Courier exclusive: August Wilson Cultural Center to be renamed to “August Wilson African American Cultural Center” after community voices concerns

The New Pittsburgh Courier has learned that the August Wilson Cultural Center is restoring “African American” to the official name, and the building at 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown, will now be called, the “August Wilson African American Cultural Center.”

“We heard from our friends and allies the depth of feeling associated with having ‘African American’ present in the institutional branding, and we believe it is an upside compromise to include it,” said Janis Burley Wilson, the Center’s President and CEO, in a statement provided to the Courier. “August Wilson’s name alone signifies a celebration of African American culture. Although the August Wilson Cultural Center name embodies the African American experience, we’re planning to incorporate ‘African American’ back into the Center’s name. This direction allows more voices within Pittsburgh’s community to feel included, and for the mission, vision and incredible programming to once again take center stage.”

In the statement, the organization’s Board of Directors met recently and were unanimous in their support of suggestions by the Center’s leadership to include the words “African American” in the Center’s name. Support for various approaches came from allies and trusted advisors.

According to the statement, the Center’s name was initially modified out of necessity following its financial reorganization and the bankruptcy of the original company, and after the building was purchased under new ownership and leadership, severing ties with the previous organization. More recently, as a part of a relaunch, a new brand identity went up on the front of the Center’s Liberty Avenue facade and drew feedback expressing interest in having the words “African American” referenced in its branding.

The Board and management have agreed to amend the Center’s current name to: The August Wilson African American Cultural Center. The Center is excited to work with designers to develop the best options to depict this name on signage, marketing and promotional materials, according to the press release. The Center will begin to phase-in the new name and branding over the next several weeks.

“The vision for this unique Center is on course with sound financial footing, solid leadership, and with dynamic and powerful plans for the future,” said Michael Polite, Board Chair of the August Wilson Cultural Center, in a statement provided to the Courier. “This amendment to the Center’s name honors August Wilson and the deep impact his work continues to have with the African American community and beyond.”

“I’m excited, I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m glad the name is back,” said Renee Wilson, cousin of August Wilson, who led the charge to have the words “African American” restored in the August Wilson Cultural Center’s name. “It should never leave. Praise God.”

The Courier attended a meeting at the Carnegie Library’s Hill District branch in early March, in which 10 community members strategized ways to approach August Wilson Cultural Center leadership about placing “African American” back in the name. Black Political Empowerment Project Chair Tim Stevens eventually brokered a meeting between Burley Wilson, Renee Wilson, and others. After the meeting, the Courier has learned, there still was not a clear indication as to if “African American” would be placed back into the Center’s official name.

But, according to Renee Wilson, in an exclusive interview with the Courier, March 21, “I felt coming out of the meeting that we were going to make some progress.”

Renee Wilson, shown here with Paradise Gray.  (Photo by J. L. Martello)

“I am glad that they came to their senses to resolve an issue of gentrification in this city, by upholding the name that it originally was,” said Blaqk Ops member Nicky Jo Dawson, who was also part of the 10-person meeting at the Hill District Library. She told the Courier that by placing African American back in the name, “you are sending a message to the Black population that we will not be erased.”

Dawson added: “I salute Janis Burley Wilson for living up to her senior title in community engagement.”

For the first time, the Center ended a year (2018) with a surplus and new capital improvements to the building are underway under Burley Wilson’s leadership.

AFTER A NATIONAL SEARCH with more than 50 qualified applicants, Penn Hills High School graduate Janis Burley Wilson was tapped to become CEO of the August Wilson Center. (Photo by Emmai Alaquiva)

Constanza Romero Wilson, wife of August Wilson and executor of the estate supports the current leadership, according to the statement released by the Center on March 21. “August Wilson was an artist that very much looked toward the future with optimism and an impeccable trust in the power of the arts both as an instrument for change and as an affirmation of our common humanity. I am confident that he would embrace the vision and the mission of this organization.”

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25 Of The Best Events Happening In Southern California This Weekend

The works of women choreographers are performed at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica this weekend. (Image: Ballet Hispánico)

Celebrate Nowruz, the Persian new year, at various events in SoCal. Head to the Inland Empire for a new comedy and music festival that honors the troops. Or spend some time in Claremont digging into a dessert classic: pie. Women’s history month continues with a salute to Yoko Ono, a performance of works by Latina choreographers and a discussion about women who rock. The Broad celebrates black art while Gabba Gabba focuses on Scandinavian artists.

FRIDAY, MARCH 22 – SATURDAY, MARCH 23; 7:30 p.m.
Ballet Hispánico
The Broad Stage — 1310 11th St,. Santa Monica
The dance company takes audiences on an exploration of Latino cultures through dance. The ballet presents a program of Latina choreographers featuring Línea Recta, choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa; Con Brazos Abiertos, choreographed by Michelle Manzanales; and 3. Catorce Dieciséis, choreographed by Tania Pérez-Salas.
COST: Tickets start at $45; MORE INFO

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FRIDAY, MARCH 22; 8 p.m.
BREATHEWATCHLISTENTOUCH: The Work and Music of Yoko Ono
Walt Disney Concert Hall — 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
The next generation of groundbreaking musicians pays tribute to the trailblazing musician and artist. Ono work will be performed by an ensemble of special guests including La Marisoul, Madame Gandhi, Shirley Manson, St. Vincent and We Are KING. FYI: the program features both nudity and mature content.
COST: Individual tickets $32; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, MARCH 22 – SUNDAY, MARCH 24
Salute the Troops Music and Comedy Festival
Fox Theater, Glass House and other venues throughout Pomona
The inaugural festival features performances by Snoop Dogg, Cold War Kids, Capital Cities, members of the Wu-Tang Clan, the Dan Band, New Power Generation (for a special Prince tribute night) and comedians Adam Carolla and Rob Riggle. The organization behind he festival works to reduce veteran suicide rates and post-traumatic stress. For every full price ticket sold, an active service member will receive a free ticket. Veterans and retirees an purchase discounted tickets.
COST: Tickets/passes: $49 – $189; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, MARCH 22 – SUNDAY, MARCH 24
Bach in the Subways
Several locations throughout SoCal
Celebrate the 334th birthday of composer Johann Sebastian Bach at pop-up performances of the composer’s music at the Santa Monica Promenade, the Glendale train station and in Claremont. There are open-mic opportunities for musicians in Pasadena, too.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, MARCH 22 – SUNDAY, MARCH 24
The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival
Theatre 68 — 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood
The longest-running annual solo festival for women in L.A. has given a stage to more than 500 solo performers from around the globe. This year’s theme is I, Woman, and the opening night gala honors five women including Sandra Tsing Loh and the late Carol Channing.
COST: $25 -$30 for performances; $50 – $90 for gala admission; MORE INFO

FRIDAY, MARCH 22; 8 p.m.
Mike Doughty
Lodge Room — 104 N. Ave. 56, Highland Park
Musician Mike Doughty had a hard time embracing his past work with ’90s band Soul Coughing but he’s made a 180-degree turn and will play the band’s first LP, Ruby Vroom, in full at this show, where he’ll be joined by a cellist, a bassist and a guitar player. Experiences a “live remix” of the album, which will be performed differently each night. All ages.
COST: $22; MORE INFO

A woman carries a vegan burger during the Vegan Fest fair on October 13, 2014 in the Israeli city of Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

SATURDAY, MARCH 23 – SUNDAY, MARCH 24; 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Vegan Street Fair
Chandler Blvd. — between Tujunga and Vineland, North Hollywood
In its fifth year, the vegan food festival expands to two days with food, vendors and activities stretching over a mile. Returning vendors include Vegatinos, Cena Vegan, Burgerlords, Cinnaholic, Eat Love, The Vegan Hooligans and Brooklyn-based Monk’s Vegan Smokehouse. New purveyors include Souley Vegan from Oakland, Plant Posse from Oregon, Street Beet from Detroit, Vaffls from San Diego and SoCal’s own MANEATINGPLANT, Vegan Earth Cafe, Lettuce Feast, Dank Vegan and Nodoh. The Federal Bar hosts a beer garden for those 21+.
COST: FREE admission; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, MARCH 23; 6 p.m. – midnight
Inland Empire Brew Witches & Rescue Brewing Co. Fundraiser
Rescue Brewing Co. — 67 N. 2nd Ave., Upland
The Witches, a local organization that supports women in craft beer, teams with Rescue Brewing to raise funds for the Friends of Upland Animal Shelter. In addition to music from local bands, the night also features the release of the limited-edition beer, Heckin’ Good Boi Blonde Ale. This event is kid-friendly and pet-friendly but if you want to drink, you have to be 21+.
COST: Varies; MORE INFO

Kurdish people living in Greece dance during Newroz celebrations on March 21, 2017 in Lavrio, some 80 kilometres from Athens. (ELEFTHERIOS ELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

SATURDAY, MARCH 23; 7 p.m.
Annual Nourouz Celebration
Hotel Irvine — Jamboree Road, Irvine
However you spell it (Nowruz? Norouz? Norooz?), it’s the Persian new year and also ushers in the start of spring. This is one of SoCal’s largest Nourouz parties. It features DJs, live music, Haji Firooz (a fictional character in Iranian folklore), the traditional haft sin display, snacks, tea and coffee.
COST: $15-25; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, MARCH 23; 9 p.m.
Second Annual Persian New Year Show
UCBT Sunset — 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., East Hollywood
The Shahs (of UCB) Sunset ring in the Persian new year with Kimia Behpoornia, Peter Banifaz and Ruha Taslim performing Persian song and dance, stand-up, poetry and improv set to live music.
COST: $12; MORE INFO

U.S. jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater performs during the 24th edition of the Cognac Blues Passion festival on July 6, 2017. (AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images)

SATURDAY, MARCH 23; 7:30 p.m.
Dee Dee Bridgewater
Bram Goldsmith Theater at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts — 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills
The Grammy- and Tony Award-winning jazz vocalist pays tribute to the R&B sounds of her birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee. She’s joined by Memphis Soulphony as she performs pieces from her four-decade career, including her album Memphis…Yes I’m Ready, which was recorded at the city’s famed Royal Studios in 2016.
COST: $25 – $55; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, MARCH 23; 12 – 5 p.m.
13th Annual Santa Monica Airport ArtWalk
Santa Monica Art Studios — 3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica
Artists open their studios and creative venues at the airport’s converted airplane hangars. Attendees can watch art-making and ceramic demos, participate in art and theater workshops, chat with artists and and enjoy live music and food trucks. The Museum of Flying also features a collection of artifacts related to the Douglas Aircraft Company, which used to occupy the airport.
COST: FREE admission; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, MARCH 23; 8 p.m.
Shades and Shadows
Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum — 3204 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank
The reading and story series, dedicated to dark fantasy, horror and science fiction, brings together authors Justin Robinson, Joe Lansdale, Keith McCleary, Janet Joyce Holden and Julia Evans to read from their works. Hosted by Xach Fromson.
COST: $10; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, MARCH 23 – SUNDAY, SEPT. 1
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983
The Broad Museum — 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.
This exhibition about black art makes its West Coast debut as three separate galleries showcase the works of Barkley Hendricks, Noah Purifoy, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Charles White and William T. Williams, among others. Pro-tip: You can see the exhibition for free every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. (last entry at 7 p.m.). It also features a number of programs, including Art and Politics: Soul of a Nation Symposium, held on March 23 at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo, and The Un-Private Collection: Mark Godfrey + Zoe Whitley on March 24 at the museum’s Oculus Hall.
COST: FREE – $18; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, MARCH 23; 8 – 10 p.m.
Black List Live!
The Montalbán — 1615 Vine St., Hollywood
The Black List is an annual survey of Hollywood executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays from the online scriptwriting community. It presents its first live read of 2019: Popular, written and directed by Hannah Hafey and Kaitlin Smith. The story covers themes of power, betrayal, scandal and deceit… in high school. Readers include Kiersey Clemons, Nina Dobrev, Shannon Purser, Ramona Young, Ross Butler and Ben Lewis.
COST: $20 – $25; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, MARCH 23; 7 – 11 p.m.
Borderless: Scandinavia
Gabba Gallery — 3126 Beverly Blvd., Westlake
The gallery presents its second international exhibition, Borderless, which focuses on three Scandinavian artists: Ari Behn (Norway/Denmark), Espen Eiborg (Norway) and Mikael Persbrandt (Sweden). The opening reception features DJ Jonathan Williams spinning and a bar sponsored by Humboldt Distillery and Auspicion Wine. The works will be on view through April 6.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, MARCH 23; 6:30 – 10 p.m.
Dancing with the LGBTQ Asian Pacific Islander Community
Lumina Academy of Dance — 1052 N. Allen Ave., Pasadena
This dance doubles as a fundraiser and silent auction benefiting API Equality LA. Take part in an hour dance lesson lesson of Latinx dances like salsa and bachata then shake yer thing on the dance floor.
COST: $30 per ticket or $50 for 2 tickets; MORE INFO

Double strawberry pie. (Brian J. Geiger/Flickr Creative Commons)

SATURDAY, MARCH 23; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Claremont Pie Festival
festival headquarters — 175 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont
Enjoy a pie baking contest, a pie eating contest, a pie tasting buffet, cooking demos, artisan vendors, a classic car show, live music, a recipe card hunt and bargains throughout town. If you can’t make it to Claremont, check out our list of pie places around Los Angeles.
COST: FREE ; MORE INFO

SATURDAY, MARCH 23; 4 and 7 p.m. – SUNDAY, MARCH 24; 4 p.m.
Selected Shorts
The Getty — 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood
The public radio show and podcast presents three performances around the theme of “entanglements.” Actor Jane Kaczmarek hosts the literary feast that pairs performers with stories. Participants include René Auberjonois, D’Arcy Carden, Tony Hale, Stana Katic, Wendie Malick, Michael McKean, Elizabeth Reaser, Retta, Andy Richter, Natasha Rothwell, Jenna Ushkowitz and Baron Vaughn.
COST: $20; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, MARCH 24; 5 – 7 p.m.
Women Who Rock Panel
Hotel Figueroa — 939 South Figueroa St., downtown L.A.
In conjunction with Loyola Marymount University professor Evelyn McDonnell’s new book, Women Who Rock, there’s a discussion with panelists including McDonnell, Riot Grrrl co-founder and musician Allison Wolfe and punk legend Alice Bag. The panel will be moderated KPFK’s Valecia Phillips. KSPC DJ DeeJay Dia spins. Seating is limited for this all-ages event. Cash bar.
COST: FREE with RSVP; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, MARCH 24; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
40th Vintage Paperback Show
Glendale Civic Auditorium — 1401 Verdugo Rd., Glendale
Organizers of this book event call it the best bargain in town and we may have to agree. Now in its 40th year, the show features more than a 100 vendor tables selling thousands of paperback and hardback sci-fi, mysteries, early pulp fiction and original art. A few dozen authors are doing live appearance and won’t charge for their signatures.
Tickets: $5 admission; MORE INFO

More than 24,000 participants will be running 26.2 miles — for fun — this Sunday for the Los Angeles Marathon. (Photo: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)

SUNDAY, MARCH 24; 6:30 a.m.
Los Angeles Marathon
Throughout L.A. — Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica
More than 24,000 people are expected to take part in the annual stadium-to-the-sea race. Chances are you know one of them, so get out to the streets and support them on their grueling 26.2-mile journey. The competition kicks off with wheelchair participants at 6:30 a.m.; handcyclists at 6:42 a.m., the elite female runners at 6:45 a.m. and elite male runners 6:55 a.m. before the full field takes off. Please check for road closures/openings throughout the day as streets will be reopening on a rolling basis. Runners have 6.5 hours to complete the course.
COST: FREE (for spectators); MORE INFO

SUNDAY, MARCH 24; 7 p.m.
Nowruz: Persian New Year
Segerstrom Center for the Arts — 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa
The Pacific Symphony, conducted by Carl St.Clair and Shardad Rohani, presents a program that celebrates the rebirth of nature. Listen to readings of works by Persian poet Rumi as well as Persian classical and folk music selections.
COST: Tickets start at $45; MORE INFO

SUNDAY, MARCH 24; 7:30 p.m.
The New Negroes
The Virgil — 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., East Hollywood
The live show is finally getting a slot on Comedy Central, and there’s a pre-premiere shindig with a big lineup that features Tone Bell, Jak Knight and hosts Open Mike Eagle and Baron Vaughn. The show’s title refers to a term popularized during the Harlem Renaissance when Black Americans spoke up and told their stories to dismantle misconceptions. “This show is KINDA doing that, but jokes.”
COST: $7; MORE INFO

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

In black and white

(MENAFN – Gulf Times) In 2018, Jordan Peele became the first black writer to win an original screenplay Oscar. The honour came for his debut feature Get Out, a horror film exploring the latent menace lurking behind a seemingly well-meaning white liberal family.
‘I stopped writing this movie about 20 times because I thought it was impossible, he said in his acceptance speech. ‘I thought it wasn’t going to work. I thought no-one would ever make this movie. But I kept coming back to it because I knew if someone let me make this movie, that people would hear it and people would see it.
A day after Peele’s win, Shudder, AMC Networks’ horror and thriller streaming service, green-lit the documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, which explores the origins, evolution and impact of black films and filmmakers in the genre with Get Out serving as its centrepiece.
The documentary, directed by up-and-coming filmmaker Xavier Burgin, explores the history of black horror actors and creators by tracing their presence in horror movies from the silent film era through Get Out. Among the voices in the film are Candyman star Tony Todd, author and academic Tananarive Due and The Craft actress Rachel True.
‘Horror as a genre is definitely a way that our American culture has projected its societal fears, said Due. ‘We have so many daily anxieties, whether it’s at the workplace, with our kids, with the police, and that anxiety has a cost that I believe horror helps us interpret.
‘With social media, you see everything in real time, said Burgin, alluding to the prevalence of police brutality videos shared online. ‘It’s a constant thing that we see on a regular basis. And a lot of the time it feels like horror in a way.
‘To me, it made sense that black horror took off [after Get Out] because we were being told ‘We have Obama, nothing’s wrong anymore,’ added True. ‘So for it to naturally extend itself in this direction makes sense now. I think with horror there is a way to survive the big bad thing that is intangible in real life. We can defeat it on camera.
A few weeks after the documentary’s streaming release, Burgin, Due, Todd and True huddled in a conference room at Shudder’s Santa Monica offices to discuss the current landscape of horror — and black filmmaking of any genre — since Peele’s Oscar win.
‘Unfortunately in the time to come, there will be more cynical attempts to create a story that seems black because it has black faces in it, but in fact is not a black story and not even meant for black people, Due predicted.
True fake-coughed Green Book as an example.
‘It’s a shame about Green Book because that subject matter is an extremely important part of our culture, said Todd.
‘And that is why when we saw all those white faces accepting the Oscar, it left a sour taste in our mouths, said True. ‘Not to say that white people cannot produce a black story, they can. But that is a case in point of maybe not the narrative we would have told.
Although the mainstream success of Get Out means studios will become more willing to bet on black filmmakers and stories, much of horror’s history — like film history in general — is steeped in one-dimensional or stereotypical portrayals of black characters.
‘There’s the sacrificial Negro who exists only to save a white character, Due said. ‘There’s the magical Negro trope which sort of gives us supernatural abilities that are often used in service to warning the white characters or asking if they’re OK. And then ‘first to die’ was around for a long time. It kind of became a joke. We can chuckle about it now, but frankly, if we don’t address it and if we don’t call out the tropes, five years from now, 10 years from now, they roll back around.
The documentary, based on Robin R. Means Coleman’s 2011 book Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present, posits that horror means something entirely different to black people than it does to whites, which is what makes the current pivot toward black storytelling by black creators so revolutionary.
‘We’re developing a consumer base that’s a little more sophisticated about what it means to enjoy a black project, said Due. ‘So it’s not just about the black faces, but is it a black story? And Get Out is a great example of a horror film that is a black story from a black perspective by a black artist that just so happens to be something anyone can enjoy. You get to the universal through the specific.
‘When race is just an afterthought or meant to fulfil some kind of trope in horror then it’s going to be bland, she added. ‘And at worst it’s going to be offensive. When black creators put black people in their stories, they’re just trying to express their humanity, they’re not doing it to fulfil a trope or because someone told them it would be more profitable that way. They’re doing it to tell the truth.
‘Things are changing, roles are changing, said Todd. ‘Things are getting deeper. The more things that we write and create, the more the project, I think, feels real. The lens cap is off now and it sees everything.
‘I can’t wait for Jordan Peele’s Us to come out, said Due. ‘He’s a great leader in that. And I know [Peele’s production company] Monkeypaw is producing other horror series and The Twilight Zone is coming down the pipe. It’s great that he’s so supportive of other artists.
That ability to support other artists rather than subscribe to a crabs-in-a-barrel mentality is what sets the current landscape of black horror apart from recent years.
‘What I noticed in black Hollywood in the ’90s is it was a bit of a Highlander mentality: there can only be one, there’s only room for one of us, said True. ‘So if there’s three other black people over there, all of a sudden they’re adversaries. I think we’re seeing a shift in being able to support each other more and help bring up other black people and not see them so much as competition.
‘And what I hope comes from black creators is not just the optics of having black characters in the stories but you get a slightly different twist, slightly different mythologies and beliefs that make it scary because you haven’t seen it done a hundred times over. Horror is one of those genres that’s ripe for difference because horror fans want to be scared.
‘We’re finally able to actually take control of the narrative, said Burgin. ‘[Until recently] blackness was seen through the lens of whiteness. Now black filmmakers are trying to get out our perspectives front and centre. — Los Angeles Times/TNS

Last updated: March 20 2019 01:20 AM

MENAFN2003201900670000ID1098284161


In black and white RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Chuck Harmon: Cincinnati Reds’ First African-American Player Dead at 94

By The Associated Press

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds’ first African-American player has died at the age of 94.

The team says Charles “Chuck” Harmon died Tuesday, nearly 65 years after he made his debut against the Braves in Milwaukee on April 17, 1954. It did not provide details.

In this March 1956, file photo, Cincinnati Reds’ Charles Harmon poses during spring training baseball in Tampa, Fla. Harmon, the Reds’ first African-American player, died Tuesday, March 19, 2019. He was 94. ( (AP Photo/File)

Harmon had remained a familiar figure in Cincinnati as a regular participant in fan and community events.

Among his Reds honors is a bronze plaque near their stadium entrance.

In this April 20, 2004, file photo, former Cincinnati Reds player Chuck Harmon, left, reaches across a plaque honoring him to shake hands with his son, Chuck Harmon Jr., during ceremonies before the Reds game against the Atlanta Braves in Cincinnati. Harmon, the Reds’ first African-American player, died Tuesday, March 19, 2019. He was 94. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

A native of Washington, Indiana, Harmon served in the Navy and was a standout basketball and baseball player at the University of Toledo . He worked his way into Major League Baseball seven years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.

Harmon played more than two seasons as a Reds utility player. He also played for the Cardinals and Phillies in his four years in the majors.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

New Music Revue: JV’s Boogaloo Squad honour influences

March 20, 2019 by Emily Welch, contributing writer

JV’s Boogaloo Squad
Going to Market
(Flatcar Records)
3.5/5

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I slid Going to Market into my car stereo, but I was drawn right in. JV’s Boogaloo Squad are a trio from Toronto; the CD cover features three very approachable-looking dudes smiling away. Upon opening up the packaging, I saw a write-up of how their lives and music have been heavily influenced by Black artists.

The music is cool; the songs are all instrumental and are a fusion of jazz, soul, swing, and funk. Listening to this feels like a time- travelling trip to when some of the most influential music trends were started. It isn’t what I will always listen to in my car, but I can definitely see having it on while I have dinner guests, or maybe throwing a Mad Men-themed party featuring this CD as the soundtrack.

“Squadzilla” took me down a path that echoed a cocktail party in the 1970s, and “Capybara Walk” had the distinct sound of a detective show from the same era.

Going to Market is a groove- filled musical journey and a worthy purchase for those who love soul.

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When and Where 3/27 – 4/3

Illustration by Sarah Hofstedt

Wednesday, March 27

Wet + Kilo Kish

Cost: $35 – $60

Time: 7 p.m.

Place: Belasco Theater; 1050 S. Hill St., Los Angeles

Avant-garde singer Kilo Kish will be the opening act for indie folk band Wet as they tour together. Kish has collaborated with such artists as Gorillaz, Vince Staples and Donald Glover. Wet will perform their top hits like “Old Bone,” “Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl” and “It’s All in Vain.”

Thursday, March 28

Cirque du Soleil: Corteo

Cost: $63 – $115

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Place: The Forum; 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood

A new iteration of the famed acrobatic show has appeared once again! Cirque du Soleil: Corteo, which will be at The Forum, revolves around the passing of a clown named Mauro, who watches his own funeral take place as a celebration of his life.

Friday, March 29

Tomatomania!

Cost: $9

Time: 11 a.m.

Place: Descanso Gardens; 1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge

Plant lovers out there can pick from an assortment of different tomato plant seedlings. This weekend-long event includes discussions, tomato cooking demonstrations and a great Bloody Mary bar.

Saturday, March 30

Vince Staples at The Novo

Cost: $30 – $130

Time: 9 p.m.

Place: The Novo; 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles

On his Smile, You’re on Camera tour, rapper and Long Beach native Vince Staples takes his unconventional rapping and plays for thousands of fans. Joining Staples for the tour are his opening acts, JPEGMAFIA and Buddy.

Sunday, March 31

Leimert Park Art Walk

Cost: FREE

Time: 12 p.m.

Place: Leimert Park; 3333 W. 43rd Place, Los Angeles

Held on the last Sunday of every month, the Leimert Park Art Walk is a wonderful event filled with African-American art, music and African-American culture.

Monday, April 1

American Theatre Guild presents The Magic of Adam Trent

Cost: $39 – $89

Time: 12:30 p.m.

Place: Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza; 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks

Touting himself as “The Next Generation of Magic,” magician Adam Trent takes his marvelous magic on tour for all to see. Trent got his start on the best selling Broadway magic show “The Illusionists,” performing on its first two record-breaking runs on Broadway during the show’s U.S. tour.

Tuesday, April 2

Shen Yun

Cost: $80 – $165

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Place: Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza; 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks

One of the most popular Chinese dance troupes is on the U.S. leg of its tour once again. Shen Yun is a beautiful classical Chinese dance show that has performances based on Chinese folk dance and story-based arrangements.

Wednesday, April 3

Pink Sweat$

Cost: $17

Time: 8 p.m.

Place: The Roxy; 9009 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

Philadelphia-native Pink Sweat$ is on the rise in the R&B genre. After starting off making music at Sound Stigma Studios when he was 19, the artist discovered his love for songwriting and has even written songs for unconventional rapper Tierra Whack and MAX.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

‘Rosenwald’ will be shown in Davis Auditorium at Skidmore College March 24

Julius Rosenwald in a reflective moment from the documentary “Rosenwald”  to be screened at Skidmøre on March 24.

SARATOGA SPRINGS– The Saratoga Jewish Community Arts will present “Rosenwald,” a documentary directed by Aviva Kempner at the Skidmore College Davis Auditorium on Sunday, March 24, at 7 p.m. The documentary will be followed by a panel discussion and a dessert reception.

Kempner begins the film by focusing her inquisitive lens on a mystifying anomaly. Who is the white man prominently framed on the wall of many predominately black schools located throughout the American South?  This question turns out to be the thread that unravels a historical yarn.

In the early years of the 20th century, Julius Rosenwald, son of German Jewish immigrants, an entrepreneur, a profit driven businessman and a devoted philanthropist, donated millions to the construction of more than 5,300 schools in African American communities in the rural South.

After being introduced to Booker T. Washington and “as a member of a despised minority,” The northern businessman part-owner and leader of Sears, Roebuck and Company, focused his attention and his tremendous wealth on the plight of southern blacks. Through an alliance with B.T. Washington, Rosenwald funded and built community schools for black children throughout the south in the era of segregation. He gave grants that supported black artists, musicians, and writers who became a substantial portion of the black cultural and intellectual leaders in the 20th century.
Some of his schools were burned down by the Ku Klux Klan. He rebuilt them, sometimes over and over. The masterstroke in Rosenwald’s building program was his insistence that he would provide a third of the funding if the respective community would contribute the rest. These schools weren’t handed down from the heavens; they were built from the ground up by the very people whose children attended them.
What inspired Julius Rosenwald?” asks Jewish Community Arts Coordinator, Phyllis Wang. “It was not only the autobiography of. and later relationship with Booker T Washington, and the biography of William H. Baldwin Jr., a white industrialist who became a leading advocate for African American education in the late 19th century, but also the Jewish principles of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzedakah (righteousness often in the form of charitable giving).”

Washington-based documentarian Kempner has also celebrated celebrating Jewish American achievement in films Like “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg” (1998) and “Yoo-Hoo Mrs. Goldberg” (2009).
A $5 admission /donation is requested. Information or reservations may be obtained by calling 518-584-8730, opt. 2.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Fishers, Indiana Dentist Selected to the “America’s Best Dentists” 2019 Directory

Fishers, Indiana Dentist Selected to the “America’s Best Dentists” 2019 Directory – African American News Today – EIN News

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Who should play RodeoHouston 2020?

Look what you’ve done, RodeoHouston.

This year’s lineup, the most diverse in years, has set RodeoHouston on a new path. And it’s about time.

One-third of the performers were outside the country genre, and a dozen made their debuts. Two noncountry shows, Cardi B and Los Tigres del Norte, broke the paid attendance record, proving that Houston wants more than just one genre in the lineup.

RANKED: The best and worst Rodeo shows of 2019

Jason Kane, managing director of entertainment and concert production, told CultureMap that the lineup “really reflected the city of Houston” and that RodeoHouston may have “found a groove.”

That said, and with an eye already to next year, here’s hoping RodeoHouston pumps the diversity even harder. And we have a few suggestions.

Browse through the slideshow above to see who should play RodeoHouston 2020.

PREVIEW: Get experts’ picks for concerts, kids’ stuff, fine arts, movies and more delivered to your inbox weekly.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Alan Cumming can probably guess what you know him from


Alan Cumming poses next to artifacts he selected for the “Newsroom: Rise Up” suite at the Hamilton Hotel in Washington on March 18. (Sam Waxman/Sam Waxman Studios)
March 19 at 5:54 PM

Alan Cumming ordered a glass of white wine before plopping down on a sofa Monday afternoon at the Hamilton Hotel. “It’s my day off,” he explained.

He doesn’t get a lot of those. Originally from Scotland, the 54-year-old actor has enjoyed a prolific career in this country since he won a Tony for playing the emcee in the 1998 Broadway revival of “Cabaret.” He currently stars in the off-Broadway show “Daddy” as a white art collector involved with a much younger black artist, and in CBS’s “Instinct” as a former CIA operative who happens to be the first openly gay lead character in an American broadcast drama.

If not from those projects, you might recognize Cumming from the movies “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” and “X2: X-Men United” or from the television show “The Good Wife,” which earned him three Emmy nominations. (Younger millennials, like this reporter, might remember him as Fegan Floop, the scheming children’s television host whom the Cortez family must defeat in 2001′s “Spy Kids.”)

Cumming has done it all, and then some — he’s also a decorated humanitarian and swung by Washington to unveil an artifact-filled hotel suite called “Newsroom: Rise Up” that he curated in partnership with the Newseum to honor an upcoming exhibit on the LGBTQ rights movement. Seated in front of framed newspaper clippings marking momentous occasions in LGBTQ history, he chatted with The Washington Post about his career, his fans and his reputation as a “frolicky pansexual sex symbol.”

In that case over there, there’s a script from Ellen DeGeneres’s show and an “Angels in America” playbill. How does art play into activism?

It’s not a new phenomenon that art discusses the ideas that need to be discussed in our society. That’s what art is for — theater in the past, and now film and television. Ellen’s coming out was such a massive thing. I wasn’t even living in this country, and I knew all about it. What’s interesting to me was the fallout from that. Now she’s this great family-friendly icon, but a season after she came out, [the show] got axed. . . . People did not want gay stories in America.

The show that I’m in right now, “Instinct,” has this thing of, “And also, he’s gay.” He’s all these things — and also, he’s gay. It’s so not a problem, it’s not the focus. I think “and also” is the way to go ahead, because it should be “and also.” I get really riled when they put the prefix of my sexuality before my name. You don’t see “straight actor blah blah,” and that’s starting to really piss me off. You can be much more progressive and transgressive by going into the mainstream and putting these messages out: Here we are, this is what happens in life.

“Instinct” airs on CBS, one of the most-watched broadcast networks in this country. What does it mean to you to be able to reach that many people?

I’ve made lots of films about LGBT issues that I’m very proud of — one about adoption, one about schisms between generations of gay men because of AIDS, things that are really important — but mostly were seen by LGBT people. And that’s great, but also I think this thing about the mainstream is so important.

Even this play I’m doing right now called “Daddy,” a lot of why I wanted to do it is that it discusses and provokes about race and queerness and things nobody wants to talk about in this country. So that’s why I’m doing it, but [only] 200 people a night see it.

Can you tell me more about “Daddy”?

It’s this play by a guy called Jeremy O. Harris. It’s super intense . . . There’s an intergenerational and interracial queer relationship. I’m the “daddy,” and I have a young African American boyfriend. It’s just, I’ve never seen that. There are quite explicit things there . . . I think it’s great to be able to challenge people, provoke. Sometimes you have to be sensationalist to do that.

All of the projects you mentioned are quite different. When people come up to you, what is it that they most often reference?

It’s always different. I used to play a game where I’d see them coming up and I’d do a quick scan to try and guess: Oh, here’s an “X-Men” person, or she’s going to be a “Romy and Michele,” or this is obviously a “Good Wife,” this is a “Cabaret.” It’s always really surprising. There’s not really one thing, which is great. Then it can be some really obscure thing, “Oh, you saw that? I thought two people and their dog saw that.” That’s nice as well.

I feel a great warmth from the public on the whole. But now, if you’re young and in entertainment, that has to be quantified by the number of people who follow you. It must be a real pressure. It’s not just a feeling you have, you’ve got get those people to click something to show that’s how loved you are. Isn’t it interesting?

It’s kind of scary.

It is. There was a girl at the opening [for “Daddy”], I knew her name but I don’t really — for someone who’s in this business, I don’t keep up with it very much. I get sent all the time all the Hollywood Reporters and Variety because I’m in the academy, but I just recycle it immediately. Or I give it to my husband to take to his after-school art class for the collages.

So there was this girl, and I said to Tommy [Dorfman], from my play, “Who is this girl? Is she a model, an actress?” It was Emily. Emily, some Polish name.

Oh, the model, [Emily Ratajkowski].

Yes, her. I went, “Oh, what is she known for?” And he said, “Oh, she has 4.5 million followers on Instagram.” [Note: Ratajkowski has 22.1 million Instagram followers.]

That’s what she’s known for, I guess.

She’s known, but that’s how you place someone. The world has changed in some way, for that age group, for millennials.


(Sam Waxman/Sam Waxman Studios)

Judging by my age, I’m sure this is expected, but I would love to hear about —

— “Spy Kids”?

Yes! When your name comes up, for me, it’s “Cabaret” and everything, and then it’s “Spy Kids.” What was that experience like?

The making of it was really fun. I had a great time, but it wasn’t “Spy Kids” when we did it, it was just this cute little film. It was a departure for Robert Rodriguez. He’d been much more of an edgy filmmaker, and now he was doing this family film. Everything was kind of, “Oh, I’ll see how this goes.”

None of us knew it was going to become this thing, and also still is. That’s the thing that’s interesting about it. Kids now still watch it. It’s sort of a classic in that way, because it’s magical in its language. It hasn’t aged. There’s no guns in it, it’s an old-fashioned fairy tale.

It has thumb people. [Note: They’re called Thumb Thumbs.]

Yeah. I don’t know how long ago, but in the last 10 years or so, the way young people of your age approach me completely changed because of “Spy Kids” and a few other kids films I did around that time. Instead of a young man being, like, “Oh hey, my girlfriend thinks you’re famous” or, “My girlfriend really likes you,” they came to me, like, “You were a part of my childhood, oh my gosh.” They kind of become little children for a moment. It was such a lovely thing.

A lot of people who grew up with “Spy Kids” now watch “Broad City,” which you were recently in. Ilana Glazer describes you in the episode as a “magical, pansexual, New York City party boy and nymph.” What’s your reaction to that?

It’s very nice. Over the years, you kind of get used to it. But it’s also hilarious. The other day, I was, like, “I’m so hating this beard. I don’t want to be ‘Daddy’ Alan, I want to go back to being pixie Alan. I want to be, like, ‘Oh, Alan looks much younger than he actually is’ Alan. The New York Observer years ago said that I was a “frolicky pansexual sex symbol for the new millennium.” [Laughs] That one stuck, for a while. I like the way it says, to me, that sexuality is playful and fun. It’s very sex positive, that description. I quite like it. But the older I get, I’m feeling less nymphlike. You’ve got to work for the nymphness.

You’ve mentioned a lot of your work being personal. Tell me about the inspiration for your one-man cabaret show, last year’s “Legal Immigrant.”

It was 10 years since I’d become an immigrant, and I thought that was a good anniversary. I could talk about my time in America, and getting older. But also, there was two things: One was that the U.S. Immigration Services website had, about a year ago, removed the phrase “nation of immigrants” from the text on its website, which is shocking and historical revisionism. And also, it doesn’t really matter what the prefix before the word “immigrant” is anymore. The actual notion of immigration itself has such a negative connotation.

I wanted to say to people, being anti-immigration is being anti-American. The show, I tried to make it a celebration of immigration.

With this sort of platform, do you feel a responsibility to speak up on such issues?

I do. But saying it’s a “responsibility” makes it sound honorous, and it’s not. This is fun for me . . . I really like discussing things like this, and I think it’s good to have a conversation with people and find out what’s going on. I think if I weren’t famous, I would still be trying to do the same things I’m doing, but obviously I wouldn’t have the platform or access to such a large megaphone.

I feel it’s because I’m Scottish. People in Scotland are much more politically involved and engaged. You just talk about things . . . It’s every man for himself here. America is very complicated to grasp . . . Things like the arts, it’s all done by patronage here, not by government funding. I think that I would never have been able to be an actor if I were not born in Scotland. My mum and my dad would not have been able to send me to drama school.

You did the “Cabaret” revival a few years ago. Are there any other works of yours that you’d revisit?

I’ve actually done “Cabaret” three times — in London the first time. I can’t imagine I’ll do “Cabaret” again. I’ve always joked that if I did, I’d want to play Fraulein Schneider.

“Macbeth,” I did it in Scotland first and then the following year on Broadway. I have no desire to do that again. It was just too difficult. Every now and again, I think it’s really important to completely challenge yourself to the point where you think, “I don’t know if I can do this.” I do that fairly often. But usually when I’ve done that, I don’t want to do it again. I’ve made my point.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment