Michelle Obama Teams Up With Spotify

Michelle Obama continues to show her love and support for the development of the youth in our country by attending the recent, Beating The Odds Summit. Partnering up with executives from Spotify, including Troy Carter, VP of Creator Services, and Danielle Lee, VP of Partner Solutions, Mrs. Obama gave an important address to the students of Washington, D.C.’s Dunbar High School.

Topics such as overcoming obstacles and learned lessons were shared by the powerful individuals to their student counterparts. 35 high school students spent a day long trip with the former First Lady as she inspired the college-bound students to consider majors or careers in the tech industry. College transition workshops, a panel where Spotify execs discussed the important role music plays, as well as a performance by R&B artist Kevin Ross all happened. The students definitely won the day by having the former First Lady invest in their future.

I don’t know about you, but I miss Michelle.

MO

 

 

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You Can Paint Like A Legend

You don’t have to be an art expert to be familiar with Norwegian Expressionist artist Edvard Munch’s masterpiece, “The Scream.” If you aren’t familiar, here’s a refresher:

The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893

Munch is making news that turns the focus away from big-ticket sales and thrilling heists and back to the nuts-and-bolts of his artistic process. Munch Museet, the Oslo-based museum responsible for safeguarding the artist’s archive, has teamed up with Adobe, the mega-software company behind Photoshop, to bring Munch’s paint brushes back to life.
In an effort to promote one artist’s legacy—and, of course, to launch a saleable product—they retrieved seven of Munch’s brushes from the depths of climatized storage and transformed them into digital tools.
When Munch died in 1944 at the age of 80, he left around 1,150 paintings, 17,800 prints, 4,500 watercolors, 13 sculptures, a stash of drawings, and the contents of his Norwegian studio to the city of Oslo. This massive trove included several of Munch’s masterpieces, as well as the paints and brushes he used to make them.
While Munch’s canvases are regularly on view in museums around the world, his materials rarely see the light of day, due to their inherent fragility. Photo documentation of the tools isn’t readily available to the public, either. Up until now, the only visual evidence of Munch’s process online has existed in several grainy, black-and-white photos of his studio.
Starting last year, Adobe and the Munch Museum set out to give Photoshop and Sketch users a first-hand understanding of the artist’s process. Their approach was unorthodox and unprecedented: Transform Munch’s age-old brushes into digital mark-making tools. When taken up by Photoshop- and Sketch-savvy millennials, the brushes would have the ability to imitate the artist’s strokes.

The custom brushes have been licensed by Adobe and used by graphic designers, illustrators, and artists the world over. Wired reported that Webster made over $100,000 in 2013 alone selling his virtual brush packs.

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These custom brushes double as a marketing campaign for both Adobe and the Munch Museet. But they also connect a vital art-historical practice to contemporary artmaking in the digital age. the future of art.

This, my friends, is the future of art.

Beyoncé Teams Up With UNICEF

Beyoncé is giving back in a big way to help better the lives of African children.

 

The singer recently announced that she has teamed up with global humanitarian organization UNICEF to launch BEYGOOD4BURUNDI, an initiative to help supply water to kids in need in the landlocked East African country.

 

As part of the multi-year partnership, Bey plans to support programs that aim to improve the quality of and access to water in some of the hardest-to-reach areas of a country, where nearly half of the population struggles to find a supply of safe water. This deeply affects children, who not only become more susceptible to diseases because of a lack of water but are also forced to skip school in order to walk long distances in search of it.

“Access to water is a fundamental right,” Beyoncé said in a statement. “When you give children clean and safe water, you don’t just give them life, you give them health, an education, and a brighter future. I am committed to helping drive lasting solutions to the water crisis in Burundi.”

 

The singer is leading this effort on behalf of her philanthropy-focused brand BeyGOODwhich she started in 2013 as a way to give back and pay it forward. Now, in teaming up with UNICEF, she plans to help support the construction of new, easy-to-use wells and to improve the water and sanitation facilities in schools in four priority regions across the country.

 

“Addressing the global water crisis is one of the defining challenges of our time, and the children of Burundi are among the most vulnerable,” Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of UNICEF USA, said in a statement. “This unique partnership combines UNICEF’s decades of expertise in providing clean water to children in Burundi and around the world with the power and influence of the entertainment world to bring about social change.”

Jay-Z Pens Urges Fans to Fight For Social Justice

Jay-Z has published an essay addressing the importance of social justice titled “This Is Our Power.”

Written for The Hollywood Reporter, the essay begins with Jay-Z writing about Kalief Browder, the young black man who was wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not commit and served at Rikers Island for three years.

“The post-traumatic stress disorder he came out with led him to suicide two years ago, but not before he had the chance to talk about what happened to him,” Jay-Z writes. “…He’s just one example in a system that is broken. We need to be the ones who fix it.”

The rapper and entrepreneur then talks about the documentary series he made on Browder, Time: The Kalief Browder Story, and the importance of demanding change from the people we put into office.

“But social justice isn’t a political issue. It’s a human issue. It’s a story of empathy. When we are able to identify that we are all not perfect and have compassion for someone else, we can move forward as a society,” Jay-Z concludes. “Look around at what’s happening in your town and your city right now. Think small, and you can do much bigger things.”

Read more here.

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Will Tech Take Hollywood?

Technology is giving Hollywood a run for its money.

It’s happening fast. Recently:

  • Apple hired away from Sony Pictures Television a pair of executives to oversee its entertainment efforts;
  • Facebook made its first-ever long-form original-series orders;
  • Vice received a $450 million infusion from private-equity firm TPG to fuel its content efforts;
  • Musical.ly launched its first set of short-form original series from NBCUniversal and Viacom;
  • Snapchat added 10 more such series via a $100 million deal with Time Warner.

What could this all mean? Who knows. What’s certain is that media executives had better get up to speed quick, fast and in a hurry if they don’t want to be deemed the biggest losers.

Read more here.

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Rihanna Heads to Malawi

Rihanna keeps shining bright like a diamond.

What I love about Rih Rih is that she can go from good girl gone bad to bad girl gone good in a blink.

Recently the singer, along with former Australian Prime Minister and GPE Chairperson Julia Gillard and Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans, visited the Muzu Primary School just outside the capital of Malawi. The trio also spent time at the Lilongwe Girls Secondary School, where they sat in on math and biology classes, and watched a student debate on arranged marriage.

The footage is super sweet. Check it out:

Nicki Minaj Has Been Quietly Donating

A few weeks ago draws dropped when Nicki Minaj was promoting a fan contest, and a Twitter user asked for an unconventional prize: tuition assistance. Minaj agreed and promised funds to a host of high-achieving scholars who slid into her DMs. This isn’t the first time that Nicki has done good, though.

Recently, Nicki Minaj posted video and photos on IG from an unnamed village in India that she’s been donating money to for the past few years through her pastor Lydia Sloley. Minaj wrote that her donations have provided the village with “a Computer Center, a Tailoring Institute, a Reading Program and 2 WATER WELLS.” She promised to reveal more about the charity work she’s been doing over the past few years in case anyone would like to join her. She’s also reportedly planning to set up a charity to help students pay off their loans.

Go ahead, girl! Here are the posts:

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