The Beacon Theatre, a beautifully-restored movie house built in 1928, has been renovated and expanded with a state-of-the-art sound system. The Hopewell, Virginia landmark is currently trying to find its legs as a city-run popular music venue.
But if you restore it, will they come?
My recent feature for Richmond Magazine shines a light on this out-of-the-way gem. Read "Beacon Revived" by clicking right here.
(Photo of promoters Susan and Laurin Willis by the mighty Jay Paul!)
For public school students, testing time approaches. But many parents and politicians are pushing back against standardized testing.
A new Federal law (the Every Student Succeeds Act) may or may not fix the identified problems, which include educators teaching to the test, classroom stress, and shifting standards.There's now a growing "assessment reform movement" of organizations and community groups urging parents to opt their kids out of testing.
My Coastal Virginia Magazine article on the changing face of standardized testing in public schools, and the emerging "Opt Out" movement in Virginia, is now online. The print headline is "Rethinking the Standards."Read it here.
"Fresh Voices," my feature article on Richmond's Afrikana Independent Film Festival, is online at the Richmond Magazine website.
The grassroots Afrikana produces a floating series of events called "Noir Cinema," which brings up-and-coming African-American filmmakers to different venues around town. The non-profit's founder, Enjoli Moon, says that it's "a series dedicated to exploring the genre of short indie films by and about people of color from across the globe."
I'm proud to be one of the content providers for a new online exhibit created by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, in partnership with the Google Cultural Institute, that celebrates African-American history in Virginia.
The special web exhibit focuses on Virginia gospel artists, and my liner notes for Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes' Live in Richmond CD are included, along with music clips, bios and other information on the Paschall Brothers and Charlie McClendon.