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Black Creativity Gala-Recap

January 30, 2017

Awakening by Harmonia Rosales


If you know me, you know I love a gala and this past Saturday, January 28th I had the pleasure of attending the 34th annual Black Creativity gala which is held at the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Hyde Park.

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago hosted its 34th annual Black Creativity Gala on Saturday, January 28, 2017. The Gala, planned in collaboration with a committee of prominent Chicago African-American leaders, raised $400,000 to support 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 600 people attended the Gala.

“Hundreds of guests came to MSI to celebrate diversity in science and art during this year’s Black Creativity Gala,” said David Mosena, president and CEO of the Museum. “Their support helps MSI continue Black Creativity programming that honors African-American innovators and artists, which in turn inspires the next generation to invent new solutions that will continue to shape our lives.”

The Gala was chaired by Cheryl Harris, senior vice president at Allstate Insurance Company. The evening started with hundreds of guests enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the annual Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition, a gallery featuring more than 100 original works of art from professional and aspiring African-American artists, including dozens of student artists.

This ‘after dark’ event is an incredible way to take in the museum in a way that many have never experienced before.

Chicago Children’s Choir


Juried Art Reception — by Kasumi Chow (2)

Gerald Griffins-Breakfast at Tiana’s

The cocktail reception included a performance from the Children’s Choir.  After cocktails, guests headed to the museum’s  beautiful  rotunda where they enjoyed  elegant food stations. Dinner options included fresh seafood, delicious New Orleans-inspired cuisine, as well as delectable desserts including made-to-order ice cream created using liquid nitrogen! I must say, there was a little bit of everything for everyone!

Dante Hall and band




Close Up food — Alison Neidt Toonen

Chris Spencer, actor, writer and producer, was the emcee for the  program. During dinner guests also enjoyed live musical entertainment from Dante Hall, whose band had people on their feet dancing along as he sang.  Also, during the gala, the Black Creativity Innovation Studio was open, providing guests with hands-on activities.  In addition to the Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition and the Innovation Studio, guests were also able to enjoy other MSI exhibits throughout the evening, including Brick by Brick, Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze, Science Storms and The Great Train Story.  Guests were surprised with an appearance by the Chicago Cubs’ World Series Champion Trophy!



DJ Nick “Nonstop” Nicholson closed the gala by getting the guests on their feet dancing the night away. Many of us , including me, did not want to leave because the music was just so good!


DJ Nick “Nonstop” Nicholson


Black Creativity is the longest running exhibition of African-American art.  It has been displayed annually at MSI since 1970. The Juried Art Exhibition is included in general museum  entry and open through February 19.  If you have not checked it out, I highly suggest you add it to your things to do list!  There are some AMAZING pieces on display!

Several of the attendees of the Black Creativity Gala


Coming soon…Families will have the chance to speak with the experts who are making history. On Saturday, February 25, the Career Showcase will offer parents and children the opportunity to talk with African-American scientists, engineers and artists about their jobs, inspiring the next generation of artists and STEM professionals.


Black Creativity 2017 is presented by Allstate. Black Creativity partners are Adobe CDW, ComEd, Dover Inc., ITW, Lexus, Nicor Gas, and Peoples Gas. United Airlines is the official airline of Black Creativity. Media sponsors are Comcast and NBC 5 Chicago.


Special thanks to &BlowDry for getting me gala ready with hair and make-up!


&Blowdry is Chicago’s premier blow dry and beauty bar. They offer quick, quality blowouts, as well as nail services, waxing, make-up application and eyelash extensions. Expertly skilled staff uses premium product lines and tailors services to meet your beauty needs.  Do you have a upcoming event? Or just want to let someone else do it for you?  Check them out! Latayvea is an amazing hair stylist and Carla made me not want to wash my face I loved my makeup!!


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