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Archive for May 1st, 2013

Chapman: Without police accountability we sink further into the abyss of violence & despair

Posted by Newsroom On May - 1 - 2013 Comments Off on Chapman: Without police accountability we sink further into the abyss of violence & despair


Police Accountability is part of the answer


Frank Chapman called for swift enactment of legislation creating and empowering an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) as a necessary step in curbing the violence that is wreaking havoc in Chicago’s African American and Latino communities.

Chapman is Field Organizer of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR) and Chairperson of its Organizing Committee to Stop Police Crimes.  He noted positively the article in the Chicago Tribune by Dawn Turner-Trice and Lolly Bowean, “More police, more arrests, more fear”[i]

The article notes that “For a city desperately trying to cut its homicide rate, one of the biggest challenges has been getting residents living in Chicago’s high-crime areas to cooperate with law enforcement. While some residents fear reprisals from the bad guys, many others say negative run-ins with the police have created a culture of distrust.”  As Travell Jackson, 17, said, “They’re supposed to serve and protect, but sometimes the police act just like another gang.”

Chapman noted that the problem goes much deeper than simple lack of trust.  “There is evidence that some police officers have, themselves, been engaged in criminal conspiracies in some communities,” he said.  “For example, on the West Side Derrick Searcy was falsely accused and convicted of murder by drug dealers in cahoots with the police,” citing the case in which a laid-off auto worker was framed up for killing a police informer by the drug dealers against whom the victim was informing.  This came at the same time seven Austin District officers were indicted and convicted of engaging in a criminal conspiracy with drug gangs in the area.

“An elected CPAC could transform the police from an occupying army to servants of the people,” Chapman declared.  “This fundamental change in the power relationships in the communities will go further in stopping violence than any other single reform.”

“Fundamentally, however, the de-escalation of violence in our communities requires the escalation of hope for a brighter future for our youth.  What can we expect when the only work available is illicit work?  The talents and lives of our young people are being destroyed by a system that spends twice as much on incarcerating youth as it does on educating them.[ii]  While the City talks about beefing up armed but ineffective police force it simultaneously closes 54 schools that could have offered a glimmer of hope to our young people.”

“Some people will say that these policies combined amount to a policy of genocide, of ethnic cleansing, of eliminating Black and Latino people.  One doesn’t need a PhD to see what’s going on in front of our noses.  The only way to arrest this crisis is an elected CPAC and a massive ‘Marshall Program’ for economic development and jobs in our communities.”

The Alliance and the Organizing Committee have called for a mass march on City Hall on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, demanding justice for victims of violent crimes, especially police crimes such as murder and torture, and passage of the CPAC legislation.  For more information go to www.StopPoliceCrimes.com.

[i] www.chicagotribune.com/news/locallct-met-chicago-police-distrust-20130426,0,4170295.story

[ii] Caputo, Angela, “In some Chicago neighborhoods, incarceration costs twice as high as education spending,” Chicago Reporter, April 29, 2013, http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-muckrakers/2013/04/in-some-chicago-neighborhoods-incarceration-costs-twice-as-high-as-education-spending/.

National Veterans Art Museum announces new show in honor of Memorial Day

Posted by Newsroom On May - 1 - 2013 Comments Off on National Veterans Art Museum announces new show in honor of Memorial Day


Tenacity and Truth: People, Places and Memories Features Work from the Permanent Collection


CHICAGO, IL – On Saturday, May 25, 2013, the National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM) will host the opening of Tenacity and Truth: People, Places and Memories, a brand-new exhibit showcasing works from the permanent collection. It features work that was created by artists both trained and untrained who share in the overwhelming need to express their experiences through a visual language and explores the creative process behind veteran art. Admission to the NVAM will be free all day with light refreshments offered from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Artist talks will take place throughout the afternoon.

Many of the pieces in the show have not been on exhibit for ten or more years, and include a variety of artists from all eras, including WWII, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, and Iraq. Gallery Coordinator Destinee Oitzinger notes that many artists discover their voice and subject matter through a creative practice; however veteran-made art often follows a different path. Oitzinger says of the works in this show: “The subject matter comes first and the artwork is made out of necessity. Most of the pieces in this collection were borne of events so powerful that the artists were compelled to harness and translate their experiences. Many have said they create because they are trying to help others understand their experiences; others admit that they use art to try to understand themselves and what they went through during their time in war. Still others hope to address the subject of war directly and expose truths that are often ignored or overlooked.” For most, art serves as the most authentic record of the human condition in all of its complexity, simplicity, horror and beauty.

The imagery found in Tenacity and Truth illustrates everything from the tediousness of everyday boredom paired with the anxiety of waiting for the next crisis; the anguish suffered by many in the aftermath of war; the imprint of landscapes both breathtaking and threatening; the faces of comrades and enemies seared into memory; and the abstracted visions that haunted many after they returned home. These paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures convey both the fragility and fortitude of the human spirit in its rawest form. Artwork of this nature can begin to articulate the unimaginable, because sometimes words are not enough.

Curator Mike Helbing comments on the challenge of curating a show of this size: “The difficulty was not in trying to find works to show, but in fact having to choose among them all. With more than 2,500 pieces in the permanent collection, I had the honor of choosing artwork that explores people, places and memories of service. These pieces serve as records of experience archived in a visual discourse. Subjects range from the adrenaline and anguish of combat to the thoughts and memories of the people to the shaping power of place. Boredom and quotidian experiences of war are represented in some. Mental strain and slippery realities appear in others. There is beauty and there is torment. Ultimately there is change. Then comes the reality of surviving the experience and finding out how different “now-you” is compared to “then-you” and how apart you are from those that were left behind in the world.”

Executive Director Levi Moore celebrates the new show in honor of Memorial Day, noting, “Memorial Day and Veterans Day are our two major opportunities each year to get new visitors through the door–it’s always a pleasure to welcome new visitors and neighbors through our doors to take a moment to appreciate the sacrifices of our veterans and to explore their experiences through the creative process of art.”

The show will be open to the public from Saturday, May 25, 2013 through May 2014. For more information, visit the museum’s website at www.nvam.org.

About the National Veterans Art Museum
The National Veterans Art Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of art inspired by combat and created by veterans. No other gallery in the world focuses on the subject of war from an artistic perspective, making this collection truly unique. The National Veterans Art Museum addresses both historical and contemporary issues related to military service in order to give patrons of all backgrounds insight into the effects of war and to provide veterans an artistic outlet to work through their military and combat experiences.

The National Veterans Art Museum is located at 4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. The National Veterans Art Museum will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free. For group admission reservations, call the Museum at 312/326-0270 or visit www.nvam.org.

Patrons of the museum can access art from the permanent collection and biographical information on the artists through the NVAM Collection Online, a recently launched online and high-resolution archive of every piece of art in the museum’s permanent collection. The NVAM Collection Online can be found at www.nvam.org/collection-online.

School Wellness Conference stresses the connection between healthy students and academic success

Posted by Newsroom On May - 1 - 2013 Comments Off on School Wellness Conference stresses the connection between healthy students and academic success


Educators come from across the state for annual event


SPRINGFIELD, IL— The research is clear: Healthy kids learn better. Educators, administrators, school nurses, food service staff and others from across Illinois will convene Friday, May 3, to discuss healthy school policies and practices during the sixth annual School Wellness Conference in Springfield.  Sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education and Action for Healthy Kids, the conference will highlight the academic benefits of a healthy school environment.

“Proper nutrition and physical fitness are essential for optimal learning,” said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico. “Good school nutrition and healthy practices are more important than ever as schools feed more children through the National School Lunch Program and we all work to help reverse the tide of childhood obesity. With the help of conferences like this one, we can develop a new generation of students who understand the importance of exercising both their minds and bodies.”

In the keynote presentation “The Learning Connection: Enhancing Academic Success Through Healthy School Environments,” speakers Rob Bisceglie, chief executive officer of Action for Healthy Kids, and Connie Mueller, former Director of Food and Nutrition Services for Bloomington District 87, will discuss the new The Learning Connection report, which is available online at http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/storage/documents/pdfs/afhk_thelearningconnection_digitaledition.pdf.

“There’s so much research showing that kids who get regular physical activity and consume nutritious foods and beverages do better in the classroom and on standardized tests,” says Bisceglie of Action for Healthy Kids. “Instilling healthy behaviors in schools and homes is not just about students’ overall health, which is obviously critical. It’s also about students’ long-term academic performance and everyone — parents, teachers, school administrators, the nation as a whole — has a stake in that.”


Research findings shared in The Learning Connection report include:

  • Students who eat breakfast have better attention and memory.
  • After just 20 minutes of physical activity, brain activity improves.
  • Students who were more active during school performed better on standardized tests.

Other sessions at the day-long conference will include an update on the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, and presentations on school health initiatives, new national nutrition education standards, free health and wellness programs, and employee staff wellness. 

Wellness Advocates Honored

At the conference, the Illinois State Board of Education also will honor four Illinois School Wellness Advocates from across the state:


  • Dawn Davis of Washington (Ill.) Community High School recently received the Teacher of the Year Award from the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (IAHPERD). Davis has been teaching and coaching for 23 years, including the last 17 years at WHS, where she serves as the department chair.
  • Sandy Noel is a former physical education teacher from Hatch Elementary School in Oak Park District 97. She is a member of the Illinois Enhanced Physical Education Taskforce and has been an active member of the Illinois Action for Healthy Kids Steering Committee since 2003. Noel is chair of the Governor’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness and previously served as chair of IAHPERD.


  • Kathryn Olson of Roselle was recently named the 2012-13 Illinois School Nurse Administrator of the Year by the Illinois Association of School Nurses. She serves as the district nurse for Bensenville School District 2 in DuPage County. 


  • Mary Anne Wesoloski was named the Illinois School Nurse of the Year by the Illinois Association of School Nurses. Wesoloski, who has practiced as a nurse in Illinois schools for 13 years, works for Barrington School District 220, where she serves general and special education students in three elementary schools.


Sixth Annual Wellness Conference

What: The School Wellness Conference

 When:  9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., Friday, May 3

                                       Where:  The Springfield Hilton, 700 E. Adams St., Springfield

Visit these web resources on student nutrition and wellness for additional information:


“Elmo Makes Music”: Fun & Furry Musicians Arrive in Chicagoland today, May 1!

Posted by Newsroom On May - 1 - 2013 Comments Off on “Elmo Makes Music”: Fun & Furry Musicians Arrive in Chicagoland today, May 1!

ROSEMONT, IL,  MERRILLVILLE, Ind. & JOLIET, IL – Mark your calendar for a musical event like no other—monsters making music!  Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird and all their Sesame Street friends are taking to the stage to share their love of music in Sesame Street Live “Elmo Makes Music” at Rosemont Theatre from Wednesday, May 1 through Sunday, May 5, the Star Plaza Theatre from Wednesday, May 8 through Sunday, May 12 and the Rialto Square Theatre Tuesday, May 14 through Wednesday, May 15. Tickets for all 21 performances are on sale now!

Jenny, an enthusiastic new music teacher, arrives on Sesame Street only to discover that her instruments are missing.  Jenny’s new Muppet friends quickly come to the rescue and discover ‘instruments’ they never knew existed…rubber duckies, trash can lids and even cookie jars.  Elmo, Abby Cadabby and friends teach children that everyone can make and enjoy beautiful music together.

Like television’s Sesame Street, each Sesame Street Live production features timeless lessons for all ages.  Through the razzle-dazzle of this Broadway-quality musical production, children learn about patience, acceptance and teamwork.  The universal appeal of a Sesame Street Live production continues long after preschool.  Adults will appreciate the high-tech stagecraft, cleverly written scripts, and music they’ll recognize and enjoy sharing with children, such as “The Hustle,” “You Should Be Dancing” and “Rockin’ Robin.”  “Elmo Makes Music” features nearly two dozen songs, including classics that children will love to sing along with such as “C Is for Cookie” and “The Alphabet Song.”

May is American Stroke Month, Americans urged to protect themselves from nation’s #4 killer

Posted by Newsroom On May - 1 - 2013 Comments Off on May is American Stroke Month, Americans urged to protect themselves from nation’s #4 killer

CHICAGO, IL — May is American Stroke Month and the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are urging people to learn the risk factors and warning signs for stroke. About 795,000 Americans experience a new or recurrent stroke each year — a stroke every 40 seconds or a related death every four minutes. Stroke is the No. 4 killer of Americans, and it is a leading cause of serious long-term disability.

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Together to End Stroke initiative is sponsored nationally by healthcare products leader Covidien, with a goal of raising public awareness about stroke and educating Americans that stroke is largely preventable, treatable and beatable.

The campaign recently launched a free mobile app available at www.strokeassociation.org that helps people spot a stroke F.A.S.T., find hospitals in the area and call 9-1-1 immediately if they recognize any signs of stroke. F.A.S.T. is an easy way to help remember the signs of stroke and means:

Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?

Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 9-1-1 – If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.  Check the time so you will know when the first symptoms appeared.

Getting treatment for a stroke victim quickly is critical, as new drugs can actually reduce or halt the effects of stroke but only if administered within three hours of the onset of symptoms. However, most stroke patients wait an average of 22 hours before receiving treatment.  Part of the delay is a result of not recognizing the warning signs and symptoms of stroke. The sooner a stroke victim gets to the hospital, the quicker they can be evaluated, leading to faster lifesaving treatment. 

Like cardiac emergencies, most strokes occur at home.  That’s why the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, especially during the month of May, encourages everyone to learn the warning signs and symptoms of stroke and act F.A.S.T when they spot a stroke.

More information about stroke risk factors, information for caregivers and other resources are at www.strokeassociation.org.


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org   or call any of our offices around the country.

Business Owners and Transportation Advocates applaud City’s plan for a safer and more livable Milwaukee Avenue that includes protected bike lanes

Posted by Newsroom On May - 1 - 2013 Comments Off on Business Owners and Transportation Advocates applaud City’s plan for a safer and more livable Milwaukee Avenue that includes protected bike lanes

CHICAGO, IL  –  The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has proposed plans for new barrier-protected bike lanes on Milwaukee Avenue between Kinzie and Elston, making the street safer and more livable. The plans were recently posted online and are being presented to the community at a public meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Intuit, 756 N. Milwaukee. Business owners and transportation advocates praised the plan as a way to improve safety by creating more order on the street, while creating a street environment that is more welcoming and attractive to potential retail customers.

(CDOT’s project plans and meeting announcement can be found online here: http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdot/provdrs/bike/alerts/2013/apr/milwaukee_avenuespokeroute.html )

After the announcement of potential bikeway improvements on Milwaukee Avenue last year, more than 2,800 people signed a petition supporting protected bike lanes as part of the plans. During rush hour, more than 40 percent of Milwaukee Avenue traffic is comprised of bikes, according to recent CDOT traffic counts, making it the busiest biking street in Chicago.

“Protected bike lanes create a more organized traffic flow that is safer for everyone, whether you are walking, biking or driving a car,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “Milwaukee Avenue has the highest bike traffic of any street in Chicago, so it’s especially important to improve safety on this route by better balancing the needs of everyone on the street.”

“Milwaukee Avenue is currently chaotic and there’s a lot of unsafe speeding,” said Tim Coonan, owner of Big Shoulders Coffee, located at Milwaukee and Chicago. “Most of our customers arrive by foot, bike or transit, so safety improvements and protected bike lanes will really capitalize on one of our strengths and help attract more customers.”

Protected bike lanes use physical barriers to separate people riding bikes and motorized traffic. By providing people on bikes with their own protected space, the design helps people of all ages feel more comfortable biking on city streets, while also making it more comfortable for people driving to share the street with people biking. Statistics show protected bike lanes encourage more people to bike while improving a street’s overall safety for everyone — whether they walk, bike or drive. A study recently published in the American Journal of Public Health found that risk of injury is 89 percent lower biking on protected bike lanes compared to major streets with no bike infrastructure.

Demand for safer streets for biking has been growing in Chicago and around the country. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey found that 71 percent of Americans would like to bicycle more, but fewer than half feel that their community is designed for making biking safe. This pent-up demand for safer bike infrastructure has been on full display in Chicago. Following installation of a protected bike lane on Kinzie Street last year, bicycle ridership on Kinzie increased 55 percent.

“The faster the money goes by our front door, the less likely it is to end up in our establishment,” said Angelo Karras, owner of Windy City Café, located at Milwaukee and Chicago. “The planned safety improvements and protected bike lanes will help to calm traffic while making our block more welcoming for walking, biking and lingering.”

New York City found that protected bike lanes had a significant positive impact on local business strength. After the construction of a protected bike lane on 9th Avenue, local businesses saw a 49 percent increase in retail sales. In comparison, local businesses throughout Manhattan only saw a 3 percent increase in retail sales.

“Protected bike lanes will make Milwaukee Avenue a more vibrant and livable place,” said Doug O’Donahue of Upgrade Cycle Works. “By providing safe, comfortable and appealing places for people to bike, the new protected bike lanes will contribute to the area’s growing energy and economic vitality.”

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 America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by more than 7,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 35 full-time staff. For more information about the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.

Jacobson assumes Chairmanship of Better Business Bureau

Posted by Newsroom On May - 1 - 2013 Comments Off on Jacobson assumes Chairmanship of Better Business Bureau

CHICAGO, IL – Carl Jacobson, Director of Asset Management of GE Real Estate, has been named the new Chair of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB). Jacobson has been a long-serving member of the BBB Board of Directors, most recently as the BBB treasurer.

“Carl is a business person who exemplifies our organization’s core values.  We appreciate his commitment to the dedication and growth of the Better Business Bureau. We are proud to welcome him as the new chair,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.

As Director of Asset Management of GE Real Estate’s North American Lending Group, Jacobson leads a key unit of GE Commercial Finance, one of the world’s leading resources for commercial real estate capital.   

Jacobson attended Northern Illinois University where he earned his B.S in Mathematics and graduated cum laude. He also received his Masters from Northern Illinois University. He has served as Chairman of the Board of The Retail Initiative, a nonprofit entity formed to develop supermarket-anchored shopping centers in blighted cities across the United States. Jacobson also has an active role on the State Tournament Committee of the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois.   

Jacobson is married and lives in Homer Glen.

Music Institute establishes campus in Downtown Chicago

Posted by Newsroom On May - 1 - 2013 Comments Off on Music Institute establishes campus in Downtown Chicago

Lake Forest Campus Expands Programming 

The Music Institute of Chicago announces the strategic expansion and restructuring of its campus system, which currently serves more than 3,000 students.
The 83-year-old institution has entered into a partnership with Fourth Presbyterian Church to open a campus within the Gratz Center, the church’s new addition on Chestnut Street, just west of North Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. Nationally known for its commitment to music excellence in worship and also as host to more than 70 concerts a year, Fourth Church is a natural partner in this downtown expansion. The new Music Institute campus, opening in September, will provide high-quality music lessons and classes for children and adults, amplifying the Music Institute’s already-strong presence in the city through its programs in the Chicago Public Schools.
Savitri Pai, a Music Institute Trustee, alumna, and Chicago resident, said, “Downtown residents have clamored for access to the Music Institute’s excellent programs for many years. Now people can benefit from the Music Institute’s programs without having to drive to the northern suburbs.”
In addition to the new Chicago campus, the Music Institute will expand its facilities at the Grove Cultural Campus, 40 East Old Mill Road in Lake Forest. With the closure of its Highland Park campus this summer, the Lake Forest campus will now serve as a dynamic center for lessons, classes, chamber music, and performance for students of all ages.
The Music Institute previously announced the relocation and consolidation of its headquarters, Institute for Therapy through the Arts, Musical Theater, and World Music programs to 1702 Sherman Avenue in the heart of downtown Evanston. Each campus hub—in Lake Forest, Winnetka, Evanston, and Chicago—will offer a full range of education programming, including private lessons, Suzuki education, early childhood education, chamber music, jazz studies, and adult education classes. Satellite facilities in Lincolnshire and Downers Grove will continue to offer lessons and select programming.
“The Music Institute of Chicago is dedicated to providing the highest quality music education in a supportive and nurturing musical environment,” said President and CEO Mark George. “Concentrating our resources at campus hubs allows us to enrich and expand our programming and foster a vibrant and engaging musical community. The new campus structure creates a nexus of teachers and students, from Chicago to Lake Forest.”
Music Institute of Chicago
The Music Institute of Chicago has grown to become one of the three largest and most respected community music schools in the nation and is a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. The school offers music instruction and classes to students of all ages and every level of experience. Each year, the Music Institute’s world-class music teachers and arts therapists reach more than 10,000 students and clients at campuses in Evanston, Winnetka, Lincolnshire, Highland Park, Lake Forest, and Downers Grove, and through its longstanding partnership with the Chicago Public Schools.
The Music Institute was founded in a Winnetka farmhouse in 1931 by David and Dorothy Dushkin. David Dushkin famously said, “Music is not a calling to be pursued in solitude by the talented. It is basic to life, like bread and fresh air.” After 83 years, the Music Institute of Chicago’s mission—to provide the foundation for a lifelong engagement with music—endures.
Registration for summer camps, classes, and private instruction is open for all Music Institute campuses. To register or learn more, visit musicinst.org or call 847.905.1500.

The Chicago Premiere of “By The Way, Meet Vera Stark” now at the Goodman Theatre and will run thru June 2, 2013

Posted by Newsroom On May - 1 - 2013 Comments Off on The Chicago Premiere of “By The Way, Meet Vera Stark” now at the Goodman Theatre and will run thru June 2, 2013


By Pulitzer prize Winner Lynn Nottage

Chuck Smith directs this story of old Hollywood at the Goodman


CHICAGO, IL – Goodman Theatre Resident Director Chuck Smith directs the Chicago premiere of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage (Ruined). In this sly satire of old Hollywood, Nottage pulls back the curtain on the glamorous movie studios of the 1930s in a work hailed as “not-to-be-missed” by Vogue and that “reminds us of Nottage’s impressive range as a dramatist” (Los Angeles Times). The cast includes Patrick Clear (Mr. Slasvick/Brad Donovan), Chiké Johnson (Leroy Barksdale/Herb), TaRon Patton (Lottie McBride/Carmen Levy-Green), Tamberla Perry (Vera Stark), Ron Rains (Maximillian Von Oster/Peter Rhys-Davies), Amelia Workman (Anna Mae Simpkins/Afua Assata Ejobo) and Kara Zediker (Gloria Mitchell). The design team includes Robert Christen (Lighting Design), Riccardo Hernandez (Set Design), Josh Horvath and Ray Nardelli (Sound Design), Mike Tutaj (Projection Design) and Birgit Rattenborg Wise (Costume Design). Joseph Drummond is the production stage manager. By the Way, Meet Vera Stark runs April 27 – June 2, 2013 in the Albert Theatre (opening night is Monday, May 6). Tickets ($25 – $81; subject to change) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/Vera, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Goodman Theatre’s Women’s Board is the Major Production Sponsor for By the Way, Meet Vera Stark and WBEZ 91.5FM is the Media Partner. A full performance calendar and information on other special events appear below.

“I fell in love with Lynn Nottage’s work for many reasons, and I’m especially thrilled to be directing By the Way, Meet Vera Stark because I see it as a slice of American life,” said director Chuck Smith, who directed Nottage’s Crumbs from the Table of Joy at the Goodman in 2006. “This play reminds us of the plight of talented individuals who weren’t considered because of the color of their skin. That’s part of our history, and we have to tell that history.”

This “sharp-toothed comedy” (The Wall Street Journal) offers a glimpse into the life of Vera Stark, a headstrong African American actress who begins a career in the 1930s, at a time when her only shot at success lay in stealing small scenes in big Hollywood blockbusters. Seventy years later, film buffs are left to reflect on the life and legacy of this controversial star, whose eventual fame and fortune came at the price of perpetuating dangerous stereotypes. By the Way, Meet Vera Stark paints a vivid picture of the cultural climate that shaped this mysterious screen queen—and wonders who, in another time, she might have been.

“A through-line in my writing is the focus on African American women, or women from the African diaspora, who’ve been marginalized by circumstance and who are trying to assert their presence,” said playwright Lynn Nottage. “I hope that By the Way, Meet Vera Stark will open a conversation. That’s what the play was designed to do.”

Nottage’s By The Way, Meet Vera Stark made its world premiere off Broadway at Second Stage Theatre in 2011. Her Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined, a Goodman commission that premiered at the Goodman in 2008 and transferred to the Manhattan Theatre Club, received an Obie, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play. Ruined premiered in London at the Almeida Theatre in April, 2010, and toured extensively throughout the US. Nottage is currently writing the screen adaptation for Harpo Films, Oprah Winfrey’s production company, and HBO. Her other plays include Intimate Apparel (New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play); Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine (Obie Award); Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por’knockers and POOF! Nottage is the recipient of the 2010 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, the Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the inaugural Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play (Ruined), the Lee Reynolds Award and the Jewish World Watch I Witness Award. Additional honors include the 2007 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant,” the National Black Theatre Festival’s August Wilson Playwriting Award, the 2005 Guggenheim Grant for Playwriting, the 2004 Casting Announced for By

PEN/Laura Pels Award for Drama and fellowships from the Lucille Lortel Foundation, Manhattan Theatre Club, New Dramatists and New York Foundation for the Arts.

Chuck Smith is Goodman Theatre’s Resident Director and an associate producer of Legacy Productions, a Chicago-based touring company. His Goodman credits include the Chicago premieres of Race, The Good Negro, Proof and The Story; the world premieres of By the Music of the Spheres and The Gift Horse; James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner, which transferred to Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company, where it won the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Award for Best Direction; Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun; Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky; August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; the Fats Waller musical Ain’t Misbehavin’; the 1993 to 1995 productions of A Christmas Carol; Crumbs From the Table of Joy; Vivisections from a Blown Mind; and The Meeting. He served as dramaturg for the world-premiere production of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at the Goodman. He directed the New York premiere of Knock Me a Kiss and The Hooch for the New Federal Theatre and the world premiere of Knock Me a Kiss at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater, where his other directing credits include Master Harold and the Boys, Home, Dame Lorraine with the late Esther Rolle and Eden, for which he received a Jeff Award nomination for Best Director. Regionally, Smith directed Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Birdie Blue at Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Story at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Blues for an Alabama Sky at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and The Last Season for The Robey Theatre Company in Los Angeles. At Columbia College he was facilitator of the Theodore Ward Prize playwriting contest for 20 years and editor of the contest anthologies Seven Black Plays and Best Black Plays. He won a Chicago Emmy Award as associate producer/theatrical director for the NBC teleplay Crime of Innocence and was theatrical director for the Emmy Award-winning Fast Break to Glory and the Emmy Award-nominated The Martin Luther King Suite. He was a founding member of the Chicago Theatre Company, where he served as artistic director for four seasons and directed the Jeff Award-nominated Suspenders and the Jeff Award-winning musical Po’. He is a 2003 inductee into the Chicago State University Gwendolyn Brooks Center’s Literary Hall of Fame and a 2001 Chicago Tribune Chicagoan of the Year. He is currently a board member of the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago.

Tickets to By the Way, Meet Vera Stark ($25 – $81; subject to change) go on sale to the general public Friday, February 15 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 15 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. Luxury Packages include, with a $250 donation, access to purchase up to eight premium seats, one complimentary parking pass, a production memento and use of the exclusive Goodman Lounge, including a private bar, restrooms and coat check.

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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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