Hot Black Creativity Gala Warms Chicago’s Cold – By Derrick Baker

Guests mingle in the Rotunda at the Museum of Science and Industry's 2019 Black Creativity Gala. Photo by Kasumi Chow

The 36th annual Black Creativity black-tie gala on January 26 at the Museum of Science and Industry (MSA) continued the event’s respected tradition of doing good and doing well at the same time.

Witness the $475,000 raised on a frigid Saturday night to benefit MSI’s Black Creativity program and the obvious great time had by the 750 guests who alternately – and sometimes concurrently – danced, ate, drank, socialized and networked in style at one of the city’s cultural jewels.

The nearly half million dollars raised will support the annual Black Creativity program and its events that pay tribute to the culture, heritage and scientific contributions of African Americans and help motivate youth in the sciences. The evening included live music from the Chicago Children’s Choir, DJ Nick “Nonstop” Nicholson and the Nanette Frank Jazz Orchestra.

Gala co-chairs Dr. Eric Whitaker and Dr. Cheryl Whitaker. Photo by John Wheeler

The event was co-chaired by Dr. Eric Whitaker, chairman and CEO of TWG Partners, Dr. Cheryl R. Whitaker, chairman and CEO of NextLevel Health Partners, and Cheryl Harris, senior vice president at Allstate Insurance Company.

The gala opened with a great-looking assembly of guests who enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the Juried Art Exhibition that spotlighted more than 170 original works of art from professional and amateur African-American artists, including artists ages 14-17.

Black Creativity’s Juried Art Exhibition

The Black Creativity Innovation Studio gave guests a hands-on opportunity to become creative problem solvers. Guests explored other exhibits, including Extreme Ice, Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze, Science Storms and The Great Train Story.

Guests included (from left) Cedric and Michelle Thurman, and Charmaine and David Nichols. Photo by John Wheeler

This year’s Black Creativity Program invites students, teachers and families to explore the legacy of rich contributions and achievements of African Americans, and encourages deeper interest in science and technology.

Wilbur Milhouse III was a featured Black Creativity Innovator. Photo by Kasumi Chow.
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