Sharon W. House
Much and House Public Relations
101 5th St. N.
Fargo, ND 58102
Billy Black has explored the visual arts most of his adult life. After beginning his career in the newspaper business in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he returned to his hometown of Fargo North Dakota and joined Forum Communications as general manager—the fifth generation of this family-owned regional media business. There he won numerous local and regional awards for his work in print and television. Today Billy is Development Director for the Forum Communications Foundation, concentrating his energy on the philanthropic outreach of his family’s business.
Billy’s film career began with his work on the feature film, Wooly Boys. This experience inspired him to form a film production company in Los Angeles—Opal Films. The company’s first feature, Myron’s Movie, went on to numerous film festivals including Ciniquest, one of the top ten film festivals in the world.
“Capturing glimpses of life on film has been a passion of mine for years. When I was first learning how to see, I took photos at a mission in Grand Forks, North Dakota for a photo class. A Native American gentleman came up to me and demanded that I give him the film. He told me that taking someone’s photograph captures part of the spirit and soul of the person. I soon learned he was right. Photography has the ability to capture the spirit—and this is what inspires me to take pictures. I remember every moment of the process of each of the photos I have taken. I can tell you what the place smelled like and if it was warm or cold. I felt I truly captured the spirit of the moment along with the image—and at times, glimpses of the soul. I hope I can pass this insight on to the viewer.”
And Billy’s goals continue to grow. His family background and work in the media business allowed him to recognize the power of the media to influence our thoughts, our beliefs and our decisions. This recognition inspired him to steer his career in a related direction—using those same media tools to bring positive change to the world around him. And thus, the Beautiful Women of project was born.
A best-selling psychotherapist and author from Brazil, Chris Linnares has touched a generation of Brazilian women with her seminars, books, DVD, radio, and acclaimed one-woman show: Divas on the Divan. She was honored with a number of awards for developing social projects such as Arte Solidária, a program that offers people in underprivileged communities access to theatre performances and lectures on the development of human potential.
After marrying photographer and writer, Billy Black, Chris moved to Fargo, North Dakota where she has continued her work of empowering women through the publication of her inspirational novel, Cinderella on the Couch, and a book of poetry and photography, You Deserve, a collaboration with her husband. She is the creator of Diva Dance, an uplifting mind and body experience that empowers women through Latin dance movements. Her seminars have earned rave reviews from leading companies and organizations such as Go Red, the American Heart Association, Microsoft, Nivea, Avon, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of ND, and MeritCare Hospitals.
Though she left 80° and palm trees for 40 below and snowmen, Chris loves her life as a mom and stepmom in Fargo and wife of a man who shares her passions. Together they are expanding our cultural definition of beauty through the Beautiful Women project and their Dance Your Own Dance Foundation—its mission—to empower individuals to achieve personal and financial success and be a force for good in their communities.
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