The Informer cast a wide spotlight on the vibrant arts scene in Washington, D.C. and the region. Whether it was music – hip hop, gospel, R&B, Soul, jazz – the Arts, books, movies or the latest cars, the paper presented these slices of life as only the Informer can. Among the stories: A one-night only performance by acclaimed choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones' Story/Time at Wolf Trap; the DC Jazz Festival; Filmfest DC which featured a series entitled, Caribbean Journeys; as well as an assortment of gospel extravaganzas, workshops and seminars.
Female Entrepreneur Develops Healthy, Organic Gluten-Free Cookie – Bae Gould, an African-American female entrepreneur who formerly owned a mortgage brokerage firm with her husband James, created an organic cookie that provides an enjoyable and healthy alternative to transfats, refined sugars, and flour products. The soft, moist cookies, and cookie dough is called VeggiO. Gould, who lives on Maryland's Eastern Shore with her husband, developed the nutritious, organic/natural, gluten-free cookie to promote health awareness and better eating habits for children, working families and people on the go."It's something completely different as far as my career goes," said Gould, who said that requests from family members to share her quest for healthy eating with others caused her to develop the cookie one year ago.
The "Makes-Me-Wanna-SHOUT!" 2012 Competition – Despite the chilly, rainy weather in April, hundreds of people turned up for the Makes-Me-Wanna-SHOUT! Chocolate Layer Cake Semifinals. The bakers were diverse, but for the most part, fairly young. They entered the spicy Dark Chocolate Chai Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream, traditional chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese icing, dark chocolate cake infused with cardamom, a flourless Chocolate Trio Cake that tasted more like chocolate mousse and a Malted Milk Ball Birthday Cake.
Catch – 12 – Assistant Editor Shantella Y. Sherman began a series on not-to-miss television series and their casts called Catch-12. Shows included Grimm, the return of the series Dallas, Hell on Wheels, and The Killing.
Lalla Essaydi's Revisions opens at the National Museum of African Art and staff writer Eve M. Ferguson explored work of Moroccan-born Essaydi. "Revisions" is a retrospective of Essaydi's work, from her early days as a painter through her most recent works, including a video installation piece surrounded by floor-to-ceiling gauze panels derived from her famous work, "The Three Silences."
Adidas Originals sidestepped a race relations nightmare in June – when they pulled the JS Roundhouse Mid shoe from its release. The Roundhouse Mid, a high-top purple, orange and black sneaker, is designed with a plastic ankle shackle and chains and retails for $350. Adidas released a statement saying "is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott's outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery. Any suggestion that this is linked to slavery is untruthful." Far and beyond linking the shoes to slavery, Adidas also would have promoted the type of cultural consumer pathology that many African Americans believe foster a glamorization of prison life.
Moroccan Artist Hamid Kachmar Opened "Embodiment" at the Parish Gallery and contributing writer Misty Brown examined Hamid Kachmar, a Moroccan born artist of Amazigh decent, possesses a penchant for painting and currently enjoys his third solo exhibition on display at the Parish Gallery in Georgetown. The show ran through July 31 and excited those new to the world of art as well as longtime art aficionados. The artist's most recent exhibition, "Embodiment," consisted of 16 paintings – a must see for those in need of an eye-opening experience. The 3-dimensional paintings elicit sudden gasps from viewers who long for a first-class trip to distant and unknown lands.
The Spirit of the "Con" – Special to The Informer, Derry Sexton explored the annual Chicago Comic Con, presented by Wizard World, which along with C2E2 (Chicago's Comic and Entertainment Expo). The showcase created an amazing bookend to summer entertainment. While the official tally of participants has yet to come in, it is believed that close to 70,000 comic an sci-fi fans converged on the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, many in superhero costumes, to meet their favorite artists, purchase signed artwork, and network.
Urbanworld Film Festival – The 16th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival presented by BET Networks concluded Sunday, Sept. 23, following five days of screenings, panels, red carpet events, and awards ceremonies. Urbanworld opened on Thursday night at AMC 34th Street in New York, with the BET Premiere Cinema film 'Being Mary Jane,' an original made for television movie and pilot. On hand to celebrate this world premiere was the film's lead star Gabrielle Union, along with cast members Tika Sumpter and Richard Brooks and writer/director powerhouse couple Salim and Mara Brock Akil. Having attended Urbanworld each year since its inception in 1997, it was easy to note the thematic shift this year from more male-driven and gritty coming-of-age tales to intense and cerebral human dramas.
Groove Phi Groove Celebrates 50th - This week, Chicago attorney Victor P. Henderson will join about 5,000 fellow members of Groove Phi Groove [GPhiG] in Baltimore to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Henderson, the national president, said he looks forward to the communion and marking five outstanding decades of outstanding service, brotherhood and achievement.
Caribbean Leaders Honored at Awards Dinner - Renowned pianist Monty Alexander had the audience in stitches as he received the Luminary Award at the 19th annual Caribbean American Heritage Awards. Alexander, who has regaled audiences worldwide for 50 years, broke into an excited mix of perfect English and patois, to the delight of the crowd Friday night.
"Rahtid! Mek me tell oonusometing. This is one big ting ah gwaan yah. You know what I'm saying?" he said reverting to the Queen's English. "God has had his hand on me ... This music passion, I can't explain it. Just like how we can't explain how a bird flies ... I want to thank you very much for this award and because I'm 39, I want to continue playing. Music is a healing force."
Alexander, 68, has recorded 70 albums and collaborated with the likes of Quincy Jones, Frank Sinatra, Jamaican guitarist Ernie Ranglin and Dizzy Gillespie. He is well known for his reggae jazz idiom and reinterpretation of Bob Marley classics.
Al Burts: "Passport Please" – Winner of National Art Competition Holds Solo Exhibit – The phrase, "Passport Please," is something most people frequently hear at the airport as they enter and exit foreign countries and the familiar territory of their homeland. But to Al Burts, winner of the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Semi-Final art competition, that request has a much deeper meaning.
"A passport is a person's identity, citizenship, right to protection while abroad, and right to re-enter his or her native country," Burts says in his artist's statement. "For the descendants of Africans who endured the brutality and torture of slavery and yet still stand; the definition of 'passport' is more complex than just photo identification and travel. It is a sense of inclusion in the process of finding one's destiny and purpose."