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Archive for August 11th, 2016

NAACP Response to Department of Justice Report on Civil Rights Violations by Baltimore City Police Department

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

BALTIMORE, MD — NAACP National President and CEO Cornell William Brooks issued the following statement in response to the United States Department of Justice Report released yesterday outlining systemic civil rights violations practiced by the Baltimore City Police Department:

“The United States Department of Justice report is a damning indictment of the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD) in particular and American policing in general. When you translate the data in this report into lives harmed, “stop and frisk” really means detain, demean and dehumanize. Zero tolerance shows no respect to the Constitution.

“While some may find this report shocking, it simply confirms what people living and working in Baltimore have known for years – that police officers unfairly target African-American residents for unnecessary stops, searches, and arrests in aggressive and discriminatory ways that violate not only their constitutional rights, but also destroy the trust necessary to truly police its citizens.

The NAACP recognizes the release of the DOJ report as an opportunity for our communities to address the nationwide crisis in policing and to seek concrete change.  Communities can take the important step of getting their elected officials and candidates to publicly commit to police reform by signing the NAACP’s Protect and Preserve Our Lives Pledge.

The pledge increases police accountability and transparency by (1) cutting funding to law enforcement agencies that discriminate and by requiring (2) effective investigation of discrimination by law enforcement agencies, (3) detailed data gathering and reporting, (4) comprehensive use of force standards, and (5) independent review of police violence.  The DOJ report shows that these reforms are essential to rebuilding the broken relationships between police and the communities they serve.

No funding for discriminatory policing:  Baltimore taxpayers have been paying for a police department that routinely discriminates against its citizens.  The report found that the BPD engages in a “Zero Tolerance” enforcement strategy that results in aggressive and unconstitutional stops, searches, and arrests of pedestrians; engages in racially discriminatory policing, violates protestors’ First Amendment rights, and uses excessive force and unnecessarily escalates situations, with particular deficiencies in the treatment of juveniles and persons with mental illness.  Paying to be discriminated against just compounds the injustice.  The threat of defunding can be a powerful tool for change.

Effective investigation of law enforcement agencies: Not all communities will have the benefit of a year-long DOJ investigation to uncover a pattern and practice of discrimination.  But all communities should create agencies that have the authority to independently review the actions of law enforcement to ensure that discrimination is not occurring.  This civilian oversight should include independent civilian complaint review boards that have subpoena power to effectively investigate police misconduct.

Full data reporting:  The available data uncovered startling disparities, such as the fact that “hundreds of individuals—nearly all of them African American—were stopped on at least 10 separate occasions from 2010–2015.”  However, gaps in the data collected obscured problem police behaviors in stops, use of force, and injuries to people in police custody.  Without information about how communities are policed, systemic policing failures will remain unacknowledged and unaddressed.

Use of force standards:  The DOJ found that the BPD uses aggressive tactics that escalate tense situations and result in the excessive use of force.  These actions put the mentally ill and juveniles at particular risk.  Without comprehensive use of force standards that include training on de-escalation and crisis intervention, police interactions will remain dangerous for both police and those they encounter.

Independent review of police violence: The DOJ report revealed serious deficiencies in accountability that allowed unconstitutional actions to go unchecked in the BPD.  The DOJ found “a resistance to accountability persists throughout much of BPD” with police officers “reluctant to report misconduct for fear that doing so is fruitless and may provoke retaliation.”   With such a culture in place in many police departments, there can be no confidence in the investigation of police violence against community members without outside independent investigators.

The DOJ found hope in the dedication of the community and the City of Baltimore to address the serious deficiencies the report exposed.  The NAACP also finds hope in this moment of both conviction and opportunity.  We call upon leaders throughout the nation to join us in working for a society in which our lives are protected and preserved.”

Department of Justice Expands Services for Crime Victims

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

New Federal Rule Helps States Plan for Historic Funding Increases

The Department of Justice today published a final rule expanding the ability of victim serving agencies and organizations across the nation to reach and serve more crime victims at a time of substantial increases in victim assistance funding.  Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding directed to the states for victim assistance has more than quadrupled in the last two fiscal years.

“Supporting the victims of crime is as essential to the pursuit of justice as making arrests and prosecuting cases,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.  “This new rule significantly expands state and local agencies’ ability to reach survivors of a wide range of crimes, to help them recover from their ordeals, and to empower them to secure a brighter future for themselves and their loved ones.  I want to thank Congress for their outstanding commitment to the rights and well-being of victims, and I pledge that the Department of Justice will continue to do everything in our power to promote healing, restore lives, and secure meaningful justice for every American affected by crime.”

Federal funding for state victim assistance programs comes from the Crime Victims Fund, a repository of federal criminal fines, forfeitures and special assessments.  This fund does not include tax dollars.  The states, in turn, provide sub-grants to local public agencies and community service providers that help individuals, families and communities recover from both the initial trauma and the long-term effects of victimization.

Congress raised the appropriations level of the Crime Victims Fund from $745 million in fiscal year 2014 to more than $2.3 billion in fiscal year 2015, effectively quadrupling the amount available for crime victim assistance programs.  Congress raised the cap again to more than $3 billion in fiscal year 2016.

The Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) Formula Victim Assistance Grant Program rule—clarifies and expands support for a continuum of services to crime victims, including:

  • comprehensive legal assistance, including victims’ rights enforcement and civil legal assistance related to the victimization;
  • transitional housing for victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and other crimes and expanded coverage of relocation expenses;
  • forensic interviewing and some medical expenses;
  • volunteer trainings, including support for Court Appointed Special Advocates; and
  • victim-centered restorative justice.

The rule also emphasizes that programs that serve victims of elder abuse, human trafficking, financial fraud and other crimes are eligible for VOCA funding, and removes language that prevented VOCA funding from supporting services to victims in detention and correctional facilities.  The rule defines the statutory term victim of child abuse, to make clear that the term covers a broad array of harm inflicted on children and includes children who witness violence or who are victims of pornography.

The rule, which replaces the VOCA Victim Assistance Final Program Guidelines, is effective today following a 30 day period for public notice and comment after publication in the Federal Register. Recipients of VOCA Assistance grant funds from the Office for Victims of Crime must comply with the rule after the effective date.  For more information, click here.

129-Year-Old Black Child Welfare Agency Struggling to Survive

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 Launches online crowdfunding campaign at www.gofundme.com/csichild

 


Philadelphia, PA (BlackNews.com) — Childrens Service Inc. (CSI) is a 129-year old child welfare organization, originally founded by Episcopalian nuns and Edith Wharton Dallas of St. Marks Episcopal Church to serve colored crippled and indigent children in 1887.

Now, one of only a few historically black agencies remaining in the nation, it struggles to survive. A GoFundMe page (www.gofundme.com/csichild) has been set up with a goal of $300,000 needed to shore up the Behavioral Health counseling programs for adoptive, foster care children and emancipating supervised independent living (SIL) youth – some of whom with LGBT struggles.

Spending cuts, delayed payments and the impact of nine months of last years PA State budget impasse has adversely affected the agency. Some staff have even accepted salary cuts and staff and board members have made out of pocket donations to keep the agency open.

Recently, a 77-year old blind man reconnected with CSI to return to his roots. The man, who goes by the name of R.B., had been left on the doorstep of the agency in the 1940s, and in the spring of 2016 he went on a quest to locate his childhood home .He was seen wandering around downtown Philadelphia, asking about the House of The Holy Child which had been renamed Childrens Service Inc. He wanted to “give the love back to CSI that they gave to me.” Passing pedestrians helped R.B. find the new headquarters of CSI, which he visited at 1315 Walnut Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

As a visually-impaired artist, R.B., wants to have his artwork on exhibit within the Childrens Service, Inc, agency. Hopefully, with some measure of support from the GoFundMe campaign, both CSI and R.B. can spend quality time in their golden years.

For more information, contact Dorothy Simmons, ACSW, LSW, Executive Director at info@csichild.org or visit CSI at www.csichild.org or call (215) 546-3503

Photo Caption: This 77-year old blind man, who goes by the name of R.B., was left on the doorstep of Childrens Service Inc. back in the 1940s

Clifford Law Offices Obtains $3.3 Million Verdict Against Northwestern Hospital for Overdosing Father and Husband, Killing Him

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

A Cook County Circuit Court jury returned a verdict for $3.3 million against Northwestern Hospital for administering a 56-year-old man 10 times the ordered dosage of an anti-viral drug Foscarnet that led to his kidney failure and death.

Keith A. Hebeisen and Sarah F. King, lawyers at Clifford Law Offices, obtained the verdict against the major hospital in a Chicago courtroom following a one-week trial. The six-man-six-woman jury deliberated less than two hours before returning the verdict for the family of Michael Vandelinder.

Vandelinder traveled to Northwestern Hospital from suburban Detroit in 2010 to be treated for complications following a bone marrow transplant for leukemia. Although the defendant admitted negligence for dispensing and administering the 10 times overdose of Foscarnet from its pharmacy department, it denied that the overdose caused the man’s death.

“It is clear that the jury understood the negligence that harmed this wonderful man who still had years to live,” King said following the verdict that came down late Wednesday (Aug. 10, 2016). “He was a husband and father of four children, and the entire family was devastated by such negligence.”

The case was tried before the Hon. Donald J. Suriano at the Daley Center.

“The massive overdose of the drug basically destroyed Michael’s kidney and after that he fought for his life for almost two weeks,” Hebeisen said. “Hospitals need to be vigilant when it comes to dispensing drugs. There is no excuse for giving someone 24,000 milligrams when the order was supposed to be for 2,400 milligrams. There needs to be a better check-and-balance system, especially when you are talking about life-and-death circumstances.”

To speak to Sarah King on the matter or to obtain photographs of the family, please call Clifford Law Offices Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909 or 913-940-0489.

____________

Case No.: 12 L 8187

Attorney for Defendant Northwestern Hospital:
John M. McGarry
Meagan Pearl VanderWeele
Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC
140 S. Dearborn St., Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60603
312-422-0900

Harlem Project Helping Black Women Entrepreneurs

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
The Harlem Business Alliance Announces the Lillian Project: Inspire, Empower & Eliminate Obstacles for African-American Harlem Women Entrepreneurs

 

Harlem Business Alliance

New York, NY (BlackNews.com)The Harlem Business Alliance (HBA) of Harlem, New York has always been on the forefront for leading community economic development. Harlem Business Alliance has launched, The Lillian Project, to create an incubator for Harlem women to educate, empower and eliminate the challenges that are unique to low-income and minority business entrepreneurs. The project will facilitate and teach an intensive entrepreneurial program for 100 native-born, African-American low income Harlem women, through July 2018. Applications for the project are available on the website, www.thelillianproject.org and due by August 23, with finalists selected by August 30.

The project is supported with a $300,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan.

“The Harlem Business Alliance under the direction of executive director, Regina Smith, is a gem in this community. The positive effect the organization has had on individuals and businesses is immeasurable, however, The Lillian Project is extra special in that is it laser focused on a specific demographic. This is about a community of black women charged to put the lives of other black women on a trajectory for success; women who may not have had the opportunity without this program, it’s a game changer for all involved, says Gina B. Ramcharan, project director of The Lillian Project.

With five dollars and a dream, Lillian Dean Harris aka Pigfoot Mary became one of Harlems wealthiest entrepreneurs, at the turn of the 20th century. Ms. Harris is the inspiration behind the The Lillian Project.

 

* Educate and mentor skills needed to start and grow a business while providing hands-on support with strategic planning, business development, financial aptitude and implementation.

* Provide intensive master classes needed to ensure that women who operate home-based businesses expand into a storefront or office, that more of the small-scale food manufacturers export their products beyond New York.

* Expand the types of industries women owned businesses operate, especially in the technology sector; help women entrepreneurs obtain financing from sources other than traditional banks.

The Harlem Business Alliance has pledged its service as an advocate for the preservation and retention of Harlem’s business community for over 36 years. Programs include but are not limited to: Harlems first co-working space; first adult stem program; 10,000 entrepreneurs served through programs and services; 2,000 entrepreneurs received 1-1 counseling and over 1,200 workshops.

Ramcharan added, We have raised the bar and expectations in how business is done. The success of our entrepreneurs to open businesses, showcase their products at tradeshows, secure finance, garner media awareness and win numerous awards speaks volume about the dedication and professionalism of the staff at the Harlem Business Alliance. With this grant, we are able to bolster, build and shape confident women into entrepreneurs providing them with a pathway out of poverty. We all know that once a black woman gets started, she is unstoppable.

About the Harlem Business Alliance
The Harlem Business Alliance (HBA), was founded in 1980 by a group of prominent Harlem business leaders who recognized the void that had resulted from years of disinvestment and abandonment in Harlem and the critical need to mobilize the existing businesses and organizations to come together as a collective voice. Incorporated in 1990 as a class 402 501(c)(3) corporation, HBA has worked diligently to establish Harlem as an economically self-sustaining community. For more information, visit www.hbany.org.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

 

 

Former Community Health Clinic CFO Involved in Complicated Scheme to Defraud the Government Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge sentenced the former chief financial officer of an Alabama non-profit health clinic for the poor and homeless to 17 years in prison for a complicated scheme to defraud millions of dollars from two non-profit health clinics and the federal government health agencies that provided most of their funding, and for a separate scheme to defraud a life insurance company that involved identity theft against a physician.

Chief U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre sentenced TERRI McGUIRE MOLLICA, 50, of Birmingham, to 15 years for the $11 million fraud involving the two clinics, Birmingham Health Care and Central Alabama Comprehensive Health in Tuskegee, and for mail fraud connected to the insurance fraud. The fraud against the two clinics also led to money laundering by Mollica and the filing of false tax returns. Those crimes were included in the 15-year sentence. For the aggravated identity theft of a physician on a phony death certificate, Mollica received an additional two years in prison. U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Roger C. Stanton, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Atlanta Regional Office Special Agent in Charge Derrick L. Jackson announced today’s sentencing.

As part of Mollica’s sentence, she must forfeit $1,961,397 to the government as proceeds of illegal activity,.

Mollica pleaded guilty last year to 19 counts related to the fraud against the government — six counts of wire fraud affecting a financial institution, eight counts of mail fraud affecting a financial institution and five counts of money laundering. She also pleaded guilty to four counts of filing false tax returns, and to one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft related to the life insurance fraud.

In June, a federal jury convicted Jonathan Dunning for his role in the scheme against the health clinics and the federal funding agency.  His sentencing is set for Oct. 14.

Mollica’s fraud against the government, as outlined in court records, is as follows:

She was the chief financial officer of the non-profit BHC clinic from April 2005 through November 2008. She also performed fiscal duties for CACH, the Tuskegee non-profit clinic intended to provide primary and preventative health care to people in east Alabama, regardless of their ability to pay. BHC’s chief executive officer served for a time as the chief executive officer of the Tuskegee clinic and, in 2008, BHC took over fiscal responsibility of CACH.

Between January 2008 and March 2012, Mollica aided others in diverting about $11 million in federal grant money and assets and property of BHC and CACH to numerous private entities using “Synergy” in the name. Mollica and others retained authority over the affairs of BHC and CACH as they operated the Synergy entities. Mollica then conducted financial transactions to transfer money from the private entities to herself and others, illegally receiving about $1.7 million through the scheme.

BHC began receiving grants from the Health Resources and Human Services Administration, an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 20 years ago. Federal grants administered by HRSA and HHS constituted the overwhelming majority of BHC and CACH funding during the relevant time.

Mollica and others misrepresented and concealed information from HRSA to ensure the agency would continue to grant money to the Birmingham and Tuskegee community health clinics.

The FBI, IRS and HHS-OIG investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melissa Kay Atwood, Tamarra Matthews-Johnson and John B. Ward prosecuted the case.

Source: FBI

Kirk Statement on Arrests in Cook County Sex Trafficking Sting

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 CHICAGO, IL – US senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) issued the following statement after reports of 230 arrests related to sex trafficking by Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart: 

“Sex trafficking is modern day slavery and I applaud Sheriff Dart’s efforts to confront these crimes head on, all over Chicagoland,” said Senator Kirk. “Sheriff Dart has been an invaluable partner in confronting sites like Backpage to stop human traffickers.”

New Book Reveals Top 50+ African American Fashion Designers – and Their Latest Styles and Trends

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Fashion Divas Ebook Cover
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – Every year single, women spend billions of dollars on apparel, wedding dresses, handbags, shoes and accessories. But where do you go if you want to support Black fashion designers? A new book produced by Urban Ebooks entitled, Fashion Divas: Top 50+ African American Fashion Designers (The Latest Styles and Trends) solves that problem!Exclusively available online at www.UrbanEbooks.com for just $2.99, the book lists more than 50 Black-owned fashion companies that make the most stylish dresses & skirts, the trendiest handbags, killer shoes, and awesome accessories. It’s the only book of it’s kind on the market!Fashion Divas features more than 50 types of Black-owned fashion companies including:
* China Royal
* LiLi’s Creations
* Monif C.
* Rue 107
* CJ By Cookie Johnson
* Posh Totes
* First Kiss Boutique
* Tiannia Barnes Shoes
* Peace Images Jewelry
* Melanie Marie
* Hecho En Harlem
* Amsale
* and many more!
Producing everything from blouses to dresses to bikini topsAll of the companies featured in this e-book were founded by established African or African American designers (mostly females) that produce high quality, luxury fashion products. Most are based in the United States, but a few also based overseas in Nigeria and in England. They produce and sell everything including: shirts/ blouses, jeans, sweaters, dresses/ skirts, wedding dresses/ gowns, bikini tops and bottoms, clutch bags, purses and totes, wallets, shoes and sneakers, boots and heels, jewelery, and headwraps & hair bows.To download a copy of Fashion Divas: Top 50+ African American Fashion Designers (The Latest Styles and Trends) and start supporting super talented Black fashion designers and their companies, visit www.UrbanEbooks.com
About Urban Ebooks
Urban Ebooks, based in Columbus, Ohio and founded by award-winning entrepreneur Dante Lee, is the newest publisher of books for African American readers. The company released 22 new books in their first six weeks! Their goal is to publish affordable and powerful “urban ebooks” – that is, ebooks that empower African Americans and other minorities. All of their books cost just $2.99 or less, and are available for immediate download on all tablets, smartphones and computers.Photo Caption: Bookcover 

Illinois Teacher of the Year Demonstrates Fun and Creative Lessons

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Hands-on activities highlight innovative teaching in math classes on display in the Governor’s Tent at the Illinois State Fair

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Kim Thomas, the 2016 Illinois Teacher of the Year, and two of her former students from Woodruff Career and Technical Center in Peoria will be at the Illinois State Fair to demonstrate several unique learning techniques that Thomas has created to excite her math students. Thomas and her students will be making presentations in the Governor’s Tent on the fairgrounds at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12; Saturday, Aug. 13; and Sunday, Aug. 14.

“Teachers have the most important job in our society after being a parent, and it is an honor to recognize Kim Thomas as the Illinois Teacher of the Year,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “The theme in the Governor’s Tent at the State Fair this year is ‘Educating Our Future.’ Ms. Thomas’ innovative ideas are inspiring a new generation of scholars that learning can be fun and exciting. I want to thank Ms. Thomas and all of our teachers for the extraordinary work they do day in and day out for our children in Illinois.”

Thomas’ enthusiasm for teaching is contagious. She sprinkles math concepts through everything she does in the classroom, using terms like “mathilicious,” “mathtastic,” and “dynomath” to capture students’ attention and excite them about learning math. Kim creates games like Math Muscles, YahMATHzee, and March Mathness to keep her students engaged. Her students will join her in demonstrating a few of her other games several times a day while at the fair. 

Students in Kim’s class know they have an advocate and an ally who makes learning fun.

“Kim became a teacher so she could provide her students wonderful experiences in the classroom. She forms relationships with her students so they know she cares about them and wants them to succeed,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Kim’s energy, compassion, and passion for teaching are evident in everything she does. Her games and projects help her make a personal connection with her students and help her students make a connection with learning.”

The Governor’s Tent is at the corner of Main Street and Bryan Ramey Avenue, near the main entrance of the fairgrounds. 

“Thrones! The Musical Parody” Returns September 15 to Apollo Theater for an Extended Run Following This Summer’s Preview Performances

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 The Hit “Game of Thrones” Parody Plans National Tour Stops Later This Year

CHICAGO, IL – Hold the door for “Thrones! The Musical Parody,” returning to the Apollo Theater Chicago (2540 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago) September 15 following a successful start to performances earlier this summer. From the creative team behind “Baby Wants Candy” and “50 Shades! The Musical Parody,” the fall run of the “Game of Thrones” send-up features 21 original songs and plot lines through Season 6 of the critical hit, performed by a Chicago-based ensemble including many of the actors from the summer preview run. Tickets ($59 – $39) for the new block of performances go on sale August 22 and can be purchased at the Apollo Theater Box Office by calling 773.935.6100 or visiting ApolloChicago.com. For ticket inquiries for groups of 10 or more, call Group Theater Tix at 312.423.6612. The press performance for “Thrones! The Musical Parody” is slated for September 21 at 7:30 p.m. For imagery, click here.

In addition to the run in Chicago, “Thrones! The Musical Parody” is performing at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival through August 29, marking the production’s second year performing at the largest arts festival in the world. Following these two runs, the parody plans to make national stops throughout U.S., with exact locations to be announced at a later date.

“Chicago has embraced ‘Thrones! The Musical Parody’ with open arms, and our ensemble has brought this comedy to life with endless energy and talent,” said Executive Producer Emily Dorezas. “With the show’s refreshingly funny pop culture and ‘Game of Thrones’ references tied together with catchy score, we’re excited to bring more performances this fall to the Apollo for audiences to experience.”

Based off of HBO’s phenomenally successful “Game of Thrones,” “Thrones! The Musical Parody” asks audiences: Will Tyrion’s accent ever improve? Can Jon Snow possibly know more than nothing? Just how red can the Red Wedding get? With Game of Thrones references through Season 6 (read: spoilers), audiences can expect dashing men battling White Walkers, ravishing women riding fire-breathing dragons, and the infamous Walk of Shame—all set to an original score. “Thrones! The Musical Parody” debuted to completely sold-out performances in August 2015 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, followed by a sold-out, limited run at London’s Leicester Square Theatre and was hailed as “darkly humorous and beautifully vulgar” (Edinburgh Festival Magazine) and “A resounding success!” (Sunday Times Scotland).

“Thrones! The Musical Parody” is written by Chris Grace, Zach Reino, Al Samuels and Dan Wessels. The production is directed by Hannah Todd, choreographed by Tyler Sawyer Smith and produced by Emily Dorezas, Rob Kolson, and Al Samuels. The creative team includes Thomas O. Mackey III (Set Designer), Eric Backus (Sound Designer), Amanda Gladu (Costume Designer), Patrick Ham (Prop Designer) and R&D Choreography (Violence Design).

Performances for “Thrones! The Musical Parody” include Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m.

To learn more about “Thrones!” visit the website, and follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

About Baby Wants Candy
“Baby Wants Candy” has performed over 2,000 completely improvised musicals to thousands of fans from Chicago to New York to Singapore to Scotland. Currently, “Baby Wants Candy” runs in Chicago at the Apollo Theater, in Los Angeles at UCB Sunset and tours internationally.  A cutting edge theatrical experience, the performance features a revolving cast of A-list comedic performers and a full band.

“Baby Wants Candy” begins with the cast asking the audience for a suggestion of a musical that has never been performed before. Accompanied by a full band, the first title that the group hears becomes the title and theme for that evening’s 60-minute show, featuring a roller coaster ride of spontaneously choreographed dance numbers, rhyming verses, and witty jaw-dropping comedy.  Each performance is its own opening and closing night, and by design every show is completely unique and a once–in a lifetime premiere.

“Baby Wants Candy” has received rave reviews in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Onion, the Chicago Sun-Times, TimeOut New York and more and has received numerous awards and was the Winner of FringeNYC’s Outstanding Unique Theatrical Experience, Best Improv Ensemble by Chicago Magazine, the Best Visiting Comedy Ensemble by TimeOut New York, the recipient of the Ensemble of the Year Award at the Chicago Improv Festival, a rare Sixth Star Award Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

“Baby Wants Candy” has included several notable performers including Peter Gwinn of Colbert Report, Rachel Dratch and Aidy Bryant of Saturday Night Live; Stephnie Weir of MadTV; Nicole Parker of MadTV and Elphaba in WICKED on Broadway; Jack McBrayer of 30 Rock; Al Samuels and Kevin Fleming of Sports Action Team; Thomas Middleditch of Silicon Valley; Garry W. Tallent of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band; Mark Pender of The Max Weinberg 7 and Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band; and Johnny Pisano of the Jesse Malin Band and The Marky Ramone Band. Members of Baby Wants Candy have recently written the hit Off Broadway show “50 Shades! The Musical Parody”

About Apollo Theater
The Apollo Theater, located in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park since 1978, has been home to many of the city’s biggest hits including the recent Million Dollar Quartet, which holds the record for the longest-running Broadway musical in Chicago history. Resident companies of the Apollo Theater include Emerald City Theatre Company and Baby Wants Candy, and many up-and-coming companies can be seen nightly in the theater’s 50-seat downstairs studio. Recently renovated and fully accessible, the Apollo Theater’s intimate 435-seat mainstage continues to deliver world-class theater as one of the city’s premiere off-Loop houses.

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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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