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Archive for March 17th, 2011

Calculation error affects Tax Increase Referendum Votes in ten Cook County communities

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2011 Comments Off on Calculation error affects Tax Increase Referendum Votes in ten Cook County communities

Ballot language underestimates amount of tax increase by as much as 70% in some cases

Cook County – A slew of referendum appearing on ballots across suburban Cook County next month will present voters with inaccurate information about the degree to which the referendum could cause their property taxes to rise, according to the Cook County Township Assessors Association.

Each district used an identical, but flawed formula to calculate the amount of the property tax increase–and with the April 5 election less than three weeks away, there is not enough time to correct the language that will appear on ballots.  

Voters in Oak Forest, Lansing, Oak Park, Olympia Fields, Palos Fire District, Prospect Heights, Riverside, Brookfield, West Northfield School District, Wilmette and Wheeling are all preparing for referendum votes that are affected by the miscalculation. The law firm of Chapman and Cutler, and perhaps other firms that contracted with districts to draft referendum language, used the flawed formula.  

“In drafting the terms of the referendum, the drafters did not factor in the state equalizer in their property tax increase equation,” ElSaffar said. The state equalizer is a number that the Illinois Department of Revenue determines each year to ensure that Cook County assessments are in line with assessments from across the state.

“As the state equalizer in Cook County more than triples assessments, failing to account for it significantly understates the real impact of each referendum on citizens,” said ElSaffar.

The ballot measures generally call for a property tax increase to bolster local school districts and park districts. In Oak Park, for example, the ballot language asks voters to approve a tax increase for local schools of about $37.40 for every $100,000 in a home’s market value. But according to Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar, who also serves as President of the Cook County Township Assessors’ Association, the ballot language underestimates the tax increase by as much as 70 percent.   
 These figures would have appeared on the other ballots had the standard formula been used:

The Cook County Treasurer uses a standard formula for determining property taxes, which appears on all 1.9 million tax bills in the County.

Had the standard Cook County tax formula been used in Oak Park, the ballot measure would have told voters that the tax increase would be $126.04 for every $100,000 in a home’s market value.

ElSaffar, President of the Cook County Township Assessors’ Association is available to speak with the media.

District                                                 Tax Increase per $100,000               Tax increase using standard
                                                              in value as per ballot                        Cook County formula

Prospect Heights School District 23     $35.00                                                 $117.95
Oak Park School District 97                 $37.40                                                 $126.04
West Northfield School District 31       $49.00                                                $165.13
Wilmette School District 39                  $58.80                                                $198.16
Arbor Park School District 145             $60.00                                                $202.21

Riverside-Brookfield High School
District 208                                            $44.00                                                $148.28
Oak Park District                                   $10.00                                                $33.70

Olympia Fields Park District                 $13.60                                                $45.83
Indian Trails Public Library District
(Cook County only)                              $2.77                                                   $9.34

Palos Fire District                                 $30.40                                                 $64.03

Based on his experience in Oak Park, ElSaffar does not blame the taxing districts for the error. “I believe most of the districts relied on the expertise of experienced lawyers to draft the ballot language. Whoever drafted the language created a glaring problem. So we need to review our approach and ensure that this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

ElSaffar said the goal of calling attention to the mistake is not to undermine the pending referendums, but simply to ensure the voters receive accurate information before casting their vote. “Whether or not voters support the increase in funding for local government is completely up to them,” he said. “But I believe they have a right to accurate information when making that choice.”

Text of Oak Park Ballot Question

Shall the limiting rate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for Oak Park Elementary School District Number 97, Cook County, Illinois, be increased by an additional amount equal to .374% above the limiting rate for any purpose of said School District for levy year 2009 and be equal to 2.600% of the equalized assessed value of the taxable property therein for levy year 2010?

(1) The approximate amount of taxes extendable at the most recently extended limiting rate is $41,049,718, and the approximate amount of taxes extendable if the proposition is approved is $47,946,660.

(2) For the 2010 levy year the approximate amount of the additional tax extendable against property containing a single family residence and having a fair market value at the time of the referendum of $100,000 is estimated to be $37.40.

(3) If the proposition is approved, the aggregate extension for 2010 will be determined by the limiting rate set forth in the proposition, rather than the otherwise applicable limiting rate calculated under the provisions of the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (commonly known as the Property Tax Cap Law).

Illinois consumers poised to benefit from new Insurance Regulations

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2011 Comments Off on Illinois consumers poised to benefit from new Insurance Regulations

Rate Review Bill Will Offer Greater Consumer Protections & Fairness

(From the Campaign for Better Health Care)


Springfield, IL – Legislators introduced a bill, HB1501, Health Insurance Rate Review.  If passed, for the first time in Illinois, individuals and families would have protection against unwarranted and exorbitant premium increases for health insurance. The bill requires all insurers and HMOs to report to the Department of Insurance premium rates and information justifying the rates for all individual and group health plans.

Leading health insurers have accumulated a combined 2010 surplus of $28,353,715,566, even while individuals and families in Illinois have paid a cumulative average rate increase of 181.8% since 2005. Surplus is a company’s total assets minus liabilities. In other words, the surplus is what’s left after ALL other possible costs of doing business (including all possible future claims by policyholders, paying dividends to shareholders, etc) are accounted for. A company is free then to use this surplus for any reason – it can buy another company or increase their political PAC contributions to politicians to stop the health care reform law from being implemented in Illinois.

Illinois consumers want more control, stronger protections, and greater transparency in the insurance process. Rate review provides just that. It means that insurance companies will now have to prove the need to charge their customers more, and will not be allowed to do so unless they meet strict criteria. HB 1501 requires the Department of Insurance to disapprove premiums that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory.

Current Illinois law does not restrict health insurance premium increases and does not vest in the Department any rate review or approval authority. It does give small businesses (2-50 employees) nominal protection against rate increases, but small employers remain vulnerable to unpredictable and dramatic increases at renewal. Passage of HB1501 will bring Illinois in alignment with 30 U.S. states already with authority to approve or deny premium rates for individual and/or group health insurance coverage, including the nearby states of Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Ohio.

Under rate review, insurance companies will have to justify their requests for rate increases to the state Department of Insurance, and they cannot raise your rates unless their request is found to be reasonable and justifiable. The state Department of Insurance will act as a watchdog to ensure that rate increases are fair, needed, and enacted in accordance with the rules. That is strong protection for insurance consumers in Illinois.

The process is fair for both insurance companies and insurance consumers. Rates cannot be raised unless the review says they can, but insurance companies whose increases are denied, or consumers who disagree with a decision to allow rate increases, will have the opportunity to appeal the decision.

“With more information about the rationale for rate increases, consumers will be better prepared to make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase insurance from a specific company. This should stimulate positive competition in the health insurance marketplace, and benefit consumers by lowering costs,” said Joan Sheforgen, CEO of PrimeCare, a Chicago-based Federally Qualified Community Health Center.

Jim Duffett, Executive Director for the Campaign for Better Health Care, said, “Individuals, families, and small employers in Illinois who are fortunate enough to obtain an affordable offer when first purchasing a health insurance policy often face unaffordable premium increases upon renewal. The rate review process will slow down sudden exorbitant cost increases for insurance, allowing all health insurance consumers including working families and small business owners the ability to obtain quality, affordable insurance for themselves and their families.”

“Health care reform is the key to economic security and opportunity for American families. Rate review is just one of the ways we will make the system more fair for everyone,” he concluded.

Children’s Author Robert Burleigh named Prairie State Illinois Author of the Year

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2011 Comments Off on Children’s Author Robert Burleigh named Prairie State Illinois Author of the Year
To be recognized March 17 during Illinois Reading Council’s “Literacy Outside the Box” conference in Springfield
Springfield, IL – Chicago native Robert Burleigh has been named the Illinois Reading Council’s 2011 Prairie State Author of the Year, and will be recognized during the council’s “Literacy Outside the Box” conference being held March 17 – 19 in Springfield.
Burleigh will be the featured speaker at the Prairie State Award Banquet from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 17 at Springfield’s President Abraham Lincoln Hotel.
The Prairie State Author of the Year award recognizes an Illinois children’s or young adult author whose body of work demonstrates excellence, engenders a love of literature, and promotes lifelong literacy.  Burleigh is the author of more than 35 books for children representing multiple genres that appeal to a wide range of age groups.  Although written for children, his books captivate people of all ages.
 “While the subjects vary, my books are linked philosophically, stylistically and structurally by my wish to capture where possible the emotional intensity – the essence – of whatever the subject is,” said Burleigh.  “I believe the hard facts, historical and biographical, are extremely important, and I always weave them into the narrative.  But beyond that, I like the book to convey the feeling of immediacy, of being there – whether there is flying an airplane, hitting a baseball, or painting a picture.”
        Burleigh’s books include:

  • One Giant Leap
  • Abraham Lincoln Comes Home
  • Fly, Cher Ami, Fly!
  • Napoleon:  The Story of the Little Corporal
  • Tiger of the Snows – Tenzing Norgay:  The Boy Whose Dream Was Everest
  • American Moments
  • Amelia Earhart:  Free in the Skies
  • Into the air:  The Story of the Wright Brothers’ First Flight
  • The Secret of the Great Houdini
  • Pandora
  • Hercules
  • Black Whiteness
  • Who Said That?  Famous Americans Speak
  • Flight:  The Journey of Charles Lindbergh
  • Stealing Home – Jackie Robinson:  Against All Odds
  • Play Ball
  • Game Day
  • Goal
  • Home Run:  The Story of Babe Ruth
  • Hoops
  • Paul Cezanne:  A Painter’s Journey
  • Toulouse-Lautrec:  The Moulin Rouge and the City of Light
  • Langston’s Train Ride
  • Seurat and the Grande Jatte:  Connecting the Dots
  • Into the Woods:  John James Audubon Lives His Dream
  • Looking for Bird in the Big City
  • Edna
  • A Man Named Thoreau
  • Volcanoes:  Journey to the Crater’s Edge
  • The Sea:  Exploring Life on an Ocean Planet
  • The Future of the Earth
  • Earth from above for Young Readers
  • Chocolate:  Riches from the Rainforest
  • Goodbye, Sheepie
  • Clang!  Clang!  Beep!  Beep!  Listen to the City
  • I Love Going Through This Book
  • Messenger, Messenger
  • It’s Funny Where Ben’s Train Takes Him
  • The Crossing
  • The Triumph of Mittens

    Burleigh’s latest book, The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn, will be published this year.








For additional author information, visit www.robertburleigh.com.  For more information about the March 17 – 19 Illinois Reading Council “Literacy Outside the Box” conference, visit www.illinoisreadingcouncil.org or call (888) 454-1341.

More Illinois school districts balancing budget in tough economic times

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2011 Comments Off on More Illinois school districts balancing budget in tough economic times

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ISBusing ISBE using revised data to avoid penalizing districts for late payments from the state                                                                                                                                                 

 Springfield, IL — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released its annual financial profile of the state’s public schools using revised Fiscal Year 2010 data that takes into account that the state is behind in payments to school districts. The 2011 financial profile scores show that the number of districts in Financial Recognition increased from last year’s 550 to this year’s 571, or nearly 66 percent of all districts are doing a sound job of managing their finances during this current fiscal crisis. Using the revised data, the percentage of districts in Financial Recognition is nearly 70 percent.

“Local school boards are grappling with decreased revenue and late payments from the state,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Many districts have had to make very difficult and painful decisions during the past several years in order to try and balance budgets. While we expect continued lean economic times, the Board is advocating for increased education funding for the next fiscal year. Even in times of great financial stress, we must continue to invest in education for our students and our state’s future.”

The Financial Profile is based on data from Fiscal Year 2010, which ended June 30, 2010. The State Board of Education is required to calculate each district’s finances to add late payments, thus removing any impact of late payments for mandated categoricals such as pupil transportation, special education and other expenditures due to the state and national recession. The school code was amended, effective August 2009, to specifically ensure that districts are not designated as being in financial difficulty solely due to delayed state payments.

The Financial Profile is a “point in time” picture and it is likely that the financial condition of many districts has changed in the nearly nine months since the end of the prior fiscal year. During any given time over the past two years, the state of Illinois has a backlog of bills owed to schools totaling more than $1 billion and currently owes $4.6 billion to vendors.

Given the uncertainty of state funding, many school districts have announced layoffs in recent weeks to meet statutory deadlines and better position themselves for financial stability.

ISBE developed the Financial Profile in 2003 to help monitor the finances of school districts and identify which ones are in or moving toward financial difficulty. The 2011 Financial Profile data provided to ISBE showed a 2.5 percent increase in the number of districts that achieved Financial Recognition, going from 63.3 percent of districts last year to 65.8 percent this year. The 2011 Financial Watch list – those districts facing the most severe financial problems – decreased to 32 or 3.7 percent from 39 districts or 4.5 percent last year.

For the 2011 Financial Profile of 868 districts, there are:

*604 Financial Recognition school districts, based on FY10 revised data, up from 449 in 2005 and up from 578 with revised data in 2010.

  • 188 Financial Review school districts, down from 249 in 2005 and down from 196 with revised data in 2010.
  • 52 Financial Early Warning school districts, down from 111 in 2005 and down from 66 with revised data in 2010.
  • 24 Financial Watch school districts, down from 79 districts in 2005 and down from 29 with revised data in 2010.
  • Results of the Financial Profile:



FY 10 Financial Profile Based on FY 09 Revised Data

FY 11 Financial Profile Based on FY 10 Data

FY 11 Financial Profile Based on FY 10 Revised Data







Financial Recognition







Financial Review








Financial Early Warning







Financial Watch














The list is created by using five indicators of financial performance:


  • Fund Balance to Revenue Ratio
  • Expenditures to Revenues Ratio
  • Days Cash on Hand
  • Percent of short-term borrowing available
  • Percent of long-term debt remaining

The School District Financial Profile was reviewed by the Illinois State Board of Education during its regularly scheduled meeting today.

The 2011 Financial Profile for all districts in Illinois can be found online at


National Black Women’s Health and Beauty Conference comes to Hollywood, Florida

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2011 Comments Off on National Black Women’s Health and Beauty Conference comes to Hollywood, Florida

The conference’s theme is “Giving You The Best That I Got”

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — Health is an increasing concern in the African American community and especially among women. Disproportionate medical statistics, unhealthy lifestyles, obesity, economic imbalance, healthcare reform, rising healthcare costs and shrinking healthcare coverage, all work against African American women striving to improve their health and lead a more holistic lifestyle for those in their care.


On July 21-23, 2011, The Black Health Medical Research Foundation, a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization, Big Bend AHEC of Florida and Georgia Nurses Association will hosts its 3rd National Black Women’s Health and Beauty Conference and Professional Education Symposium entitled, “Giving You the Best that I Got.” The conference will be held in Hollywood, Florida at the magnificent Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa.

The event is designed to address the health concerns of individual consumers and to prepare practicing professionals care for those they serve by equipping them with the skills needed to provide culturally competent services. The 2011 conference has two major educational components: 1) a consumer based agenda for the general public and 2) a continuing education agenda where practicing professionals such as nurses, midwives, dieticians, certified health education specialists, social workers and counselors can obtain industry required CE credits.

Scheduled at this 2011 event are a variety of sessions-panel discussions, vendors, exhibitors, selected sessions for men, book publishing workshop, black-tie banquet event, children activities, and opportunities for networking with resources and other like minded women. The conference is ideal for individuals and families that are looking for the perfect vacation.

“African-American women face (1) high rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, (2) longstanding barriers to patient education and (3) access to treatment. Pfizer is hard at work on solutions and proud to sponsor a conference that empowers women to chart a strong course for good health,” says Dr. Freda C. Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer Inc.

“The hopes, wishes, ambitions, aspirations and plans of a person are all supported under the general heading of health,” says Marcus Oaks, Chairman and Executive Director of the Black Health Medical Research Foundation, a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization. “Therefore, education and responsiveness are crucial elements in helping African American women shift paradigms to improve the quality of their overall health and the health of their loved ones.”

In addition to the sessions described above, they will award 5 scholarships: two (2) for women who desire to return to college and otherwise have not had the opportunity and three (3) for medical students selected after their presentation of original abstracts.

On the last evening of the conference, Black Health Magazine will host the Black Health Awards Banquet where all scholarship recipients will be presented. Also during the award ceremony, they will honor Miami’s 25 Most Influential African American Doctors who have “Given their Best” to improve the health of African Americans in their respective communities. In addition, they are honoring R&B Sensation Angie Stone along with Celebrity Fitness Trainer Donna Richardson Joyner and ESPN Anchor Stuart Scott.

Attendees will get the answers to their questions/concerns, and the opportunity to network with other African American women from all around the country, who want ‘the best’ for themselves and those important people around them.

Corporate Sponsors for the conference include Pfizer, Inc., Aetna, Coca-Cola and Novo Nordisk.

Registration information, along with hotel accommodations, for the 2011 National Black Women’s Health and Beauty Conference and Professional Education Symposium can be access online at www.nbwhc.com. The Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and sits along the beautiful sandy beach of Hollywood, FL. It is literally minutes away from cruise terminals and will make the perfect summer vacation for the entire family prior to the return to school.

For a complete listing of sponsors, conference agenda, sponsorship package, event schedules and biographies of our speakers, please visit the conference website at www.nbwhc.com

El Nogalar, Tanya Saracho’s tale of humor and heartache in a changing Mexico, begins performances March 26, directed by Cecilie D. Kennan

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2011 Comments Off on El Nogalar, Tanya Saracho’s tale of humor and heartache in a changing Mexico, begins performances March 26, directed by Cecilie D. Kennan

Goodman Theatre and Teatro Vista announce a three-year producing partnership dedicated to new work by Latino Playwrights


Chicago, IL – Prolific playwright and Mexican Chicagoan Tanya Saracho brings US/Mexico border violence and class divide into sharp relief in El Nogalar, presented at Goodman Theatre, produced and commissioned by Teatro Vista, starting March 26, 2011. The Goodman’s fourth collaboration with Teatro Vista over 16 years, El Nogalar marks the beginning of a new three-year producing partnership dedicated to new work by Latino writers. Cecilie D. Keenan directs this world premiere by Saracho—a Teatro Vista resident playwright and “one of Chicago[’s] most talented young writers” (Chicago Tribune)—developed in a staged reading during the Goodman’s Latino Theatre Festival. El Nogalar (pecan orchard) is inspired by Anton Chekhov’s classic The Cherry Orchard and charts a Mexican family’s experience as their way of life is threatened by encroaching drug cartels, violence and economic upheaval. El Nogalar begins previews

March 26 (Opening Night is April 4) and runs through April 24, 2011 in the Goodman’s Owen Theatre; tickets are $10 – $42 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Scenemakers Board is the Contributing Sponsor for El Nogalar. Principal Support of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives is provided by The Joyce Foundation. Hoy is the Print Media Sponsor and The Chicago Latino Network is the Digital Media Sponsor.

“Tanya is an extraordinary artist, truly one of Chicago’s stand-out ‘triple threat’ writer/actor/directors, and this reimagined classic is the perfect way to kick off our three-year producing partnership with Teatro Vista,” said Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls. “This initiative builds on 16 years of collaboration between our companies, which has resulted in such memorable productions as José Rivera’s Cloud Tectonics and Luis Alfaro’s Electricidad. Together with our Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez and Teatro Vista’s Artistic Director Eddie Torres, we are thrilled to deepen our commitment to developing new work by some of the country’s most gifted Latino playwrights.”

El Nogalar marks the fifth joint production between Goodman Theatre and Teatro Vista, a relationship that began in 1995 in the Goodman Studio at the theater’s former Columbus Drive location. In addition to Cloud Tectonics and Electricidad, other joint productions include Rivera’s Massacre (Sing to Your Children) in 2007 and El Grito del Bronx by Migdalia Cruz (2009, with Collaboraction). Teatro Vista has also performed in each of the Goodman’s biennial Latino Theatre Festivals.

“It’s remarkable how far our collaboration has come since Cloud Tectonics in 1995, when I was a co-founding member of Teatro Vista,” adds Godinez, who directed Cloud Tectonics. “The success of that production—the most ambitious for Teatro Vista at that point—was tremendously gratifying, and sparked an ongoing relationship between both organizations. It seems a natural progression to solidify this partnership and commit to the development of gifted Latino playwrights such as Tanya Saracho.”

Set in present-day Northern Mexico and infused with Spanish, Spanglish and Espanglés, El Nogalar is a comical and moving story about the choice between adapting to the changing world or being left behind.

Dunia (Yunuen Pardo), the Galvan family’s housekeeper, watches Maité Galvan (Charin Alvarez) and her daughters Valeria (Sandra Delgado) and Anita (Christina Nieves) spend their wealth and risk losing their home and beloved pecan orchard to a drug cartel. Despite warnings from Lopez (Carlo Lorenzo Garcia) and other family and friends, Maité ignores her declining fortune as ardently as she has ignored the changes in society happening around her. In the end, nothing is certain for the Galvan family—or for the housekeeper, who learned from their mistakes.

“When I was in school, I felt that Chekhov was the most Latino playwright I came across. I thought, ‘I know this dude, his characters. These women are my aunts, my cousins,’” recalls Playwright Tanya Saracho. “An adaptation of his play The Cherry Orchard was something I always wanted to do, and I am grateful for the support and encouragement of Cecilie, Teatro Vista and the Goodman to make it a reality.”

Adds Director Cecilie D. Keenan, “Tanya’s play draws such a clear picture of the class divide in Northern Mexico. The American view of these issues—and of Mexican culture, in general—is so often oversimplified. The characters and relationships in El Nogalar illustrate how complex and diverse the people of Mexico really are—and what is truly at stake for so many of them.” Keenan is producing director of Teatro Vista, where her directing credits include The Messenger, El Nogalar, Dreamlandia, Another Part of the House and Living Out. Elsewhere, Keenan recently staged the Jeff Award-winning Tobacco Road for American Blues Theater and Joel Drake Johnson’s End of the Tour at 16th Street Theater.

Keenan has tapped an award-winning design team for the production—Brian Sidney Bembridge (Set), Christine Pascual (Costumes), Jesse Klug (Lighting) and Joe Cerqua (Sound).

Playwright Tanya Saracho was born in Sinaloa, Mexico, and is a resident playwright at Teatro Vista, a Goodman Theatre Fellow at the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College Chicago, a resident playwright emeritus at Chicago Dramatists, an artistic associate with About Face Theatre, the founder of The Ñ Series and founder and former artistic director of Teatro Luna. She has been the lead artist in many of Teatro Luna’s ensemble-devised works, including Generic Latina, Dejame Contarte, The Maria Chronicles, Solo Latinas, Solo Tú, S-E-X-Oh! and Lunatic(a)s.

Her plays include an adaptation of The House on Mango Street at Steppenwolf Theatre Company (2009); Our Lady of the Underpass with Teatro Vista, commissioned by the Goodman (2009); Surface Day at Steppenwolf/Chicago Humanities Festival (2008); Jarred: A Hoodoo Comedy at Teatro Luna (2008); Kita y Fernanda at 16th Street Theatre (2008) and Quita Mitos with Teatro Luna (2006) and coming to Next Theatre Company in March 2011. Saracho is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Distinguished New Play Development project grant, and the winner of the Goodman’s Ofner Prize and a

3Arts Artists Award, was named Best New Playwright of 2010 by Chicago magazine, named one of nine Latino Luminaries by Café magazine and was a recipient of the inaugural Revolucionario Award given by the National Museum of Mexican Art.

Saracho’s directing/co-directing credits include Jarred: A Hoodoo Comedy; Solo Tú; S-E-X-Oh!; both productions of Lunatic(a)s; the remount of Generic Latina; The Maria Chronicles; and Solo Latinas. Stage credits as an actress include Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig at Renaissance Theaterworks in Milwaukee; Migdalia Cruz’s Another Part of the House at Teatro Vista; Living Out at American Theater Company and Teatro Vista; Electricidad at Goodman Theatre and La Casa de Bernarda Alba at Aguijón Theatre.

Upcoming projects include The Good Private for About Face Theatre and two Andrew W. Mellon Foundation commissions for Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Tickets to El Nogalar ($10 – $42) are currently on sale at GoodmanTheatre.org. Tickets and subscriptions can also be purchased at the box office (170 North Dearborn) or by phone at 312.443.3800. Mezztix are half-price mezzanine tickets available at 12 noon at the box office, and at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX) day of performance; Mezztix are not available by telephone. 10Tix are $10 rear mezzanine tickets for students available at 12 noon at the box office, and at 10am online on the day of performance; 10Tix are not available by telephone; a valid student I.D. must be presented when picking up the tickets, limit four per student with I.D. All tickets are subject to availability and handling fees apply. Discounted Group Tickets for 10 persons or more are available at 312.443.3820. Purchase Goodman Gift Certificates in any amount at GoodmanTheatre.org. The flexibility of Goodman Gift Certificates allows recipients to choose the production, date and time of their performance. Artists, dates and ticket prices are subject to change.

SWAN Day at Goodman Theatre Saturday, March 26, 2pm God of Carnage, Post-show Panel Discussion, Dinner at Petterino’s and 8pm El Nogalar Ticket prices vary; visit aauw-il.org

Now in its fourth year, SWAN Day (“Support Women Artists Now”) is an international celebration of women artists held in March—Women’s History Month. The American Association of University Women’s Chicago Branch hosts “SWAN Day at Goodman Theatre,” a day-long event that includes God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza (2pm), a panel discussing new plays by women on the Goodman stage, dinner at Petterino’s and the world premiere of El Nogalar by Tanya Saracho (8pm). Participants may choose and must register for each component separately: aauw-il.org

Auditions: Call for Actors and Dancers

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2011 Comments Off on Auditions: Call for Actors and Dancers


Help create “Performance with a Purpose”    for CDE’s 10th  Anniversary                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      CDE will be holding auditions for their upcoming performance, Mirrors, based on the poetry of Rumi, which seeks to find true human connection in a time of misconnection and change.  We started this project asking why Rumi is the number one selling poet and why is his work relevant to modern society.

Ensemble members Jack Ryan and Erin Peisert have been working with Executive Director, Ellyzabeth Adler, in researching and setting the structure for this new multidisciplinary work which combining media, dance and theatre for a cast of 12. We are seeking 5 men and 5 women with backgrounds in dance, theatre, Butoh, Viewpoints, Laban and/or movement-based theatre.

A work in progress showing will be in June 3rd.  The full length run will be in October as part of our 10th Anniversary celebration featuring a remount of our first production, a stage adaption of T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland. We would like performers to participate in both the spring and fall productions.

Audition information: 
orkshop ensemble-driven audition 
March 27th from 3:00 – 4:30pm
Hamlin Park Studio Theatre
3035 N Hoyne, Chicago, IL 60618

2-3 times a week, stipend performance

Work in progress showing:
June 3rd at  8:00pm 
Hamlin Park Studio Theatre
3035 N Hoyne, Chicago, IL 60618

Full Length Run: 
Location/Time TBD

To schedule spot at the audition, contact Ellyzabeth Adler at info@danztheatre.org 
or 773-486-8261

America’s Wire releases story on the ineffectiveness of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Posted by Admin On March - 17 - 2011 Comments Off on America’s Wire releases story on the ineffectiveness of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights


Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Fund

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) — America’s Wire released a story discussing the ineffectiveness of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, with some critics contending that the once influential commission needs significant structural changes to regain its past glory.
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Kenneth J. Cooper reports that the commission has been largely ineffective in addressing civil rights issues, even with the recent addition of three Democratic members. Appointees of former President George W. Bush serve as the panel’s chairman and staff director and Bush or Republican congressional leaders chose a majority of its members. With critics pressing for adjustments, Wade Henderson, president and chief executive officer of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Fund, says, “The commission of the 21st century can’t be the commission we had 50 years ago.”
And, Mary Frances Berry, a former chair of the commission, says the advisory panel is not worth preserving in its current form. “It is sort of useless, to tell you the truth. What is it good for?” asks Berry, a history professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “I don’t see any change occurring until the statute is changed.”
This story, as well as others, are available free of charge from America’s Wire. Go to www.Americaswire.org, sign up for a trial subscription and media outlets can download our stories and publish them free of charge. As part of a distribution agreement with the Associated Press, America’s Wire articles are also available to AP members. To receive the story on the Civil Rights Commission, media outlets that are members of the AP must email awiersma@ap.org. Please put “America’s Wire” in the subject line.
America’s Wire provides newspapers, community papers, websites, ethnic publications and wire services with stories that report on structural racism, and the communities impacted by it. America’s Wire provides a minimum of two enterprise stories a month by our staff reporters, Mr. Cooper and Marjorie Valbrun, also an award-winning journalist. We also provide articles by freelance writers, as well as commentaries from experts on a variety of topics.
Other stories currently available on America’s Wire include:



* Exclusive story on mortgage discrimination since the housing crisis began
* Efforts to include more people of color in genetic research
* A report on hospital closings in minority communities
* Marisa Treviño’s commentary on increases in hate crimes against Latinos
* The impact of black prosecutors across the country
* Q & A with Shirley J. Wilcher, director of American Association for Affirmative Action
* The impact of residential segregation on health outcomes
* Conservatives blaming the poor for being poor
* The declining number of black males at colleges and universities
* Tim Wise, a white crusader against racism
* States easing restrictions on ex-convicts
America’s Wire is operated by the Maynard Institute’s Media Center on Structural Racism. Our news service provides enterprising content for wire services, mainstream newspapers, ethnic/community papers, magazines and websites. The professionally reported, written and edited stories help readers comprehend the challenges that people of color face from racial injustices. America’s Wire is made possible through a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.



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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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