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Windy City Times 2023-12-13
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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Black Excellence Awards winners named, inaugural Chicago Black Arts Hall of Fame inductees honored
--From a press release
2023-11-08

This article shared 4847 times since Wed Nov 8, 2023
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CHICAGO (Nov. 7, 2023)—The nonprofit Black Arts & Culture Alliance of Chicago is proud to announce the winners of its 23rd Annual Black Excellence Awards, honored last night in a festive celebration at Black Ensemble Theater. The Awards were established in 2001 to honor the outstanding artistic accomplishments of Black artists across genres including theater, dance, music, film, literature, visual art and digital media.

This year's Black Excellence Awards were hosted by Melissa Duprey and Christopher Chase Carter, and included performances from Chicago Poet Laureate avery r. young, Sam Thousand and The Soul Vortex, Forward Momentum Chicago, Perceptions Theatre and DJ Rae Chardonnay.

Additionally, the Black Arts & Culture Alliance honored the inaugural class of the Chicago Black Arts Hall of Fame, presented by the Alliance with support from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Pillars of Chicago's Black arts community were inducted into the hall of fame for their vision, legacy and lasting impact, including Jackie Taylor, Chuck Smith, Ron OJ Parson, Pemon Rami, Abena Joan Brown, Okoro Harold Johnson, Useni Perkins and Joan Gray.

For more information about the Black Arts & Culture Alliance of Chicago, visit bacachi.org .

Nominees and Winners of the 2023 Black Excellence Awards

DANCE

Outstanding Dance Production

Praize Production, Inc., Call Her by Name (winner)

South Chicago Dance Theater, Memoirs of Jazz in the Alley

Red Clay Dance Company, Rest. Rise. Move. Nourish. Heal.

Outstanding Choreography

Tracey Franklin, Freedom at Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre (winner)

Joel Hall, Widows at Joel Hall Dancers & Center

Era Footwork Crew, Broken Heart at Era Footwork Crew

Taylor Edwards, Brandy Ford, Joshua Hopkins, and Trevon Lawrence, Deep Inside at Chicago Multicultural Dance & Hiplet Ballerinas

Starinah Dixon, Beautiful Love at M.A.D.D. Rhythms

Idy Ciss, Liberte' at Muntu Dance Theatre

Special Recognition: Outstanding Dance Production

Refraction at Hubbard Street Dance (winner)

Special Recognition: Outstanding Producer

The Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project (winner)

THEATER

Outstanding Theater Production

Black Ensemble Theater, Reasons: A Tribute to Earth, Wind and Fire (winner)

Black Ensemble Theater, Blue Heaven

Black Ensemble Theater, The Real Housewives of Motown

Theater 47, Imitation of Life

Congo Square Theatre, How Blood Go

MPAACT, Ezekiel's Wheel

Perceptions Theatre, Panther Women

Outstanding Director

John Ruffin, Imitation of Life at Theater 47 (winner)

Tiffany Fulson, How Blood Go at Congo Square Theatre

Lauren Lundy, Ezekiel's Wheel at MPAACT

Daryl Brooks, Reasons: A Tribute to Earth, Wind, and Fire at Black Ensemble Theater

Daryl Brooks, Blue Heaven at Black Ensemble Theater

Michelle Bester, The Real Housewives of Motown at Black Ensemble Theater

John Ruffin, Imitation of Life at Theater 47

Myesha-Tiara, Panther Women at Perceptions Theatre

Outstanding Actor

Darren Jones, Ezekiel's Wheel at MPAACT (winner)

Aaron Reese Boseman, Blue Heaven at Black Ensemble Theater

Christian Bufford, Reasons: A Tribute to Earth, Wind, and Fire at Black Ensemble Theater

KC Lee, Imitation of Life at Theater 47

Trequon Tate, The Real Housewives of Motown at Black Ensemble

Marcus D. Moore, How Blood Go at Congo Square Theatre

Outstanding Actress

Jyreika Guest, How Blood Go at Congo Square Theatre (winner)

Miciah Latham , Blue Heaven at Black Ensemble Theater

Keya Trammell, Reasons: A Tribute to Earth, Wind, and Fire at Black Ensemble Theater

Fania Bourn, Imitation of Life at Theater 47

De'Jah Perkins, The Real Housewives of Motown at Black Ensemble Theater

Britt Edwards, The Real Housewives of Motown at Black Ensemble Theater

Melanie McCullough, The Real Housewives of Motown at Black Ensemble Theater

Yolonda Ross, How Blood Go at Congo Square Theatre

Noelle Klyce, Ezekiel's Wheel at MPAACT

Special Recognition - Producing Advocate, Theater: Outstanding Performer

Gabrielle Lott-Rogers, Boulevard of Bold Dreams at Timeline Theater (winner)

TayLar, Arsenic and Old Lace at Court Theatre

Celeste Williams, Arsenic and Old Lace at Court Theatre

Tracey Bonner, Toni Stone at Goodman Theatre

Sydney Charles, Last Night and the Night Before at Steppenwolf Theatre

Ayanna Bria Bakari, Last Night and the Night Before at Steppenwolf Theatre

Karen Aldridge, Is God Is at A Red Orchid Theatre

Special Recognition - Producing Advocate, Theater: Outstanding Director

Marti Gobel, Is God Is at A Red Orchid Theatre (winner)

Ron OJ Parson, Trouble In Mind at Timeline Theatre

Malkia Stampley, Boulevard of Bold Dreams at Timeline Theatre

Valerie Curtis-Newton, Last Night and the Night Before at Steppenwolf Theatre

MUSIC

Outstanding Jazz Musician

Yvonne Gage (winner)

Bruce A Henry

Phil Seed

Outstanding R&B Musician

Jimmy Burns Band (winner)

Yana Renea

Sam Thousand

FILM/DIGITAL MEDIA

Outstanding Film Direction

Marquis Simmons, Broke Down Drone (winner)

McKenzie Chinn, A Real One

Addison Belhomme, A Thin Line Between Black and White

Patrick Wimp, Mr. Abbott

Outstanding Film

Hindsight, Kimberly M. Vaughn | Suburban Blvck Girl Production (winner)

The Pulpit, Tosin Morohunfola

The Come Up, LaTaryion Perry | MissedTurn Productions

Almost 30, Shandrea Funnye

Broke Down Drone, Willie "Roc" Round

LITERATURE

Outstanding Non-Fiction Work

Lowell Thompson, Images of America: African Americans in Chicago (winner)

Holle Thee Maxwell, Freebase Ain't Free

Jelahn McCoy & Cynthia McCoy Scott The Real McCoy

Andre L., Is the Black Man Falling

Outstanding Fiction Work

Damone Bester, Mendel: Sometimes Ya Gotta Run for Your Life (winner)

Tracy Clark, Broken Places

Danny Gardener, A Negro and an Ofay

Outstanding Poetry Work

Growing Concerns Poetry Collective, First You Need A Body (winner)

avery r. young, Neck Bone

Harold R. Greene III, Black Roses

Jamila Woods, Black Girl Magic

VISUAL ARTS

Outstanding Visual Artist

Maxwell Emcays, Englewood Public Unveiling (winner)

Quinton Foreman, Homecoming: Black Craft & Design in Chicago

Alan Emerson Hicks, Diasporal Rhythms

Outstanding Exhibition

All Children Draw, Blanc Gallery (winner)

Black Light Cinema, Southside Community Art

Exhibits with Candice Hunter and George Crump, Faie Gallery

ADDITIONAL SPECIAL RECOGNITIONS

Special Recognition: Black Arts Advocate

Vincent E. Williams — Black Theatre Alliance Awards

Special Recognition: Black Arts Advocate

Erin Harkey — Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Commissioner

Special Recognition: Black Arts Advocate

avery r. young — Chicago Poet Laureate

CHICAGO BLACK ARTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2023

The Black Arts & Culture Alliance of Chicago, in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, is pleased to announce the inaugural Chicago Black Arts Hall of Fame, recognizing the work of Black artists, administrators, and advocates who have and continue to pave the way for the next generation of Black Chicago artists. The following pillars of Chicago's Black arts community were honored as the first class of inductees:

Abena Joan Brown

Joan Gray

Okoro Harold Johnson

Ron OJ Parson

Useni Perkins

Pemon Rami

Chuck Smith

Jackie Taylor

About the Black Arts & Culture Alliance of Chicago

The Black Arts & Culture Alliance of Chicago is a nonprofit service organization dedicated to supporting and promoting Black excellence within the performing, visual, literary, technical and design art forms. The Alliance works to increase the stability, visibility, marketability and sustainability of the Black arts and culture sector. Founded in 1997 as the African American Arts Alliance by a group of Chicago's leading Black artists and arts organizations, the Alliance promotes the continued development of organizations and individual artists as well as highlighting their accomplishments through its annual Black Excellence Awards. For more information, visit bacachi.org .


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