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Congrats to Goodman Theatre’s artistic associate, Regina Taylor, actress and playwright, who receives the distinguished Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership on Aug. 5 when the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art I

Congrats to Goodman Theatre’s artistic associate, Regina Taylor, actress and playwright, who receives the distinguished Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership on Aug. 5 when the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago hosts Opening Night of its 17th Annual Black Harvest International Festival of Film and Video at 164 N. State St. Emceed by Ch. 5’s LeeAnn Trotter, tickets are $25; $20 for students, $15 for members. Taylor was chosen for her work as national spokesperson for the Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness Organization, which was launched in 2010 to educate both women and men that ovarian cancer is the No. 1 gynecologic cancer killer of women. Taylor is also on the executive committee for Pink, the new Black and mantra in Chicago for the Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization. Additionally, she volunteers for the Jenessee Center in Los Angeles to support individuals affected by domestic violence, and mentors young women for Girl Talk, a program of the Sinai Community Institute from which she recently received the Spirit of Sinai Award. She is creator and curator of The State(s) of America: The Regina Taylor Project, an interdisciplinary festival at Northwestern University that gives students the opportunity to have their own voice to create plays, films, graphic arts, stories and spoken word that mirrors contemporary life and times.

However, she is best-known for her role as Lilly Harper in the NBC television series I’ll Fly Away, receiving Golden Globe and NAACP Image Awards, plus two Emmy nods. She also starred in the CBS drama The Unit for which she received an NAACP Image Award. Her plays, Magnolia and The Trinity River Plays, have been staged at Goodman. The Taylor-penned, critically acclaimed and award-winning Crowns will be presented during Goodman’s 2011-2012 season.

The Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership was established by the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Black Harvest Community Council to recognize persons who’ve generously contributed time and resources to the Chicago community. Past honorees: Common, Sam Akainyah, Merri Dee, Bonnie DeShong, Alisa and Donzell Starks, Cliff Kelley, Hermene Hartman and Warner Saunders. After the awards there will be “a sneak preview” of the 2011 “harvest” through an exciting section of five short films and a reception with celebrity guests.

Black Harvest is the Midwest’s largest festival of the Black experience on film and runs Aug.5-Sept. 1, featuring premieres, filmmaker appearances, panel discussions, special events. Also included are 16 feature films and 30 short films, many of which are connected to Chicago, affirming the city’s role as a vital center for independent filmmaking.

Sunday Fun Day – A day chock full of fun is promised all who attend “Celebrate St. James Day” on Sunday at St. James Catholic Church, 2942 S. Wabash, beginning with a 10:30 a.m. Mass featuring music by the church choir accompanied by guest jazz musicians. The annual daylong event will also include Beat the Deacons at Free Throws (proceeds to the Salome Scholarship Fund), Parking Lot Picnic (festive summer fare), Live Jazz Music (the Daniel Bruce Group), Fun & Games (for kids and adults), Backyard Bingo and Guided Tours of the Rectory), so says Dr. James (“Jim”) Buckner, a parish stalwart. Log on http://www.stjameswabash.org or call (312) 842-1919.

Newsy Names – B’day cheer to Carrie Davis, Al Boutte, Nelson Mandela, Ed Cruzat, Alex Robinson, Debra Meeks, Kenny McReynolds, Milas Armour, Deborah Dixon, A.C. McLean, Ghalib Ghallab, Melvin Sims, Brenda Boatner and 75-year-old Minnie Pearl Jones. And 19th anniversary wishes to Roger and Chaz Ebert … Bill Hampton, president of Fred Hampton Scholarship Fund, received high praise after his speech before student grads at South Side Occupational Academy High School … Rev. James Meeks hosts a live taping of Singsation with Dr. Willie Wilson on Saturday, 1 p.m., at House of Hope. Call (708) 534-8200.

Air Time – Ch. 7’s Hosea Sanders and Leah Hope host Heart & Soul, a series that taps into our vibrant African American community on Saturday, 6 p.m.; Charles Thomas and Evelyn Holmes contribute. An encore presentation airs Sunday at 2:30 p.m. First up, H&S talks to Raymond Lambert, producer of Phunny Business: A Black Comedy, a documentary profiling the popular comedy club, All Jokes Aside, featuring such celebs as Chris Rock, Steve Harvey, George Wilborn and Tony Sculfield, each of whom went on to achieve great success. H&R takes a close-up look at the rise and fall of Lambert’s club and how it set the pace for the explosion of comedy that’s now seen on television.

Then, the show goes one-on-one with LaRue Martin, who attended De LaSalle Institute before being heralded as the NBA #1 draft pick in 1972. He faced criticism, disappointment and unrealized dreams. Martin gives an inspirational account of how he got his life back in gear and is now in charge on his own court as a UPS exec.

Next, Patricia Brown Holmes of Schiff Hardin, LLP is profiled as the new trustee of Burr Oak Cemetery, She’s taken on the challenge of revamping and restoring the image of the cemetery which was tarnished a while back in scandal. Lastly, H&S looks at kids who are laying the foundation for a beautiful orchard that’s needed in Chicago’s food deserts. Heart & Soul, on-demand at abc7chicago.com, is produced by Ruby Wilson.

Inaugural Reunion – Funnyman George Wilborn and Ch. 7’s Cheryl Burton host the Inaugural Chatham/Avalon Park Homecoming Reunion Dinner-Dance to save South Central Community Services’ swimming pool on Saturday at the Sabre Room in Hickory Hills. The $125 per person donation to SC’s Pool Renovation Campaign will honor the legacy of Ed Hambric, former “biddy basketball” coach, and the memory of comic Bernie Mac. Suggested attire: summer chic! Call Darryl Shelton, (773) 483-0900.

Fore! Play! – The Dogpound Wresting Club stages its Second Annual Golf Outing, an Aug. 10th fundraiser at Meadows Golf Course in suburban Blue Island. The field is limited to 144 golfers. Registration on the day of play is 8:30-9:30 a.m. with a 10 a.m. shot-gun scramble start. Prizes go to first- and second-place winning teams. Also there’ll be longest drive and closest to the pin contests. Winners will have the use of a Cadillac for the weekend. Emcees: Chief Collins and Manny Delia. Entry fee (received on or before July 10) is $100, which includes golf, lunch and dinner; after July 10, $115; non-players (dinner only!), $50. Call Ron Wilson, (773) 218-4732.

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender

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