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World Polio Day 2014 Event and Concert Featured Tessanne Chin and Guest Speakers in Chicago World Polio Day 2014 Event and Concert Featured Tessanne Chin and Guest Speakers in Chicago(0)

Wicker Park, Chicago, IL (60647)


In observance of World Polio Day, October 24, 2014, Rotary International organization celebrated World Polio Day with livestream event featuring Tessanne Chin, 2013 winner of the TV show “The Voice,” reggae star Ziggy Marley, Minda Dentler, polio survivor and Ironman competitor, and host of speakers including John Hewko, Rotary International General Secretary and Dr. James Alexander, senior medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control.

With polio on verge of eradication, Rotary celebrated the fact their organization is near its goal to completely eradicate polio from the world. Except for cases in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan, polio is a highly preventable disease that Rotary has been on a mission since 1988 to eradicate polio.


Ms. Chin spoke to about her involvement with educating people about polio.

The livestream event called “End Polio Now: Make History Today’ will take place 6:30pm(CT) on October 24 at 1st Ward venue in Wicker Park Chicago.

Streaming from Chicago, and hosted by TIME magazine science and technology editor Jeffrey Kluger, highlights of the event include:

  • Tessanne Chin, 2013 winner of the TV show “The Voice,” will perform a song during the program, followed by a benefit concert after the event
  • Reggae star Ziggy Marley will welcome participants to the event and perform via video
  • Minda Dentler, polio survivor and Ironman competitor, will share her personal storyRemarks via video by Olivier Charmeil, chief executive officer of Sanofi Pasteur and Bernadette Hendrickx, Senior Medical and Scientific advisor to the CEO of Sanofi Pasteur will deliver remarks live
  • Addresses by Rotary International General Secretary John Hewko, Rotary Foundation Vice-Chair Michael McGovern, and Dr. James Alexander, senior medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spoke via video to the audience about the important role Rotary has played in eradication of polio.

In celebration of World Polio Day, Rotary announced earlier this week that it will give $44 million in grants to stop the disease in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Rotary’s new funding commitment will targets the countries still at risk of contracting this incurable disease.

About $18.5 million will go to the three remaining polio-endemic countries: Afghanistan ($7.4 million) Nigeria ($8.4 million), and Pakistan ($2.7 million). An endemic country is one where the wild poliovirus has never been stopped.

Another $9.5 million is marked for previously polio-free countries currently reporting cases “imported” from the endemic countries: Cameroon ($3.5 million), Ethiopia ($2 million), and Somalia ($4 million).

And $10.4 million will go to polio-free countries that remain at risk of reinfection: Democratic Republic of Congo ($1.5 million), India ($4.9 million), Niger ($1 million), South Sudan ($2 million), and Sudan ($1 million).

The remaining $6.3 million will go toward polio eradication research.


Rotary provides grant funding to polio eradication initiative partners UNICEF and the World Health Organization, which work with the governments and Rotary club members of polio-affected countries to plan and carry out immunization activities. Mass immunizations of children via the oral polio vaccine must continue until global eradication is achieved.

To date, Rotary has contributed more than $1.3 billion to fight polio. Through 2018, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match two-to-one every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication (up to $35 million a year). As of 2013, there were only 416 confirmed polio cases in the world, down from about 350,000 a year when the initiative launched in 1988.


During the World Polio Day concert Ephraim Martin from the International Reggae and World Music Awards ( IRAWMA) surprised Tessanne Chin with the her IRAWMA award “Best Female Vocalist Award.”



Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. In 1988, Rotary was joined by the WHO, UNICEF and the CDC to launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Visit and for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio. Video and still images will be available on the Rotary Media Center.




Kanye West the Surprise Headliner at AAHH! Fest in Union Park for Sweet Homecoming of Chicago Hip Hop Superstars Kanye West the Surprise Headliner at AAHH! Fest in Union Park for Sweet Homecoming of Chicago Hip Hop Superstars(0)

It was a sweet homecoming party in Union Park for AAHH! Fest 2014 with Kanye West closing the festival in a surprise guest performance.West took stage after Common performed three songs from his new album “Nobody’s Smilng.” Fans went wild when Kanye West jumped on stage to perform.



Watch more video footage of performances from AAHH! Fest on Breaking Voices YouTube Channel


The Family Blues of Willie Dixon Who Changed the Style of the Blues in Chicago The Family Blues of Willie Dixon Who Changed the Style of the Blues in Chicago(0)

By Raquel Harris : Chicago Staff Writer

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The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues festival in the world and remains the largest of Chicago’s Music Festivals. During three days on five stages, more than 500,000 blues fans prove that Chicago is the “Blues Capital of the World.” Past performers include Bonnie Raitt, Ray Charles, B.B. King, the late Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy and the late Koko Taylor.

With an average of 500,000 in attendance each year, it stands stagnant in being the largest Blues festival in the world and remains the largest of Chicago’s music festivals according to Some of the festival’s past performers have been greats like Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Muddy Waters.

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Along with food and music, there are also Blues vendors that sell souvenirs like clothing, mugs, and gift sets to fans. Some of the vendors are even family to some of the late greats. Willie Dixon’s grandson Willie Dixon the second is one of those vendors.

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For those who may not know, Willie Dixon senior was a songwriter, singer/ bassist/ producer as well as contributed hundreds of song compositions to the Chicago Blues industry. Throughout Dixon’s career, he became a Grammy- award winning artist, and grew to be one of the most prolific songwriters of his time. Dixon is best known for shaping the post-World War II sound of Chicago Blues and was even portrayed in the 2008 feature film Cadillac Records.

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Dixon the second said that the light that sheds from his grandfather’s legacy is a positive one. “It’s a very positive light because of the positive impact that he had on people and the Blues community, and also the ethnicity of African American culture, said Dixon the second.

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In his later years, Dixon senior became a relentless ambassador for Blues and his local practitioners leading him to found the Blues Heaven Foundation, a non-profit organization in Chicago which works to continue the Blues’ legacy and to secure copyrights and royalties for blues musicians who were exploited in the past. The Dixon family promotes the corporation while at the festival. People like my grandfather and the people he worked with were innovators of their time and that’s pretty great,” said Dixon the second.

Chicago Loop Alliance second ACTIVATE series event for summer 2014 features art in its natural habitat Chicago Loop Alliance second ACTIVATE series event for summer 2014 features art in its natural habitat(0)

By: Vince Wallace

The other day I read a magnificent article by writer, reporter and well-reputed “St. Louis commenter” Sarah Kendzior on the dangers of using art as a tool to cover over so-called urban blight. Her recent work has included a lot of incisive commentary on the cultural fallout of economic inequality. About a North Philadelphia art installation which proports to tackle the dilapidated area’s aesthetic by essentially covering it over she writes:

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“People” are those who can afford to view poverty through the lens of aesthetics as they pass it by. Urban decay becomes a set piece to be remodeled or romanticized.

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She offers a lot to think about in terms of how modernizes often fail to build inclusiveness into the mix as they conceptualize urban spaces and design a city’s future. In this case, art is being used – probably unwittingly, but used nonetheless – to assist the nefarious project of gentrification. It’s being used to cover over the process of pushing out people who have resided there for generations to make room for a new, but strangely familiar brand of hipster appropriators and colonizers.

In other words, it’s a pretty bad rap for art.

Taking up Sarah’s challenge to abandon this kind of superficiality and think about how art can, and should be used to bring people together instead of rip neighborhoods apart, I can’t help but think about the work of the Chicago Loop Alliance and their ACTIVATE series of downtown events. Tonight they will transform a downtown alley into a space for artists from around Chicago. Some of the artists are established, some lesser-known. Some are artists of color and those representing various minority communities around town. Not enough, but some. And that representation is growing as the event series becomes more popular.


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The last ACTIVATE party (that’s really all it is, just a party y’all) took an alley section on Monroe between State and Wabash that Chicagoan have passed by perhaps thousands of times in our daily ramblings and made it into a space inviting all Chicagoans to enjoy some interesting (and sometimes a bit oddball) diverse multimedia sculptures, a few drinks, a DJ who could go from playing one track of ambient beats facilitating conversations between people who rarely get the chance to stop and talk to one another to spreading the gospel of Phantogram the next. It was a good show. It was art, and music, and business-people chatting with baristas, Occupy protesters having a cold one with non-profit pros. It wasn’t quite the North side hugging it out with the South side or the Gold Coast discovering the city west of Ashland. Not yet. But it’s getting there.

And now I still pass by that alley a couple times a week as I have for years. But instead of looking past it, it’s that place where they had that party that time and I met some very interesting people. Because why should cultural memory necessarily be connected places built for the purpose like Millennium Park or Wrigley? They can happen anywhere really.

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Tonight they’ll be doing it again on State St between Lake and Randolph, 5 pm til 10. 21 and over can RSVP for a complimentary drink ticket, or bottled water for those of us inclined to temperance in our off hours. Why not stop by? Everyone’s invited, yes even hipsters. That’s the point.

Two Chicago Loop Alliance street team volunteers who will be working ACTIVATE.

June 3, 2014 City of Chicago Hosts Tribute to Frankie Knuckles, Godfather of House Music in Millennium Park June 3, 2014 City of Chicago Hosts Tribute to Frankie Knuckles, Godfather of House Music in Millennium Park(0)

Is house music the genre that will unite the City of Chicago? If last night’s jam packed tribute to Frankie Knuckles, the “Godfather of House Music” was any indication, Chicago is on its way to being a truly multicultural city. Last night at the “Bean” thousands of Frankie Knuckles fans gathered for a dance party with djs spinning music below the city’s Bean sculpture in Millennium Park. People from every segment of society was present, black white, latinos, Asians, young old, gay, straight all danced to the beats of house music.

The Frankie Knuckles Tribute presented by The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events was held 6:00pm-9:00pm in Millennium Park Central Promenade the “Bean”.

The lineup for the Frankie Knuckles Tribute event featured house music djs from around the world

DJ’s include:

      • Mike Winston
      • Craig Loftis
      • Greg Gray
      • Elbert Phillips
      • Words by:
      • Robert Williams
      • Alan King

Watch #BVNews video as the diverse crowd of thousands dance to Frankie Knuckles “Whistle Song.”


Chicago is known to be a city of neighborhoods, each separated by borders of culture and class. Last night looked crowds at the Frankie Knuckles Tribute seems as if every part of the city was represented for a truly diverse melting pot.

#BVNews was live at the historic house music event. The “Bean” looked like colorful cornucopia with the variety of people mirrored in its reflection.

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Without too much lyrics, the mixed beats is driving force behind house music. Regardless of the language of culture one represent, the beats make the body move. Frankie Knuckles house music has been popular for thousands of “house heads” since 1980s.

Born Francis Nicholls, he was known for his stage name, Frankie Knuckles, he passed away suddenly at age 59 in Chicago. Some fans held up programs from the Frankie Knuckles memorial service.


Chicago Tribune Music Critic Greg Kot wrote an article April 1, 2014 about the death of Frankie Knuckles. Kot wrote: 


He championed house music that wasn’t just about rhythm, but that embraced humanism and dignified struggle. It was in keeping with his belief that the dancefloor was a safe haven for the gay, African-American and Hispanic communities that first embraced him.”

 “God has a place on the dancefloor,” he once told the Tribune. “We wouldn’t have all the things we have if it wasn’t for God. We wouldn’t have the one thing that keeps us sane – music. It’s the one thing that calms people down.”

Greg Kot, “Frankie Knuckles, house music ‘godfather,’ dead at 59” –  Chicago Tribune

One fan, told #BVNews about his moving to Chicago from Memphis and listening first to Frankie Knuckles music, which he now identifies with being a Chicagoan. Watch #BVNews interview below.

This is the second time the City of Chicago hosted a Frankie Knuckles tribute since his passing on March 31, 2014. Within days of his death The Chicago Cultural Center held a gathering that turned into a large dance party to honor the great house music dj. This second and bigger tribute shows the city know the importance Knuckles played in bringing Chicago on the international scene for house music.

ABOUT Frankie Knuckles

Knuckles was born January 18, 1955 in The Bronx, New York.  He later moved to Chicago where is developed his career as a dj in house music. He played an important role in developing and popularizing house music in Chicago during the 1980s, when the genre was in its infancy. Due to his importance in the development of the genre, Knuckles was often known as “The Godfather of House Music.” Chicago named a stretch of street and a day after Knuckles in 2004 for this role. His accomplishments earned him a Grammy Award in 1997. Knuckles was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2005 as recognition for his achievements. Knuckles passed away March 31, 2014.

Are you a fan of Frankie Knuckles music? Share your comments below with #BVNews

Old St. Pat’s Church in Downtown Chicago Host The World’s Largest Block Party Old St. Pat’s Church in Downtown Chicago Host The World’s Largest Block Party(0)


By : Jeannine Chavez


Hosting 20,000 people in the Old St. Pat’s neighborhood for two nights is no small task. Old St. Pat’s Church, Chicago’s oldest public building as well as a treasured historic landmark will be the the host of the 28th annual World’s Largest Block Party.

Among the most anticipated and popular summer events in Chicago, The World’s Largest Block Party, is an annual tradition for young adults to gather to meet, mingle and listen to nationally recognized entertainment.


Ben Folds Five, Lifehouse, Joe Pug, Brett Dennen, Out For Hours, Vintage Blue, No Love For Linus, Spazmatics, Mike & Joe, Number Nine…

Throughout the years, countless people have shared the World’s Largest Block Party’s mission of hospitality and community. More than a thousand volunteers each year help host the event. The World’s Largest Block Party is one of Old St. Pat’s most significant fundraisers.

Proceeds support the mission and outreach activities of Old St. Pat’s including the Education Center, the Outreach Group, Horizons For Youth, Career Transitions Center of Chicago and Global Alliance for Africa. This event is a party for a good cause.

Official World’s Largest Block Party Website:

Dates: Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30, 2012

Time: 5:30 – 10:30 p.m.

Place: Outdoors, Des Plaines between Monroe and Adams, Chicago

Cost: To be announced. Tickets: To be announced.

Walk up Sales

Tickets can be purchased at Old St. Patrick’s office, 711 West Monroe Street, 3rd floor.

Monday–Thursday—9:00 am–7:00 pm

Friday & Saturday—9:00 am–2:00 pm.

Tickets can be purchased by cash, money order, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and AmEx. NO CHECKS

For more information, contact Block Party Hotline 312-648-1590

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