Tag Archives: hip

Spike Jonze gives peek at new Viceland channel

The new Viceland cable channel that launches next month will have series with actress Ellen Page exploring gay and lesbian life around the world, actor Michael K. Williams telling about black market economies and celebrity chef Eddie Huang illustrating stories about politics, culture and food.

Filmmaker Spike Jonze, the creative director of Viceland, offered a first peek into the results of last year’s deal between Vice Media and the A&E Networks. Viceland is taking over the H2 network on Feb. 29.

Founded as a punk magazine in Canada in 1994, Vice Media has exploded in influence with a young audience. Vice airs a documentary series on HBO and will be starting a news series on the network later this year, Disney reportedly invested in the company and A&E has given them a channel that’s a mix of hard-edged culture and lifestyle series.

“We’re trying to make a channel that’s personal, that feels like a group of people trying to understand the world we live in,” Jonze said.

Although Viceland will acquire some documentaries and movies, the heart of the channel will be unscripted series that are passion projects for individual filmmakers. They have the irreverent, action-packed style familiar to Vice’s fans, and tell stories from parts of the world not covered heavily by traditional news organizations.

Page’s “Gaycation,” co-produced and co-hosted by Ian Daniel, will likely have the highest profile. Page attracted attention a few months ago for bringing a film crew and questioning Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz about gay rights while he campaigned at the Iowa state fair. Page and Daniel, who are both gay, meet a masked man in Brazil who proudly talks about killing gays.

“I’m hoping to explore what it means to be LGBT all over the world,” Page said.

Williams’ first episode of “Black Market” explores auto theft in Newark, N.J., the city where he grew up — and was once arrested for stealing a car.

Based on clips screened, “Huang’s World,” from the author of “Fresh Off the Boat,” looks like an edgier version of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” on CNN.

Actress and model Hailey Gates is also making a travelogue show, using the fashion world as a window into issues like women’s rights. Rapper Action Bronson hosts a show, with an unpublishable title, focused on food and music. “Weediquette” looks at the marijuana industry as it becomes legalized in more jurisdictions, “Flophouse” is about communities of young comics across the country and “Noisey” looks at cities through the eyes of musicians like Kendrick Lamar.

While most of Viceland’s shows are produced internally, Jonze said outside companies are also being used. A sketch comedy show from actor Ben Stiller’s production company is in the works, for instance.

Being considered a cultural network — and not news like the programs Vice makes for HBO — takes some of the pressure off Viceland’s leaders, Jonze said.

“We can be completely subjective,” he said. “We don’t have to be objective journalists.” 

Rising rents are pushing out the artsy hipsters who made Portland cool

Portland has been a magnet for young, creative adults for over a decade, beckoning droves with its quirkiness, liberal appeal and quality of life. But the city’s popularity has had another effect: Those who helped make it cool can’t afford to live here anymore.

Evictions and skyrocketing rents are putting apartments out of reach for many, especially those working part-time, low-wage or artistic jobs. It’s even harder to afford a house.

Some Portlanders are now looking for better-paying work. Some are giving up and leaving.

“It used to be you could live in Portland on a part-time job, pay your rent, pay your bills and be pretty comfortable,” said Steven Olsen, 31, who moved to Portland from Missouri nearly a decade ago.

Olsen had hoped to raise his two children in Portland because of its progressive values. He now works full time doing medical billing and his wife works part time at Goodwill, but a recent $200 rent increase is forcing them to move back to Missouri.

“I don’t really want to live in Missouri, but I also want to be able to eat,” he said.

Experts say there’s a national “shortage of cities” as people seek out hip, urban lifestyles.

Unlike previous generations, today’s college graduates under 40 — the nation’s largest demographic — are moving in droves to neighborhoods in San Francisco, Seattle or New York, Portland economist Joe Cortright said.

Companies are also increasingly setting up in or near city centers, offering well-paid jobs to those graduates, Cortright said.

As more people move to urban cores, they’re competing for a limited number of rentals. Housing construction is still lagging behind pre-recession levels, data show.

Incomes also have remained flat, so people at the bottom income rungs — the working poor, the disabled and the underemployed, such as artists and freelancers _ are hit hardest.

In Brooklyn, New York, huge demand for housing and the arrival of wealthier residents have forced out young people, including the artists and hipsters who revitalized the neighborhood in recent decades.

Portland’s vacancy rate — about 3 percent — is one of the lowest in the country. The hot market has led some rents to double or triple, even in areas once considered less desirable, said Justin Buri of Portland-based Community Alliance of Tenants.

Entire apartment complexes are cleared out, the evictions followed by new owners renovating and increasing rents.

Some tenants, unable to find new rentals, have moved to hotels or doubled-up with family or friends, Buri said. Others face stress and depression as they’re forced to live far from their jobs and schools.

The growth also has priced out the city’s young creative types.

Susan Langenes and her husband, both professional musicians, lived for over a decade in an apartment complex with other artists. They created a community: cooking, gardening and playing music together.

But last year, when their building was sold, the tenants received no-cause evictions. After new owners renovated the complex, Langenes said, rents tripled. She and her husband ended up in Milwaukie, a small town 5 miles away.

To make ends meet, Langenes now works as a Web designer and plays gigs only occasionally. The city she’s lived in for years has lost some of its friendly, creative culture, she said, and forced her to change, too.

“That vision of Portland as a place where people can have the freedom to invent their own job and not have to fight the awful rat race to keep a roof over their head, it may be going away,” she said. “It makes me sad.”

Sondr Engvaldsen, who moved from Vermont to study graphic design, had to find a new apartment on the city’s outskirts and take on a roommate after his rent doubled.

Engvaldsen, who at 39 calls himself an “aging creative,” said he’s considering leaving Portland.    

“The do-it-yourself artist, I don’t think you have much of a chance of making a living here, unless it’s a side hobby,” he said. “It breaks my heart. I wasn’t planning to leave, but I’m scared I’ll be forced to.”

City officials say the construction of new multifamily housing will ease the crisis.

In the meantime, the Portland City Council approved rules that require landlords to give 90 days’ notice to tenants when evicting them without cause or raising rent by more than 5 percent. Previously, the requirement was 30 days’ notice in most cases.

Advocates are calling for a moratorium on no-cause evictions and for rent control, which is banned under state law. Cortright said rent control could make things worse for most people, except those who can score a rent-controlled home.

Raising wages — to $15 an hour or more — could help. But while higher incomes mean people have more money to bid on housing, it could push up rents even higher if supply is low.

The best solution? Experts say it’s shifting policies to make building new housing easier. And accepting change — including the city’s popularity and the fact that adding higher-density housing ultimately benefits everyone.

“People hate new development,” he said. “But it’s the price of success.”

Madison’s reluctant chef Jonny Hunter captures the culinary spotlight with Underground Food Collective

Jonny Hunter moved to Madison 18 years ago in search of intellectual freedom and an environment that embraced a love of learning. After he found all that, he found something else: an opportunity to establish an alternative model for fine dining that has propelled him into the culinary spotlight.

Hunter is the co-owner of Madison’s Underground Food Collective, a multifaceted enterprise with catering, meat processing and fine-dining components. He serves as the chef at the restaurant, Forequarter, a recent venture that has been named one of the country’s top 50 new restaurants by Bon Appétit magazine. And on Feb. 18, the 35-year-old was revealed to be one of four Wisconsinites on the shortlist for a prestigious honor: the James Beard Award for best chef in the Midwest.

Hunter was joined on the list by fellow Madison chef Dan Fox of The Heritage Tavern and Milwaukee chefs Justin Carlyle of Ardent and David Swanson of Braise. Hunter wasn’t ultimately selected in the final round, though Carlyle earned one of five slots.

Hunter’s response to the nomination — “It’s great to be recognized individually for what we do, but it really is the people I work with who are doing this every day. The job they do is more important than what I do” — is so modest it’s tempting to assume he’s a native Midwesterner. But he was raised in Tyler, Texas, where he was brought up in a strict Christian household. It was that repressive environment that Madison marked an escape from, when Hunter moved in 1998. 

After a year of random jobs, he registered for classes at UW-Madison, majoring in English with a certificate in integrated liberal studies and eventually earning a master’s degree in public affairs from the university. 

The building blocks of the Underground Food Collective came in between. In 2001, Hunter and a group of friends took over Catacombs Coffeehouse, a Christian coffee shop located in the basement of Pres House, the historic Presbyterian church on the campus’s Library Mall. The group served students $2.50 vegetarian lunches and promoted a communal atmosphere. 

“Community was the most important thing here,” says Hunter, who before running Catacombs had worked in a variety of Madison restaurant kitchens and food carts. “I learned a lot about the role food plays in a community and how to cook for that community using vegetables and produce grown by people I came to know and respect.

“I never really call myself chef,” Hunter adds. “When we were working at Catacombs it was all about collaboration, being kind to each other, and for the experience itself to be good.”

The Catacombs years colored how Hunter looks at life and his chosen profession. In 2005, the reluctant chef and his Catacombs companions set their sights on applying their approach to food service outside of the religious environment of Pres House. 

“Since Catacombs was in a basement space, we named our food collective ‘Underground’ in homage to that experience,” he said. “We started to work with nonprofits to bring in food as part of their activities.”

The Underground Food Collective immediately set off in a unique direction, launching a series of pop-up dinners — not only in Madison, but also in Chicago and New York City. Hunter says the group would create its menu first, then rent out a restaurant space to execute the meal.

“People embraced the concept as a way for us to pursue culinary careers without taking on full-time obligations,” Hunter says. “We just wanted the opportunity to cook for people and do something creative and fun.”

The success of the dinners led to the formation of Underground Catering, which added structure and opportunity to the pop-up concept and set the collective on its current trajectory. The enterprise, the first of several owned by Hunter, his brother Ben Hunter and business partner Melinda Trudeau, involved the same organic and local produce with which the collective had been working, while adding locally raised meats.

It was the first in a string of additions, some more successful than others. The collective’s first attempt at a restaurant, the Underground Kitchen, opened in 2010 and closed nine months later after a fire (the space is now occupied by Heritage Tavern). More successful was Underground Meats, a wholesale meat processing facility opened in 2012 that offers charcuterie, sausages and salami, and Underground Butcher, a retail meat store that offers fresh cuts from humanely raised animals. 

Hunter’s culinary talents have shone brightest at the collective’s permanent home, Forequarter Restaurant, also established in 2012. “Forequarter is a tiny restaurant, but the food there is really driven by the creative process and is very typical of where we are in Wisconsin and that we have fresh vegetables available for only a limited time each year,” Hunter says. “We’re limited in many ways, but those limitations help us to make something unique.”

Hunter says the restaurant isn’t themed beyond that description, although root vegetables are prominent in menu items and many dishes are made using fermentation processes borrowed from Asian cuisine. It’s a process that lends a unique character to such dishes as a salad of pickled trout with smoked trout roe, celeriac mayonnaise and shaved vegetables ($14) or fried mushrooms with black garlic, black radishes and caramelized shallot vinaigrette ($8), two of Hunter’s favorite menu items.

The collective will expand sometime in 2015, when Hunter opens his next restaurant, Middlewest, at 809 Williamson St., next door to Underground Butcher. He says the restaurant will be larger than Forequarter, with a focus on Wisconsin culture, but resists getting any more specific than that, except to say it’ll retain a commitment to sustainable foods.

“I think that we run a different kind of kitchen than a lot of other restaurants. The structure has changed from the early days, but the principles stay the same,” Hunter says. “The team that works there is responsible for the food coming out. The menu is not an expression of a single individual, but the expression of the team.”

Hunter’s expression of the collective ethos is one embraced by many Madison consumers. And the more well-known his name becomes, the fewer the limits on how far the Underground Food Collective can spread its influence and further its cause.

IF YOU GO

Forequarter Restaurant: 708 ¼ E. Johnson St., 608-609-4717.

Underground Meats: 931 E. Main St., 608-251-6171.

Underground Butcher: 811 Williamson St., 608-338-3421.

For more details, visit undergroundfoodcollective.org.

Brooklyn offers urban cool in Democratic convention bid

Brooklyn, at long last out of the shadow of Manhattan, has become its own urban brand, emanating youthful energy, gritty cool and liberal politics, a combination backers hope will make it the edgy choice to host the 2016 Democratic convention.

Brooklyn’s rise as a national symbol of liberalism — embodied by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who calls the borough home — coincides with the revival of the left wing of the Democratic Party. And de Blasio’s decision to center his city’s bid in Brooklyn offers powerful political symbolism and risks for the party’s chosen candidate.

If the Democrats spurn a recent trend to have conventions in swing states and opt for deep-blue Brooklyn, the choice allows their eventual nominee to connect with the borough’s offbeat image and liberal values. And while that could produce a dynamic televised spectacle and energize the party’s base, it could also alienate some undecided voters.

“Brooklyn is really the heart of cool, has tons of cachet and would really fire up some Democrats,” said Tobe Berkovitz, media professor at Boston University. “But I’m not sure Brooklyn has much allure if you’re a suburban voter from outside Cincinnati.”

Brooklyn, home to 2.6 million people, was viewed for generations as merely a support system for its glamorous neighbor across the East River. Manhattan’s glitzy offices and culture were made possible by Brooklyn’s industrial infrastructure and low-lying brownstone neighborhoods that often housed new immigrants.

But Brooklyn is having a moment. Crime has fallen and rents have risen. As acclaimed restaurants and art galleries have opened, tour buses now frequent the borough’s thoroughfares. Brooklyn’s cultural touchstones have evolved from Ralph Kramden to Spike Lee, Jay Z and the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.

The city wants to harness that hipness as part of its bid to fire up the party faithful and the media. The convention would be centered at the Nets’ new home, the sparkling Barclays Center. De Blasio administration officials say the borough’s other trendy venues, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the waterfront Brooklyn Bridge Park, could also hold events and parties.

The other boroughs will also play a role, according to the proposal de Blasio’s administration will submit to the Democratic National Committee. One idea being floated, literally, is a media party that would start on the Staten Island ferry and continue in a minor league ballpark on the banks of New York Harbor. The administration will also target young voters by launching a crowd-sourcing campaign soon on social media websites to help select an unofficial logo and slogan for Brooklyn 2016.

“We believe it’s the perfect home,” said Peter Ragone, a senior adviser to the mayor. “We believe New York looks like what America is about to look like.”

The most recent convention in New York was in 2004, when Republicans gathered against the backdrop of Sept. 11. The last time the Democrats were in the city was 1992, when Bill Clinton was nominated at Madison Square Garden.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has a home in New York’s suburbs and represented the state in the U.S. Senate, is considered an early favorite to capture the 2016 nomination. Some pundits feel Clinton could benefit from the association with Brooklyn.

She was bested by Barack Obama in getting youth and liberal support in 2008; perhaps tellingly, the Clintons have appeared with de Blasio several times during his first months in office, including attending his inauguration. A spokesman for the former secretary of state didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Some of Brooklyn’s logistics could be challenging, however. Because the borough has only 3,500 hotel rooms (enough to house a tenth of the expected attendees), many convention-goers will likely stay in Manhattan, which could create a strain on the city’s mass transit system. But the de Blasio administration believes the city’s practice in hosting large events will lead to a seamless experience.

Some Brooklynites who live near the arena aren’t so sure.

“Add all the security to the traffic we already have and that’s not going to be fun at all,” said Cheryl Richards, 43.

But others believe the attention is only good for the ascendant borough.

“It’ll be all positive: It’ll create jobs, make money and bring attention to Brooklyn,” said Dan Cross, 41.

Five other cities — Philadelphia, Phoenix, Cleveland, Columbus, Ohio and Birmingham, Alabama — submitted bids for the convention, and the DNC is expected to make its pick by early next year. Although parties in recent years have opted for swing states (In 2012, Democrats went for Charlotte while Republicans picked Tampa), most pundits don’t think convention geography matters much on Election Day.

“There is little to no evidence in political science research that the location of a presidential nominating convention increases or decreases the party’s chances of winning the presidency,” said Wendy Schiller, political science professor at Brown University.

Save face — get a beard transplant

They hail from the trendy neighborhoods of Bushwick or Bedford-Stuyvscent, they hold jobs in advertising or Web design and they seem the very model of the modern Brooklyn hipster.

Yet there is one thing they lack — and all the skinny jeans and tweed blazers in Williamsburg will not make up the deficit. They need a beard.

To remedy this deficiency, increasing numbers of would-be hipsters have begun visiting plastic surgery clinics in Manhattan to have facial hair transplants.

At a clinic a few blocks from Central Park, Dr. Yael Halaas used to fill her days performing Botox injections and facelifts on a largely female clientele. “But recently we’ve been seeing these young guys in their 20s who want beards,” she said.

Some have grown beards with patches missing, and in more extreme cases Halaas must start from scratch.

“Some men can’t grow a beard, particularly certain ethnicities,” she said. “Frequently, Asian men have difficulties, and some Hispanic men can also have a hard time to grow one.”

They live in Brooklyn, where eight out of 10 hip-cats prefer whiskers.

While many clinics offer hair transplants as treatment for baldness, transplants to the face “require a more artistic sensibility and technique,” Halaas said. During the surgery, which takes a day and is performed under local anesthetic, hairs are mined from the head, or individually removed and replanted in the face. She might perform 1,500 individual grafts “depending on what we are starting from.”

Patients often ask her to model their beards “after musicians from Indy bands whom I mostly haven’t heard of,” she said. She also gets requests from men who want beards that will help them to look more like the actors Jake Gyllenhaal or Ryan Gosling.

She has performed about 40 such procedures over the past year, and is by no means the only plastic surgeon in New York now engaged in upholstering the faces of trendy young men.

Several other plastic surgeons have reported the same demand for a procedure that can cost as much as $7,000.

The news provoked considerable surprise among members of the Gotham City Beard Alliance, a facial hair lobby group.

“I’m looking forward to talking about it at our next meeting,” said Joe Minkiewicz, 32, director of product development at the tech company Prolific Interactive. His beard measures eight inches from lip to tip.

“Hipster culture was meant to be underground, cutting-edge a couple of years ago,” he said. “Now it’s just like any other culture, and you are going to do whatever you have to, to fit into this mold. If that means having a great beard, then that’s what people do.”

However, he opposes the idea of getting one through surgery. “You should be comfortable with whatever growth you have,” he said.

Facebook expands member options for gender identity

Facebook today (Feb. 13) announced it has expanded the way users can identify gender on their profiles.

The need for the social media giant’s change is bolstered by a new report released today by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in partnership with Gender Spectrum.

In a survey of 10,000 LGBT youth, nearly 10 percent of respondents fall into a “gender-expansive” grouping — underscoring the need for moves such as the one Facebook announced. The report further analyzes the results of a survey of LGBT-identified youth first reported in “Growing Up LGBT in America.” Of the 925 gender-expansive respondents, one-third identified as transgender and two-thirds wrote in their own terms, such as queer, gender-queer, gender fluid and non-binary.

“Over the past few years, a person’s Facebook profile truly has become their online identity, and now Facebook has taken a milestone step to allow countless people to more honestly and accurately represent themselves,” HRC president Chad Griffin said in a news release. “Facebook’s action is one that I hope others heed in supporting individuals’ multifaceted identities.”

The data also reveal that many gender-expansive youth find themselves in an environment that is not supportive of their health and well-being. Less than half of the gender-expansive youth report having an adult in their family they could turn to if they felt worried or sad.

And gender-expansive youth are much less likely to report “definitely fitting in” in their community than their peers. Only 5 percent reported “definitely fitting in,” with 30 percent reporting “definitely not fitting in.”

The report shows that only 4 percent of the gender-expansive youth reported being “very happy,” nearly seven times less than their peers. Nearly one in 10 gender-expansive youth reported being “very unhappy.”

The report also reveals:

• More than four in 10 gender-expansive youth report “frequently” or “often” being called names involving anti-gay slurs and 40 percent report being excluded by peers “frequently” or “often.”

• Nearly half of gender-expansive youth reported experimenting with alcohol and drugs, double the rate of their peers.

• More than 50 percent of gender-expansive youth reported “never participating” in the majority of activities listed in the survey. If it weren’t for after school activities, online LGBT community and school Gay Straight Alliances, gender-expansive youth would not be engaged in activities that build confidence and social skills.

“The rising tide of equality cannot leave anyone behind, and this new report shows that we’ve got to work harder than ever before to make sure that every young person is guaranteed an equal future, no matter their gender identity or expression,” said Ellen Kahn, director of the HRC Children, Youth and Families Program, and a professional social worker. “These teens have incredible honesty in the way they express themselves, and the caregivers in their lives have a lot to learn from them. It’s up to us to ensure that they have the networks of support and understanding that every child needs to thrive.”

Public art project enriches Milwaukee’s inner-city landscape

It’s only 10 a.m. on a chilly Saturday morning in early November, but about 50 mostly 20-somethings are gathered in the basement of Shiloh Tabernacle in northwest Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood. Just hours earlier they were clubbing the night away, but now, joined by a handful of older hipsters, they’re organizing a media tour of a project they hope will help to change perceptions about neighborhoods tainted with the label of “urban blight.”

The project, titled Typeface Milwaukee, was orchestrated by ArtMilwaukee. A loosely organized group of mostly millennial public art advocates and civic boosters, they’re working on bringing a 21st-century vibe to the city’s cultural scene. ArtMilwaukee’s goal for Typeface is both micro and macro — to engender local pride and engage neighborhoods through public art, and also to further Milwaukee’s growing profile as a hub of artistic activity.

ArtMilwaukee has attracted financial support from a who’s-who list of prestigious regional foundations, including Helen Bader Foundation, Wisconsin Arts Board, Zilber Family Foundation and Greater Milwaukee Foundation. The Joyce Foundation of Chicago awarded Typeface a $50,000 grant.

Typeface Milwaukee involves installations in each of four neighborhoods — Harambee, Burnham Park, Sherman Park and Lindsey Heights. Artist Reginald Baylor transformed abandoned or underutilized sites in those neighborhoods with art installations that grew out of conversations (400 in total) that storyteller Adam Carr had with local residents about their experiences living in the areas. 

Baylor, whose brightly colored pop art paintings have drawn comparisons with the energetic humanity of gay artist Keith Haring’s work, hatched the idea for Typeface while driving past what was once the Finney Library on North Avenue and Sherman Boulevard, not far from his current home. Like others who grew up in the area, Baylor remembers the space as one of gathering and learning, not the shuttered detritus of urban decline that it’s been for the past decade.

Baylor took a closer look at the boards covering the windows and felt a sudden inspiration to bring the words of community members back to the space and to other abandoned places with a rich history.

The first phase of Typeface involved a series of community conversations facilitated by Carr. He discovered that despite to the boarded-up windows in the neighborhoods, each was a trove of history and thriving with positive activities.

Carr described playing soccer in one of the neighborhood’s parks while a band from Mexico played across the street and shoppers drifted in and out of a nearby Asian gift store. He recalled an urban garden near a bus stop that was outfitted with scissors so people could snag fresh vegetables off the vine while waiting for transportation. He was surprised to find a block of houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and saw youth volunteers from area churches raking leaves off the lawns of abandoned homes.

“There is just so much going on,” he said. 

The project was constructed to grow out of each neighborhood’s uniqueness as experienced by the people who live there. Rather than Carr’s perceptions, the residents’ words drove the final concept that Baylor chose for each installation. While each involves some creative use of words in its design, as the title Typeface suggests, each is as different as the location it inhabits.

Baylor told the people gathered at Shiloh Tabernacle that the sense of responsibility he felt working on Typeface made it “the most stressful thing I’ve ever done.” But he kept up his enthusiasm by thinking of the positive impact that the presence of public art in the neighborhood would have had on him as a kid, he said.

“I spend most of my time making artwork for myself — for the marketplace,” Baylor said. “This was unique. In this one all of the financials came in advance. I created artwork that had a purpose in advance, and created it by taking content from the community.”

In addition to the backing of major foundations, the project has also been endorsed by public officials, including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “Public art, particularly public art that expresses sentiments of neighbors, adds vitality and unity in the area where it is displayed,” Barrett said in a press statement. “A project like TypeFace does something more; it engages people in a common endeavor that builds community strength.”

On view ’Typeface’ installations include:

“Puzzled & Amazed,” a maze described as “a platform for history, memory, and questions from and for the community.”
Location: Five Points, 3418 N. Martin Luther King Drive.

“An Arrangement,” a bouquet of flowers “as colorful as the neighborhood’s cast of characters.”
Location: Burnham Park, at the vacant 31st Street Corner Store, 3028 W. Burnham St.

“Bookshed,” a bookshelf stocked with real conversations.
Location: Lindsay Heights, Franklin Square/Teutonia Gardens, 1420 W. Center St.

A mural of snippets of stories from community youth, adults and elders.
Location: Sherman/Washington Park, the old Finney Library, 4243 W. North Ave.

Woman lapses into coma after silicone injections

New Orleans police are searching for an individual suspected of illegally injecting silicone into the hips and buttocks of two women, one of whom lapsed into a coma.

Local media outlets reported that the suspect, 32-year-old Armani Nicole Davenport. The reports said that police obtained an arrest warrant late last week for Davenport on a charge of negligent injuring.

According to the local news reports, police believe two women voluntarily received silicone injections from Davenport at a New Orleans home on Oct. 24. One of the women summoned paramedics after her friend developed breathing problems.

Investigators believe Davenport is a Baton Rouge native who lives in Dallas and often travels between Louisiana, Texas and Georgia to perform in pageants.