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A Joliet junior high school teacher who formerly taught at a southwest suburban junior high ...
WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama nominated Judge Leonard Terry Strand to serve on the ...
  Tyler Lang and co-defendant Kevin Johnson were indicted under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act for ...
(Chicago, IL) Goodman Theatre welcomes members of 22 area high schools for the ...
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Activists in Chicago are submitting a FOIA (Freedom of Information Request Act) to obtain information ...
No spread of MERS-CoV from first U.S. case, but second U.S. case ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The House Appropriations-Higher Education Committee will ask Gov. Bruce Rauner’s top education ...

Archive for November 9th, 2015

Residents to Denounce Police Sweeps vs. Homeless With March on Alderman’s Residence

Posted by Admin On November - 9 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
A series of illegal police sweeps versus the homeless in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood is prompting a Monday night march on the residence of 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman, whom residents charge is at the heart of a multi-pronged effort to force poor people out of the ward and “ethnically cleanse” it to make way for wealthy real estate developers.
The march will begin at 5:30 PM, Monday, November 9 at the corner of Wilson Avenue and Marine Drive, scene of many of the sweeps. It is co-sponsored by Uptown Tent City, Uptown Uprising, the Gay Liberation Network, Northside Action For Justice, and Uptown Chicago Rocks.

Since police and Alderman Cappleman have brought these issues to where the homeless and most vulnerable sleep, we have decided to bring it back to where Alderman Cappleman sleeps,” said Ryne Poelker of Uptown Uprising, one of the march organizers.

Uptown residents charge that Cappleman is directly complicit in the attacks on poor and working class residents of the ward, working hand-in-glove with wealthy real estate developers, taking their campaign contributions in return for promoting policies that hurt many 46th Ward residents:

** By promoting the closure of several low-cost housing options, specifically SROs (Single Room Occupancies) which housed formerly homeless and at-risk individuals;
** By vocally opposing even the most mild Single Room Occupancies (SROs) protections ordinance;

** By voting to close 1/2 of the city’s mental health clinics; 

** By promoting the closure of several low-cost housing options in the ward for those who are at risk of being homeless;

** By advocating for use of public money (TIF funds) to subsidize commercial and residential developments for the wealthy, rather those in most need;

** By allowing the sell-off public assets, like the Stewart School, for luxury developments, even though community assemblies solidly backed the re-use as low income housing and a public use space; and,

** By harassing existing social service providers in the ward, such as trying to shut down the Salvation Army food trucks feeding the poor.


Community residents have monitored several illegal police sweeps in recent weeks, including one as recently as this past Friday night.
“Rather than wasting City resources on police illegally harassing homeless people in a City that thanks to the Mayor and Council is flat broke, we should be using this money to promote policies like ‘Housing First,’ a proven strategy that not only can end homelessness, but allow less costly ways of treating mental illness, substance abuse and other ills that often come with it,” said Andy Thayer of the Gay Liberation Network, another of the march organizers. “Instead, Alderman Cappleman is apparently using city resources to pursue a political and private business agenda to promote gentrification.”
For more information about the protest, email LGBTliberation@aol.com or call 773.209.1187


Former CEO of $3 Billion TierOne Bank Convicted of Orchestrating Scheme to Hide More Than $100 Million in Losses from Shareholders and Regulators

Posted by Admin On November - 9 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. —The former CEO of TierOne Bank, a $3 billion publicly traded commercial bank formerly headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, was convicted by a federal jury today for orchestrating a scheme to defraud TierOne’s shareholders and to mislead regulators by concealing more than $100 million in losses on loans and declining real estate.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Thomas R. Metz of the FBI’s Omaha, Nebraska, Division and Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) Christy Goldsmith Romero made the announcement.

After a two-week trial, a jury in the District of Nebraska found the former CEO, Gilbert G. Lundstrom, 74, of Lincoln, guilty on 12 of 13 counts, including charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud, conspiracy to falsify bank entries, wire fraud, securities fraud and falsifying bank entries. In 2014, co-conspirators James Laphen, TierOne’s former president and chief operating officer, and Don Langford, TierOne’s former chief credit officer, pleaded guilty to multiple felonies in connection with their participation in the scheme.

Evidence at trial showed that Lundstrom was the architect of an aggressive strategy to expand the bank’s portfolio beyond traditional lending in Nebraska to riskier areas like commercial real estate in Las Vegas. Once the financial crisis hit, Lundstrom’s bet on real estate in riskier areas decimated the bank. Lundstrom and his co-conspirators then intentionally concealed massive losses—more than $100 million—in TierOne’s loan and real estate portfolio from investors and regulators and provided inflated figures in its required reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS). In April 2009, Lundstrom and his co-conspirators learned that TierOne needed to increase its reserves and Loan Loss Allowance by between $34 million and $114 million, but concealed this information from shareholders and regulators in TierOne’s financial statements. In addition, during TierOne’s annual shareholder meeting held on May 21, 2009, the evidence showed that Lundstrom misrepresented the state of TierOne’s capital ratios and reserves and whether TierOne had applied for TARP funding.

In June 2010, following TierOne’s ultimate disclosure of $120 million in loan losses and its subsequent delisting from the NASDAQ exchange, TierOne was shut down by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. At the time of the closure, TierOne had more than 750 employees working at TierOne’s headquarters in Lincoln and at its 69 branch offices located in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Omaha Division and SIGTARP. The SEC also provided substantial assistance in the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Henry P. Van Dyck and L. Rush Atkinson and Senior Deputy Chief Sandra Moser of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.

U.S. Department of Justice November 06, 2015
  • Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/TDD (202) 514-1888

U.S. Government Announces Continued Commitment to Jordan’s Education Sector

Posted by Admin On November - 9 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The United States highlighted its continued commitment to Jordan with the announcement of a plan to build 25 new schools in Jordan using $100 million as part of the Administration’s Let Girls Learn initiative.

In March 2015, the President and First Lady launched Let Girls Learn, a U.S. Government initiative bringing together the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Peace Corps, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation to address the range of challenges preventing adolescent girls from attending and completing school and realizing their potential as adults. Building on existing U.S. government investments and expertise, Let Girls Learn invests in new programs and elevates existing programs, leverages public-private partnerships, and challenges organizations, governments, and private sector partners to commit to improving the lives of adolescent girls worldwide.

The United States announced a continuation of these efforts through the planned construction of 25 new public schools—70 percent of which will be girls’ schools—in Jordan with $100 million of U.S. assistance under the auspices of United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s ongoing school construction and improvement efforts. Many students in Jordan currently learn in overcrowded classrooms and schools, and efforts to accommodate Syrian refugees has made the situation more acute. Many of these new schools will be constructed in urban areas with overcrowded schools, helping to alleviate pressures on Jordan’s education system. The new schools will accommodate 25,000 children each year and provide students with the opportunity to learn in new, modern buildings equipped with technology that facilitates learning. Since 2006, USAID’s Jordan School Construction and Rehabilitation Project has put $199 million toward the construction of 28 new schools and the renovation or expansion of an additional 97 schools. These efforts have improved the learning environment for more than 100,000 students attending the 125 new or rehabilitated schools. Today’s announcement is part of major planned USAID programming in Jordan’s education sector over the next five years and builds on a strong partnership between the governments of the United States and Jordan to improve the quality of education and to provide schooling experiences that help to ensure Jordanian youth—young men and women alike—can pursue their broader aspirations.

Additional United States initiatives to meet education goals in Jordan and the region include:

  • USAID, in conjunction with the Queen Rania Teaching Academy, provides training and materials to supervisors and teachers who support Jordan’s inclusive education services, including providing education opportunities to Syrian students who have sought refuge in Jordan as a result of the conflict in their home country. This program operates in over 340 public schools in eight central and northern Jordanian governorates.
  • The Department of State supports Caritas Jordan to enable at least 2,900 girls and boys to access education opportunities by providing evening and weekend remedial and catch-up courses.
  • The Department of State provides funding for child and youth programming at UNICEF’s 128 Makani (My Space) centers across Jordan. Services include informal education classes for out of school children as well as remedial education for refugee and Jordanian children who need additional support. Many centers also provide assistance to address the specific needs of young refugee women.
  • Regionally, the Department of State runs TechGirls an educational initiative for teen girls across the Middle East and North Africa region. Each summer, 27 young women (ages 15-17) from nine countries in the region travel to the U.S. for three weeks of intensive hands-on skill development in technology-based fields, site visits, job shadowing, and cultural activities.
  • Since 2000, USAID commitments in the West Bank/Gaza have gone toward the construction and renovation of classrooms in girls’ schools; training for female teachers and principals; provision of higher education scholarships to female students; and renovation of computer labs and libraries in girls’ schools. These projects benefited more than 235,000 female students during this time. Additionally, the U.S. Government assisted in repairing paved paths between Bedouin villages and schools, increasing student’s access to quality education at a local girls’ school.
  • In the next year, the Department of State—through the Global Women, Peace and Security and the Gender Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiatives—will undertake a new $1,000,000 effort in one or more of Syria’s neighboring countries impacted by the Syrian refugee crisis to help prevent and respond to early and forced marriage. Programmatic efforts will focus on mobilizing caregivers, religious leaders, and community stakeholders to increase understanding of the benefits of delaying marriage for both girls and communities and address the perception that early and forced marriage is a way to protect girls. It will also focus on supporting civil society organizations and others working on the protection of at-risk girls and the provision of services to married girls, as well as programs that underscore the value of continuing access to education for girls through the secondary level.

The announcement underscores the work Jordan and the United States are collaborating on to further girls’ education initiatives. Since the launch of Let Girls Learn, First Lady Michelle Obama has traveled around the world engaging with governments, civil society, private sector, and adolescent girls themselves on the importance of education, bringing attention and resources to addressing the challenges too many girls face in completing their education. When a girl receives a quality education, she is more likely to earn a decent living, raise a healthy, educated family, and improve the quality of life for herself, her family, and her community. The United States commends Jordan for its efforts to ensure equitable access to education and give Jordanian and Syrian young women the tools they need for a better future.

Palestinians in Chicago Heed Global Call From Jerusalem for Mass Choirs Singing Mawtini, the Palestinian National Anthem

Posted by Admin On November - 9 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Father Sentenced to 85 Years in Prison for the Heinous Murder of his Infant Daughter

Posted by Admin On November - 9 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

A Chicago man has been sentenced to 85 years in prison for the murder of his five-month-old daughter who he suffocated with his own hands to stop the infant from crying, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.


Rodrigo Rodriguez, 31, was previously convicted of First Degree Murder in the death of his infant daughter Angelina Rodriguez, who was suffocated in her parents’ bed and then left untreated in a nearby playpen for hours before emergency medical help was contacted. Angela Petrov, Rodriguez’s girlfriend and the mother of the child, has also been convicted of First Degree Murder in the case and she is scheduled to be sentenced next month.


According to prosecutors, on April 11, 2013, Rodriguez and Petrov were at their West Rogers Park apartment with the victim, their two-year-old son and Petrov’s six-year-old son from a previous relationship. The two older children were asleep in the living room and the five-month-old victim was asleep in a playpen next to the couple’s bed as they drank alcohol and listened to music into the early hours of the morning.


Sometime after 3 a.m. the infant began to cry and Rodriguez laid her on the bed and placed his hand over her mouth and nose for approximately 30 seconds, cutting off the baby’s oxygen supply. When the child’s body went limp, Rodriguez removed his hand. When the infant gasped for air and began to cry again, Rodriguez again placed his hand over her mouth and nose until the child again went limp. Rodriguez then placed the baby back in the playpen, which was approximately two feet away from the bed where the couple had been partying.


Angelina Rodriguez was left unattended until the following afternoon, when Petrov called 911 because the baby was unresponsive. When paramedics arrived, the infant had only faint vital signs and was transported to the hospital where she was found to have severe brain injuries and damage to her organs as a result of a total lack of oxygen to her body.


Hospital staff worked to save the child but she was pronounced brain dead and removed from life support on April 15, 2013. Both Rodriguez and Petrov initially denied knowing what happened to the victim but due to the severe nature of the injuries, hospital staff notified police and Rodriguez and Petrov were arrested.


Rodriguez and Petrov were found guilty late last year after a bench trial before Cook County Judge Maura Slattery Boyle, who imposed the 85-year sentence on Rodriguez yesterday. Petrov’s sentencing hearing is Dec. 17, 2015 at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago.


State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Megan Mulay and Natosha Cuyler-Sherman as well as the Chicago Police Department for their dedicated work on this case.

Kirk Hearing on Abuse of Local Veterans Gives Voice to Whistleblowers Punished by Leaders at Hines VA

Posted by Admin On November - 9 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Whistleblowers at Hines are Being Retaliated Against for Reporting Misconduct and Patient Abuse

Kirk Bill Gives Pathway to Protect Veterans, Punish Corrupt Managers

CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, today held a field hearing with whistleblowers to detail the ongoing systemic corruption and misconduct at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital in Illinois. Held at the Everett McKinley Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago, local Illinois whistleblowers Germaine Clarno, President of the AFGE Local 781 at Hines and Dr. Lisa Nee, a former cardiologist at Hines, testified to the retaliation, patient abuse and manipulated scheduling practices they experienced at the hands of VA officials and supervisors. Employees at VA hospitals like Hines are still actively retaliated against when they try question the treatment of veterans.

“If we want to protect our veterans, we have to protect those who care for them.  Veterans around the country have people like Germaine Clarno and Dr. Nee – but threats of retaliation and firing from corrupt managers prevent the change our vets deserve,” said Senator Kirk. “My bill will protect our vets by giving whistleblowers protection and voice.”

Senator Kirk has been working with Germaine Carno and Dr. Nee since May of 2014. A timeline of the Senator’s work to expose this culture of corruption at the VA can be seen here.

Today’s hearing witnesses: 

  • Dr. Lisa Nee, a former cardiologist at the Edward J. Hines, Jr. VA in Maywood, Illinois who experienced retaliation from VA officials after reporting unnecessary surgeries, unread tests and questionable administrative practices. 
  • Germaine Clarno, AFGE Local 781 President and social worker at the Edward J. Hines, Jr. VA, who discovered that schedulers at Hines were routinely manipulating the schedules of more than 1,700 veterans who were waiting for appointments at the hospital.
  • Lydia Dennett, Federal Whistleblower Investigator at the Project on Government Oversight, which works to identify corruption within the federal government. 

Senator Kirk will introduce the VA Patients Protection Act, to force the VA to address reports of abuse and punish the managers who retaliate, ignore and intimidate VA whistleblowers. 

The VA Patients Protection Act

  • Mirrors the Marine Corps Request Mast, where employees can file a complaint to the next level supervisor if the immediate supervisor fails to properly handle their report and claim. 
  • On first offense of retaliation, a supervisor will receive a minimum 12-day suspension.  On second offense, they will be fired.
  • Ties supervisors’ performance ratings to how they respond to and deal with whistleblower reports and complaints.
  • Extends the current Whistleblower Protection Act to include all VA employees – including nurses and doctors, who are currently not protected from retaliation under the law. 

Medical Director and Three Therapists Sentenced for Their Roles in $63 Million Miami Health Care Fraud Scheme

Posted by Admin On November - 9 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. —A former medical director and three therapists from defunct health provider Health Care Solutions Network Inc. (HCSN) were sentenced in Miami for their roles in a scheme to fraudulently bill Medicare and Florida Medicaid more than $63 million.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Shimon Richmond of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Miami Regional Office made the announcement.

Roger Rousseau, 73, of Miami, the former medical director of HCSN in Florida, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola of the Southern District of Florida to 192 months in prison. Therapist Liliana Marks, 49, of Homestead, Florida, was sentenced to 72 months in prison. Therapists Doris Crabtree, 63, of Miami, Angela Salafia, 68, of Miami Beach, Florida, were each sentenced to 60 months in prison. In addition to their terms of imprisonment, each defendant was sentenced to three years of supervised release. Restitution will be determined at a hearing on Jan. 15, 2016.

On Aug. 24, 2015, following a two-week trial, the jury convicted all four defendants of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Rousseau was additionally convicted of two counts of health care fraud. In total, 22 defendants have been charged and convicted for their roles in the HCSN scheme, including the former owner of HCSN, Armando “Manny” Gonzalez.

According to evidence presented at trial, HCSN purported to provide intensive mental health services to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in Miami and Hendersonville, North Carolina, from approximately 2004 through 2011. These services were not medically necessary and were often never even provided. HCSN paid kickbacks to assisted living facility owners and operators in Miami who, in exchange, referred beneficiaries to HCSN. In support of this scheme, Rousseau routinely signed what he knew to be fabricated and altered medical records. Crabtree, Salafia and Marks fabricated HCSN medical records to support false and fraudulent claims for partial hospitalization program services that were not medically necessary and often never provided. In total, HCSN submitted approximately $63.7 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, and received payments totaling approximately $28 million on those claims.

This case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Allan J. Medina, Lisa H. Miller and Bryan D. Fields of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Florida.

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 2,300 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $7 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.

U.S. Department of Justice November 06, 2015
  • Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/TDD (202) 514-1888

NAACP Spingarn Committee Now Receiving Nominations for the 101st NAACP Spingarn Award

Posted by Admin On November - 9 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

BALTIMORE, MD – NAACP National Board of Directors Chairman Roslyn M. Brock announced that the Association is soliciting nominations for the 101st Spingarn Award.

All nominations for the 101st Spingarn Medal must be submitted, in writing, on or before December 31, 2015.  To be accepted, the postmark date on the envelope must be no later than December 31, 2015.

The Medal, which was instituted in 1914 by the late J. E. Spingarn, then NAACP Chairman, is presented annually to the man or woman of African descent and American citizenship who has made the highest achievement during the preceding year or years, as well as consideration of an overall body of work by an individual.

The purpose of the medal is twofold – first, to call the attention of the American people to the existence of distinguished merit and achievement among Americans of African descent; and secondly – to serve as a reward for such achievement and as a stimulus to the ambition of youth of African descent.

Recent Medalists include Sidney Poitier, Maya Angelou, the late Julian Bond, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Earl G. Graves, Sr., Colin Powell, Oprah Winfrey, Vernon Jordan, Honorable John Lewis, the late Honorable Constance Baker Motley, the late Honorable Robert L. Carter, the late Honorable Oliver W. Hill, Sr., Honorable John Conyers, Ruby Dee, Cicely Tyson, the late Lena Horne, Mrs. Frankie Muse Freeman, Harry Belafonte, Jessye Norman, and Quincy Jones.

Nominations must include a detailed, current biographical profile of the nominee, highlighting relevant activities and achievements.  Supporting and verifying documents such as news clippings, honors received, etc., should also be attached.  This information should be clearly typewritten or printed, as it must be reproduced.

The final selection of the Medalist is made by a Committee of Award, which is selected by the Association’s Board of Directors.  The Committee’s decision is final in all matters affecting the Award.

Nominations should be addressed to:  The Spingarn Medal Award Committee, Attention:  Mrs. Mildred B. Roxborough, 340 W. 42nd Street, P.O. Box 822, New York, NY 10108.

Congressional Black Caucus Recognizes the 50th Anniversary of the Higher Education Act

Posted by Admin On November - 9 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield released the following statement recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Higher Education Act:

“The Higher Education Act opened the door to opportunity for millions of students and families around the country by making college more affordable and accessible to those who are the most in need.  On the fiftieth anniversary of its enactment, Members of the CBC call on our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to recommit our efforts to strengthening and reauthorizing the Higher Education Act as soon as possible.

“The Higher Education Act is the largest authorized federal source of funding for student aid.  As the cost of college continues to rise, attending college often places a significant financial burden on students and their families.  National college loan debt has surpassed $1.3 trillion, with the average borrower accumulating nearly $30,000 in college loan debt.  We can no longer afford to slash education and student aid funding, forcing America’s working families to pick up the rest of the bill.

“On this anniversary let’s work to pass the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act and reauthorize the Higher Education Act in a manner that increases access and makes college more affordable for all Americans.”

Audience Architects Presents Lights Festival Dance Celebration November 21; Free Dance performances at ARTSPACE 8

Posted by Admin On November - 9 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
CHICAGO, ILAudience Architects, the leading service organization for building and engaging dance audiences in Chicago, showcases the depth and breadth of the Chicago dance industry with a Lights Festival Dance Celebration Saturday, November 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. at ARTSPACE 8, 900 N. Michigan Avenue, 4th floor. This FREE event is taking place during the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival®, the beloved kickoff to the holiday season in Chicago.

The lineup of six participating dance companies, which offers a variety of styles, genres and heritages, is as follows:

2 p.m.             Introduction
2:15 p.m.        Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater40th anniversary season
A suite of Flamenco dances from Andalucía, the southern part of Spain, from the provinces of Cadiz, Jerez and Seville
2:30 p.m.         RE|Dance Group
My Nearest Thought, a dance-theater work for four women that explores identity, empowerment and our need to be seen as individuals, set to an original sound score by DJ High Maintenance and other musical selections by Wim Martens and Ulrich Schnauss
2:45 p.m.         Red Clay Dance Company
Sistahs, a high-energy and fun work celebrating the bold, sassy and complex characteristics of black women, while examining the unique yet colorful relationships they share with one another
3 p.m.              Tapman Productions
A multidisciplinary arts production company with a focus on tap dance, home to the performance ensembles The Tapmen and The Modern Marvels
3:15 p.m.         Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater
3:30 p.m.         Nomi Dance Company
Highlights from their recent show INSTRUMENTAL, exploring the beautiful marriage of dance and music by fusing the dancers’ bodies with the musicians’ instruments, with music ranging from composers Bach and Vivaldi to modern-day musicians Stevie Ray Vaughn and various percussionists, integrating instruments and music that are directly influenced by the classics
3:30 p.m.         Kristina Isabelle Dance Company (in lobby)
Taking the art form to new heights by incorporating dancers on stilts to create perspective-altering “dancescapes,” aiming to engage its audiences in a contemporary dance experience that combines serious-minded, rigorously technical movement with a groundbreaking, multidimensional approach
3:50 p.m.         Kristina Isabelle Dance Company (solo in gallery)
3:55 p.m.         Concluding remarks

A networking reception with the artists follows the celebration from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

The Lights Festival Dance Celebration is free and open to the public; space is limited. Guests who RSVP  by visiting seechicagodance.com/event/lights-festival-dance-celebration receive priority admission. Programming and schedule are subject to change.

The Lights Festival Dance Celebration, a program of Audience Architects, kicks off a series of public events as part of its 2015–2016 Citywide Marketing Initiative. This initiative marks a new era of collaboration in the Chicago dance community, as 20 organizations have already committed to work together on a shared marketing and advocacy effort, led by Audience Architects. The 18-month campaign, which began with community-driven planning efforts in the summer of 2015, has the potential to promote nearly 250 dance organizations and connect the public to dance in Chicago like never before.

The Citywide Marketing Initiative is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Joyce Foundation.

Additional support for the Citywide Marketing Initiative is provided by DanceBuilders, a new, dynamic membership opportunity for dance lovers who believe in the transformative power of dance, value the growth of a strong dance sector and want to support Chicago’s role as an international dance capital. For more information about DanceBuilders, visit audiencearchitects.com/dancebuilders,

Special thanks to the following DanceBuilders, who provided significant funds to match the NEA grant: Lane Alexander, Pamela Crutchfield, Patti Eylar and Charlie Gardner, Elizabeth Liebman and Kevin McGirr.

Audience Architects is a dance service organization with a mission to build and engage dance audiences in Chicago and advocate for Chicago dance. Co-founded by Carol Fox and Niki Morrison as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2008, Audience Architects aims to provide Chicago dance companies with increased visibility, expansive resources and additional forums to showcase and share their talents. In addition to its flagship program SeeChicagoDance.com, Audience Architects offers professional development and audience building services to nearly 250 dance companies, venues and studios in Chicago.

Photo credits, top L–R: Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater by Joe Davis; Red Clay Dance Company by Cecil McDonald; Kristina Isabelle Dance Company by Craig Bortmas.

Bottom, L–R: Tapman Productions by Juan Mojica; Nomi Dance Company by Topher Alexander; RE|Dance Group by Al Zayed.

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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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