Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

June 15: JoAnn Baylor and Shawn D. Wilson will receive the 2014 STAR Award at First A.M.E. Church: Bethel

StarProgram2014Flyer 2JoAnn Baylor and Shawn D. Wilson will receive the 2014 STAR Award, presented by the Metro New York Chapter of the Jackson State University Alumni Association. The 26th annual STAR (Special Thanks And Recognition) program will be held at the First A.M.E. Church: Bethel on Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 3:00pm, located at 60 West 132nd Street (between Lenox & 5th Avenue) in Harlem, New York. The event is free and open to the public.

STAR annually recognizes the achievements of native Mississippians who reside in the tri-state (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) area. Actors Marjorie Johnson and Jay Unger will return to emcee this year’s program. Guest artists scheduled to perform include Dwight Lamar, Gary Mitchell, Jr., Angela Polite, C. Niambi Steele and the cast from the musical Flambeaux.

A reception will follow with a “down home” meal provided by the JSU Metro New York Alumni Chapter in association with the newly formed STAR M.O.M. (Making Our Masterpieces) and STAR D.A.D. (Donating Appetizing Dishes). The menu includes Niambi’s delicious GREENS, Richarda’s scrumptious RUM CAKE, Sharon’s delightful FISH CAKES, Twyner’s famous PUNCH, Naylor’s savory SALAD and refreshing MISSISSIPPI SWEET TEA, L.E.’s Southern-style CHICKEN WINGS, M.J.’s delectable POTATO SALAD, and MORE.

JoAnn Baylor

JoAnn Baylor

JoAnn Baylor, CEO of Make My Cake, Inc., has roots in West Point, MS. Her desserts are known for their authentically soulful, homemade flavor. She honed her skills for hospitality management, nutrition and recipe development with Associate and Bachelor of Science degrees from the City University of New York (CUNY), as well as a host of continuing education courses in cake styling.  After launching a successful home-based business selling holiday cakes in 1996, JoAnn expanded her enterprise into Make My Cake, Inc., a full-service retail and wholesale bakery that draws thousands of loyal visitors every year.  Make My Cake, Inc. offers their clientele heavenly desserts such as the New York Times’ pick, Red Velvet Cake, Food Network favorite, German Chocolate Cake, and local best-seller, Sweet Potato Cheesecake.  Currently with two thriving locations in the heart of Harlem and an ever-expanding international client base, Make My Cake, Inc. continues to make a unique imprint on the baking world and has solidified Ms. Baylor’s  legacy as an inspirational and celebrated entrepreneur.

Shawn Wilson

Shawn Wilson

Shawn D. Wilson, director/producer, is an award winning documentary filmmaker. Prior to pursuing his filmmaking and real estate endeavors, Shawn worked as an image and branding consultant, managing several high-profile accounts with clients such as American Express, Delta and the Department of State. After moving to New York City from his home in Mississippi to pursue a career in acting, Shawn became involved with the filmmaking industry. Over the past several years, Shawn led the production of several highly visible television projects and documentaries. He has also established himself as a noted public speaker, focusing on building communities through the art of film.

Shawn is heavily involved with several extracurricular organizations such as Family Equality, the National Action Network, and the Parent Teacher Association at Mary McDowell FRIENDS School. He currently resides in Brooklyn with his husband Martin and their son, Noble.

For more information, please call 917.690.3684.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
May 12: Tony Award Nominee Norm Lewis Debuts as ‘The Phantom’ and Sierra Boggess Returns as Christine in Phantom of The Opera
Jun. 23: The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall Features Chapman Roberts, Norm Lewis, André De Shields, Chuck Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon and More
May 19: The Orphan of Zhao’s BD Wong and A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff in Conversation at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater
Jun. 4-29: Tony Award–winner BD Wong Leads Cast of A.C.T.’s U.S. Premiere of Orphan of Zhao, a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse
Photos: André Braugher, Ami Brabson, Christine Toy Johnson, Antoinette LaVecchia, Richard Topol, Victor Williams, Nikkole Salter, Elizabeth Van Dyke at Oni Faida Lampley’s Tough Titty at the Paradise Factory
Photos: Harriet Harris, John Tartaglia, Christine Toy Johnson, Alan Muraoka, James Saito and More celebrate Ann Harada’s Debut at Lincoln Center in the American Songbook Series 
Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan
Jun. 4-29: Tony Award–winner BD Wong Leads Cast of A.C.T.’s U.S. Premiere of Orphan of Zhao, a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Leads 2014 Tony Award Nominations; Bryan Cranston, LaTanya Richardson, Neil Patrick Harris, Mark Rylance, Audra McDonald, Leigh Silverman among nominees
Signature Theatre to Be Honored with the 2014 Regional Theatre Tony Award
Photos: Late Night with Holy Land’s Jojo Gonzalez
Photos: The George Gee Swing Orchestra at SWING46; Launches Indiegogo Campaign for New CD, Swing Makes You Happy
Photos: Bryan Cranston, Peter Jay Fernandez, Roslyn Ruff, Tamara Tunie, Leslie Uggams, Ruben Santiago-Hudson Celebrate All The Way Opening Night
Photos: André De Shields, Michael Shannon, Rajiv Joseph, Christine Sherrill, Doug Peck, Alexis J. Rogers, Karen Ziemba and More Celebrate 2013 Jeff Equity Awards
Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards
Q & A with Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play’s Garth Kravits
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party
Celebrating my mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999 Crafting a Career
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia recently starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Phynjuar, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York.  She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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