Fans across the country can’t get enough of Game of Thrones, but the show has sparked an alarming trend — an increased demand for huskies because of their physical similarities to direwolves.
Adoring viewers are buying the dogs from pet stores and breeders (often naming them after their favorite characters), then — after realizing how much work and commitment are required to care for them — dumping them at shelters already bursting at the seams with homeless dogs. Now, series star Peter Dinklage is teaming up with PETA to remind fans that dogs should be acquired only as family members and need to be looked after for a lifetime, and he’s urging those who are serious about expanding their family to adopt, never buy.
“Please, to all of Game of Thrones’ many wonderful fans, we understand that due to the direwolves’ huge popularity, many folks are going out and buying huskies,” Dinklage says. “Not only does this hurt all the deserving homeless dogs waiting for a chance at a good home in shelters, but shelters are also reporting that many of these huskies are being abandoned — as often happens when dogs are bought on impulse, without understanding their needs. Please, please, if you’re going to bring a dog into your family, make sure that you’re prepared for such a tremendous responsibility and remember to always, ALWAYS, adopt from a shelter.”
Two breed-specific rescue groups in Northern California have seen their numbers double over the last two years, and the U.K. has reported similar statistics since the show premiered in 2011.
PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” — notes that this isn’t the first time that a popular TV show or movie has led to an increased demand for the animals seen on screen. 101 Dalmatians, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Legally Blonde, and Men in Black all caused massive spikes in sales of the featured dog breeds, and many of these dogs were later abandoned at shelters by their ill-prepared guardians.
More than 6 million dogs and cats end up in animal shelters every year, and half of them are euthanized because there simply aren’t enough homes for them. PETAencourages everyone to adopt and never buy from breeders or pet stores, which contribute to the overpopulation crisis.
Little Kids Rock, the national nonprofit dedicated to transforming lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in public schools announced the honorees for its annual benefit being held Wednesday, October 18th at PlayStation Theater in New York.
This year’s event will honor Elvis Costello with the Rocker of the Year Award, and Bonnie Raitt with the Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, Founder and CEO of City Winery, Michael Dorf will be honored for his extensive philanthropic work, including efforts on behalf of expanding music education for underprivileged youth through the annually produced “Music of” tribute concerts.
The Annual Little Kids Rock Benefit, produced by Mark Krantz and Michael Matuza brings together artists and individuals who are passionate about bringing the transformational gift of music to children in public schools across the US. Prior years’ honorees include Smokey Robinson, Steve Miller, Steven Van Zandt, Lady Gaga, Graham Nash and Joan Jett. This year’s benefit theme, “Music Changed My Life,” is reflected in the honorees and the event’s special performances by public school students from New York City and Pasadena who receive free music lessons thanks to Little Kids Rock, Paul Shaffer, Will Lee and Keb’ Mo’, as well as additional surprise performances.
“Honoring Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt and Michael Dorf this year is a fitting tribute to the incredible generosity and love that they have shown our kids over the years,” said David Wish, Founder and CEO of Little Kids Rock. “Mr. Costello’s commitment to social issues is an inspiration, and no other artist friend has supported our kids and teachers for as long, or spoken so frequently and eloquently on our kids’ behalves when it comes to their right to have music in their lives as Bonnie Raitt.”
Elvis Costello has followed his musical curiosity in a career spanning more than 30 years. He is perhaps best known for his performances with The Attractions and The Imposters. The list of performers to record his songs from Johnny Cash to No Doubt reflects his interest in a wide range of musical styles. In 2003, he began a songwriting partnership with his wife, the jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall, resulting in six songs included in her highly successful album ‘The Girl In The Other Room’.
“Having appeared in a couple of earlier Little Kids Rock nights, I very much appreciate the work that is being done in music education but confess that I am somewhat startled to find that I am this year’s honoree. Looking forward,” Costello said.
Bonnie Raitt is a ten-time Grammy winner, who Rolling Stone named as both one of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” and one of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” She was raised in Los Angeles in a climate of respect for the arts, Quaker traditions, and a commitment to social activism. A Stella guitar given to her as a Christmas present launched Bonnie on her creative journey at the age of eight. While growing up, though passionate about music from the start, she never considered that it would play a greater role than as one of her many growing interests. Bonnie was one of Little Kids Rock’s earliest supporters back when it was just a grassroots movement in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since that time, Bonnie become an Honorary Board Member, conducted meet and greets with students and donors, visited classrooms and invited Little Kids Rock to sound checks and to host tables at her concerts.
“It has been my privilege to represent Little Kids Rock as an Honorary Board Member for over fifteen years,” said Raitt. “When I got a guitar for Christmas as a kid I found my voice. The arts are not a luxury, they are a right, and all students should have the opportunity to discover their voice.”
Michael Dorf is the founder and CEO of City Winery. He has started multiple businesses and nonprofit organizations, including his first musical venue, the seminal Knitting Factory in 1987, The Digital Club Network, Tribeca Hebrew, Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival and Oy!hoo Music Festival. Through Michael Dorf Presents, Michael has spent last 14 years producing Carnegie Hall tribute concerts, raising over one and a half million dollars for programs that bring music education to deserving youths, with the Music of Aretha Franklin, the Music of Prince, the Music of Joni Mitchell, the Music of Bob Dylan, the Music of Bruce Springsteen, the Music of Elton John, Neil Sedaka’s 50 Years of Hits, the Music of R.E.M., the Music of The Who, the Music of Neil Young, along with the Music of Simon & Garfunkel and the Music of Frank Sinatra at Central Park’s SummerStage, the Music of Robert Johnson at The Apollo Theatre and the Music of David Bowie at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall.
“Little Kids Rock was a natural fit to be a beneficiary of the ‘Music Of’ tribute concerts. The work they do to teach kids to play, giving them the self-confidence and inner creative streak that they might not have developed otherwise is so important,” shared Mr. Dorf. He is also the conceiver and producer of the Downtown Seder which for 25 years had presented an alternative celebrity Seder for 300 people a year in NY, Chicago, Boston, Napa, Atlanta.
Benefit Committee Members include Scott Burton, Nicole Crystal, Chris Donohoe, Jules Follett, Richard Foos, Craig Kallman, Howard Kerbel, Alex Kirk, Joseph Laska, Caroline Moore, Betty Murphy, Elani Myers, Nate Riggs, Bruce Schroder, Chris Skarakis, Beau Taylor, Ken Umezaki, Steve Venz, Jose Vergara, David Wish and Cheryl Zimlich.
For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
Aug 16, 2017 09:30 am
It’s back. The second annual Jerry Garcia Birthday Celebration is returning this year.
The historic Strand Theater (Lakewood, NJ) will host a very special evening celebrating the music of Jerry Garcia on Saturday, August 26.
Musicians on a Mission and the Jerry Garcia Foundation have invited guest artists from around the United states to join in the musical celebration. One of the evening’s featured performers is up-and-coming music sensation EmiSunshine, the 13-year-old prodigy from East Tennessee who has captured the nation’s attention and enchanted many with her musical gifts.
California native singer/songwriter Greg Winser will also headline the benefit, sharing his original blend of homegrown music. Local artists Mark Diomede and Sandy Mack will entertain the audience, along with Waynard Scheller and Rainbow Full of Sound.
A special reunion of the Jerry Garcia-Merl Saunders Band rhythm section, featuring Bob Steeler on percussion and Merle Saunders’s son, Tony Saunders on bass. Mr. Steeler was a member of Hot Tuna during its power trio years in the 1970s. Mr. Saunders performed with the Saunders/Garcia Band and, according to his website, “graduated from the prestigious Conservatory of Music in San Francisco as a piano player, but soon after began honing his skills on the bass. He was influenced by the sounds of James Jamison, Stanley Clark, Jack Cassidy and others.”
The following musicians will also join the stage for this eclectic evening of music:
Corby Pryor, 19-year-old guitar prodigy; Matt Aaron, violinist; Paul Avrutin, bassist; Mike Kennedy on petal steel/rhythm guitar; Dan Donovan on drums; with gospel singers Ariel Marin, Ron Rosson and Dawaun King.
“We are very grateful to Musicians on a Mission and to all of the gifted musicians coming together to share their artistry in honor of my father,” said Keelin Garcia, cofounder of the Jerry Garcia Foundation.
In addition, the Jerry Garcia Foundation will present a collective art project during the concert’s preshow reception at 7:00 p.m. Audience members will be invited to color a giant coloring book page image of Jerry Garcia’s painting titled Seascape. The work will be added to a digital art collage presented in a visual light show at an upcoming ocean conservation benefit concert presented by the foundation later this year.
“It’s wonderful that Jerry’s art and music continue to inspire new creativity. It speaks to to the visionary spirit that is still very present,” said Manasha Garcia, cofounder of the foundation.
Jerry Garcia’s fine art will be offered to the public at a raffle. The three museum-quality pieces are titled Bluegrass Musician, Wetlands ll, and Wisteria.
Plan on arriving by 7:00 p.m. for a reception in the Gallery, featuring acoustic performances from members of Musicians on a Mission and a raffle of three museum-quality Jerry Garcia fine art pieces donated by the Jerry Garcia Foundation.. The Main Stage concert will be general admission and begin at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $18 (plus a $6 convenience fee) and are available at the Strand’s website event page.
Aug 16, 2017 07:30 am
Here’s your chance to go wine tasting with Jennifer Lawrence, and help a good cause.
omaze.com is giving you the chance to join the actress at one of California’s many vineyards, picnic among the vines, and partake in a few lawn games.
Every donation gets you more chances to win this once-in-a-lifetime day out, and you will also have the chance to pick up some unique merchandise too.
Donations will go to Represent.Us, an organization that brings together conservatives, progressives and everyone in between to fix America’s broken political system. All across America, volunteers are working together to pass state and local anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money and fix our broken elections. Represent.Us is building an America where the highest quality ideas, not the biggest spenders, determine political outcomes; where the most qualified people run for office and win; where elections are competitive and equitable, and our leaders represent us. Your donation will help Represent.Us get closer to achieving its vision of an America where the government represents the people, and works for you and your family instead of special interests and lobbyists.
To find out more about how you can win this great prize, click here.
Aug 16, 2017 08:30 am
Interested in learning more about how she can help, UNICEF’s new and inspiring Goodwill Ambassador Lilly Singh, aka IISuperwoman||, visited programs where children can express themselves through dance, poetry, art and karate.