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University of the Arts Celebrates

In 2018, UArts announced Uniquely UArts: The Campaign for Creative Capital to support four initiatives: enhancing the student experience, investing in faculty, re-envisioning campus and developing innovative programming. The goal was to raise $50 million.

Last month UArts President and CEO David Yager announced that the campaign far exceeded its goals and raised $67.2 million in a ceremony at UArts.

Nate Hamilton, who’s grandmother, gave “The single-largest donation to the campaign was $25 million from the estate of Dorrance “Dodo” Hill Hamilton, the late Campbell Soup heiress who served on the school’s board for decades, a number of them as board chair.” and Brian Effron, “I am honored to serve as the chair of this campaign,” said UArts Trustee and campaign Chair Brian Effron.”

Money from the just-completed campaign, dubbed “Uniquely UArts: The Campaign for Creative Capital,” will be spent and saved for a variety of efforts including the biggest chunk, about $24 million, will be kept in perpetuity in endowment.

Jon Lovitz, and Brenton McClosky

About $17 million is being used for capital projects, like a new student center in the former Gershman Y building at Broad and Pine Streets, the Laurie Wagman Recording Studios, and “Living Steps,” a new gathering space for students.

Lynn Sullivan, Marian M and Eleanor Davis
Lawrence Taylor and Ralph Cintino

Restricted funds totaling about $14 million are being used for programs and academic disciplines.

About $5 million is being set aside as discretionary funds — for expenditures like tuition relief, housing costs, food expenses, and art supplies.

$5.5 million will go toward scholarships.

Nate Hamilton, Harriet and Larry Weiss with Councilperson Mark Squilla

The University of the Arts Students

One of the recent improvements in the Hamilton Hall was the creation of Uarts Living Steps. Check out how they were created HERE

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Spotted: Andrea Bocelli at Top Tourist Spots; ARod Enjoying BB; New Year’s Eve?

Stratus Lounge

We are in the middle of merriment as Christmas is only 13 days away, can you believe it. Time really flies, even when folks put up their trees and lights in October now. I have a few stops to make this week, and then I go away to see the family. Hope you are making memories, even if you’re staying home. Watch TV with friends. Sometimes I watch with them on the phone, other times I ask one of my friends to watch something and then chitchat on the phone after we’ve both watched it to figure out what went on; I know most of you have watched And Just Like That by now. Great to be back with the girls, but wowsie!!

Stratus Lounge, high above Independence Park with it’s sky views, had a few of us over for a festive holiday celebration last Thursday. 433 Chestnut St., 11th Floor of Kimpton Hotel Monaco I 215.925.2889 I https://stratuslounge.com/ Don’t miss their New Year’s Eve celebration.

Ring in New Year’s Eve at Stratus Rooftop Lounge, the chic rooftop venue on the 11th floor of the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Old City, on Friday, December 31 with Mr. Hollywood DJ’s First Annual NYE Bash. Starting at 9pm, guests can bid farewell to 2021 under the stars with top-tier entertainment, celebratory cocktails, premium open bar, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and more. 
General Admission Gold ($150) includes entry to Stratus Rooftop Lounge and open bar, whereas General Admission Platinum ($175) includes admission, open bar, reserved pavilion food areas, and seating.  (Trust me spend the extra $25, you’ll want access to the pavillions)
Click here for details on tickets and packages. 

Congratulations Contour Body Studio on your new spot in Ardmore at 55 Rittenhouse Place!!  

Congratulations to WMMR’s Pierre Robert on 40 years with the station. His friends and co-workers, ie friends, through him a party at Rittenhouse’ Charley Dove formerly Audrey Claire’s.

Here’s what Marisa Magnatta posted:

“We all have a story of meeting Pierre for the first time. Mine occurred after The Stones ‘No Security Tour.’ We saw him outside the First Union Center recording concert coverage with the Roving Rock Microphone and my dad nudged me to say hi.

I did. When Pierre asked this 16yr old girl in 1999 what she thought of the band I replied “they’re phat!” He giggled and said “well, that has to be the first time Mick has ever been referred to as fat!”

And that was it. I didn’t even recall that memory until years later, after working with Pierre through countless post-concert coverages, followed by late night dinners and enjoying just a handful of martinis together.

He is a friend and a mentor. And not just to the lucky folks working at @933wmmr, but to the whole damn city!”

Andrea Bocelli was in town this past week to perform with the Philly Pops Wednesday at Wells Fargo. He and his family arrived on Monday and checked into the Four Seasons. Have you seen their Christmas decorations. So beautiful. You don’t have to be staying there, or even eating there to stop by and see the glory. That evening Bocelli his wife Veronica Berti his daughter Virginia and a few friends headed to Gran Caffe L’Aquila with a few friends. They didn’t even announce they were going, just got a resy, sat and ate. They’re just like us, but Andrea and Virginia can sing like angels. Yes it’s true, she is gifted. She sang a few songs with him at his Wells Fargo concert. The next day they were off to explore Philly. First stop Christmas Village, then to Dilworth Park for ice skating. A stop in Macy’s. A few people recognized him, and he stopped for photos. Then it was back to the Four Seasons and dinner at JG Sky High, with it’s beautiful views. Wednesday was rest and the concert.

Speaking of Wells Fargo Center- Alex Rodriguez, A Rod was in the house Saturday night. J-Lo’s ex, Yankee superstar, entrepreneur was spotted at the Wells Fargo Center as the Sixers trounced the Golden State Warriors 102 – 93!!! (Thanks to Caryn Kunkle who tagged me in this photo)

Time got away with me this week. Here are a list of parties I photographed and which media picked them up.

The Opening of The Fin – which by the way was delicious. Reasonably priced. Great atmosphere, and roomy.

Change Our Future Art & Sole – Sneaker Ball Metro Philly Philadelphia Tribune

Gallery: PHILADANCO! returns with “Fast Forward… To The Future”

Celebrating The Weitzman National Museum Of American Jewish History’s New Name

CBSPHILLY Philly Metro

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This & That: Bradley Cooper & Ben Simmons at the Jersey Shore; Adam Sandler; Sarah Megan Thomas, Movies in Philly

It was a lovely, strange summer, which actually might be endless for sometime for some of us. Our weekend in Lancaster was fantastic and I’ll write more about it on later this week.

Bradley Cooper was spotted several times this past summer at the Jersey Shore in Ocean City, and again in Longport and Margate this past weekend. Friday night he was at Catch in Longport, and Saturday at Steve & Cookies in Margate. Friends tell me his mother has a summer place in Brigantine and he is often spotted there as well. For most of the summer Cooper was renting a home in Fairfield Connecticut where he and his pal, another perpetual bachelor Leonardo Dicaprio were spotted sailing one afternoon. TODAY Cooper was spotted handing off his daughter to his baby mama and ex girlfriend Irina Shayk. Ben Simmons was spotted at the Longport beach, without on again, off again girlfriend Kendall Jenner. Seems she’s moved on SOURCE.

Congratulations to food journalist Alexandra Jones on the publication of her first book ” Stuff Every Cheese Lover Should Know.”

Congrats Alexandria Hoff and her husband Nathan Calvert who are expecting their first child in December.
Congrats to Vinnie G Radio who starts working as the host of the red eye shift at Midnight on PopRadio77. Travel back in time, relive memories. Tune to PopRadio 77 for the most “pop”ular music from decades past. Work hard, and be flexible and your dreams will come true. Happy for you buddy!!
Heery-Loftus Casting is looking for a few good people for the Adam Sandler/LeBron James Netflik’s flik filming in our area next week. Head on over to their FB page for specifics on what they’re looking for as well as the COVID19 precautions they’ve put in place to keep everyone safe.

Congratulations to Dr. Thanuja Hamilton, MD who was chosen by her peers as a top doc in South Jersey. I’m not surprised, Thanuja is not only a top doc, but an awesome friend to many.

Award-winning actress, producer, and writer Sarah Megan Thomas is about to debut her new film October 3, “A Call To Spy.” It’ll be the third film shot partially in Philly by the Havertown native. Her other films were Backwards (I was an extra) and Equity (I spent a day on the set).
SYNOPSIS: In the beginning of WWII, with Britain becoming desperate, Churchill orders his new spy agency – “SOE” – to recruit and train women as spies. Their daunting mission: conduct sabotage and build a resistance. SOE’s “Spymistress,” Vera Atkins (Stana Katic) recruits two unusual candidates: Virginia Hall (Sarah Megan Thomas), an ambitious American with a wooden leg, and Noor Inayat Khan (played by Radhika Apte), a Muslim pacifist. Together, these women help to undermine the Nazi regime in France, leaving an unmistakable legac in their wake. Inspired by true stories, this original screenplay draws on SOE, OSS (pre-cursor to CIA), and CIA files, as well as interviews with living relatives.

Sarah Megan Thomas and Alysia Reiner took a break from filming their new movie “Equity,” which is about women on Wall Street, to stop by the Best of Philly party 2015.

Producing a WWII drama on a low-budget was daunting, and it took me four years, states Sarah Megan Thomas. We shot “London,” “Scotland,” and parts of “France” in the greater Philadelphia area — where I grew up and where I have shot all my films (fun trivia: for the “stately home” where these spies historically trained, we shot inside the home of the family that inspired “The Philadelphia Story” – Ardrossan). For the richness and texture of 1940’s France, we shot for a shorter time in Budapest. To read more about the upcoming film head to the IndieWire story.

Thanks for stopping by today, see you on Social. My best HughE

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This & That Sunday: 2020 Doesn’t Seem So Bad After All

Hope your weekend is going well. We had a delicious dinner at our friends Jaimi and Ron Blackburn last night. They are gracious hosts, and we always laugh and laugh. Mike is always so excited to be reunited with Chloe too, and when we leave to always chitchat about when it’s right to get a dog. I could use one every day during the pandemic. They’re so calming. I wonder if the PSCPA or PAWS have cute little Maltese dogs. I’ll look into it. Let’s chitchat about why 2020 isn’t so bad for everyone in today’s This & That….

Congratulations Lauren and John Oakes on the birth of their baby boy Asher. There’s still time to get a present on the baby registry as there are only 4 times left. I love these balloon bouquets from Slay Displays.

On The Move: Algorithm Restaurants announced:
We are very, very pleased to announce our opening Chef De Cuisine, Chef Matt Delatour! Matt Delatour, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, then adopted and raised in New Jersey, started his cooking career at the age of 16. Since then, he has worked at a multitude of restaurants around Philadelphia, most notably as the Head Chef at Southgate, a Korean American gastropub. Most recently, Matt was the Executive Sous Chef at Rouge in Rittenhouse Square, and prior to that the Executive Sous Chef at The Common in University City. Algorithm is excited to launch their rolling kitchens custom food truck featuring plant based dishes tentatively scheduled for Monday, August 31st, 2020 in University City. You can attend one of their friends & family tastings being held in Norristown and Philly 8/29 or 8/30. INFO HERE>

Cheers: Congratulations to Bartender Barry ie Philly’s Barry Johnson for winning the Judge’s Choice vote for the East Region in the Power of the Palate Cocktail Competition presented by Black Restaurant Week. Barry will advance to represent Philadelphia in the Elite 8 with the Herb N’ Flow challenge. He advances in the Black Restaurant Week’s National Bracket Competition where on 9/14 he will compete against the winner from NYC, before advancing to the next level. I have that much confidence in his skills.

Check out this Q&A with Barry Johnson on Snack PR’s Blog

Congrats to my Anzio Williams, Sr., vice president of news for NBC10 and Telemundo62, who was promoted by NBCUniversal and will now be senior vice president of diversity, equality and inclusion for NBCU-owned television stations VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for NBCUniversal Stations. Anzio just graduated from Temple grad school as well. I’ll miss seeing and chatting with Anzio. He’s an inspiration, and is one of the good guys. So happy for him.
Congrats Allison Papson and Brian Thornburg on their wedding last week. Allison used to an Assignment Editor at Fox29, and now is Senior Assignment Editor at Fox 5 DC. Several of her friends from her years in Philly served as bridesmaids in her wedding including Jennifer Sherlock, Julie Lesicki and Kristen Johanson. Erin Como, who worked at NBC10 Philly around the same time, and now is the morning anchor for Good Day Fox 5 DC on the weekends was also in attendance. Allison and Brian had their wedding shower in Philly in January, which I attended.

Back in January we all attended Hair of the Dog 2020. 2020 doesn’t seem so bad after all. Chit Chat with you on Tuesday….

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This and That, Scene in Philly, What’s Open Downtown, Food Bank Info

Younger self is crying with joy today after the Supreme Court finally protected my civil rights with 6-3 decision that federal law bars workplace discrimination against gays, lesbian and transgender. GORSUCH writes for Dem appointees. ROBERTS agrees. ALITO/THOMAS/KAVANAUGH dissent ie still believe in discrimination. ** I was once fired for being gay by a large well known corporation. The company had meetings on ways to fire me. A closeted lesbian supervisor warned me. I was written up for every little thing, and then fired after about 3 months. In 1988 there was no law protecting me and no lawyer who would take the case. #SupremeCourt #LGBTQ YEAH!! (Source)

I personally went to Pinefish, Dimsum House on Chestnut Street and Germantown Beer Garden, which had a cool menu idea.

WE ALL HAVE TO VOTE ON 11/3/2020!!!
Mask by @thesherylleeralph
https://shop-with-sheryl-lee.myshopify.com/ #VOTE #facemask

Spread the word! Here’s where older adults can receive free, grab-and-go meals thanks to support from @PhilaParkandRec and @pcacares_org https://www.phila.gov/food/#/ Have a beautiful day my friends.