Author: Shawn Whitsell

Art Gallery Offers Stunning Celebration of Latin America and Beyond

To call the newly-opened, Latin-inspired Plaza Mariachi in Nashville, Tenn. “stunning” would be the understatement of the decade. Simply walking through the “streets” (which are actually hallways named like streets) of the establishment is a rare cultural experience to be had in Nashville. The décor borrows its style from traditional old Mexico marketplaces. Patrons who visit Plaza Mariachi experience interesting varieties of art, culture, history, live entertainment, fashion and retail – all under the confines of a single roof. There is an assortment of restaurants and shops, as well as a stage and two radio stations. It’s quite an...

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Artist Uplifts Community With Passion and Vision, One Brushstroke At A Time

Ephraim Urevbu’s lifelong love affair with the arts began when he was a young boy. Precocious and smitten by the pencil and brush, he fondly remembers drawing and painting as early as 7 years old. Years later, his intelligence and hard work in the classroom landed him in one of Nigeria’s most elite high schools, putting him on track to be a medical doctor, lawyer or engineer – professions considered to be most respectable in Nigeria. According to Urevbu, in his country a man is not successful unless he chooses one of the three aforementioned careers. “Anything outside of...

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Ballin’ In The Boardroom

Written by: Shawn Whitsell|photography by: Barbara Potter Sheila Gibson, a once-shy little girl from Oak Ridge, Tenn., and self-proclaimed “tomboy,” thrived in the world of sports. This included softball and a brief stint as a football player. Running up and down the court, however, is where she found her true voice – guarding her opponent and scoring baskets. It would be basketball that would cultivate her as a leader and give her the kind of confidence that would help make her a high school All-American – earning her an athletic scholarship to the University of Alabama-Huntsville, where she was...

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Victor Berrios The King of Hospitality: One Man’s Journey to Serve

Written By: Shawn Whitsell Victor Berrios was only five years old when his mother bravely packed up her life, her belongings and her two boys – departing Santurce, Puerto Rico, for Brooklyn, New York. Together, they formed a dynamic trio on a quest for opportunity. Recalling his upbringing in a segregated New York, Berrios has mixed feelings. Although he was well-liked by his peers, his unwillingness to attach himself to a particular group caused him to feel somewhat isolated. Being friends with everyone was always ideal. This mindset, along with his heart for acceptance, diversity and inclusion would not...

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