On Thursday night at the Flagship AT&T Michigan Ave. Store, Chicago emcee, Add-2 and his Haven Studios teamed up with AT&T Michigan Ave. and Common’s new Showtime series, The Chi, for a very special collaborative event. Entitled, A Collaboration of Creative Expression, it was done to show the truly diverse and great talent here in Chicago.
It seen Add’s mentees teamed up with members of Young Chicago Authors, the simple good and M.U.R.A.L.’s Move Me Soul Dance Company members. As some of the youth from the four local youth organizations read spoken-word poems, other students had their art on display and even emceed.
The highlight of the night by far though was when two of the youth organizations teamed up for a very stellar and inspiringly high-energetic truly creative collaboration of expression that seen Add’s mentees from Haven and members of M.U.R.A.L.’s Move Me Dance Soul Company give a very stellar performance together. Which showed how truly bright the future is for a lot of the talented youth here in Chicago.
There was even a nice little panel that Kyle Santillian from WGCI’s, The Morning Takeover, did with members of the four great organizations. As they all talked about what has inspired them to work and bring so much to these Chicago youth and show that even despite the negative stereotypes they try to place on us, how much great there still is in this great city of ours.
The Chi showing this and one of the things that Kyle talked about with cast members, Shamon Brown Jr. and Yolanda Ross when he did the panel discussion he did with them as well. Brown who plays the very funny and beloved Papa on the show, speaking on how great it’s that the show is actually taped here in Chicago and not some other city, like has been done a few times before when shows about Chicago have previously been made. Him and Ross both saying how that authenticity on both the good and bad coming through because of having people actually living here in the Chi, know how certain things are done and can tell the actors.
Overall it was a very stellar and well put together event though that had a really nice turnout and even had now retired former NBA All-Star and NBA champion, as well as Chicago resident, Shawn Marion come through. Truly showing what great talent, the future of the city has to offer from so many talented youth. It makes me look forward to hopefully working with some of them in the future and more with AT&T’s flagship downtown store, who I’m sure will have a lot more great events to come as well.