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The African American Arts Alliance Announces Honorees of the 2020 Black Excellence Awards

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Recipients to be honored in a live, online ceremony, November 10 at 7pm.

The African American Arts Alliance Announces Honorees of the 2020 Black Excellence Awards

The African American Arts Alliance (AAAA) will host the 20th annual Black Excellence Awards, an evening celebrating Black artists, Black voices, and Black stories across artistic disciplines, on November 10, 2020 at 7pm. The 2020 virtual celebration will honor selected awardees who have exhibited artistic excellence.

The virtual event, to be broadcast on Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/aaaachicago or the African American Arts Alliance's YouTube page, is free and open to the public.

The Black Excellence Awards provides recognition of professional African American artists for their achievements of excellence and creativity in the arts. The committee, made up of 32 community members that review artists in each discipline, has evaluated performances and works by artists across the artistic disciplines of film, music, theater, dance, literature, visual arts, and digital media. Due to COVID-19, the Black Excellence Committee was hindered in viewing work this year. Therefore, it was decided that the sub-committees of the Black Excellence Committee would choose 1-2 artists from their specific discipline to honor, no matter when their work was produced.

"The Black Excellence Awards have been honoring Black artists for the past 20 years. This year, even though we are not able to gather in the same room, the celebration will go on. In this difficult year for so many people, we need to uplift each other as we celebrate Black achievement and come together to remember the importance of the arts and artists in the Chicago community," comments AAAA Board Chair and Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor.

The honorees, who will be recognized at the virtual ceremony on November 10, are:

Dance

Company: Red Clay Dance and Vershawn Sanders-Ward

Choreography: Rueben Echoles

Visual Arts

Artist: Paul Branton

Gallery: Gallery Guichard

Literature

Journalism: Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

Author: Dr. Eve L. Ewing

Music

Vocalist: Joan Collaso

Vocalist: Dawn Bless

Film

Writer & Director: April Tylon-Warren, Sunshine Day

Director: Anton DeShawn, Call Center

Digital Media

Web Series Creator: Patrick Wimp, Brothers from the Suburbs

Theater

Production: The Master Comic, MPAACT

Director: Runako Jahi, The Master Comic, MPAACT

Actor: Donn Carl Harper, The Master Comic, MPAACT

Actress: Shenise Brown, The Master Comic, MPAACT

Technical Support: Andrei Onegin, various productions

Special Recognition

John Ruffin, Theatre 47 in Park Forest

Lifetime Legacy Award

Chuck Smith

In previous years, several artists in each category were nominated by committee members then voted upon. Due to the shift caused by the pandemic, the nomination and selection process was streamlined. There is no slate of nominees, rather a single awardee, identified as having exhibited artistic distinction, for each category. More information is available at https://www.aaaachicago.org/2020-black-excellence-awards.


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