Afros, Community and Acceptance at CurlFest 2019

Photos and article by Jovanna Reyes

CURLFEST 2019, RANDALL’S ISLAND, NYC

“The only natural beauty festival in the world that was created by five Black women for Black women.” ~Simone Mair, co-founder of the Curly Girl Collective and CurlFest

Glistening, pride, power, natural, love. The only words needed to describe the scene at Randall’s Island in NY this past weekend. The throngs of natural hair beauties, at least 100,000, covered the green grass of Icahn Stadium for the sixth annual CurlFest 2019. The music throbbed non stop, as you heard inspirational words at the Empowerment Stage.

Hair, skincare and drink sponsors offered free braiding, entertainment and products to all the attendees. The early birds left with Creme of Nature gift bags filled to the brim and didn’t mind waiting on the long lines for product.

Mack Wilds, Yandy Smith-Harris, Tiffany M. Battle, Jacque Reid were just a few of the celebrities and influencers to grace the CurlFest Empowerment Stage.

The encore to Saturday’s festivities was the RollerFest, sponsored by Target at the LeFrak Skating Rink at Prospect Park. The venue decorated with every primary color in existence and a ball pit, showcased a throw back skate party with Top DJs on stage and in the rink.

There were smiles and laughter at every turn. A successful event indeed! Visit http://www.curlfest.com for information on their next event in Atlanta this fall.

#curlfest2019 #curlfest #curvygirlcollective

Photos and article by Jovanna Reyes http://www.jovannareyes.com

Comcast welcomes two more Multicultural channels to their roster, ‘Afro’ and ‘Cleo TV’ with a celebration at the Newseum in D.C.

Photos and article by Jovanna Reyes

On Thursday, March 14, Comcast celebrated the new media additions to their cable systems, Afrotainment’s ‘Afro’ channel and TV One’s ‘Cleo TV’. The event held in Washington D.C.’s Newseum was hosted by Comcast, represented by Keisha Boyd, Executive Director of Multicultural Products and featured Urban One founder Cathy Hughes, Urban One President and CEO, Alfred Liggins III, Michelle Rice(General Manager of Cleo TV), Yves Bollanger(CEO/founder of Afrotainment channels) and talents from both channels.

Comcast’s David Cohen, Afro Channel CEO and founder Yves Bollanger, Urban One founder Cathy Hughes, General Manager of Cleo TV Michelle Rice, Keisha Boyd, Comcast Executive Director Multicultural Products and guest.
Urban One President and CEO, Alfred Liggins III
Rahsan Rahsan Lindsay, TV One EVP, Ad Sales & Marketing

Comcast made a commitment to include ten multicultural channels as part of their 2011 acquisition of NBCUniversal. Those channels include Revolt, El Rey, with Afro and Cleo TV rounding out their fulfillment. Michelle Rice was the lead to bringing Cleo TV to fruition. Her goal was to create a channel that fully engages Black women 24/7. “Cleo will offer content that defies negative and cultural stereotypes.” Yves Bollanger shared the goal of his ‘Afro’ channel. “We are excited to showcase all shades of the Black culture…:”

Here are some of the offerings available on the ‘Afro’ and ‘Cleo TV’:

‘Cleo TV’ http://www.mycleotv.com:

Sister Circle, a live mulitplatform talk show featuring Rashan Ali, Trina Braxton, Syleena Johnson

Tough Love, NYC millenials navigating love in the city.

Lens of Culture with Tai Beauchamp

Just Eats with Chef JJ with host JJ Johnson

New Soul Kitchen with Jernard Wells

Cleo Speaks with April Reign

‘Afro’ http://www.afros.tv:

The Lowdown, a late night show with James Yon

POINT OF VIEW-A talk show for women hosted by Erika Washington, Kaya Chihombori, Sandy Laborde, Candice Cruz and Sisaundra.

KAYA CHIHOMBORI @KAYA_DAILYH

SANDY LABORDE @SANDYLABORDE

HSISAUNDRA @SISAUNDRA

CANDICE CRUZ @CANDICE.TALKS

Style Check-featuring Katrina Lee and CL Freeman

KATRINA LEE @STYLESBYKATRINA

CL FREEMAN @CLTHEBRAND

 Information below provided by PR for Cleo TV and Afrotainment.

For more information on CLEO TV, visit CLEO TV’s YouTube Channel and check out exclusive, behind-the-scenes content on www.mycleo.tv. Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on CLEO TV’s TwitterInstagram and Facebook (@mycleotv) using the hashtag #CLEOTV.

About Afrotainment
Afrotainment, a Florida-based company edits, operates and distributes eight networks from its state-of-the-art film and television studios in Orlando and Queens, New York. Afrotainment channels are available in the US and Canada via cable, satellite, fiber-optic and OTT platforms. Visit www.afrotainment.us for more information.

Vydurya Lokesh, Celebrity MUA, Body Positive Influencer and Muse

59C99A44-A396-436B-BEF6-682AFEA1A9AF

I met the amazing and wondrous Vydurya Lokesh at the Priscilla Ono Masterclass in NYC  this past summer.  I was the oldest woman there and realized quickly I was way out of my league in the course.  The silver lining, outside of learning that makeup application is an art, is meeting Vy.  Her aura is gentle, kind and she glows.  I mean her skin glows!  She reminded me of Lupita Nyongo, who also has luminescent skin and happens to be the direct descendant of Eve.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Vydurya has DNA from a Goddess of Light.  It’s who she is and I hope I captured it in this collection of photos.

One of the evenings after class, I invited her to have dinner and we ended up at Eataly near the World Trade Center, after visiting MAC, of course.  At dinner, she went on to tell me about her childhood and the tribulations she experienced at such an early age.  I realized that her past made her clueless on her beauty.  She was just happy to be alive and be a positive influence to everyone she meets.  The entire dinner, I kept thinking what a classic beauty she is and how I would love the opportunity to photograph her.  She was shocked and moved when I finally asked her.

Her last night in the states she spent with me in Maryland and we shot until late evening.  I am happy to share these with you and hope you can see the light that reflects from Vydurya that I noticed from the moment we met.

As she likes to say, “I am destiny’s child. “, not the singing group, but a child of faith that walks in light.

Please make sure to follow her on Instagram @VyduryaLokesh and Facebook @Artistry by Vydurya Lokesh.

B1820BF2-2AE9-48F9-82A6-F8AD2118EDCF3620C901-0431-4068-A199-13E427755F38

6AD35950-11F1-4FC7-805D-20E6F9CCAF0B

91BEFABB-29F8-44CE-9EB1-98D6D00D5DB4

27635B81-ED2A-4899-9D3B-A1E46A27F1CA

A4B09CF3-65B6-40DF-92C4-98AD94A7173E

8F132799-CA1B-45ED-A6CA-C4D453E268BC

1A7E1807-911F-4C23-854E-65551DE412D9

AE17C3E3-86F8-4D05-9960-ADC4FD8641EE

3320BF4F-52D9-4F94-8DEA-488F20931434

Photos and article by Jovanna Reyes:

Follow Instagram@jovannareyesphotography and @curvysta

Synergy Global Forum with Sir Richard Branson, Robin Wright, Guy Kawasaki and influencers in tech, business and social media.

This past weekend was a tidal wave of information at the Synergy Global Forum in New York City.  All the speakers, from Guy Kawasaki to Richard Branson, had a golden nugget to share on entrepreneurship and life lessons.  The weekend started off with ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ author, Guy Kawasaki, an Apple enthusiast and Venture capitalist.  He was followed by panel discussions and talks with top influencers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists like Gary Vaynerchuk, Jack Welch, Robin Wright, Steve Forbes, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Malcolm Gladwell, Ray Kurzweil, Jimmy Wales, and Kimberly Guilfoyle.  In other words, the functioning top ten percent that are running the world in science, tech and influence.

Richard Branson explained how he came to become such a successful and fearless CEO. He blames his mother for it. He said he had to do a lot to impress her. Most impressive fact is the future space giant, he revealed his moon jet is the only one designed with wheels for easier landing. It gives passengers the opportunity to land on earth without using a parachute and into the sea.

1

PD100
Panel Discussion with Jesse Kirshbaum, Bonin Bough, Gerard Adams and Billie Whitehouse.

DSC09851
Guy Kawasaki

 

37
Malcolm Gladwell

 

14

 

 

rb11
Richard Branson

 

 

rb17

 

 

Video: Red Carpet BTS of Black Panther’s ‘Welcome to Wakanda’ NYFW 2018 Presentation

The red carpet was resplendent in color, textiles and gold.  Many celebrities wore African inspired clothing with red being the favored color.  Lupita Nyongo wore Cushnie Et Ochs with jewelry by Douriaen Fletcher.  Chadwick Boseman was casual with garments by Fear of God.  The striking Danai Gurira wore a red dress with gold embellishments by Lois Kelly.  Zinzi Evans wore a black ruffled dress by Temperley London.

 

‘Welcome to Wakanda’ Black Panther NYFW Presentation for Save the Children

Marvel’s Black Panther NYFW Presentation raised monies for Save the Children foundation.  Designers created garments that represented their idea of Wakanda attire. Sophie Theallet, Tome, Ikire Jones, Chromat, Cushnie Et Ochs donated their time and efforts to the event.

Article and Video by Jovanna Reyes  http://www.jovannareyes.com

Marvel’s Black Panther NYFW Fashion Exhibit ‘Welcome to Wakanda’

Photos and Article by Jovanna Reyes www.jovannareyes.com

Marvel’s Black Panther ‘Welcome to Wakanda’ Fashion Exhibit was filled with all the top actors of the long awaited movie, inclusive of Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Letitia Wright.  Ruth E. Carter, the movie’s costume designer was also present with a gorgeous crown of blonde curls and Director Ryan Coogler with his lovely wife, Zinzi Evans(wearing Temperley) took time out to mingle with supporters and admirers alike. Demetria McKinney and cast members of the TV show ‘Power’, also graced the red carpet.

The exhibit featured designers interpretations of attire for the people in Wakanda. The garments varied from original African print to black beaded fabrics.  Chromat opted for a Nigerian superhero tribute while Laquan Smith preferred to think of Wakandia women in black beaded pantsuits.  It was an elegant version of ‘The Matrix’ traditional garb.  Cushnie Et Ochs created a gold dress to represent the armor worn by the warrior women in the movie while Sophie Theallet gathered the natural resources of Africa and created wearable art.

Maxwell, Tamron Hall, Susan L. Taylor and Michael Eric Dyson honor the legendary Cicely Tyson, Tarana Burke and Rev. Barber II

Photos/Videos and article by: Jovanna Reyes www.jovannareyes.com

8

The Grammys 2018 week ended with a celebration for acclaimed activist and actress, Cicely Tyson and to help raise funds for the National Cares Mentoring Movement.  Created by Editor Emeritus of Essence Magazine, Susan L. Taylor, soon after the Katrina storm in 2006, the Cares Movement recruits and trains Black adults to mentor children in need and in crisis.  The national organization has grown exponentially in just a few years.  Visit www.caresmentoring.org for more information on how to volunteer and donate.

The audience was treated to the gracefulness of beautiful ballerinas from Ms. Tyson’s namesake school, the Cicely Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts located in East Orange, N.J.  The gala was hosted by Tamron Hall(journalist) and Michael Eric Dyson(Professor and author) with singer Maxwell serenading the audience.

9

The gala also honored Tarana Burke(creator of #MeToo movement) and Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, whose speeches were moving and inspired the crowd to extend themselves beyond their comfort zone to make a difference and help those in need.

Many celebrities graced the red carpet and supported the Cares Gala with their presence and donations.  Monifah(singer/R&B Divas), Roland Martin(journalist), Judge Mablean, Sunny Hostin(The View), Jussie Smollett(Empire), Debra Lee(BET) and many more.

Please visit http://www.caresmentoring.org or their social media @cares_mentoring.

Follow Curvysta:

Facebook @curvystamagazine/Twitter@curvysta/Instagram@curvysta

Follow Jovanna Reyes @jovannareyesphotography @jovannareyesphotography on Insta.