Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

stephanie_small1Stephanie S. Green, NBC Chicago Street Team


This Labor Day Weekend, the African Festival of the Arts celebrates its 20th Anniversary at Washington Park!  It is always a favorite and highly-anticipated way to end the summer and this year will be no exception!  Enjoy vendors with a variety of fabulous merchandise:  art, photography, clothing, accessories, body products, jewelry and so much more; delicious food; and, fantastic musical acts, including The Ohio Players, Booker T. Jones, Ahmad Jamal, George Clinton and many more national and local artists, fashion shows and dance.  Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and spend the whole day with plenty to keep you occupied and plenty of room to spread out, relax and regroup, and then continue to check out the vendors in the African Marketplace! 

Theres Something for All Ages!

There's Something for All Ages!

And don’t forget about the Pavilions where you will find activities to suit every taste!  At the Children’s Pavilion youth of all ages can learn and enjoy games, music, dance, storytelling, theater, arts and crafts all day long! Contributors include: Hyde Park Arts Center, the Field Museum and other family-focused institutions that offer fun, educational and interactive programs. Many social service agencies will be represented in the pavilion to provide answers to family, parental and children’s questions.

The ICE Theaters Film Pavilion presents daily screenings of short and full-length films that interpret the culture and experiences of peoples living in all parts of the African Diaspora.  They’ll also feature a showcase of films produced mainly by black filmmakers from around the world, including a section of works produced for and/or by black youth. Enjoy free popcorn, get free movie posters and learn more about Black World Cinema, an independent film series available only at your neighborhood ICE Theaters.

Ohio Players & George Clinton, too!

Ohio Players & George Clinton, too!

The Festival is world renowned for its assembly of artists from around the Diaspora featuring original paintings, sculptures limited editions, prints, photographs, and ceramics. This year, the Fine Arts Pavilion will include artists such as Stacey Brown (festival artist of the year), Emerson Williams, Uwa Hunwick, Bayo Iribhogbe, Frank Frasier, Melvin King, Rondell, Nii-Oti, Akosuah Bandele, Marvin Sims, Ousmane Gueye, Dana Easter, Dimali, Isodor Howard, Samuel Akainyah, and Dayo Layoe.

Visit the AFA Pavilion Page for more on the Chrysler Financial Pavilion, Author and Book Pavilion, Meet the Artists Media Tent, The Drum Village, Spirituality Pavilion, Health and Wellness Village, Cyberspace Pavilion, Quilting Pavilion and the HipHop Stage and Pavilion!  Visit the Festival Schedule Page for the full entertainment schedule, created by Soleil’s To-Dos and featuring the wonderful, interactive calendar features that you’ve grown to rely on!

Just Chillin

Just Chillin'

But wait – there’s more To-Do!!!  That’s right – be sure to visit the “All Chill Zone” at the Soleil’s To-Dos booth.  (You’ll find the booth number and location at www.so-LAZE.com, on the Facebook Page, through our Twitter Feed or by calling (773) 268 To-Do (8636).)  We’ll be stone cold chillin’ and giving you the perfect spot to catch up with friends, sit and eat, slap a few cards, wax poetic and groove to the beats – including live music!  Yes, thanks to Sam Martin, the Idea Doctor, you can expect some special guests to stop through and grace us with some mini-performances.  BYOChair, or cop a squat in one of ours, if available, and chill for a while!  We’ll also be doing some special giveaways including theater; concert tickets; dinners; and, for one lucky woman, a one-hour photo shoot with Lee Bey Photography!

So, whatever your plans this weekend, be sure to make a visit to the African Festival of the Arts!  The Festival runs from Friday through Monday, from 10am-10pm.  General Daily Admission, $10 in advance; $15 at the gate; Seniors and Children (Under 12 – over 65), $5; Daily Family Pass (2 adults and 4 children under 12), $30; Adult (4-day) Weekend Pass, $30.

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Theresa Carter, The Local Tourist, NBC Chicago Street Team

Today, the 445th anniversary of the Bard’s birth, is Talk Like Shakespeare Day. After four and a half centuries the poet’s influence is unquestioned and his works are a fixture in theater, nay, the entire English language.

Chicago Shakespeare TheaterYou don’t even have to use thee’s and thou’s. It’s downright zany how many words he coined. Whether you’re well-bred, well-educated, well-behaved, well-read, or even an uneducated blusterer, you’ve undoubtedly used several of them without even realizing it.

Of course, methinks tis much more fun to say prithee and fie and to curse like a black-faced ill-tempered cruelhearted jackanape.

When she’s not celebrating the birthdays of dead poets, Theresa uses as many Shakespearean words as possible on The Local Tourist

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Reggie Brown, NBC5 Street Team

Over the course of the last year ‘change’ has been on the tongues and minds of everyone in America. Right now in the spirit of the holiday season there’s an amazing way for you to help change lives across the world and help educate the people of southern Sudan.This time we’re talking about pocket change. Tomorrow, December 14 is the designated 24 hour donation day for PACODES’ library development project.

The goal is to raise $100,000, this may seem like a lot of money but they’re only asking each person to donate $1. Of course $1 is the minimum donation requested but you are asked to be as generous as possible. The great thing about this fundraiser is that it’s relying on the power of word and the concept of strength in numbers. If the word reaches 100,000 people and they all donate, the goal is attained and you played a vital part in enriching and educating someone who would not normally have that opportunity.  Tell everyone, your coworkers, friends, family, the barista at Starbucks, the teller at the bank, anyone you come in contact with. 

 PACODES is a nonprofit organization that  is determined to provide the people of the war and genocide torn Payijar region in Southern Sudan with a habitable and sustainable lifestyle. Right now, the focus of PACODES is building a library  to help provide education and spread literacy to a part of the world that desperately needs it, a place where children actually want to go to school.This particular project has been underway for quite some time now and is still in the fundraising stage.   With the combined efforts of the you, the supporters of  PACODES and the rest of the world, we have the ability to supply a war torn and impoverished region of the world with the simple basic tools they need to provide education and empowerment for their people.  


Check out these videos to get more info:

  • Video #1
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  • Give a little bit of your love and change tomorrow then give yourself a big pat on the back, you deserve it.

    Log onto www.libraryproject.org and tell everyone you know. You’ll be glad you did.

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    Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

    Twilight is such a highly anticipated movie that literally mobs of excited fans are attending all the promotional stops prior to the movie (especially when the incredibly handsome Robert Pattinson is involved). I’m halfway through the book by Stephenie Meyer right now and definitely understand what draws the fans. Her story is very intriguing. I am absolutely glued to the book. And from what I’m hearing from those who attended the preview earlier this week, the movie is very true to the book. And the ladies all agree that Robert Pattinson is yummy.  The movie officially opens here this weekend.

    I spoke to actor Peter Facinelli this week. He plays the very handsome Dr. Carlisle Cullen, one of thepeterfacinelli vampires in Twilight. He was incredibly modest not only about his good looks (c’mon!) but also about assuming that the movie would be hugely successful garnering a guaranteed sequel. He spilled to me that he was a vegetarian until he filmed this movie. Apparently, playing a vampire made him crave red meat!

    You can listen to our conversation by clicking HERE.

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    Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

    I’ve been recording my podcast Cara’s Basement from my house for almost two years.  It’s very convenient – I do interviews over the phone with artists who are all over the world, so sometimes I’m talking to them at strange times.  In this case, it was 7am.  I had just gotten out of the shower.  Wearing nothing but a towel, I chatted with former Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor.  Maybe that’s “TMI” but I can’t tell you how wierd it was to be talking to him while I was practically naked.  I kept thinking how envious many other women would be.  Let’s face it, Duran Duran played a pretty significant role in the popularity of MTV and was a majorly H U G E group in the 1980’s.  They still are – I have plenty of friends who still totally dig Duran Duran and their recent material has been great.

    Andy Taylor wrote a juicy tell-all book, “Wild Boy” .  If ever there Andy Taylor Wild Boywas someone who lived the life of a rock star, it was him.  It’s a really fun book to read and it was remarkable talking to him about what it was like to play at Live Aid  when the much-anticipated Led Zeppelin took place (they were onstage right after Zep!), performing for Princess Diana and almost getting assassinated, filming video’s with real elephants and almost drowning, and much more.   You can listen to our conversation now at www.CarasBasement.com.

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    Cara Carriveau, NBC5 Street Team

    Anyone who grew up in Chicago and listened to the radio in the 60’s have fond memories of Clark Weber. I didn’t move here until 1989 but I’ve heard about him over the years and was very excited to pick up his new book, “Clark Weber’s Rock & Roll Radio: The Fun Years, 1955-1975″.  It’s a really cool coffee-table book with lots of great pictures and extremely entertaining stories.  The best part is the CD that comes with it with plenty of radio clips from back in the day.

    I am so glad that I made a point of meeting him at a book signing.  He’s had quite an interesting life & career in radio.  I admire him and consider him a mentor.   His book is a must for anyone who is a fan of radio or a fan of music from the ’50’s-’70’s.

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    Erik Sorensen, NBC5 Street Team

    18 months after taking over as publisher of UR Chicago, En Prise Entertainment has regrettably pulled the plug on the print edition of their beloved magazine , citing printing costs in a difficult economical time as the primary culprit.

    Founded in 1997, The popular lifestyle and entertainment magazine reached a monthly circulation rate of 45.000 copies and has been an editorial hub for all things art in Chicago for years. Keeping the city’s hipsters and artists updated with trends in nightlife, music, theater, art, film, dining and fashion isn’t an easy task – (especially on a monthly basis); but the publication’s enthusiastic and up-to-speed staff have been steadily providing a labor of love that will undoubtedly be missed.

    Before you drain your tear ducts completely, though, you should know that UR Chicago will be concentrating all of its future efforts into the online realm via their website, URChicago.com. The site will update daily with album, book, film and gave reviews in addition to cluing Chicago in on the “what’s what” of indie nightlife.

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    Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team

    The dog days of summer is the time of year when writers and editors call me with questions about fashion, style and, lately, politics.

    I’m so used to giving answers for a living that I rarely get to ask the questions myself. Here are some questions I’d like to ask. (OK, sue me. I’m impatient so I answered them too. Old habits die harder than Bruce Willis.)

    Feel free to add to my list, but keep in mind this is a public forum and a good double entendre is as risque as you can get.

    Who really motivated Marie Osmond to lose all that weight? The makeup person who finally screamed at her “for God’s sake it’s blush not steaksauce!”

    What do you wear to a foreclosure? A housecoat.

    In a post-Scalia Supreme Court, what will a burglar be wearing to your home? A chalk outline.

    What kind of rice is dangerous if it stays in your cabinet too long? Condi Rice.

    How many years does it take Neocons to screw in a lightbulb? The same amount of time it takes them to screw everyone, 8 years.

    Why is Rick Santorum’s first name so often misspelled? Because the P is silent.

    Why do rumors still abound that Bill Clinton keeps getting caught with his pants down? Because it’s Hillary who wears the pants. 

    What’s the subtle difference difference between Christ and ChristoChrist would like it very much if Oprah got out of the business of walking on water. Christo would like her to stand perfectly still.  

    On what floor does Antonin Scalia always exit a building? The gun lobby.

    On a tangentially related note, if you have never checked out stuffwhitepeoplelike.com, you are missing some serious hilarity. It turns out “Stuff White People Like: The Book” hits bookstores today.


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    The Local Tourist, NBC5 Street Team

    “Could anything be more indicative of a slight but general insanity than the aspect of the crowd on the streets of Chicago?” Charles Horton Cooley “Human Nature and the Social Order,” 1902

    Of all the weekends during the year, all 52 of them, this one is my favorite. At least it’s really high up there. One reason is that this weekend is the Chicago Blues Festival. Seven stages of kick-ass music that can get even the most un-rhythmic to tap a foot and move a little. The other reason? Printers Row Book Fair. Whole city blocks are filled with kiosks and tents and tables, and they’re all filled with BOOKS. Some are cheap; some are rare; some are used; some are new. Actually some aren’t even books. They’re maps or records or magazines or comic books. Sigh. Is it Saturday yet?

    Of course, there are a few other things going on. For instance, the Black Thai International Arts Fest is a free open air arts and crafts fair in the West Loop. Friday is Donut Day in Thompson Center Plaza, and Daley Plaza is hosting Chicago Sister Cities International, a multicultural week of performances from Chicago’s sister cities.

    Speaking of International cities, Chicago was selected yesterday as one of the final four for the Olympic bid. Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment on the blog.

    You may not be an Olympic athlete, but you can still get in shape AND do it with an amazing view. Starting this Saturday there’s a free Workout In The Park. Learn Tai Chi, yoga, pilates, and dance. There are even family workouts so you can bring the kids.

    Have a great weekend!


    Type The Local Tourist into the Search bar in the upper right hand corner of the page to see my reviews, bands of the week, trivia questions, upcoming events, and more or just click here. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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    Katrell’s Book Talk

    Katrell Mendenhall, NBC5 Street Team

    I’m starting something new in the ‘08, and allowing “you” the readers in my personal space.  Since relocating from Los Angeles I’ve met a generous amount of people but most specifically tons of author’s.  Rather fiction, non-fiction or auto-biographies I’ve discovered hidden talents that aren’t receiving the recognition they deserve.  With Chicago being the friendly environment I have grown to love it’s about time we get to know who our neighbors are. So here’s the deal my NBC5 online family… every month I will post a new, exciting, fascinating book that will highlight spectrum’s of all walks of life.  My mission is to not only help support our local talent but to broaden your knowledge of who’s in your back yard. With all that being said let’s kick off the first book.  From the west side of town this is actually his first novel, but judging by the extraordinary feedback I received at his book signing, this authentic read will not be the last we hear from him.  His name is Zereck Baker, and this very heartfelt book is titled “Porn-Aholic”.  Catchy title, I know.  Being an avid reader, titles are what grab my attention most, and honestly, my first thoughts were “I can’t relate”, but let me show my age by saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”.  The message in Porn-Aholic is so much deeper than the title.  It’s a personal reflection about secrecy, fear and symptoms of a deeper and more devastating root of the cause.  If we are honest with ourselves everyone is dealing with something, and if it’s not the direct issue of the book, replace it with your own issue and receive the lessons that are learned throughout.  My point is, this book may not relate to you on a personal level and maybe it will or maybe you know of someone where the story will hit home.  Whatever the case the message portrayed is what’s most fulfilling.  I commend Mr. Baker for sharing his personal experience and insights but most importantly the positive revelation.  I look forward to the next read. Run out get the book and tell me your thoughts or comments.  Porn-Aholic can be found at www.mcclurepublishing.com and most major on-line bookstores.    You’ll hear from me before next month’s read but until then… “Remember the book you read and the knowledge you receive can always help others”.

    Book Cover

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    Brian Battle NBC5 Street Team (video)

    I’ve never actually asked a performer directly if snapping at poetry is world’s longest-running false cliché — it very well might be. I hope so… I’ve never ever learned how to snap. Thankfully, my inability to perform simple motor skills did not ruin the weekend.

    The non-profit Young Chicago Authors organization held their annual Louder Than a Bomb Chicago Teen Poetry Slam, and the crowd was all screams, claps, laughter, cheers and occationally, when a crap judge (like me) gave a low score, chants of “LISTEN TO THE POEM!!!”.

    “Listen To The Poem”, I quickly learned, is a sort of a LTaB mantra the kids relish to holler out at lowly judges. Hey… it’s better than flat-out booing. And, as the slam MC’s would continually remind us, it’s not about the points… it’s about the poems. Regardless of what was written on my little dry-erase board, the poems were inspiring.

    A few years ago my pal dragged me to Louder Than A Bomb finals (at The Metro that year), and the raw talent and collective energy of the show was infectious. So, when the slam came back ‘round this year, it took slightly less dragging to get me to help out. Eventually (and God knows why) I wound up in the front with a little clipboard, one of five judges ready to rate a “bout” — praying I’d be able to recognize a good poem if and when I heard it.

    The opposite occurred. I was so blown away by these kids and their fearless self-expression, exuberance, rhythm and rhyme scheme. I was like, the entire bouts’ proud mother — clapping too long and too loud for everybody who had the guts to take the Columbia stage.

    With the semi’s completed earlier this week at The Hothouse, all that’s left is the Cream of the Crop: Teams from all around greater Chicago verbally jousting it out at the Illinois Institute of Technology campus (3201 S. State) tomorrow (Sat 3/10) at 8pm. I HIGHLY recommend checking out the bouts… if only for the sheer energy and lack of snapping.

    In the meantime, check out Chicago Public Radio for soundbites from last year’s winners

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