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SOURCE:  Blacknews.com

ALFRED STREET BAPTIST CHURCH PLEDGES $1 MILLION TO THE SMITHSONIAN’S NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE

Alfred Street Pastor Howard-John Wesley with James McNeil, Board of Trustees, Chair and Pat Johnson, Deacon Chair. Photo Courtesy: Blacknews.com

Alfred Street Pastor Howard-John Wesley with James McNeil, Board of Trustees, Chair and Pat Johnson, Deacon Chair. Photo Courtesy: Blacknews.com

Alexandria, VA — In the final days of 2015, Alfred Street Baptist Church (ASBC), one of the nations oldest historically African-American churches located in Alexandria, Virginia announced that it is pledging to donate $1 million to the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African-American History and Culture (NMAAHC). As such, the $1 million donation to the museum is the largest from a faith-based organization to date, thus allowing the church to be designated as a founding donor of the museum. Scheduled to open in the fall of 2016 on the National Mall in Washington, DC adjacent to the Washington Monument, the museum will be a place where visitors can learn about the richness and diversity of the African-American experience, what it means to the lives of the American people, and how it helped shape this nation.

Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, the esteemed pastor of Alfred Street Baptist Church said, We are very proud and honored to make this contribution to a museum that promises to contribute immensely to the knowledge base of African-American history and culture. This historic attraction will be an astounding and visionary force in our communities and lives for decades to come. More importantly, we as a church, understand the importance of learning about the accomplishments of African-American people. Therefore, we realize that if we don’t tell and preserve our own history, our children will never know their real value.

Accepting the donation on behalf of the Smithsonian’s NMAAHC was, Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the museum, who said, We are honored to have the support of Alfred Street Baptist Church, an institution that has generously served its community for more than 200 years and whose support will help ensure that the museum fulfills its mission to tell the American story through an African-American lens.

James McNeil, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Alfred Street Baptist Church, continued, We are pleased to be the first faith-based organization to contribute $1 million to this magnificent cultural development. I challenge others in the faith-based community to follow suit to ensure that the history of African-Americans will be celebrated and shared with everyone regardless of their background. The story of our countrys greatness cannot be told without sharing how we live and work together to help America thrive.

Several members of ASBC have also individually supported the museum as founding donors: Earl W. and Amanda Stafford, donated $2 million in support of the museums Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African-American Media Arts; James L. and Juliette McNeil, gave $1 million; Craig and Diane Welburn, $1 million; Margaret Pemberton, $300,000; Donna L. Scott, $25,000; and Janet Sledge $25,000.

Alfred Street Baptist Church is an important part of African-American history. We celebrated our 212th anniversary in November, and we understand the important role that black churches have always played in the black experience, said Patricia Johnson, chairman of the Alfred Street Baptist Church Deacon Board. Our donation represents our commitment to helping to ensure the preservation of the knowledge base of African-American history.

NOTE:  Established in 1803, Alfred Street Baptist Church is home to the oldest and largest African-American congregation in Alexandria, Va. With nearly 7,000 members, the church has served as a prominent religious, educational and cultural organization in the Northern Virginia community. The church celebrated its 212th anniversary on Sunday, November 15, 2015 under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture broke ground in February 2012 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The 400,000-square-foot building is being built on a five-acre tract adjacent to the Washington Monument at a cost of $540 million. While construction is moving forward, the museum is hosting public programs, organizing traveling exhibitions and producing books and recordings. Its eighth exhibition, Through the African-American Lens: Selections from the Permanent Collection, is on view in the museums temporary gallery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

SOURCE:  Department of Defense News Lead Photo

Marine Corps Sgt. Preston T. Brown instructs a recruit to respond louder at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, Dec. 18, 2015. Annually, the depot trains more than 17,000 males recruited from the western recruiting region. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Tyler Viglione

Marine Corps Sgt. Preston T. Brown instructs a recruit to respond louder at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, Dec. 18, 2015. Annually, the depot trains more than 17,000 males recruited from the western recruiting region. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Tyler Viglione

Marines unfurl the Holiday Bowl Big Flag during the bowl's pregame show in San Diego, Dec. 30, 2015. It takes a minimum of 250 people to present the 850-pound flag, which spans 100 yards by 50 yards and covers the entire field. The Marines are assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The University of Wisconsin Badgers beat the University of Southern California Trojans with a score of 23-21. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Caitlin Bevel

Marines unfurl the Holiday Bowl Big Flag during the bowl’s pregame show in San Diego, Dec. 30, 2015. It takes a minimum of 250 people to present the 850-pound flag, which spans 100 yards by 50 yards and covers the entire field. The Marines are assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The University of Wisconsin Badgers beat the University of Southern California Trojans with a score of 23-21. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Caitlin Bevel

U.S. flight crewmen load their bags on a C-5 Galaxy as it sits on the ramp on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 28, 2015. As the largest U.S. military aircraft, the C-5 Gallaxy can carry more than 270,000 pounds of cargo. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys

U.S. flight crewmen load their bags on a C-5 Galaxy as it sits on the ramp on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 28, 2015. As the largest U.S. military aircraft, the C-5 Gallaxy can carry more than 270,000 pounds of cargo. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys

SOURCE:   DOD

Flag Officer Assignment

The Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John M. Richardson announced the following assignment:

Capt. David G. Manero, selected for promotion to rear-admiral (lower half), will be assigned as Defense Attaché to Russia.  Manero is currently serving as special assistant to the Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, District of Columbia.

SOURCE:  Blacknews.com

25TH ANNUAL NAACP THEATRE AWARDS ANNOUNCES NOMINATIONS ONLINE

Beverly Hills, CA (BlackNews.com) — The NAACP Beverly Hills/Hollywood Branchs Theatre Viewing Committee announces nominations for the 25th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards. The awards include 32 categories, which encompass local and equity nominations. This years nominees will be announced online via press releases and social media sites with the winners announced in the first quarter of 2016.

This years Equity Theatre nominations include an array of phenomenal productions including Porgy and Bess with an outstanding nine nominations – Best Choreography, Best Lead Female and Male, Best Supporting Female and Male, Best Director, Best Musical Director and lastly Best Costumes. Securing seven nominations including recent OBIE award winner Trip Cullman in the category of Best Director of a Musical Equity along with nominations for Best Lead Male and Best Supporting Male. Above the Fold ties with seven nominations of its own produced by The Pasadena Playhouse with Best Lead Female

NAACP Theatre Awards. Image Courtesy: Blacknews.com

NAACP Theatre Awards. Image Courtesy: Blacknews.com

nomination for multi-Award winner Taraji P. Henson. Locking in five nominations are both Maurice Hines is Tappin Thru Life attaining a Best Choreographer nom for Maurice Hines and The Tallest Tree in the Forest with Moises Kaufman up for Best Director.

In the category of Local Theatre nominations Knock Me A Kiss based on the story of Yolande Du Bois, the pampered and only daughter of scholar and activist W.E.B. Du Bois takes the lead with six nominations including Ashlee Olivia and Rosie Lee Hooks as Best Lead Female-Local. Bag Lady, The Magic Flute and Sassy Mamas all received five nominations including a Best One-Person Show and Best Playwright to Tammi Mac, Best Director of a Musical for Mark Dornford-May and Best Producer collectively to Vanessa Paul & Alex Morris. Rounding out the local category all with four nominations each include The Brothers Size and Low Hanging Fruit for Best Ensemble Cast plus Bus Stops with a first time nomination for Jaimyon Parker in the Best Producer and Best Supporting Male category.

The goal of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACPs Board of Directors is to take the star-studded NAACP Theatre Awards Gala to the next level by merging the awards show and festival into one entity. The 2015 live show was changed to an online format to give the creative/production team time to develop the platform to merge festivities inclusive of live theatre, as well as awards honoring excellence in theatre, into a four-day event to be held Fall 2016.

Branch President of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Ron Hasson states, I am excited about combining the awards show and the festival because this platform will bring thespians and theatre lovers from across the country to the City of Los Angeles to enjoy the art that is theatre. The NAACP Theatre Awards Show represents an ever-growing theatre community in Los Angeles and we want to elevate this already highly recognized event in Los Angeles and heighten its visibility nationwide.

The Theatre Viewing Committee considers all candidates who submit their production from January 2014 through December 2014 for possible nomination. All productions must have a five consecutive week production run in Southern California (San Diego to Bakersfield included) to be considered. Productions who meet all eligibility requirements before the deadline are considered eligible for a 2015 NAACP Theatre Award. Eligibility for this years edition was limited to theatre productions opening in January 2014 through December 2014. Nominees have been notified by the NAACP Theatre viewing committee co-chairs Martha Pruden-Hamiter and Barbara Bass. Nominations and winners will be posted online www.naacptheatreawards.com and circulated nationally via press releases and social media.


The online 2015 NAACP Theatre Awards Show proudly announces its nominees for the awards honoring excellence in theatre:

Best Choreography Equity
Maurice Hines is Tappin Thru Life Maurice Hines
The Gershwins Porgy & Bess Ronald K. Brown
Kiss Me Kate Jeffrey Polk

Best Choreography Local
The Brothers Size Ameenah Kaplan
The Magic Flute Lungelo Ngamlana
Visionary Man Ali North

Best Costumes Equity
The Gershwins Porgy & Bess Emilio Sosa
Choir Boy E.B. Brooks
Othello Katherine Roth

Best Costumes Local
Low Hanging Fruit Wendell C. Carmichael
The Magic Flute Leigh Bishop
Knock Me A Kiss Naila Aladdin Sanders

Best Director Equity
Stop Kiss Seema Sueko
Choir Boy Trip Cullman
The Tallest Tree in the Forest Moises Kaufman

Best Director Local
Sassy Mamas Iona Morris
The Brothers Size Shirley Jo Finney
Secrets Wallace Demarria

Best Director of a Musical Equity
The Gershwins Porgy & Bess Diane Paulus
Maurice Hines is Tappin Thru Life Jeff Calhoun
Kiss me Kate Sheldon Epps

Best Director of a Musical Local
The Magic Flute Mark Dornford-May
Visionary Man Tom Coleman
The Gondoliers Alison Eliel-Kalmus

Best Ensemble Cast Equity
Stop Kiss
Flyin West
Othello

Best Ensemble Cast Local
Sassy Mamas
The Brothers Size
Low Hanging Fruit

Best Lead Female – Equity
Above The Fold Taraji P. Henson
The Gershwins Porgy & Bess Alicia Hall Moran
Race DeWanda Wise

Best Lead Female Local
Knock Me a Kiss Toyin Moses
Closely Related Keys Diarra Kilpatrick
Going to St. Ives Inger Tudor

Best Lead Male Equity
Choir Boy Jeremy Pope
The Gershwins Porgy & Bess Nathaniel Stampley
Maurice Hines is Tappin Thru Life Maurice Hines

Best Lead Male Local
Bus Stops Leonard Thomas
Knock me a Kiss Keir Thirus
The Whipping Man Kirk Kellykahn

Best Lighting Equity
The Tallest Tree in the Forest David Lander
Above The Fold Adam Blumenthal
Race Josh Epstein

Best Lighting – Local
Low Hanging Fruit Rebecca Raines
Bag Lady Tom Meleck and Iona Morris
The Magic Flute Mannie Manim

Best Music Director Equity
Maurice Hines is Tappin Thru Life Sherrie Maricle
Kiss Me Kate Rahn Coleman
The Gershwins Porgy & Bess Dale Rieling

Best Music Director Local
Visionary Man Jeffrey Bonhiver
The Gondoliers Leonardo Sciolis
The Magic Flute Pauline Malefane & Mandisi Dyantyis

Best One Person Show – Equity
The Tallest Tree in the Forest Daniel Beaty
Forever Dael Orlandersmith
Paul Robeson Keith David

Best One Person Show – Local
Bird Lives! Montae Russell
The Devil and Billy Markham Tony Winters
Bag Lady Tammi Mac

Best Playwright Equity
The Tallest Tree in the Forest Daniel Beaty
Above The Fold Bernard Weinraub
Stop Kiss Diane Son

Best Playwright Local
Sassy Mamas Celeste Bedford Walker
Bag Lady Tammi Mac
The Brothers Size Tarell Alvin McCraney

Best Producer Equity
Above The Fold The Pasadena Playhouse
Maurice Hines is Tappin Thru Life Willis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, Arena Stage, Alliance Theatre and Cleveland Play House
The Tallest Tree In The House Center Theatre Group

Best Producer Local
Bus Stops Jaimyon Parker
Sassy Mamas Vanessa Paul & Alex Morris
Bag Lady Tammi Mac & Jackson Brown
Sassy Mamas Vanessa Paul & Jeff Murray

Best Set Design Equity
Choir Boy David Zinn
Above the Fold Jeffery P. Eisenmann
Flyin West JR Bruce

Best Set Design Local
The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel Michael D. Ricks
Knock Me a Kiss Tom Meleck

Best Sound Equity
Othello Acme Sound Partners with Jason Crystal
Choir Boy Fritz Patton
Above the Fold Cricket S. Meyers
Sumayya Ali

Best Supporting Female Equity
Above the Fold Kristy Johnson
The Gershwins Porgy & Bess Danielle Lee Greaves
Knock Me A Kiss Ashlee Olivia

Best Supporting Female Local
Closely Related Keys Yvonne Huff
Knock Me A Kiss Rosie Lee Hooks

Best Supporting Male Equity
The Gershwins Porgy & Bess Kingsley Leggs
Choir Boy Caleb Eberhardt
Choir Boy Grantham Coleman
Bus Stops Jaimyon Parker

Best Supporting Male Local
The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel Kyle Connor McDuffie
Closely Related Keys Brent Jennings


The NAACP Theatre Awards is presented by the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Branch in partnership with the City of Los Angeles and co-chaired by Byron K. Reed, Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo-West Region Community Relations. The mission of the Theatre Awards is to entertain, educate, inspire the community and create diversity in the arts and entertainment industry. Ron Hasson is Branch President and Tia Boyd is the Executive Producer for the NAACP Theatre Awards Show.

The prestigious star-studded gala is produced for the purpose of honoring thespians among the best in the field of entertainment. The branch also celebrates a four-day theatre festival, which provides a platform for thespians to express their craft and share their contributions with an audience of their peers, the community and other individuals who celebrate live theatre in Los Angeles.

 

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