*“The Caucus is 43 years old. It’s a membership organization, a kind of a honor society,” said veteran television and radio personality Tanya Hart (American Urban Radio Network/AURN) about The Caucus, which voted her in as co-Chair making her the first black and first female to Chair the organization of television producers, writers and program directors of Primetime, Daytime and Children’s programming.
Under her leadership The Caucus recently launched live-streaming for the International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV) – a nonprofit organization used to help shape the rapidly growing digital entertainment industry while providing Internet distribution.
IAWTV members include actors, agents, composers, content developers, directors, editors, producers, technology innovators and writers. “We’re re-branding The Caucus. We are a foundation we give out scholarships…we give big scholarships…two million in scholarships.”
Hart proudly recounted some of the scholarship recipients, such as their first woman recipient of $60,000, a second was African-American and the third she mentioned was a Latino. Tonya Hart co-Chairs The Caucus with Robert Papazian. Tina Cesa Ward Chairs IAWTV. Under Hart and Papazian IAWTV has become The Caucus’ new division making its members eligible to become full members of exclusive organization.
Tonya’s innovativeness started early in her career as a television personality. She took the advice of famed producer Maurice Starr and added a platform to her television show where she showcased a young R&B group Starr had formed called New Edition. The fairytale story of the rise of New Edition was recently the focus of an original bio-film of the BET Network called “The New Edition Story.”
“There is power in music. Black music is commerce. That’s what we contribute,” Hart said about African-American’s contribution to the world of music. “I did a talent night in 1982…I was the first. When your people are on television people notice…an NBC affiliate. We had a lot of money. I was the first Primetime television show in Boston. We had a plan…Madonna had a plan. Maurice Starr had a plan for them kids.”
That plan worked. New Edition is a legendary group forever in the music history books and Maurice Starr is down as one of the greatest producer in modern history. Tonya Hart became a veteran television personality that launch many more careers, which opened the door to her invite to be a member of The Caucus and 15 years later voted in a co-Chair of the organization making her the first female and the first Black to Chair. Today she airs a daily radio show on AURN titled “Hollywood Live with Tonya Hart.” Her company Tanya Hart Communications, Inc. produces her show, as well as radio and television spots for advertising campaigns. Her radio experience includes on-air personality or KACE-FM in Los Angeles and her television experience includes six years as correspondent and alternate host of E! Entertainment’s “The Gossip Show” seen in 140 countries.
On Saturday February 18, 2017 two-time American Music Award winning drummer for Def Leppard Rick Allen launches his third art exhibit at the Wentworth Art Gallery called “Drums for Peace”. From 12 noon to 3 p.m. the “Drums for Peace” Rick Allen Exhibit will be shown at the Westfield-Montgomery Mall Wentworth location in Bethesda, Maryland and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. it will be shown at the Wentworth Tyson Galleria in McLean, Virginia.
“I threw myself in deeper into painting…full paint pace,” said Allen whose first art display was made from paint, lights and music. “It could be a photo that inspires me, one I’ve taken myself or what’s going on around me…things inspire me. Right now I’m remembering my roots as an entertainer….Bringing in a sense of peace and calm to make people more aware.”
Allen’s art has evolved with him. He suggests that his art symbolizes how he naturally came to this point in his life – an English man living in an American world.
“I didn’t come to America until 1980s and the only thing I had to go on was American television shows. When I got to America it wasn’t what I expected,” Rick Allen explained. His art tells the story. “Up to coming to America I was growing up in England…it’s a marriage between an English man in England and an English man growing up in America.”
As a musician Allen was apprehensive about showing his art work, but his wife soothed his fears and not only did the move help him to understand himself as a artist but it helped his fans understand themselves as well.
“Art is interchangeable. I was afraid to move into art again…but the reaction from people pushed me,” the six-time MTV Video nominated Heavy-Metal drummer said. “Fear is paralyzing in certain parts of my life…but I conquered it. You have to develop that muscle. Get into a place where you are comfortable doing things off the cuff.”
Allen’s debut exhibit in 2012 consisted of over 300 pieces and was a sold-out event. His second exhibit was in 2013 called “Rock on Canvas” and it attracted the art retailer Wentworth Galleries where his art is on display across the country today. Rick became a drummer and vocalist for Def Leppard at the tender age of 15 in 1978. The Heavy-Metal Rock group was formed in 1977 by lead vocalist Joe Elliott and it also consists of Rick Savage (bass/vocals), Phil Collen (guitar/vocals) and Vivian Campbell (guitar/vocals). Their last Def Leppard album was in 2015 and was self-titled.
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENT: 18th annual “Uplifting Minds II” Free Entertainment Conference (Baltimore Sat. April 22, 2017 and Los Angeles in October, 2017). Entertainment Business panel and national talent showcase competition (vocal, songwriting and dance) with over $13,000 in prizes. www.UpliftingMinds2.com.