Category Archives: Connecting Thought Leaders with Socially Responsible Organizations and Communities

Diversity Night at Six Flags Sept. 9th

Out In The Park at Six Flags Great America

Returns in 2017 for Year 6!

 

A Private Night in the Park to Celebrate Diversity

Presented by MINI Cooper Chicago & BestGayChicago.com

That Will Help Benefit Howard Brown Health

Saturday, September 9th, 2017 from 7:30PM to 12AM

 

Out In The Park is an annual private diversity fundraising event featuring unlimited riding of ALL Six Flags Great America’s amazing THRILL rides (with much shorter than usual lines! The park is only 35% full!) with a portion of all ticket sales each year help benefit various non-profits. “One of the best elements of this event is that it is closed to the general public and this year our event piggy-backs a daytime corporate buyout so our attendees will be entering an EMPTY PARK!” explains Michael Snell, co-owner of BestGayChicago.com. “The LGBTQ community, their family, friends and supporters can enjoy the park with shorter lines and without homophobic or bigotry from anyone. It’s like a Fall Pride Celebration!”

 

This event started in 2012, as an LGBTQ night. In 2015 there was a huge shift in the public’s opinion on Marriage Equality and Equal Rights. (Joe Biden says Will & Grace was a huge influencer for the shift in public opinion!) Friends and allies “came out of the closet” as the showing of support more than doubled. It is for this reason, we chose to change the theme to a Celebration of Diversity. People of any color, size, body type, gender, gender expression(s), and sexual orientation are all welcome. Bullies and Bigotry will not be tolerated.

 

It’s important to us that everyone—no matter who you are, how you identify, or where you’re from—feel comfortable and confident. Our message is simple: You are welcome here.

Singer, model, author SIR JET will do a meet and greet in the parking lot at 7pm, as we await the gates to open for the evening. Then he will perform live at 1:30am, at Charlie’s, the host of the Official After Party! 3726 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60613. $5 cover.

In an interview with ChicagoPride.com: “We are very excited that this private night for charity continues to grow every year and we have gifted over $40,000 to various groups,” said Derrick Sorles, Snell’s husband of 18 years and business partner,

 

 

“We are honored that some of our peers including GRAB Magazine, ChicagoPride.com as well as Our Lives Madison and QUEST Magazine in Wisconsin also help us by donating advertising space for this event! It’s truly a community event where everyone comes together for the greater good!” says Derrick Sorles.

 

Advance $42 tickets can be purchased NOW at www.CelebrateDiversityChicago.com

Attendees get FREE parking for this special event! September 5th the price goes up to $47.

$52 at the gate, IF AVAILABLE.

This event is capped at only 5,000 tickets, to ensure lines stay short for the rides.

Season Passes cannot be honored for special events. All ages event.

Drinks are available for purchase to those 21+

Cirque du Soleil Mural for Chicago

Cirque du Soleil  recently announced a partnership with Columbia College Chicago and the Wabash Arts Corridor (WAC) that will add a new public mural downtown in honor of the city’s Year of Public Art. Local artist Gloria “Gloe” Talamantes is creating the mural, commissioned by Cirque du Soleil and inspired by its highly acclaimed production LUZIA, currently playing a limited engagement in Chicago through Sept. 3.

 

The Cirque du Soleil-commissioned mural is an addition to WAC’s 40+ murals in the South Loop neighborhood. It will also kick off this year’s public art exhibition Street Level, which will unveil eight new murals that will be presented at street level and highlight a diverse range of artists at the local, national, and international level.

 

The mural was  unveiled  this week,  on the western façade of Columbia’s 33 E. Congress Parkway.

 

“We are happy to give this artistic gift to Chicago for its Year of Public Art,” said Claudine Rivard, Company Manager of Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA. “This is a way for Cirque du Soleil to thank the city and its residents for all of their support, not just for LUZIA, but for embracing our artists and crews for over 17 productions across 28 years.”

 

Having started as a troupe of street performance artists 33 years ago, Cirque du Soleil is always looking for ways to give back to the local communities it visits, either through its social action programs or through art. The LUZIA mural project in partnership with WAC and Talamantes will permanently add the signature joy and color of Cirque du Soleil to Chicago’s greatest concentration of street art.

“Chicago is one of the top destinations in the world for public art,” said DCASE Commissioner Mark Kelly. “It is fitting that acclaimed international arts organization Cirque du Soleil has commissioned one of Chicago’s own artists for the Year of Public Art. This new mural brings additional vibrancy to the growing Wabash Arts Corridor.”

 

“Chicago’s dedication to public art is deeply rooted in the city’s history,” said Neysa Page-Lieberman, WAC’s Chief Curator and the Executive Director of Columbia’s Department of Exhibitions and Performance Spaces. “Columbia and WAC continue the tradition each year in producing, supporting, and engaging Chicagoans and visitors with vital arts and programming. The scope of Chicago’s public art will flourish from the recognition and support by the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil.”

 

About the mural

Artist Gloria “Gloe” Talamantes’ style of work suits the project perfectly, and in creating the mural, she combines inspiration from LUZIA with her Mexican heritage.

“I created wispy butterfly wings that carry flowers adorned with motifs inspired by my roots and culture,” said Talamantes. “The design inspiration comes from my family heirlooms, carpetas tejidas, the delicate and intricate original crocheted designs of my grandmother and great grandmother. After watching some of LUZIA, I reflected on the massive red papel picado that was used in one of the scenes; it immediately made me think of the many designs that make up my grandma’s doilies.”

The dripping effect at the bottom of the mural is a direct reflection of the water scenes in LUZIA, the first Cirque du Soleil show to incorporate water into artistic and acrobatic scenes.

“I wanted to create a subtle resemblance to the water while keeping it connected to my graffiti roots,” said Talamantes. “Drips are common and often the most enjoyable parts of ink tags and natural spray paint abstracts when doing stylized letters. It is important for me to stay true to my Mexican and Graffiti culture, for the two have been an integral part of my life and visual art.”

 

About LUZIA by Cirque du Soleil

LUZIA takes you to an imaginary Mexico, like in a waking dream, where light (“luz” in Spanish) quenches the spirit and rain (“lluvia”) soothes the soul. In a series of grand visual surprises and breathtaking acrobatic performances, LUZIA invites audiences to escape on a surrealistic journey through a sumptuous and vibrant world suspended somewhere between dreams and reality. Smoothly passing from an old movie set to the ocean to a smoky dance hall or an arid desert, LUZIA cleverly brings to the stage multiple places, faces and sounds of Mexico taken from both tradition and modernity. Rich in awe-inspiring moments, LUZIA enchants by incorporating rain into acrobatic and artistic scenes – a first for a Cirque du Soleil touring production.

 

LUZIA is Cirque du Soleil’s 38th original production since 1984, and its 17th show presented under the Big Top. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 160 million spectators in more than 400 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.

FINAL  DAYS!!

LUZIA is now playing in Chicago through Sept. 3, 2017, under the Big Top in the United Center parking lot. For show and ticket information, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/luzia.

 

Follow #LUZIA and #cirquedusoleil on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

 

Cooking with Chef Tong August 5th

COOKING WITH CHEF TONG!

Chef Christopher Tong, of My Private Chef, will share his culinary
expertise as he presents a cooking demonstration featuring locally
produced seasonal ingredients offered by the Green City Market

The demonstration is on Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.

You will learn how to prepare Chef Tong’s delicious recipe, and, of course,
be able to taste it on the spot.
The Green City Market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park
between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark).
The event is free.

 

For more information about My Private Chef, contact Event Services at 773.370.8131 or visit our web site: www.myprivatechef.net

 

The story behind the Market….After visiting European sustainable farmer’s markets in 1998, Abby Mandel, chef, author, and entrepreneur, returned to Chicago determined to create a similar market in her own city. Green City Market was her brainchild and began as a small startup with nine local farmers in the crosswalk next to the Chicago Theatre. The Market quickly outgrew the location and moved to the south end of Lincoln Park where it currently operates May – October. In 2008, the Green City Market became year round, remaining open November-April, first in the Lincoln Park Zoo and now in The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

The message has come through loud and clear: Chicago wants and needs a year round farmers market and, most importantly, one that supports local farmers and sustainable agricultural practices. The Market continues to experience crowds of over 175,000 visitors per year. From that first year in 1998 next to the Chicago Theatre to the present time, Green City Market has morphed into Chicago’s most vital farmers market. Industry leader Alice Waters calls it “the best sustainable market in the country.”

Green City Market showcases sustainable practices and is proud to be the first farmers market in the country to require all of its farmers to be certified by a nationally recognized 3rd party agency. Our farmers preserve the land and their growing practices make Green City Market a vital food and environmental enterprise.

Green City Market’s incredible momentum comes from our broad base of support, including conscientious and caring farmers and producers, consumers, chefs, restaurateurs, and other culinary professionals. By supporting local artisan farmers and producers Green City Market increases the density of fresh, high-quality, locally produced food in Chicago, and provides the basis for a regional cuisine.

The Chicago SkyLine Project

chicago-skyline-cabin-602x429

Imagine sitting in a sleek, modern-day cable car zipping over the Chicago River to Navy Pier, perhaps even Millennium Park.

Well, a couple of local businessmen want to see the sky-high idea, which has been in the works a few years, finally become a reality. Calling it “The Skyline,” Laurence Geller and Lou Raizin   claim  it could become a tourism centerpiece. Both men sit on the board of directors for Choose Chicago, the city’s not-for-profit convention and tourism bureau.

ct-gondolas-skyline

Designed to showcase the city’s rich architectural heritage, the system would have stations positioned near to millennium park and michigan avenue, encouraging visitors to explore the city without the use of cars. the architects claim that moving people to and from navy pier would not only help ensure its position as the city’s top tourist destination, but also energize the riverwalk and its adjacent public spaces.

The system is designed to carry up to 3,000 people per hour — at 800 feet/minute (4 m/sec) — in each direction along the river. according to the chicago tribune, the route would offer 30 minute tours, 17 storeys above the water from wacker drive and lake street on the west and to navy pier on the east. a station at columbus drive would be the closest to millennium park. the cost per journey is estimated to be comparable to tickets for the observation decks at the willis tower and john hancock center, which are around $20 USD. the project is currently in its initial stages, and will seek local approval at a later date.  Watch the video rendering  HERE

Uptown Chicago Tent City Starter Kits

uptown chicago tent city

From Alderman James Cappleman –

I have worked hard to encourage the City of Chicago to adopt a housing first model to reduce the number of people living with homelessness after noticing its success in other parts of the country. This strategy works best when two components are in place: a sufficient amount of subsidized housing coupled with wrap-around services. The most difficult piece to this model is having a dedicated source of funding to make an investment for long-term cost savings. I’m working with Mayor Emanuel to have a steady stream of funds available so that we can remain focused on housing. Some of this funding will be through a 4% surcharge for a new Airbnb Ordinance and there will be some additional funding coming from the Clarendon-Montrose TIF development.

Our pilot program to get 70 people living under the viaducts along Lake Shore Drive directly into housing is now underway. We have had a number of meetings with housing advocates, the folks living under the viaducts, city departments, and other community leaders to create a plan that will work. After all of these individuals without homes are in their new apartments, the Dept. of Family & Support Services (DFSS) will assess what worked well with this project and where improvements can be made. Afterwards, DFSS will select more areas throughout the city where people are living outside in encampments to implement this housing-first strategy.

 

How You Can Help

 
I’ve asked Inspiration Corporation to help me with a “New Home Starter Kit” drive. This starter kit will provide these 70 individuals going into new apartments with some of the needed supplies to start life in their new homes. To organize this process of purchasing this starter kit, my office has created a registry with Target. If you’re able to help, please click here to go to the registry and purchase needed items that will assist these individuals start their new life in an apartment. Inspiration Corporation will host a day at their Uptown headquarters where you will be invited to help put these starter kits together so that they can be distributed.

A substantial number of people living on the streets have told me that they became homeless right after they were released from Cook County Jail with no employment or disability in place and no family available to help them start over again. Without these necessary supports in place, it’s no wonder why we have such a high recidivism rate in our prisons. Later this month, I will be meeting with Cook County Sheriff Dart’s Office, DFSS, and the Dept. of Public Health to discuss how a more effective transition could be made when people are released from jail.

I am pleased that so much is coming together to help those in need. It’s a very complex process, but lasting solutions require thoughtful planning with everyone working together.

Best,

Mothers Day Contest

mothers day contest

Countdown to Mother’s Day!

Very seldom in life do we meet people with such amazing gifts that we are left stunned. Earnestine Robinson is one of those rare people. She is able to create music so intricate, many consider it impossible to do without a background in music. Despite no formal music training, with her faith and family, she rises from humble southern roots to become an unlikely composer of classical music that takes her all the way to Carnegie Hall and to a world premiere in Europe.

Earnestine does not question her source. She trusts God to guide her and just continues to create extraordinary music that has taken her all the way to Carnegie Hall three times.
While some stories are interesting and others explore and push the reader to think, it is usually the inspirational stories that touch the soul. Her book “Driven by Faith” is a “must-read” for anyone who has struggled to answer the question, “Why am I here?”

Earnestine’s gift is more than just creating some of the most beautiful music you will ever hear. It’s also about family, faith and giving back. To this end, Earnestine and her family are holding a contest, one that could include you and your mother.

Join us for this very unique “Countdown to Mother’s Day!”

1. Submit in 500 words or less your special Mother’s Day story.It can be funny, sentimental, bold or all of these and more. Submit HERE.

2. Each day, prior to Mother’s Day, come back and share special thoughts you have on the upcoming special day on Earnestine’s timeline on Facebook.

3. Share your thoughts with all your friends.

The first 100 people to actively post on Earnestine’s timeline will win the opportunity to participate in a special live, online Earnestine Robinson Master Class. She will discuss and take questions on how to find your purpose and the role of faith in reaching your destiny.

On Mother’s Day, three winners will be chosen and each receive a $100 gift card from Amazon and a copy of Earnestine’s book “Driven By Faith”. Each of the stories will be posted on Earnestine’s Facebook page.

Make this your best Mother’s Day ever!

World of Chocolate 2014 Benefit

world of chocolate chicago

THE BEST EVENT OF THE HOLIDAY SEASON!

The air is getting colder and the holidays are near! With great cheer, we invite you to World of Chocolate. This festive tasting event benefitting the AIDS Foundation of Chicago is our annual commemoration of World AIDS Day.

Guests enjoy an open bar and rich chocolate delights from some of Chicago’s most creative and talented culinarians.

We are overjoyed to be hosting World of Chocolate again in the magnificent Great Hall of Union Station on Thursday, December 4.

Purchase your tickets online and savor the sweet satisfaction of making a difference!

Peace, love, sugar & spice,
-The World of Chocolate Architects

P.S. Keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter. Get exclusive insight into the making of World of Chocolate and a sneak peek at what our culinarians have to offer!

Social and Professional, Creative idea-Exchange

authors roundtable chicago melissa wilson

Join Melissa G Wilson and Four Great Authors for an Invigorating Evening with the Written Word!

When: Wednesday, October 15th, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Where: Space (a most unique connection space!) 444 N Wabash, Chicago, IL, 5th floor


Have you been longing for a fun, more connective way of meeting new people?

Do you like to learn new things in a warm, inviting social setting?

Are you ready for a very unique, interactive experience?

Then you will want attend this first of its kind authors roundtable adventure.

What to Expect

  • You will start by arriving at 5:30 where you will meet me as one of your hosts as well as other hosts who will introduce you around the room to others attending as well as the authors.
  • At 6:00 p.m. We will have a brief introduction to the authors and their tables of conversation around each of their books.
  • At 6:30 you will choose your first table to sit down at. Note that once a table is full you will have to go to one that has openings. At your table you will get the chance to not only listen to the author’s overview of his or her subject but also get to meet the other participants at your table and exchange ideas and ask questions to create great, stimulating conversation.
  • At 7:00 you will again switch to another table of your choice and, once again, meet new people and have create a great exchange of ideas.
  • At 7:30 you will have your third and final opportunity to sit down and converse with an author.
  • From 7:30 – 8:00 we will have an open room conversation sharing the insights and highlights from the authors and you and the other participants.
Note: This event is not just for other writers or people who want to be authors. It’s a social and professional, creative idea-exchange. My goal is to provide an environment where you can experience what I hope will be a more rich and beneficial way to connect to other.
Did I Hear Food and Wine?
We will have a nice amount of both red and white wines as well as water. However, if you wish to drink something else feel free to BYOB (eg your own fun wine or beer to share).
Food? We will have tasty and healthy food (and some sweets) to hopefully satisfy your hunger. It won’t be a heavy dinner but one that we think will be sufficient. Again, if you wish to bring something for yourself that would be just fine and/or something to share.
Charity
Anyone who knows me knows that I am about paying it forward and giving back. So, with this in mind half of the money made this evening will go to a very worthy cause called A Silver Lining Foundation. This organization ensures dignified, respectful and equal access to quality cancer education and services for all and is located right here in Chicago.
Our Great Roster of Authors

Craig S Wilson, Author of Dating for Life (www.datingforlife.com)

John St. Augustine, Author of Notes from the North, Living an Uncommon Life and Every Moment Matter (www.johnstaugustine)
Dan Tepke, Author of Hatching Your Million Dollar Business (www.hatchingyourmilliondollarbusiness.com)
Dan Weinfurter, Author of Second Stage Entrepreneurship (www.danweinfurter.com)
Mike Klein, Author of Million Dollar Sales Conversations (www.mikekleinauthor.com)
What’s Next?
We hope to make this a regular event so let us know what you would recommend to make it even better once you have had the opportunity to experience it!
Maestro of the Event
Melissa G Wilson, Author of Networlding and 15 other books on leadership, networking, social media and publishing (www.networlding.com)
FINAL NOTE! – Only a few seats available for the optimum connective experience!

 

DIVVY Bike Sharing Program for Chicago Launches in June

When I was Paris  France a couple years ago, I thought their  bike rental program was pretty cool, with rental stations all over the city. 

Now, Chicago launches DIVVY bike sharing program , that will allow people to use bikes for $75 a year!

Divvy is expected to launch downtown around Bike to Work Day on June 14, with about 75 stations.
  By 2014, they want to have 400  stations all over the city. 

Now dubbed “Divvy” to reflect the nature of bike sharing, the program is launching more than 28 kiosks
where Lake View neighbors can pick up bicycles. The new cycles will
also be painted the iconic “Chicago Blue” to “provide a high level of
visibility on the street,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. 
How cool is that?!

Chicago Low Wage Workers STRIKE Today

EARLIER THIS MONTH  lower wage workers in New York City striked – today, it was Chicago’s turn.  Workers at McDonalds, Macy’s, Sear’s, Victoria Secrets  and Subway took to the picket lines!

WAGES IN OUR COUNTRY truly do suck! And I for one am happy to see people fighting back. It is almost impossible to find a job for $10-$15. And event at $15 an hour, that is barely a livable wage. 

Hundreds of employees from stores
 walked off the job today in Chicago for higher wages, three
weeks after a similar strike by fast-food workers in New York.

The employees marched in the Chicago Loop and near the
Magnificent Mile shopping area, calling for $15-an-hour pay,
82 percent more than the state’s minimum wage, and the right to
form a union without intimidation. The one-day strike was
arranged by the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago, a group
of retail and food workers, according to a statement yesterday. 

There are more than 2.9 million food preparation and
serving workers in the U.S., including those who work at fast-
food restaurants, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics in May. The median wage for those workers is $8.78 an
hour, or about $18,260 a year, the data shows.  MOST BUSINESSES would only have raise the price of items by pennies, to make up for a better wage!
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