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NBC News

Rosie Perez Celebrates 25 Years Of Her Urban Arts Village Raising Underprivileged Youth

“It takes a village and it’s important for the village to stay together.”

The arts have always proved to be a catalyst for success in inner-city communities, especially when incorporated into education. Hollywood veteran Rosie Perez joined NBC News on Wednesday (March 15) to celebrate and highlight her organization’s 25-year-and-counting endeavor dedicated to serving underprivileged youth.

Perez commits her time to the Urban Arts Partnership (UAP) because she represents an example of how the arts can make way for a promising future. The Boricua actress discussed her experience as a ward of the state, growing up in Bushwick and only ever being exposed to Title I schools—federally-assisted schools where at least 40 percent of the students come from low-income families. She attests that, sadly, there were more arts programs then than there are today. In response, she acts as co-founder of UAP to provide solutions for an issue she self-identified as: “What separates the privileged student from the underprivileged student is opportunity.” And since 45 percent of the 15,000 students UAP serves yearly are Latino, the matter is held that much closer to her heart.

UAP has bridged the gap between privileged and underprivileged for over 500,000 students in its 25 years of activity. Urban Arts has assisted in the co-founding and first-hand development of three schools in New York. One of those schools being New Design High School, “a progressive small high school that integrates the study of design and the arts into a four-year sequential curriculum,” introduced in 2003. Just four years after its launch, the school produced a 76 percent graduation rate, which tripled that of the school it replaced.

Two of the students that have continued on successfully heading into college, spoke on behalf of the positive effects UAP has had on their college process.

“If it wasn’t for Urban Arts, I’m not even sure where’d I be right now—if I’d even be in college, just because of how crazy the college process is and how overwhelming it could be. I think with Urban Arts, I got a lot of help with that. I think that they were just crucial to just my acceptance into college.”

“To be able to sort of find a place where I could, you know, develop my craft and apply that afterwards to help me get into school and help me get internships. You meet tons of great people and this place starts to become your family.”

Urban Arts currently only operates in NYC and LA, but are planning to expand to other cities. While the quantity of areas they affect are numbered, it doesn’t disqualify the strength of their impact. UAP has managed to receive funding from Robin Hood back in 2009 – “a competitive foundation known for funding programs with proven methods for breaking the cycle of poverty” – and was one of few organizations to join the 9/11 initiative, School Arts Rescue, to implement their Art of Recovery Curriculum in 14 schools affected by the tragedy.

The Urban Arts Partnership has only been successful because of the support and belief of its village that championed for them the past 25 years, and according to Rosie Perez, “It takes a village and it’s important for the village to stay together.”

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Christina Milian Provides All The Feels In Trailer For Netflix Romcom 'Falling Inn Love'

Netflix is keeping up their strong rollout of Romcoms with Falling Inn Love an artisanal love story of sorts starring Christina Milian.

Milian stars as San Francisco city girl (Gabriella Diaz) who finds her self at the bottom of her wine glass after her design firm folds. On a whim she finds herself entering a New Zealand countryside "Win an Inn" contest. It is just her luck when she is thousands of feet in the air and arriving in thigh-high boots and designer duds as the winner to The Bellbird Valley Farm neighborhood Inn.

She becomes seemingly disappointed that the advertised Inn has a deteriorating exterior, overgrown weeds, useless appliances, and a meddling goat that prances throughout the place. Trying to adjust to her new life, the Cali-girl is quickly introduced to a Kiwi heartthrob, contractor, and volunteer firefighter Jake Taylor (Adam Demos).

Eager to sell the property Diaz immediately teams with Taylor to renovate the space but once it is fixed and flipped,  she finds herself hesitant to leave the Inn she has taken pride in, her newfound beau, and the inviting community that stood by her side.

The Roger Kumble directed film is set to premiere on Netflix (Aug. 29) also staring the likes of Anna Jullienne, Claire Chitham, Blair Strang, Jonathan Martin, William Walker, Daniel Watterson, and Simone Walker.

The film continues their push in romcoms. Some notable Netflix gems in love include Someone Great (Gina Rogriguez, LaKeith Stanfield), To All The Boys I've Loved Before (Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, Janel Parrish) and the hilarious Always Be My Maybe with Ali Wong, Randall Park and Keanu Reeves.

Watch the full trailer below.

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Selena Mural To Be Placed In Late Singer's Texas Neighborhood

A new mural of Selena was unveiled in the late singer’s neighborhood of Molina in Corpus Christi, Texas, The Corpus Christi Caller Times reports. The artwork was made by New York-based artist San Singueza and covers an original mural painted by students of nearby West Oso High School in 1995.

The revamped mural features three different images of the late singer, each painted in watercolors with the phrase, “The goal isn’t to live forever … the goal is to create something that will,” alongside Selena’s signature. This project was reportedly financed by the singer's family.

 

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A new Selena #mural was unveiled in #corpuschristi Read about it and watch it go up by clicking the link in our bio. 📷 @rachel.clow / @callertimes : #selenaquintanilla #selena #selenas

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The old painting, which featured a picture of the singer with the phrase, “Always In Our Hearts,” began to show signs of discoloration. Residents of the area pointed out that the 23-year-old portrait needed a makeover.

“Having to see it wear down after all the years,” said Eric Lee Tunchez, a resident who lives around the corner where Selena grew up. “It saddened me and made me want to do something about it.”

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Mario Lopez Issues Apology For Remarks About Parenting Transgender Kids

Mario Lopez has apologized for his comments towards the parenting skills of transgender children, calling them ignorant and insensitive.

On Wednesday (July 31) the former Extra co-host released a statement to Variety and People, how he now has a deeper understanding of his comments. “The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were,” he said. “I have been and always will be an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ community, and I am going to use this opportunity to better educate myself. Moving forward I will be more informed and thoughtful.”

Lopez appeared on The Candace Owens Show where they talked about a so-called trend of celebrities allowing their children to "pick their gender." Both were against the idea of it with Lopez calling the line of parenting "dangerous" and "weird," and cited a three-year-old as an example.

“Look, I’m never one to tell anyone how to parent their kids, obviously, and I think if you come from a place of love, you really can’t go wrong,” he said. “But at the same time, my God, if you’re 3 years old and you’re saying you’re feeling a certain way, or you think you’re a boy or a girl or whatever the case may be, I just think it’s dangerous as a parent to make that determination then — ‘Okay, well then you’re going to be a boy or a girl,’ whatever the case may be. It’s sort of alarming and my gosh, I just think about the repercussions later on.”

Many have urged Lopez and many others to inquire education about transgender children as well as understanding the difference between sexuality and gender.

"Medical and psychological experts and parents of children who are transgender have long discredited the ideas that Mario Lopez shared last month,” GLAAD told PEOPLE in a statement. “The real ‘dangerous action’ is when someone with a public platform uses bad science to speak against a marginalized and vulnerable group of children. We spoke with Extra and it is clear that the showrunners do not support or share his view. They will address this issue on the show tonight. Lopez clearly needs a primer on trans issues. We reached out to his team to see if and how he will correct the record.”

Medical and psychological experts, and parents of children who are transgender, have long discredited the ideas that @MarioLopezExtra shared. The real dangerous action is when someone with a public platform uses bad science to speak against a vulnerable group of children. https://t.co/kz2pEMWTBm

— GLAAD (@glaad) July 31, 2019

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