Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-12-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Local LGBTQ+ icon Dr. C.C. Carter returns to Chicago in a new position
by Andrew Davis
2022-09-01

This article shared 818 times since Thu Sep 1, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Dr. Carla "C.C." Carter is back.

After being away for a few years and embarking on a few adventures (like graduating from seminary school), Carter—an acclaimed writer, poet, and performer—is back in Chicago as managing director of the Beverly Arts Center. The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame honoree recently talked with Windy City Times about adjusting to her new role, being in the LGBT Hall of Fame, and noticing the differences between where she was and where she is now.

Windy City Times: You've been away for a few years—and you were in Arkansas, correct?

Dr. Carla "C.C." Carter: Correct. So, a lot of people don't know that I left [Chicago] specifically because my father has passed away, and my parents had retired there. My family had contacted me, saying my mother wasn't doing well. So [partner] Ronnie [Fortenberry] and I went down there to visit and realized she wasn't doing well. Then, Ronnie said, "You only get one mom if you're lucky" so we dropped everything and [moved] there.

For the first year and a half, my [employer] here didn't want to lose me so I'd spend two weeks in Chicago and two weeks back in Arkansas. After that, I became a consultant at Philander Smith College. From there, the president saw I had been a teacher so I became an instructor there. Then I co-wrote an application for a $900,000 grant and became department chair for visual and performing arts.

WCT: But you also went to seminary.

Carter: Yes. So I graduated from Jacksonville Theological Institute, but it was the Christian education part of teaching, not necessarily seminary.

WCT: Okay. I think different people have different ideas of what is involved with attending such a school. What did you learn?

Carter: So it was no-brainer, actually. I was looking to get my doctorate in the arts, and I also wanted to be in a space that affirmed all of my intersections. And I'm also a PK [preacher's kid]…

WCT: You and Grace Jones.

Carter: [Laughs] Yes—THAT kind of PK. Those who saw me on stage would say, "Wait-what?" [Both laugh.] But there's something very spiritual in the erotic so, to me, they coincide.

But this school had one of the few programs that was hybrid even back then [in the 2010s] so I could do it online. I had to travel to defend my dissertation but it was a path I really liked because I could incorporate the counseling component with vocational discernment. I wanted to not bring a religious vibe to the classroom, but bring a practical and spiritual approach. My doctorate is in Christian education, with an emphasis in educational leadership. I recommend it to anyone who's thinking about going.

WCT: Let's talk about Beverly Arts Center and your role.

Carter: Growing up in Roseland and Chatman, Beverly was like Oak Park/River Forest for the South Side; it's where Black upper- and middle-class folk lived—although there was the Great Migration to places like Beverly and Mt. Greenwood. The center was a place where you got your formal introduction to the fine arts: dance, theater and visual arts. It's one of the few community art spaces that's not specific to one genre; we specialize in all the major art forms.

Everybody here now is new. Our artistic director, Kevin Pease, is dynamic; he graduated from Northwestern. There is a full professional theatrical program, unlike what you'd find at a community theater. Our actors are getting paid and we're focusing on Chicago stories, directors and artists.

And my job is managing director so we co-lead the organization. It's working on fiscal management, grant writing and development, and marketing.

WCT: I didn't realize—and I'm not sure you know—that it's been exactly 20 years since you were inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame.

Carter: Oh, my goodness. I didn't know!

WCT: What do you remember about that night in 2002?

Carter: I felt like Sally Field: "You like me. You really do like me!" [Both laugh.]

Honestly, I was just doing the work I loved—and to be recognized for doing spoken-word poetry and being part of A Real Read and for doing the work I was doing on the South Side for LGBTQ folk… We had the first all-lesbian and transgender Vagina Monologues and I had just written a book of poetry. To be recognized for doing that is something I will always cherish. I still have the award.

Twenty years—wow… I was 38 when I got that; I'm 58 now.

WCT: So my last question is something I've asked a lot of different people. Over the past two years, we've all had to deal with COVID and quarantining, we've seen the George Floyd murder and experienced the aftermath, and we've had a lot of time to think. What did you learn about yourself?

Carter: Hmmm… I'm back in Chicago so that should tell you something.

So Arkansas was interesting, and being in Little Rock was even more. In New York and Chicago, where I spent my formative year, and being able to hold my partner's hand in public, I was able to be a vocal and unapologetic Black woman. Being in the pandemic exacerbated all the pressures I felt about the intersections that I felt before it. It was unsettling to see and feel the silencing of Black folk during the time of Black Lives Matter, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. In Arkansas, very few people were vocal.

It was quite unsettling to see the proliferation of Trump ads. I had never been in a space like that. However, I'm grateful for that experience because I saw what real advocates had and have to deal with in spaces like that to make even the smallest impact.

I think about Chris Jones, a graduate of Morehouse, who is running for governor in [Arkansas] now. People think he doesn't have a chance; maybe he doesn't, but what we isn't afraid to do is bring the issues of the people to the forefront. That is huge right now.

But I also think about the trigger states and Roe v. Wade. Arkansas [has] all three abortion bans—whether the mother's life is in danger, or if incest or rape is involved. So some forward-thinking people, including myself, bought Plan B; I was going to give it to the nurses in my school—but the nurse cannot accept it. So there are repercussions for Black, Brown and poor people; Arkansas is one of the few states in which there are more poor white people than people of color.

So you have all that—abortion, the pandemic, the NRA—was starting to build. In essence, I needed my later years to be my greater years. And when I needed it, this job came along on Indeed. Last year, I said, "God, for me to move back to Chicago, I need a job that wouldn't have me go downtown every day. It has to be perfect arts-related job that's financially sustainable because the snow in Chicago is no joke." [Laughs] I pushed the "Send" button on Sunday and I got a call that Tuesday for an interview; [soon after,] I was offered the position. I have been ecstatic.

Some of the programs taking place at the Beverly Arts Center this season include The Fantastics, The Christmas Schooner and A Raisin in the Sun. More about Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., is at thebeverlyartscenter.com .


This article shared 818 times since Thu Sep 1, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

LGBT poverty dropped to 17% during the COVID-19 pandemic
2023-02-07
--From a press release - Economic well-being increased most among LGBT people of color and in households with children A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds a dramatic decrease in the number of LGBT and ...


Gay News

On State of the Union eve, HRC highlights Biden-Harris record on LGBTQ+ equality, urges action
2023-02-06
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — As President Biden prepares to deliver his second State of the Union address on Tuesday, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender ...


Gay News

Lesbian Singles Over 45 event Feb. 11
2023-02-03
--From a press release - Queer Ministries of Lincoln United Methodist Church (LUMC) is hosting the 1st Annual Lesbian Singles Event Over 45 on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.Lincoln United Methodist Church Community Center located a ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023: Incumbent 49th Ward Ald. Maria Hadden talks accomplishments, second term goals
2023-02-01
ELECTIONS 2023: Incumbent 49th Ward Ald. Maria Hadden discusses accomplishments, second term goals By Carrie Maxwell This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Andy Warhol in Iran juggles art, celebrity and geopolitics
2023-02-01
Andy Warhol in Iran. Playwright: Brent Askari At: Northlight Theatre at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie Tickets: 847-673-6300 or www.Northlight.org; $30-$89. Runs through Feb. 19 The prolific 20th century gay ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023: 49th Ward challenger Belia Rodriguez on why running, differences from incumbent
2023-02-01
This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. Belia Rodriguez is a lifelong Chicagoan who attended Chicago Public Schools. ...


Gay News

HRC on end of Mpox Public Health Emergency: Today we enter a new phase in a continuing fight
2023-02-01
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — marked the end of the Mpox Public ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023 Jessie Fuentes: 26th Ward candidate talks mental health, LGBTQ+ Chicagoans
2023-01-30
This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. The 2023 race to represent Chicago's 26th Ward—which includes parts of ...


Gay News

Lesbian named presiding judge of Cook County Circuit Court's Pretrial Division
2023-01-27
--From a press release - CHICAGO (January 27) — The Hon. Mary C. Marubio has been named the acting presiding judge of the Pretrial Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans said. Marubio (who Windy ...


Gay News

Lesbian tennis player ends 23-year career
2023-01-23
Australian tennis player Sam Stosur has called it a career after back-to-back losses at the Australian Open, Yahoo! Sport noted. Stosur—an out lesbian who played for 23 years—lost in the first round of the women's doubles ...


Gay News

Rogers Park's R Public House's door destroyed by homophobic vandal
2023-01-18
The lesbian-owned restaurant and bar R Public House, 1508 W. Jarvis Ave., was targeted by a hammer-wielding man yelling anti-LGBTQ slurs at about 5:40 p.m. during happy hour on Monday, Jan. 16. Owners (and married couple) ...


Gay News

GLAAD announces nominees for 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards
2023-01-18
--From a press release. Video below - Jan. 18, 2023 - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced the nominees for the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. ...


Gay News

Windy City Gay Chorus, Windy City Treble Quire begin search for artistic directors
2023-01-17
--From a press release - The Board of Directors for Windy City Performing Arts has started their search for two Artistic Directors for the organization's choruses. Applications are now being accepted in hopes to fill these positions prior to the 2023-2024 season. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Indigo Girls, LGBTQ+ films, GALECA nods, Jeremy Pope
2023-01-15
Indigo Girls will perform at an opening-night celebration for the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 19 in Park City, Utah, Variety reported. The Grammy-winning lesbian folk-rock duo are debuting their new documentary, It's Only Life After All, ...


Gay News

Black LGBTQ+ film festival among Chicago NEA grant recipients
2023-01-11
The Black Alphabet Film Festival—the world's oldest Black LGBTQ+-focused event of its kind—was part of the first round of grant recipients from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), receiving $20,000. In a press release, Black ...


 




Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.