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Black Creativity Gala Dance Floor
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Co-chairs Cheryl Harris and Linda Nolan
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Jenn and Obie LeFlore
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Barbara Bowles and David Mosena
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Opal Staples Orchestra
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Krystal White, Marcoiya Fair, Monique Houston, and Sabrina Eagles
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Sandra Rand and Tanya Woods
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John Kochlefl, Stephanie Wang-Kochlefl, Cheryl Knox, Mark Knox
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago hosted its 33rd annual Black Creativity black-tie gala on Saturday, January 30, 2016. The Gala, planned in collaboration with a committee of prominent Chicago African-American leaders, raised more than $500,000 to support the annual Black Creativity programming and events, which pay tribute to the culture, heritage and science contributions of African Americans and help motivate youth in the sciences. This year, more than 500 people attended the Gala.
“The Black Creativity Gala at MSI was an amazing event this year,” said David Mosena, president and CEO of the Museum. “The money raised will help create and offer Museum programs that inspire and motivate kids in the sciences and encourage them to think creatively about the problems that challenge our world.”
The Gala was co-chaired by Cheryl Harris, senior vice president, sourcing and procurement solutions at Allstate Insurance Company; and Linda Nolan, senior vice president and managing director at Northern Trust. The evening began with about 500 guests enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the annual Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition, featuring more than 100 original works of art from African-American artists. Several of the Museum’s Science Minor teen volunteers also showcased science demonstrations for the crowd.
After cocktails, guests proceeded to the Museum’s Rotunda where they enjoyed a lavish strolling buffet catered by Food for Thought. Dinner stations featured an array of food options and beautiful décor. Buffet stations included a chilled seafood bar with shrimp and stone crab claws; mojo rubbed pork shoulder with currants and creamed kale; creole grits with bacon, collard greens, fried okra and chicken gumbo; chicken and waffles with crispy cornbread and Sriracha-maple dressing. Two dessert stations included bread pudding bites, “build your own” pies, and a selection of mini tartlets, skillet cookies, sorbet cones and more.
Art Norman, reporter with NBC 5 Chicago, emceed the evening’s program. Fabulous musical entertainment inspired guests to hit the dance floor, including the Opal Staples Orchestra and DJ Nick Nicholson. Guests purchased raffle tickets for a chance to win prizes, including air travel courtesy of United Airlines, an in-home catered dinner from Food for Thought and a portrait package from Ebert Studios. The Black Creativity Innovation Studio was also open to guests, who were able to invent and craft their own pins and bracelets.
In addition to the Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition and the Innovation Studio, guests also enjoyed other Museum exhibits throughout the evening, including MSI’s newest permanent exhibition, Numbers in Nature; as well as Science Storms and The Great Train Story.