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Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

Erik Sorensen, NBC5 Street Team

It will be a somber St. Patrick’s Day for those of us slowly coming to terms with the absence of our beloved South Side Irish Parade. On March 25th of 2009, the South Side St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee announced that the event would be cancelled, indefinitely. The decision was welcomed by some, but widely regarded as the end of a cherished era by most.

For many, the parade was as much a staple for their neighborhood as any event; so much so, that it grew in popularity every year and eventually became too large to manage. Or so the explanation goes.

South Side Irish Parade Route

While there were many legitimate factors that influenced the cancellation, (namely public intoxication, trampled property, unruly behavior) none represent what gave the parade its heart and soul: the families. It was about gathering to celebrate our Irish heritage, but you always got the sense there was more to it than that. Droves of families and friends poured faithfully each year into Western Avenue like a green human river; walking distances from as short as their front lawns to neighborhoods miles away.

Some of my earliest and fondest memories can be attributed to that parade. I watched it with my family and relatives as a child; marched in it as a boy scout; attended it with dear friends as a teenager; played in it as part of the Marist High School Marching Band and returned to it as a spectator, and an adult. It was an event to share with your children, and your children’s children. A gathering of proud people surrounded by the buildings and streets they love. It was the celebration of the neighborhoods the event represented, and the stores you rode your bike to as a kid. It was the South Side Irish Parade, and it was ours.

(Replacing the event will be the South Side Irish Parade Family Fest, held on Saturday, March 13th, hosted by the Beverly Arts Center. The daylong festival features family-friendly activities including: bag pipers, an Irish soda bread contest, a small children’s parade, dancers, a best dressed “Irish dog” contest and an array of Irish-themed arts.)

TICKETS
Admission (from 11am-4pm): $10 Adults,
$7 Seniors, Free for children under 12
Admission (after 4pm): All tickets $25

http://www.beverlyartcenter.org

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LaShonda Matlock, NBC Chicago Street Team

Jay-Z may be performing at the United Center but the after-party is definitely at The Shrine!

Hennessy Black & Rich Paul Presents  THE BLACKOUT Thursday March 18th, at The Shrine (2109 South Wabash).  Celebrities expected to attend THE BLACKOUT including LeBron James will be Jay – Z, Trey Songz, Young Jeezy, Michael Jordan, Memphis Bleek, Shaquille O’Neal, Donte Whitner (Buffalo Bills), Ted Ginn Jr. (Miami Dolphins), Jerry Azumah, Hustle Simmons, Mark Anderson, Fred Carter (Minnesota Vikings), Devin Hester and WGCI’s Leon Rogers.

This is don’t miss party people so come and enjoy The Blackout!

The Blackout Teaser from MCM on Vimeo.

March 18th
The Shrine
2109 South Wabash
9pm-2am

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Glenn Murray, NBC5 Street Team

This Saturday the Legacy Initiative hopes to reverse a trend as it raises awareness of its mission with its first fundraiser this saturday 7PM at the Wine Consortium 110 East 23rd Street.

Our news media is inundated with stories of death and despair. There seems to be a self-inflicted endangerment to the lives of our youth. We are in a time of self-gratification and we have become short sighted in our decision-making.”This core issue led to the creation of the Legacy Initiative.

The mission of the Legacy Initiative is to assist in the establishment of an individual’s personal legacy of success, by making critical thinking their cornerstone. They establish a platform for making our students aware of programs, scholarships and opportunities that may not otherwise have been realized; provide a necessary pipeline of highly qualified candidates for educational, entrepreneurial and employment needs; and thus create a synergy between high school, college and technical schools, and various industries.

The non-profit organization whose solution will change the present self destructive course our underserved youth are travelling and are exposed to. That solution to the issue, is teaching them the habitual behavior of critical thinking.

 The donation to attend the event is $50 where the proceeds will help fund the organization’s ability to teach this essential, life altering behavior. Included in your donation will be a food provided by Lee’s catering. Dessert will be provided by Lizzie’s Confections. A hand-picked selection of fine wines will accompany the meal. A drawing for prizes including a grand prize cruise vacation for two.

Live music from Dudley Owens’ Jazz trio. A Spoken Word performance by Young Flame. Music throughout the night will be provided by the a special guest DJ I.N.C.

For more information on The Legacy Foundation, visit their web site at
www.tlionline.org

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Eric Smith, NBC5Chicago Street Team

On location at TEAMiFIT Lifestyle Center-676 N. LaSalle Street-with Founder, President and Wellness Coach-Amy Leffel.

Speak a little bit about your background-life before TEAMiFIT and how all this happened?

I received my undergraduate degree at Indiana University in Exercise Physiology and Public Health.  I worked as a personal trainer and exercise specialist-teaching fitness classes at gyms across the city.  Then I went back to school to get my masters degree in Education, where I worked with kids from 1st grade all the way up to 8th.  While as a school teacher, I was also teaching fitness classes and working as a personal trainer on the side.  So I have about seven years working in fitness.  This has been my passion, so doing this doesn’t feel like work.

TEAMiFIT at Chicago Soul Music Festival

Amy Got Soul

The initial concept was exercise on location at different outdoor venues across the city.  What gave you the idea to get started that way?

I’ve had this vision a long time.  April through September every year we hold outside classes.  So you’ll have classes happening all around the city…Lincoln Park, West Loop, West Town, River North, Gold Coast, Lake View and South Loop.  We also take these classes to the beach.  And as the weather cools we bring this more of this action to our space here.

So what makes TEAMiFIT different?

TEAMiFIT Lifestyle Center

TurboKick

TEAMiFit is a one-stop shop promoting health and wellness!  You can come here and get fitness classes for adults and kids.  We have Strictly CORE, TurboKick, Zumba, Strength Boxing classes and more…we’ve got all kinds of flava flava-including Power Yoga and Power Pilates.  We’ve got specialized workshops like plyometric training focusing on high-intensity movements for high impact.  We also have small group personal training called ‘Armed and Dangerous’ for only six people, to work with a personal trainer at a discounted price.  And beginning in November we are going to have educational classes ‘Doing Life Together’, where our lifestyle coaches will educate based on personal experience using their expertise to focus on what our members want.  Topics will include like how to eat right when working out, how to balance life, how to spend smart over the holidays, educational self-massage, couples massage, etc.  The lifestyle coaches will be here to educate and build relationships with our clientele.  We’re basically doing life together.

TEAMiFIT

TEAMiFIT

Amy is definitely on the move in Chicago and wants to get your body moving.  For additional information and register for classes visit TEAMiFIT online and Facebook.  To hear the entire interview, download the audio casts below.

Part 1  Interview w/Amy ‘Body’

Part 2 Interview w/Amy ‘What You Waiting For?’

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Desiree, NBC Chicago Street Team
Listen up all you recessionistas and recessionistos: Pipeline B2B announces its Fourth Quarter Launch Event! On October 1, 2009 from 6PM – 8PM, small businesses, entrepreneurs, freelancers and contractors are invited to the swank Three Peas Art Lounge in Chicago’s South Loop. The fun networking event, which will include like-minded and talented peers with diverse backgrounds, is intended to accelerate business opportunities through meaningful exchange.422011247

So come on out and get motivated with your 2009 goals! The event includes targeted strategic partners and leads, as well as Pipeline B2B’s Founders, Patrick Smith and Barbara Maldonado. Their network-savvy career experiences and social media practices have helped them jumpstart their own successful projects, inspiring the evening’s event. “At the end of the day,” Barbara says, “It’s about making a deal.”

Tickets, which include beverages and appetizers, are only $30, with proceeds of the evening’s event benefiting the non-profit, Jobs for Youth. Please RSVP ahead of time, and log on to the Three Peas Art Lounge website for a taste of the venue. What better place to learn how to turn your goals into success, than in a gallery created by emerging artists “on the cusp” of a successful career themselves? See you there!

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JenChicago, NBC Chicago Street Team

The fun never stops in Chicago and this past Cinco de Mayo was another full night of fun! Youth Technology Corps is a local non-profit that came from extremely simple beginnings. Founder Dave Finkel gave some computers to some inner-city Chicago teens, who then figured out how to refurbish them on their own! This program now has the original teens doing outreach and being mentors in other countries like Mexico, thus the tie in with Cinco Del Soul.

As you can see, the event was skillfully executed with me as the host emcee for the night! Special thanks to Katie Bormaster, who invited me to participate and planned the entire event, including the video production! That girl called in a lot of favors with her very talented friends!

To find out more about YTC or to donate, click here.

PS: Can you hear me losing my voice?

Find me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

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Cara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

People who hear me on the radio, listen to my podcasts or read my blogs are certainly aware of my passion for music.  But first and foremost I am a mother, and without a doubt the main focus of my life is my kids.   Not a day goes by where I don’t feel extremely thankful for their health and happiness. 

My heart breaks when I hear of families that have to deal with terminal health issues, especially those involving sick children.  I can’t imagine the pain of knowing your child is suffering and/or might not make it to their next birthday.  So, when I heard about a young toddler  “Lucy” (her name is an alias to protect her privacy) stricken with such a horrible disease I felt compelled to share her story. 

photo courtesy of Christie LaMountain

photo courtesy of Maura Gaskill

Lucy has a genetic disease called SCA7 (Spinocerebellar Ataxia 7) which will eventually shut down all her abilities to walk, see, talk, breathe, think, and pump blood to her heart thus killing her.   As if that isn’t heartwrenching enough – she is part of a large but very close foster family in Oak Park, and one of her brothers wrote a very touching story about her situation.

You can help Lucy and the 150,000 Americans and their families who suffer from the devastating effects of Ataxia. Your participation in the 2009 Laps For Lucy this Saturday morning will bring the world one step closer to a cure for Ataxia.  The race is at Oak Park River Forest High School Track (Lake Street and East Avenue, Oak Park, IL).  All Proceeds go to the National Ataxia Foundation.

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Damaris Woodbury, NBC Chicago Street Team

This is just the coolest thing ever and something every up and coming Artist with big dreams yearn for!

Whatever your media: Oral, digital, paint, film, performance, music, photography, etc., this expo is for you! The only one of its kind in the entire nation, Chicago is hosting the Creative Chicago Expo on Saturday, April 4th from 10am – 4pm at the Chicago Cultural Center. This one-day, free event that is open to the public is intended to connect business, space, housing, and cultural resources with individuals and organizations in all artistic disciplines, including music, film, fashion, theater, dance, visual arts, design and new media.

In its 6th year, the Expo adds new exhibitors and additional workshops to its line-up. In 2009, the Expo introduces “Consult-a-thon,” a unique opportunity for artists to schedule appointments for one-on-one consulting offering Career coaching,and industry specific experts offering advise. The one-on-one consultations are $10 for 20-25 minutes with an expert in your field. The complete list of consultants and a link to make appointments are posted on www.chicagoartistsresource.org. Check it out! The link has been posted since March 16th so get your spot now!

They have free 45 minute “how to” workshops ranging from “Art Festival How-To” to “Building a Board of Directors” to “Time Management for Artists.” Click here for a list of “Ask the City” representatives that will be available to answer your questions as well as the latest list of exhibitors.

This is a network opportunity like no other! Get out there, network and be on your way to making your artistic dreams a reality!!!

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Damaris Woodbury, NBC Chicago Street Team

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs continues to host its Sunday Salon Series in Spring 2009. It’s one of the most popular programs at the Chicago Cultural Center. The weekly series, which draws in capacity crowds, showcases a wide variety of classical music by local, national, and internationally based classical artists.

20080630_mg_0268-at-8-27

Tiffany Dome

According to the Program Coordinator, you’ll hear everything from fourteenth-century songs to Brahms symphonies to world premiers by exciting composers living right here in Chicago.

Most performances, unless otherwise noted, are held on Sundays at 3 pm in Preston Bradley Hall, under the world’s largest Tiffany stained-glass dome at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street. Admission is free. For more information about the Sunday Salon Series, call 312.744.6630 or visit www.cityofchicago.org/CulturalAffairs/.

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Damaris Woodbury, NBC Chicago Street Team

Old Town School of Folk Music is launching their new spring/summer 2009 music and dance series!

Every Wednesday from April 1 to June 24, 2009 from 8:30-10:30 at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue. World Music Wednesdays is a unique, free community series that explores the rich diversity that exists in the Chicago community. This series will present music, dance and culture of Africa, Europe, Asia, The Middle East and The Americas.

Latin Rock from Argentina and Colombia, Gypsy bands from Hungary, Jazz from the Caribbean, band of musicians from Mali’s Sahara region, Greek folk music, are just a few of the shows being offered.

Admission is FREE on most Wednesdays. Call (773) 728-6000 or visit oldtownschool.org for more information.

For a general listing of shows, please visit: World Music Wednesday On-Line: http://www.oldtownschool.org/concerts/world.html

I’ve written many a blog about the Old Town School of Folk Music. I’m a huge fan, as it enhances Chicago’s culture by offering music and so much more. I’ll be taking a Brazilian Capoeira class soon and invite you to check out all they offer in the area of music, song and dance!

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 LaShonda Matlock, NBC Chicago Street Team
Of all the issues surrounding the White House these days, believe it or not, fashion is causing an uproar.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s green, sleeveless, tea-length dress was a hit Feb. 25 when she presented the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize to Stevie Wonder. And with all eyes on the First Lady, Obama choose another unknown designer for the high profile event, Wonder’s wife Kai Milla.

But the First Lady’s affinity for unknown designers and modern taste has come with its share of criticism. And her main love for all things sleeveless seems to be the source of the controversy.

Click here to read the rest of this post on nbcchicago.com.

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Cara CarriveauCara Carriveau, NBC Chicago Street Team

School Of Rock is one of my alltime favorite movies.  I like pretty much any movie with Jack Black but this particular movie…well, it totally rocks!

Believe it or not, there are real places like the school in that movie.  Plenty in Chicagoland, actually.  The Rock Academy in Downers Grove offers an 8-week class where kids between 12-18 years old learn their instrument and practice performing with other kids at their age & skill level.  You can experience them jamming this Saturday, December 13th at the Best Buy at 1432 Butterfield Road in Downers Grove.  Showtimes are 2:00pm & 4:00pm.  Come show your support for these cool kids and their cool parents who carted them to the Rock Academy for 8 weeks to practice.

Kudo’s to Best Buy Instruments for allowing this free event to take place and a big high five to the two Downers Grove ladies, Vicki & Holly, who run The Rock Academy at 417 Ogden Ave in Downers Grove.

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Itika Oldwine, NBC Chicago Street Team

An interesting thing happened the other day.  A locally based multi-media website dedicated to the Hip-Hop lifestyle called 247hh.com launched an Election ’08 PSA that was meaningful, insightful and even tear jerking at times.  And to garner more exposure for the video, as well as bring local Chicagoans from the world of hip-hop together, they hosted a screening of the film at a lounge in the West Loop’s meat packing district.  

Now, of course, the purpose of the screening was to get exposure for their video and motivate people to vote on 11/4 but I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to acknowledge the amazing venue where the event was held.  The 247hh Cooler makes you feel like you’ve been transported to the artsier side of the meat packing district.  The walls are covered with paintings by local artist Chad “Wick” Christian, there are two projectors that bounce images off of the exposed brick walls and the hand painted floors in the bathroom, yes I said it… the bathroom, are truly beautiful.

But I digress, because hands down, the show stealer that evening was the remarkable video featuring popular artists from the world of hip-hop such as rappers, The Game, Young Jeezy and Chicago’s own Common, as well as folks from the world of hip hop that are not as recognizable but still have something powerful to say about politics in America.   

These types of screening events are something that will be on-going for 247hh.com.  Their goal is to regularly and frequently launch and screen videos with purpose and relevancy to give folks from the world of Hip Hop a platform and invite people from Chicago and beyond to come and view their vids in a group setting.

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Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team

Given the national reaction to my last blog, I’ve decided that, if you care to indulge me this summer, I’ll be posting more of my running musings on substance, style and popular culture.

Music videos are by definition a triumph of style over substance. You literally have only 4 minutes to savor the hope of attaining your 15 minutes of fame.

There are no more videogenic singers on the planet right now than Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and Rihanna, he the Magnum XL cum laude graduate of the Bryan Ferry dripping-with-detachment-school-of-personal-style, she the Barbados born beauty of the legs that start somewhere around her earlobes and end at the floor.

Both are perfectly matched in their vocal inability to (thankfully) make it past the top 12 on “American Idol.”

While they have each made compelling visual statements in their own videos, who knew that they would be so perfectly matched in the most palpably erotically charged and relevant music video of 2008 for the single “If I never see your face again?”

It’s a refreshing alternative to the insufferably pretentious Madonna and Justin Timberlake collaboration “4 minutes to save the world,” which wears its misguided attempt at substance right in it’s title.

“4 minutes” tries to sell us on the (yesterday’s news cliche) Madonna-as-cougar-Justin-as-boy-toy but the sexual tension comes off as pathetically Oedipal.  Justin is no more than the wind machine to her current Stevie Nicks-like inability to move coherently or gracefully. “Stand back, stand back” I keep thinking to myself.

(Note to Mad: You’ve really lost your touch and missed the cultural vibe entirely, just like the other gal who was recently peddling her experience in an effort to save the world .) 

“If I never” on the other hand, has it’s visual finger right on the jugular of the cultural moment. (To anachronistically combine Bill Clinton and Barak Obama’s political playbooks, “It’s about change stupid.”)

Unlike the pedantic “4 minutes,” “If I never” brilliantly oozes studied nonchalance both lyrically and, most importantly, visually. The on screen pairing of Adam and Rihanna is frought with at least as much transgression as that of the anscestoral Adam and Eve.

There’s no apple or serpent here, just a microphone which is audaciously wielded about like a shared sex toy and (given the political moment) as a middle finger to the historical interracial intolerance of the miscegenation laws.

Lyrically, the song reminds me of the best line of dialogue  ever from an American movie. In “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” a film which oddly enough is famous for a scene involving a piano and a microphone, Michelle Pfeiffer confronts Jeff Bridges about their “relationship.” Bemused, he asks her: “Relationship? What relationship? All I did was [expletive] you twice!” 

I assume that’s the exact same response we would get from our current president, as the next election looms, if we were to confront him as an electorate about our collective 8 year relationship.

And if he were ever to find it within himself to say sorry for the economic and military  reality he created and is leaving behind, I can hear Rihanna singing her current solo single “Take a Bow” in its entirety, sort of an “Exhale to the Chief: “Don’t tell me you’re sorry cause you’re not. You’re only sorry you got caught.”

Click here to see the video of “If I never see your face again.”

TheBestDressedList.com

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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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