A couple months ago, Everything Goes Media celebrated with The Chicago Lighthouse at Navy Pier a beautiful, sunny day (Lake Michigan was actually glistening next to us!) filled with incredible talent and a wonderful message at Center Stage for Access and Inclusion. Chicago Treasure sponsored this free festival for the whole family. Rich Green, the illustrator and co-author of Chicago Treasure took the stage with Chicago Treasure’s own Cinderella, Maritza Cervantes. Maritza shared with the audience her joy at having the opportunity to be in the pages of this unique book. Rich Green autographed copies of Chicago Treasure to the delight of fans.
For three full hours, the audience was enthralled with amazing performance after amazing performance. Center Stage for Access and Inclusion’s headlining performer was Avett Ray, a seven-year-old piano prodigy who has appeared on American Idol and the Today Show and has millions of YouTube views. His rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody" left the audience in complete awe.
The breadth and variety of performances by artists young and old, with and without special needs, was unparalleled. School of Rock totally rocked out with their own spin on songs we love. Kyla Pereles of Young Chicago Authors shared two of her uplifting poems. The winner of the Chicago Bulls Kids Talent Search Dallas Da Drummer’s sticks were flying with lightening speed and perfect beat. Tommy Carroll’s Calculated Discomfort shared a personal journey through their pulsating jazz fusion. Ben Noble’s stand-up routine had the audience roaring with laughter. MOMENTA danced a breathtaking pas de deux and then recounted their personal stories of the transformative power of dance and their mission to make dance accessible to all. Martell Hill aka The Lighthouse Rapper shared a positive message of empowerment and acceptance through his use of rhyme and rhythm. The Trinity Irish Dance Trio demonstrated some seriously fancy footwork. Mister Danny of Chicago Magic Lounge made playing cards magically float from the hands of one stunned participant to another and read the minds of astonished audience members when he correctly guessed the number they were thinking of. Praetorium Sign Language Choir showed the beauty of language and the universality of music with their spirited performance that got the whole crowd dancing. Powerhouse Sons of the Never Wrong closed out the show with their original turbo-charged altfolk songs. As emcee, WGCI Radio personality and comedian Leon Rogers kept the energy following, the afternoon moving, and the audience giggling.