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The U.S. National Slavery Museum, the only museum dedicated to the study of American slavery, has met half of the $100 million needed to build the structure. “Most of the $50 million we’ve raised so far is from federal and state funds,” says Mike Smith, the museum’s spokesman. “Now, we’re going out with a private fundraising campaign to match the public one.” Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and actor Ben Vereen will headline one such event at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Feb. 19. The museum is slated to open in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in October 2007.
Heart & Soul magazine has reemerged after being purchased by Twenty-First Century Group. Publisher Edwin V. Avent says the magazine’s focus will change slightly. “Our new theme is healthy, wealthy, and wise. Not only will we be providing our traditional health, fitness, and beauty content for African American women but we’ll be adding information on wealth building and spiritual growth.” — Kiara Ashanti
Matlock Advertising & Public Relations (No. 9 on the BE ADVERTISING AGENCIES list with $48.7 million in billings) is delving further into the Latino market by acquiring Ventana Marketing. The deal, announced in October, makes Ventana’s owner, Fabricio Lopez, managing director of Matlock. Financial details were not disclosed. “Ventana could integrate into our strategic approach to serving clients,” says Kent Matlock, chairman and CEO. Lisa Skriloff, president of marketing research firm Multicultural Marketing Resources Inc., agrees: “This [deal] gives them a more rapid expansion by bringing in additional clients and prospects for clients.” — Tamara E. Holmes
Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons’ media group launched a video-on-demand channel for hip-hop music, aiming to capture a coveted urban male demographic with programming that partly relies on branded entertainment from sponsors. The channel, dubbed DoD, was created by media entrepreneur Will Griffin together with the Simmons Lathan Media Group. — Ann Brown
Jay-Z opened a new 40/40 Club sports bar and lounge in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The project cost $4 million to complete. He’s in talks with Magic Johnson to open a site in Los Angeles in 2006, followed by sites in Las Vegas in 2007 and Singapore in 2008. — Ann Brown