Friday, June 24, 2016

NAACP to Host 107th Annual Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio July 16-July 20, 2016 “Our Lives Matter, Our Votes Count”

Cornell William Brooks

June 22, 2016

BALTIMORE, MD - As the nation prepares for the 2016 presidential election this November, the NAACP 107th Annual Convention, held in Cincinnati from July 16-20, will bring together thousands of members and attendees under the theme “Our Lives Matter, Our Votes Count.” The NAACP’s Annual Convention will feature workshops, discussions and speakers highlighting voter education, voter protection and voter mobilization. A full convention schedule can be found here; Members of the press can register for convention credentials here.  
This fall, voters will head to the polls for what will be the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In continuance of tradition, the NAACP has invited the Democratic and Republican presumptive nominees, Donald J. Trump and Hilary R. Clinton, to address NAACP membership and attendees at the convention. The convention overlaps with the 2016 Republican National Convention scheduled July 18-21 in nearby Cleveland.
“This year, our country is facing the 2016 presidential election without the protection of major provisions of the Voting Rights Act,” said NAACP Board Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “Under the banner, ‘Our Lives Matter, Our Votes Count,’ the NAACP looks forward to returning to Cincinnati and convening thousands of civil rights, human rights and social justice activists to make sure we educate, motivate and get people to the polls this fall. The stakes are too high to be complacent.”   
“This year’s presidential election comes amid an organized campaign to limit access to the ballot in the South as well as in pivotal swing states like Ohio,” said NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks. “The ballot box is our most powerful tool to ensure our voices are heard clearly and loudly.  The NAACP Annual Convention will give our members and units an opportunity to gather our strength to fight back against efforts to suppress the vote and ensure that the people will be heard on Election Day.”  
“Civic engagement and turning out the vote must be at the forefront of our work as we move towards the presidential election this fall,” said NAACP Vice Chairman Leon Russell. “We thank Dan Lincoln, Jason Dunn and Cincinnati USA for pulling together all their resources to ensure a successful return to Cincinnati.”  
The NAACP Annual Convention will also include celebrity appearances, community-based events, seminars with top activists, and the national competition of the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) program. Other highlights of the convention include the Commerce and Industry Show where attendees can enjoy a wide range of vendors, artists, health screenings, book signings, and entertainment. The convention will begin with an opening press conference on Saturday, July 16 at 9:30 a.m., followed by the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the Commerce and Industry Show at 11:00 a.m.   
The NAACP 107th Annual Convention marks a return to the city by the NAACP in a presidential election year. The 2008 convention in Cincinnati drew thousands of visitors, as well as appearances by presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. 
“We are honored to be hosting the NAACP’s most prestigious event amidst an unprecedented summer of multicultural events and meetings in the region,” said Dan Lincoln, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA CVB. “Cincinnati’s energy is contagious right now, and both residents and visitors will be part of the excitement as we welcome attendees with entertainment, local artwork and live music throughout the downtown area.”
“This summer’s NAACP Annual Convention will bring our nation’s civic, faith and thought leaders together in Cincinnati during a critical presidential year,” said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. “Hosting this convention offers Cincinnati a valuable opportunity to share our community’s story of progress – a story of valuing diversity and celebrating the African American heritage and culture that so deeply defines this region.” 
This year also marks a major milestone for the NAACP’s Youth and College Division which will commemorate its 80th anniversary at the convention as a part of a year-long celebration. Through workshops, luncheons and forums, youth members will discuss ways to effectively harness the power of their voices in order to engage in civil rights advocacy. The celebration will culminate with an 80th anniversary gala and concert featuring some of the generation’s up and coming stars. 
“We in Ohio are getting a great opportunity in having the NAACP National Convention here once again,” said Sybil McNabb, president of the Ohio State Conference. “Last time, it was a great success and since then, we have made great strides in social justice.  This year, there are so many issues that continue to affect our community and we, in Ohio, are ready to rise to the occasion in both hosting this event and joining the national NAACP in its ongoing battle for civil rights.”
“We are incredibly excited that the convention is returning to Cincinnati and are equally excited in anticipating a large turn-out,” said Robert Richardson, president, Cincinnati NAACP. “This year, the Spingarn Medal is being awarded to the Honorable Judge Nathaniel Jones and it’s especially wonderful to be a part of that deserved recognition as well.” 
The NAACP Annual Convention will culminate with the presentation of the 101st NAACP Spingarn Medal on Wednesday, July 20th.  This year’s recipient of the prestigious award is Ohio native and retired Judge Nathaniel R. Jones. The award recognizes Jones’ lifelong commitment to equality and civil rights. Jones, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, served as general counsel for the NAACP from 1969 until he was appointed by President Carter to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 1979. Tickets to the Spingarn Dinner can be purchased on the NAACP Convention website here.
More information on the NAACP’s National Convention can be found at   The  NAACP 107th Annual Convention is sponsored by:  JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, UPS, GM/UAW, Bank of America, Chevron, Fifth Third Bank, Ford, Walmart, AT&T, BMW, Coca Cola, CVS, Fedex, Food Lion, Key Bank, McDonalds, Nissan, State Farm, Toyota, Anheuser Busch, BBVA, AARP, Eli Lilly, Geico, Goldman Sachs, Google, Hershey, The History Channel, Macy’s, Marriott, Miller Coors, Pfizer, RWJF, Roadside, Attraction, T-Mobile, Verizon, Honda, Paramount, Blank Rome, LLP, CBS, MGM, PhRMa, Caesars, and Facebook.


John Malveaux: At Korean Bell of Friendship Ceremony July 4, Anita Asiimwe of Uganda will sing "Kiri Omulangila" while playing African harp

Anita Asiimwe

John Malveaux of 

In addition to previously mentioned donated performances by soprano Jumi Kim and pianist Mary Au for the upcoming July 4, 2016 Korean Bell of Friendship ringing ceremony, Angel Gate Park, San Pedro, Ca, MusicUNTOLD will donate a performance of Uganda traditional song "Kiri Omulangila" sung by Uganda native Anita Asiimwe. Anita will accompany herself on adungu/African harp

John Malveaux

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Roderick Cox Conducts Minnesota Orchestra, "Symphony for the Cities," 8:30, June 27 Hudson; 7:30, June 28 Lake Harriet; 8:30, June 29 Plymouth; 8:00, June 30 Winona

Roderick Cox, Assistant Conductor
Minnesota Orchestra
(c) Kelly Newport


VERDI Overture to La forza del destino      
WILLIAMS Adventures on Earth from E.T (The Extra-Terrestrial)     
WAGNER Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg         
WILLIAMS Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Suite for Orchestra, I & III         
ROSSINI Finale from William Tell Overture  
TRADITIONAL Armed Forces Salute, arranged by Bob Lowden        
TCHAIKOVSKY 1812, Ouverture solennelle (Solemn Overture), Opus 49      
SOUSA Stars and Stripes Forever March 

John Malveaux: Malesha Taylor: Is Your Theatre Only “Diverse and Inclusive” Twice a Year?

Malesha Jessie Taylor and Jessye Norman

John Malveaux of 

See soprano Malesha Jessie Taylor pictured with legendary Grammy opera singer Jessye Norman and article sharing Malesha's thoughts about expanding the audience for opera . I have been privileged to know Malesha since she was a senior vocal student at USC. Malesha has been a street performer and she has sung with Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego Opera on the west coast.  Ms Norman was kind to share some time with me following a concert at Detroit Opera House some years ago.


Malesha Jessie Taylor

February 20, 2016

I am not known for throwing around “the race card.” But every now and then, it’s thrown on me, especially in the arts. And, when I took a position in building new audiences, but only for the black plays, things really hit home. After this experience, I would like to help devise the best practices in new audience development, and suggest beginning with genuine community engagement. But it took working this job I describe below, to get me here.
I was given a ten-week, remote position with a regional theatre company that was funded through a major foundation that seeks to provide models for new and diverse audience development. My job was to get people of color in the seats and mingle with the community and promote plays. To start, I was in a mindset of “audience development,” but soon discovered my best approach would be to be in a mindset of genuine community engagement. I gave people the impression that my position was permanent. I met people at the door who were coming to the theatre for the first time. I hosted events at the nearby bar and represented the theatre at civic events to demonstrate genuine reciprocity. But I was also conflicted. Was my job ultimately about sales and meeting diversity numbers? Once this temporary position ended, I was worried about how the arts sector would really handle this shift from audiences of historical white-privilege, to audiences for everyone. I would like to help solve this problem by sharing my personal takeaways from this job.
  1. Why do so many theatre companies and foundations launch these temporary “diversity initiatives” and then expect to activate long-term systematic change? Relationships take time to build, and my relationship with the community was cut off within a matter of weeks. The 100 business cards I passed out in that temporary position, were already null and void. What kind of message does that send to potential subscribers, the theatre’s diversity council, and the community? If the arts sector is really serious about developing relationships with communities of color specifically, then it has to be a sustained and genuine relationship—not just at moments when tickets can be sold to target specific communities.
  2. Diversity can’t just be about numbers. After working in that position, I began to further realize that the urgent call for diversity seems to primarily be about data and revenue. In an article in the LA Daily Times, an arts leader states: “it is an economic imperative for the performing arts to diversify…What is onstage, in the audience, backstage and in the board rooms should look like America…It’s extremely important for the arts to be relevant…If we don’t look like America, we can’t expect to have ticket buyers and patrons in the future.” The keywords here for me are, “economic imperative,” “ticket buyers,” and “patrons.” And I understand money keeps theatres open. But I think there is something huge missing here. I would suggest we return to making art about the human condition, about human experiences, and simply strive to move human beings. We are already a diverse society with millions of diverse stories. It just looks like we aren’t comfortable hearing from everyone for some reason. And now that demographics are shifting, many are worried about keeping their jobs. I suggest we evaluate motives more closely.
  3. I believe that revenue (an audience) is a result of genuine community engagement. According to Wikipedia: “Community engagement refers to the process by which community benefit organizations (which most theatres are) and individuals build ongoing, permanent relationships for the purpose of applying a collective vision for the benefit of a community.” Can the theatre see itself as a benefit to the community and not the other way around? If the community is to be reflected in the theatre, and the community is in fact diverse, why not simply engage in an organic relationship with the community and let the diversity in the audience be a result of that engagement?    
Comments received by John Malveaux:

1) from Dr. Zanaida Robles
"This is outstanding. I re-posted on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn  Much love and thanks to Malesha Jessie Taylor and John Malveaux‪#‎truth‬ "

2) from James Bryant
"A very insightful article, John.  Thanks for sharing it".

3) from James V. Burks
Thank you for the article. I attended a benefit performance in Augusta, Georgia last October for the Jessye Norman School that featured several of my colleagues. I love the article by Malesha as it has a great bearing on the work I am instituting for the Vision Theater today. 

Thanks again for all of your thought provoking articles. 

Sphinx launches new website and social media project...we are hoping to hear and share stories from anyone whose life Sphinx has transformed

Watch The Cliburn Amateur Piano Competition Online - Semifinal Round begins at 2 p.m. Central Daylight Time Thursday, June 23, 2016!


Semifinal Round Concert 1
2:00 p.m. Matthias Fischer, 42, physician (Germany)

2:30 p.m. Jeanne Backofen Craig, 46, homemaker/part-time minister of music (United States)

3:15 p.m. Thomas Yu, 38, periodontist (Canada)

3:45 p.m. Deirbhile Brennan, 46, accountant (Ireland)

4:30 p.m. Gorden Cheng, 35, systems engineer (United States)

5:00 p.m. Sean Sutherland, 39, entrepreneur/lecturer (St. Vincent and the Grenadines/Canada)   
Semifinal Round Concert 2
7:00 p.m. Yasuo Kurimoto, 55, ophthamologist (Japan)

7:30 p.m. Lana C. Marina, 47, stay-at-home mother (United States)

8:15 p.m. Xavier Aymonod, 40, strategy consultant (France)

8:45 p.m. Ken Iisaka, 47, software engineer (Japan/Canada)


9:30 p.m. Gregory Knight, 53, software engineer (United States)

10:00 p.m. Michael Slavin, 65, retired ophthamologist (United States)
This schedule is subject to change.



  • PERFORMANCES: Tickets start at $10 and are on sale now for all performances, including the Final Round with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and Damon Gupton at Bass Performance Hall. CLICK HERE for info or to purchase today. Patrons must be 8 years or older to attend.

  • SYMPOSIA: We invite the public to join us for a Conversation with Olga Kern on Saturday, June 25 at 10:00 a.m. in Van Cliburn Recital Hall (330 East 4th St.). CLICK HERE for full information.

  • OPEN PIANO NIGHTWe're also hosting an open piano night at The Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge (1311 Lipscomb St.) on Friday, June 24 starting at 5:00 p.m. Competitors will be given the opportunity to perform in the fun, relaxed music room, with bar and food service. This event is also free and open to the public, and is sure to be a great celebration of the piano. CLICK HERE for more information.


  • LIVE WEBCAST: All performances will be streamed live online at and made available for on-demand viewing. Hosted by Shields-Collins Bray, this CLIBURN LIVE broadcast will feature over 40 hours of performance, awards ceremonies, commentary, and interviews, providing a behind-the-scenes view into the Competition.

  • ONLINE CHAT: Webcast viewers will also have the chance to chat with each other online at, sharing their thoughts and cheering on their favorite competitors.

  • AUDIENCE VOTE: During the Competition, visit to vote for your favorite competitor. You'll be able to vote once a day for any competitor still active in the Competition. The Audience Award will be given to the competitor with the most number of votes at the conclusion of the Final Round.

  • #CliburnAmateur Participate on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Share with your friends and followers, so that they can enjoy the Amateur Competition along with you! Use the #CliburnAmateur hashtag, and we'll share and retweet.


"My Father's Faith" by Dr. Jacqueline M. Gaither Respress recounts the author's rise to become the first African American Principal of New Castle, PA Senior High School

My Father's Faith
Dr. Jacqueline M. Gaither Respress

When the Superintendent of the New Castle Area School District announced the appointment of Dr. Jacqueline Respress as Principal of a combined New Castle Junior/Senior High School, it would be the first time in the District’s 150-year history that a female has been chosen to lead the senior high school, and the first time an African American has reached this pinnacle.
In her new book, “My Father’s Faith,” author Dr. Jacqueline M. Gaither Respress blends personal narratives, research on education and spirituality, quotes and scriptures to map out a hopeful path for anyone experiencing obstacles in life.

“No one should permit race, gender or economic standing to restrict their life,” said Dr. Respress. “In spite of the outward tests, the strength to go on is hidden within each of us.”

Sergio A. Mims: Chineke! Cellist Abel Selaocoe wins Royal Northern College of Music 2016 Gold Medal, highest accolade at the conservatoire

Abel Selaocoe

Sergio A. Mims forwards this link:!Chineke-Cellist-Abel-Selaocoe-wins-RNCM-2016-Gold-Medal/ocase/576921f60cf240932ed1c736

The Chineke! Foundation would like to extend its congratulations to cellist Abel Selaocoe, winner of one of the Royal Northern College of Music's 2016 Gold Medals, the highest accolade a student can receive while studying at the conservatoire.

Professor Merrick of the RNCM said of this year’s event: ‘The RNCM’s much-coveted Gold Medal celebrates exceptional performance and composition by students at the College. Each year the competition between students is extremely high and 2016 was no exception. The overall standard was absolutely exceptional and everyone who competed, especially the five winners, should be extremely proud of their achievement.’

Abel's winning recital included Claude Debussy's Cello Sonata in D minor, excerpts from Benjamin Britten's Cello Sonata in C Major, and Georg Breinschmid's Skubek’s Delight.

NewsDay: [American Violist Nokuthula] Ngwenyama performs in [Zimbabwe] after 12-year hiatus

Violist and Composer Nokuthula Ngwenyama
has a website at
and is featured at


INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed [violist], Nokuthula Ngwenyama said she was delighted to headline the ninth edition of Bulawayo Music Festival, having last performed in the country 12 years ago.
Ngwenyama performed at the opening and closing day of the five-day festival — which is meant to celebrate classical western music — that ended on Sunday night at the Zimbabwe Academy of Music.
“I last performed here (Zimbabwe) in 2004 and it is something I had missed over the years,” she said.
“It is a pleasure to finally come back, and I have enjoyed the festival. The reception has been greater than I expected considering that this is more of a foreign culture for Africa.”
At the festival, she shared the stage with other international acts among them German cello player, Theo Bross, United Kingdom-based pianists, Coady Green, Leslie Howard and Christopher Smith and the Odein String Quartet from South Africa and local imbube outfit, Impumelelo Shining Stars.
She is set to perform in Durban, South Africa on July 1 before gracing the North Carolina Mammoth Lake Music Festival later this year.
Ngwenyama, who has been in the music industry for more than 20 years, has performed across Europe, America and Asia, with her most memorable show being at the White House, having been invited by former US President Bill Clinton.

Jim Greeson: "The Caged Bird" was accepted by the Black Harvest Film Fest in Chicago and will be shown sometime in August at the Gene Siskel Film Center

On June 22, 2016 AfriClassical posted: The Caged Bird: Rarely Heard Music of Florence Price Closes 2016 KUAF Fulbright Chamber Festival

Hi William;
Thanks for sharing this with me.  I just returned from this event and it went real well - there were about 200+ people there.  It began with a really excellent string quartet performing Price's "Folksongs in Counterpoint" and her recently found "String Quartet in G" from 1929. This was followed by a screening of the documentary.  Crystal Bridges museum is a wonderful museum of American art, and they have a very nice hall in which this concert was held.

I'm also pleased to say that "The Caged Bird" was accepted by the Black Harvest Film Fest in Chicago and will be shown sometime in August at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Best Wishes,

Jim Greeson