The Happiness Club

August 5, 2010 5:59:58 AM PDT
Teens and tweens often pay more attention to each other than they do to teachers and parents. That's the idea behind The Happiness Club, a diverse group of Chicago students, who use original hip-hop, pop music and dance to reach their peers.

From all economic and social backgrounds, The Happiness Club www.thehappinessclub.com members promote positive values and social change. They've turned the tables on rap's bad "rep" by singing out against drugs, gangs, violence and smoking, and saying "yes" to education, tolerance, high self-esteem and helping the environment.

Founded in 1992, the performance group consists of 50 young people, who volunteer about 400 hours each year, writing, choreographing, and performing their original works; as mentors in Chicago and suburban schools, and moderating "Talkin' it Out" sessions at schools and community events

The Happiness Club won the City of Chicago's 2010 Earth Day video contest for their music video "So Hot," a song they wrote to increase awareness of global warming. They'll perform the song at the premiere of the documentary film "Carbon Nation" at 7 pm on Tuesday, August 10 in Millennium Park. The movie premiere hosted by the City of Chicago will celebrate the power of every-day climate change solutions for families, homes and businesses.

This summer they have received other prestigious invitations to perform at major events. On Thursday, August 5, The Happiness Club will appear at the Country Financial Chef Challenge at 11 am at the Daley Center in Chicago. This weekend they'll perform at Kidzapalooza. Tor Hyams, Grammy nominated producer and the co-founder of Kidzapalooza, www.kidzapalooza.com asked the group to appear at the free, family-friendly stage that is part of this weekend's Lollapalooza Music Festival www.lollapalooza.com in Grant Park. The Happiness Club is scheduled on Friday, August 6 at 11:30 a.m. and on Saturday, August 7 and Sunday, August 8 at 3 p.m.

The Happiness Club is also recording two songs produced by Hyams. One will be included in his upcoming album. The other, called "Change the Game," a song about improving nutrition for children, is part of the new website Eat to A New Beat www.eattoanewbeat.com, sponsored by Applegate Farms. The music video will debut on the site on August 9. Eat to a New Beat invites kids to challenge The Happiness Club to a "dance off," a great way for them to get some exercise.

The Happiness Club will appear at the Tall Ships Festival at Navy Pier August 25 through August 27. Other summer appearances included Hip Hop Heritage Month and the Taste of Chicago. The Happiness Club has performed for former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. They have opened for Mariah Carey and were invited to perform in Paris by that city's mayor.

Artistic director and choreographer Tanji Harper and musical director Justin Butler lead the organization For more information, visit www.thehappinessclub.com and www.kidzapalooza.com

THE HAPPINESS CLUB

11 am Thursday at the Daley Center

7pm Wednesday in Millennium Park

11:30 am Friday and 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday at Kidzapalooza

Carbon Nation Celebration at Millennium Park
City of Chicago Climate Action Team Presents Screening
Event to feature green carpet, live performances, celebrity appearances and the Chicago premiere of "Carbon Nation"
Chicago Department of Environment, "Carbon Nation", Chicago Climate Action Plan team, Broadway In Chicago, Dreamworks and others come together to celebrate the power of climate change solutions

WHAT: The City of Chicago's Climate Action Plan Team will host a Carbon Nation Celebration to celebrate the power of every-day climate change solutions for families, businesses and citizens. The event will include:

  • Performances by comedian Hal Sparks and the Happiness Club, and others
  • Family activities and exhibits including a green carpet and photo opportunities, hands-on activities for children and adults alike
  • Celebrity appearances on the green carpet the star of SHREK THE MUSICAL from Broadway In Chicago
  • The Chicago premiere and free screening of "Carbon Nation"
  • WHO: Open to the public for free; attendees include:

  • Bill Kurtis, acclaimed documentary host and producer
  • Hal Sparks, actor and comedian
  • Suzanne Malec-McKenna, commissioner, Chicago Department of Environment
  • Peter Byck, director and producer of "Carbon Nation"
  • Van Jones, green jobs guru
  • Star of Broadway In Chicago's Shrek The Musical
  • The Happiness Club, a group of Chicago kids who sing, dance, rap and create original material designed to encourage positive values and social change through the arts.
  • WHEN: Tuesday, August 10, 2010: 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. CT

  • 7:15-8:15 p.m.: Performances, music, fun activities and speeches
  • 8:15-10:00 p.m.: Chicago premiere of "Carbon Nation"
  • WHERE: Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park

    201 E. Randolph St., between Michigan Ave and Columbus Ave

    WHY: This event is to celebrate the city's commitment to environmental leadership and tackling climate change. In 2008, the city launched the Chicago Climate Action Plan which focuses on five major strategies--from energy efficient buildings and renewable energy to transportation, waste pollution and adaptation--to reduce Chicago's greenhouse emissions 25 percent by 2020. The movie puts climate actions, on both the national and international stage, on the big screen.

    VISUALS:

  • Chicago residents watching Millennium Park's outdoor screening
  • Happiness Club musical performance by students from across the city's schools
  • Stars of the films
  • Kids and family exhibits
  • CONTACT: RSVPs required for media credentials. Contact Laura Wilson at Laura.Wilson@edelman.com or 312-240-3364


    Load Comments