- Harold Washington Cultural Center
name = Harold Washington Cultural Center
address = 4701 S. Martin Luther King Drive
country = USA
capacity = 1000
opened = 2004
yearsactive = 2004–present
Performing arts/business center
website = http://www.haroldwashingtonculturalcenter.com/
Harold Washington Cultural Center is a performance facility located in the Grand Boulevard community area of
Chicagoin Cook County, Illinois, United States. It was named after Chicago's first Afro-AmericanMayor Harold Washingtonand opened August 17 2004ten years after initial groundbreaking.cite web|url=http://www.hpherald.com/lo1.html|accessdate=2007-06-06|date=|title=Cultural center under scrutiny|work=Hyde Park Herald] cite web|url=http://www.hpherald.com/lo1.html|accessdate=2007-06-06|date=|title=Cultural center lost twice as much as it grossed its first year|work=Hyde Park Herald|author=Meyer, Erin and Kalari Girtley] In addition to the 1000 seat Com-Ed Theatre, the center offers a Digital Media Resource Center.cite web|url=http://www.haroldwashingtonculturalcenter.com/|accessdate=2007-06-06|date=|title=Harold Washington Cultural Center (Home page)|work=www.haroldwashingtonculturalcenter.com] Both Chicago City Council Alderman Dorothy Tillmanand singer Lou Rawlstake credit for championing the center, which cost $19.5 million. It was originally to be named the Lou Rawls Cultural Center, but Alderman Tillman changed the name without telling Rawls. Although it is considered part of the Bronzeville neighborhood it is not part of the Chicago Landmark Black Metropolis-Bronzeville Districtthat is in the Douglas community area.
limestonebuilding, which is located on the same site as a former historic black theatre, has become the subject of controversy stemming from nepotism. After a construction phase marked by delays and cost overruns,cite web|url=http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1214282211&Fmt=3&clientId=11417&RQT=309&VName=PQD|accessdate=2007-06-11|title=EDITORIAL: For the Chicago City Council|date=2007-02-12|publisher=ProQuest-CSA LLC|work=Knight Ridder Tribune Business News] it has had a financially disappointing start and has been underutilized by many standards. These disappointments were chronicled in an award winning investigative report.
Harold Washington was a native Chicagoan who served 16 years in the
Illinois Legislatureand two years in the United States House of Representativesbefore he was elected to the mayor's office in 1983. Washington earned a B.A.in 1949 from Roosevelt Universityand his law degree in 1952 from Northwestern University. He was then admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1953 after which he practiced law in Chicago. His Mayoral victory encouraged Blacks throughout the country to register to vote. Washington's legacy as mayor was one of numerous Black appointments to top city government jobs.
The center has not been successful by most measures. The center received $800,000 from
Commonwealth Edisonfor the naming rights to the theatre for ten years before the center opened.cite web|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20040324/ai_n12538195|accessdate=2007-09-25|date=2004-03-24|publisher=FindArticles|work=Chicago Sun-Times|author=Lawrence, Curtis|title=Public gets first view of new cultural center] The center had originally broken ground on what was to be called the Lou Rawls Theatre and Cultural Center, in 1993 and had accepted a $100,000 check from Lou Rawls's aunt, Vivian Carter, to help fund-raising efforts, during a second ground breaking in 1998. However, by 2002, in frustration of what should have been completed Rawls withdrew from and distanced himself from the project. Tillman insisted the delays were a function of her insistence that the project use at least 70% African-American contractors.
It has not been profitable. In fact it lost nearly twice as much money as it grossed in its first full year of operations. Investigative reports by the Lakefront Outlook show that between
August 17 2004and June 30 2005, which marked its first fiscal calendar year, the HWCC show federal tax return revenues of $678,688, including government grants of $25,000 while its expenses totaled $1,269,514. It has essentially used all of the $2 million in private donations made during the constructionand fund-raisingphases. Despite a small steady flow of public money, Tobacco Road Inc., the non-profit manager of the center has had to refinance one of the three mortgages on the property. Although the property lost money when it first opened, it has begun to make a modest profit. [cite web|url=http://www.nearwestgazette.com/Archive/0407/Newsstory0407c.htm|accessdate=2007-09-25|year=2007|month=April|title=Unions, Harold Washington Center big issues in Third Ward race|author=Martin, Aratee |publisher=nearwestgazette.com]
Although the center was originally meant to be an education center first, and an entertainment center second it has not been a success at either. Youth programing has been scarce and the performance calendar has been sparse. As a result it has failed to lure the anticipated amount of tourism to the neighborhood.
The Center is located on a historical corner in the historical Bronzeville neighborhood. The
intersectionat 47th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive (formerly South Park) was at one time one of the most storied intersections in the Afro-Americanculture. As the location of the former Regal Theatre, it played host to the most prominent icons in African-American music such as Count Basieand Duke Ellingtonregularly. The corner provided fodder for national gossip columnists and for the dreams of Black American youth.cite web|url=http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-125305158.html|accessdate=2007-09-25|date=2004-12-01|title=Celebrating Harold: a new cultural center embodies the vision of former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and helps to revitalize the community.(Harold Washington Cultural Center)|author=Henderson, Shirley|work= Ebony Magazine|publisher=HighBeam Research, Inc.] The Bronzeville neighborhood was at one time the city's center of Black cultural, business and political life. It was also the former home to famous musicians such as Scott Joplin, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Mortonand Fats Waller, as well as legendary blues artist Willie Dixonand many more.
The Harold Washington Cultural Center has private corporate meetings rooms, to host workshops, and receptions. It also has a two story atrium equipped with three 48' plasma screens for video. The center features the Com-Ed Theatre and the Digital Media Resource Center. The center is ft2 to m2|40000 and has a
statuemeasuring ft to m|20 of the late Mayor at the entrance on the corner of 47th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. [cite web|url=http://chicago.metromix.com/arts-culture/museum/harold-washington-cultural-center-grand-blvd-oakland-fuller/145079/content|accessdate=2007-09-25|publisher=metromix.com|title=Harold Washington Cultural Center] The lobby features two-story windows that permitting natural lighting, marblefloors, a black-and-white spiral staircase, which looks like a winding piano keyboard. The Center was originally configures with an 1800 seat theatre, an art galleryand museum space.
The current Com-Ed Theatre is a 1,000 seat, state- of-the-art performance facility. It has not only served as host to internationally acclaimed artist and events, but also as host to community fundraisers and celebrations.
The Digital Media Resource Center offers technology workshops that are free to the public. The main objective of the center is to "foster an environment that provides children and seniors of the Bronzeville community (and Chicago's south side at large) with hands on technology driven experiences." The Digital Media Resource Center is sponsored by the
Illinois Institute of Technology, Comcastand Advance Computer Technical Group. The state of the art center offers a wireless network with a one mile radius. The center is powered by Comcast broadbandand has upload capability to offer online concerts from the center. The computer center has 30 computer stations. The center serves seniors, small businessowners as well as local youth. [cite web|url=http://www.haroldwashingtonculturalcenter.com/programs.html|title=Harold Washington Cultural Center (programs)|accessdate=2007-06-12|publisher=HaroldWashingtonCulturalCenter.com|date=2006]
The convert|750|lb|kg|lk=on statue shows Mayor Washington looking authoritative in a
business suitand tie and talking as if to a committee while clenching a document in his right hand and gesturing with his left. The sculpture also has a biography of Washington's political, military and academic record at the bottom.cite web|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_10_106/ai_n6205937|title=Cultural Center opening, bronze statue, honor memory of Chicago's first Black mayor|work=Jet Magazine|publisher=FindArticles|date=2004-09-06|accessdate=2007-09-25]
The Lakefront Outlook, a free weekly
newspaperwith a circulation of 12,000 that reports on the Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood, won a George Polk Award, one of the most coveted honors in journalism, for its investigative reports about Dorothy Tillman (3rd) and the Harold Washington Cultural Center.cite web|url= http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1219454821&Fmt=3&clientId=11417&RQT=309&VName=PQD|accessdate=2007-06-07|date=2007-02-20|publisher=ProQuest-CSA LLC|work=Knight Ridder Tribune Business News|author=Manor, Robert|title=Small paper honored for Bronzeville center probe] These reports focus on the post construction controversies and ignore the construction delays and cost overruns. Despite these controversies and his stand on ethicsreform, U.S. Senator Barack Obamaendorsed Tillman in her 2007 election in part because she was an early supporter of his. [cite web|url=http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/chi-obama_endorse_12jun12,0,484394.story|title=Critics: Obama endorsements counter calls for clean government|author=Jackson, David and John McCormick|publisher=Chicagotribune.com|date=2007-06-12]
Jimalita Tillman, Dorothy Tillman's daughter, is the executive director of Tobacco Road for which she is paid is paid $45,000. Current and former members of the Tobacco Road board include her brother Bemaji Tillman; Otis Clay, a Chicago musician and long time friend of Dorothy Tillman; Robin Brown, Dorothy Tillman’s former chief of staff; Brenda Ramsey, a campaign contributor to Tillman’s 3rd Ward Democratic Organization; and Terrence Bell, a financial contributor to Tillman’s campaigns.
Some of the events that the Center has hosted are under scrutiny for violating federal non-profit tax law. The
Internal Revenue Serviceforbids persons affiliated with a non-profit group — and their relatives — from transacting for profit to a non-profit group’s senior management or members of its board of directors. Jimalita Tillman owns and operates the Spoken Word CafÈ, located directly north of the HWCC, which seems provide catering for HWCC events. That is potentially a violation of federal tax law.
The grand opening gala featured
Roy Ayersleading a 14-piece Harold Washington Cultural Center Orchestra. Among the other events hosted at the HWCC have been the Olympic Champion speedskater, Shani Davis, celebration marking his return to the United States following the 2006 Winter Olympicsin March 2006. [cite web|url=http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1010215271&Fmt=3&clientId=11417&RQT=309&VName=PQD|accessdate=2007-06-06|date=2006-03-26|title=Davis party tour kicks off in style: Olympic champ back in Chicago for 1st time since making history|author=Bowean, Lolly|work=Knight Ridder Tribune Business News|publisher=ProQuest-CSA LLC]
In addition, from
July 23- July 25 2006, a three-day conference commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Chicago Freedom Movementwas held at the center. Attendees included C.T. Vivianand Jesse Jacksonwho delivered the concluding lecture. [cite web|url=http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1082073681&Fmt=3&clientId=11417&RQT=309&VName=PQD|accessdate=2007-06-11|title=Activists look back, but plan for future '60s civil rights effort echoes in Chicago meeting|author=Noel, Josh|date=2006-07-24|publisher=ProQuest-CSA LLC|work=Knight Ridder Tribune Business News]
In September 2006, the
Black United Fundhonored Tillman and her daughters Jimalita, Ebony and Gimel at a gala at the center.
The building has hosted several
concertsby groups such as De La Soul, [cite web|url=http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/7103/|accessdate=2007-09-25|date=2004-07-06|title= De La Soul|publisher=Yahoo! Inc.] and it has hosted a birthday party for Da Bratwith invitees such as Mariah Carey, Jermaine Dupriand Twista, [cite web|url=http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/3/prweb222213.htm|accessdate=2007-09-25|date=2005-03-28|publisher=Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC.|work=PRWeb|title=Da Brat-Tat-Tat is B-Ba-Bac-Back - Chicago April 9, 2005]
* [http://www.haroldwashingtonculturalcenter.com/ Official website]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Harold Washington — Infobox Congressman name = Harold Washington imagesize = 250px birth date = birth date|1922|4|15|mf=y birth place = Chicago, Illinois, United States death date = death date and age|1987|11|25|1922|4|15|mf=y death place = Chicago, Illinois, United … Wikipedia
Harold Washington Library — 41° 52′ 34″ N 87° 37′ 42″ W / 41.876044, 87.628359 … Wikipédia en Français
Harold Washington Library — The Harold Washington Library Center is the central library for the Chicago Public Library System. It is named for former Mayor Harold Washington. It is located just south of the Loop L , at 400 S. State Street in Chicago. It is a full service… … Wikipedia
Chicago Cultural Center — Chicago Public Library, Central Building U.S. National Register of Historic Places Chicago Landmark … Wikipedia
Washington — /wosh ing teuhn, waw shing /, n. 1. Booker T(aliaferro) /book euhr tol euh veuhr/, 1856 1915, U.S. reformer, educator, author, and lecturer. 2. George, 1732 99, U.S. general and political leader: 1st president of the U.S. 1789 97. 3. Martha… … Universalium
Washington Park (Chicago park) — Infobox nrhp | name =Washington Park caption = Pond located in Washington Park location = Chicago, Illinois lat degrees = 41 lat minutes = 47 lat seconds = 37.4 lat direction = N long degrees = 87 long minutes = 36 long seconds = 57.8 long… … Wikipedia
Harold Cruse — Harold Wright Cruse (8 March 1916 30 March 2005) was an American academic who was an outspoken social critic and teacher of African American studies at the University of Michigan until the mid 1980s. His most recognized work is The Crisis of the… … Wikipedia
Harold Alvarado Tenorio — en una foto de Lalo Borja Nacimiento 1945 Buga … Wikipedia Español
Cultural studies — is an academic field grounded in critical theory and literary criticism. It generally concerns the political nature of contemporary culture, as well as its historical foundations, conflicts, and defining traits. It is, to this extent, largely… … Wikipedia
Cultural depictions of Matthew Shepard — lists notable plays, films, novels, songs and other works created from the 1998 Matthew Shepard murder, investigation and resulting interest the case brought to hate crime issues. The best known is the stage play The Laramie Project, which was… … Wikipedia