Trailer Released for New Documentary “To The End,” Featuring Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is fighting to the end

The trailer has been released to Rachel Lears’ new documentary To the End, featuring the 33-year-old Puerto Rican politician and activist who has served as the U.S. representative for New York’s 14th congressional district since 2019.

Alexandria Ocasio-CortezLears’ follow-up to her breakthrough film Knock Down the House documents young progressive activists and Ocasio-Cortez in their relentless effort to engineer major action combatting climate change.

“Fighting for change politically requires faith,” AOC says in the trailer. Regarding the urgent need to avoid a climate catastrophe, Ocasio-Cortez notes, “This is going to be the moon shot of our generation.”

To the End was acquired by Roadside Attractions after its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last January.

The version of the documentary that hits theaters on December 9 has been significantly revised since Sundance, to reflect dramatic changes in the political fortunes of climate change legislation.

“When the film premiered at Sundance, it was right after [Democratic] Senator Joe Manchin killed the Build Back Better bill. And there was at that point no particular prospect of major climate legislation passing,” Lears tells Deadline. “But as the gears continued churning for a few months, they did reach a deal in July and we knew right away we’ve got to reedit the film, we’ve got to shoot what we can to end the story this way.”

In August President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 into law, providing significant funding for green energy and other measures to attack climate change.

“We changed the ending, for one thing,” Lears explains. “The film now ends with historic legislation passing and our protagonists reflecting on this. And it really shows how their work that we see in the film leads to what happens. What they’ve done is to make politically impossible things become possible.”

Lears shortened her film by 10 minutes and also restructured it to align with what she calls a much more hopeful political picture.

“The film was inspiring to me and to many people who saw it, even in the previous cut, because our protagonists are so determined and motivated in their work,” Lears says. “But it’s even more inspiring now when you see that their work has resulted in historic material change.”

In addition to AOC, the film foregrounds Rhiana Gunn-Wright, director of climate policy at the Roosevelt Institute, Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats, and Varshini Prakash, executive director, Sunrise Movement.

“We are building an army of young people to stop the climate crisis,” Prakash says in the trailer, “and create millions of good jobs for our generation.”

“When we met these folks in 2018 — well, we’ve known some of them before that — they were really setting out to deliberately shift the paradigm on climate. ‘Let’s turn the crisis into an opportunity to build a better society, to make economic and racial justice part of the solution.’ We wanted to see how far are they going to get with that, Lears says. “I don’t think we even imagined that they would manage to pressure the government into passing the biggest climate legislation, not just in U.S. history, but in world history. But that’s exactly what’s happened.”

Rebecca Black Earns Libera Awards Nomination from American Association of Independent Music

It’s a Libera-ting moment for Rebecca Black

This year’s A2IM Libera Awards nominations have been revealed, with the 24-year-old half-Mexican American singer earning a nod.

Rebecca BlackBlack, who rose to acclaim with 2011’s viral sensation single “Friday,” earned a nomination in the Self-Released Record of the Year category for the latest album Rebecca Black Was Here, a six-track album that offers a clear sense of who Black is as an artist, stringing together the weirdness of hyper-pop with the melodic heft of mainstream pop.

Adrian Quesada has three Libera nominations…

The 45-year-old Mexican American Grammy-winning producer/guitarist and his Black Pumas band mate Eric Burton earned a nod for Best Live/Livestream Act for their performance of “Colors” at the U.S. presidential inauguration of Joe Biden, as well as Best Rock Record for Capitol Cuts (Live from Studio A) and Best Sync Usage for the use of their song “Colors” in the Concrete Cowboy trailer.

The 25 anniversary edition of Buena Vista Social Club, from the ensemble of Cuban musicians of the same name, earned a nod for Best Reissue.

Madi Diaz is nominated in the Best Americana Record category.

The 35-year-old half Peruvian American singer-songwriter and musician earned the nod for her album History of a Feeling.

The Linda Lindas, comprised of  Asian-American and Latino singers Bela Salazar, Eloise Wong and Lucia de la Garza and Mila de la Garza, are up for Best Punk Record for “Racist, Sexist Boy (Live at LA Public Library), which became a viral sensation.

Jose Gonzalez earned a nod in the Best Folk/Bluegrass Record category for the 43-year-old Argentine-Swedish singer-songwriter’s Local Valley project.

João Donato is nominated in the Best World Record category for the 87-year-old Brazilian jazz and bossa nova pianist’s João Donato JID007 album.

Meanwhile, the nominees in the Best Latin Record category are Alejandro Escovedo (La Cruzada), Arca (KICK ii), Cimafunk (El Alimento), Helado Negro (Far In), Los Retros (Looking Back) and Xenia Rubinos (Una Rosa).

The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) sponsors the Libera Awards. A2IM is a not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that works to support the independent recorded music sector. Membership includes nearly 700 independently-owned American music labels.

This year’s Libera Awards will include both a virtual broadcast exclusively streamed on YouTube and an in-person ceremony held on June 16 in New York City. The in-person gala will be held at an “iconic New York venue” and will include dinner and drinks as well as live award presentations.

Each year, the Libera Awards serve as the culmination of A2IM’s Indie Week, an international conference that brings together leaders from the independent music world for four days of keynotes, workshops, and panels. This year’s Indie Week will take place June 13-16 as a hybrid event — both online and in-person.

Here’s the full list of 2022 Libera Awards nominees:

Record of the Year
Arlo Parks – Collapsed in Sunbeams (Transgressive/[PIAS])
Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg (4AD)
Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee (Dead Oceans)
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Georgia Blue (Southeastern Records/Thirty Tigers)
Low – Hey What (Sub Pop)
Snail Mail – Valentine (Matador Records)

Self-Released Record of the Year
Cautious Clay – Deadpan Love (Cautious Clay)
Emma-Jean Thackray – Yellow (Movementt)
Jackson Wooten – A New Child (The Assembly LLC)
Rebecca Black – Rebecca Black Was Here (Rebecca Black)
Sinéad Harnett – Ready Is Always Too Late (Thairish Limited)
Wiki – Half God (Wikset Enterprise)

Breakthrough Artist/Release, Presented by Ingrooves
Black Country, New Road – For the first time (Ninja Tune)
girl in red –  if i could make it go quiet (World in Red/AWAL)
Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee (Dead Oceans)
Mdou Moctar – Afrique Victime (Matador Records)
Wet Leg – “Chase Longue” (Domino)

Video of the Year, Presented by YouTube Music
Danny Elfman – “True” (Epitaph Records)
IDLES – “CAR CRASH” (Partisan Records)
Japanese Breakfast – “Savage Good Boy” (Dead Oceans)
Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen – “Like I Used To” (Jagjaguwar)
Wet Leg – “Chaise Longue” (Domino Recording Co.)
Yves Tumor – “Jackie” (Warp Records)

Best Reissue
Buena Vista Social Club – Buena Vista Social Club (25th Anniversary Edition) (World Circuit Records/BMG)
Gang Of Four – 77-81 (Matador Records)
Radiohead – Kid A Mnesia (XL Recordings)
Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (Fat Possum Records)
Thundercat – The Golden Age of Apocalypse (Ten Year Anniversary Edition) (Brainfeeder/Ninja Tune)
Tom Tom Club – The Good, The Bad and The Funky (Nacional Records)

Best Live/Livestream Act
Amyl and The Sniffers – Live on KEXP at Home
Black Pumas – “Colors” – Biden Inauguration Performance
Japanese Breakfast  – “Be Sweet” – The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – “Driver 8” – Live from Athens, GA
Mdou Moctar – “Live at the Niger River”
St. Vincent – “At the Holiday Party” – Austin City Limits

Best Outlier Record, Presented by The Orchard
Bo Burnham – Inside (The Songs) (Bo Burnham/Imperial/Ingrooves)
L’Rain – Fatigue (Mexican Summer)
Moor Mother – Black Encyclopedia of the Air (ANTI-)
Spirit of the Beehive – Entertainment, Death (Saddle Creek)
Tirzah – Colourgrade (Domino Recording Co.)

A2IM Humanitarian Award
Common – (for work with) A Rebirth of Sound
Margo Price – (for work with) Farm Aid
Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities (RAMPD)
Rev. Moose – (for work with) National Independent Venue Association (NIVA)
Secretly Group – SC25: Every Light On This Side Of The Town
Hopeless Records / Sub City Records – Songs That Saved My Life

Best Alternative Rock Record
Cautious Clay – “Wildfire” (Cautious Clay)
Courtney Barnett – Things Take Time, Take Time (Mom + Pop Music)
Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg (4AD)
girl in red – if i could make it go quiet (AWAL)
Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee (Dead Oceans)
Low – Hey What (Sub Pop Records)
Snail Mail – Valentine (Matador Records)

Best Americana Record
Fruit Bats – The Pet Parade (Merge Records)
Hiss Golden Messenger – Quietly Blowing It (Merge Records)
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Georgia Blue (Southeastern Records/Thirty Tigers)
John Hiatt with The Jerry Douglas Band – Leftover Feelings (New West Records)
Leo Nocentelli – Another Side (Light in the Attic)
Madi Diaz – History of a Feeling (ANTI-)
Steve Gunn – Other You (Matador Records)

Best Blues Record
Cedric Burnside – I Be Trying (Single Lock Records)
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram – 662 (Alligator Records)
Eric Bibb – Dear America (Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group)
Neal Francis – “Can’t Stop The Rain” (ATO Records)
Nick Waterhouse – Promenade Blue (Innovative Leisure)
Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps – Rose-Colored Glasses, Vol. 1 (Blue Heart Records)

Best Classical Record
Bryce Dessner, Australian String Quartet, Sydney Dance Company – Impermanence/Disintegration (37d03d)
Canadian Brass – Canadiana (Linus Entertainment)
Grandbrothers – All the Unknown (City Slang)
Jeremiah Fraites – Piano Piano (Dualtone Music Group)
Theo Alexander – Sunbathing Through A Glass Screen (Arts & Crafts)
Vitamin String Quartet – Our Flashback Wedding (CMH Label Group)

Best Country Record
Caitlin Rose – Own Side Now (Deluxe Anniversary Edition) (ATO Records)
Emily Scott Robinson – American Siren (Oh Boy Records)
Morgan Wade – Reckless (Ladylike Records/Thirty Tigers)
Sturgill Simpson – The Ballad of Dood & Juanita (High Top Mountain Records/Thirty Tigers)
Fancy Hagood – Southern Curiosity (Mick Music/Downtown Music Services)
Lainey Wilson – Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ (Broken Bow Records/BMG)

Best Dance Record, Presented by edm.com
Brittany Howard – “Stay High again..” (Fred again.. & Joy Anonymous Remix) (ATO Records)
Dawn Richard – “Loose Your Mind” (Merge Records)
Disclosure – DJ-Kicks: Disclosure (!K7 Records)
Jungle – Loving in Stereo (AWAL)
Keys N Krates – “Original Classic” (Last Gang Records)
Logic1000 – You’ve Got the Whole Night to Go (Therapy distributed by Because Music)

Best Electronic Record, Presented by Redeye Worldwide
Arca – KicK iii (XL Recordings)
Caribou – “You Can Do It” (Merge Records)
Dawn Richard – Second Line (Merge Records)
Flying Lotus – Yasuke (Warp Records)
박혜진 Park Hye Jin – Before I Die (Ninja Tune)

Best Folk/Bluegrass Record
Aisha Badru – The Way Back Home (Nettwerk Records)
Hand Habits – Fun House (Saddle Creek)
Jose Gonzalez – Local Valley (Mute Records)
Shannon Lay – Geist (Sub Pop Records)
The Weather Station – Ignorance (Fat Possum Records)
Various Artists – Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, Vol. 2 (Oh Boy Records)

Best Heavy Record
Babymetal – 10 Babymetal Budokan (Cooking Vinyl)
Deafheaven – Infinite Granite (Sargent House)
Every Time I Die – Radical (Epitaph)
Quicksand – Distant Population (Epitaph)
Spiritbox – Eternal Blue (Rise Records / BMG)

Best Hip-Hop/Rap Record, Presented by Virgin Music
Injury Reserve – By the Time I Get to Phoenix (Self-Released/Stem)
Joyner Lucas & J. Cole – “Your Heart” (Twenty Nine Music Group)
Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (AWAL)
Mick Jenkins – Elephant in the Room (Cinematic Music Group/Ingrooves)
Mykki Blanco – Broken Hearts and Beauty Sleep (Transgressive/[PIAS])
Young M.A – Off the Yak (M.A Music/3D)

Best Jazz Record
Adrian Younge – The American Negro (Jazz Is Dead)
BadBadNotGood – Talk Memory (XL Recordings)
John Carroll Kirby – Septet (Stones Throw Records)
Nala Sinephro – Space 1.8 (Warp Records)
Jihye Lee Orchestra – Daring Mind (Motéma Music)
Nick Hakim – “Qadir” (Badbadnotgood Remix) (ATO Records)

Best Latin Record
Alejandro Escovedo – La Cruzada (Yep Roc Records)
Arca – KICK ii (XL Recordings)
Cimafunk – El Alimento (Terapia Productions/Thirty Tigers)
Helado Negro – Far In (4AD)
Los Retros – Looking Back (Stones Throw Records)
Xenia Rubinos – Una Rosa (ANTI-)

Best Pop Record
Arlo Parks – Collapsed in Sunbeams (Transgressive/[PIAS])
Ashe – Ashlyn (Mom + Pop Music)
Big Red Machine – How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? (Jagjaguwar)
Chai – Wink (Sub Pop Records)
Noga Erez – Kids (City Slang)

Best Punk Record
Amyl and The Sniffers – Comfort to Me (ATO Records)
Chubby and the Gang – The Mutt’s Nuts (Partisan Records)
illuminati hotties – Let Me Do One More (Hopeless Records)
Sleaford Mods – Spare Ribs (Rough Trade Records)
The Linda Lindas – “Racist, Sexist Boy” (Live at LA Public Library) (Epitaph)

Best R&B Record
Brittany Howard – Jaime (Reimagined) (ATO Records)
Charlotte Day Wilson – Alpha (Stone Woman Music Inc.)
Durand Jones & The Indications – Private Space (Dead Oceans)
Hiatus Kaiyote – Mood Valiant (Brainfeeder (Ninja Tune))
serpentwithfeet – Deacon (Secretly Canadian)
Tkay Maidza – Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3 (4AD)

Best Rock Record, Presented by MSK (Mitchell; Silberberg & Knupp, LLP)
Black Pumas – Capitol Cuts (Live from Studio A) (ATO Records)
Idles – Crawler (Partisan Records)
Parquet Courts – Sympathy for Life (Rough Trade Records)
shame – Drunk Tank Pink (Dead Oceans)
The The – The Comeback Special (earMUSIC)

Best Spiritual Record
Blind Boys of Alabama feat. Bela Fleck – “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” (Single Lock Records)
Hiss Golden Messenger – O Come All Ye Faithful (Merge Records)
Natalie Bergman – Mercy (Third Man Records)
Oak Ridge Boys – Front Porch Singin’ (Lightning Rod Records / Thirty Tigers)
Wande feat. Porsha Love – “Don’t Worry Bout It” (Reach Records)

Best Sync Usage
Adele – “Hello” – NFL/Tom Brady’s Return (XL Recordings)
Black Pumas – “Colors” – Concrete Cowboy Trailer (ATO Records)
Fela Kuti – “Zombie’” – Gucci 100 Promo Campaign (Knitting Factory Records)
John Prine – “Caravan of Fools” – Ep 3 Yellowstone (Oh Boy Records)
Phoebe Bridgers – “I Know the End” – Ep 106 Mare of Easttown (Dead Oceans)
The Rolling Stones – “She’s a Rainbow” – Ep 205 Ted Lasso (ABKCO)
Wet Leg – “Chaise Longue” – Ep 5 Gossip Girl (Domino Recording Co.)

Best World Record
Altin Gün – Yol (ATO Records)
Femi Kuti and Made Kuti – Legacy + (Partisan Records)
João Donato – João Donato JID007 (Jazz Is Dead)
Mdou Moctar – Afrique Victime (Matador Records)
Pachyman – The Return of Pachyman (ATO Records)

Creative Packaging
Buzzcocks – Complete UA Singles 1977-1980 (Domino)
Erroll Garner – Liberation in Swing: Centennial Collection (Mack Avenue Music Group / Octave Music Licensing, LLC)
Fela Kuti – Box Set #5 Co-Curated by Chris Martin & Femi Kuti (Knitting Factory Records)
Gang Of Four – 77-81 (Matador Records)
Gary Numan 45X15 – The Singles Collection 1978-1983 (Beggars Arkive)
Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee (Dead Oceans)

Independent Champion, Presented by Merlin
Bandcamp
FUGA
Light in the Attic Distribution
Redeye Worldwide
SoundExchange

Label of the Year (Big), Presented by ADA
ATO Records
Matador Records
Merge Records
Mom + Pop Music
Ninja Tune
Polyvinyl Record Co.
Third Man Records

Label of the Year (Medium)
City Slang
Hopeless Records
New West Records
Sacred Bones Records
Saddle Creek
Yep Roc Records

Label of the Year (Small)
Don Giovanni Records
Innovative Leisure
Oh Boy Records
Sargent House
Sundazed

Marketing Genius
Bicep – Isles (Ninja Tune)
Various Artists – Death Row Records 30th Anniversary (Death Row Records)
Eyedress – Mulholland Drive (Lex Records)
Helado Negro – Helado Negro Ice Cream Tricycle (4AD)
Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee (Dead Oceans)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Official Bootlegger Series (KGLW/Virgin Music)

Christopher Carrera Named to President Joe Biden’s President’s Advisory Committee on The Arts

Christopher Carrera has joined the Committee

U.S. President Joe Biden has appointed 14 members to the President’s Advisory Committee on The Arts, in which they will serve as representatives for the Kennedy Center, including the Latino businessman.

The White HouseCarrera, who serves as president of Carrera-Willowbridge, LLC, was previously a Partner in the Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities Division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. where he began his career as a summer intern in high school. Carrera serves on the board of the FDNY Foundation and is Treasurer of his co-op building. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and was a former member of the Board of Overseers of the College of Arts and Sciences. Carrera also served as a Trustee of Riverdale Country School.

He joins a roster of committee members that includes Andi Bernstein, partner at venture capital firm The 98;  arts advocates Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Barbara Gamson; philanthropist Melissa Hedden; Lorna Johnson, chair and CEO of LMJ Global Enterprises;  busineswoman and author Bonnie Lautenberg; P.R. and public affairs strategist Allison PutalaSunil Puri, CEO and founder of First Midwest GroupCharles Pohlad, director at Pohlad Investment Management, LLCDiane Robertson, documentary producer and proprietor of a horticultural design firm; residential and commercial developer Thomas Safran; and Andrew Tavakoli, principal and CEO of Tavaco Properties.

Eugene William Stetson III, senior fellow at The Atlantic Council and a film producer, will serve as chair.

The President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts was established in 1958 by President Dwight Eisenhower. According to the Kennedy Center, its members are considered a “national network” for the arts center.

The Kennedy Center also has a board of trustees, chaired by David Rubenstein, and its members also are appointed by the president.

Another arts board, the National Council on the Arts, advises the National Endowment for the Arts. Another group, the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, was an advisory committee to the president’s administration, but President Donald Trump did not renew its authority in 2017 after all of its members resigned.

Camila Cabello to Perform on PBS’ “In Performance at the White House” Special

Camila Cabello is headed to the White House

The 24-year-old Cuban Mexican is set to take part in PBSIn Performance at the White House, which will return with a holiday season special to air on network on December 21.

Camila Cabello

But Cabello isn’t the only Latina to participate.

Kirstin Maldonado and her Pentatonix group mates will also perform during the special.

The program will be taped from December 11-14.

Jennifer Garner will host the special, with performances by Andrea Bocelli, Matteo Bocelli, Virginia Bocelli, Eric Church, the Jonas Brothers, Norah Jones, Billy Porter, Northwell Health Nurse Choir, Voices of Service and “The President’s OwnUnited States Marine Band.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will deliver remarks, and the event, titled Spirit of the Season, will highlight the holiday decor of the White House.

This will be the first In Performance since 2016, as none were held during the presidency of Donald Trump. The special also will be different in that the performances will be taped over a span of a few days, rather than a concert in the East Room, as has been tradition. That is because of Covid-19 protocols.

“We look forward to sharing more special performances recorded at the White House to capture the essence of our nation at its best,” Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and chief executive officer of WETA-TV, said in a statement.

The Northwell Nurse Choir is a group of frontline nurses that formed last year as their profession faced the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic. Voices of Service is a quartet that has used their platform to show the impact that music can have on service members recovering from post traumatic stress disorder.

The In Performance specials began in 1978 with an East Room recital by pianist Vladimir Horowitz.

The special is produced by WETA, in association with Ken Ehrlich Productions. Executive producers are John F. Wilson and Ehrlich, with producer Renato Basile and director Toré Livia.

Camila Cabello Among Celebrities Calling on Corporate America to Urge Congress to Support President Joe Biden’s Climate Plan

Camila Cabello is urging the U.S. Congress to support President Joe Biden’s climate change plan…

While Democratic leadership tries to unite its progressive and moderate wings, a group of 80-plus artists, celebrities and activists, including the 24-year-old Cuban/Mexican singer, are calling on the leaders of Google, Disney, Amazon, Fox, Facebook to join them in urging Congress to support Biden’s Build Back Better plan.

Camila Cabello

The effort was spearheaded by the National Resources Defense Council Action Fund and Cabello, who convinced the sizable group of A-listers to speak out, specifically about the need to address climate change.

In addition to Cabello, signatories to the group letter included J.J. Abrams, Greg Berlanti, Cate Blanchett, Jack Antonoff, Don Cheadle, Ellen DeGeneres, Selena Gomez, Shakira, Chris Evans, Jimmy Kimmel, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Chuck Lorre, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lin-Manuel MirandaSean Penn, Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Porter, Robert Redford, Ryan Reynolds, Shakira, Barbra Streisand, Wes Studi, Justin Timberlake, Kerry Washington and many more.

On Monday, a group of 17 Nobel Prize-winning economists also came out in support of Biden’s plan.

Manish Bapna, President and CEO of the NRDC Action Fund said, “These are the tastemakers of our time—and in moments like these they have an opportunity to be the changemakers, too. What started as an idea by Camila Cabello has exploded into a clarion call from entertainers overnight to take action. Congress holds in its hands our best chance at combating our biggest environmental challenge yet. We need all hands on deck to make sure they seize it, and these industry leaders can play a critical role in making sure that they do.”

In today’s initiative, the artists call out the following execs by name: Lincoln Benet at Access Industries (Warner Music Group), Sundar Pichai at Alphabet (Google, YouTube), Andy Jassy at Amazon, Tim Cook at Apple, John Stankey at AT&T (WarnerMedia), Brian Roberts at Comcast, David Zaslav at Discovery (and soon Warner Bros. Discovery), Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, Lachlan Murdoch at Fox, Reed Hastings at Netflix, Kenichiro Yoshida at Sony, Robert Bakish at ViacomCBS, Arnaud de Puyfontaine at Vivendi (Universal Music Group) and Bob Chapek at Walt Disney.

“It’s no secret that climate change is here and is already affecting people’s lives across the globe,” wrote Cabello in her post on Instagram about the effort. “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to act boldly to fight the climate crisis, so I am honored to join over 60 fellow artists to call on leaders of the entertainment industry to use their power and demand that Congress pass @potus’s #BuildBackBetter agenda this fall.”

Here’s the full text of the letter and a list of its signatories:

Dear Entertainment Industry Executives:

Climate change has arrived on our doorstep: California is on fire, record-breaking and deadly storms are flooding New York City, hurricanes are devastating the Gulf. This summer alone, nearly one in every three people in the United States experienced an extreme weather event.

Scientists warn that if we fail to act now, every single one of us will feel the impacts, a billion people will be displaced, and low-income people and communities of color will continue to be hit first and worst. Right now, we have a critical window of opportunity to do something about it. And we need all hands on deck to demand that our leaders protect the people we love and the places they live before it’s too late.

Congress has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in a clean, just, and equitable future for all by passing the robust climate action that President Biden called for in his Build Back Better agenda. This legislation will create healthier communities, put millions to work in clean energy jobs, and free us from the fossil fuels that are driving climate change.

As the top leaders of the entertainment industry—one of the nation’s most powerful and influential business sectors—you are needed to lead our community’s call for action and embrace this vision for a better world. The entertainment community has a long, proud tradition of driving societal change. Our industry is already leading the charge toward more sustainable practices within our own businesses and productions. Now is the time to use your influence to shape our future.

Congress needs to hear you demand, unequivocally, that it put forward and pass the most ambitious climate change agenda in U.S. history.

The plan currently before Congress will protect people’s health and clean up our drinking water. It will create a just transition away from dirty fossil fuels and create millions of new jobs. It will protect communities from climate change through investments in clean energy, clean transportation, and infrastructure upgrades. And it will make sure we finally prioritize and invest in the low-income communities and communities of color that are hit hardest by both fossil fuel pollution and climate impacts.

This plan will create a stronger, brighter, and more just America—and we need you to help make this vision a reality.

At this pivotal moment, please lead the call. Demand publicly and loudly that our senators and representatives in Congress pass this critical legislation.

And we pledge to do our part as well. We will use our platforms to remind all Americans: Tell your senators and representatives in Congress that you demand climate action now. Advocate for Congress to take up the president’s climate agenda. And don’t stop there. Tweet. Post. E-mail. Call. Whatever it takes.

Sincerely,

J.J. Abrams
Anitta
Jack Antonoff
Troian Bellisario
Greg Berlanti
Cate Blanchett
Benny Blanco
Dave Burd aka “Lil Dicky”
Camila Cabello
Dove Cameron
Alessia Cara
Don Cheadle
Glenn Close
Coldplay
Jacob Collier
Lily Collins
James Corden
Ellen DeGeneres
Cara Delevingne
Leonardo DiCaprio
Zac Efron
Billie Eilish
Chris Evans
Jimmy Fallon
Finneas
Selena Gomez
Conan Gray
Grimes
Todrick Hall
Hugh Jackman
Jimmy Kimmel
Joey King
Liza Koshy
Lady Gaga
Cyndi Lauper
John Legend
Adam Levine
Kevin Liles
Dua Lipa
Lorde
Chuck Lorre
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Demi Lovato
Ziggy Marley
Shawn Mendes
Idina Menzel
Lin-Manuel Miranda
Sean Penn
Joaquin Phoenix
Billy Porter
Zachary Quinto
Addison Rae
Robert Redford
Ryan Reynolds
Mark Ronson
Kyra Sedgwick
Shakira
Lilly Singh
Troye Sivan
Barbra Streisand
Wes Studi
Ryan Tedder
Justin Timberlake
Kerry Washington
Sigourney Weaver
Shailene Woodley
Calum Worthy

Eva Longoria Among Celebrities & Entertainment Figures Encouraging World Leaders to “End the COVID-19 Pandemic Now”

Eva Longoria is urging on world leaders to take action to end the ongoing coronavirus pandemic…

Tuesday morning, just before President Joe Biden addressed the United Nations for the first time, more than 80 celebrities and entertainment figures, including the 46-year-old Mexican American actress, producer and activist, issued an open letter to world leaders calling for them to end “the COVID-19 pandemic now.”

Eva Longoria

The letter, which mentioned the United Nations General Assembly Session specifically, was posted on the website of CARE, an organization dedicated to ending poverty worldwide.

It was signed by a raft of boldfaced names including Longoria, Debra MessingAlyssa Milano, Anne Hathaway, Malin Akerman, Debbie Allen, Jordana Brewster, Connie Britton, Ciara, Peter Dinklage, Richard Gere, Dolores Huerta, Joel McHale, Iman, Edward James Olmos, Laura Linney, Julianna Margulies, Joel McHale, Idina Menzel, Ana Ortiz, Adam Shankman, Michael Sheen, Adam Shulman and Sarah Silverman.

Specifically, the letter calls COVID-19 “a manmade pandemic of apathy.” It states that “Only 2% of people in low-income countries have received a single dose.” The signatories call on “global leaders to make 7 billion vaccine doses available before the end of 2021, and an additional 7 billion doses by mid-2022 to fully vaccinate 70% of the world by next summer.”

Those are lofty goals given the world’s most highly vaccinated countries, like the U.S., remain well under 70%.

It also asks leaders to “invest in last-mile delivery systems, public education, and frontline healthcare workers to get vaccines from tarmacs into arms.”

Here’s the full letter:

An open letter to world leaders on ending the COVID-19 pandemic now.

None of us are safe until all of us are safe.

We call on leaders gathering at the United Nations General Assembly Session to boldly act
together to end COVID-19 everywhere.

COVID-19 is now a manmade pandemic of apathy. Only 2% of people in low-income countries have received a single dose, leaving the world’s most vulnerable to face COVID with no
protection. This situation also lets new variants, like Delta, emerge and ravage the lives of
millions.

We are joining with CARE to call on global leaders to make 7 billion vaccine doses available before the end of 2021, and an additional 7 billion doses by mid-2022 to fully vaccinate 70%
of the world by next summer.

To get this done the world community must also invest in last-mile delivery systems, public education, and frontline healthcare workers to get vaccines from tarmacs into arms. Millions
of doses could go to waste because low-income countries don’t have the support they
need to get vaccines to vulnerable people.

We can save millions of lives — and trillions in further economic damage — by meeting this moment with the resources and political will needed to end COVID-19 for everyone,
everywhere. Because none of us are safe until all of us are safe.

Malin Akerman
Debbie Allen
Dorothy Amuah
Morena Baccarin
Adriana Barraza
Troian Bellisario
Bobby Berk
Jordana Brewster
Connie Britton
Karamo Brown
Gloria Calderón Kellett
Ciara
Tena Clark
Kim Coates
Madison Cowan
Alexandra Daddario
Peter Dinklage
Melinda Doolittle
Tan France
Richard Gere
Duff Goldman
Tony Goldwyn
Fiona Gubelmann
Anne Hathaway
Ingrid Hoffmann
Anders Holm
Dolores Huerta
Osas Ighodaro
Joel McHale
Iman
Edward James Olmos
Sonam Kapoor Ahuja
Ellie Krieger
Iskra Lawrence
Annie Lennox
Lola Lennox
Esther Lewis
Laura Linney
Kimberly Locke
Eva Longoria
Anja Manuel
Julianna Margulies
Catherine McCord
Joel McHale
Spike Mendelsohn
Idina Menzel
Debra Messing
Alyssa Milano
Sepideh Moafi
Tamera Mowry-Housley
Yvette Nicole Brown
Christina Ochoa
Ana Ortiz
Helen Pankhurst
Jessica Pimentel
Julie Plec
Adina Porter
Zac Posen
Leven Rambin
April Reign
Holland Roden
Sheila Shah
Adam Shankman
Omar Sharif Jr.
Michael Sheen
Adam Shulman
Sarah Silverman
Hannah Skvarla
Todd Snyder
Kimberly Steward
Curtis Stone
Christy Turlington Burns
Laura Vandervoort
Gabby Williams
Michelle Williams
Kimberly Williams-Paisley
Russell Wilson
Scott Wolf
Kelley Wolf
Bellamy Young
Rachel Zoe

Alvaro Bedoya Nominated to Serve on Federal Trade Commission

Alvaro Bedoya could be trading up…

The Peruvian-American privacy advocate and visiting professor of law at Georgetown University, has been nominated as one of five commissioners to the Federal Trade Commission.

Alvaro Bedoya

The White House announced Joe Biden’s nomination of Bedoya on Monday.

If confirmed, Bedoya likely will be another staunch advocate of taking robust action to rein in the power of big tech platforms.

He’s the founding director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law. The White House noted that his Bedoya’s research and report on facial recognition technology that paved the way for new restrictions on the use of the practice.

Bedoya would succeed Rohit Chopra, who Biden has selected to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Biden nominated another advocate of strong enforcement, Lina Kahn, who has been critical of the growth of large tech platforms, and appointed her to chair the commission after her confirmation. Among other things, the FTC is reviewing Google’s proposed acquisition of MGM.

Bedoya previously served as the first chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law.

He is a naturalized citizen born in Peru, and co-founded the college scholarship Esperanza Education Fund. He’s a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.

Justino Diaz Among This Year’s Kennedy Center Honors Recipients

It’s an Honors of a lifetime for Justino Diaz.

The 81-year-old Puerto Rican operatic bass-baritone is among the recipients of the Kennedy Center’s Kennedy Center Honors this year, as the organization plans to return the ceremony to its traditional time and format in December.

Justino Diaz

In 1963, Díaz won an annual contest held at the Metropolitan Opera of New York, becoming the first Puerto Rican to obtain such an honor and as a consequence, made his Metropolitan debut in October 1963 in Verdi‘s Rigoletto as Monterone.

Diaz’s big roles throughout his career were in the operas of Mozart, taking on the title role of Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro a total of 27 times in his Met career.

He was also a renowned Scarpia and Iago in his time. He was famously picked by Franco Zeffirelli to take on the villain in his film version of Verdi’s final tragic masterwork; Scarpia was the last role he sang on the Met stage.

In addition to Diaz, the recipients for the December 5 event will be singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, actress and singer Bette MidlerSaturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, and Motown Record founder and producer Berry Gordy.

CBS will broadcast the 44th annual ceremony, and it will be live streamed on Paramount+ and available on demand.

The Kennedy Center Honors traditionally takes place in the first weekend of December, with events at the White House and the State Department preceding the ceremony at the Kennedy Center Opera House. But because of Covid-19, the most recent honors were postponed until May this year, with the ceremony spread out over several days with a mix of indoor and outdoor events, some in person and some pre-taped. Instead of a White House reception, President Joe Biden had a smaller gathering of the honorees.

In a statement, Kennedy Center president Deborah Rutter said, “After the challenges and heartbreak of the last many months, and as we celebrate 50 years of the Kennedy Center, I dare add that we are prepared to throw ‘the party to end all parties’ in D.C. on Dec. 5th, feting these extraordinary people and welcoming audiences back to our campus.”

Julian Castro to Serve as Political Analyst on NBC News & MSNBC

Julian Castro is ready to examine our political landscape…

The 46-year-old Mexican American lawyer and politician, who was the youngest member of President Barack Obama‘s cabinet when he served as the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has joined NBC News and MSNBC as a political analyst.

Julian Castro

Castro ran for president in the 2020 cycle. Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski announced his new role in an appearance on the show on Monday, as Castro joined to talk about voting rights and the debate over amending the filibuster.

Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) has called on President Joe Biden to support changes to the U.S. Senate rule.

“The problem is that we really haven’t seen any activity. We haven’t seen any push from the Oval Office on this issue, and you can see that, you know, that the impatience is growing among Democrats,” Castro said on Morning Joe.

Castro served as HUD secretary from 2014 to 2017, after serving as mayor of San Antonio. He launched his presidential campaign in January, 2019, one of the first candidates to get in the race, but dropped out almost a year later. He went on to endorse Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Castro is one of the few 2020 presidential contenders to go on to cable news gigs, given the sheer number of candidates who still hold elective office. After he dropped out of the presidential race, Andrew Yang joined CNN as a political commentator, but he then went on to run for mayor of New York.

Huascar Medina Nominated for Membership on National Council on the Arts

Huascar Medina may soon be joining the National Council on the Arts.

The Latino poet, writer, and performer, Kansas’ first Latino Poet Laureate, is among President Joe Biden’s intended nominees for the council.

Huascar Medina

The eight-person list, posted on the White House website, also includes choreographer and educator Christopher Morgan, executive producer of Harlem’s Apollo Theater Kamilah Forbes, the president of John Prine’s Oh Boy Records (and widow of the late folk music icon) Fiona Whelan Prine, and ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro.

Medina has worked as a freelance copywriter and as the Literary Editor for seveneightfive magazine publishing stories that spotlight literary and artistic events in northeast Kansas. His poems can be found in his collection How to Hang the Moon published by Spartan Press. He’s the winner of ARTSConnect’s 2018 Arty Award for Literary Art. His new collection of poems Un Mango Grows in Kansas is available at huascarmedina.com.

The National Council on the Arts was established in 1965, with members appointed by the president and approved by the U.S. Senate for staggered six-year terms, advises the National Endowment for the Arts on agency policies and programs, and reviews and makes recommendations on applications for grants, funding guidelines, and leadership initiatives. If approved, Biden’s nominees will join other members serving now.

Biden’s roster of nominees is:

  • Kamilah Forbes, executive producer at the Apollo Theater. A veteran stage director and producer, Forbes’ Broadway credits include The Mountaintop and Stick Fly, as well as Off Broadway’s By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, written by two-time Pulitzer prize-winning writer Lynn Nottage, among others. She served as  associate director on the Tony Award-winning A Raisin in the Sun, and Emmy Award-winning The Wiz Live for NBC. Most recently, she directed Between the World and Me on HBO and HBO Max in November 2020. Forbes is set to direct a Broadway musical adaptation of Soul Train alongside producer Questlove, playwright Dominique Morisseau, and choreographer Camille A. Brown;
  • Christopher Morgan, choreographer, educator, facilitator, curator, and arts administrator. Morgan is Executive Artistic Director of Dance Place in Washington, D.C., and has directed Art Omi: Dance, an annual collaborative residency for international choreographers in New York;
  • Ismael Ahmed, co-founder of The Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan and co-founder of Detroit’s world music festival Concert of Colors;
  • Kinan Azmeh, artistic director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Players, a pan-Arab ensemble dedicated to contemporary music form the Arab world;
  • Huascar Medina, the 7th Poet Laureate of Kansas. He currently works with the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission reimagining and developing innovative programming for the poet laureateship;
  • Jake Shimabukuro, the world-famous ukulele player who, in 2001, signed a historic deal with Epic Records/Sony Music that formed the basis of a string of hit albums and standing room audiences. He has played with world-renowned orchestras and at prestigious venues and events such as the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, and Sydney Opera House, Bonnaroo, SXSW and Fuji Rock Festival;
  • Constance Williams, who, with a background in publishing, marketing, and small business and financial consulting, was the economic development and small business coordinator for Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District. She has served as the Chair of the Board of The Philadelphia Museum of Art and is now Chair Emerita, and was also a trustee of the National Museum of American Jewish History;
  • Fiona Whelan Prine, President of Oh Boy Records, the country’s second-oldest independent record label still in operation. Prine oversees the multiple Grammy Award-winning recordings and publishing copyrights of her late husband, American songwriter John Prine, and serves as Founder and President of the newly established Hello in There Foundation, named after a classic song written by her late husband. In the last year alone, her community involvement has raised more than $1 million for important social causes, including those related to the Covid-19 pandemic.