2012 Year in Review - Lifestyle
WI Staff | 12/26/2012, 9:22 a.m.
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."