Entertainment

A leap of faith

February 17, 2017

Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of extremely timid people who constantly try to play it safe in every aspect of their life. These kinds of people are not risk-takers, and then they wonder why they never appear to achieve anything worthwhile in their life. Of course there are those who do quite well. I mean they have a decent job, a fair salary on which they can live, but are not able to do some of the things they'd really like to and had indeed dreamed about doing in their younger years. These kinds of people are always over cautious. They must always play by the book, as the saying goes, and therefore appear never to be able to take any risks at all.
My friend whilst I'm not knocking these kinds of overly cautious people of which there are many, believe me however, one thing I do know is this. If one really wishes to succeed in life and excel, well then, there's no doubt about it, a person has to be prepared every now and then when an obvious opportunity appears which requires taking a chance on something. You must be prepared to, as the title of today's article puts it, take a leap of faith. Yes you must. Those outstanding people spread throughout the world, are always people who were indeed at some time prepared to take a chance, a calculated risk, a leap of faith that shot them rapidly up the proverbial ladder of success.
I knew a young man many years ago who left school at age 16 to work at a gas station pumping gas and changing tires. He was earning a reasonable salary. But then the job of manager of the station became vacant. He wished to apply but his parents advised against it. However, he followed his gut instincts, took a giant leap of faith, and started to run the gas station. Eventually this young man ended up owning several highly profitable gas stations and other businesses. Case closed!

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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A tru tru Bahamian experience

February 17, 2017

As expected, the Tru Tru Bahamian Festival delivered on a variety of Bahamian food, arts and craft, and entertainment as the John Watling's Distillery came alive with authentic Bahamian culture.
Vendors said they received true benefits from the festival.
Denise Worrell of Naturally Bahamian was one of the many vendors who took advantage of the opportunity to showcase her goods.
"We wanted people to be aware of truly Bahamian things that are indigenous to our culture and so we have a variety of teas that we allow people to sample," she said. "We are happy to be a part of this because there are so many things that pretend to be naturally Bahamian and this festival captures what is truly Bahamian. We have such a vast variety of talent and it is uplifting to be a part of this."
United Kingdom visitors Grace Covedalle and John Noble enjoyed the event.
"We've been stopping at out-of-town locations and it's been nice to see people are doing something authentic and using the materials in the country," said Covedalle.
Kevin and Judy Jelinek of Milwaukee also said they enjoyed the festival. They found it interesting and enjoyed the art and craft on display as well as the music.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism sponsored the February 11 event, which was a production of the Bahamas Hotel Tourism Association (BHTA).
Director General of Tourism Joy Jibrilu said everything added up to a wonderful event in the festival's second year.
"Two years ago the BHTA came to me with the idea for Tru Tru Bahamian Festival and it made sense. For the first year, the Tru Tru Bahamian Festival had 700 participants. This year, the number has far exceeded that because people have come to an environment that is beautiful and that's authentic Bahamian culture. Everything just adds up to a wonderful event," she said.
"There are some partnerships that really work for the Ministry of Tourism and so an event like this where our artisans, cooks and musicians have an opportunity to display and sell their goods and the amount of visitors enjoying the festival speaks to how well it is growing and I hope it continues to align with our mission at the Ministry of Tourism."
The date was originally scheduled for November 2016, but after Hurricane Matthew ravaged The Bahamas, organizers wanted to give everyone a chance to recoup.
Tru Tru Festival Chairman Carlton Francis said he was happy with the growth Tru Tru Bahamian Festival had.
"We have so many adults and children enjoying truly authentic games. I really like the growth and hopefully we will see the festival spill into the streets of Charlestown," he said.

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Make ready to be jazzed

February 10, 2017

In just 27 days, three lucky Bahamians will find out whether they will be taking in the 12th edition of what has easily become the City of Miami Gardens' premiere entertainment event -- the Jazz In the Gardens (JITG) music fest, which celebrates diversity, culture and art through various genres of music -- absolutely free.
Since 2009, The Nassau Guardian, Star 106.5 FM and Hot 91.7 FM have teamed up with JITG and Bahamasair for this undeniable springtime destination event. Each winner's complete package for two for the March 18-19 music fest will include tickets to each night of JITG, Bahamasair tickets and accommodations at one of the participating hotel partners -- Hotel Indigo Miami Lakes, Comfort Suites, and Holiday Inn at 103rd Street. Winners and their travel partners will find themselves entranced by the rich beats and musical stylings that have vibrated from the stage for the past 11 years.
In eight years, 48 people have been able to experience the electric atmosphere that is JITG at the Hard Rock Stadium at absolutely no cost to themselves. Another three lucky winners (six people in total) will be added to that number -- a Nassau Guardian winner, Star 106.5 FM winner and an online winner.
"Our JITG giveaway has become very popular, so much so that people do what they have to do to win and stuff the entry box in their favor with multiple entries, which has resulted in us having had people winning back-to-back years," said Star 106.5 FM and Hot 91.7 FM Programming Director Tony Williams.
"With a number of avenues to enter, absolutely free, they can stack the box in their favor, and it's worked. This year I've noticed some of those two-time winners working to stack the box in their favor with multiple entries. If their name is pulled again this year on Wednesday, March 8, then they will win. They keep entering because they know how fantastic the experience is."
People have three ways they can enter to win complete packages: Filling out and clipping the entry form in The Nassau Guardian and dropping it off at The Nassau Guardian (no photocopies accepted); filling in the entry form on the Star 106.5 FM Facebook page and correctly answering a JITG-related trivia question or by calling in to answer a trivia question on the Star 106.5 FM morning show. People can enter as many times as they want and are encouraged to enter through multiple avenues as often as possible to increase their chances.
This year's JITG lineup is just as exciting as past years', with Jill Scott headlining the Saturday evening, which also features Robin Thicke, Herbie Hancock, Morris Day & The Time, Marion Meadows, Chante Moore, Will Downing and Betty Wright.
Sunday evening, closeout day two, will be headlined by the man the ladies continue to love - LL Cool J - and also features Common, The Roots, Andra Day, Smokie Norful and Esperanza Spalding.
Williams says the lineup is one to be excited about. Having already seen a number of previous acts by LL Cool J, Jill Scott, Robin Thicke and Common, being able to see Morris Day and the Time, Herbie Hancock, Andra Day, The Roots and Betty Wright will be exciting for him.
"Just being there with all those thousands of people in just one night in one place is exciting... it's electric. You want to just be there. And actually a lot of folks go and just want to go into general admission, because it's such a big party."
People who have never been before should go expecting to have a good time. Williams recommends arriving at the stadium early to take in all the fun that is to be had at the big party.
Woodrow "Woody" Wilson, senior manager for sales and marketing at Bahamasair, said the national airline of The Bahamas was happy to partner once again with The Nassau Guardian and Star 106.5 FM to give people the opportunity to take in the music festival.
Those who aren't lucky winners can still take in the party that is JITG, as Bahamasair, for the ninth year, has partnered with The Nassau Guardian, Star 106.5 FM and Hot 91.7 FM to ensure that Bahamians can fly to Florida to take it all in with incredible rates, inclusive of hotel and car. Airfare can be purchased from Bahamasair online or in person for as low as $224. Wilson also encourages Bahamians to book their airline tickets early to get the best possible rate. Bahamasair has multiple flights to Fort Lauderdale and Miami on both days.
For JITG special hotel and car rental rates are sourced that Bahamians can take advantage of. You have to call the hotel partners and ask for the Bahamasair Jazz In the Gardens special to get the discounted rates.
This year's hotel partners include Hotel Indigo at Don Shula Golf Course, at $149 per night; Comfort Suites on Commercial Boulevard, at $99 per night; and Holiday Inn on 103rd Street, at $95 per night.
Dollar/Thrifty/Hertz is offering car rental rates starting at $31 for an economy vehicle of your choice, once you ask for the Bahamasair JITG special.
"Every year we tell people to get their tickets early and take advantage of the rates and to not wait until the last minute," said Wilson. "We have wonderful partners in the hotels, some of whom have been with us for a number of years, in Comfort Suites, which has been with us from the start, and Hotel Indigo, which has accommodated a winner before. And this year we've added the newly renovated Holiday Inn on 103rd Street. I went by, had a look at it, and they've done a lot of work to the hotel. And Dollar/Thrifty/Hertz is another wonderful partner in that they always offer us a great deal. But to get the special rate, if you're not one of the lucky winners, or if you simply can't wait to find out if you won or not, is to call and say you're booking for the Bahamasair Jazz in the Gardens special."
Wilson, who has enjoyed the festival since its inception, said he always finds an act to enjoy, including those performers from his era and the more modern artists, some of whose music he knows through his children.
"I go from my kids to me," he said.
Bahamasair and Star 106.5 FM will also be giving away JITG general admission tickets.
"In addition to Jazz In the Gardens, we're going to identify concerts that we're going to partner with The Nassau Guardian and Star on," said Wilson. He said they are excited for what's to come.

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Tru Tru Bahamian Festival on tap for the weekend

February 10, 2017

What makes you a "Tru-Tru" Bahamian?
If you can't definitively pinpoint the answer to that question, then you may just want to take a turn at the Tru Tru Bahamian Festival, where it is said that a "Tru-Tru" Bahamian experience awaits -- including food favorites, arts and crafts, games, competitions, entertainment and a Junkanoo rush-out. By the end of it all, you may just be able to identify what makes you Bahamian.
The Tru Tru Bahamian Festival is a celebration of culture, heritage, traditions, artistic and culinary flair, and indigenous flora and fauna.
It will be held on Saturday at the John Watling's Distillery, showcasing a myriad of experiences for the family.
The festival, which began in 2015, showcases what makes each island individually unique and what each lends to traditions, handicrafts, food and drink, the environment and celebrations of song and dance.
In its young history the festival has been the place where children can take in creatures from land and sea as well as plant life indigenous to the islands. They will be able to interact with animals, play games and learn about Bahamian traditions lost to the modern age of electronics.
Games from yesteryear, such as ring play and plait the maypole take adults back in time.
The festival also features Bahamian sounds and traditional musical celebrations with performances by the much-lauded Royal Bahamas Police Force Band, high school bands and local hometown talent.
The festival was originally scheduled for November 2016, but was postponed after Hurricane Matthew stormed The Bahamas in October 2016; organizers wanted to give people a chance to regroup.
Four months after its initial date, Bahamas Hotel Tourism Association (BHTA) executive member Nina Maynard said officials expect the Tru Tru Bahamian Festival to be better than ever.
"This festival is for locals and visitors, young and old. Everybody is invited because there is something for everyone to do. Tourism has changed, and people are not just looking for sun, sand and sea. They are coming looking for who we are. We are looking to bring back who we are in our culture, in our food, in the way we interact, and so the Tru Tru Bahamian Festival brings all of that together," said Maynard.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (MOT) sponsors the event.
"The Ministry of Tourism is involved in the Tru Tru Bahamian Festival because it is the intention of the minister of tourism to have exciting events year round throughout the Islands of The Bahamas," said Charity Armbrister, MOT director of events. "Also, being able to partner with the private sector can assist in the sustainability of the event," she said.
The Tru Tru Bahamian Festival gates will open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. with a Junkanoo rush-out. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children.

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Two more from the excellent crop of this year's Best Picture nominees

February 10, 2017

As usual, with the Super Bowl last weekend, there was very little of significance or worth watching in theaters. As such, I used the time to sample my final two of the nine movies nominated for Best Picture in this year's Academy Awards.
Sadly, neither of these two dramas, "Manchester by the Sea" or "Hell or High Water" has played here in The Bahamas as yet, but they are among the best-acted, written and directed films of 2016.

Manchester by the Sea
(U.S. rated R)
Cast: Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler
Genre: Drama
Dwight's rating: 3.5 stars

As with anything, it is often hard to live up to massive hype.
This is especially the case with movies. Summer blockbusters often fall short. And even the buzz surrounding some Oscar contenders can be head-scratching.
While not as over-hyped as, let's say, this year's Oscar-nomination-leading "La La Land", quite a lot has been said about "Manchester by the Sea".
Thankfully, this touching family drama might even surpass the widespread acclaim it has garnered since debuting at the Sundance Film Festival in January last year and its release in Unites States (U.S.) theaters in November.
The film stars Casey Affleck as Lee Chandler, a brooding, irritable loner who works as a handyman for a Boston apartment block. One damp winter day he gets a call summoning him to his hometown, north of the city. His brother's heart has given out suddenly, and he's been named guardian to his 16-year-old nephew. As if losing his only sibling and doubts about raising a teenager weren't enough, his return to the past re-opens an unspeakable tragedy.
This is a very simple story, but told in quite an interesting way. Director and screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan implements the most effective use of flashbacks I've seen in a long time. This over-used and often annoying and even disruptive gimmick is instead a tool to build suspense here.
We begin seeing Lee as a withdrawn, antisocial, monosyllabic, cold, zombie-like figure living life as if he were a serial killer. Suddenly in flashbacks we see him as someone who was filled with life and love, and even good cheer and humor. What in God's name happened?
We go quite a while before we learn about the "unspeakable tragedy". In the meantime, there's a sense of unease as you sit on the edge of your seat, racking your brain, trying to pick up any clues as to what might have gone wrong.
This piecemeal approach is a great choice, accentuating the stunning performances. It serves as a great showcase for Affleck, who has lived most of his career in the shadows of his big brother Ben.
Those days may be over!
The younger Affleck, who has been largely a supporting actor up to this point, moves firmly and comfortably into leading actor territory. He's essentially playing two characters, his former happier self, and this solemn shell of man. Remarkably, we can see the joy and enthusiasm in his eyes with the former, and the pain and frustration in those same eyes.
While soul baring and raw, it's still a very subtle performance. In the hands of another director or actor, it could easily have become over-the-top or overbearing. It's no wonder Affleck has been a dominating force this award season in a year with particularly strong leading male performances.
However, Affleck's won't be the only performance you talk about or remember; 20-year old Lucas Hedges is a revelation as Lee's teenage nephew. This scene-stealer has some of the movie's best lines and adds a great deal of levity to the often-somber story.
The rest of the supporting cast is also amazing. Michelle Williams, who has perfected the art of playing the long-suffering wife, is also strong, as is Kyle Chandler (TV's "Friday Night Lights"), as Lee's brother.
Yes, "Manchester by the Sea" is sad, but it's not dour. It's actually much more humorous than has been promoted, and is even uplifting. If there is a criticism, it's the two hour and 17 minute running length, which does feel a tad long by the time we cross the 120-minute mark.
Otherwise, the film certainly deserves its six Oscar nods -- the aforementioned Best Actor nomination for Affleck and Best Picture, plus supporting nods for Hedges and Williams, and director and screenplay for Lonergan. "Manchester by the Sea" has earned all its hype.

Hell or High Water
(U.S. rated R)
Cast: Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham
Genre: Crime drama
Dwight's rating: 3.5 stars

"Familiarity" has been as bad as that other F-word for the movie industry in the past year.
With 2016 seeming to be the year of the remake/sequel/prequel (like probably every year before it for at least the last decade), there's been a lot of familiar material. And in most cases, some may have wished the original work had never seen the light of day.
There's a familiarity about the crime drama "Hell or High Water" too. But it's a refreshingly different kind. It's definitely an original story, but it's reminiscent of many of the crime dramas from the 1970s and early '80s. I can almost picture a Clint Eastwood or Charles Bronson starring in it.
This neo-Western feels like a number of classic westerns too. And there's a "Bonnie and Clyde" aura as well.
But unlike most of last year's 'familiar' material, "Hell or High Water" should not be dismissed or ignored.
Two brothers -- Toby (Chris Pine), a straight-living, divorced father trying to make a better life for his son; and Tanner (Ben Foster), a short-tempered ex-con with a loose trigger finger -- come together to rob branch after branch of the bank that is foreclosing on their family land.
The hold-ups are part of a last-ditch scheme to take back a future that powerful forces beyond their control have stolen from under their feet. Vengeance seems to be theirs until they find themselves in the crosshairs of a relentless, foul-mouthed Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges) looking for one last triumph on the eve of his retirement. As the brothers plot a final bank heist to complete their plan, a showdown looms at the crossroads where the last honest law man and a pair of brothers with nothing to live for except family collide.
I'm not sure why this fine drama never made it here. Released in the U.S. on August 12, at the winding down of the summer blockbuster season (the same weekend as "Florence Foster Jenkins" -- another good film that never made it to these shores), we instead got the interestingly named duo of "Sausage Party" and "Pete's Dragon".
That's too bad. Even though it's set in West Texas, the story is relatable on many levels, especially as it addresses anger with the banking sector, and mortgage and foreclosure challenges.
The biggest draw is the best dialogue of any movie I've seen this year, and perhaps in many years. No it's not Shakespeare, but Taylor Sheridan (who also wrote 2015's very well done "Sicario") has penned an extraordinarily entertaining script.
The authenticity and pace of the conversations is astounding. At the top of the list is the constant verbal sparring between Bridges and Gil Birmingham, who play the Texas Rangers investigating the bank robberies. Their witty and playful back-and-forth is very amusing.
The attention paid to even minor interactions with waitresses or bank robbery witnesses is shocking. These real conversations are exactly what you might say or expect to be said, and the most natural reactions to these scenarios.

Social commentary alert:
And to the many Bahamians who believe the time has come for "responsible citizens" in this country to be allowed to carry handguns for their own safety and protection, I challenge you to tell me the scene in which our bank robber brothers try to rob a crowded West Texas bank, that wouldn't play out exactly the same way here in this country!
So with the immensely entertaining dialogue, great character studies, the fantastic cast of Pine, Foster and Birmingham, but especially the superb Jeff Bridges, it's no surprise that "Hell or High Water" is up for four Academy Awards -- Best Picture, Film Editing, Original Screenplay and Supporting Actor for Bridges.
Despite the endless photocopies and rehashes of the same old ideas, "Hell of High Water" proves that even out of a not entirely new concept, something spectacularly fresh can still be achieved.

o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.

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Ambra Albek and Quartetto Di Cremona's performances jumpstart NMS year

February 10, 2017

The Nassau Music Society's new year was jumpstarted by a stunning classical music performance by Ambra Albek and the Quartetto Di Cremona.
Ambra Albek and the Quartetto Di Cremona performed before a packed house at St. Paul's Catholic Church Hall, Lyford Cay, receiving a standing ovation the day after they entertained a smaller crowd at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church.
The artists also led a master class that exposed music students to a unique learning experience.
Albek is a violinist and holds a master's degree with distinction in piano chamber music and a concert diploma with top marks, having studied in Italy and Switzerland.
She formed and performed as part of the Albek duo with her twin sister, Fiona, until Fiona's recent death. During their international concert career, the Albek duo participated in numerous festivals throughout Europe, the United States, South America, Australia and China. They performed both as a duo and in other chamber music formations, as well as playing solo duo with orchestra accompaniment.
For the final performance that led to a standing ovation, the artists collaborated to present a piece created in memory of Fiona and her exuberant and passionate personality.
Renowned for its mature and lyrical sound, string quartet Quartetto di Cremona has a focus and intensity that brings life to music, from the tight blend and immaculate voicing of the group's Brahms to the sleek and elegant dynamic contouring of its Mozart (Strad).
Its Saturday performance featured Schubert Quartet Death and the Maiden, and Beethoven String Quartet op. 29; its Sunday performances included F. Mendelssohn Cappricio op.81, W. A. Mozart K465, and Brahm's String Quartet op.111.
The Quartetto Di Cremona was formed in 2000 at the Stauffer Academy in Cremona, Italy, and continued as its members studied at Hatto Beyerle. The group is comprised of Cristiano Gualco and Paolo Andreoli on violin, Simone Gramaglia on viola and Giovanni Scaglioni on cello. They have played to critical acclaim at the most important venues and festivals in Europe, including at the Beethoven Haus and Beethoven Bonn, Konzerthaus (Berlin); Klara Festival (Brussels); Moving on Music Festival (Northern Ireland); and many others. They have also performed extensively in the United States as well as Australia, including at the popular Perth International Art Festival.
Ambra Albek and the Quartetto Di Cremona's performances were sponsored by Colina Insurance Limited, Pictet Bank, Lennox Patton, RoyalStar Assurance, The Mall at Marathon, Atlantis Resorts, RBC Royal Bank and Classical 98.1FM.
Simone Fitzcharles, Nassau Music Society (NMS) president, said the organization is gearing up this year to host a variety of concerts and master classes for a fun-filled season filled with visits from world-renowned artists, as its mission is to bring the world of music to The Bahamas. The society promised to promote and encourage the art of music in The Bahamas.
"We are proud to note that we have thus far fulfilled more than 50 percent of our $80,000 pledge to provide scholarships to outstanding music students at the University of The Bahamas," said Fitzcharles. "The goal is also one of simultaneously uplifting our youth and helping to bring their dreams into reality."

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'Da Bahamian Ting' Song Competition deadline comes up in eight days

February 10, 2017

With $76,000 in the prize purse, the songs entered into "Da Bahamian Ting" Song Competition will have to be tight if artists expect to be in the money, and as a result organizers have extended the deadline for artists to make their submissions.
The competition deadline has been extended to Friday, February 17. The competition launched in December 2016.
Songs to be entered must be of a Bahamian genre -- rake 'n' scrape, Goombay or Junkanoo and approximately three minutes in duration.
"As a professional musician, I know you need more time to plan things properly," said Rick Carey, coordinator in the Heritage and Culture Department of the Ministry of Tourism. "There are going to be those people who need the extra time to refine their songs."
Ten finalists will be selected from the submissions and the winner will be named at the Bahamian Music and Heritage Festival in Georgetown, Exuma March 9-11.
The overall winner will walk away with $25,000 and will be selected by the public.
Second place takes home a $20,000 purse; third place walks away with $15,000; a $10,000 award will go to fourth place; and fifth through 10th place winners will take home $1,000 each.
Carey said he hopes to see the next rising star of Bahamian music.
"I'm very excited about what the younger generation comes up with," he said.
Even though the deadline has been extended, Carey said they have seen scores of entrants, as Bahamians have been busy composing new and exciting songs for submission into the competition.
"We are really surprised by the response. It's been amazing. We have had interest and submissions from a lot of professional and amateur musicians, songwriters, bands and school choirs. It's not just people in Nassau either, we've had folks call from the Exumas, Eleuthera and Grand Bahama too," said Carey.
Contestants must submit their songs to the Ministry of Tourism.
Application forms and competition rules are available at the Ministry of Tourism, fourth floor, British Colonial Business Centre, #1 Bay Street, and all Family Island tourism offices. Submission forms and contest rules can also be found on the Ministry of Tourism's website at TourismToday.com. For more information call 302-2000 or email dabahamianting@bahamas.com.

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Aliv Bahamian Icon Awards 2017 nomination campaign launched

February 10, 2017

The organizing committee of the fifth annual ALIV Bahamian Icon Awards is now accepting candidate submissions for nomination for the 2017 award consideration.
The Icon Award recognizes exemplary achievement by Bahamian citizens in 15 categories -- commerce, education, entertainment, entertainment ensemble, entrepreneurship, finance, fine art, healthcare, humanitarianism, health, journalism, music, sports, rising star and tourism. The public is invited to visit the official website at www.bahamianiconawards.com and submit potential candidates based on specific achievements or contributions made from January 2015 to March 2017.
"This is perhaps the most exciting part of our awards season because it gives us an opportunity to read the stories of remarkable Bahamians from across the country," said Addis T. Huyler, founder and executive producer of The Bahamian Icon Awards.
"What is truly unique about this process is that the public gets a chance to inform our decisions as to who wins the nominations. Over the years we have received an increasingly overwhelming response from around the country with persons telling us about their icons and heroes. We are indeed proud to once again bring these stories to light and recognize these outstanding Bahamians for a job well done."
All submissions must be received on or before March 31. Official nominees will be announced on April 18.
The 2017 Aliv Bahamian Icon Awards will be handed out at a star-studded red carpet ceremony which will be held on June 17 at The Melia Nassau Beach Resort and broadcast live nationwide on OUR TV.
The Bahamian Icon Awards acknowledges the exemplary achievements of men and women who have excelled in various industries, thus contributing to the overall development of the Bahamian community. Our mission is to provide an achievable goal that inspires and encourages consistent efforts to achieve excellence and the fostering of good will. For more information visit www.bahamianiconawards.com.

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Stop being stupid!

February 10, 2017

Now although, as I have in fact written about on many occasions before in these articles over the years, there is no such thing as a stupid person, as that well-known saying puts it, "God don't make no junk". No He doesn't. He doesn't make any stupid people. However, as we all unfortunately know full well, there are a whole lot of people spread throughout this great big world of ours who are behaving in an extremely stupid manner, and it is to these people that I say stop being stupid, and I make no excuses for saying that.
So are you calling me stupid here today D. Paul? You may say with some annoyance. Of course not -- I've already stated that there's no such thing as a stupid person. However, there are millions of people who are living their lives in a most stupid manner by engaging in all sorts of destructive behavior, thus failing in life consistently. And how do I know this, you may query? Because I myself have behaved on many occasions in a very stupid manner, which I had to come to terms with, face up to and eventually change.
As most of my regular readers will know, in my younger years I was a professional musician. Now let me admit to the fact, that in those days, I consumed far too much alcohol for my own good. However there came a time when I made a decision to quit this destructive practice, and thank God I did, for I probably would not be alive today if I had not made that sensible decision.
My friend, from the commencement of "Time To Think" my mission was and still is to assist people the world over to be successful -- to be winners, to be all that you can be. So if you are engaging in any destructive behavior, please, I implore you to take the instructions given in the title of today's article very seriously and thus stop being stupid, and believe me, you will eventually succeed beyond your wildest dreams as you reach the promised land.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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5m budget for Carnival as govt cuts contribution
5m budget for Carnival as govt cuts contribution

February 09, 2017

TOURISM Minister Obie Wilchcombe said yesterday it is time for the government to stop "investing money" into Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival and "hand over" the yearly celebration to a "private entity"...

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World-class classical artists perform at Lyford Cay

February 02, 2017

Attendees to a recent event hosted by the Nassau Music Society witnessed a stunning performance of classical music from world-class artists, who flew in to participate in a two-day event.
Ambra Albek and the Quartetto Di Cremona performed for a packed audience at St. Paul's Catholic Church Hall, at Lyford Cay on Sunday, January 22, where they received a standing ovation. They entertained a smaller crowd at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church on Princess Street the day before. The artists also led a master class that exposed music students to a unique learning experience.
Simone Fitzcharles, president of the Nassau Music Society, said the organization is gearing up for a great variety of concerts and master classes for a fun-filled season filled with visits from world-renown artists.
With a mission of "Bringing the World of Music to The Bahamas", The society consists of a vibrant set of people who work behind the scenes to make these concerts and free master classes run smoothly.
Ambra Albek is a violinist and a violist who holds a master's degree with distinction in piano chamber music and a concert diploma with top marks, having studied in Italy and Switzerland.
She formed the Albek duo along with her twin sister, Fiona, until Fiona's recent tragic death. During their international concert career, the Albek duo participated in numerous festivals throughout Europe, the United States, South America, Australia and China. They performed both as a duo and in other chamber music formations, as well as playing solo/duo with orchestra accompaniment. The final performance on Sunday night led to a rousing standing ovation when the artists collaborated to present a piece especially created in memory of Fiona and her exuberant and passionate personality.
Several prominent composers wrote expressly for the Albek Duo, including Italian composer Allessandro Luccheti's Fantasies on themes from famous operas, and the well-known American composer William Perry's Gemini Concerto: An Entertainment for Violin, Piano and Orchestra. They performed the latter at the Premiere in USA and then recorded for the Naxos label with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin, directed by Paul Phillips. The duo also recorded South of the Alps (with Eroica), Sound in Search of A Past, and the 'opera' CD Roaring Dramas (with VDE-Gallo).
Internationally renowned for their "extremely mature and lyrical sound", string quartet Quartetto di Cremona has a focus and intensity that brings life to music from the "tight blend and immaculate voicing" of their Brahms to the "sleek and elegant" dynamic contouring of their Mozart (Strad).
The Quartetto Di Cremona formed in 2000 at the Stauffer Academy in Cremona, Italy, which is their homeland, and continued as they studied at Hatto Beyerle. The group comprises: Cristiano Gualco on violin, Paolo Andreoli also on violin, Simone Gramaglia on viola and Giovanni Scaglioni on cello. They have played to critical acclaim at the most important venues and festivals in Europe including at the Beethoven Haus and Beethoven Bonn, Konzerthaus (Berlin), Klara Festival (Brussels) Moving on Music Festival (Northern Ireland) and many others. They have also performed extensively in the USA as well as Australia, including the popular Perth International Art Festival.
Saturday's performance featured Schubert Quartet Death and the Maiden, and Beethoven String Quartet op. 29. Sunday's performances included F. Mendelssohn Cappricio op.81, W. A. Mozart K465, and Brahm's String Quartet op.111.
Fitzcharles brought new year's wishes and updated the public on the society's achievements, keeping its fervent promise to promote and encourage the art of music in The Bahamas.
"We are proud to note that we have thus far fulfilled more than 50 percent of our $80,000 pledge to provide scholarships to outstanding music students at The College of The Bahamas (now University of The Bahamas)," she said.
"The goal is also one of simultaneously uplifting our youth and helping to bring their dreams into reality."
Ambra Albek and the Quartetto Di Cremono's landmark performance in The Bahamas was held under the patronage of Dame Marguerite Pindling. Sponsors included Colina Insurance Limited, Pictet Bank, Lennox Patton, RoyalStar Assurance, the Mall at Marathon, Atlantis Resorts, RBC Royal Bank and Classical 98.1 FM.

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Sponsors line up for 'Beyond The Diary' event

February 02, 2017

Nearly one dozen of the country's leading institutions have come forward to sponsor "Beyond the Diary", an inspiring first-person tale of triumph over tragedy featuring Eva Schloss, stepsister and best friend of Anne Frank. It was Anne Frank's journal - filled with the hopes and dreams of a young teen despite the family living in hiding and fear for two years, afraid to utter a sound for days on end, that opened the eyes of the world to the personal side of the Holocaust.
"Beyond the Diary", set for the Melia Nassau Beach resort on Thursday, February 9 at 6 p.m., is expected to draw a standing room only audience, as Mrs. Schloss, now 87, recounts the riveting story that takes listeners from a childhood of innocence to the anguish of Auschwitz and on to a life filled with meaning and purpose as wife, mother, grandmother, author and humanitarian.
It is, say organizers, a story of the indomitable power of the human spirit.
"We are delighted that so many sponsors have stepped forth allowing us to bring this historic event to The Bahamas," said Rabbi Sholom Bluming. "Everyone we mentioned it to was eager to be part of such a moving and inspiring evening and especially pleased to partner in the separate presentation to students."
Prior to the public event, Schloss will make a private presentation at the Melia to over 600 students from several schools, sharing her inspirational story and life lessons.
Among the sponsors are Aetos Holdings, Andbank Private Bankers, Ansbacher Bahamas, the Ministry of Tourism, Bank J. Safra Sarasin (Bahamas) Ltd., Bank Julius Baer, Diane Phillips & Associates, Oracle Capital Advisors Ltd., Restaurants Bahamas Ltd., SYZ Wealth Management and Union Bancaire Privee (UBP).
"The support we've received has been humbling and inspiring," expressed Rabbi Bluming. "It's a sign of the generous spirit these special men and women have. They care deeply about the betterment of our entire community and the education of children and adults alike. Without their support, events like this would not be possible. Many of these same sponsors have also supported similar programs in the past and we are eternally grateful to them for their continued contribution to The Bahamas."
"Beyond the Diary" is the third historic program in six years hosted by the Nassau Jewish community. The first two, a Schindler's List survivor and an Israeli fencer from the 1972 Munich Olympics drew standing room only crowds.
"Eva Schloss is one of the last remaining Holocaust survivors. She will tell her unforgettable story, through the eyes of her best friend and classmate, Anne Frank, then through her own lens as a prisoner and finally through the heart of a woman whose courage and compassion could not be dampened as she emerged to live a rich and full life of inspiration to others. Eva, who became Anne Frank's stepsister after her father married Anne's mother following the death of their respective spouses, will motivate all of us," said the rabbi. "Given world events today the message of respect and tolerance is so timely and important for all of us to hear."
Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program starts promptly at 6:30 p.m., followed by a question and answer session.

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Sorority celebrates 109th Founders' Day

February 02, 2017

In celebration of the 109th Founders' Day of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., members of the Eta Psi Omega Chapter gave of themselves in service and took time to engage in sisterly relations.
On Saturday January 14, members began by visiting the children's ward at Princess Margaret Hospital to read to the children and sing songs with them. A great time was had and some extra joy was spread throughout the ward. The following day members welcomed Founders' Day by manning the first water stop and a cheer stop at Marathon Bahamas.
Contanza Adderley Bourne, president, Eta Psi Omega, noted that "Starting our Founders' Day celebrations with acts of service is really a hallmark of our chapter and indicative of the way AKA women strive to live their lives - in service."
Members ended Founders' Day by inviting family, friends and other Greek organizations to join them in watching Hidden Figures at Galleria Cinemas. Over 200 members and guests filled the theater. The movie tells the story of three members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Founders' Day Committee Chair Zoe Gibson shared that "We wanted to see the film and learn more about these pioneering women of AKA. I can honestly say that we were all inspired and, quite frankly, moved by the stories of these women. They faced incredible odds due to both their color and their gender, but they were persistent in pursuing their goals and determined to achieve - and they did. I think there was a lot that we could relate to and learn from."
Founders' Day activities continued with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, on Saturday, January 21. Members of the chapter brought, packaged and served soup to those in need at the St. Barnabas Soup Kitchen. They then walked throughout the neighboring community to give soup to many who could not make it to the kitchen. Approximately 340 people were fed.
A newer member of the chapter, Melissa Hanna remarked that "Our driving force is to be 'supreme in service to all mankind' and we really want to make our mark here in The Bahamas, as women who serve and uplift the community. It was a joy to work along with my sisters and impact, if only in a small way, the lives of the people we served and interacted with."
The chapter ended their week-long celebrations with a church service at Christ Church Cathedral, to give thanks to God for blessing and sustaining their work, followed by brunch at Luciano's of Chicago, where members enjoyed each other's company.

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'La La Land' feels far too much like a big gimmick

February 02, 2017

La La Land (Rated T)
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend
Genre: Romantic comedy-drama musical
Dwight's rating: 2.5 Stars

Mia: It feels really nostalgic to me?
Sebastian: That's the point!
Mia: Are people going to like it?
Sebastian: (Expletive) them!
This scene from "La La Land" perfectly sums up all that is right and wrong with this new romantic comedy-drama musical.
Yes, the film has created a sensation, sending critics and awards shows into a frenzy. They've heaped a stupendous amount of praise on it; last month it won all seven of the Golden Globe Awards for which it was nominated, including Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. And last week, it garnered a record-tying for most-ever (with "All About Eve" and "Titanic") 14 Academy Award nominations.
But, as stated, "La La Land" is a "romantic comedy-drama musical", combining genres with some well-earned reputations for hokeyness, particularly musicals, which have been a notoriously tough sell proposition in the last two decades. Yet, it proudly wears that "(expletive) them!" if you don't like it.
This ode to the often-superficial nature of the city of Los Angeles (and specifically the "Tinsel Town" aspects of Hollywood), follows Mia, a struggling actress, who has decided to write a one-woman play - hence her concerns about the "nostalgia", and Sebastian's bold retort.
The romance aspects of the story also examine the pitfalls with relationships, and especially those in Hollywood. While Sebastian and Mia are drawn together by their common desire to do what they love, as success mounts, they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair. The dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.
First the positives: Sebastian and Mia are played by the long-respected and admired Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. They have elevated their already transcendent careers to the upper tier with two glitteringly amazing performances here, both cementing their "leading man and woman" status, if ever there was any doubt.
Gosling and Stone both do their own singing and dancing. Additionally, Gosling, who already had some musical ability, apparently took three-months of lessons to make it seem as though he'd been a jazz piano master since he was a kid. Beyond these impressive talents, the film serves as a showcase for the unbelievable chemistry between the stars.
The two light up every scene with what must arguably be the most expressive faces in motion pictures today. Writer/Director Damien Chazelle uses lengthy close-ups with moments of silence when we are made to focus on how both these attractive stars are able to convey more emotion without saying a single word than are most of their peers able to muster while shouting at the screen.
Chazelle wrote and directed "Whiplash", the 2014 film which I still believe was the best of that year and should have won the Oscar for Best Picture over "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)", and co-wrote "10 Cloverfield Lane", last year's exceptionally entertaining mystery/thriller. He should be commended for trying something different with "La La Land". To even think there'd be an appetite for this was quite nervy.
Unfortunately, as is often the case, it's hard for almost anything to live up to massive hype. And "La La Land" is no exception.
When I say singing and dancing, I'm talking full-fledged, Golden Age of Hollywood-style dance numbers, with tap-dancing and gravity-defying/floating-in-air fantasy sequences. Why? Because they can! "(Expletive) it!"
For some - especially those who miss old MGM-style productions (even though you can watch these almost every day on wonderful TV networks like TCM) - these will be magical flashbacks. But for many, this will be downright goofy.
Without a doubt, the whole affair is beautifully choreographed and directed, but it feels odd, especially as the film is in a contemporary setting. It's not like 2002's "Chicago", set in the '20s, with the musical numbers in the more palatable form of the characters' dreams or imaginations.
"La La Land" strikes me as being this year's "The Artist", the 2011 French film that was shot as a silent film and in black-in-white, or the aforementioned "Birdman". Both are about the entertainment business, and both took some big chances (some would say "gimmicks") with their story delivery. Both got a lot of attention, won the Academy Award for Best Picture and struggle under the weight of heightened expectations.
In a year filled with seen-it-all-before sequels, "seen-it-all-before-but-not-in-the-last-few decades" is indeed refreshing. And the exuberance of Gosling and Stone (who along with Director Chazelle, are both Oscar-nominated) make it worth seeing.
However, "La La Land" feels far too much like a big gimmick - schmaltzy and sentimental, campy and slow at times. Now, I love "Singin' in the Rain" or "West Side Story" or "The Sound of Music" as much as the next guy, but they were all appropriate for their times; "La La Land" is forced anachronism.
But as Sebastian would say, that's the point!
o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter@morningblend969.

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'Da Bahamian Ting' Song Competition deadline extended to Feb. 17

February 02, 2017

Scores of talented Bahamians have been busy composing new and exciting songs for the Ministry of Tourism's "Da Bahamian Ting" song competition.
Rick Carey, coordinator in the Heritage and Culture Department of the Ministry of Tourism, said the department has been flooded with submissions from enthusiastic Bahamians.
"We are really surprised by the response. It's been amazing. We have had interest and submissions from a lot of professional and amateur musicians, songwriters, bands and school choirs. It's not just people in Nassau either, we've had folks call from the Exumas, Eleuthera and Grand Bahama too," Carey said.
Contestants now have until February 17, 2017 to submit their songs to the Ministry of Tourism.
The deadline was extended to allow contestants more time to refine the songs, Carey said.
"As a professional musician, I know you need more time to plan things properly. There are going to be those people who need the extra time to refine their songs," Carey added.
Ten finalists will be selected from the submissions and the winner will be named at the Bahamian Music and Heritage Festival in Georgetown, Exuma, March 9-11. The overall winner will be selected by the public.
Songs must fall into a Bahamian genre, such as rake 'n'scrape, goombay or Junkanoo, and around three minutes long.
The winner will receive $25,000 with second place taking $20,000, third place $15,000, fourth place $10,000 and fifth through 10th $1,000 each.
Carey said he hopes to see the next rising star of Bahamian music.
"I'm very excited about what the younger generation comes up with," he said.
Application forms and competition rules are available at the Ministry of Tourism, fourth floor, British Colonial Business Centre, #1 Bay Street and all family island tourist offices.
Submission forms and contest rules can also be found on the Ministry of Tourism's website at TourismToday.com.
For more information call 302-2000 or email dabahamianting@bahamas.com.

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Don't let 'their' problems become 'yours'

February 02, 2017

I was talking to a young man after a seminar one day as he asked if he could have a word with me.Of course I obviously obliged. As we sat down at a table after the seminar had ended; he confided in me, that he always tried to be pleasant and positive both at home and at work; however, he quickly added, that it was becoming more and more difficult as his wife had a whole lot of problems she was working through and thus seemed to be in a bad mood each evening when he got home from work. He further added, that at work too, he had to deal with many of his Managers and Supervisors who had extremely bad attitudes causing him to get very annoyed at work day after day.
Having listened to him patiently without interrupting, I simply uttered the phrase which is the title of today's article 'Don't Let 'Their' Problems Become 'Yours'. He looked at me in a rather dumbfounded fashion for a second or two and then said in a rather annoyed tone "So, what you're saying D. Paul is that it's all my fault?" I replied "No that's not what I'm saying at all".
I further explained, that we all have to deal with people with problems just about every day; however, that's no reason to allow them to take away our joy, so to speak, as we should be quite capable of controlling our emotions under all circumstances.
Yes My Friend, to put it in plain and simple language which all can fully comprehend; there are a whole lot of wonderful people spread throughout this great big world of ours; however, there are also a whole lot of 'Jerks', to use a popular expression whom we have to daily deal with too. So learn to control your emotions, stay calm even in particularly 'Hostile Situations' and believe me, you'll win in the end... yes you will!

o Think about it!
Visit my Website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to 'Time to Think' the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Bahamas Horticultural Society to host plant sale on Feb. 11

February 02, 2017

"Replenish your hurricane-ravaged garden at the Horticultural Society of The Bahamas' (HSB) Annual Plant Sale" suggests Alma Evans, HSB president. The popular event is set for Sat., Feb. 11, 8 a.m to 1 p.m. at the Bahamas National Trust's "The Retreat Garden", on Village Road, opposite Queen's College.
"It's also your perfect chance to buy healthy, reasonably priced plants as Valentine's gifts." she said. "Children may enjoy shopping for gifts at the long tables of plants for $5 or less."
"Please note the date, no longer the first Saturday of February," said HSB Treasurer Sarah Lobosky, a past HSB president. "Helping beautify the nation is one of the society's goals. As a result, unusual plants and sound advice on growing them are featured at our popular sale each year."
Plant lovers still fly to Nassau for the sale from all over The Bahamas, reported HSB Past President Dail Pearce. He will again be one of the special vendors, offering succulents and air plants in glass globes.
Other featured vendors include Flamingo Nursery for orchids and supplies, Past President Marina Greaves with her water garden features and other unusual containers and plants, bedding plants and fruit trees from the Errol Strachan's Garden of Edem and stylish exhibits by Bev Evans.
"Say 'Happy Valentine's Day,' with water plants, roses, orchids, or other exotic or bedding plants - all at really good prices," recommends former HSB President Eric Butler, who always brings a truck load of green goodies.
"Restock your garden Feb. 11 and prepare for Easter, at the big sale opposite Queen's College. There is no admission charge," reminds Past President Cindy Wilde, who always brings dozens of well-grown plants.
"It is smart to be one of the first in line for the opening. The best stuff goes fast," adds Mr. Butler. He adds "Bring boxes!"
"There is always something new to spark a gardener's imagination at this sale," said HSB President Evans. She reminds members to pay special attention to the condition of plants brought to the sale, "It should always looks like a plant show."
Herbs and hanging baskets, bromeliads and orchids are always popular and in great supply. Of special interest each year are hundreds, possibly thousands, of dramatic bromeliads, tiny tillandsias or "air plants" to gigantic hybrids with a five foot long leaf. Members also often donate bare root plants to the sale for landscaping.
Publicity Chairman Sara Parker points out, "There are products designed to make bromeliads less attractive to mosquitoes if you are worried about bites. I recommend the bare root bromeliads which you can move around a new landscape until you get it right. The BNT garden gives you great ideas on landscaping, too." Mrs. Parker is a founding member of the HSB and hosts the popular home and garden show, "Bahamas Realty, Now."
Plants range in price from less than a dollar to more than $100 depending on size and rarity. HSB members grow the plants and label them for sale, with 10 percent of the sale price going to the HSB.
No plants will be sold before 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, said Mrs. Lobosky. She urges members to bring plants, labeled with proper sales tags, on Friday Feb. 10 as none will be accepted on sale day.
Savvy shoppers wear hats and sunscreen, arrive early and bring their own boxes, bags and trucks according to bromeliad expert Beryl Sheasby. Some help is available for transporting large plants to the parking area, courtesy of Queen's College.
Founded by the late Mrs. Sara Bardelmeier in 1983, the HSB conducts field trips and participates in horticultural shows. The HSB now includes more than 100 members, including all the local garden clubs, top horticulturists, and family island growers.
The HSB's 2016-2017 executives are President Alma Evans, Vice President Shirlene Godet, First Vice President Cyprianna Stuart, Treasurer Sarah Lobosky, Assistant Treasurer Joanna Robertson, Secretary Georgette Dames, Assistant Secretary Rosella Armbrister, Historian Kent Lightbourn, and Immediate Past President Barbara Archer.

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Sponsors Line up for Feb 9th 'Beyond The Diary' Event with Eva Schloss, Stepsister, Best Friend of Anne Frank

February 01, 2017

Nearly one dozen of the country’s leading institutions have come forward to sponsor ‘Beyond the Diary,’ an inspiring first person tale of triumph over tragedy featuring Eva Schloss, stepsister and best friend of Anne Frank...

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New Original Comedy Series Crashing Premiers on February 19th, Exclusively on HBO
New Original Comedy Series Crashing Premiers on February 19th, Exclusively on HBO

January 31, 2017

HBO announces the premiere of its new original comedy, Crashing, on Sunday, February 19th at 23:30hrs AST*, simultaneously with the United States. Created and starring Pete Holmes, the series which draws on Holmes’ own experiences as a comedian, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the unpredictable world of stand-up comedy...

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SAG Life Achievement Award Recipient Lily Tomlin reads for SAG-AFTRA Foundation's literacy initiative Storyline Online
SAG Life Achievement Award Recipient Lily Tomlin reads for SAG-AFTRA Foundation's literacy initiative Storyline Online

January 26, 2017

Lily Tomlin, the 2017 SAG Life Achievement Award recipient, has added another title to her list of accolades – children’s literacy advocate. The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s children’s literacy program Storyline Online (storylineonline.net), sponsored by the Entertainment Industry Foundation...

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