Congratulations to Melissa Mitchell, winner of the SPANX Illuminate-Her™️ Art Contest! Melissa is an Atlanta-based, self-taught artist, who has a love of vibrant colors, unique shapes, and bold dark lines. Born and raised in Miami, she attributes her Bahamian heritage, melodic sounds and the colorful world around her as her greatest inspirations. Her art has been featured around the world. Her unique head wraps, Abeille Creations, have adorned the likes of Lupita N’yongo featured in Vogue magazine. Melissa is a proud graduate of Florida A&M University and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Her art will debut on SPANX styles next Spring. Stay tuned!
EBONY magazine released its June issue, showcasing DANAI GURIRA on the cover. In the accompanying exclusive interview, EBONY sits down with the award-winning actress for an intimate conversation in which Gurira dishes on her climb in Hollywood, her activism and paying it forward.
“I feel called. … I feel like everything I do, everything—the blessings that I’ve received—are not necessarily for me. They’re for me to sturdy up my shoulders for other girls to stand on like I stand on other people’s shoulders,” says Gurira.
The June issue also features a celebration of Black music and a very special ’90s hip-hop beauty retrospective. In addition, readers will learn about Letoya Luckett’s new destiny; GOOD Music’s leading lady, Teyana Taylor, dishes on her beauty tips; and offers suggestions for the best swimsuits and Father’s Day gifts, via an exclusive gift guide.
“The June issue of EBONY is one to get very excited about. Music has always played—and continues to play—an integral role in Black culture. We hope this edition will deliver a robust celebration of music and get everyone involved,” says Linda Johnson Rice, CEO of EBONY Media Operations. “The June issue also aims to celebrate Black fathers and fatherhood. We take a deep dive into honoring the male role models in all of our lives through heart-touching stories and ideas for purchasing the man in your life the perfect gift for Father’s Day.”
Get the June 2018 digital edition of EBONY via Texture, Google Play, Apple iTunes and Kindle and on newsstands May 24. For more with Gurira and behind-the-scenes content, be sure to visit ebony.com/InsideEbony.
Florida A&M University president Dr. Larry Robinson, the University’s performing troupe, the FAMU Connection, various FAMU staff and student leaders will make their Miami stop of the 2018 President’s Recruitment Tour at 6:30 p.m., Monday, March 12, 2018, at Miami Jackson Senior High School Auditorium, 1751 NW 36th Street, Miami, FL 33142.
All interested high school students and their parents are invited to attend. Attendees will have an opportunity to chat one-on-one with University academic representatives, student leaders and alumni. Scholarships will be awarded on the spot to graduating seniors contingent upon qualifying GPA and test scores.
Interested students can apply online at www.famu.edu/admissions.
Don’t miss a festive evening of cocktails, food, and music at the Art + Soul Fifth Anniversary Celebration of the PAMM Fund for African American Art. This celebratory event will offer three unique opportunities to support PAMM’s efforts to build a diverse collection. Proceeds from the evening benefit the Fund. The Knight Foundation has generously agreed to match the event’s fundraising efforts dollar for dollar. She-J Hercules of 99 Jamz will join patrons as the DJ for "The Celebration" portion of the evening.
If you enjoy watching quality television, you owe it to yourself to check out Showtime’s THE CHI. It airs Sundays at 10 PM EST. Subscribers can also view episodes on demand on the Showtime app.
THE CHI chronicles the lives of residents of the South Side of Chicago. It humanizes people who have been dehumanized because of the numerous reports of death due to gun violence. As in many, urban, predominantly-black neighborhoods demonized by crime statistics and poverty, there is a beautiful side that is rarely shown. As one-sided as the South Side of Chicago is typically portrayed, THE CHI doesn’t shy away from its ugly side of crime, drugs and poverty.
Award-winning Chicago natives Lena Waithe (Emmy - Master of None) and Common (Academy Award - Selma) have presented a cinematically beautiful well-acted and well-written drama. Waithe made history as the first Black woman to win an Emmy for Comedy Writing. It’s 2018 and we’re still celebrating Black “firsts” but let us not digress. The Chi cast includes Jason Mitchell (Brandon); Tiffany Boone (Jerrika); Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine (Ronnie); Jacob Latimore (Emmett); Yolanda Ross (Jada); Sonja Sohn (Laverne); and Miami’s own Alex Hibbert (Kevin).
You might remember Alex from his award-winning film debut as “Little” in the Miami-based and Miami-focused movie Moonlight which won multiple awards including the Academy Award for Best Picture. In Moonlight, Alex was incredibly expressive just using his eyes and body language. That same compelling quiet energy is evident as he portrays Kevin in THE CHI.
Since THE CHI has been renewed for a second season, we look forward to seeing more of Alex Hibbert on THE CHI next year. Episode 5 is scheduled to air on February 11 so you have plenty of time to binge watch the first four episodes to catch up with the storyline.
Zoetic Stage and
the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
By Suzan-Lori Parks
A Pulitzer Prize-winning dark comedy about brotherhood and family identity
Opens the 2017-2018 season for Zoetic Stage and
the Arsht Center’s Theater Up Close Series
Zoetic Stage and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County are proud to present TOPDOG/UNDERDOG, a Pulitzer Prize-winning dark comedy by Suzan-Lori Parks. Playing November 2 – November 19, 2017 in the intimate Carnival Studio Theater (Ziff Ballet Opera House), TOPDOG/UNDERDOG launches Zoetic Stage’s 2017-2018 season at the Arsht Center as part of the Center’s highly-acclaimed Theater Up Close Series.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, TOPDOG/UNDERDOG is a darkly comic tale of brotherhood and family identity. The play tells the story of Lincoln (Eddie Brown) and Booth (Marckenson Charles), two African-American brothers (whose names were given to them as a joke) coping with women, work, poverty, gambling, racism, and their troubled upbringings. Haunted by the past, the brothers are forced to confront the shattering reality of their future.
Zoetic Stage was founded in 2010 to create fresh, bold interpretations of contemporary plays and musicals, and is dedicated to enhancing South Florida’s national artistic profile by producing regional premieres and developing new works to become part of the American stage repertoire. The company will co-present three more exciting productions with the Arsht Center in the 2017-2018 season. Zoetic Stage’s 7th anniversary season will continue with the world premiere of Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts (January 18 – February 4, 2018), the latest work by Christopher Demos-Brown, award-winning writer of Stripped, American Son and Fear Up Harsh; the South Florida premiere of Dancing Lessons (March 8 – March 25, 2018), Mark St. Germain’s poignant and hilarious romantic comedy; and the South Florida premiere of the five-time Tony Award-winning musical, Fun Home (April 12 – May 13, 2018).
Tickets to TOPDOG/UNDERDOG may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at www.arshtcenter.org.
3rd Annual Sankofa Jazz Fest featuring Grammy-winning trumpet player and multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Payton with Amina Scott and Joe Dyson.
The lineup includes Miami’s very own New Vision Sax Ensemble, the Ladies of Simply Simone, South Broward High School Jazz Band, Joseph Miller, Joel Perez, and Aniye Strachan.
1:30 pm Gates Open
2:15 pm Melton Mustafa Next Generation Jazz Contest Participants
3:00 pm Joseph Miller
3:30 pm Ladies of Simply Simone
4:15 pm Leesa Richards
5:00 pm New Vision Sax Ensemble
6:00 pm Nicholas Payton Trio featuring Amina Scott and Joe Dyson
Come early, bring your lawn chairs and lots of friends to enjoy this FREE outdoor concert.
For vendor space, call 305.638.6771.
Admission is free; RSVP at http://ahcacmiami.eventbrite.com/
TALLAHASSEE— The Florida Folklife Program and the City of Tarpon Springs recognized 2017 Florida Folk Heritage Award recipient, William “Billy the Kid” Emerson, in a special ceremony today hosted at the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum. This ceremony honored Mr. Emerson for his lifelong contributions as a songwriter and producer.
William Emerson was born in Tarpon Springs in 1925, where he learned to play piano in church. Following in the footsteps of his uncle George Hannah, Emerson began performing publicly throughout the area. He joined the Navy in 1943, and after the war, resumed performing with Tampa area acts including Ivory Mitchell, the Billy Battle Band, and Alfonso Brown Band. He acquired the nickname “Billy the Kid” while playing with a band that dressed like cowboys.
Also a talented athlete, Emerson attended Florida A&M University on an athletic scholarship but left to serve in the Air Force during the Korean War. He later met Ike Turner and after being discharged, joined Turner’s Kings of Rhythm band. In 1954, he signed a contract with Sam Phillips and wrote and recorded hits for Sun Records including “When It Rains It Really Pours” (later recorded by Elvis Presley) and “Red Hot.” In 1955, he joined Vee-Jay Records, where he released “Every Woman I know (Crazy ‘Bout Automobiles).” Shortly after, he joined Chess Records as their recording manager. Emerson later formed Tarpon Records, and continued to record and perform rhythm & blues both internationally and abroad.
In 1978, Mr. Emerson rededicated himself to his faith, became a pastor and returned to Tarpon Springs where he continues to serve his congregation and compose sacred music. Although he no longer performs secular music, the compilation album, Red Hot: The Sun Years, was released in 2009, and Mr. Emerson was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
The Florida Department of State presents Florida Folk Heritage Awards annually to citizens who have made long-standing contributions to Florida’s cultural heritage by perpetuating community traditions. Like the National Heritage Fellowships, the Florida Folk Heritage Awards honor the state’s most influential tradition bearers for excellence, significance and authenticity as folk artists or folklife advocates. Information on how to make a nomination is available here and additional information regarding past recipients, including photos and bios, is available here.
The Florida Folklife Program is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Folk and Traditional Arts Program. For further information about the Florida Folklife Program, contact State Folklorist Amanda Hardeman at 850.245.6427 or visit flheritage.com/preservation/folklife.
Scenes from Art Basel Week in Miami: PDiddy, Fat Joe, Dru Hill and a Tribute to President Barack Obama
On Wednesday, November 30, P Diddy stopped by the uber affluent Swiss Gallery Gmurzynska at the Miami Convention Center during Art Basel. Spotted speaking with art world scions Isabelle Bscher (Gmurzynska's granddaughter) and Claude Picasso (Pablo Picasso's son), Diddy was overheard saying he was looking to expand his art collection and discussing design ideas with Claude for his New York home.
On Thursday, mysterious artist Alec Monopoly unveiled a 50ft Wall "Tag" on the exterior of Mondrian Hotel Miami for Tag Heuer. Named by Tag Heuer as their new Art Provocateur, Monopoly was joined by Tag Heuer CEO Jean Claude Biver and select invited insiders including hip hop artist Fat Joe to be the first to lay eyes on the up until now secret project.
The installation can be viewed through Art Basel by global art connoisseurs and locals until November 30, 2017 while a week long TAG HEUER pop up shop and gallery will be open to public for the duration of Art Basel.
The event was followed by a celebratory private dinner, which featured Alec Monopoly creating a one of a kind painting live and an after party at the same location.
In Overtown, the uber chic opening reception of the Visions of Our 44th President Barack Obama exhibition at the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex, was experienced by Black Miami’s movers, shakers and beautiful people. This exhibition, a tribute to our nation’s first black president is a must see. Shout out to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI; Peter Kaplan of Our World, LLC; Dr. Dorothy Jenkins Fields; Timothy Barber; Kamila Pritchett; and the rest of the Black Archives team. Stay tuned for more detailed coverage of this thought-provoking installation.
To all my people in Liberty City and all my urban art lovers, on Sunday, November 6, 2016, the Florida Democratic Party and Hillary for Florida will host "Our Issues, Our Vote,” a block party. This event was designed to encourage residents to vote early in the November General Election. The party will be staged in the Broadway Arts District, a local urban art culture oasis of which you may not be aware. There will be music from DJ Big Boy and live performances. Enjoy free food and the talents of nationally-renown artist Marvin Weeks who will add another mural to the landscape of the District.
Sunday is the last day of early voting. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8. Rides will be provided to nearby early voting sites. Spread the word about this event. Thank you. See you there!
If You Go:
Our Issues, Our Vote Block Party
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Broadway Arts District
6214 NW 18th Avenue
Miami, FL 33147