Photo by T. Kevin Walker
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Politicians gather for annual conference
By T. KEVIN WALKER
The National Black Caucus of
Local Elected Officials held its
summer conference here last
week, amid the glitter of the
National Black Theatre Festival.
More than 100 politicians
from across the country met to
discuss the 2000 census, charter
schools, African/American rela
tions and other wide-ranging
Local NBC/LEO members
made a successful pitch to nation
al officials to bring the conference
to Winston-Salem. In the past the
conference has been held in cities
like Washington and Las Vegas.
Local officials then persuaded the
national board to move the con
ference - usually held in June or
July - to August so that it would
coincide with the theater festival.
The host committee, which
was headed by Alderman Nelson
Malloy and Alderwoman Joycelyn
Johnson, even came up with a
conference theme - "Community
Empowerment Through Arts and
Education'* - that enhanced the
atmosphere that engulfed the qty
last week. Malloy also serves as
NBC/LEO director for the state.
"This conference gives us a
chance to network and communi
cate with our colleagues," Malloy
said last week during the confer
' ence's opening reception. "This
will benefit the constituents that
The host committee also came
up with the numerous other topics
NBC/LEO members discussed in
' . '? i
workshops. Malloy said topics
were selected because of their rel
For instance, the topic of tech
nology and African American
youths was selected because many
elected officials around the coun
try have expressed concerns about
how that population will fare as
the country becomes more and
Charles Yancey, a Boston City.
Council member who has served
See Conference on A4
i ? . m ?
* ? ' - - - -?.
73 cents ^ WlNSTON-SALEM GREENSBORO HlGH POINT Vol. XXV No. 50
0_0600 1974 - Celebrating 25 Years - 1999 t
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Photo by Felicia McMillan
" . 'V ' ^ .. . .? " ? > Photo by Jane Oslislo
Thousands packed the streets during the six-day festival. Top, actress Ja'Net DuBois talks with a pint-sized fan.
Festival jump-starts sluggish downtown
By T. KEVIN WALKER
The Chronicle '
The cadence of the drums
began last week, reverberating
off long-vacant buildings,
pumping life into a downtown
that many think has been lifeless
for years and acting as a beacon
for the thousands who followed
the infectious sounds.
The drums ushered in the
National Black Theatre Festi
val, th?, nationally-renowned
arts celebration that has made
Winston-Salem the place to be
for the past 10 years - at least
for a week.
The beat served as a con
stant backdrop for the six-day
festival. The beat went on while
greetings and money were
exchanged at the festival's ven
dors market; it continued on
through the excitement of the
nightly celebrity receptions at
the Adam's Mark Hotel.
In the wee hours of Sunday
morning, the beat died, as did
the crowds and the jubilee. It all
signaled the end of yet another
theater festival. The 1999 festi
val took its final bow Saturday,
leaving many city residents
keeping their fingers crossed for
an encore in 2001 and many
out-of-towners hoping that fes
tival officials will give their cities
Though Winston-Salem was
unrecognizable last week, things
are beginning to look familiar
again. But residents here say
they will not soon forget the
events of last week. The good
times, they say, will live on in the
stories they will tell at work this
week and in weeks to come, and
in the countless images they
captured with cameras and
The beat went on (and on....)
It is not pictures of celebri
ties that Hashim Saleh has to
remind him of the festival, nor
is it an extensive collection of
playbills from the dozens of
productions that were staged.
Saleh, head of the Otesha
Creative Dance and Music
Ensemble, has two hands filled
with white, puffy blisters that
serve as painful, but pleasant,
reminders of the festival.
Though not a billed part of
the festival, Otesha's free nightly
performances outside of the
Adam's Mark probably incited
more of a frenzy than that
inside of the celebrity-packed
Thousands formed a huge
circle around Otesha every
night, clapping their hands and
stomping their feet as the men
of the group stroked African
drums with precision and inten
sity and the Otesha women
danced up a storm.
"It's a way of paying
homage to our ancestors,"
Saleh said. "(The drums) are a
unifying force for people. When
drums are played, black people
See NBTF ,m A11
Photo by Bruce Chapman
Hathim Saloh laodi a group of drummors.
school in battle
. to remain open
State board votes to begin
process to revoke LIFT charter
9 By PAUL COLLINS " ? -
THE CHRONICLE '? ' " '
The State Board of Education voted 11-1 last week to begin
the process to revoke the charter of LIFT Academy, a public
charter school in Winston-Salem, because of financial prob
lems. But the school is expected to appeal. "?
If that happens, school officials could appear before the
state Charter School Advisory Committee on Aug. 20 to pre
sent their case!
Phil Kirk, chairman of the State
Board of Education, said, that if LIFT
Academy officials can convince the
* / Charter School Advisory Committee
that the school has its "finances in order
and they will cooperate (with) requests
for information in the future, I believe -
I can't promise fciut I believe - that the
state board will (not revoke LIFT's char
a ter). It's, not our intention to close
"The school has some severe finan
cial problems - a bad record of overdue
r. j i i . J a! . i r
I . " 1/ ? I ! J
ieuerai taxes anu a uencii ine year oeiore last, \irK saia.
The audit has not been completed for last school year.
Officials from the State Department of Public Instruction
said in previous interviews that:
? LIFT Academy did not pay.$33,861.40 in payroll taxes to
the Iiiternal Revenue Service for a period prior to LIFT Acad
emy becoming a public charter school in 1997, and the IRS
seized the $33,861 from LIFT Academy's bank account in
early 1999. (LlfT Academy was a private school before'the
See LIFT on A12
/ ? * .
HUD awards $4.5 million for
. neighborhood improvement
By JERI YOUNG
The Chronicle ? 1 j
After more than 20 years of planning, local officials have
finally received the financial boost they need to revitalize sev
eral communities in the northeastern and southeastern corn?
dors of the city. * ?
Flanked by representatives from the Department of Hous
ing and Urban Development and members of the Board of
Aldermem Mayor Jack Cavanagh announced a $4.5 million
i. *l .. . ??! l 1 r . . ..
loan inai win ne useu 10 nnance iwo
major projects that will change the face
The bulk of the loan will be used to
give long-overdue facelifts to six neigh
borhoods in the northeastern and south
eastern areas of the city, including Lin
coln-Maywood and Old Cherry neigh
borhoods, which border University Park
way. Located less than a mile from the
heart of downtown, the historic neigh
borhoods have declined over the years. Burke
Other neigh borhoods slated to bene
fit from the loan include Andrews Height, a subdivision off
New Walkertown Road; and Vulcan Quarry, a former rock
quarry that will soon house a brand-new community of home
owners. LaDeara Crest Estates, an apartment complex in the
25th Street area, will receive a portion of the loan. The pack
age also includes development efforts for the area officials are
Sec MOO ,w At
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