Among the highlights of the star-studded African American Arts Alliance’s 14th Annual Black Excellence Awards show at the DuSable Museum, was the presentation of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” to Chicago native son, Joel Hall.
The prestigious accolade recognized Joel Hall’s enduring dedication to his artistic craft and innumerable international achievements in dance, extending more than 4 decades in the Chicago arts community.
“Joel is a pioneer,” said Jackie Taylor, president of the African American Arts Alliance board of directors. “He is nationally and internationally recognized. Who better to recognize than someone who has added to the development of the arts in our community. He is legendary.”
The award was presented on stage to Mr. Hall by Chuck Smith, associate director of the Goodman Theater, who echoed Taylor’s remarks, saying that the decision to award Hall with this honor was a “resounding unanimous vote” and further that “Joel Hall’s name is known the world over for his excellence and his energy.”
In his gracious and moving acceptance speech, Mr. Hall chose the occasion to challenge the audience to take better care of the youth of today, as they represent the “next wave … and without them there is no wave.”
“Dance has played a very important role in my life because I had the opportunity to receive it,” said Joel Hall. “But many young people in the streets that I see today do not have those opportunities. I want to make sure that you notice who they are when you see them … because they are everywhere. I want you to look into their eyes and let them know that you love them and that you care about them … because without that, there is no dance.”
A large group of Joel Hall’s current and former dancers, friends and family were on hand at the event to help celebrate his “Lifetime Achievement Award.” (click on thumbnail photo above to enlarge.)