Category: Arts

Maywood Fine Arts Is Finalist for $100K Grant


Maywood Fine Arts dancers during a rehearsal earlier this year. | File

Friday, May 26, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews

Eleven nonprofits in the Chicago area are finalists to receive six $100,000 grants from the Impact 100 Chicago, a women’s philanthropic organization, according to a statement released by the nonprofit on May 22.

Among those finalists is Maywood Fine Arts, the venerable Maywood-based nonprofit that’s been providing lessons in music, dance, visual arts, marshal arts and other areas for 50 years.

Impact 100 officials said that more than 200 nonprofits in the Chicago area applied for the grants during the 2016-17 cycle.

“After comprehensive reviews and site visits by Impact 100 Chicago committees, these nonprofit finalists will present at Impact 100 Chicago’s annual Grant Award Celebrations in May and June,” the statement read.

“We are so impressed by the tremendous work conducted by our nonprofit applicants to improve the lives of disadvantaged individuals right here in the Chicagoland area,” said Michele Polvere, Impact 100’s board chair co-founder.

“We congratulate all of our finalists and are so excited to help these organizations turn their projects into reality – projects that help the under-served in our local communities.”

According to the statement, Impact 100 members combine their $1,000 membership donations before voting to select the grant winners. Those nonprofit finalists that don’t win the $100,000 grants will receive merit grants.

“Since its inception in 2010, Impact 100 Chicago has awarded more than $2 million in high impact grants that have a transformative effect on the receiving organizations and those they serve,” the statement reads.

For more information about Impact 100 Chicago, click here or email

Nonprofits interested in applying for a grant during the 2017-2018 cycle can view more about our process by clicking here. Nonprofit letters of inquiry will be accepted in fall 2017.

The finalists for the 2016-17 $100,000 grants are:

• Brighton Park Neighborhood Council

• Cabrini Green Legal Aid

• CASA of Cook County

• Chicago Debate Commission

• Chicago House and Social Service Agencies

• Evanston Scholars

• Eversight Illinois

• Juvenile Protective Association (JPA)

• Logan Square Neighborhood Association

• Maywood Fine Arts Association

• The People’s Music School

MFA AD_April 2017



Antoine Fuqua Developing Film on Maywood Native Fred Hampton


Slain Black Panther Fred Hampton, whose life will be turned into a movie by director Antoine Fuqua, pictured below. | Wikipedia 

Antoine_FuquaThursday, May 11, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Antoine Fuqua, the Academy Award-winning director of Training Day, is developing a film about Maywood native and Black Panther icon Fred Hampton, according to numerous media reports. Deadline Hollywood broke the story.

“The untitled movie is a passion project for Fuqua,” reported Variety. “It’s based on Jeffrey Haas’ book ‘The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther,’ which has been adapted by Chris Smith.”

Hampton was assassinated in 1969 by a tactical unit comprising FBI agents and Chicago police officers, who were carrying out orders given by the Cook County State’s Attorney. After his death, a 1982 civil lawsuit, filed by family members of Hampton and slain Panther Mark Clark, resulted in a settlement worth nearly $2 million.

The Village Free Press first reported about the prospects of a Fuqua film made about Hampton in December 2015.

Hampton’s brother, Maywood resident and park district commissioner Bill Hampton, said at the time that production conversations would begin in January 2016, although he didn’t know a precise timeline for the film’s completion. Hampton said at the time that the film would be loosely based on Haas’ book.

Hampton said at the time that he hopes filming takes place in Maywood, as well as in places in Chicago. He was also hopeful that the film would hire local actors.

“It will be based on Fred’s life all the way up to his death,” Hampton said, adding that he didn’t know which actor will be tapped to play the role of his larger than life brother. VFP

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MFA AD_April 2017

Artwork of Local Proviso Students Featured in Community Exhibits

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Artwork created by one of numerous Proviso Township High Schools students on display during Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine’s Black History Month Exhibition. | Proviso Township High Schools District 209 

Proviso student artworkMonday, March 13, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews

[Proviso Township High Schools District 209] Proviso East and PMSA artists had their work represented in two community art exhibits this past month.

The Triton College Annual High School Show and the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine’s Black History Month exhibition. Triton College, in River Gove, held their reception on Feb. 15. Proviso East had 27 participants, including:

Jala Reid, Cynthia Perra, Amari Johnson, Dominique Wallace, Javonte Dunbar, Kurt Sturgill, Daria Maritnez, Zahory Verdin, Chastity Williams, Jared Charo, Nayelli Mendoza Palomares, Jocelyn Gonzales, Elvin Cortez, Fatima Morales, Brian Barraza, Kevin Stoletto, Jonathan Reyes, Lillian Lopez, Kianna Walker, Gerrund Caffie, Gregorio Velazquez, Andy Miranda, Isabel Saucedo, Keisha Hood, Celeste Loya, Emmy Carpena and Leila Tellez.

PMSA had 10 participants: Elena Buenrostro, Jailene Mireles , Justin Blaylock, Ariadna Perez-Davila, Cynthia Suaste, Nyah Peaches, Lucas Rosa, Melanie Hernandez, Jennifer Orozco and Van Ma.

In celebration of Black History Month, the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine hosted an artwork contest with the theme, “Aspire to equality and justice.”

The students who participated in the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine Student Art Contest were from Maywood and surrounding areas.

On Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, a reception honoring the exhibiting artists was held at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine where their art was displayed. Many students from Proviso East and PMSA submitted their artwork.

The following Proviso East High School artists participated in the artwork contest:

Kiana Walker, Jay’lan Crout, Gerrund Caffie, Gregorio Velazquez, Malcome Ross, Brian Barraza, LaDashia Fields, Laura Avila, Kennedy Jackson and Nya Mitchell.

Marcia La Porte, Fine Arts and World Languages department chair, stated, “We are all very proud of our students’ hard work and dedication to their own creative process. We appreciate these local opportunities to showcase the finished product.”

La Porte also thanked visual arts instructors at Proviso East High School, who include Allison Hardiman, Daphne Hill, and Felicity Rich. VFP

For more photos, click here.

 P A I D  A D V E R T I S E M E N T S


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Stairway of the Stars and Maywood Fine Arts Present ‘Sleeping Beauty’


Thursday, March 2, 2017 || By Community Editor || PAID POSTING

It’s one of the most famous classical ballets in the world. First performed in Russia in 1890, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ has been exciting audiences the world over ever since. This month, it touches down in your area.

Stairway of the Stars & Maywood Fine Arts present Classical Ballet for New Audiences “Sleeping Beauty” on March 25, 7 p.m., at Trinity High School, 7574 W. Division, River Forest. Tickets are now available at Maywood Fine Arts and Stairway of the Stars! For more info, click hereVFP


Maywood Native Nominated for Grammy Award


Screenshot of a YouTube video of Todd Dulaney performing “Victory Belongs to Jesus (Live),” from his Grammy-nominated album “A Worshiper’s Heart.” 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 || By Local News Curator || @maywoodnews

A Maywood native has been nominated for a Grammy Award for the Best Gospel Album of the Year.

Todd Dulaney, 33, is nominated for his album “A Worshiper’s Heart [Live].” He’s up against Tim Bowman, Jr. (“Listen”), Shirley Caesar (“Fill This House”), Kirk Franklin (“Losing My Religion”) and William Murphy (“Demonstrate [Live]”).

For a full list of the nominees, click here. The Grammy Awards will air live on CBS on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET.

According to the bio on Dulaney’s website, the artist “grew up as a singer and an elite athlete. After graduating from high school in 2001, Dulaney was drafted from Community College in Mt. Carmel, IL, by the New York Mets to pursue a professional baseball career.


“While refining his athletic skills, Dulaney realized that there was a higher calling upon his life. He accepted an invitation to travel and perform background vocals for gospel artist and Grammy winner Smokie Norful.”

Dulaney, who attends Living Word Christian Center in Forest Park, has worked and shared the stage with a variety of high-profile entertainers and musicians, including Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Tye Tribett, Donnie McClurkin and Michelle Williams.

He’s also made appearances on multiple national and international platforms, including BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel, TBN “Praise the Lord”, 15th Street Live, Atlanta Gospel Live and BBTV.

Dulaney is a 5-time Stellar Award nominee and was been nominated for a Dove Award in 2016. To read more about the Maywood native, click here and here. VFP

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On Eve of Trump Inauguration, Maywood Dancers Spotlight Hope


Maywood Fine Arts dancers outside of the organization’s Fifth Avenue dance studio, Stairway of the Stars, on Thursday. | Below, MFA co-founder Lois Baumann sports an Obama ‘Change’ t-shirt inside of the studio. || Shanel Romain/VFP

maywood-fine-arts_viThursday, January 19, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 11:37 p.m.

Earlier this evening, dozens of dancers from Maywood Fine Arts gathered outside of the organization’s bright, new Fifth Avenue dance studio, Stairway of the Stars, and held out electric candles.

The demonstration was part of a nationwide campaign called the “Ghostlight Project,” during which arts and theater supporters in time zones across the country gathered at 5:30 p.m. today to make a pledge “to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation,” according to the project’s website.

“Theaters across the country have what’s called a ‘ghostlight,’ so that anyone who comes to the stage after hours, [when the theater is dark], can feel welcome,” said MFA board member Spooner Baumann.

Baumann said that MFA, along with the thousands of arts organizations taking part in this evening’s demonstration, is fighting for those open values ahead of the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.


During last year’s presidential campaign, Trump routinely courted controversy with tweets, statements, gestures and policy proposals that many people found offensive and distasteful.

His election last November has since drawn the ire of women across the country, hundreds of thousands of whom are planning to march on Washington, D.C., and in cities across the country (including Chicago), the day after the President-elect’s inauguration.

MFA co-founder Lois Baumann said that, while she’ll be too busy holding down the fort on Fifth Avenue to march, tonight’s vigil was a way of fighting back.

“It’s a civil right to be able to have a safe and happy community,” said Baumann, pointing to a piece of paper on which she wrote that phrase under the statement, “I fight for …”


Other students and community members filled out the pieces of paper, which were posted to the window of one of the studios.

“I am an African American child,” read one paper, “I fight for equality.”

“I am Symphony Taylor,” read another, “I fight for hope.”

“We are dancers,” read yet another, “We fight for expression.”

MFA co-founder Ernie Baumann said that the organization participated in the nationwide demonstration as a show of force in favor of those values.

“We did this because it’s the right thing to do,” he said. VFP

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A Sculpture Made in Maywood is Headed for Grant Park


Tashi Norbu in front of his wooden sculpture “Urban Buddha,” which sits on the grounds of ReUse Depot in Maywood. On Tuesday, it will be installed in Chicago’s Grant Park. | Michael Romain/VFP

norbu-paintingMonday, October 17, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || UPDATED: 10/17/16

A giant sculpture made of reclaimed Brazilian wood on the grounds of Re-Use Depot, 50 Madison St., in Maywood will be headed to Grant Park in downtown Chicago on Wednesday.

The sculpture, called “Urban Buddha,” was created by Tibetan-born contemporary artist Tashi Norbu, who splits his time between the United States and the Netherlands.

Norbu said he created the work of art as a social statement on numerous global crises, such as deforestation and global warming.

“Deforestation from palm oil production is unbelievable nowadays,” Norbu said during an interview last Sunday. “The Chinese are doing the same thing everywhere in the world.”

“The message is for us to be the flower, not the bee,” Norbu said. “We have to be like the flower that grows beautifully by itself and you don’t have to look for something that the bee does.

“If you’re a good flower, the bee comes. If you’re a flower, you don’t have to go anywhere to look for happiness. You are yourself happy. You build yourself within.”

Norbu said that on Tuesday, the gigantic artwork will be transported to Grant Park by truck. It will require maintenance every six months, he said.

During his time in Maywood, the artist has left his mark on more than the physical landscape. He’s also left quite the impression on Gordon Hanson’s chess club, which meets weekly at the Maywood Public Library.

“He’s teaching us Buddhist chess,” Hanson said. “The purpose of the game of chess is to put the king in checkmate. The young kids want to kill all the other pieces — the pawns, knights, rooks, the bishop and the queen.

“Not that you shouldn’t do that, but [Norbu] says you should go the more peaceful path of checkmate and if it means taking the queen or pawn, fine, but it shouldn’t be about the American mental attitude of killing all the pieces.” VFP

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