Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sunday Brunch

Celebrate the East Bluff!  
East Bluff Open House and Mural Dedication
Thursday, November 12, 2015


Riverfront Museum


Prairie Center for Arts - FREE Demo


FREE Art Reception

Combined Opening Reception:
Saturday, November 14, 6:30-8:30pm
Featuring music by guitarist Barry Cloyd. Free admission, donation requested

ISz: desperate times call for disparate measures
November 14-December 19 Preston Jackson Gallery

As if viewing twenty Dali images at once through a kaleidoscope, a Chicago artist’s fantastic compositions barely bring order to a swirling mass of disparate but delightfully surreal combination of patterns, colors and shapes.

A Small Wonder Gift Shop
November 14-December 19 Gallery 3R

A small wonder means small work from local artists and that means work priced for holiday gifts! Gallery 3R is turned into a gift shop for small works of art. Just like a gift shop, buyers may take home the item at the time of purchase. Shop early for the art lover in your life….maybe that person is you! Glass, ceramics, paintings, sculpture, jewelry, original prints and lots more will be on display.

More information...

League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria

Co-sponsored Event:  Storm Water/Combined Sewer Overflow &Possible New Utility Tax

The League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria, with the Heart of Illinois Sierra Club and the Peoria NAACP will host a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9 at the Advanced Medical Transport auditorium, 1718 N. Sterling, Peoria, IL. on the topic of Storm Water and the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) and possible new utility tax.

The event is sponsored at the request of the City of Peoria’s Public Works Department. City staff will make a presentation and answer questions.

Peoria’s storm water issues and CSO problem should have been addressed before 2015, and is the subject of a lawsuit by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The 100% Green Solution to the CSO that the city has proposed to settle the EPA lawsuit against the city is cheaper initially, employs local businesses and labor, but has higher operating costs. And it depends on citizen acceptance. (The alternative to the ‘green solution’ is an initially more expensive pipe solution.)

  • The proposal is strictly based on square footage of impervious surface of each parcel - so residential and commercial (including non-profits and schools) would have the same rate. (Some other nearby communities use a flat residential rate.)
  • The average residential figure of $20 a month for a storm water utility fee starting in July 2016 was suggested at committee meetings.
  • Credits and/or incentives may be used and should be asked about at the Nov 9 meeting. Credits and incentives would possibly be offered because a homeowner or business changes something to significantly lower the amount of storm water going to the city's system.
  • Information and videos of what other communities have done to solve their CSO problems are at:

The city’s staff will be at the meeting to discuss the problem and possible solutions, and answer questions.

For more information: Cheryl Budzinski 309/253-9594;

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sunday Brunch


The Water Apocalypse

Jonathon Romain

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sunday Brunch

Vanguard of the Revolution:  

Posted in memory of Manual graduate, and member of Black Panther Party, Mark Clark.

With groups around the country taking on issues of police brutality and accountability, in February, Democracy Now went back 50 years to another movement confronting the same issues. They spent an hour looking at a documentary that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival called "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution." 

It tells the history of the Black Panther Party through rare archival footage and interviews with party leaders, rank-and-file members, journalists — and even police and FBI informants. It features extended excerpts from the film and speak with one its subjects, Kathleen Cleaver, who served as communications secretary of the Black Panther Party and is now a law professor at Emory University. They also speak with Stanley Nelson, the film’s award-winning director. The film is set to play in theaters and air on PBS later this year. Jump to the 9:30 mark for Vanguard.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Peoria, Ill is the Sixth Worst City For Black Americans

For decades, black Americans have faced higher poverty rates, lower incomes and higher incarceration rates than white Americans. While African Americans in every U.S. city face such problems, racial inequality is much worse in some parts of the country. By examining the disparities between white and black Americans in several economic and social measures, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 10 worst cities for black Americans.

Four of the cities with the worst racial inequality are in Illinois, two are in Iowa, and all are in the Midwest. These are the worst cities for black Americans.

10. Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA
> Pct. residents black: 7.0%
> Population: 169,993
> Black median household income as pct. of white: 54.9%
> Black unemployment rate: 24.0%
> Unemployment rate, all people: 4.9%

Based on a range of socioeconomic factors, Waterloo-Cedar Falls is the 10th worst urban area for black Americans. The metro area is at once relatively difficult to live in as a black person, and relatively favorable for white people. For example, the median income for black households was equal to less than 56% of income for a typical white household, which at $54,802 was slightly lower than the national median but still higher than in most metro areas.

While the Waterloo area labor market is relatively strong overall, black residents clearly do not have the same job opportunities as their white peers. The unemployment rate among black residents of 24% — the sixth highest among black city-populations — is in stark contrast with the white unemployment rate of just 3.9% — one of the lowest such rates.

9. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA
> Pct. residents black: 5.0%
> Population: 611,549
> Black median household income as pct. of white: 57.1%
> Black unemployment rate: 10.6%
> Unemployment rate, all people: 4.2%

The more than 30,000 Des Moines residents identifying as black make up just 5% of the population. However, as Wilson suggested, African Americans in communities with relatively small black populations may be even worse off. In the Des Moines area, racial disparities are indeed especially pervasive. Just 33% of black households are owned by their occupants, for example, versus the homeownership rate of 72.2% among white families. Also, while 38.0% of white adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, 20.5% of black area adults have the equivalent education.

Despite the difficulties facing Des Moines black communities, the area’s black unemployment rate of 10.6% was lower than the national black jobless rate of 13.2% — one of only three of the 10 worst cities for African Americans with a black unemployment rate not exceeding the national rate. Still, the black jobless rate was several times higher than the 4.2% jobless rate among white residents, itself one of the lowest in the country.

8. Kankakee, IL
> Pct. residents black: 14.9%
> Population: 111,375
> Black median household income as pct. of white: 48.7%
> Black unemployment rate: 20.6%
> Unemployment rate, all people: 8.1%

More than one in five black workers in Kankakee is unemployed. The black unemployment rate exceeds 20% in only 16 other U.S. cities, three of them among the worst cities for African Americans. Lack of job opportunities likely contribute to a higher poverty rate among black residents. At nearly 40%, the poverty rate among black residents is not only far higher than the comparable rate for white residents of 7.3%, but also one of the highest in the nation. A typical black Kankakee household earns $31,119 annually, lower than the median annual income for black households nationwide, and less than half the median income for white Kankakee households.

The Kankakee metro area is about an hour’s drive from Chicago. It is also one of four metro areas located in Illinois on this list.

7. Lima, OH
> Pct. residents black: 12.2%
> Population: 105,040
> Black median household income as pct. of white: 36.5%
> Black unemployment rate: 22.9%
> Unemployment rate, all people: 5.7%

The typical black household in Lima makes just 36.5% of what the typical area white household earns annually, a smaller share than anywhere else in the country. Median annual income among white households is $49,125, more than $31,000 greater than the median income among black households of $17,908. High poverty rates accompany the low income in Lima. While 12.4% of whites live in poverty, more than 46% of the city’s black population are living below the povertyline.

Socioeconomic disparities are likely driving the income gaps among Lima’s black and white populations. The unemployment rate among the city’s black workers is nearly 23%, more than triple the 7.1% rate among the city’s white workers. The difference in educational attainment by race is similarly striking. While more than 90% of white residents have at least a high school diploma, less than three quarters of Lima’s black population has a similar level of education.

6. Peoria, IL
> Pct. residents black: 9.1%
> Population: 379,520
> Black median household income as pct. of white: 49.1%
> Black unemployment rate: 16.5%
> Unemployment rate, all people: 7.2%

Located in central Illinois, Peoria is one of the worst cities in the country for black Americans. The poverty rate of 28.2% among the city’s black population is well above the poverty rate among the city’s white residents of 10.4%. Similarly, the median annual income of $58,563 for white households is more than double the annual income of $28,777 for a typical black household.

While black Americans are about five times more likely to be incarcerated than their white counterparts, in Illinois, they are more than eight times more likely to be incarcerated than whites. As is the case in many other U.S. cities, the incarceration rate is likely far higher in urban areas such as Peoria.

5. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
> Pct. residents black: 6.5%
> Population: 1,027,703
> Black median household income as pct. of white: 44.6%
> Black unemployment rate: 13.0%
> Unemployment rate, all people: 5.0%

Slightly more than 1 million people live in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming metro area. The typical black household in Grand Rapids earns $25,495 annually, less than half of the $57,186 the typical white household earns and also about $10,000 less than the $35,481 the typical American black household earns in a year. High income disparity between the area’s black and white residents has likely contributed to disparate poverty rates. About 38% of the black residents in Grand Rapids live in poverty, nearly four times the 10.3% poverty rate among the area’s white population.

Over 2,000 black people per 100,000 residents are incarcerated in Michigan, lower than the nationwide black incarceration rate. However, black Michigan residents are still nearly six times more likely than their white peers to go to jail or prison, slightly higher than the nationwide black to white incarceration ratio.

4. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
> Pct. residents black: 16.8%
> Population: 9,553,810
> Black median household income as pct. of white: 50.1%
> Black unemployment rate: 18.5%
> Unemployment rate, all people: 7.0%

Slightly more than 7% of white Chicago area residents live in poverty, while the poverty rate for the city’s black population is nearly 30%. Similarly, while 43.7% of white adults had at least a college degree, 21.8% of black adult Chicagoans were college educated. In addition to socioeconomic racial disparities, black area residents had far higher mortality rates compared to white residents. The Chicago metro area black population leads the nation with 1,550 deaths per 100,000 African Americans in a year, versus the mortality rate for white Chicagoans of 713 per 100,000 white people.

Chicago is one of the nation’s most diverse cities. It is also one of the nation’s most segregated, however, and in the city’s neighborhoods there is little racial diversity. Wilson explained that outcomes worsen for anyone — black or white — living under poor socioeconomic conditions. However, she added, not only do black urban dwellers suffer more under such conditions, but also racial inequality and segregation are themselves harmful to communities.


3. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
> Pct. residents black: 7.8%
> Population: 3,495,176
> Black median household income as pct. of white: 37.9%
> Black unemployment rate: 12.8%
> Unemployment rate, all people: 3.9%

One of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area is home to nearly 3.5 million people. It is also one of the worst cities for black Americans. The disparity between the median householdincomes of white and black residents is especially stark. The typical white household earns about $73,700 annually, one of the highest incomes in the country. The typical area black household, meanwhile, earns just under $28,000 annually. Low wages often come with high unemployment rates. While only 3.9% of all Twin City residents are unemployed, one of the lowest figures in the country, the unemployment rate among the city’s black residents is 12.8%.

About 20% of the area’s black residents have at least a bachelor’s degree, roughly in line with the corresponding national rate. Still, more than 35% of the area’s black population lives in poverty, a significantly higher rate than the 27% of black Americans living below the poverty line.

2. Rockford, IL
> Pct. residents black: 11.1%
> Population: 342,411
> Black median household income as pct. of white: 44.2%
> Black unemployment rate: 28.9%
> Unemployment rate, all people: 8.3%

Located less than 100 miles northwest of Chicago, Rockford is home to about 342,400 people. Rockford is struggling economically. The area’s unemployment rate of 8.3% is more than 2 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate of 6.2%. While pooreconomic conditions affect everyone, the city’s black population has been hit the hardest.

Of the 201 metro areas examined, the median income of $22,651 among black households in Rockford is lower than in all but 10 other cities and significantly lower than the $51,264 median income among white households. Even more astounding, 28.9% of the city’s black working population is unemployed, a larger share than in any other city in the country. The poverty rate among the city’s black residents is 43.1%, over four times the city’s white poverty rate.

1. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
> Pct. residents black: 16.7%
> Population: 1,572,245
> Black median household income as pct. of white: 41.6%
> Black unemployment rate: 17.2%
> Unemployment rate, all people: 6.0%

Like in other parts of the Midwest, large numbers of African Americans travelled to the Milwaukee area in the 1960s to take advantage of the booming manufacturing industry. Soon after a black community formed, however, the city’s industrial base all but collapsed, contributing to racial disparities in the region. An estimated 16.7% of the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis metro area identify as black, higher than the nationwide proportion. In Milwaukee proper, however, roughly 40% of the population identifies as black.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Brunch...

Gary Clark Jr.: Numb
Texas' Soulful Guitar Man Takes The Blues Into the 21st Century

“I can't feel a thing,” sings Gary Clark Jr. in “Numb,” a track taken from his lauded first major label studio album Blak and Blu, but the Texan guitarist, singer and songwriter’s gritty, powerful riffs are about as passionate as they come. The 29-year-old Austin native counts the likes of Eric Clapton and Barack Obama among his fans—the President notoriously dubbed him the “future” of the blues—and has shared the stage with Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews Band and The Rolling Stones. Clark’s soulful approach to genre-splicing channels the best of rock, R&B, jazz and hip-hop heritage, mashing up Jimi Hendrix’s intensity with The Beatles’ timelessness and vocals reminiscent of lo-fi act The Black Keys, updated with a contemporary hard edge. With his most recent LP ranked among Rolling Stone magazine’s 50 Best Albums of the year, Clark is also growing into something of an accidental style icon: rarely photographed without his signature brimmed hat, he can now add modelling for John Varvatos alongside Led Zeppelin guitar hero Jimmy Page to his reputation for following in the footsteps of greats.
Artist finds new world of fiber in Peoria

PEORIA — Fiber artist Trish Williams is experiencing a whole new side of fiber since moving to Peoria last spring.

"Fiber down here is much more diverse than in Chicago," said Williams during a recent telephone interview. "Up there you have more mixed media, more dyeing. Here you have sheep, goats and rabbits — I never met people that had sheep before."

William's work will be on display at the Downtown Peoria Public Library Monday through Feb. 26. The show is called "P.I.E.C.E.S," which is short for "Precepts Inspirited by Episodes of Creative Expressions of Self."

Williams, 63, lived in inner city Chicago her entire life before she picked up and moved to Peoria. She had the opportunity to work in the art gallery owned by Jonathon Romain, a Peoria-based artist she befriended when he had a gallery in Chicago.

In her early teens Williams started crafting her own wardrobe. She worked by hand with needle and thread until her mother found out what she was doing and bought her a sewing machine.

Williams didn't think what she was doing was art. She just felt the need to create, and clothing was a great outlet. Her unique outfits got lots of attention, and soon she found herself selling her creations.

"We used to do fashion shows at my mother's house," said Williams. "It was a big old Victorian house so there was lots of room. We'd do shows and sell the clothes."

Williams continued to sew when her children came along, but it wasn't until 1997 when she realized sewing could be art. She was at a church bazaar manning the linen and quilt table when she opened a copy of "A Communion of the Spirits: African-American Quilters, Preservers, and Their Stories," by Roland L. Freeman. The quilts pictured in the book opened up a whole new world. Read more...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday Brunch...

... twirl and twirl and...

Lorna Simpson: Momentum
The Conceptual Artist Travels Back in Time For Her Surreal New Film

Coated in gold body paint and accessorized with matching afros, the ballet corps starring in Momentum comprises a group of New York dancers handpicked by the Brooklyn native to reenact her own stage debut at the age of eleven. "I was very surprised by a powerful sense of reversal while performing," she recalls. "I had this intense urge to occupy the role of observer, as opposed to being immersed in my well-rehearsed effort. I [wanted] to satisfy my need to be the spectator of this performance." Alongside the video installation, two large-scale felt works silk-screened in gold ink and depicting 1970s postcards of New York’s Lincoln Center, the venue of the original performance, are also on show. 

The pioneering conceptual photographer, who has shown at the Whitney, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Walker Art Center, revisits themes of gender, cultural identity and history in her work: a recent series for the Brooklyn Museum saw Simpson recreate vintage 1950s images of African Americans with herself as the subject.

NOTE: From the Director of the Moonlight Coalition...

Happy New Years All,

Our first full time semester has been an amazing experience! We have had 23 graduates since September. The students rallied in the fourth quarter and I couldn't be more pleased.


P.S. Our overall total graduates since we started at Proctor is well into the 40's.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

Creole Cowboys
Tabitha Denholm Shines a Light on Louisiana’s R&B-Infused Zydeco Trail-Riding Culture

“I loved the idea of going to massive parties on horseback,” says British director Tabitha Denholm of filming the Louisiana trail-riding scene. “Its word-of-mouth element reminded me of the early-90s raves in the UK—it is huge, but it’s outside of the mainstream media. You find out about events from flyers or from your mates.” 

Filmed in rural areas outside Lafayette over four days that included a raucous Labor Day weekender, Denholm’s short captures the fundamental relationship between horses and zydeco music and Louisiana’s Creole population. While Cajun grew from the white tradition in Southern Louisiana, zydeco evolved as a faster, more rhythm-driven incarnation of Creole or ‘la la’ music as it used to be called. 

Trail riding combines both riding and dancing elements, as groups of young and old set out through the countryside until they reach a designated party spot. Zydeco has always absorbed other types of music, and the scene has been reinvigorated by the influence of hip-hop and R&B. 

As loops and breaks have bolstered the traditional accordion and washboard, so a new audience has saddled up to find the party. “In New Orleans they told me, ‘The real action is in the countryside,’” says Denholm. “And it’s true. These dudes are so proud of their horses. They customize them, paint their hooves, plait their hair. They're like mods with their scooters.”

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

Bruce Weber and David Bailey Pay Homage to the Storied Manhattan Neighborhood

Life-long friends Bruce Weber and David Bailey collaborate for the first time to capture the spirit and soul of Harlem, New York, in today’s candid short dedicated to the late, revolutionary “bluesologist” Gil Scott-Heron. Similar to Spike Lee’s 1989 movie Do the Right Thing, Weber’s series of vignettes, filmed this summer, take place over a sweltering 24 hours. But while Lee focuses on a street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, A Harlem Poetry Lesson is a study of the historic uptown borough and its cast of characters, such as poet Jeffrey Hollington and landmarks the Apollo Theatre and the Carrie McCracken TRUCE Community Garden. Scott-Heron’s expressive growl adds lyrical tension to the Harlem imagery in the film, which includes excerpts from “Small Talk at 125th and Lenox,” taken from his 1970 debut album of the same name, through to material featured on the poet-musician’s haunting final album from 2010, I’m New Here.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

A late Sunday Brunch...

Janie Taylor for Chloé
The Prima Ballerina Models the Fashion House’s Ethereal Collection

New York City Ballet principal Janie Taylor road tests Chloé’s dance-inspired spring/summer 2011 collection with choreographer and corps de ballet member Justin Peck in today’s short by director Bon Duke. Set to Philip Glass’s “String Quartet No. 3, 'Mishima': IV. 1962: Body Building," the impassioned routine was conceived by Peck in a bid to capture the multidimensional aspects of the performance on camera. “You always see ballet from the front,” he says. “Here was an opportunity to show it from the side, from the back, from every angle, and create a really unique viewing experience.” Staged at NYCB’s studio at Lincoln Center as part of a fashion shoot for Canada’s The Block Magazine, the film was styled by creative director James Worthington DeMolet.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

Spike Jonze: Mourir Auprès de Toi
The Celebrated Filmmaker and Designer Olympia Le-Tan Co-create a Tale to Pierce the Heart

Designer Olympia Le-Tan's embroidered clutch-bags spring to life in director Spike Jonze’s tragicomic stop-motion animation Mourir Auprès de Toi (To Die By Your Side)

On a shelf in famed Parisian bookstore Shakespeare and Company, the star-crossed love story of a klutzy skeleton and his flame-haired amour plays out amidst Le-Tan’s illustrations of iconic first-edition book covers. "It's such a beautiful and romantic place,” offers Le-Tan of the antiquarian bookstore. "The perfect setting for our story!” 

The project started after Jonze asked for a Catcher in the Rye embroidery to put on his wall and the plucky Le-Tan asked for a film in return. Enlisting French filmmaker Simon Cahn to co-direct, the team wrote the script between Los Angeles and Paris over a six month period, before working night and day animating the 3,000 pieces of felt Le-Tan had cut by hand. “I love getting performances from, telling stories about and humanizing things that aren’t human,” said Jonze of working with Le-Tan’s characters. 

After spending five years adapting Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are, Jonze’s recent shorts include robot love story I’m Here and an inspired G.I. Joe-starring video for The Beastie Boys. “A short is like a sketch,” he says. “You can have an idea or a feeling and just go and do it.” 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

Cutie and the Boxer
The Japanese Neo-Dadaist Makes a Slow-Mo Splash
A paean to eternal themes of love, sacrifice and the enduring pull of the creative process, Zachary Heinzerling makes his filmmaking debut with Cutie and the Boxer, a meditative observation of painter and boxer Ushio Shinohara. This exclusive sequence, shot on a Phantom camera, shows Ushiro pummeling the glass ‘canvas’ with affecting vigor. The former enfant terrible moved to New York from his native Japan in 1969 in search of international recognition that has never quite materialized. In the Sundance-fêted documentary, Heinzerling captures the Octogenarian and his long-suffering wife and de facto assistant Noriko preparing for their first joint exhibition: Ushio will present a selection of his ‘box paintings’––Jackson Pollock-inspired abstractions created by hurling paint-covered boxing gloves across a massive canvas, and Noriko, a showcase a series of witty illustrations entitled “Cutie and the Bullie,” which satirize their turbulent 40-year-old marriage. “Ultimately, my goal was to absorb the audience in the raw spirit and beauty that emanates from the couple,” explains Heinzerling. “To open a door onto the creative and very private world where the rhythms of the Shinoharas’s lives play out.” The result is an intimate tapestry of a challenging partnership, cemented by a bond that transcends their various artistic and financial impediments.

Illinois Valley Fuller Center for Housing
Located in the north central area of the state, the Illinois Valley Fuller Center services Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties in Illinois, known as the Tri-County area. Their primary focus is to help low income families and veterans with critical repairs. They have joined forces with other local non profits to help improve the existing housing stock not only for existing homeowners, but to help families with vacant properties that might be available.

Willis and Linda Thomas with volunteer Woody Dees.
Woody and his wife did the whole porch repair themselves.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

On Collaboration: Solange Knowles x Toyin Odutola 
The New York Pair Share Their Mutual Appreciation in the Last of Our Series with EDITION Hotels

“I think the essence of collaboration is being able to lay yourself on the line,” says singer and songwriter Solange Knowles, discussing visual artist Toyin Odutola’s powerful pen-and-marker works that explore identity in the fifth and final part of NOWNESS’ series created in conjunction with EDITION Hotels. “The best collaborations are not knowing what to expect; being completely open-minded and having a sense of vulnerability.” 

In this episode entitled “Inspiration,” the pair unpack their shared appreciation for one another: Knowles' first correspondence with Odutola was after she looked to track down the artist’s intricate, embossed pieces after a sold-out exhibition at New York’s Jack Shainman Gallery; she went on to commission an artwork which brought the two creatives closer. “I thought how can I address this in a way that's poignant and feel like I can really connect with you?” says Odutola. “So I did this series of myself looking down in this exhausted state, then looking up like I’m going to tackle you, and then down again.” 

The pair have a mutual muse in Africa, as reflected in Knowles’ most recent EP release, True—co-written with Dev Hynes—which gave rise to the Cape Town-filmed video to “Losing You,” and My Country Has No Name, the third solo show from Odutula, who was born in Nigeria and grew up in Alabama. “It was months and months of creating, so it was really nice to have Solange’s voice in my head as I'm working,” explains Odutola of listening to her friend’s music. “Your message is something that really connected with me; I see myself in your work.”

Come join in the discussion next Tuesday:
November 12, 6:30-8:00 at the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria
a panel discussion as part of the Citywide Celebration of Women Artists with artists Cathie Crawford, Kate Kaminsky, Trish Williams, Meda and Veda Rives with moderator Margaret LeJeune.

Welcoming and overcoming challenges at Proctor Center:
The numbers continue to grow on the Proctor Center Moonlight Coalition's list of GED graduates

The Men's Chess Club, which is another component of the Moonlight Coalition program is currently seeing a resurgence at Proctor Center. During downtime, students and visitors to Proctor Center can take part in a friendly game of chess.  Recently, the Center received the gift of an outdoor chess table, donated by the Friends of Proctor Center, in celebration of the Center's 100th Anniversary. The table, scheduled to be delivered by the time warm weather hits, will no doubt be put to good use during the warm weather months, especially after the guys get their skills and confidence up over the winter months.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

Kahlil Joseph's Film Meditates on the Origins of an All-Black Rodeo in Oklahoma

A dreamlike narrative binds cowboy and an angelic specter clad in white in director Kahlil Joseph's exploration of a little-known African-American rodeo subculture. Joseph, who is part of the Los Angeles-based What Matters Most film collective, visited the annual August rodeo in the sparsely populated Oklahoma town of Grayson (previously Wildcat), an event that attracts African-American bull riders, barrel racers and cowgirls from all over the Midwest and southern USA. He set out to celebrate the origins of the rodeo by paying respect to the spirit of Aunt Janet, a member of the family who founded the event, passed away last year and is embodied as the young girl in the film. 

“Black people are light years more advanced than the ideas and images that circulate would have you believe. The spaces we control and exist are my ground zero for filming, at least so far, and there are opportunities for me to tap into the energy,” says Joseph who has also made films for musicians including Shabazz Palaces and Seu Jorge. “So an all-black town with an all-black rodeo in the American heartland was a kind of vortex or portal through which I could actually show this.” 

Wildcat is scored by experimental musician Flying Lotus, who has previously collaborated with Joseph on a short to accompany his 2012 album Until the Quiet Comes, which is showed during Sundance London.

In the penitentiary, homie? Uni-ball cares...
Shame on the "creatives" at TBWA Chiat/Day for taking a subject matter they know to be taboo in the United States and selling it to an international client. You guys are sooooo cool:

From kissmyblackads:

Credits: Creative Ad Agency: TBWA Client: Uniball Pens Executive Creative Directors: Matthew Brink, Adam Livesey Art Director: Jade Manning, Sacha Traest Copywriter: Vincent Osmond Production: Sandra Gomes Account Manager: Morgan Wanckel, Niki Cinnamon, Claire Peters Production Company: Frieze Films Director: Rob Malpage DOP: Rob Malpage Sound: Sterling Sound, RobRoy Music.

Clearly, the Grand Wizards and Dragons over at Uni-ball labor under the misconception that Black people neither read, write nor have the gifts of sight and hearing, because this ad is not marketed to us. 

Though the burly, Black actor who decided to literally sell-out should not be allowed to dodge accountability, there is something sinister about a corporation that would purposely capitalize on the degradation, marginalization and oppression tactics used to destabilize Black communities in America.

Bottom line: The product doesn’t matter. There will always be certain corporations — whether peddling reality television, gangsta rap, soda or pens — that are dedicated to perpetuating the image of Black men as criminal, hyper-sexed, uneducated and sub-human. And if we remain silent, we are complicit in allowing a caricature of our culture to become a minstrel show — with no ticket needed for admission.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

The New York Artist On the Roots of His Provocative, Pop-Infused Work

Gary Simmons unravels the influence that hi-tops, boom boxes and Public Enemy have had over his work in the latest installment of Matt Black’s Reflections series. Whether depicting the Hollywood sign ablaze or using watercolor varnish on large-scale, apocalyptic landscapes, Simmons twists American iconography with poetic vigor. First gaining art-world fame in the 90s with his “erasure drawings,” using chalkboards found in an abandoned school as canvases, Simmons smudged Disney cartoons with his fingertips to probe misconceptions of class and racial identity. Director Black sat down with him in his Chelsea gallery Metro Pictures—which also represents the likes of Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo and Andy Hope 1930—and was struck by both the intensity of Simmons and the breadth of his work that has shown at MoMA and the Whitney. “We spent the afternoon talking about New York, music, boxing and tattoos,” he says, citing Simmons’ installations “*uc* Hollywood” and “Line Up” as his favorite works, before adding: “In both he uses sneakers to tell a story of America. The result is always both subtle and powerful, with a haunting quality.”


Women Writers Hour
Oct 28, 6pm-7pm
Peoria Library North, 3001 W Grand Parkway

Please join us for the second Women Writers Hour with Terry Bibo, Brenda Rothert, Monica Vest Wheeler and Demetrice Worley.

They will read a passage from a favorite writing, tell us about the moment they knew they wanted to write, why writing is important to them, the challenges and rewards of published writers, and about the women who mentored them and those they most admire. Marcia Burnside will host.

Jonathon Romain1919 North Sheridan RoadPeoria, IL 61604www.jromain.comromainart@aol.com708-829-9578

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday brunch...

Limber Notes
An Impassioned Portrait of A Street Dancer Named Olivier

“Sometimes, I don’t control my body, so I don’t know what to expect,” says dancer and sometime model Olivier Chapusette, in this intimate short from Irish photographer-turned-filmmaker Linda Brownlee. “This isn’t just dance—it’s everything,” he says, while the therapeutic nature of dancing, he suggests, “helps me to be a better person.” The Haitian-born, Brussels-based street dancer is among the subjects of Brownlee’s Limber Notes, a series of compelling vignettes spotlighting performers of all ages and backgrounds. “I wasn’t looking for professional dancers or even people who were really good at it, just people who were really passionate,” she says. She has long been fascinated by the physical brilliance of dancers, which has inspired her work for The New York Times, AnOther and Twin. Limber Notes captures performers such as Chapusette in their own environment and homes, so immersed in their dance, adds Brownlee, “they forget about you.”

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

I remember when Prince came to the Civic Center. I impersonated a local important person and got him on the phone at his hotel. When he answered we screamed and hung up. Later that night we went to the concert. I wore a mid-thigh length, white, ruffled collar, ruffled sleeved, pirate shirt that my Moms made especially for me. That concert was the bomb!

Breakfast Can Wait - Prince

By Randy Lewis
October 11, 2013, 11:52 a.m.
The folks at Waffle House and IHOP might not swoon over the message at the heart of Prince’s new video, “Breakfast Can Wait,” but the Purple One has found plenty of sensual fun in the kitchen to keep pop music fans engaged in this work directed by and starring 18-year-old Danielle Curiel.

Who else could make a lyric that includes a menu rundown — “Grits and gravy, cheese eggs and jam” — sound positively sexy but Prince, who reportedly gave his young collaborator complete artistic and directorial control over the video. He chose her to direct it after being impressed by reading a treatment she sent him for the song.

The track is a pulsing R&B slow-jam filled with rhythmic bumps and pauses as Curiel’s mis-en-scene alternates between what looks to be an attempt to prepare a morning-after meal in the kitchen and a tightly choreographed dance number in old brick workout space.

And yes, that's Curiel under the curly wig and painted-on mustache while playing peek-a-boo from behind the neck of a guitar as she serves as stand-in for the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.

"Prince wanted this video to be a creative encounter, offering fresh, young talent [the chance] to 'visualize' together," a spokeswoman for Prince told Pop & Hiss. "He was there for the shoot and approved the treatment, but gave all control to this 18-year-old. There were no managers, agents [or] label people there -- just young talent collaborating for a very unique experience." Source



Soup & Soul
Come enjoy delicious food and soulful music to support the programs and ministries of Dream Center Peoria! Soup & Soul for the Shelter will be November 19th from 5-8:30pm at Rhythm Kitchen in the Contemporary Arts Center at 305 SW Water Street in Peoria. Cost to join us for the night is $20 ahead of time or $25 at the door.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Manual Graduate Mark Clark a true civil rights leader

Fallout continues more than four decades after Hoover connected cops kill Black Panthers Mark Clark and Fred Hampton during infamous West Side raid.

by Lawrence J. Maushard

In 2011, the late Peorian Mark Clark was inducted into the local African American Hall of Fame. Last year, that honored position with the Hall found its way into the city's all-new Riverfront Museum.

So now in 2013, more than four decades after Clark's killing – he was gunned down along with fellow Illinois Black Panther Party colleague Fred Hampton, 21, by Chicago police authorities in a predawn house raid on December 4, 1969 – would be a good time for the Peoria Journal Star to finally revisit some grievous wrongs set to print at that time.

According to Kristan H. McKinsey, Director of Collections and Senior Curator at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, the following description is currently included alongside a photograph within the digital confines in one historical kiosk display:

"Mark Clark was a Defense Captain of the Black Panther Party. He was born and raised in Peoria, and attended Manual High School. In 1969, Clark started the first free breakfast program in Peoria for children; a program which spread across the country. Chicago police killed Clark and fellow party member, Fred Hampton, in December of 1969. Their deaths are seen as a landmark event in the Civil Rights movement."

At the web site for The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther by Jeffrey Haas (Lawrence Hill Books, 2009), a detailed account of the killings, lawyer-author Haas writes that he and his colleagues “ultimately exposed the conspiracy between FBI agents carrying out FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s secret and deadly Counterintelligence Program and the Chicago Police that led to Hampton’s assassination. Black Panther leader Mark Clark was also killed in the 1969 police raid on the Hampton house.”

December 4, 1969, raid on the Hampton house
“Nothing but a northern lynching,” one witness described the carnage after the shooting.

So how did the Journal Star react to the killings back in the day? In its December 10, 1969 issue, less than a week after Clark's murder, the lead editorial claimed, “And it was finally put together under the Panther label by a coterie of articulate ex-convicts and jobless civil rights activists who duped a few young men who were not overly bright to sell their newspapers and play the cannon-fodder roles of tough-guy revolutionaries.”

With appalling gall, the editorial went on to posit that “Hate coupled with intimidation and demagoguery made the Panthers into a sort of black Ku Klux Klan. The white sheet was replaced with the black beret and jacket.”

Confidently asserting that “We doubt very much that anything resembling a murderous police conspiracy against the Panthers exists” the Journal Star also arrogantly maintained, “Just as intelligent whites refused to have anything to do with the Klan, intelligent blacks must refuse to tolerate or associate with the Panthers. The real sympathy that the Panthers need from black leaders of the day is the kind which attempts to protect these young men not from the police but from the idiotic Panther leadership which should not be allowed to continue to drive young men like Mark Clark to early graves.”

Indeed, the Journal Star was so secure in its, ahem, historical understanding and social sensitivities that it even titled this incredibly paternalistic editorial, “The Panthers Need Help.”

Zoom  your computer screen to read article
A week after its first Panther editorial, the Journal Star published a follow-up piece on December 17 entitled “Slowness in Washington” that decried the US Attorney General's apparent foot dragging in ordering the FBI to investigate Clark and Hampton's killings.

The reason for that delay? Again, incredibly, the Journal Star blamed the victim: “The slowness of Attorney General (John) Mitchell's response and the complete silence from the White House in regard to the Chicago affair is a discouraging commentary on how far the extremist tactics of the Black Panthers and other violent groups have set back black people in their quest for justice.”

That editorial confidently concluded, “We know justice will be done in Chicago . . . but it may be a little longer in the doing.”

In fact, no one was ever convicted in the deaths, and it took until 1983 that a $1.85M settlement was finally awarded to the raid survivors, families of Hampton and Clark, and their lawyers. A little longer, indeed.

So, after 43 years and counting, will a little editorial justice finally play in Peoria?

Back when it really mattered, the Journal Star not only didn't do its homework, it indulged in grotesque and detestable characterizations on a par with anything the Deep South could ever conjure up regarding Mark Clark and the Black Panthers.

Those deplorable editorials still speak for themselves through a yet-to-be-cleaned decades old textual bullhorn of hate and racism with a mouthpiece resting squarely on the doorsteps at 1 News Plaza, Peoria, IL. This cranky old river city is the home of Richard Pryor, Betty Friedan, Joe Girardi, Philip Jose Farmer, Ray LaHood, Jim Thome, Bob Michel, Dan Fogelberg, Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, and Caterpillar Inc. to name a few notables.

But hey, don't take my word for it. My analysis, if not my exact choice of language, doesn't appear to be so wildly off the mark if you take into account at least one scholarly review on the subject:

“The Peoria Journal Star offered a conservative perspective in its coverage of the raid and the murders of Clark and Hampton which did not look favorably upon its native son.”

Authors Dr. Judson L. Jeffries, Professor and Director, Department of African American and African Studies, Community Extension Center, The Ohio State University and Dr. Omari L. Dyson, Assistant Professor of Education at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, came to this assessment in “Nobody Knows My Name:The Marginalization of Mark Clark in America's Collective Consciousness,” International Social Science Review (2010, Vol. 85, Nos. 3 & 4).

Authors Jeffries and Dyson based their claim upon reading “all news articles that pertained to the raid over a six-month period, from Dec. 4, 1969, to June 30, 1970.” This analysis included 43 articles in the Journal Star over that period, not to mention more than 545 other articles in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Daily News, Chicago Daily Defender, Maywood (IL.) Herald [hometown of Fred Hampton], The New York Times, and Washington Post.

They conclude, in part, that, “In sum, the press's treatment of the circumstances surrounding the death of Mark Clark as an afterthought has undoubtedly contributed to his marginalization in America's collective consciousness – something that serious students of politics and history alike should find unsettling.”

Among the work's annotations, they added, “Clark's lack of national distinction should not detract from viewing him as an important figure in American history. He is important because he sacrificed his life so that others may live a better life. He is important just as hundreds of civil rights workers whose names were not household words were important, but whose work made a difference in people's lives.

More PJStar Mark Clark conundrum here...

December 4, 2009