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Essence Music Festival 2012
The largest festival and convention celebrating African American music and culture in America, with an annual attendance of over 400,000, the 18th Essence Music Festival 2012 in New Orleans was a three-day whirlwind of incredible live performances and educational seminars. During the day, major sponsors from Fortune 500 companies as well as national artisans hosted exhibits showcasing their products and wares at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center; with giveaways from automobiles to make-overs. “Empowerment Seminars,” which included topics from the “State of the Vote: Why Your Vote Counts” to “Saving Our Sons: Rooted in the Love of Fatherhood,” were hosted by leaders within the community including Soledad O’Brian, Steve Harvey, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Roland Martin, Dr. Steve Perry, Iyanla Vanzant and Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Sermons throughout the day on Sunday were emotional and deeply felt, with gospel performances by D.C. Chapter Board member Maurette Brown Clark, LA Chapter Members Mary Mary, and Texas Chapter member Yolanda Adams, among many others.
Night time was all about the dynamic live performances happening at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where several multi-GRAMMY winning artists took the main stage singing the hits we all love, including Yolanda Adams, Mary J. Blige, D’Angelo, Melanie Fiona, Aretha Franklin, Kirk Franklin, Chaka Khan, and Mary Mary.
The Recording Academy’s presence during the Festival was well represented. Director of Marketing, Strategic Alliances & Social Media Beverly Jackson, Marketing Executive Assistant Meme Halford and Los Angeles Chapter Assistant Nicole Brown handled sponsorship production logistics and posting content, along with the Chapter team, on The Academy’s various social media properties throughout the festival, including Facebook and Twitter.
Member Services Production Manager Reid Wick and Chapter staff from D.C. (Executive Director Wendi Cherry) and Los Angeles (Regional Membership Manager Yvonne Faison) manned the “GRAMMY Lounge,” in the Convention Center next to the Essence.com Live! stage, throughout the weekend, distributing membership materials and category guidelines. It was a unique opportunity to educate potential members about the benefits of getting involved and the newly created GRAMMY Awards Urban Contemporary Album Category.
A few members stopped by the GRAMMY Lounge to say hello, including Chicago Chapter elected leader Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, D.C. Chapter member Raheem DeVaughn and NY Chapter member Eric Roberson.
Chapter staff and Digital Media Senior Project Coordinator Miranda Eggleston coordinated private video interviews with select Recording Academy members, GRAMMY winners and “rising star” talent scheduled to perform throughout the weekend, as part of GRAMMY.com’s popular “GRAMMYs on the Road” series. Interview highlights included four-time GRAMMY winner and former Texas Chapter elected leader Yolanda Adams, nine-time GRAMMY winner and Hip Hop Queen Mary J. Blige (whom the crew was able to interview last-minute backstage at the Superdome), Kenny Lattimore, The Rebirth Brass Band (54th GRAMMY Award winners for Best Regional Roots Album) and Trey Songz, plus rising stars Alex Boyd, Luke James, the OMG Girlz and Q Parker.
Check GRAMMY.com for upcoming “GRAMMYs on the Road” Essence Music Festival interviews. Special thanks go out to all of the artists who participated.
For photos of various artists we interviewed visit: http://www.grammy365.com/gallery/renee1226/2012-essence-musi...