North America agenda: Jazz fest season kicks off in New Orleans

Film, music, art, photography, fashion, food, furniture design, and autos cover the range of events happening over the next month

54th San Francisco International Film Festival
April 21-May 5
San Francisco, California

America's longest-running film fest, SFIFF screens 200 films and presents 15 juried awards, featuring live events with filmmakers in conversations, workshops and salons, attracting more than 80,000 attendees. The Film Society also presents the Persistence of Vision and Golden Gate awards to renowned filmmakers. A festival favorite is a special screening accompanied by a live musical performance. Other big spring film festivals in the US include the SXSW, Tribeca in New York, Miami and Seattle.
http://fest11.sffs.org

2011 New York International Auto Show
April 22 - May 1
New York City, New York

Since 1900, New York rounds off the North American Auto Show season and normally boasts a couple of high-profile debuts for the benefit of its visitors, which number over one million. The show traditionally hosts the prestigious World Car of the Year competition, selecting the winner from new models introduced around the world. Follow the event on Twitter@NYAutoShow.
http://www.autoshowny.com

18th Hot Docs Film Festival
April 28-May 8
Toronto, Ontario

North America's largest documentary event screens 199 documentary films from 43 countries with filmmakers' presentations. Features also include a curated competition of international films and ten retrospective programs. This year opens with Morgan Spurlock's film about branding, Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. The 11-day fest includes a conference and market with workshops, awards, and international co-production day. Other fests focused on documentaries include AFI's Silver Docs festival in Washington DC, New York's Docfest and the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam.
http://www.hotdocs.ca

 

42nd New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 29-May 8
New Orleans, Louisiana

A 10-day cultural feast filled with thousands of musicians and an audience of 400,000 enjoying music on 12 stages, spanning genres from blues to R&B and African to Latin. Arcade Fire, Bon Jovi, Jimmy Buffett, Kid Rock, John Mellencamp, Wilco, Willie Nelson, The Strokes, Robert Plant, Lauryn Hill, Tom Jones, Jeff Beck, Sonny Rollins, and John Legend & The Roots are among the top acts included this year. Arts and cuisine are also features of the fair. The festival is a hybrid of the city's Mardi Gras event and summer jazz fests from Detroit to Montreal.
http://www.nojazzfest.com

15th Toronto Photography Festival CONTACT 2011
May 1-31
Toronto, Ontario

CONTACT is the world's largest annual photography event. It attracts more than 1,500,000 visitors each year. The month-long festival is organized in collaboration with 200+ galleries and museums throughout Toronto and exhibits work from 1,000 photographers. The year's theme, 'Figure and Ground,' will be explored at lectures, workshops and films. Additional photography events in 2011 include PHotoEspaña, Les Rencontres d'Arles, the New York Photo Festival, Photo London, Paris Photo and the Hereford Photography Festival.
http://www.contactphoto.com

Ai Weiwei's Public Art Project
May 2-July 15
Pulitzer Fountain in Central Park
New York City, New York

The 12-piece sculpture, ‘Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads,' from artist Ai Weiwei, referred to as the Andy Warhol of China, goes on display at the Pulitzer Fountain. Inspired by Beijing's Yuanming Yuan fountain, the installation features large-scale bronze heads of an ox, tiger, rabbit, rat, monkey, and more. It travels to LA, Houston, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC. Also at London's Somerset House, May 12-June 30. The dissident artist has been detained in China and will not be present at the openings.
http://www.circleofanimals.com/

 

15th Webby Awards
May 3 winners announced/June 13 gala
New York, New York

An international prize for the best of the internet for websites, interactive advertising, online film and video, mobile and mobile apps. Each of the 70 categories gets a Webby, awarded by the 750-member academy, including David Bowie and Richard Branson, and The People's Voice award is announced. Entries come from more than 60 countries with over 750 million media impressions and winners have included Google, Twitter, Flickr and iTunes.
http://www.webbyawards.com

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
Metropolitan Museum of Art/The Costume Institute
May 4-July 31
New York City, New York

Five collections from the fashion designer's 19-year career span Dante (1996-97), Number 13 (1999), Voss (2001), Irere (2003), and Plato's Atlantis (2010), as well as videos of his runway presentations up to McQueen's death last February. His dramatic and imaginative culture and identity display iconic designs, including his signature kimono jacket and Origami frock coat, as well exaggerated silhouettes spanning the 1860s to the 1950s. Approximately 100 examples include works crafted into romantic
narratives with technical ingenuity and innovative vision.
http://www.metmuseum.org/

21st James Beard Foundation Awards
May 9
New York City, New York

Considered the "Oscars" of the US culinary world, this annual ceremony at Lincoln Center recognizes the "best and brightest" in America's culinary world. The gala event, begun by chef and food writer James Beard, also presents television and journalism awards on May 6 along with the 'Ultimate Melting Pot' reception featuring dishes created by chefs from across the country, representing the diverse ethnic variety. Similar awards include the International Association of Culinary Professionals competition and the World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards.
http://www.jbfawards.com

23rd International Contemporary Furniture Fair
May 14-17
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
New York, New York

Billed as a "global summit for design," the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, or ICFF, attracts exhibitors from 40 countries with 23,000 attendees. Designs in the field of furniture, seating, flooring, outdoor furniture and lighting and other categories are represented at the show. The ICFF represents a much broader spectrum of household design than the Australian International Furniture fair (February 2-4), but in turn is overshadowed by home design events such as Tendence (August 26-30).
http://www.icff.com/page/home.asp

2011 Billboard Music Awards
May 22
Las Vegas, Nevada

Rihanna, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber lead the nominees in Billboard magazine's awards show in Las Vegas, marking the return to television after a hiatus since 2007, airing on ABC-TV. Winners in 46 categories are determined by Billboard chart performance and social media activity. Performers include the Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Lopez, Taio Cruz, Metallica, and Britney Spears. Other comparable music awards include the Grammys, Canada's Junos and the Brit Awards.
http://www.Billboard.com/BBMA

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