North America agenda: MTV VMAs, jazz in Detroit
Friday 26 August 2011
Arts, music and film festivals are celebrated from Monterey to Toronto and awards are presented for music videos, television and street food. The Smithsonian offers a free museum day and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum finally opens on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. (
Corrected: dates of Toronto International Film Festival)
28th MTV Video Music Awards
Los Angeles, California
The nominees for the 28th MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) this year lead with American artist Katy Perry, British singer Adele and hip hop's Kanye West, the top contenders with the most nominations. The event will be telecast August 28 live from the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles with performances by acts to be announced.
August 29-September 5
Black Rock Desert, Nevada
Tens of thousands of participants gather in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, 120 miles north of Reno, Nevada, to create a city filled with art - which is set on fire. One week after setting up camp for this unique party, there is nothing left. This experiment in temporary community is dedicated to self-expression and participation. The art installations follow a theme each year - a term or concept: and 2011's theme is Rites of Passage.
32nd Detroit International Jazz Festival
This Labor Day holiday tradition is the only major free jazz fest in the US, attracting 750,000 fans to the riverfront. 2011 performers include jazz favorites Dave Holland Octet and a tribute to vocalists from Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright and Angelique Kidjo. International talent features the Netherlands' Amina Figarova, Brazil's Ivan Lins, Belgium's Toots Thielemans, Cuba's Paquito D'Rivera, Japan's Vertical Engine, and Sun Ra Arkestra from somewhere in the solar system. JazzPlanet.tv will stream performances live.
15th Philadelphia Live Arts Festival
More than 1,200 performances will participate in this wide-ranging annual performing arts festival. Theater, dance, experimental art and other events attract tens of thousands of attendees. In addition to the local Fringe Festival plays, Back to Back Theater from Australia and Belgium's Les Ballets de-ci de-là will perform as well as artists from France, England and India. Comparable to San Francisco's International Arts Festival in May.
41st Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival
North America's largest urban arts festival features an array of visual and performing arts, dance, theater, film, comedy and kids events. But the diverse musical line-up is perhaps the biggest draw. This year it includes Toro y Moi, Wiz Khalifa, Ray LaMontagne, Broken Social Scene and Hall & Oates among many more. Located in the middle of the city at the 74-acre Seattle Center with more than 100,000 visitors paying $35 for single tickets and $90 for a 3-day pass. Comparable to the New Yorker's Festival and Philadelphia Arts and Fringe Festival
36th Toronto International Film Festival
A premiere North American cinema event, timed prior to awards season, the Toronto Festival has launched the best of international, Hollywood and Canadian cinema. The event is located at its new home in the Entertainment District, drawing a half-million attendees to screen 336 films from 64 countries, along with panel discussions and workshops. It joins Berlin, Cannes, the Viennale and Shanghai as one of the top accredited film festivals.
Dedication of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum
New York City, NY
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, the National September 11 Memorial will open with a special dedication ceremony to honor the victims. The long-awaited memorial site consists of two waterfalls cascading into sunken pools in the footprints of the Twin Towers with the names of victims etched in granite panels. Observances are planned nationwide and with special television coverage. It will open to the public the following day. Reserved tickets are available online. http://www.911memorial.org
54th Monterey Jazz Festival
With 500 artists performing on eight stages over the weekend, the jazz talents include featured arena performances including Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Hiromi and Joshua Redman. Stages feature Bobby Hutcherson, John Pizzerelli, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, India.Arie and Idan Raichel, and the venerable Dave Brubeck. Plus there is an exhibit on "Impulse Records: A 50-Year Retrospective."
63rd Primetime Emmy Awards
Los Angeles, California
The annual ceremony salutes the best in American primetime television programs, presenting honors to comedies, dramas, mini-series, reality shows, and other programs on cable and broadcast. Nominees and winners are selected by 15,000 Academy of Television Arts & Sciences members. The Emmys are television's equivalent to film's Oscars and music's Grammy Awards and air this year on FOX-TV. Jane Lynch of Glee will host the 2011 event.
7th Smithsonian Museum Day
Across the US in participating museums
Smithsonian magazine is sponsoring its 2011 Museum Day, offering two free admissions to more than 1,000 select museums with advance registration. Since the Smithsonian museums in Washington DC offer free admission everyday, this annual event extends the policy to museums across the US.
7th Vendy Awards
Governors Island, NYC, New York
The Vendy Awards determines the winner of the Vendy Cup as food carts and trucks nominees participate in a massive cook-off of nominated sidewalk vendors from New York City - a mecca for street food. The Most Heroic Vendor was added to this annual event along with prizes for Rookie of the Year, Best Dessert and the People's Taste. Judges include food bloggers and a citizen foodie. An offshoot in LA started up last May, also as a fundraiser to protect vendors' rights.
49th New York Film Festival
September 30-October 16
New York City, NY
The New York Film Festival, organized by the Lincoln Center Film Society, presents a non-competitive showcase for international films and provocative cinema from emerging and experimental filmmakers as well as renowned directors - such as this year's Pedro Almodovar, Roman Polanski and David Cronenberg. Special screenings of historic classic films, tributes and panels are included in the program of more than 50 films, drawing an audience of 75,000 to the event.
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