Youngstown Pushing for Downtown ‘Lucas’ Museum 

City officials are hoping the Force is with them as they make a long-shot effort to persuade legendary filmmaker George Lucas to build his “narrative art museum” downtown.
Lucas – who created the “Star Wars” and Indiana Jones movie franchises – has spent the last three years trying to build the museum in San Francisco and then Chicago, without success. The art collection owned by Lucas and his wife, Melody Hobson, is valued at $1 billion.
The Lucas Museum will celebrate the power of visual storytelling in a setting focused on narrative painting, illustration, photography, film, animation and digital art, according to its website.
Though Lucas is looking to bring the museum proposal back to San Francisco, Youngstown is offering space downtown for the project.
“We’re trying to get his attention,” said Councilman Julius Oliver, D-1st, whose ward includes downtown. “They’re looking for a place to go, and we feel we have the ideal spot.”
The proposed location would be near the Covelli Centre where a proposed riverfront park and amphitheater is to be built next year, Oliver said. The land for the museum would be donated, he said.
“It’s a long shot, but you shoot for the moon,” Oliver said. “If [Lucas] comes here to survey the area and considers Youngstown, that alone would bring a lot of attention to the city,” Oliver said.
Perhaps Lucas would agree to lend some of his art collection to the Butler Institute of American Art, Oliver said.
“That would boost visitors to Youngstown by the thousands,” he said.
Oliver said he was contacted by Eric Planey, a former Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber official who is now a banker in New York City, about asking Lucas to locate the museum to Youngstown.
Read more about the proposal in Friday’s Vindicator or on
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VIP’s Attend Johnny Gill’s 50th Birthday Celebration

Over the weekend, the stars aligned to celebrate the 50th birthday of legendary singer Johnny Gill. The “50 Shades of Johnny” themed birthday celebration was held at a private Bel-Air mansion. VIP’s in attendance included: Smokey Robinson, NeNe Leakes, Cynthia Bailey, Nicole Murphy, Eric Benet, Bryshere Y. Gray, Cedric The Entertainer, Ron Devoe, Michael Bevins, Luke James, Shaun Robinson, Jill Marie Jones, Nichelle Turner, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jon Jon (Troop), Phillip Bailey (Earth, Wind & Fire), Jeffery Osborne, Kenny Lattimore, Rocsi Diaz, Joe, Debbie Allen, Sheryl Lee Ralph, A.D. Dolphin, Harmony Samuels, MAJOR. and more.

Soulja Boy’s $400 Million Deal Confirmed

Soulja Boy has a five-year, $400 million deal with World Poker Fund Holdings (WPFH).
Under the agreement, World Poker Fund will utilize Soulja Boy’s 15 million plus followers to promote the different assets the World Poker Fund controls online, including
WPFH also has plans to use World Poker Fund to promote their forthcoming gaming platform, which will target over 3 billion plus global travelers who fly with any of the larger airlines.

Sherri Shepherd, Trina Braxton, Kenya Moore & More Attend WE tv Premiere of “Match Made In Heaven”

 WE tv hosted a red carpet premiere for season 2 of their reality dating competition “Match Made in Heaven” at the renowned Woodruff Arts Center in the heart of Atlanta. MMIH executive producer and host Sherri Shepherd along with the show’s athlete bachelor Stevie Baggs, Jr. and his mom Lola Robinson were on hand to greet the guests. Trina Braxton also made a special appearance to give attendees a preview of the new season of “Braxton Family Values.”


VIPs in attendance included Kenya Moore and Matt Jordan (“Real Housewives of Atlanta”); Porsha Williams (“Real Housewives of Atlanta”); Mimi Faust (“Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta”); Kelly Price (R&B Singer); Egypt Sherrod (author/HGTV Host, “Flipping Virgins”); DJ Fadelf; singer Bobby V; actor/singer Mishon; “Cutting It: In the ATL” cast members Beautii J, Dedra Allen, Maja Sky and Lakenya Morris; Gocha Hawkins (“LA Hair”); love and relationships expert Spirit (“Rickey Smiley for Real”); “Selling It: In the ATL” cast members Chrishena Stanley and Sarah Lowe; Benzino (“The Next :15”); actor/rapper Lil Zane and more.


Guests mingled during the opening cocktail reception which was followed by sneak peeks of “Braxton Family Values” and “Cutting It: In the ATL” and then the premiere screening of “Match Made in Heaven.” Shepherd moderated a brief Q&A with Stevie and Lola, who dished on the upcoming season and encouraged guests to tune in.  


#MatchMadeInHeaven premieres TONIGHT at 10/9c on WE TV(@WETv) following all new episodes of “Braxton Family Values (#BFV) at 9/8c.


Russell Simmons is ready to right the wrongs of his prepaid debit card company, after a mishap left thousands of customers locked out of their accounts.
RushCard will pay a total of $20.5 million to more than 132,000 customers who said the company glitch left them without access to their funds in a financial bind. According to the Washington Post, $19 million will go toward reimbursing customers for fees and other costs they faced, while the remaining $1.5 million will go toward attorney fees.

Ciara has to Share her Baby

Sources connected to the former couple say Ciara showed up in court asking for sole custody of their 1-year-old son, baby Future. She claimed Future was a bad parent who was not present in the child’s life. We’re told she and her lawyer also trash talked Future to the judge, saying he was a bad person.
For his part, Future showed up and asked for joint custody, and the judge was squarely on his side, rejecting her arguments.  
California courts favor joint custody, so the decision was in line with the law.


STARZ Host Panel With Cast of Hit Series ‘Power’

The other night, STARZ hosted a panel discussion for its hit series “Power” at the Arclight Cinemas in Los Angeles. The panel featured cast members Omari Hardwick (James “Ghost” St. Patrick), Lela Loren (Angela Valdes), Naturi Naughton (Tasha St. Patrick), Joseph Sikora (Tommy Egan) and executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson (Kanan) alongside the show’s creator/EP Courtney A. Kemp. Attendees were treated to sneak peek clips from the series’ upcoming season three, which returns July 2016, followed by a moderated Q&A with the cast by New York Magazine/Vulture’s Stacey Wilson Hunt. Check out more pics Here….


Queen of Katwe” is the colorful true story of a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion. Directed by Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding”) from a screenplay by William Wheeler (“The Hoax”) based on the book by Tim Crothers, “Queen of Katwe” is produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher (“The Darjeeling Limited”) and John Carls (“Where the Wild Things Are”) with Will Weiske and Troy Buder serving as executive producers. The film stars Golden Globe® nominee David Oyelowo (“Selma”), Oscar® winner and Tony Award® nominee Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”) and newcomer Madina Nalwanga.

For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle. Her mother, Harriet (Nyong’o), is fiercely determined to take care of her family and works tirelessly selling vegetables in the market to make sure her children are fed and have a roof over their heads. When Phiona meets Robert Katende (Oyelowo), a soccer player turned missionary who teaches local children chess, she is captivated. Chess requires a good deal of concentration, strategic thinking and risk taking, all skills which are applicable in everyday life, and Katende hopes to empower youth with the game. Phiona is impressed by the intelligence and wit the game requires and immediately shows potential. Recognizing Phiona’s natural aptitude for chess and the fighting spirit she’s inherited from her mother, Katende begins to mentor her, but Harriet is reluctant to provide any encouragement, not wanting to see her daughter disappointed. As Phiona begins to succeed in local chess competitions, Katende teaches her to read and write in order to pursue schooling. She quickly advances through the ranks in tournaments, but breaks away from her family to focus on her own life. Her mother eventually realizes that Phiona has a chance to excel and teams up with Katende to help her fulfill her extraordinary potential, escape a life of poverty and save her family. Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” will open in U.S. theaters on September 23, 2016.

Red Carpet Photos