After airing last Sunday, GBN contributor Becky Schonbrun forwarded me links from “60 Minutes” that were labeled as inspiring “must-watch” material. So I finally did, and they most definitely are.
“Alive: 55+ and Kickin’” is a live show that was created by theater producer and former disc jockey Vy Higginsen, who has made it her mission to preserve a special part of American culture: African-American music, both gospel and popular music like soul and R&B. She found a pool of untapped talent, men and women in what she calls their “second half of life” just waiting for their chance to shine.
The music and the stories are uplifting, remarkable and definitely worth your time. To check them out for yourself, click below:
GBN volunteer Becky Schonbrun recently informed us about an inspiring program out of Chicago for at-risk youth called Storycatchers Theatre, which, according to their website, has been “preparing young people to make thoughtful life choices through the process of writing, producing and performing original musical theatre inspired by personal stories” for over 30 years.
While participating in storytelling, scriptwriting, and performance-skills residencies with Storycatchers artists, the youth participants not only get a chance to write songs, poems, stories and scenes inspired by personal experiences, they get paid to do so. The process reinforces their recognition of choices and consequences, enhancing the ability and desire of participants to make choices that lead to positive outcomes.
In November of 2013, Storycatchers received a NATIONAL ARTS & HUMANITIES YOUTH PROGRAM AWARD in recognition of its work with detained and incarcerated youth. Founder and Artistic Director Meade Palidofsky traveled to Washington DC to accept the award from First Lady Michelle Obama. The National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Awards are an initiative of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH). The President’s Committee partners with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to administer the program.
To see video of this inspiring program and to hear from the participants in their own words, click here.
“Flip For Your Fate?”, a staged reading of works in progress by Storycatchers Theatre at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, will be held on Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. Admission is free. Reservations are required.
To learn about other upcoming Storycatchers performances, click here.
GOOD BLACK NEWS proudly celebrates its fourth anniversary today, with 6,397 Facebook followers, 3,988 Twitter followers, 1,932 Tumblr followers, 653 via Pinterest, and hundreds more via Instagram, Google+, YouTube, WordPress, our RSS feed, and LinkedIn. Although initially launched on March 18, 2010 as a Facebook page (read the detailed story behind GBN’s creation here), in September 2012, GBN created this dedicated website, goodblacknews.org, which has allowed us to expand our presence on the internet and provide archives and search functions to you, our loyal readers.
In the past year, we were greatly honored to receive the 2013 Black Weblog Award for Best Political or News Blog, largely due to the support of our dedicated followers. The outpour of appreciation you’ve shown us via likes, comments, shares, reflags and e-mails means the world to us, and only inspires GBN to keep getting bigger and better. In the coming months, we aim to refresh and revise the look of goodblacknews.org once again to improve mobile access, provide more original content, and (if you sign up for it) a downloadable e-newsletter (this goal got away from us in 2013, but it’s going to be for real this time) with features such as historical spotlights, interviews, film release dates, television listings, and more.
Please keep helping us spread GBN by sharing, liking, re-tweeting and commenting, and consider joining our e-mail list via our “Contact Us” tab on goodblacknews.org. We will only use this list to keep you updated on GBN and send you our upcoming e-newsletter — nothing else. And, of course, you may opt out at any time.
GBN remains a labor of love, and our Founder/Editor-In-Chief (Lori Lakin Hutcherson), Lifestyle/Fashion Editor (Lesa Lakin) and this year’s contributors (Ashanti Hutcherson, Monika Jones, Richard Mar, Jeff Meier, Gabriel Ryder, Minsun Park, Terry Samwick, power stringer Becky Schonbrun, Arro Verse, tech consultant/web genius Andrew Lin) are all unpaid volunteers. We believe in bringing you positive news, reviews and stories of interest about black people all over the world, and greatly value your participation in continuing to build our shared vision.
Thank you again for your support, and we look forward to providing you with more Good Black News in the coming year, and beyond!