Celebrate summer


Indiana Black Expo

The 36th annual Indiana Black Expo is in full swing this week, and the events scheduled through Sunday, July 16 continue the decades-long tradition of showcasing African-American achievements in culture, art, history and economics as part of the Summer Celebration. The event also examines the successes and challenges of black-owned and -operated businesses and health problems that are especially prevalent in the black community, and it offers advice to young African-Americans on how to succeed not only in K-12 but in higher education as well.

For complete information for all Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration events go to www.indianablackexpo.com or call 317-925-2702.

Summer Celebration highlights

July 13-16

Cultural Arts Pavilion

Location: Indiana Convention Center, Wabash Ballrooms 1-3,Rooms 121-124

Time: 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

Price: free with admission to the

Indiana Convention Center

July 13

Employment Opportunity Fair

More than 100 potential employers will be present to provide screenings and interviews for applicants. Workshops on interviewing skills, dressing for success and online resume application services will also be offered during this time.

Location: Indiana Convention Center 500 Ballroom

Time: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

Price: free

Indiana Black Expo: Black and Minority Health Fair “In Shape Indiana”

Opening Thursday is the health fair’s opening ceremony and Senior Citizen’s Day. Learn how to maintain a healthier lifestyle at this workshop.

Location: Indiana Convention Center, Hall D

Time: 5-8 p.m.

Price: free

Indiana Black Expo Corporate Luncheon

Keynote speaker Sidney Poitier and honoree Willie Gary, Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard and Brandon L. Griffin

Location: RCA Dome

Time: doors open 10 a.m.; luncheon 11 a.m.-1:15 p.m.

Price: Tickets are $50 per person or $500 for a table of 10.

July 14

Indiana Black Expo Kick-off Party 2006

This event is hosted by Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Rhymefest and the Dazz Band.

Location: Indiana Convention Center, Sagamore Ballroom

Time: 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

Price: $35/ticket or table of 10 $350, VIP Table $500

July 14-16

NCAA Kids’ World

This indoor amusement area is perfect for entertaining the kids throughout the day.

Location: Indiana Convention Center

Time: noon-6 p.m.

Price: free with admission to the Indiana Convention Center

July 15

StarQuest Talent Competition

This spectacular talent competition will feature local artists singing, dancing and rapping their way to the top.

Location: RCA Dome East End

Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Price: free with admission to the Indiana Convention Center

Holla Back Teen Forum

This teen forum, featuring Ken L., the men from That’s So Raven and Shar Jackson focuses on issues and concerns facing today’s youth.

Location: Indiana Convention Center, White River BallroomTime: 2 p.m.

Price: free with admission to the Indiana Convention Center

Saving Our Youth Celebrity Basketball Game

Don’t miss celebrities Big Tigga, Edgerin James, Vh1’s Flava Flav and Tweet hitting the hardwood.

Location: RCA Dome

Time: 6-8 p.m.

Price: free with admission to the Indiana Convention Center

Fashion Show: “Hip Hop to Chic” — A Fashion Revolution

Get a preview of new fall and holiday styles, including designs from Apple Bottoms and Baby Phat.

Location: Indiana Convention Center, 500 Ballroom

Time: 5 p.m.Price: free with admission to the Indiana Convention Center

Music Heritage Festival I

See performances by special guests Mary J. Blige and Jaheim.

Location: Conseco Fieldhouse, 125 S. Pennsylvania

Time: 7 p.m.

Price: $48.99 VIP; $45.99 (tickets are on sale at all Ticketmaster locations and online)

July 16

Gospel Music Expolosion

This musical event will feature performances by Oscar Williams Jr. and Perfected Praise, Bishop Neil Roberson, Pastor Norman Hutchins, Da Minista, Lil’ I Rock and Tramaine Hawkins and The Ghetto Preacher.

Location: RCA Dome, East End

Time: 3-7 p.m.

Price: free with admission to the Indiana Convention Center

WhiteLies.tv Free Concert

Take advantage of this free outdoor concert featuring En Vogue, Boyz II Men and Charlie Wilson. Get there early to claim your spot.

Location: American Legion Mall, 401 N. Meridian St.

Time: 6 p.m.

Price: free

Note: Barbeque grills, candles, bottles, coolers, pets and tents are prohibited at this smoke-free event.

UniverSoul Circus

July 12 -16

Indiana State Fairgrounds

UniverSoul Circus is staging its largest, most ambitious production ever in its 13th touring season, breaking new ground once again with the premiere of soulful center ring ice skaters, a brand new ringmaster and the return of the ringmaster’s sidekick Zeke.

With a colorful blend of talent, inspiration and soul, UniverSoul Circus reigns as the world’s premier brand of urban-rich, family entertainment. UniverSoul is the only show of its kind that captures the spirit and global influence of urban culture. “It’s cool, it’s fresh, its urban,” explains UniverSoul Founder and President Cedric Walker. “It’s more than a satisfying experience.”

With acts from North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean, UniverSoul has sought to infuse the center ring with a new energy and vitality that appeals to urban (and suburban) America. The array of cultures and talent underneath the UniverSoul Circus big top includes new acts from China, Ethiopia and France.

New in 2006, UniverSoul Circus welcomes Tony Tone, one of the fastest rising comedians in America today, as its new ringmaster. Tone, a master impressionist, has opened for Jamie Foxx, Chris Rock and Dave Chapelle, among many others. He has appeared on such shows as HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and BET’s Comicview.

“This is a show created especially and produced for everyone’s enjoyment,” Walker said. “Good, clean, fast-paced, non-stop, family fun does not discriminate. My worldwide search for young, cross-cultural talent continues to reap great rewards for the circus and its audience. These acts are amazing!”

Tickets, ranging from $12 to $32.50, are on sale now via Ticketmaster. Group sales are available by calling 800-316-7439. Show times: Opening night, 7:30 p.m.; July 13-14 at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at noon, 4:30 and 8 p.m.; Sunday at 1 and 4 p.m.Hill HarperLetters to a Young Brother Interview and booksigning

Saturday, July 15

12-1 p.m.

Literary Cafe

Rooms 121-122

Indiana Convention Center

Most people associate Hill Harper with Hollywood. In addition to his current starring role on CSI, he’s appeared in dozens of films and television shows. But he is just as comfortable in a school auditorium, rousing groups of students with his unique style of real-life wisdom. Having addressed thousands of high school and middle school students over the years, Hill is ready to take his message to an even wider audience.

Letters to a Young Brother is drawn from the humbling life lessons he learned on the road to his Ivy League education and beyond. Inspired by the countless letters and e-mails he has received from teens, Hill Harper set out to write a series of letters to young people that would catch the attention of even the most reluctant readers.

The result is a motivational but approachable book full of encouragement on a wide array of hot topics, particularly among young African-American and Hispanic men. From the challenges of getting a good education and making it through college to the media’s destructive emphasis on material wealth, Letters to a Young Brother delivers eye-opening answers.

Inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, Hill Harper, a young black actor and graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School, offers similar inspiration to young men clamoring for advice and encouragement at a time when popular culture offers little positive direction.

Will Downing



Friday, July 14

12-1 p.m.

Literary Café

Rooms 121-122

Indiana Convention Center

Grammy and NAACP Image award winner Will Downing has impressed critics and fans for years with his excellence on the stage and in the studio. But the jazz singer is now gaining a new audience of admirers with the release of Unveiled, a selection of his photography. His subjects of choice are his musical contemporaries whom he captures live on stage, in a portrait setting or in candid moments behind the curtain.

Unveiled is an art book that showcases the photography of Will Downing alongside seven new and emerging African-American artists. Each visual artist has created a unique interpretation of one of Will Downing’s photographs and “Unveiled Series I” displays each artist’s individual works, including paintings, sculpture, collage and mixed media.

Brooklyn-born Downing is a self-taught photographer who has been photographing musicians in intimate backstage and portrait settings for 10 years. An accomplished recording artist since 1988, Will Downing was inspired by musicians/photographers Milt Hinton and William Gotlieb, among many others.

Mary J. Blige and Jaheim

Music Heritage Festival I

Saturday, July 15

7 p.m.

Conseco Fieldhouse

Only the second stop on her new tour, “The Breakthrough Experience,” Mary J. Blige comes to Conseco Fieldhouse as part of the Black Expo Musical Heritage Festival.

The tour is in support of Blige’s seventh and most recent CD, The Breakthrough, released late last December. The Breakthrough, contrary to run-up rumors, is no retrospective or greatest-hits package. Rather than reheat, Blige and producers Dr. Dre, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Will.i.am tasked themselves with stirring a river of hurt into some of the highest-caliber hip-hop/soul to hit the airwaves in a long time.

This live show is expected to feature most of the new songs from the album, as well as some old favorites.

Also on the bill, Jaheim, like Blige, is hot off the heels of a chart-topping album, Ghetto Classics, which has spawned two hit singles, “Everytime I Think About You” and “The Chosen One.” According to Rolling Stone magazine, “With a croon that practically invites panties to rain down on stage plus a taste for street-wise beats that any half-sensitive thug can appreciate, New Jersey native Jaheim Hoagland is pushing hip-hop soul toward perfection.”

Tickets can be purchased at the Conseco Fieldhouse Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, including select statewide Marsh stores and Home Court II in Circle Centre Mall, by phone at 317-239-5151 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.

Downtown driving

A map of Indiana Black Expo events, parking and traffic information is available online at www.indydt.com/inblackexpo.html.

Traffic traveling south on Capitol Avenue will not be allowed to turn left on to Maryland or Georgia streets Friday, July 14 through Sunday, July 16. In addition, traffic traveling east on Maryland Street will not be able to turn left on to Illinois or Meridian streets.

On Sunday, July 16 streets will be restricted surrounding the American Legion Mall. This area includes North Street from Meridian to Pennsylvania streets, Pennsylvania Street from North to St. Clair streets, St. Clair Street from Pennsylvania to Meridian streets and Meridian Street from St. Clair to North streets.

Suggested alternate routes, particularly for Sunday evening, include Capitol Avenue and Illinois Street for north-south travel and Washington and Maryland streets for east-west travel. West Street, East Street, South Street and the surrounding interstate highways will also be good options for easier travel during the event.

• Plan your driving and walking route into and through downtown ahead of time.

• Use interstates to travel to and leave downtown.

• Enter downtown from the side on which you plan to park.

• Allow plenty of extra travel time to downtown.

• Be aware that travel through downtown will be limited to streets away from the core area.

• Relax during peak exit times.

• Wear comfortable shoes, park once and enjoy the walk.

• Carpool or use IndyGo if possible.

• Plan to use a garage or lot.

Most meters near the event sites are restricted during this time.

The Mayor’s Hospitality Center will be open throughout Summer Celebration weekend, located inside the Indiana Convention Center near the Maryland Street entrances. Mayor Peterson, deputy mayors and members of the mayor’s staff will be available to assist guests during these times:

Friday, July 15, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Saturday, July 16, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Sunday, July 17, noon-8 p.m.