I am pleased to share with you this condensed annual report for fiscal year 2015. We have put together a few of Tobacco Road Inc.’s achievements from 2015 to highlight how your donations made a difference in the lives of people in the Bronzeville neighborhood and surrounding area. We are happy to enjoy the partnership of master class presenters as well as industry professionals that generously give their time, expertise and access to resources for your students.
I encourage you to visit our website, www.broadwayinbronzeville.com . There you will learn the history of the Harold Washington Cultural Center and all it has to offer. I also encourage you to stay up-to-date with Tobacco Road’s achievements by reading our quarterly newsletter that is emailed out through our constant contact.
I am excited about what 2015 has in store for Tobacco Road, Inc., and I hope that you share in my excitement! Thank you for your continued support and generosity!
Jimalita Hunter,Executive Director
Tobacco Road, Inc.
OUR MISSION Tobacco Road, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect the rich, diverse culture, and history of African Americans through the education and professional development of Chicago’s youth.
We provide, free of charge, a number of visual and performing arts programs and opportunities at the Harold Washington Cultural Center. Our mantra is to keep the children Off the Streets and on the Stage (OTS). We utilize theater as therapy and grief counseling through our Broadway in Bronzeville series.
These are pictures from our dance classes, the students that went to the Tony Awards in June of 2015.
The Harold Washington Cultural Center participated in:
the Cultural Data Project
Ingenuity Arts Engagement
Last year we engaged 1,100 students that were homeless through field trip and out of school time activities this year we increased that number by 700.
Last year we engage 400 special needs families through donated and discount tickets this year we impacted 675 non duplicated.
Last year out of 40 girls that were high risk for teenage pregnancy during the summer time 40 did not get pregnant because we kept them engaged in the arts this year we increased that number by 20 girls totaling 60.
Last year we had 60 young men that participated in our summer program and none fell victim to gun violence or arrest. This year thanks to partnerships with becoming a man and my brothers keeper we increased that to 140 young men.
Last year out of 100 students in our summer program only 38 were exposed firsthand to gun violence (down from 62 the previous year). This year we saw an increase in exposure and provided more programming to allow them an outlet to discuss their feelings.
We have added the following arts partners:
Stick and Move, Hip Hop Connexion, Red Clay, Iona Calhoun School of Ballet, Lanita Joseph Dance, and Ayodele Drumming and dance. This is our way of providing opportunity for young people to get exposure right in their community.
We are a part of the Fosse Institute and hosted several Bob Fosse workshops. This was amazing as we worked closely with Amudsen HS on Chicago’s north side.
This year our season included:
Great Migration, Supreme Love, Broadway Soul, Ebony Scrooge
We were home to over 19 school graduations and luncheons.
Finally we advocated on capital hill for Arts Advocacy day.
SHARING EXPERTISE Tobacco Road, Inc. works closely with industry professionals, colleges and universities to present master classes to our program participants and the community. This prepares them for what to expect at the post-secondary and career level.
Through the Harold Washington Cultural Center we support businesses in the area, train and employ from the community in theater and performing arts, as well as arts advocacy and legislation. Our programs stress the importance of the study of the arts for practical application. By doing so, our program participants are value added to fine arts programs and come with professional portfolios in entrepreneurship, recording arts and science, set design, and theater management.
Commemorating 11 Years We continue to pursue our vision for the Harold Washington Cultural Center to be a creative facilityt that values the arts for their intrinsic qualities, their contributions to building a more inclusive and resilient society, their support for making the city an exciting place to live and an attractive destination for business and tourism. We will be an intricate component of the Presidential Library.
In 2015, the Harold Washington Cultural Center’s activity in national programming for the arts expanded. Our role as a cultural leader was particularly evident, as demonstrated by the organization’s major involvement in the celebratory events and activities. We actively participated in the League of Chicago Theaters (of national status), operated within the Chicago cultural MAP to provide arts instruction to over 25,000 students in Chicago. In keeping with this focus, we took on more active roles in the Green Theater Alliance, Cultural Data Plan, and Ingenuity.
We expanded the Broadway in Bronzeville series, making it possible for original bodies of musical theater to be presented as one the largest community theater in the city of Chicago.
Producing the following shows:
Miracle on 47th Street
Imitation of Life
Lean On Me
Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy – supporting through our artistic economic outreach.
Broadway in Chicago – providing first look opportunity for our students with the Comcast behind the stage programs.
Prologue Charter Schools-providing workshops and seminars for schools and arts professionals free to expose them to new bodies of work.
After School Matters - sponsoring their year-end culminating program. We are also an After School Matters location for our summer intercession of Off the Streets On the Stage (Run the Show Program).
Actors Equality Association.
Chicago Federation of Musicians
ENDURE Productions is a non-profit organization committed to using a faith-based approach to the performing arts to create career opportunities and increase access for underprivileged youth and adults in the Chicago metropolitan area.
All ENDURE Productions programs offer participants access to professional performing arts training, job shadowing, and mentoring that develops their artistic skills and allow them to explore the possibility of pursuing careers as professional musicians, dancers, etc.
Broadway in Bronzeville Productions is the Harold Washington Cultural Center’s in house production company. The mission of Broadway in Bronzeville Productions is to service the community of Chicago by providing an outlet for aspiring artist to develop their craft though the production of live theater. Our motto is “Off the streets and on the stage”.
M.A.D.D. RHYTHMS is a phenomenal TAP dance collective whose “SOLE” purpose is to spread the Love and Joy of TAP worldwide. What started as Bril Barrett’s formula for giving back, is now a fullfledged performing arts company, quickly gaining a reputation for representing the true essence of tap: RHYTHM! The company is composed of young, versatile tap dancers from all over Chicago. Their ages range from 18 to 33, and their backgrounds are as equally diverse. The one thing they all have in common is a love for “the dance”.
Ayodele Drum and Dance
Ayodele Drum and Dance exists to foster community from a feminine perspective through the study and performance of diasporic African drum and dance.
Ayodele, a Yoruba word meaning “Joy in the home", is now a diverse sister-circle of performing artists committed to studying and performing drum and dance as a healing element. We’ve grown from that circle of seven to over twenty Queens who use African drum and dance to educate and motivate young women and children.
Lanita Joseph Dance Academy
LaNita Joseph Dance & Cultural Center is a non-for profit performance/educational group that promotes a positive self-image through theater art, media, poetry and dance. Our performances are as original and innovative as they are dynamic and conceptually strong. We always have a positive message and our goal is to inspire individuals to find who they are and just be. Our goal is to expose as many people as possible to this message, especially women, LGBTQ community people of color and in urban communities.
Stick and Move
Stick and Move Youth Crew is a youth dance company specializing in breakdance, acrobatics, choreography, popping, and more. Founded in January of 2015 by Jonathan "InLight" St. Clair, the SMYC was designed for children that have a very strong affinity for dance and a very strong desire to realize their potential as an artist. The methodology Jonathan employs was created with the participant's wholistic development in mind, so the program is dense with transferrable skills that can be applied across life for their advantage.
Though the SMYC is a vehicle where young dancers can have fun developing into thriving professional artists, it's a co-product of the other priority of grooming the participants to be good, well-rounded, responsible, members of society. This way, they are responsible with the attention that their incredible talents will warrant and make good choices as they navigate through their lives.
Cassandra Bell Studios
Cassandra Bell Studios is a production company of new media, performing arts, film, and television programming. It is a self-motivated and creative company specializing in inspirational productions and entertainment. The company’s owner Cassandra Bell established this company in March of 2009 to give up &coming talent a platform to enter into professional theater. She carries many titles such as Director/Producer/Playwright/Choreographer/ Dancer /Actress.
Cassandra‘s belief is in working within the community to cultivate and build talent. She is known as the “Kiddies Director” due to her ability to work with large amount of children talent patiently and effectively, in creating large theatrical productions. She has forged a mission of positivity and her most famous quote, “I do drama but I don’t do drama,” keeps her moving forward to create memorable productions for public enjoyment.
Programs We provide intergenerational programming through our workshops, seminars, and fieldtrips. Students are trained on live professional theater performance, audience development, and hospitality. Our apprenticeship program includes a small stipend and resets every 15 weeks.
The age groups were serve are broken out into four areas:
Primary (ages 5 - 9)
Intermediate (ages 10 - 14)
Pre-apprentice (ages 15 - 20)
Intern/Professional Development (ages 21 and older)
Auditioning and Character Development
Body and Motion
Recording Arts and Science
Thank You Volunteers!! Our volunteers made a vital contribution to the work of Off the Streets on the Stage, Broadway Bootcamp summer, and Broadway in Bronzeville. In the 2015, special Project Y.O.U., under the direction of Lisa R. Muhammad, volunteers operated from the Harold Washington Cultural Center foyer, assisting visitors with information about upcoming activities. All these volunteers are a major support to the organization.
Thank You Donors!! Our sponsors and donors again provided generous support for the centers activities. During the year, we welcomed the IACA, the new principle sponsor for the Harold Washington Cultural Center Broadway Bootcamp for the 2015 summer. We are grateful for the extent of donations, including monetary donations by private individuals such as longstanding donor Quinton Primo III, John Rogers Jr. and Avis Lavelle.
Also, thank you to the performing artists and their families that donated their time, Cassandra Bell Studios, Tyler Perry Studios, and Broadway in Chicago. We are fortunate to enjoy the support of many many others. You help make our center a success.
Thank You Board of Directors!! Thank you to our hardworking Board members, who provide direction and guidance to the center throughout the year.
Board of Directors
Otis Clay, Board President Entertainer, Multi-platinum gospel & soul recording artist
Janie Bennett, Vice President
Lorraine Jeter, Treasurer Community Representative
Brenda Ramsey, Secretary Community Representative
Dorothy Bordeaux, Trustee
William Gray, Trustee
Terry Bell, Trustee
Rev. Maceo Woods, Trustee
For additional details on Community Outreach please visit our website, www.broadwayinbronzeville.com .