The Board of Directors of the African American Arts Alliance, and the Black Excellence Awards Committee have announced the nominations for the 22nd Annual Black Excellence Awards. The Awards were established in 2002 to honor the outstanding works of art by African Americans in Theater, Dance, Music, Film, Literature, Visual Arts and Digital Media.
The awards recipients will be announced at the 22nd Annual Black Excellence Gala Awards on Monday, November 14, 2022, at the Black Ensemble Theater, located at 4450 North Clark Street. The evening begins at 6:00 pm with a lavish reception for the 2022 nominees and sponsors. The awards ceremony begins promptly at 7:00 pm. Tickets, priced at $50, are available at https://www.aaaachicago.org/.
“”The Black Excellence Awards moves the mission of the African American Arts Alliance forward by highlighting African American achievements in the arts and promoting the excellence of our artistic community,” comments AAAA Board Chair and Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor.”
African American Alliance Executive Director Jackie Williams adds, “The African American Arts Alliance is beyond excited to be back live, celebrating Black Excellence in the arts, and we invite everyone to join us for our 22nd year!”
The Black Excellence Awards provides recognition of professional African American artists for their achievements of excellence and creativity in the areas of dance, theater, film, literature, music, technology, and visual arts. More information is available at https://www.aaaachicago.org/.
The 2022 Black Excellence Awards Nominations are as follows:
Outstanding Achievement in R & B:
London Kay – London Kay
Brandon James – Brandon James
Illville Vanguard – IllVille 2022
Outstanding Achievement in Jazz:
Darrell Wilson Sax Preacher – Live at Music in the Park/Dolton IL
Special Recognition in Music:
Tony Wilson – Tribute to James Brown
Outstanding Achievement in Theater Production:
Black Ensemble Theater Company – It’s Just Like Coming to Church
Black Ensemble Theater Company – Grandma’s Jukebox
Congo Square Theatre – What to Send Up, When IT Does Down
Theater 47 – Living All Alone, the Phyllis Hyman Musical
MPAACT Ma’at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre – Pulled Punches
Outstanding Achievements for Director:
Jackie Taylor – It’s Just Like Coming to Church
Michelle Renee Bester – Grandma’s Jukebox
Daniel Bryant & Erika Ratcliff – What to Send Up, When IT Does Down
Lauren Wells Mann – Pulled Punches
John L. Ruffin Jr. – Living All Alone, the Phyllis Hyman Musical
Outstanding Achievement for Actor:
Vincent Jordan – It’s Just Like Coming to Church
Vincent Jordan – Grandma’s Jukebox
Anthony Irons – What to Send Up, When IT Does Down
Randle Michael – Living All Alone, the Phyllis Hyman Musical
Outstanding Achievement for Actress:
Dawn Bless – It’s Just Like Coming to Church
Jessica Brooks Seals – Grandma’s Jukebox
McKenzie Chinn – What to Send Up, When IT Does Down
Melanie Victoria – Pulled Punches
Liberty Clay – Living All Alone, the Phyllis Hyman Musical
Special Recognition in Theater:
Felicia P. Fields – Pearl’s Rollin’ With the Blues: A Night with Felicia P. Fields
Jerod Haynes – Two Trains Running
Kierra Bunch – Two Trains Running
Mildred Langford – Intimate Apparel
Al’Jaleel McGhee – Intimate Apparel
Ayanna Bria Bakari – Relentless
Outstanding Achievement for Dance Company Production:
Praize Productions – NINE
South Chicago Dance Theatre – An Evening with South Chicago Dance
MUNTU – MAMAYA
Outstanding Achievement for Choreographer:
Vershawn-Sanders-Ward – BLACKBIRD
Trevon Lawrence & Anthony Sampson – REACT
Kevin Iega Jeff – SURRENDER
Joel Hall – FOUR WOMEN
Special Recognition in Dance:
Muntu 50th Anniversary
Outstanding Achievement for a Gallery/Exhibition:
South Side Community Art Center – EMERGENCE – Curated by Lamar Gayles, Jr and zakkiyyah najeebah dumas o’neal
Blanc Gallery – To Whom This Ground Belongs – Curated by Jalen Hamilton
Anthony Gallery – In The Eye of the Beholder – Curated by Isimeme “Easy” Otabor
Outstanding Achievement for an Individual Artist:
Brandon Breaux – BIG WORDS
Rose Blouin – To Washington Park, with Love
Gerald Lovell – In The Eye of the Beholder
Outstanding Achievement in Digital Media:
Jewel Ifeguni – How We Got Here
Crystal Marshal – Real Talk in Jeans
Cody Mack – What’s the Word TV
Outstanding Achievement in Fiction:
Rahsaan Lewis – Forgotten Heir
Clyde David Jones – The Lost Babies of Dexter Street
Tracy Clark – What You Don’t See (A Chicago Mystery)
Outstanding Achievement in Non-Fiction:
Mark Davis – Race Traitors
Dawn Turner – Three Girls from Bronzeville
Bernard Turner – A View of Bronzeville
Outstanding Achievement in Children’s Literature:
Evan J. Roberts – Share Share Share
Darryl Harvey – What Do You Do When A Bully Picks on You?
Tony Lindsey – Almost Grown
The Black Excellence Awards, a lavish awards ceremony honoring outstanding artists and arts organizations in the categories of music, film, literature, theater, dance, visual arts, and technology is produced by the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago. The award was created to honor the voices, trailblazers, innovators, and risk takers, whose performances and works of art represent a wide representation of the arts in Chicago. The Alliance is committed to celebrating the artistic vitality of Chicago’s African American community by recognizing their excellence through The Black Excellence Awards.
The Black Excellence Committee is a 33-member committee of the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago made up of art lovers and supporters from the community. Formed in 2001, the purpose of the Black Excellence Committee is to identify outstanding African American individuals and organizations working in the arts. The membership of each committee is made up of art lovers within the Chicago community. Each committee member must serve on a sub-committee in film, music, literature, dance, theater, visual arts, or technology/digital media. Each sub-committee must identify and nominate artists for the opportunity to receive a Black Excellence Award at the Annual Black Excellence Award Gala and has judging criteria specific to their art form. To serve on the Black Excellence Committee member must have a passion for the arts and the time to experience the work of as many artists and art organizations as possible within the category.
The Black Excellence Awards Committee Members are: Tanita Abrahamson, Mike Abrantie, Alan Davis, Ernson Augustin, Allan Baldwin, Ezra Brown, Pamela Brown, Marcus Bullock, Hilda Coleman, Sylvia Dyer, Erika Flowers, Sandra Gibson, Wilburn Green, Barbara Hayes, Valeria Hubbard, Jewel Ifeguni, Ivy Jackson, Elneda Khaan, Denise Leaks, Ronald Leveston, Claudette Lewis, Portia McFarland, Barnetta Montgomery-McKinney, Lynette Moore, Alicia Moore, Rahsaan Clark Morris, Kim DuBoise Morris, Delaware Patricia, Mae Pearson, Troy Pryor, Alice Rivers, Pamela Roberts, Dara Sanders, Gwendolyn Sea, Bonnie Taylor-Williams, Gabrina Thornton, Scott Tia, Covana Washington, David Weathersby, Etta Williams, Wanda Young, and Roxanne Walton.
About the African American Arts Alliance
In 1997 a group of Chicago’s leading African American artists and arts organizations came together and formed a new organization; incorporated as the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago. This organization embraced the history of the original 1977 Chicago Black Theater Alliance while expanding their scope to include diverse groups of artistic mediums which includes theaters, dance, music, literature, film, visual arts organizations, and individuals.
The mission of the African American Art Alliance is to increase public awareness, interaction, communication and development of African American arts organizations and individuals while delivering programs that increase their visibility, marketability, stability, and sustainability.
The Board of Directors includes: President Jackie Taylor (Black Ensemble Theater, Executive Director), Vice President Runako Jahi, Jackie Williams (AAAA Chicago, Executive Director), Treasurer Wendell Etherly (Playwright), Charlique-Rolle (Congo Square Theatre, Executive Director), Chuck Smith (Goodman Theatre, Associate Director), Cheryl Lynn Bruce (Goodman Theatre), Sydney Chatman (Tofu Chitlin’ Circuit), Vershawn Sanders-Ward (Red Clay Dance), and Troy Pryor (Producer/Perfomer).
The AAAA is supported in part by the MacArthur Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, The Chicago Community Trust, Illinois Arts Council Agency, The Field Foundation of Illinois, the Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the Driehaus Foundation, the Walder Foundation, and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.
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