La Rabida Summerfest 2009

16 07 2009
La Rabida Hospital (

La Rabida Hospital (

Tomorrow from 6-9p, La Rabida Children’s Hospital is opening their beautiful grounds to host “Summerfest 2009,” an outdoor concert to help raise funds for their Child Advocacy Center (CAC).

The CAC is a safe, child-friendly environment for children who have experienced psychological trauma and for alleged victims of sexual abuse and other violent crimes. All of crucial services are provided for free to the children and their families. THAT is why it’s so important to support this department!

The Summerfest will feature live performances from local talent, while spreading word of CAC’s commitment and service throughout the community. Tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the door. You can purchase them by clicking this link. I don’t need many excuses to listen to live music on the lakefront, so I definitely plan on attending. Grab a ticket. Grab some friends. Come on out and help this GREAT cause!



Giving Dallas Youth An Artistic Edge

10 06 2009

We all know that public schools are underfunded, and usually the arts programs are the first to go. Instead of letting that just be the status quo, CJ Johnson decided to do something and she started Fashion Benefiting Youth Artists, a Dallas nonprofit that hosts fashion-themed events in order to support students who dream of studying the arts, either in high school or college.

After interviewing CJ, I have to say that my inspiration has been renewed. Not only does she have a great vision, but she also has some words of encouragement for those of you looking to bring a little change to the world.

1. How did you decide to start FBYA?

I decided to start FBYA when I was laid off as a teacher from the Dallas School District in October 2008. I was a history teacher in one of the roughest and most challenged high schools with a very low socio-economic status. However, I had many talented students that were illustrators, musicians and some that dreamed of acting. However, the high school had no drama department, the art department did not have canvasses or acrylic paint and there were no other music enrichment classes besides band and choir. These kids were working with just their raw talent and I thought it was pathetic that there were not more enrichment classes offered at this school.

So, when my time with DISD came to an end, I thought about my love for fashion, the arts and youth. I decided to create a non-profit organization that would provide advanced art supplies to under-served Dallas high schools, sponsor young artists to attend out-of-state summer enrichment programs, and award college scholarships to young artists who desired to pursue a college degree in the arts.


2. What’s been the response so far?

The response so far has been overwhelming. With our first fashion show, I was able to secure an amazing venue for free, and all others involved (make-up artists, hair-stylists, DJ, a rock band) volunteered their services for free. We even received a mention in D Magazine and several other arts and lifestyle related publications. We have selected our first two students to receive sponsorship to a summer dance enrichment camp and are awarding a college scholarship to a graduating senior. Now, we are working on a college job fair for creative industries at at local college here in Dallas in late July.

Backstage at Spring 2009 Fashion Show

Backstage at Spring 2009 Fashion Show

3. What’s the best lesson that you’ve learned so far working with the youth, partners, etc?

The best lesson that I have learned so far working with inner-city youth is that they are more resilient and talented than people would give them credit for. They will never cease to amaze you. Throughout this process, what I have discovered thus far about people in general is that more people are willing to donate their time, services and energy for philanthropy than I previously thought…if you just simply ask.

4. Any words of wisdom to someone who wants to step out and change the world (in their own way)?

To anyone who is inspired to do something philanthropic or to be a social entrepreneur, I would tell them to make sure that it is something that you’re passionate about. You can start small (like a clothes drive at your job) but do not hesitate to dream of starting off big. I did! Just don’t hesitate or have self-doubt. Just do it! Believe me. There is a segment of the population that can benefit from your dream! Be a leader and crusader for those who can not and you will be rewarded mentally!

CJ, I appreciate your time! Ladies and gents, check out Fashion Benefiting Youth Artists online at and!


Cynthia Rowley in Chicago!

24 04 2009

Okay, stylistas…Here’s a great chance for you to shop, mingle with a top designer, AND support a great cause. Cynthia Rowley will be in town on Friday, May 1st signing copies her book “Slim: A Fantasy Memoir,” while offering style advice to attendees! This soiree will take place at the Cynthia Rowley store in Bucktown (1653 N. Damen) from 6-8p. The party will also celebrate ART Chicago, an annual international fair celebrating modern and contemporary art at Merchandise Mart.

Ten percent of sales on men and women’s clothing and accessories benefit RxArt, a charity providing art for hospitals. To RSVP, send an email to!


CFF Scholarship Fashion Show

26 02 2009

On Wednesday March 4th, the Chicago Fashion Foundation is hosting their 2nd annual Scholarship Benefit, a fashion show featuring the designs of five local design students. These students will have the opportunity to present their designs in a live fashion show to a panel of judges from the Chicago fashion community. The winning designer will receive a $5000 scholarship!

Attendees will be enjoy drinks, light appetizers, a DJ, and silent auction. The first 150 guests will also receive goodie bags (yay!). The event will be held from 6-8p in the Narcissus room at Macy’s (111 N. State). Tickets are $25 for students and CFF members, and $35 for non-members. 

Click here for more details!


M.A.C. Hello Kitty Charity Auction Starts TONIGHT!

9 02 2009


Ciara at M.A.C. Hello Kitty Event

Ciara at M.A.C. Hello Kitty Event

Every girl’s best friend, M.A.C., partnered with thirty top fashion designers to bring the world couture designs inspired by Hello Kitty. The designs were unveiled last week at an event attended by fashion’s finest and celebrities. The talented roster of designers include such names as: Catherine Malandrino, Charlotte Ronson, Elie Saab, Emanuel Ungaro, Giles, Hervé Léger by Max Azria, Kai Kühne, Kate Sylvester, Marchesa, Miro, Opening Ceremony, Qiu Hao, Rosa Cha, Ruffian, Shu-Chi Huang, threeasFOUR, Vicente Villarin, Yigal Azrouel, Zac Posen, Zimmermann, and many more!

The pieces will be auctioned off on eBay to benefit the the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology. The auction begins tonight at 10pm EST/7pm PST, and will run until February 19th (closes at the exact same time). The items can be found by clicking here!

The M.A.C. Hello Kitty makeup collection will be available online and in-stores beginning Thursday, February 12th. Spoiled Pretty has the product lineup, and you can also visit for more information!


Grammy’s MusiCares Program

9 02 2009

As mentioned in my previous note, I watched the Grammy’s, almost in its entirety, for the first time in a LONG time. Before I talk about MusiCares, I’d like to share my Top 5 moments…

5. Whitney Houston on stage looking dazzling, albeit drunk

4. Coldplay‘s performance (Chris Martin makes me want to fly when I watch him!)

3. WEEZY!!!!!

2. M.I.A. performing during “Swagger Like Us.” I would’ve taken the chance too…Love her!

1. Jennifer Hudson. Thinking about her strength, poise, and beauty is an overwhelming feeling! 

So, there you have it! 

Ms. Hudson was one of the performers tapped to honor Neil Diamond in a program to benefit the Grammy’s charitable program, MusiCares. The President of the Recording Academy talked about the MusiCares program last night. MusiCares provides support for addiction recovery and flood and natural disaster organizations, along with arts programs in public schools.

In addition to last Friday’s concert and dinner, there will be a charity auction of about 100 items from top recording artists, along with Grammy memorabilia autographed by performers either backstage or during rehearsals. To take a look at the items, head on over to

So, your turn, what was your favorite Grammy moment, and what was your worst Grammy moment?


Dirty Dancers and the Joffrey Ballet

5 01 2009

Did you make a resolution to be more culturally-savvy this year? Well, if you’re looking for plans tonight (other than Gossip Girl!), the Joffrey Ballet is hosting an event to celebrate the Grand Opening of their Academy of Dance and to raise money for their scholarship fund. Attendees will have the opportunity to watch two live music and dance sets by Dirty Dancing cast members and enjoy a cocktail reception with the performers and Joffrey dancers. You’ll also get to bid on a bunch of items in a silent auction!

The event will be held at the new Joffrey Tower (10 E. Randolph) from 6-8p. Tickets are $50 at the door! And, for your viewing pleasure…