African American Coalition of Reading, which runs an art gallery in the GoggleWorks in Reading, is celebrating its 10th anniversary Black History Month.
This year, Success from the Past is the theme.
The main focus this year as all other years is to inspire and encourage African American and other artists with the arts, such as writing, poetry, theater, entertainment, and music, to help the individual pursue this type of profession or talent.
The celebration is meant to give children a sense of pride in their heritage.
This year's Black History Month program will showcase art work from the Reading School District in the GoggleWorks and in Boscov's North at the Fairgrounds Square Mall.
City Council President Vaughn Spencer will host a program that will be a union of cultural performances, spirituality, music and art.
As another part of our Black History Month program, A.C.O.R. will present our Community Service Award to Edna Garcia, CEO and founder of RIZE.
RIZE is a Reading-based youth program that encourages youth to develop their creative voices. It uses education and film-making as a means to promote nonviolent conflict resolution.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Edna was raised in a community full of culture, different ethnicities and talent. A vocalist since the age of 4 and a graduate of the High School of the Performing Arts, Edna's fascination with entertainment led her into film.
She landed her first job at Video Music Box with her friend and mentor Ralph McDaniels and then had the opportunity to be an assistant producer and casting director for Classic Concepts and Big Dog Films.
After four years in film, Edna completed her bachelor's in business administration and minored in liberal arts at Hunter College.
She then returned to New York Paralegal School and became a board certified paralegal. Edna established her own legal services for entertainment law.
Edna is extremely interactive with the media and political campaigns in her community and worldwide.
She is the founder of the RIZE Program — www.rizeprogram.com — and serves on the board of various organizations in the community.
And Chad Cortez Everett will be named artist of the year for 2011.
Everett was born and raised in Philadelphia. He attended high school at Overbrook High School, an art-magnet program in West Philadelphia.
Chad was selected from 200 applicants to attend the Pennsylvania Governor's School of Excellence during the summer of 1990. He graduated from high school in 1992 and received a bachelor's of fine arts in painting and a certification in art education from Temple University, Tyler School of Art.
He worked with famous artist teachers such as Richard Cramer and John Dowell, who helped Chad develope his artistic talents.
Chad attended the Hoffeberger School of Painting at The Maryland Institute, College of Art and worked with Grace Hartigan, a famous American expressionist painter.
Chad was given The Phillip Morris Scholarship to attend graduate school at The Maryland Institute, College of Art, and he graduated in 1999 with a master's of fine arts in painting.
Chad teaches art in New Castle, Del., and continues to create and exhibit art works throughout the Chester County area. He won second place in the 2010 regional exhibition at the Center for the Creative Arts in Delaware.