Iya Bakare, GMO's managing editor, earned both her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in print journalism. She earned her B.A. from Delta State University with a minor in English and graduated with a M.A. degree from Columbia College Chicago. In her spare time, the Chicago native continues to freelance and ponder ways to both inform and improve her community one story at a time.
She can be contacted at Iya@glossmagazineonline.com
Follow her on Twitter: @ibakare
Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing
As we danced in the night
Remember how the start stole the night away…
As we say farewell to another Chicago summer and reflect on all the festivals that took place, one stands out – the 4th Annual Westside Music Festival held a few weeks ago.
And that’s how they served it. Music lovers ‘let their souls glow’ at The Shrine (www.theshrinechicago.com) last Wednesday night as they gathered to see a once in a lifetime experience when soul duo Floetry made a stop on their reunion tour. After nine years, songstress Marsha Ambrosius and floacist Natalie Stewart instantly reminded the crowd why they missed their musical chemistry.
What happens when you have a taste for something? You don’t rest until your palate is satisfied, which Shontay Pinder said she needed to do. With a Master of Arts degree in Psychology, the Chicago native said she wasn’t fulfilled. Without any formal training other than her grandmother teaching her how to sew and distracted by family members who said there was no career in fashion, Shontay decided to follow her own path and pursue what her heart desired.
At a time when the country shows its frustration and distress over senseless violence in communities, the city of Chicago took a moment recently to celebrate what’s right for a day in Garfield Park.
M Group Worldwide, Inc., Michael Scott, Jr. and local community organizations team up again to prep for the city’s 3rd Annual Westside Music Festival (WSMF) scheduled for this Saturday in Garfield Park. With more momentum each year, the event will continue to support and feature the musical artistry from local singers and musicians. Headlined by 90’s R&B crooners 112 and the soulful sensation Brownstone, this year’s festival continues to provide world-renowned and local talent for the community to enjoy.
“We curate talent that resonates with our community and caters to that ‘Ravinia-style’ crowd,” Michelle Geddes comments, founder/CEO of M Group Worldwide and co-producer of the Chicago Westside Music Festival.
The Chicago native says when the North Lawndale community spoke up about how music concerts were missed a few years ago, Michael (another Chicago native) stepped up and collaborated with fellow Chicago natives and business organizations to provide a free venue for music lovers to gather and appreciate in a family setting. With a grant from the Chicago Community Trust and support from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Chicago Westside Music Festival was born.
“It’s going to take some time, but we are definitely gaining momentum,” Michelle adds. “It’s all about changing the perception of the west side [of Chicago].”
In addition to music, the festival will feature a VIP tent, sponsored by Remy Martin that will include delicious cuisine from A Tale of Two Chefs. This year, there will also be a food station, sponsored by Connie’s Pizza and a beverage garden sponsored by Miller Coors. Radio Disney will offer festivities for the younger attendees. The park’s summer festival also serves as a hub for local organizations and vendors to promote their causes and to sell their products.
For more information on the Chicago Westside Music Festival, visit the festival’s website www.chicagowestsidemusicfestival.com.
The Game’s heartthrob Jay Ellis is no rookie when it comes to hard work. It was "game on" last spring as he suited up for the role of Bryce “Blueprint” Westbrook, replacing fan favorite Pooch Hall. With large cleats to fill, the young actor made his own imprint on the show. He admits learning the "plays" (so to speak) were a challenge, but one Jay welcomed with open arms and an open mind.
When you see and hear the words, ‘ain’t that the truth?’ what comes to mind? Author, dancer and choreographer Darrin Dewitt Henson says the phrase resonates because it’s so much more than what is said and it rings out loud. Inspired by the possibility to be more than who he is as a man, with the intent to grow, the desire to cultivate connections with people and to help people gain access to their goals, the author composed Ain’t That the Truth, a compilation of thoughts and quotations that speak to the hearts of readers.