive producers for People.



MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL JOINS AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES

Maggie Gyllenhaal




NEW YORK — Maggie Gyllenhaal, award-winning actress and star of the upcoming HBO series “The Deuce,” has signed on as the American Civil Liberties Union’s ambassador for privacy and security.

“We as a democracy should have a greater say in how the government uses the incredibly powerful tools at its disposal to conduct mass surveillance and restrict liberties in the name of supposed national security goals,” said Gyllenhaal. “I’m proud to join the ACLU in its fight to ensure that people retain control over their private lives.”

In her role, Gyllenhaal will support the ACLU’s work to rein in the government’s surveillance practices, to ensure that meaningful privacy protections mitigate intelligence agencies’ collection of citizens’ data, and to help inform citizens of their privacy rights and the ways in which they can hold local law enforcement departments accountable when they use invasive technologies against ordinary people.

She will also combat government efforts to weaken cybersecurity and speak out on other government abuses in the name of the so-called “war on terror,” such as the indefinite detention without charge or trial of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.

In her first effort on behalf of the ACLU, Gyllenhaal sent an email today to the organization’s supporters asking them to back efforts to free Mohamedou Slahi, a Mauritanian citizen and the author of the bestselling memoir “Guantánamo Diary” who has been detained at the prison without charge or trial since 2002.

“Mohamedou is not only the central character in the moving and eye-opening book Guantánamo Diary — he is a man of flesh and blood,” she wrote. “He has spent the last 14 years in Guantánamo Bay prison as an innocent man. And he urgently needs our help.”

Gyllenhaal is an Oscar-nominated actress whose film work has included, “Secretary,” “Crazy Heart,” “Dark Knight,” “Stranger Than Fiction,” and many more. Last year, she starred in the BBC/SundanceTV original series “The Honorable Woman,” for which she garnered a 2015 Golden Globe Award, a SAG Award nomination, and an Emmy Award nomination. More recently, she narrated “Truth and Power,” a documentary series on Pivot TV exploring the invasive use of technology by our government.

Launched in October 2013, the ACLU’s Ambassador Project pairs artists from television, film, music, and comedy with issue priorities. Like other ambassadors, Gyllenhaal will promote ACLU work online and in the media. She joins an impressive ACLU ambassador roster: Michael K. Williams on ending mass incarceration; Demian Bichir for immigrants’ rights; Harry Belafonte on the overincarceration of juveniles; W. Kamau Bell for racial justice; Lewis Black for voting rights; Melissa Etheridge for marijuana reform; Jesse Tyler Ferguson on marriage rights for same-sex couples; Sasheer Zamata on women’s rights; and Marlee Matlin for disability rights.