It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

Behind the Seams 

(top) Fashion designer Hanna Hartnell  helps Amber Cisneros, 11, (left) and Carly Rapoport, 11, make designing caring cards at her design studio during KooDooZ's “Behind the Seams – Redefining Beauty” workshop on Saturday, July 31, 2010.

The purpose of the workshop was to help girls realize that to “measure-up” all they need to do is unlock their potential. Participants  learned fashion basics and applied their new skills by designing Caring Cards for the Red Cross with Hartnell special event gown fabrics.

 “This workshop teaches girls that through their own creativity and generosity, they can gain the confidence in recognizing that beauty should be defined by what they do versus how they look,” said  Hartnell. “It’s behind the seams that matters.”

Giving back is not only fashionable, conclusive studies show that people who volunteer just 2 hours per week, have several benefits including higher self-esteem. To heighten awareness of this fact, KooDooZ Corporation shaped an empowerment workshop at Hartnell design studio with LIFE REVOLUTION, as part of the Passport to Wellness campaign.  The Passport is designed to generate positive behavioral and social change by asking families to take on community challenges.

“Hanna is a visionary in the world of fashion and philanthropy,” said Lee Fox, founder of KooDooZ a cause-based social networking site for kids. “She has always put community first and it's nice to see her expand the Behind the Seams program to also educate future young designers about how they can have a healthy relationship with fashion, and give back to their communities.”

According to a national study conducted by Dove, 92% of girls want to change their appearance and 70% feel they do not measure up in some way. Additionally, 90% say that the fashion industry (89%) and/or the media (88%) place a lot of pressure on them to look a certain way.

By engaging the girls in a meaningful and productive activity that benefits a greater good, it is clear that there will also be a benefit to their psychological well-being. Over the past two decades, a growing body of research indicates that people who volunteer at young ages see health and academic benefits later in life.

Posted on Sunday, August 1, 2010 at 02:32PM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz in | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint


An army of "Boogie Brats" dance along the Santa Monica Board Walk while celebrating National Dance Day on Saturday, July 31, 2010.


National Dance Day, a grassroots movement taking place on Saturday, July 31 that encourages the people of this nation to get up and move, is being recognized with an official act of Congress. Created by Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer and co-creator of the hit FOX series SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE and founder of the Dizzy Feet Foundation, the aim of National Dance Day is to promote health and self-esteem through the art form of dance.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), a long-time proponent of healthy lifestyles, will introduce a National Dance Day resolution at a press conference on Saturday, July 31 in Washington, D.C., to promote dance education and physical fitness across the U.S.

In January, Congresswoman Norton introduced the Lifelong Improvements in Food and Exercise (LIFE) Act to promote exercise and diet changes. Norton’s LIFE bill directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be a lead agency in combating obesity and sedentary lifestyles.

“More than 30 percent of Americans are obese, and childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years,” said Norton. “Television shows such as SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE are not only entertaining but are also encouraging people to live a physically active lifestyle. Holding a National Dance Day in the nation’s capital is a terrific way to promote fitness and fight obesity.”

Additionally, Congresswoman Norton will host her own National Dance Day flash mob on the National Mall (between 3rd St & 4th St SW) from 1:00-5:00 PM featuring local dance enthusiasts, representatives from dance schools and organizations and former SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE finalists.

“National Dance Day does not ‘belong’ to any single corporation, television show or charity,” said Lythgoe. “It belongs to the people. It will be up to the individuals, corporations and charities of this country to come up with ways to take part – wherever they may be and whatever their motivation: whether it’s to lose weight, raise money for a nonprofit or just have fun. It is my hope that countless exciting dance ideas will come to fruition on National Dance Day, like the world’s longest conga line in Miami or the world’s longest kick line in front of Radio City Music Hall or scores of breakdancers taking over the Venice boardwalk. The sky is the limit.”

Posted on Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 07:17PM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint


Jim Conkle, Chairman and CEO of the Route 66 Alliance and Publisher of Route 66 Pulse, presents Dan Rice, owner of "66-to-Cali" and his fiancee Jessica Slating with the Will Rogers 2010 New Business of the Year Award on Friday, Aug, 30, 2010, which also marks his businesses first year anniversary.

"The Will Rogers Awards, which take place each year along Route 66 (always in a different venue) honor the people, places, and businesses that do the best job of honoring, preserving, and promoting the great history of the road. It's a big annual event for Route 66, and there are only ten awards handed out each year, so to win one is considered quite an achievement. We are thrilled and a little bit stunned that in only 10 and a half months of business, we were able to win one," said Rice.

Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 at 02:32PM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Kailash Kher

Indian mega-star Kailash Kher performs during the 26th Annual Twilight Dance Series at the Santa Monica Pier on Thursday, July 29, 2010.

There is no greater star in Indian popular music today than Kailash Kher, a revered singer whose prodigious vocal gifts and inspiring personality have made him a household name across the subcontinent. Kailash Kher’s meteoric rise from a humble upbringing outside of New Delhi to being appointed a judge for the 2008-09 season of Indian Idol is nothing less than remarkable. It is also a testament to the strength and appeal of what is undeniably one of the most unique voices in Indian music today.

While Kailash studied Classical Indian music in his early years, it was the traditional folk songs sung by his father that exerted the most influence on the young artist. In 2001, after a foray into the business world, Kailash left New Delhi for Mumbai, home to the highly competitive Bollywood film and music industry. Kailash’s first recording was an advertising jingle for a diamond company, made for the equivalent of $100. After recording a handful of jingles, the raw, earthy and soulful strength of his voice caught the attention of every production house and film composer in Mumbai. By 2004, Kailash had been catapulted to stardom, performing on some of the biggest hits in Bollywood. Kailash has been heard in over sixty soundtracks and near two hundred jingles.

After being introduced to brothers Naresh and Paresh Kamath, fixtures of the Indian rock and jazz scene, they formed Kailash Kher’s Kailasa, combining Kailash’s strong traditional folk sensibilities and lyrics that invoke Sufi-mystical dimensions with Naresh and Paresh’s more modern rock, electronic and funk influences. Kailasa can be heard to best advantage on their first American release, for the elite Cumbancha Records imprint. The superb “Yatra (Nomadic Souls)” features re-recorded and remixed classics alongside never released new material.

Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 10:12PM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz in | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint


Ramiro Salgado, 67, holds balloons before releasing them into the air at the Third Street Promenade on Wednesday, July 28, 2010.

Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 12:00PM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz in , | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint