Inspirational Chicago Dignitaries and Industry InsidersTribute Caps an Evening of Commemoration at Historic Dusable Museum Attended by
(L-R): CCP Chairman, Don Jackson; Grammy-winning gospel artist Vickie Winans; US Senator Roland W. Burris; CCP President Erma Gray Davis and actor/author Greg Alan Williams (Preacher’s Kid; Drop Dead Diva) arrive at the Production’s 40th Anniversary Gala.
Photo Credit: Maury Phillips, WireImage/courtesy of The FrontPage Firm
(BlackNews.com) — On Thursday night, Chicago dignitaries, gospel industry insiders and notable community figures gathered at the Dusable Museum of African American History to honor television programmer Central City Productions, Inc. (CCP)’s 40th Anniversary. The distinguished event was hosted by ABC 7 Chicago’s Emmy award-winning news anchor , sports anchor and reporter Jim Rose, and WGN 9’s Bob Jordan. Commemorating over four decades of television history for CCP, attendees enjoyed an integrated video montage showcasing each decade’s greatest moments, musical tributes and commentary from special contributors. Live performances included show-opener Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer and gospel music legend Vickie Winans, whose illustrious career took off in tandem with CCP’s original Stellar Music Awards.
Winans captivated the audience with her rendition of “How I Got Over” and credited Jackson as an important factor in her success and longevity in the business. In her remarks, she stated “because of him, my career is set and I appreciate that. He hired me to host, present and perform [on the ]. Don has the magic formula to keep things going.”
The red carpet function was also attended by notable supporters which included singer and former CCP show host Jerry Butler, comedian Akintunde Warnock, actor and author Greg Alan Williams (Blood Done Sign My Name, Drop Dead Diva), AARP State President Merri Dee, celebrity chef Jennifer Gavin (FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen – Season 4), Senator Emil Jones, Jr., Chicago State University’s Dr. Wayne Watson, Senator Roland W. Burris, Deloris Barrett Campbell, Rep. David Miller and countless others.
Rich in tradition, CCP was applauded for its leadership and legacy in African American entertainment. Chicago-native founded CCP in 1970 as Central City Marketing, Inc. The company has since evolved, specializing in urban marketing, promotion, sales, and media production driven by faith and family values. Today, as CEO and Chairman, Jackson maintains this inspiring message, proud to have created a launch pad in Black entertainment. CCP has been a vehicle to success for hundreds of African American actors, musicians and television professionals.
For Jackson, the night’s focus was the celebration of a milestone as well as expressing appreciation for the corporate sponsors who’ve supported the execution of his programming vision. Jackson described the evening as “the culmination of bringing together our valued partners who contributed to our success. Their contributions allowed us to succeed with all of our television shows, especially the Stellar Awards.”
CCP celebrated 40 years as the oldest black-owned independent television production company in the country and over one thousand of hours of premium syndicated urban programming, including the acclaimed Stellar Gospel Music Awards, the and the and programs like Know Your Heritage Black College Quiz Show and Hispanic College Quiz Show Series, The Black Enterprise Business Report, and the Bud Billiken Back-to-School Parade.
Legendary talent has supported Jackson’s movement since CCP opened its doors. In the course of four decades, stars like Dionne Warwick, , Prince, , Harry Belafonte, Nancy Wilson, Cicely Tyson, , , Steve Harvey, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jordan have studded the CCP roster.
Jackson is passionate about creating job opportunities and helping to launch careers. Veteran actor Greg Alan Williams, host of CCP’s Know Your Heritage Black College Quiz Show says, “Don gave me a chance to launch my career as a television host. He has been very inspirational in my career.”
After nearly a half-generation of producing niche-targeted programs and providing hundreds of job opportunities, Jackson’s greatest endeavor is the upcoming(BFT) â€“ a faith-first and family focused programming platform. Jackson explains, “It will be faith-based and launch in 2012. We will find and use African American talent like producers, writers, directors and actors. That’s our mission.”