18
June , 2018
Monday

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Northbrook, IL -  The Kirk for Senate campaign issued the following statement regarding the national rise ...
Companies Targeted Immigrant Communities, Sold Cards with Up to 50% Fewer Minutes than Advertised and ...
Early voting is already underway in Illinois for the March 18, 2014 Gubernatorial Primary ...
Silver Spring, MD (BlackNews.com) - The author of the first play ever written ...
By Terrance Amen, founder and CEO of 3Ufirst FPC Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -- As a ...
Maintaining her commitment to government transparency and accountability, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is ...
Revised Strategy Focuses on Lottery Brand; Spurs 38.7 percent Holiday Instant Sales Surge SPRINGFIELD, IL ...
(Letters to Editor) From Sean Patrick Maloney Democrat for Congress It is so important we do something to ...

Archive for July 22nd, 2015

Citizens Call For an End to Solitary Confinement in Illinois

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

From: Uptown People’s Law Center

Protest Rally will be held  7/23, 2015 at the Thompson Center (Clark & Randolph)


CHICAGO, IL —  Last week, President Obama talked about solitary confinement, saying “The social science shows” that it is “more likely to make inmates more alienated, more hostile, potentially more violent.” He wondered, “Do we really think it makes sense to lock so many people alone in tiny cells for 23 hours a day for months, sometime for years at a time? That is not going to make us safer.” Concerned community members, survivors of solitary confinement, and family members of prisoners in solitary will rally on July 23 to say that solitary confinement is torture and must not be used. Organizations represented will include Uptown People’s Law Center, Illinois Coalition Against Torture, United Voices for Prisoners, and Black & Pink Chicago.

The protest will begin at the Thompson Center, with a rally and speakers. Then the group will march to Federal Plaza, to speak out against the opening of a new federal supermax prison in Illinois, Thomson Correctional Center, with 1,500 solitary cells.

“‘The law’ is breaking the law,” says Latonia Walker, whose brother is in solitary confinement at Stateville Correctional Center. “The Department of Corrections needs to be held accountable. Solitary confinement should only be used briefly, in extreme cases, for the individual to get the help they need.”

Last month, Uptown People’s Law Center and Winston & Strawn LLP filed a class action lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Corrections regarding its overuse and misuse of solitary confinement. The suit demands that the department comply with the American Bar Association’s standards.

“The state of Illinois puts too many people into solitary, and for petty reasons. The conditions there are appalling and unconstitutional, and we leave people in there for too long. Worst of all, Illinois’ excessive use of solitary doesn’t make our prisons safer, doesn’t protect staff, and does nothing to protect the public,” says Alan Mills, Executive Director of Uptown People’s Law Center.

A United Nations expert on torture has called on all countries to ban the solitary confinement of prisoners, stating that solitary confinement for longer than 15 days amounts to torture.

Thursday 7/23
5:15 PM – Thompson Center (Clark & Randolph) – Rally against solitary confinement in Illinois
6 PM – March to Federal Plaza (Dearborn & Adams) – Rally against the Thomson federal supermax prison, set to open in Illinois in 2015

VISUALS:
Life-size makeshift solitary confinement cell. Speakers include survivors of solitary, family members of prisoners in solitary, and people reading testimonies from prisoners currently in solitary confinement.

The Facebook event currently shows over 300 people attending.

Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Demands the End of IPRA and its “Agenda” of Police Impunity

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression with Chicagoans from across the city will demand the end of IPRA and its “agenda” of police impunity at a 10:30 a.m. press conference, Thursday, July 23rd, at the Independent Police Review Authority, 1615 W. Chicago Ave, Chicago.

In a press statement, they said the firing of Lorenzo Davis this past week is the final and inarguable proof that the Independent Police Review Authority’s true agenda is total impunity for the police. Out of the 400 police shootings that IPRA has investigated in its eight years of existence, they have only judged one solitary shooting unjustified. IPRA has failed in its supposed mission to hold the police accountable, while it has succeeded in its real mission of generating an untouchable police force. The answer is clear: IPRA must go.

The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression is and has been demanding an end to IPRA and the Police Board, to be executed through the enactment of an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC).

“We demand that Chicago’s City Council enact CPAC! Once again we demand that the Department of Justice bring criminal cops to justice! Finally, we call upon the people of Chicago who cannot take any more police crimes and cover-ups to join us on August 29th in our mass march in support of CPAC!”

For more information, contact:

Frank Chapman 312-513-3795 email: fchapman@naarpr.org  or
Ted Pearson 312-927-2689 email: tpearson@naarpr.org

President Obama Nominates Judge Leonard Terry Strand to Serve on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama nominated Judge Leonard Terry Strand to serve on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.

“I am pleased to nominate Judge Leonard Terry Strand to serve on the United States District Court bench,” said President Obama. “I am confident he will serve the American people with distinction.”

Judge Leonard Terry Strand:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa

Judge Leonard Terry Strand has served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of Iowa since 2012. Previously, he worked at the law firm of Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he specialized in commercial litigation and employment law and also served on the firm’s management committee. Judge Strand joined Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC as an associate in 1990 and was made partner in 1996.  He received his J.D. with highest distinction in 1990 from the University of Iowa College of Law and his B.A. with high distinction from the University of Iowa in 1987.

Kirk Backs Dart in Fight With Human Trafficking Site Backpage

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Calls on Department of Justice to Shut Site Down for Good

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the below statement following the news that Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart was being sued by Backpage.com, the nation’s most active sex trafficking website. Earlier this month, after urging from Sheriff Dart, Visa and MasterCard banned the use of their credit cards on the adult section of the website. They were the second and third credit card company to do so.

“Sheriff Tom Dart has stood up to Backpage, the leading source of underage sex trafficking in the United States, and deserves our praise. Backpage isn’t a legitimate business, and it’s time the Department of Justice shuts it down for good and holds its owners accountable for facilitating the sale of underage girls for sex.”

BACKGROUND:

Senator Kirk and Sheriff Dart have partnered to stop websites like Backpage from facilitating human trafficking. Senator Kirk applauded the recent decisions by Visa, Mastercard and American Express to prevent their customers from using credit cards to buy adult ads on Backpage.com.

Earlier this year, Senator Kirk led a bicameral letter to then-Attorney General Eric Holder urging the Department of Justice to investigate and shut down Backpage.com for knowingly facilitating the sale of children for sex. In June 2014, the FBI raided, seized and shut down a similar website, MyRedBook, because of its role in facilitating human trafficking.

In May, Senator Kirk’s bipartisan legislation to combat the sale of children for sex online, the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act, was signed into law as part of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA). The SAVE Act aggressively combats Internet sex trafficking and the selling of children under the age of 18 for sex by making it a crime for a person, such as the owner of a website, to knowingly advertise a commercial sex act with a minor. Websites like Backpage.com provide a platform for this type of sex trafficking advertising, earning more than $30 million a year from their illicit ads, and ultimately contribute to the selling and exploitation of minors.

In 2012, Senator Kirk co-signed letters to 40 companies and organizations urging them to stop placing advertisements in publications owned by Village Voice Media, then the parent company of Backpage.com.

NAACP Launches America’s Journey for Justice at Edmund Pettus Bridge

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

BALTIMORE, MD – America’s Journey for Justice will commence on August 1st at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.

The march will feature rallies and teach-ins along the route, satellite events across the country, and a #JusticeSummer social media campaign. The 860-mile march will culminate in a Washington, D.C. with a rally and advocacy day. Led relay style by our regional leadership, NAACP Alabama State Conference President Bernard Simelton will carry the first baton of justice for this historic march. From Alabama, we will march through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia until we reach the nation’s capital. For 40 days and 40 nights, the NAACP will mobilize activists and advance a focused national advocacy agenda that protects the right of every American to a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with a living wage, and equitable public education. America’s Journey for Justice will unite partners from the social justice, youth activism, civil rights, democracy reform, religious, not-for-profit, labor, corporate, and environmental communities to call for justice for all Americans under the unifying theme “Our Lives, Our Votes, Our Jobs, Our Schools Matter.”

For the entire eight week march schedule, click here.

WHO:
Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President & CEO; Bernard Simelton, President of NAACP Alabama State Conference; Rose and Hank Sanders, Organizers for the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march; Charles Steele, CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; additional speakers to be announced.

WHEN/WHERE:
10 a.m. Blessing of the March
The Boynton House
1315 Lapsley Street
Selma, Alabama 36701

11 a.m. Rally
Marchers will gather for a rally at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge
(Speakers to be Announced)

12 p.m.  March begins
Marchers set off on America’s Journey for Justice

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Delivers Remarks at Community Policing Forum

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
East Haven, CT

United States

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch:

Thank you, U.S. Attorney [Deirdre] Daly, for that kind introduction and for your exceptional service to the people of Connecticut.  I’d like to recognize Chief of Police [Brent] Larrabee for his leadership of the East Haven Police Department and for giving me such a warm welcome today.  And I’d like to thank everyone who worked to make this important event possible.  It’s an honor to join so many law enforcement officers, faith leaders, student representatives and community officials as we come together to discuss the important work underway here in East Haven and across the country to build relationships of trust between law enforcement officers and the communities we serve.

This is vital work, because our public safety depends on the bonds that police share with the residents they protect.  When those bonds are strong, our crime prevention efforts are more successful; incidents are more likely to be reported and addressed; and police are more likely to have the support they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.  But when those essential ties break down, too often, violence breaks out.  We have seen that devastating pattern play out in a number of cases over the last several months and each heartbreaking tragedy has weighed heavily on a nation still grappling with issues that have been with us since our founding.

While that struggle is not new, what should give us all hope is that these incidents have generated renewed focus and reinvigorated conversations about how we can best join together to create stronger, safer, more united communities.  In many cases, these conversations have been initiated by young people, who are finding new ways to communicate and to organize.  And they present us with an opportunity to bring together women and men who live and work in our neighborhoods – public safety officials and private citizens alike – in the service of this shared cause.

I want you to know that I am committed to doing my part.  Bolstering trust where relationships have frayed is one of my top priorities as Attorney General and I intend to use the full resources of the Department of Justice to support the progress that all Americans need and deserve.  Last September, we launched the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, which is investing in training; advancing evidence-based strategies; spurring policy development; and supporting research that promotes credibility, enhances procedural justice, reduces implicit bias and drives racial reconciliation.  We are working with community leaders in pilot sites across the country to develop plans for progress tailored to local needs.  And two months ago, I began taking part in roundtable discussions like this one to highlight some of the outstanding and exciting work that communities and law enforcement are doing together.

I’ve already visited Cincinnati, Ohio and Birmingham, Alabama.  In the coming weeks, I will travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; and Richmond, California.  And I’m here in East Haven today because this town’s leaders – all of you at this table and your colleagues and partners beyond this room – have made clear your steadfast determination to collaborate, to innovate and to move forward as one community.  Four years ago, the Department of Justice found that the East Haven police department was engaged in a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing against Latinos.  In the years since, as a result of a consent decree and a clear commitment to change, this community has undergone a profound cultural shift.  Police have embraced the challenge of earning back the confidence of the neighborhoods it serves.  Community members and leaders are reporting increased trust and positive relationships.  And law enforcement officers are working not only to fulfil the terms of the agreement, but to make their department a model for the state.  I could not be more proud of the important progress you have made.

In fact, all across Connecticut, law enforcement officials and civic leaders have been working collaboratively to make progress on a range of critical fronts.  This state is the site of groundbreaking programs like Project Longevity – a comprehensive effort to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities by bringing together federal, state and local authorities; social service providers; and community outreach coordinators.  Connecticut has also been a proving ground for a variety of pioneering collaborations between legal aid providers and law enforcement agencies that are working to help combat domestic violence; address wage theft; end the school-to-prison pipeline; and assist undocumented residents who have been victims of crime.

These efforts collectively serve as a testament to the ingenuity and cooperative spirit of Connecticut’s community leaders and law enforcement officials.  They are a demonstration of the power of working together – across traditional professional lines – to forge innovative solutions to some of our toughest public safety challenges.  And they are an example for local governments and community organizers from coast to coast as they work to revitalize the relationships between law enforcement officers and the neighborhoods we protect and serve.

Of course, I recognize that the goals we are discussing today will not be easy to achieve.  We face complex issues and challenging obstacles.  Progress will take time and will require lasting commitment.  But as I look out at the group of women and men that has assembled here – devoted to a vision for a better, stronger, safer East Haven – I am not only hopeful, but confident, that this community and this country can come together to build the trust and respect we need to thrive.

Thank you all, once again, for your partnership, your leadership and your dedication to the future of this town.  I am excited about this opportunity to speak with you.  And I look forward to working with all of you in the days and months ahead.

Thank you, U.S. Attorney [Deirdre] Daly, for that kind introduction and for your exceptional service to the people of Connecticut.  I’d like to recognize Chief of Police [Brent] Larrabee for his leadership of the East Haven Police Department and for giving me such a warm welcome today.  And I’d like to thank everyone who worked to make this important event possible.  It’s an honor to join so many law enforcement officers, faith leaders, student representatives and community officials as we come together to discuss the important work underway here in East Haven and across the country to build relationships of trust between law enforcement officers and the communities we serve.

This is vital work, because our public safety depends on the bonds that police share with the residents they protect.  When those bonds are strong, our crime prevention efforts are more successful; incidents are more likely to be reported and addressed; and police are more likely to have the support they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.  But when those essential ties break down, too often, violence breaks out.  We have seen that devastating pattern play out in a number of cases over the last several months and each heartbreaking tragedy has weighed heavily on a nation still grappling with issues that have been with us since our founding.

While that struggle is not new, what should give us all hope is that these incidents have generated renewed focus and reinvigorated conversations about how we can best join together to create stronger, safer, more united communities.  In many cases, these conversations have been initiated by young people, who are finding new ways to communicate and to organize.  And they present us with an opportunity to bring together women and men who live and work in our neighborhoods – public safety officials and private citizens alike – in the service of this shared cause.

I want you to know that I am committed to doing my part.  Bolstering trust where relationships have frayed is one of my top priorities as Attorney General and I intend to use the full resources of the Department of Justice to support the progress that all Americans need and deserve.  Last September, we launched the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, which is investing in training; advancing evidence-based strategies; spurring policy development; and supporting research that promotes credibility, enhances procedural justice, reduces implicit bias and drives racial reconciliation.  We are working with community leaders in pilot sites across the country to develop plans for progress tailored to local needs.  And two months ago, I began taking part in roundtable discussions like this one to highlight some of the outstanding and exciting work that communities and law enforcement are doing together.

I’ve already visited Cincinnati, Ohio and Birmingham, Alabama.  In the coming weeks, I will travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; and Richmond, California.  And I’m here in East Haven today because this town’s leaders – all of you at this table and your colleagues and partners beyond this room – have made clear your steadfast determination to collaborate, to innovate and to move forward as one community.  Four years ago, the Department of Justice found that the East Haven police department was engaged in a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing against Latinos.  In the years since, as a result of a consent decree and a clear commitment to change, this community has undergone a profound cultural shift.  Police have embraced the challenge of earning back the confidence of the neighborhoods it serves.  Community members and leaders are reporting increased trust and positive relationships.  And law enforcement officers are working not only to fulfil the terms of the agreement, but to make their department a model for the state.  I could not be more proud of the important progress you have made.

In fact, all across Connecticut, law enforcement officials and civic leaders have been working collaboratively to make progress on a range of critical fronts.  This state is the site of groundbreaking programs like Project Longevity – a comprehensive effort to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities by bringing together federal, state and local authorities; social service providers; and community outreach coordinators.  Connecticut has also been a proving ground for a variety of pioneering collaborations between legal aid providers and law enforcement agencies that are working to help combat domestic violence; address wage theft; end the school-to-prison pipeline; and assist undocumented residents who have been victims of crime.

These efforts collectively serve as a testament to the ingenuity and cooperative spirit of Connecticut’s community leaders and law enforcement officials.  They are a demonstration of the power of working together – across traditional professional lines – to forge innovative solutions to some of our toughest public safety challenges.  And they are an example for local governments and community organizers from coast to coast as they work to revitalize the relationships between law enforcement officers and the neighborhoods we protect and serve.

Of course, I recognize that the goals we are discussing today will not be easy to achieve.  We face complex issues and challenging obstacles.  Progress will take time and will require lasting commitment.  But as I look out at the group of women and men that has assembled here – devoted to a vision for a better, stronger, safer East Haven – I am not only hopeful, but confident, that this community and this country can come together to build the trust and respect we need to thrive.

Thank you all, once again, for your partnership, your leadership and your dedication to the future of this town.  I am excited about this opportunity to speak with you.  And I look forward to working with all of you in the days and months ahead.

Source: Office of the Attorney General

What Black Parents Must do This Summer

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Op-Ed By Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu

There is a 3 year gap between Black and White students. Many people love to believe it’s due to income, fatherlessness, educational attainment of the parent and lack of parental involvement. I believe a major reason for the gap is we continue to close schools for the summer as if we are an agrarian economy. Very few Black youth will be farming this summer. If you multiply 3 months by 12 years you will see the 3 year gap. There is nothing wrong with Black youth if their schools remained open during the summer and/or their parents kept them academically engaged.

Middle-income parents who value education enroll their children in some type of academic experience during the summer. They also visit libraries, museums, zoos and colleges. Other parents allow their children to sleep longer, play more video games, watch more television and play basketball until they can’t see the hoop. These students will have to review the same work they had mastered in May in September.

Black parents cannot allow their child to lose 3 months every year. Black parents cannot say they cannot afford the library. It’s free! Most museums have discounted days. A male friend of mine shared his experience with me when he took his family to the museum. He wondered why so many people were staring at him. His wife and children had to tell him he was the only Black man in the building! I am appealing to every father to take his children this summer to the library, museum, and the zoo. I am appealing to every mother if he won’t, you will.

We need every parent to make sure their child reads at least one book per week and to write a book report. I am reminded of the formula Sonya Carson used to develop Ben Carson to become the best pediatric neurosurgeon. This low-income single parent, with a third grade education, had enough sense to tell her sons to turn off the television, read a book and write a report that her sister would grade!

I have a theory that I can go into your house and within 5 minutes tell you the type of student who lives there and predict their future. I believe that engineers, doctors, lawyers, accountants etc. need different items in their house than ballplayers, rappers, and criminals. I am very concerned when I visit a house that has more cd’s and downloads than books. My company African American Images has designed a special collection of books for boys. Research shows one of the major reasons boys dislike reading is because of the content. The set is titled Best Books for Boys. We also have one for girls, parents and teachers. Enjoy your summer. Let’s close the gap. I look forward to your child’s teacher asking your child what did you do for the summer? And your child answering we went to the library, museum, zoo, colleges and other great educational places.

Author of “There is Nothing Wrong With Black Students, Changing School Culture For Black Males And Raising Black Boys”

African Women Entrepreneurs Showcase Their Wares and Share Personal Triumphs

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Event will take place today, 7/22/2015,  at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St; Millennium Park Room (5th Floor) from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

As part of the State Department’s mission, the Chicago community will have the rare opportunity to meet with 40 extraordinary women from Sub-Sahara and North Africa as part of the formal “African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program, launched by the State Department in 2010.

Showcase event featuring African handcrafted gourmet foods, skincare, home decor and fashion merchandise from women entrepreneurs

Chicago can help play a part in dismantling barriers to promote gender inequality in Africa which is an economic policy priority for the U.S.  Allows Chicagoans a rare glimpse into these extraordinary women’s lives and hear their personal stories of triumph as well as support them by buying their beautifully crafted wares. Finally, as the largest Fair Trade city in the US, Chicago fair trade retailers are also participating to provide ‘best practices’ as well as potential business partnerships.

Speakers/Partners: In conjunction with the State Department’s policy to advance and promote gender equality, there will be a representative from the State Department to talk about the AWEP program (see fact sheet for more details).  To support Chicago’s standing as a Fair Trade city, the president of Chicago Fair Trade will be able to provide local commentary on fair trade activity in Chicagoland.   

For more information about AWEP:

AWEP empowers thousands of African women entrepreneurs to create better business environments, spur economic growth and become voices of change in their communities.

Since 2010, more than 200 alumnae of AWEP have created more than 17,000 jobs and established 22 women’s business associations across Sub-Saharan Africa.

For more information about Chicago Fair Trade

Chicago Fair Trade is the largest fair trade coalition in the USA, which is unmatched anywhere in the United States. Chicago was named a Fair Trade city in 2011; a Sweatshop-free City in 2014; and Cook County became the largest Sweatshop-free Municipality in the U.S. in 2015. To learn more about Chicago Fair Trade, visit www.chicagofairtrade.org.

For more information about WorldChicago, please visit www.worldchicago.org.

RPM Productions Presents World Premiere of “Day Of The Gypsy,” a New Full-Scale Production From Acclaimed Choreographer Gordon Pierce Schmidt and Multi-Grammy Award Winner John Jorgenson, November 21, 22 at the Harris Theater

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Evening-length Performance Features Original Compositions and Live Accompaniment
from John Jorgenson and the John Jorgenson Quintet

Cast to Feature Principal Dancers Yumelia Garcia, Randy Herrera, Jennifer Goodman and Tom Mattingly


CHICAGO, IL — RPM Productions presents the world premiere of the full-scale production of “Day of the Gypsy,” a highly innovative dance-theater collaboration with choreography by Ruth Page Award winner Gordon Peirce Schmidt and featuring live accompaniment by Grammy Award-winning musician John Jorgenson and the John Jorgenson Quintet. Led by Schmidt and co-founders/artistic associates Jeff Bauer and Laura Berman, RPM Productions brings “Day of the Gypsy” to Chicago for two performances, Saturday, November 21, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 22, 3 p.m. at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. Tickets ($20 – $75) go on sale Thursday, July 30, available online at HarrisTheaterChicago.org, by calling (312) 334-7777 or in-person at the Harris Theater Box Office (205 E. Randolph Drive). Group discounts are available for groups of 8 or more by contacting GroupTix at (773) 327-3778 or GroupTix.net.

“’Day of the Gypsy’ is an immersive theatrical experience inspired by the mystical allure of Gypsy Jazz music and its iconic pioneer, Django Reinhardt,” said Schmidt. “Drama, live music, movement, innovative sets, costumes and lighting designs—we combine all these elements to create an original story told through contemporary dance. We look forward to presenting it for the first time in its entirety.”

Featuring a cast of 12 dancers and five musicians, “Day of the Gypsy” follows a series of magical misadventures, propelled by the sounds of Gypsy Jazz. Powerful, athletic choreography drives the enchanting story and irresistible charm of a magic spell that entangles the hearts of a Gypsy girl and an average Joe. Schmidt’s original choreography features principal dancers Yumelia Garcia (Joffrey Ballet), Randy Herrera (former principal dancer with Houston Ballet), Jennifer Goodman (formerly with the Joffrey Ballet) and Tom Mattingly (formerly with Ballet West).

Director/choreographer for “Day of the Gypsy” is Gordon Peirce Schmidt along with associate choreographer Laura Berman. Original music is composed by John Jorgenson. The design team for “Day of the Gypsy” includes Joseph Jefferson Award winner Jeff Bauer (set design, costume design). Production stage manager is Dyan Yoder.

Schmidt has been choreographing and directing dance and theatre for the past 30 years. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including a Prime Time Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Achievement-Cultural Programming and two Ruth Page Awards for Choreography. During his tenure as resident choreographer for Ballet Chicago between 1989-1995, Schmidt began experimenting with the Gypsy Jazz genre, presenting “By Django,” a lively evocation of the jazz age, which went on to become the signature work for the company. An abbreviated work-in-progress with isolated sections of “Day of the Gypsy,” titled “Journee des Tziganes,” was performed at the Athenaeum Theatre in 2014; the Harris Theater engagement marks the debut of the full-length production.

Music virtuoso John Jorgenson, known for his blistering guitar licks and mastery of a broad musical palette, has earned a reputation as a world-class musician and guitarist who has collaborated with the likes of Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti, Bonnie Raitt and Bob Dylan. In addition to acoustic and electric guitars, he is also regularly featured on the saxophone, clarinet, bouzouki, pedal steel, mandolin, vocals and has garnered recognition for contributing to numerous platinum-selling and Grammy-winning albums.

Currently touring as the John Jorgenson Quintet, Jorgenson creates a unique musical experience that equally enthralls the most discerning and the casual music fan. In the ‘90s, The Hellecasters gave audiences a chance to experience Jorgenson’s fretboard fireworks in an unrestrained venue and the trio’s three original albums remain favorites of guitarists everywhere. Having been a fan of the Desert Rose Band, Elton John invited Jorgenson to join his band in 1994 for an 18 month tour that stretched into a six-year stint of touring, recording and TV appearances with the British superstar, in addition to collaborations with other artists including Sting and Billy Joel.

Performance Schedule and Ticket Information

Saturday, November 21, 2015 | 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 22, 2015 | 3 p.m.

Tickets ($20 – $75) go on sale Thursday, July 30, available online at HarrisTheaterChicago.org, by calling (312) 334-7777 or in-person at Harris Theater Box Office (205 E. Randolph Drive). Group discounts are available for groups of 8 or more by contacting GroupTix at (773) 327-3778 or GroupTix.net.

About RPM Productions

RPM PRODUCTIONS is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to creating works and programs which inter-weave the varied disciplines of the performing arts and visual media. With a history of successful artistic cross-over collaborations backed by the talents of artistic associates Gordon Peirce Schmidt, Laura Berman, and Jeff Bauer, RPM PRODUCTIONS’ goal is to develop and promote the combined abilities of existing and emerging artists. By producing work which is “project specific” RPM PRODUCTIONS is able to assemble artistic teams of designers, videographers, writers and composers to create accessible new works which challenge and entertain a wider range of audience. For more information about RPM Productions visit rpm-productions.org.

National Veterans Art Museum to Open New Exhibition on Friday, September 4th

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Tactical Formations: Collective Practice in the Veteran Art Movement

CHICAGO, IL— On Friday, September 4, 2015, the National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM) will open its newest exhibit, Tactical Formations: Collective Practice in the Veteran Art Movement. NVAM is pleased to announce the public opening on September 4, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. with the keynote by Michael Duffy commencing at 8 p.m.

Tactical Formations takes the basic military strategy of organizing troops into units to carry out tactical missions during combat and applies it to the practice of forming and operating art collectives in order to achieve socially grounded goals through artistic production. The exhibit explores three art collectives: The Vietnam Veterans Arts Group (VVAG), The Dirty Canteen, and the NVAM Teen Council. The VVAG first formed in 1981 when a group of Vietnam veterans began making artwork as an artistic response to their experiences at war. The VVAG was unique in launching the first exhibition composed exclusively of artwork made by combat veterans. The Dirty Canteen collective formed in 2013, and includes veterans from the Gulf War, Kosovo, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, who strive to create and maintain open dialogues about past and current military engagements. Finally the NVAM Teen Council represents a growing group of high school students who create artwork while developing skills in leadership and museum practices in collaboration with veteran artists. These three groups represent NVAM’s foundation, its growing population of post-Gulf War veterans, and its future leaders and artists.

David Sessions – Contained War
Art collectives materialize in order to carry out a common mission. They display a strong creative spirit, and consistently generate collaborative learning experiences. The VVAG and The Dirty Canteen formed as groups to express and represent their experiences of war. Both collectives have aimed to facilitate conversations about past and present conflicts. A third component of the exhibition will be added with the formation of a new artist collective through NVAM Teen Council. Students will learn about art, contribute to the ongoing dialogue surrounding war and conflict, and create artwork to be on display in the third part of the exhibit. Tactical Formations will explore ways in which artwork created in a group context can support and implement the missions of three generations of art collectives.
Thomas Dang – Tactical Decision Game
Featured artists in Tactical Formations include VVAG members Joseph Fornelli, Michael Duffy, William Hackwell, John Shimashita, John Plunkett, and Richard Yohnka; and Dirty Canteen members, Giuseppe Pellicano, Jesse Albrecht, Amber Hoy, Erica Slone, and Daniel Donovan and Thomas Dang.

Keynote speaker Michael Duffy is one of the original members of the VVAG and has exhibited with the National Veterans Art Museum for over 30 years. He served in 1968 as the Executive Officer of C Battery, 7th Battalion, 9th Artillery in and around Bear Cat and Nha Be. Duffy holds a Bachelor’s degree from Colorado College in Fine Art and has contributed art pieces to several university art collections as well as the Denver Art Museum.

Daniel Donovan – Domestic MK VI
Curator Destinee Oitzinger states, “This exhibit showcases the power of the collective voice. Each of the artists in Tactical Formations shares their unique ideas and experiences through their artwork, but it is when they collaborate with others who share a common mission, that change and understanding begin to take root. Throughout history artwork has been a tool to challenge the status quo and instigate conversation. It is fascinating to see what can be achieved when talented individuals unite to create something much greater than the sum of its parts through visual art.”
Executive Director Brendan Foster notes: “Tactical Formations have been a part of our military experience throughout the course of history. The exhibit explores military issues through this fundamental concept, where artistic response is widely varied based on different experiences from the artists. NVAM feels it is important to bring together these multi-generational collectives to encourage a deeper understanding of the impact of war among different communities.”
Amber Hoy – Zero Target Data
About National Veterans Art Museum
The National Veterans Art Museum, located at 4041 N Milwaukee Avenue, inspires greater understanding of the real impact of war with a focus on Vietnam. The National Veterans Art Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of art inspired by combat and created by veterans. It is home to more than 2,500 works of art by more than 270 artists. Personal narratives and artistic representations of war (including paintings, photographs, sculptures, poetry, and music) provide transformative learning opportunities in art, history, and civics.
Richard Yohnka – Guardian II

For further details, visit www.nvam.org

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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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