Category: Diversions

Miss Kentucky competed for the Miss America title Sunday on an unlikely campaign platform: eating disorders (plus other fun contest facts)

Updated: Last night, Miss Arkansas won the annual Miss America contest between 52 contestants (you’re maybe forgetting D.C. and Puerto Rico). Miss Kentucky, Laura Jones of Danville, finished among the top 15 finalists before being eliminated. Here’s my original post:

By Jim Hopkins
Boulevard Publisher

Miss Kentucky is Laura Jones of Danville, a 23-year-old graduate of Kentucky Christian University, where she earned a degree in university studies and biblical studies, with a minor in counseling psychology. She plans to become an eating disorders counselor and life coach, following her own struggles with an eating disorder.

miss-kentucky-laura-jones-150
Jones

Jones spent 10 years on the pageant circuit, winning the state contest July 2 in Lexington on her fourth try. “I just felt such a sense of peace through the whole process,” she told the Lexington Herald-Leader moments after being crowned. (The paper noted that she spoke with “a fake eyelash coming loose from an avalanche of tears.”) On Sunday, she will play a violin solo for the talent portion.

The non-profit Miss Kentucky Scholarship Pageant Inc. has an annual budget of about $169,000, according to its most recent public IRS tax return. Most of that, nearly $94,000, went toward staging the contest itself. By contrast, Mississippi — which has won the national contest four times — spends $636,000 annually.

Kentucky has had only one Miss America winner: Heather Renee French Henry, in September 1999. Six other states have also won just once: Connecticut, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina and Oregon. Four states have tied for the most winners (six each): California, New York, Ohio, and Oklahoma. (This list shows winners by state, including the 19 that have never won.)

Henry’s win was the top story on The Courier-Journal’s front page the next day (photo, top). Here’s the moment when she won:

The Miss America Organization’s annual budget was $8.3 million in 2014, according to its most recent tax return. The TV production was the biggest expense: $4.6 million; Miss America herself got paid $305,000. Legal expenses inexplicably totaled Continue reading “Miss Kentucky competed for the Miss America title Sunday on an unlikely campaign platform: eating disorders (plus other fun contest facts)”

Opening Saturday at the Speed: ‘The Rise of Sneaker Culture’

Featuring nearly 150 sneakers from the 1830s to today, “Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture” is the first museum exhibition in the United States to feature the sneaker’s complex and fascinating design history, according to the Speed. Many on display have rarely, if ever, been exhibited publicly.

“From its origins in the recreational pastimes of the elite, to the increasing importance of physical fitness, to its role in athletic performance and urban style,” the museum’s curators say, “the sneaker has been a pivotal component of dress for more than 150 years.”

Dates: Sept. 10 to Nov. 27, in the North Building. Tickets: $6 members,  $8 non-members, in addition to general admission.

Photo, top: Pierre Hardy, “Poworama,” 2011. Collection of the Bata Shoe Museum, gift of Pierre Hardy. Photo: Ron Wood. Courtesy American Federation of Arts/Bata Shoe Museum.

This weekend at the Speed Cinema: ‘Little Men,’ a tale of gentrification, and much more

“Little Men” is a critical yet empathetic look at the dangers of gentrification, in this case, set in Manhattan’s booming Brooklyn borough. Jake (played by Theo Taplitz; photo, top) is a quiet, sensitive middle schooler with dreams of being an artist. He meets the affably brash Tony (Michael Barbieri) at his grandfather’s funeral, and the unlikely pair soon hit it off. The budding friendship is put at risk, however, when a rent dispute between Jake’s father, Brian (Greg Kinnear), and Tony’s mother, Leonor (Paulina Garcia), threatens to become contentious. The trailer:

Directed by Ira Sachs; 2016; 85 minutes. Rated PG. It’s got a 97% “fresh” rating on movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s the official movie site. Click on the links below to buy advance tickets:

Speed Art Museum logoThe 142-seat Speed movie theater is part of the newly renovated museum’s expansion. It’s equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including 16-mm, 35-mm and DCI-compliant 4K digital projection systems.

Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Speed Cinema: that charming French classic ‘The Red Balloon.’ (And it’s free!)

For its Global Speed program highlighting French culture, the museum is showing one of the most beloved children’s films of all time, 1956’s “The Red Balloon.” The Speed says: “What seems like only the story of a young boy and his balloon reveals itself to possess strong religious subtext as the boy fights to save his toy from danger.” Directed by Albert Lamorisse. 16-mm, 34 minutes.

Playing Sunday at 2 p.m., and every Sunday through Sept. 25. Check out the trailer:

Admission is free as part of the Owsley Sunday program. The free Sunday admission series through March 2021 is named in honor of the late Brown-Forman CEO Owsley Brown II.

Speed Art Museum logoThe 142-seat movie theater is part of the newly renovated museum’s expansion. It’s equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including 16-mm, 35-mm and DCI-compliant 4K digital projection systems.

Big business at the Old State Fairgrounds, 1929

Merchants and Manufacturers State Fair 1929
The handful of people in the foreground offers a sense of scale.

This was the Merchants and Manufacturing Building, which had opened eight years before with the claim it was bigger than Madison Square Garden. Built at the old Kentucky State fairgrounds, the cavernous room was filled with company kiosks, including “Southern Star” and “Auto Insurance.”

The old fairgrounds were in the neighborhood now known as Chickasaw. In 1907, 150 acres were purchased at the end of Cecil Avenue, west of 38th Street and north of Gibson Lane, and the fair was held there a year later, according to the University of Louisville Photographic Archives, the source of this photo.

Kentucky State FairThe Kentucky State Fair is one of the oldest in the United States, according to the Filson Historical Society, dating to 1816, when Colonel Lewis Sanders of Fayette County organized the first one in the commonwealth. It became official in 1902 after being mandated by the Kentucky General Assembly.

In 1956 the fair was moved to the Kentucky State Fairgrounds and Exposition Center where it remains today. This year’s opened today and runs through Aug. 28. Admission, hours and more information here.

In films this weekend at the Speed, Herzog asks: ‘Have the monks stopped meditating? They all seem to be tweeting’

In this year’s “Lo and Behold,” The Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Werner Herzog “dissects the virtual world from its beginnings to its speculative future possibilities,” according to the Speed Museum Cinema. “Always asking provocative questions, Herzog investigates the ways the online world has transformed virtually every aspect of the way contemporary life is conducted — from business to education, space travel to healthcare and to how we as humans interact with each other.”

98 minutes. Rated PG-13. A selection of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival; BAM Cinefest and 2016 AFI Docs. Watch the trailer:

Tickets: $9, adults (non-Speed members); $7 members. Click on a showtime below for more details and to buy tickets.

About the cinema

Speed Art Museum logoThe 142-seat theater is part of the newly renovated museum’s expansion. It’s equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including 16-mm, 35-mm and DCI-compliant 4K digital projection systems.