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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



Black Excellence Award nominations announced; gala on Nov. 14
-- From a press release

This article shared 2617 times since Thu Sep 8, 2022
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Chicago—The Board of Directors of the African American Arts Alliance (AAAA), and the Black Excellence Awards Committee announce the nominations for the 22nd Annual Black Excellence Awards. The Awards were established in 2002 to honor the outstanding works of art by African Americans in Theater, Dance, Music, Film, Literature, Visual Arts and Digital Media.

The awards recipients will be announced at the 22nd Annual Black Excellence Gala Awards on Monday, Nov. 14 at the Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark St. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a reception for the 2022 nominees and sponsors. The awards ceremony begins promptly at 7 p.m. Tickets, priced at $50, are available at .

""The Black Excellence Awards moves the mission of the African American Arts Alliance forward by highlighting African American achievements in the arts and promoting the excellence of our artistic community," commented AAAA Board Chair and Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor.

African American Alliance Executive Director Jackie Williams added, "The African American Arts Alliance is beyond excited to be back live, celebrating Black Excellence in the arts, and we invite everyone to join us for our 22nd year!"

The Black Excellence Awards provides recognition of professional African American artists for their achievements of excellence and creativity in the areas of dance, theater, film, literature, music, technology, and visual arts. More information is available at .

The 2022 Black Excellence Awards Nominations are as follows:


Outstanding Achievement in R & B:

London Kay — London Kay

Brandon James — Brandon James

Illville Vanguard — IllVille 2022

Outstanding Achievement in Jazz:

Darrell Wilson Sax Preacher — Live at Music in the Park/Dolton IL

Ava Logan

Michele Thomas

Special Recognition in Music:

Tony Wilson — Tribute to James Brown


Outstanding Achievement in Theater Production:

Black Ensemble Theater Company — It's Just Like Coming to Church

Black Ensemble Theater Company — Grandma's Jukebox

Congo Square Theatre — What to Send Up, When IT Does Down

Theater 47 — Living All Alone, the Phyllis Hyman Musical

MPAACT Ma'at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre — Pulled Punches

Outstanding Achievements for Director:

Jackie Taylor — It's Just Like Coming to Church

Michelle Renee Bester — Grandma's Jukebox

Daniel Bryant & Erika Ratcliff — What to Send Up, When IT Does Down

Lauren Wells Mann — Pulled Punches

John L. Ruffin Jr. — Living All Alone, the Phyllis Hyman Musical

Outstanding Achievement for Actor:

Vincent Jordan — It's Just Like Coming to Church

Vincent Jordan — Grandma's Jukebox

Anthony Irons — What to Send Up, When IT Does Down

Randle Michael — Living All Alone, the Phyllis Hyman Musical

Outstanding Achievement for Actress:

Dawn Bless — It's Just Like Coming to Church

Jessica Brooks Seals — Grandma's Jukebox

McKenzie Chinn — What to Send Up, When IT Does Down

Melanie Victoria — Pulled Punches

Liberty Clay — Living All Alone, the Phyllis Hyman Musical

Special Recognition in Theater:

Felicia P. Fields — Pearl's Rollin' With the Blues: A Night with Felicia P. Fields

Jerod Haynes — Two Trains Running

Kierra Bunch — Two Trains Running

Mildred Langford — Intimate Apparel

Al'Jaleel McGhee — Intimate Apparel

Ayanna Bria Bakari — Relentless


Outstanding Achievement for Dance Company Production:

Praize Productions — NINE

South Chicago Dance Theatre — An Evening with South Chicago Dance


Outstanding Achievement for Choreographer:

Vershawn-Sanders-Ward — BLACKBIRD

Trevon Lawrence & Anthony Sampson — REACT

Kevin Iega Jeff — SURRENDER

Joel Hall — FOUR WOMEN

Special Recognition in Dance:

Muntu 50th Anniversary


Outstanding Achievement for a Gallery/Exhibition:

South Side Community Art Center — EMERGENCE — Curated by Lamar Gayles, Jr and zakkiyyah najeebah dumas o'neal

Blanc Gallery — To Whom This Ground Belongs — Curated by Jalen Hamilton

Anthony Gallery — In The Eye of the Beholder — Curated by Isimeme "Easy" Otabor

Outstanding Achievement for an Individual Artist:

Brandon Breaux — BIG WORDS

Rose Blouin — To Washington Park, with Love

Gerald Lovell — In The Eye of the Beholder


Outstanding Achievement in Digital Media:

Jewel Ifeguni — How We Got Here

Crystal Marshal — Real Talk in Jeans

Cody Mack — What's the Word TV


Outstanding Achievement in Fiction:

Rahsaan Lewis — Forgotten Heir

Clyde David Jones — The Lost Babies of Dexter Street

Tracy Clark — What You Don't See (A Chicago Mystery)

Outstanding Achievement in Non-Fiction:

Mark Davis — Race Traitors

Dawn Turner — Three Girls from Bronzeville

Bernard Turner — A View of Bronzeville

Outstanding Achievement in Children's Literature:

Evan J. Roberts — Share Share Share

Darryl Harvey — What Do You Do When A Bully Picks on You?

Tony Lindsey — Almost Grown

The Black Excellence Awards, a lavish awards ceremony honoring outstanding artists and arts organizations in the categories of music, film, literature, theater, dance, visual arts, and technology is produced by the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago. The award was created to honor the voices, trailblazers, innovators, and risk takers, whose performances and works of art represent a wide representation of the arts in Chicago. The Alliance is committed to celebrating the artistic vitality of Chicago's African American community by recognizing their excellence through The Black Excellence Awards.

The Black Excellence Committee is a 33-member committee of the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago made up of art lovers and supporters from the community. Formed in 2001, the purpose of the Black Excellence Committee is to identify outstanding African American individuals and organizations working in the arts. The membership of each committee is made up of art lovers within the Chicago community. Each committee member must serve on a sub-committee in film, music, literature, dance, theater, visual arts, or technology/digital media. Each sub-committee must identify and nominate artists for the opportunity to receive a Black Excellence Award at the Annual Black Excellence Award Gala and has judging criteria specific to their art form. To serve on the Black Excellence Committee member must have a passion for the arts and the time to experience the work of as many artists and art organizations as possible within the category.

The Black Excellence Awards Committee Members are: Tanita Abrahamson, Mike Abrantie, Alan Davis, Ernson Augustin, Allan Baldwin, Ezra Brown, Pamela Brown, Marcus Bullock, Hilda Coleman, Sylvia Dyer, Erika Flowers, Sandra Gibson, Wilburn Green, Barbara Hayes, Valeria Hubbard, Jewel Ifeguni, Ivy Jackson, Elneda Khaan, Denise Leaks, Ronald Leveston, Claudette Lewis, Portia McFarland, Barnetta Montgomery-McKinney, Lynette Moore, Alicia Moore, Rahsaan Clark Morris, Kim DuBoise Morris, Delaware Patricia, Mae Pearson, Troy Pryor, Alice Rivers, Pamela Roberts, Dara Sanders, Gwendolyn Sea, Bonnie Taylor-Williams, Gabrina Thornton, Scott Tia, Covana Washington, David Weathersby, Etta Williams, Wanda Young, and Roxanne Walton.

About the African American Arts Alliance

In 1997 a group of Chicago's leading African American artists and arts organizations came together and formed a new organization; incorporated as the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago. This organization embraced the history of the original 1977 Chicago Black Theater Alliance while expanding their scope to include diverse groups of artistic mediums which includes theaters, dance, music, literature, film, visual arts organizations, and individuals.

The mission of the African American Art Alliance is to increase public awareness, interaction, communication and development of African American arts organizations and individuals while delivering programs that increase their visibility, marketability, stability, and sustainability.

The Board of Directors includes: President Jackie Taylor (Black Ensemble Theater, Executive Director), Vice President Runako Jahi, Jackie Williams (AAAA Chicago, Executive Director), Treasurer Wendell Etherly (Playwright), Charlique-Rolle (Congo Square Theatre, Executive Director), Chuck Smith (Goodman Theatre, Associate Director), Cheryl Lynn Bruce (Goodman Theatre), Sydney Chatman (Tofu Chitlin' Circuit), Vershawn Sanders-Ward (Red Clay Dance), and Troy Pryor (Producer/Perfomer).

The AAAA is supported in part by the MacArthur Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, The Chicago Community Trust, Illinois Arts Council Agency, The Field Foundation of Illinois, the Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the Driehaus Foundation, the Walder Foundation, and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.

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