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Operation Restoration – Sponsor A Child

Details from IN FOCUS
Broadcaster: Deanne Heron
Broadcast on Monday 21/11/2011

OPERATION RESTORATION – Sponsor A Child

Operation Restoration Christian School
A remedial school in Trench Town, Kingston, Jamaica.
Motto: “CHANGING OUR COMMUNITY TO IMPACT THE NATION AND THE WORLD”

Founder/Executive Director: Lorna Stanley
12c Collie Smith Drive, Trench Town
Kingston 12, Jamaica W.I.
Tel./Fax: 001 876 967 4245
Email: operationrestoration-cs@cwjamaica.com

For more details see: www.operation-restoration.org

Sponsorship forms from the website or by phoning Frances Tagoe on 07932078937.

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ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE CHRISTMAS Dinner & Dance
The Britannia Country House Hotel
Friday 2nd December 2011
For more details see www.allthingsrpossible.com.

Nile Rodgers @ Zion Centre

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On 11th and 12th November 2011, Nile Rodgers (of Chic) was in Manchester, appearing at two events: an interview at the Zion Arts Centre and a concert at The Warehouse Project, Store Street.

Neither seemed the best way to see Nile Rodgers: either listen to him talk (£7) or hear him play live in a tunnel along with a bunch of over-hyped DJs (£25).

Nile was in the UK to promote his autobiography, written in the wake of his recovery from cancer, Le Freak, An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny.

During the first half of the evening at Zion, the interviewer, Dave Haslam, asked Nile about events described in his book: his chaotic childhood, his relationship with his mother, his musical inheritance from his father and his creative partnership with Bernard Edwards.

After the interval, Nile had his guitar with him; he showed us ideas behind some of his best known songs.

Here Nile talks about the huge impression which Giorgio Moroder’s work made upon him, how he tried to emulate a sequencer using his guitar, and how this led directly to Chic’s ‘I Want Your Love’.

Nile also described how Sister Sledge recorded two songs which were originally written for Chic – ‘Thinking About You’ and ‘He’s The Greatest Dancer’:

He described how New York ‘black middle class’ clubs for ‘buppys’ – black upwardly-mobile young professionals – were the basis for Chic’s image… the bankers’ suits. From the start, Nile and Bernard decided to remain ‘anonymous’ so they could still go out without being bothered by people. They took this idea from the rock band ‘Kiss’ who they knew socially from the club/band scene in New York. The ‘high fashion’ image was borrowed from Roxy Music, who Nile had seen perform in London. They thought this slick, glamourous but anonymous image would work locally for the New York club-goers and globally, as a reflection of people’s ideas about New York.

He explained how the ‘Disco Backlash’ arose out of a sports stadium promotion, which unexpectedly gained momentum nationally. As a result, Nile and Bernard found themselves consciously distancing themselves from Chic’s sound when they worked with Diana Ross in 1980:

I’m Coming Out!

Here, Nile describes collaborating with David Bowie on the song ‘Let’s Dance’ from the album of the same name (released in 1983.) David’s ‘concept’ for the album was a picture of Little Richard in a red suit getting into a red cadillac convertible – “That’s rock’n'roll!”

Nile has included this piece of film on his blog Friends of Chic, so I assume it’s OK to post it, and the other short pieces of film, on here.

A high point of the evening for Dave Haslam, the interviewer and organiser of the event, was introducing Nile Rodgers to Johnny Marr (The Smiths’ guitarist and song writer), who had come along as a member of the audience.

Chic’s set at Warehouse Project lasted for over an hour and there was a full band on stage. The acoustics were poor (from where I was standing) but the atmosphere was really good, although I heard people grumbling afterwards; there was confusion about numbers like Madonna’s ‘Like A Virgin’ (which Nile produced) and Modjo’s ‘Lady’, which was based on a sample from Chic’s ‘Soup For One’. Some people thought they’d been treated to a series of random cover versions.

Johnny Marr appeared on-stage for the last number (there wasn’t an encore.)

It was a good gig… and all the better for not being at The Bridgewater Hall, for the atmosphere if not the acoustics… but the Zion Centre was better still, because we could hear Nile’s guitar so clearly.

For a longer version of this article see www.mancky.co.uk.

Inside Out – Alexandra Arts

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INSIDE OUT is a global art project, open to everyone, set up by French street artist JR in Cailfornia on March 3rd 2011.

It is about making invisible people visible.

Anyone can take pictures of faces with “strong” expressions and upload them to the website insideoutproject.net.

JR and his crew create posters from these images; the posters are then sent back to the original picture-takers to be stuck up on surfaces in their communities.

It’s an extension of JR’s work so far, which has involved turning pictures of ordinary people’s faces into large posters and fly posting them on buildings… first in the Paris suburbs and then in the Middle East, Africa and South America:

JR believes these images break down social barriers and prejudices by celebrating individual people who would otherwise go unseen or unnoticed.

INSIDE OUT is funded by TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) – a non-profit organisation dedicated to ‘ideas worth spreading’.

Based in the United States, TED gives an award every year to an exceptional individual; the award consists of $100,000 and resources to grant ‘one wish to change the world’. 2010′s recipient was Jamie Oliver; JR received the TED Prize in 2011.

JR’s Wish is:
“I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we’ll turn the world…INSIDE OUT.”

Through the INSIDE OUT project, Alexandra Arts and the children of St Mary’s C.E. School, Moss Side, produced a series of portraits which were displayed outside the Windrush Millenium Centre on Alexandra Road.

Alexandra Arts is based at Alexandra Park, Whalley Range. Lead Artist Lotte Karlsen organised weekly photo shoots with sixteen children aged 6-7, from the St Mary’s School Art Club. The children took photos of each other whilst expressing their feelings about nature in the inner city.

Pictures were then chosen and enlarged to become the posters which can now be seen outside the Windrush Millenium Centre:

“We want humanity to realise that healthy relationships between people and landscapes are as important in the city as everywhere else.”

For a longer version of this article see www.mancky.co.uk.