Tag Archives: Culture

Bringing The Sierra To The State Capital: Sierra Nevada Leaders Honored With Vision 2020 Award In Sacramento

Some of the greatest things happen under conditions of adversity and at Sierra Business Council we’re committed to approaches that create opportunity from those exact circumstances. Community members, organizations, and businesses are still doing great work, doubling their efforts, and calling for change despite the economic downturn and the uncertainty we face.

Each year, the regional sustainability non-profit, Sierra Business Council, hosts an event to recognize and encourage leadership in the Sierra, honoring community members as their work continues to achieve excellence in projects and approaches that foster community vitality, environmental quality, economic prosperity, and social fairness.

Throughout the Sierra, we recognize the growing need to bridge the divide between rural and urban communities in California. Bringing our Vision 2020 celebration to Sacramento does just that. Steve Frisch, SBC President

As a way to highlight the issue, this year’s theme for the Vision 2020 Awards is a Sierra Getaway Party. This free event is open to anyone who wants to “escape to the Sierra” for the evening.

Sierra Business Council’s 2008 Vision 2020 Awards Celebration features presentations from Vision 2020 Award winners and appetizers and dessert sourced from the Sierra with the help of the Placer Gold Slow Food chapter.

This year’s winners include the partnership between Executive Chef Mark Estee of Moody’s Bistro & Lounge, Baxter’s Bistro and Lounge, and Founder of Burger Me in Truckee, CA and Gary Romano from Sierra Valley Farms. This duo has demonstrated support for sustainable food in the Sierra Valley, Lake Tahoe and Placer County areas. Gary and Mark’s relationship demonstrates commitment to local farmers and sustainable agriculture.

John Wentworth of Mammoth Lakes is being honored for his accomplishments with Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access (MLTPA). MLTPA has worked diligently to bring much-deserved focus and attention to the future of the Mammoth community and its critical relationship with environmental resources. MLTPA has engaged with Town government, federal agencies, other nonprofits, the public, and private businesses to work collaboratively toward its mission.

Paul Hardy, Executive Director of Feather River Land Trust, has been awarded for his achievement in building one of the most effective and enduring land trusts in California. Paul has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to partnership and collaboration and has imparted a strong ethic of conservation among many leaders.

Phil Carville, President and CEO of Carville Sierra Inc., a family owned and operated development company, is being awarded for his outstanding work on the Loma Rica Ranch project in the City of Grass Valley. Phil has become one of the region’s most determined spokesmen for New Urbanism, Traditional Neighborhood Design, and Smart Growth within the Sierra Nevada.

SBC’s 2008 Vision 2020 Awards Celebration takes place on Thursday, March 19, 2009 from 6:00-10:00pm and is hosted at The Grand Ballroom in Sacramento, CA located at 629 J Street. Please visit www.sbcouncil.org for more information.

RSVP requested at www.sbcouncil.org/celebratesierra

Sierra Business Council is hosting a press conference for its annual Vision 2020 Awards starting promptly at 5:30pm at The Grand Ballroom the evening of the 19th. Press packet can be found online at www.sbcouncil.org Tuesday the 17th.

About Sierra Business Council
The Sierra Business Council serves the entire Sierra Nevada region. As a nonprofit association of more than 750 businesses, agencies, and individual members, Sierra Business Council is committed to promoting a new perspective on regional wealth while emphasizing collaboration in planning and policy making.

Via EPR Network
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Iran Heritage Foundation Presents Remaking Of Iran Exhibition At The British Museum

Iran Heritage Foundation in association with the British Museum opens the ‘Shah ‘Abbas: the remaking of Iran’ exhibition.

The exhibition documents and illustrates the work of 17th century artists and craftsmen under the Iran Heritagepatronage of Shah ‘Abbas I and his wider contribution to Persian culture, architecture and language. Displays include artefacts such as lavish gold-ground silks, carpets, manuscripts, paintings, metal work and calligraphy. The exhibition includes gifts that Shah ‘Abbas endowed to shrines in Mashhad, Ardabil and Qum, many of which have never been previously displayed outside of Iran.

Vahid Alaghband, Chairman of the Iranian Heritage Foundation and Group Chairman of Balli Group, commented: “Shah ‘Abbas was the most eminent ruler of the Safavid dynasty in Persia who, with his military successes and efficient administrative system, raised Iran to the status of a great power. When he died his dominions extended from the Tigris to the Indus. Through trade and diplomacy he fostered good relations with Europe and welcomed European diplomats in Iran, whilst ushering in a golden period for Persian art. He commissioned many beautiful works of art, grand architecture and restored major monuments across the country. Today, his legacy lives on, in the magnificent buildings of Isfahan and through his opulent gifts found in many Iranian holy shrines.

“This fabulous exhibition is a celebration of the achievements of one of Iran’s greatest rulers and showcases the vibrancy and culture of 17th century Iran” he added.

Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, said: “My colleagues and I are grateful to The Iranian Heritage Foundation and its chairman Vahid Alaghband for their generous support of the exhibition, the latest in a long series of joint projects with the British Museum to present Iranian culture to the widest public in London.”

The ‘Shah ‘Abbas: The Remaking of Iran’ exhibition at the British Museum will run until 14 June

About The Iran Heritage Foundation
The Iran Heritage Foundation is a non-political UK registered charity founded in 1995, with the mission to increase awareness about, promote and preserve the history, languages and cultures of Iran. Though only active since 1995, the Foundation has grown rapidly to establish itself on an international level by supporting programmes in Armenia, Austria, Canada, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Iran.

The objectives of the Foundation are pursued by means of organising and supporting research, publication of books, and establishment of fellowships at major academic institutions and diverse activities of cultural or scholarly merit in a variety of related fields, on a worldwide basis.

About Balli Group plc
Balli Group plc is one of the UK’s largest private, multi-national corporations, headquartered in London. Established in 1982, Balli Holdings operates a number of affiliated companies with offices in key economic and business hubs around the world and operations in over 20 countries. Included within the Balli Group portfolio are balli steel and balli real estate, as well as other specialist companies providing services in commodity trading, industrial activities and aviation.

Via EPR Network
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The Eccentric Club, once an important institution in the British society, closed down in the mid-1980s, has made a daring comeback on 29th of August – this time not in Mayfair, but in Bloomsbury

The Eccentric Club in London with its clock running backwards: I wished they would have me as a member, so I could meet all my old friends again…” (Anthony Steyning, the writer)

The Eccentric Club, once an important institution in the British society, which fell victim to a careless gamble with property developers in the mid-1980s and, subsequently, lost its premises in Mayfair and was closed down, is to experience a much-anticipated revival and to make a daring comeback to the London clubland on 29th of August – this time not in Mayfair, but in Bloomsbury, in the premises of Pushkin House, the Russian cultural centre, named after Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s most celebrated and most eccentric 19th century poet. The reason for such a choice of venue was purely incidental and primarily due to the friendliness of the Pushkin House staff and their own excitement about the re-launch of The Eccentric Club by a group of keen enthusiasts and devoted volunteers, members of a few other London clubs, who believe that the Eccentric Club is still missed by many and undeservedly forgotten by the society and the media.

“The Club’s name is a long established and reputable brand, its famous members of the past were those who had shaped the British culture into what it is now, its history is inseparable with that of Britain itself”, say the organisers.

On the 29th of August they have re-launched The Eccentric Club(UK) officially, in a traditional eccentric and entertaining style, with the music performances, a witty satirical operatic/jazz cabaret “Kiss & Tell”, speeches by Henry Hemming, the celebrated author of recently published “In Search of the English Eccentric” and Lyndon Yorke (a mechanical follyologist voted ‘Britain’s Most Eccentric Person’ in 2002), and more entertainment in various shapes. Equally entertaining promises to be the socialising with the meticulously selected guests from the artistic, scientific, literary, legal and business circles.

Traditionally believed to have been founded in 1890 by Jack Harrison, a theatrical costumier from Shaftesbury Avenue, the new Eccentric Club may actually become a century older due to the claims of its organisers to have proofs of the Club’s existence in the 1780s. Such a change in the Club’s ‘birth certificate’ most probably will not go unnoticed by the other clubs, but at the moment this does not seem to worry the organisers who believe that the Club has experienced many resurrections and has been founded several times by totally unrelated and socially distinct groups of people over the last two centuries.

The new Club’s website states that it has served “as a meeting point to many great and original minds, pioneers of thought in artistic, literary, theatrical, scientific, legal and political circles, providing an amicable environment for their recreational and creative pastime as well as a testing ground for the novel and controversial theories and approaches to the issues equally important to the British society and the entire mankind.” Considering what’s going on in the world today, many feel that it is high time The Eccentric Club was reborn and some new debates on some old issues to be launched.

You may of course be wondering what is meant by ‘being eccentric’ these days, after all it has been unfortunately misinterpreted over the years. The new founders have redefined its meaning to “British eccentricity is a reluctance to be bound by social, spiritual, scientific, political, esthetical or any other limitations and an everlasting desire to explore every manifestation of life around us for the benefit of gaining personal experience and translating it through various mediums such as art, business, science, social events to the others, to the society and, in particular, other individuals which are seeking new knowledge and experience and are ready to perceive it…”.

The previous Eccentric Club, started in 1890 by Jack Harrison, a theatrical costumier and the father of popular musical comedy actresses Phyllis Monkman, Dorothy Monkman and Beryl Harrison, from its humble beginnings in Shaftesbury Avenue rose to become one of the most influential artistic and business establishments in Britain as well as one of its most generous charities.

During both World Wars, members of the Eccentric entertained the troops on the frontline, raised in total over £100,000 for wounded soldiers, visited them in hospitals and distributed food, tobacco, cigarettes and pipes, built numerous hospitals, hostels and orphanages. On average, since the 1920s the Club was spending over £1,000 a year on various charitable needs.

The new Club organisers pledge to honour the charitable traditions of its predecessors. They believe that today, in the times of common globalisation, it is essentially important to support local, national and European charities which far too often remain undervalued and underfunded whilst the larger international organisations’ needs seem to be more of a priority.

The new Eccentric Club started just over a year ago with an eccentric idea of its restoration and a website appealing to any possible supporters of such an initiative. The response was truly overwhelming and beyond any expectations – emails were coming in literally daily. Although, a share of correspondence was from those doing genealogical research for their own families or some famous former members of the Club, a larger proportion was from those who were actually looking for The Eccentric Club to learn more about it, fascinated with its history and the remarkable input into the British culture. Two London-based TV production companies were immediately interested in shooting documentaries about the new Club’s birth.

Restoration of The Eccentric Club in the 21st century is an amazing challenge and everyone involved feel most excited about the journey ahead of them. The organisers believe they are closer to the original founders of the Club than those who have inherited it and lost it. Starting the Club from the very beginning – finding the patrons, acquiring the right members, raising funds, organising events, establishing own clubhouse – requires a lot of energy and aspiration. But a prospect of running one of the most fascinating clubs in the British history fuels this ambitious beginning.

Finally, the new Club’s organisers see it essentially important to highlight and celebrate the British kind of eccentricity – an innate ability to ignore the well-trotted routes of the others and invent own original ways, find surprisingly fresh approaches to the long decided issues, proudly demonstrating to the rest of the world the great mosaic of possible solutions and points of view. And, as we know from the history, the world has often followed the British eccentrics and acknowledged their genius…

The Eccentric Club restoration was welcomed by many celebrated and distinguished individuals. Amongst those who wished the best of luck to the endeavours of the new Club organisers are HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Lord Bath and Lord Montagu (who was the last Chairman of The Eccentric Club in the 1980s).

FAMOUS MEMBERS OF THE CLUB: Jack Harrison, Sir Charles Wyndham, Viscount Burnham, The Earl of Lonsdale, Lord Montagu, Sir Frederick Wells, Sir James Miller, Sir Herbert Tree, Sir George Alexander, Sir Walter de Frece, H.Montague-Bates, Lionel Brough, John Hollingshead, M. De Paleologue, Henry Ainley, George Robey, Dan Leno, Little Tich, Sir Henry J. Wood, Sir Landon Ronald, Arthur Lloyd, Fred Bishop, Bill Gavin, Dick Upex, Bud Flanagan, Tommy Trinder, Ben Warris, Joe Davis, Jack Trevor, James Moore, and many many others.

Unconfirmed famous members: Julius M. Price, Dudley Hardy, George Graves.

HRH Prince of Wales was the Club’s primary Patron for almost all of its history. In total, 35 Lord Mayors of London were selected as Honorary Life Members of the Club.


Via EPR Network
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Integrated Asset Building Strategies for Reservation-Based Communities

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) announced the publication and release of “Integrated Asset Building Strategies for Reservation-Based Communities: A 27-Year Retrospective of First Nations Development Institute.” This unprecedented report is the culmination of more than a quarter century of work by First Nations and highlights the economic, social and cultural resilience and ingenuity of Native peoples across the United States.

Funded by a generous grant from the Ford Foundation, the report includes original research on several key asset-building strategies in Native communities: financial education, individual development accounts, community development financial institutions, entrepreneurship development, building Native controlled philanthropic foundations and funds, and utilizing the earned income tax credit. Drawing upon a unique mix of practitioner and academic research, the report presents new data and analysis of asset building in Native communities.

According to Michael E. Roberts, President of First Nations, “In order to accurately identify and assess the needs and trends in Indian Country, we need to continually review and evaluate First Nations’ major asset building approaches and their effects in Native communities and this report does just that.” In addition, Roberts notes that the report is being released publicly “to allow everyone with an interest in Indian Country the opportunity to access the models, tools, analysis and information from First Nations’ comprehensive body of work over the last 27 years.”

Through a three-pronged strategy of Educating Grassroots Practitioners, Advocating Systemic Change, and Capitalizing Indian Communities, First Nations is working to restore Native control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage, or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native communities.

To learn more about this report, or to order copies, visit the First Nations Development Institute Website at www.firstnations.org or contact Sarah Dewees, Director of Research, via email at: sdewees@firstnations.org or by phone at: 540-371-5615.

Via EPR Network
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