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Archive for May 1st, 2012

Historic Award-Winning African-American-Owned Insurance Agency reaches 50-year milestone

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On May - 1 - 2012 Comments Off on Historic Award-Winning African-American-Owned Insurance Agency reaches 50-year milestone

Community Insurance Center’s President/CEO Milton E. Moses credits longevity to hard work/commitment to community

CHICAGO, IL – Community Insurance Center –one of the oldest and largest African-American-owned independent insurance agencies in the nation –  is celebrating its 50th anniversary .  Milton E. Moses, President/CEO and guiding force behind the agency, made the announcement of this golden achievement.During its “golden” journey, the firm has received the industry’s highest awards, forged partnerships with insurance-industry giants, scored history-making firsts and gained the trust and patronage of a client mix that includes Fortune 500 companies, churches, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Rough Notes Magazine.
•The “Big I” Presidential Award from the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association –
•The prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the National African American Insurance Association — it was the first time in the history of the organization that this award has been presented.

Moses credits CIC’s ability to survive and thrive in a tough industry as due to the firm’s “excellent customer service, competitive rates, and for having its pulse on the unique needs of the community it is honored to serve.”   Moses said the agency has also weathered financially-turbulent times because it has a strong business vision and a sound business plan.

Community Insurance Center has also garnered significant government business from the City, county, state and the nation. One of the firm’s landmark business coups happened in 1996 when the firm was selected by the Democratic National Committee as the Insurance Agency of Record when the Democratic Party held its convention in Chicago.

Reflecting on the half-century achievement mark, Moses recalls with pride that the firm has gone from a basement-based fledgling operation with few clients and few products in 1962; to a world-class firm in a building based on a busy thoroughfare in the heart of the community. The firm is also licensed in multiple states. Far from the meager products it offered when it was first founded, the firm now provides commercial and governmental insurance programs, auto, life, homeowners, health, retirement plans and other types of investment contracts, loss control and safety engineering services as well as a full array of risk management services.

With a work ethic and top-down commitment to excellence that has become the firm’s signature, Community Insurance has earned some of the industry’s most coveted honors including:

•Marketing Agency of the Month by

Additionally, Moses has shattered barriers by recording the following landmark achievements:
•He was the first African American to serve on the premiere Government Affairs Committee of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America
•He was the first African American Task Force Chairman for the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America
•He was the first African American to serve as a Committee Chairman

Among the four-star insurance companies the firm has relationships with are Travelers Insurance, Aetna Insurance Company, Progressive Insurance Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, MetLife Auto Home, National Life Insurance Company, The Hartford and Safeco Insurance Company. All cover a variety of insurance disciplines including life, health, auto and property.

He is also a tireless advocate for the industry and is in the forefront of the effort to both bring more African Americans into the insurance industry and to make them more professional by mentoring them on strategies that have made him successful.

Community Insurance Center’s success mirrors that of its president. Moses started in the industry as an agent for Supreme Life Insurance Company of America. His reputation as a tireless and results-driven professional brought him to the attention of Alderman Ralph Metcalfe, a principal at Community Insurance Center. Metcalfe was so impressed with his record of achievement that he hired Moses in July 1965 as the agency manager. With sales savvy, a resolve to make customer service a priority and with a commitment to incorporating business-winning policies into the firm, he transformed CIC from an agency on the brink of failure to a success story.

As a reward for his phenomenal triumphs in devising success strategies for the firm he was named president in 1968. Under his inspired stewardship, Community Insurance Center has vaulted onto the business stratosphere.

As the firm celebrates its 50th anniversary, Moses reveals its formula for success.

“At the core of Community Insurance Center’s success is its attention to customer service, its work ethic, devotion to the community, a sound business plan, competitive rates and its independence. These qualities — combined with the staff’s commitment to its growing customer base — have helped Community Insurance Center become one of the most prosperous firms in the industry and one of Chicago’s premiere enterprises. On the occasion of our 50th anniversary, I am filled with pride at how far we have come and uplifted that the future is so bright that we expect to continue to thrive for another 50 years.”

The firm welcomes new business and queries and its staff is poised to provide free estimates and prepare a plan that will fit your needs. For more information on Community Insurance Center, log on to

A church in the shadow of McCormick Place takes a stand for peace and civil liberties

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On May - 1 - 2012 Comments Off on A church in the shadow of McCormick Place takes a stand for peace and civil liberties

CHICAGO, IL – Rev. Errol Narain and the congregation of Trinity Episcopal Church are extending open arms to protestors who will be marching against NATO this month.

The church, located at 125 E. 26th Street, is the closest congregation to McCormick Place – literally in the shadow of the NATO summit.

Trinity Episcopal has invited protestors arriving from outside Chicago to camp on their lawn during the weekend of May 19th – 21st.  One group of cyclists that will be arriving from Madison, Wisconsin, on Friday evening, the 19th, will be the first group to take them up on the offer.  http://www.grassroutescaravan.org/

To prepare the neighbors for the sight of protestors sleeping in tents on the lawn of the church, the congregation will co-host a Town Hall meeting with the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANG8) Thursday, May 3rd, from 7 – 9 pm.

Newland Smith, organizer for CANG8’s Interfaith Committee, and an Episcopalian activist, said, “The stand taken by Rev. Narain and the leadership at Trinity is an inspiration.  This is the response to the expression of First Amendment rights we would expect of our elected representatives, instead of threats to re-open Joliet Prison.”

Speakers at the Town Hall will include:  Fr. Bob Bossie, 8th Day Center for Justice; Mary Dean, Voices for Creative Non-Violence, who spent part of last year in Afghanistan; Margaret Jackson, American Friends Service Committee; Rabbi Brant Rosen, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston; and Shahid Buttar, Bill of Rights Defense Committee.  National Nurses United and the Iraq Veterans Against the War will also have spokespersons present.

Joe Iosbaker of CANG8 praised the congregation. “More and more people are turning against the war in Afghanistan, and will march in their thousands and tens of thousands to bring an end to it.  We expect more churches will follow the lead of Trinity Episcopal.”

John Marshall, Senior Warden at the church explained their actions. “Trinity sees the extension of our hospitality as part of the church’s mission, as many of the marchers are protesting the proliferation of aggression and war as opposed to using needed resources to help the hungry and poor in the world. We see welcoming the campers as a part of serving Christ in the stranger, the sick, the prisoner, the hungry, and the thirsty.”

Parishioners at Trinity, together with members of CANG8, are canvassing the homes around the church to inform neighbors of the event on May 3rd, as well as the churches’ plans to host protestors in their lawn. 

“Of course the campers will respect the neighborhood, and we want to assure those who live around here of that,” remarked Rev. Narain.  “We also want to engage in a dialogue about the nature of NATO and Trinity’s support for freedom of assembly.”

The camping protestors have agreed to guidelines, among them no drugs or alcohol, and no loud noise.

The Park at Rosemont to be named MB Financial Park at Rosemont

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On May - 1 - 2012 Comments Off on The Park at Rosemont to be named MB Financial Park at Rosemont

ROSEMONT, IL – MB Financial Bank, a Chicago-area bank, serving the Chicago region for more than 100 years, including a strong history of community involvement, has established a multi-year commitment to the Village of Rosemont. MB will be the exclusive naming rights partner to Rosemont’s new dining and entertainment district, MB Financial Park at Rosemont along with other sponsor benefits.


“This is a great day for Rosemont,” said Mayor Brad Stephens. “As our village’s largest employer, MB Financial Bank has proven to be a terrific neighbor and an immense supporter of the community. This agreement broadens their presence in our area and will better the lives of Rosemont citizens, as well as residents of the surrounding areas, in a wide array of ways.”


The agreement provides MB Financial Bank with exclusive naming rights and major signage for the entertainment complex through December 2016, including the option to renew. In addition, MB will be the Official banking services sponsor and have advertising exposure at the Allstate Arena, the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, The Ballpark at Rosemont and more. MB will also provide ATMs throughout the properties including the Akoo Theatre at Rosemont. The $3 million agreement covers a 56 month term. MB Financial Bank employs approximately 700 people at its Financial Center at 6111 N. River Road in Rosemont.


“Mayor Stephens’ leadership has made Rosemont a great place conduct business,” said MB Financial Bank Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Karen Perlman. “It is a great fit for a bank that ‘Means Business.’ We think people will be wowed when they visit MB Financial Park at Rosemont. It’s a unique venue and there’s nothing like it in the Chicago area, and perhaps the country. We think it will be a destination for businesses, individuals, families and tourists and we are proud to be associated with Rosemont in such a visible way.”


MB Financial Park at Rosemont is a 200,000 square-foot entertainment and dining complex that, when complete, will house eight venues offering upscale international cuisine, live music and comedy, state-of-the-art film, bowling and more. Joining the popular upscale cinema Muvico, Five Roses Pub opened in April 2012 and Kings Lanes, Lounge & Sports is slated to open May 2. Other venues slated to open in the coming months include Adobe Gila’s, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, Zanies Comedy Night Club, Park Tavern, Hofbräuhaus Chicago and a yet-to-be named Greek restaurant. Located at 5501 Park Place, the centerpiece of MB Financial Park at Rosemont is a beautifully landscaped area featuring a great lawn for festivals and sporting events as well as an ice-skating rink in colder months.


MB Financial Park at Rosemont is conveniently located near O’Hare International Airport, easily accessible from Chicago as well as the suburbs. The address is 5501 Park Place, a new looping street situated west of River Road between Bryn Mawr and Balmoral Avenues. A 20-minute drive from Chicago’s Loop, MB Financial Park at Rosemont is walking distance from the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, the CTA Blue Line Rosemont station and the Akoo Theatre at Rosemont. Ample, convenient parking is available with 8,500 sheltered parking spaces just steps from MB Financial Park at Rosemont.


The sponsorship agreement was brokered by Chicago –based Property Consulting Group, which handles marketing and sponsorship on behalf of the Village of Rosemont.


About The Village of Rosemont, Illinois


Rosemont, Illinois, Chicagoland’s business and entertainment suburb, is conveniently located five minutes from O’Hare Airport and twenty minutes from Chicago’s downtown. Rosemont is home to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, a wide variety of hotel and dining options, the Allstate Arena, the Akoo Theatre at Rosemont, and a host of entertainment and retail venues. Rosemont continues to grow and evolve based on the new vision of Mayor Bradley A. Stephens. MB Financial Park at Rosemont features an array of great dining and entertainment options. For more information visit www.rosemont.com.


About MB Financial Bank


MB Financial Bank is a locally-operated financial institution that has been delivering competitive personalized service for over 100 years to businesses and individuals who live and work in the Chicago metropolitan area. MB Financial Bank has approximately $10 billion in assets and 90 locations. MB Financial Bank is a subsidiary of MB Financial, Inc., a financial services holding company which is traded on the NASDAQ as “MBFI.” Information about MB Financial Bank can be found at www.mbfinancial.com.


Active Transportation Alliance supports ban on hand-held cell phones for drivers

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On May - 1 - 2012 Comments Off on Active Transportation Alliance supports ban on hand-held cell phones for drivers
 Active Transportation Alliance statement in support of HB 3972 


Tomorrow’s vote on HB 3972 could be a step toward safer roads throughout Illinois. If enacted into law, it would expand statewide the current ban in many municipalities on the use of hand-held mobile devices by motorists.

The legislation imposes a common-sense requirement that drivers remain focused on driving. No text, video or email message is so important as to risk a life.

Active Transportation Alliance was a leading champion for Public Acts 96-0130 and 96-0131 in the 2009 General Assembly session. These laws prohibited drivers from text messaging while driving, and from using hand-held mobile devices in school or highway construction zones. HB 3972 will build on the successes of those laws to impose a common standard statewide.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, using a cell phone while driving delays your reaction time as much as driving while intoxicated. This increases your risk of crashes by four times compared to other drivers. 

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is North Americas largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by more than 6,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 40 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.


LA Sparks and the Varnette P. Honeywood Foundation to hold fundraiser for reproductive cancer

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On May - 1 - 2012 Comments Off on LA Sparks and the Varnette P. Honeywood Foundation to hold fundraiser for reproductive cancer

Hoops and Heels cancer awareness research fundraiser/silent auction


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — The LA Sparks and the Varnette P. Honeywood Foundation presents the Hoops and Heels fundraiser for reproductive cancer. The June 24th game will be preceded by a mixer and a silent auction of artwork by the famous artist Varnette P. Honeywood.

Illustrious artist from The Cosby Show, Amen, 227, various other televisions and movies as well as creator of the cartoon Little Bill, Varnette P. Honeywood, revolutionized Black Art. Her artwork depicted a positive image for African-American families and was seen on television, movies and books covers across the globe. Her family started the nonprofit organization, Varnette P. Honeywood Foundation, which has two goals. The foundation will provide artistic scholarships and art supplies for high school and college students, as well as host a variety of art fairs and workshops in the community.

The second goal was important to Varnette and that is to help eradicate reproductive cancer, as that is what took her life. Varnette P. Honeywood Foundation will provide funding to various hospitals and laboratories that are conducting research for reproductive cancers, and organize different clinics, workshops and health fairs throughout the community. The foundation will offer cancer awareness through education on risk factors and prevention, as well as afford complimentary therapies regarding reproductive cancers to people conflicted by this devastating epidemic.

The Los Angeles Sparks have teamed up with the Varnette P. Honeywood Foundation for a fundraiser: Hoops and Heels/Silent Auction. On June 24, 2012, the Los Angeles Sparks will play the San Antonio Silver Stars which is preceded by a silent auction of two of Varnette P. Honeywood’s beautiful artworks. The silent auction is a mixer and exhibit that will begin at 3:30 PM in the Staple Center Suites. The WNBA game will begin at 5:30 PM.

Tickets are available through www.ticketmaster.com, LA Sparks vs. SA Silver Stars game, promocode:honeywood. Or call Aminah Mills at 213-929-1304 or Tiffany Allen at 323-532-2ART

About the Varnette P. Honeywood Foundation

The Varnette P. Honeywood Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides artistic scholarships and art supplies to high school and college students, as well as host to various art workshops. The Varnette P. Honeywood Foundation will also provide funding for reproductive cancer research to various labs and hospitals. The foundation will contribute awareness and provide complimentary therapies to the community through prevention methods, clinics, health fairs and education.

Lt. Governor Simon digs into spring planting at Kendall College

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On May - 1 - 2012 Comments Off on Lt. Governor Simon digs into spring planting at Kendall College


Urban garden roots public health, local food economy movement


CHICAGO, IL –  An advocate for local food producers, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon put on her gardening gloves today and joined Kendall College culinary students for the annual spring planting of their urban garden.

Simon applauded the college for incorporating locally grown food in its classrooms and restaurant for the past five years, and voiced her support for regulations expanding city farming and local food sales across the state. Illinoisans spend roughly $48 billion annually on food, but just $2 billion of that amount is on food grown in Illinois, Simon said.

“The seeds we plant today are a small part of a larger public health movement to end food deserts and grow a local food economy in Chicago and across the state,” said Simon, chair of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council. “The connections Kendall College students make from farm to classroom to table are critical components of sustainable living.”

Kendall began its garden in 2007 as an educational initiative to teach students about the importance of locally grown food and uses its harvest  in dishes served at its renowned fine-dining restaurant, The Dining Room at Kendall College. Each year, the garden produces about 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of produce, including blackberries, rhubarb, kale, and red beets.

“At Kendall College, sustainability is an integral part of our curriculum and operations,” said Kendall College President Emily Williams Knight. “We are committed to teaching today’s students, who are tomorrow’s foodservice professionals, the importance of local and sustainable food, and are proud that this will continue to have a positive impact on our local community.”

On behalf of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, Simon is working to increase the number of farmers markets that accept food stamp benefits known as LINK and favors creating regional food hubs that will help local producers to store, process and market items in-state. She also supported two successful measures last year that aim to increase access to locally produced foods:

* Public Act 097-0393 helped clear the way for family and community farms to enter boutique food production while maintaining public health. State law now allows “cottage food” producers to sell certain homemade goods at farmers markets. All food items must have a Food Service Sanitation Management Certificate, be accompanied by appropriate labels listing all ingredients, and identify that products are homemade, among other regulations.

* To create green jobs, combat food deserts and improve public health, Simon recommended the Chicago City Council give community gardens and urban farms the right to locate on vacant land in residential areas and allow them to operate seasonal stands to sell fresh produce to local residents. The city adopted an urban farm-friendly zoning ordinance in September that expanded the size of community gardens and relaxed costly parking and fencing rules.

Kendall’s urban farm is managed by City Farm, the Resource Center’s urban agriculture program, which turns fallow, vacant land into productive farmland. The college has received national recognition for its sustainability initiatives, including being named an official educational partner of the National Restaurant Association’s Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability initiative; instituting a comprehensive composting and recycling program throughout all kitchens; being named the first institution with an accredited culinary-arts program to operate Green Certified Restaurants, and receiving the first Green Award earned by any culinary-arts program globally by the Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI).

Steppenwolf Theatre Company showcases Chicago’s next generation of theater artists in Next UP

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On May - 1 - 2012 Comments Off on Steppenwolf Theatre Company showcases Chicago’s next generation of theater artists in Next UP

Second annual partnership with Northwestern University features three plays in rotating repertory in the Steppenwolf Garage, June 5-24, 2012


CHICAGO, IL – This June, Steppenwolf Theatre Company continues its commitment to Chicago’s next generation of theater artists with the second annual Next Up: three productions presented in rotating repertory, June 5 – 24, 2012 in The Steppenwolf Garage (1624 N Halsted St). Next Up is presented in collaboration with Northwestern University’s MFA programs in Direction and Design, and features the work of graduates of those programs with casts of professional Chicago actors: Life and Limb by Keith Reddin, directed by Emily Campbell; South of Settling by Emily Schwend, directed by Adam Goldstein; and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, directed by Laley Lippard. The directors and designers make their Steppenwolf debut under the mentorship of Steppenwolf staff and artists, including ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro and scenic designer Todd Rosenthal—both members of the Northwestern faculty—as well as Steppenwolf Associate Artistic Director Erica Daniels.

“In the Garage Theatre, Steppenwolf sets out to cultivate young artists and multigenerational audiences. Next Up offers a unique way for us to do this—in concert with theater’s roots as a guild-based craft in which emerging artists learn from experienced practitioners,” comments Steppenwolf Artistic Producer Rebecca Rugg. “For Steppenwolf, this project is a natural extension of a strong association with local universities, whose stream of graduates continually feeds Chicago’s vibrant theater ecology.”


Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Second Annual Next Up 

 Life and Limb by Keith Reddin, directed by Emily Campbell

June 5 – 24, 2012 in The Steppenwolf Garage (1624 N Halsted St)

 Life and Limb features Audrey Francis as Doina; Chris Froseth as Tod; Roman Harris-MacDonald as Chris; Tom Hickey as Sam, Eric and Jerry; Jürgen Hooper as Franklin; Leonard Kraft as Grandfather; and Grace Rex as Effie. The creative team includes Scenic Designer Courtney O’Neill, Costume Designer Sally Dolembo, Lighting Designer Will Kirkham, Props Master Katie McDermott, Casting Director Erica Daniels, Stage Manager Rose Packer and Assistant Directors Matthew Moynihan, Sophie Rich and Abby Williamson. 

Wounded in Korea, Franklin returns home minus an arm and a future. With zero prospects for work and a faltering marriage, he struggles to regain his life. When he finally lands a job, Franklin finds himself working for a sadistic manufacturer of artificial limbs. Deadpan, cold-blooded and comic, Life and Limb is not your typical veteran’s story.

“For my entire adult life our country has been at war. Men and women my age fight in battles I do not see, and endure wounds I hurt to imagine,” comments director Emily Campbell. “Life and Limb brings war home and into the lives of two young people brimming with hope and dreams. Like many of us, they are banking on the promise of a better future. But trauma touches them and their love strains under the burden. We live in a nation at war and I believe we must be aware of the price.”

South of Settling by Emily Schwend 

directed by Adam Goldstein
June 6 – 23, 2012 in The Steppenwolf Garage (1624 N Halsted St) 

South of Settling features Joey deBettencourt as Paulie Wheaton; Keith Kupferer as Irwin Deckhouse; Jeff Trainor as Randall; Janet Ulrich Brooks as Kate Deckhouse; and Nicole Wiesner as Amy. The creative team includes Scenic Designer Sarah Watkins, Costume Designer Kelsey Ettman, Lighting Designer Rebecca Jeffords, Props Master Sarah Burnham, Casting Director Erica Daniels, Stage Manager Jon Nook and Assistant Director Jeff Meyer.

Kate and Irwin Deckhouse’s quiet, orderly life turns topsy-turvy with the surprise arrival of Kate’s long estranged cousin Amy and her brand new husband Randall. Deckhouse hospitality is put to the test as family secrets are unlocked and hard truths confronted. South of Settling explores how much our dreams and desires are shaped by others, for better or worse.

“One of my biggest challenges is learning to accept and move on from things that I can’t fix. I suspect that many of us often let brokenness, damage, baggage, loss and suffering prevent us from truly living our lives. Or we endlessly attempt to stabilize that over which we actually have no control,” says director Adam Goldstein. “South of Settling encourages us to view the things that can damage us not just as something to fear or regret, but as opportunities to embrace a life fully lived.”

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

directed by Laley Lippard

June 7 – 24, 2012 in The Steppenwolf Garage (1624 N Halsted St)

 The Glass Menagerie features Leah Karpel as Laura Wingfield; Kathy Scambiatterra as Amanda Wingfield; Brett Schneider as Jim O’Connor; and Aaron Roman Weiner as Tom Wingfield. The creative team includes Scenic Designer William Boles, Costume Designer Sally Dolembo, Lighting Designer Rebecca Jeffords, Props Master Sarah Burnham, Casting Director Erica Daniels, Stage Manager Cassie Wolgamott, Assistant Director Jacob Watson and Dramaturg Joseph Pindelski. 

In Tennessee Williams’ classic autobiographical play, poet and dreamer Tom Wingfield weaves truth and imagination to conjure up his younger self and the family he escaped long ago. Life in the Wingfield household chafes: his overbearing mother Amanda yearns for the glamour of her past; his fragile, shy sister, Laura believes happiness is out of reach; and a young Tom fights to realize his dreamed-for future.

“The Glass Menagerie is a great American play that treats the working class with poetic nobility. It is also a story of family during an economic and spiritual crisis that is eerily mirrored in contemporary America,” notes director Laley Lippard. “The darker issues of sexuality, economic servitude and the illusions of ‘the dream,’ seen in a classic play, have a particular power to penetrate our imaginations.”

Performance Schedule

Next Up plays Tuesday through Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 1pm, 5pm and 9pm; and Sunday at 4pm and 8pm. The complete schedule is as follows:


Life and Limb                                             South of Settling                                     The Glass Menagerie        

Tuesday, 6/5 at 8pm*                                   Wednesday, 6/6 at 8pm*                           Thursday, 6/7 at 8pm*

Friday, 6/8 at 8pm                                       Saturday, 6/9 at 5pm**                              Saturday, 6/9 at 9pm**

Saturday, 6/9 at 1pm**                                 Sunday, 6/10 at 8pm                                Sunday, 6/10 at 4pm

Wednesday, 6/13 at 8pm                             Thursday, 6/14 at 8pm                              Tuesday, 6/12 at 8pm

Saturday, 6/16 at 5pm                                 Saturday, 6/16 at 9pm                              Friday, 6/15 at 8pm

Sunday, 6/17 at 8pm                                   Sunday, 6/17 at 4pm                                Saturday, 6/16 at 1pm

Thursday, 6/21 at 8pm                                 Tuesday, 6/19 at 8pm                               Wednesday, 6/20 at 8pm

Saturday, 6/23 at 9pm                                 Friday, 6/22 at 8pm                                  Saturday 6/23 at 5pm

Sunday, 6/24 at 4pm                                   Saturday, 6/23 at 1pm                              Sunday, 6/24 at 8pm


Tickets to Next Up ($15 – $20) are on sale now through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), by phone at

312-335-1650 and at steppenwolf.org. Passes to all three plays are available for $45. Steppenwolf is located near all forms of public transportation and is wheelchair accessible. Street and lot parking are available.

Support for Next Up comes through the “Leading for the Future Initiative,” a program of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. OptionsHouse is the Garage Series Sponsor.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is America’s longest standing, most distinguished ensemble theater, producing nearly 700 performances and events annually in its three Chicago theater spaces—the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat Garage Theatre. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an ensemble of 43 actors, writers and directors. Artistic programming at Steppenwolf includes a five-play Subscription Season, a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season and three repertory series: First Look Repertory of New Work, Garage Rep and Next Up. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Off-Broadway, Broadway, London, Sydney and Dublin. Steppenwolf has the distinction of being the only theater to receive the National Medal of Arts, in addition to numerous other prestigious honors including an Illinois Arts Legend Award and nine Tony Awards. Martha Lavey is the Artistic Director and David Hawkanson is the Executive Director. Nora Daley is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre and twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr.

Better Business Bureau warns: Your child’s identity may be at risk

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On May - 1 - 2012 Comments Off on Better Business Bureau warns: Your child’s identity may be at risk

CHICAGO, ILThe Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) is alerting parents their child may be at risk of identity theft. Crime stats show last year more than 9.9 million Americans were victims of ID theft costing them roughly five billion dollars. The Federal Trade Commission also received more than 19,000 complaints about child identity theft last year.

Many parents have no idea that their child is a victim, and this crime may go undetected for years-until the child applies for a job, loan, or rents their first apartment. Major reasons for the identity theft of minors include illegal immigration (to obtain false IDs for employment), organized crime (to engage in financial fraud) and friends and family (to offset bad personal credit ratings).

“Protecting a child’s identity is easy and vital,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Simply follow some steps the BBB provides, and you may save your child from hardships in the future.

To protect your child from identity theft, consider the following advice:

  • Never carry around a child’s Social Security card. This increases the risk of losing the card, which is the most common way for identity thieves to obtain a child’s information. In addition, don’t give children their Social Security numbers until they understand how and why to protect the numbers.
  • Shred documents. Always shred documents with personal identifying information. The Better Business Bureau hosts events; for more information on upcoming Chicago-area Shred Day events, visit www.chicagoshreds.com
  • Find out who has access to the child’s personal information at school. Verify the records are kept in a secure location. Under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) the privacy of student education records and gives you the right to: inspect and review your child’s education record, consent to the disclosure of information in the records and correct errors in the records.
  • Monitor your child’s online use. If a site requires users to register, see what kind of information it asks for and whether you’re comfortable with what is needed. If the site allows kids to post personal information, talk to your child about the risks and benefits of disclosing certain information in a public forum.
  • Set strict privacy settings on social networking sites. Social networking sites let users determine with whom they want to share information with. Talk to your child about restricting access to his or her profile to only friends or users in safe networks such as their school, clubs or church groups.

For more tips on securing your identity, visit www.bbb.org

TimeLine Theatre Company concludes 15th Anniversary season with the World Premiere of John Conroy’s My Kind of Town, directed by Nick Bowling, May 1 – July 29, 2012

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On May - 1 - 2012 Comments Off on TimeLine Theatre Company concludes 15th Anniversary season with the World Premiere of John Conroy’s My Kind of Town, directed by Nick Bowling, May 1 – July 29, 2012

TimeLine Theatre Company, named one of the nation’s top 10 emerging professional theatres by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards®, presents the world premiere of My Kind of Town by John Conroy, directed by Nick Bowling, May 11 – July 29, 2012 (previews May 1 – 10) at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago.

My Kind of Town puts a human face on the police torture scandal that has plagued Chicago for more than three decades. Veteran investigative journalist John Conroy covered the story, challenging public indifference to become one of the leading voices drawing attention to the charges. My Kind of Town is his passionate, groundbreaking new drama revolving around one imprisoned man’s fight for justice, inspired by the stories of numerous victims, police officers, prosecutors and families whose lives have been poisoned by the allegations. With interlocking storylines that humanize the play’s issues of corruption and responsibility, My Kind of Town sets the stage for a new conversation about today’s culture of law and order.

My Kind of Town is John Conroy’s first play. The script previously was developed with assistance from Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Northwestern University’s School of Law, 16th Street Theatre, Writer’s Bloc, and film and theatre director John Hancock. Early readings and development were reported on by the Chicago Reader, Time Out Chicago and The New York Times, which wrote: “In the tradition of history and morality plays … Mr. Conroy turned to theater as a means of provocation and catharsis.”

The cast of My Kind of Town features Ora Jones, A.C. Smith, Chris Boykin, Charles Gardner, Carolyn Hoerdemann, Maggie Kettering, Danica Monroe, Trinity P. Murdock and TimeLine Company Member David Parkes. Beginning June 22, TimeLine Associate Artist Mildred Marie Langford will replace Ora Jones.

“As a journalist, I’ve learned the hard way that what serves the page often doesn’t serve the stage,” Conroy said. “But I am pleased to have the opportunity to present this story in a new way, a way that might reach, provoke, and inspire audiences to examine their consciences and consider their responsibilities.”

“It has been an honor to collaborate with John Conroy over the last two years developing My Kind of Town,” Artistic Director PJ Powers said. “As a reporter John has uncovered so many painful truths about our beloved city, and he has beautifully used those stories as inspiration for a bold new play. What I admire most is that he has illuminated very complex issues of law enforcement in a way that should make every citizen question our beliefs, convictions and, ultimately, our complicity.”

My Kind of Town is supported in part by The Pauls Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call the TimeLine Theatre Box Office at 773.281.8463 x6 or visit timelinetheatre.com.

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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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