2021 Healing IL Project



January 2021, The Friends of the Coronado Foundation received a  HEALING Illinois Grant  through the  Illinois Dept. of Human Services  and the  Chicago Community Trust  to promote racial healing. The project produced a stage performance of music, dance, and personal stories to foster conversations and understanding, and to facilitate learning. 

Friends of the Coronado Healing IL Project - Mission Statement

(Developed by the FOC Healing IL Project Committee and Participants) 

The Coronado, what it is and what it symbolizes, exemplifies the highest standards—equity, inclusion, and diversity are no exceptions.  We believe our HEALING IL project will inspire understanding and expectations that ensure day-to-day operations, audiences and programming at the Coronado Performing Arts Center are inclusive and equitable.  

Our Healing project performance and video is a visual statement of our commitment to support racial equity at the Coronado Performing Arts Center.


Breaking Chains, Healing Wounds, Making Change

About our Healing IL project 

Our HEALING IL project brought people together as community members to produce and film individuals of color as performance artists and narrators on the Coronado Theatre stage; to promote conversations, understanding, and facilitate racial healing.

We engaged our Black and Latino community members in community collaborations. The project committee developed a performance to tell a progressive story using artistic expressions of systemic racism and of healing. 

Hosting this at the Coronado Theatre forever embed in Coronado history our Healing project: our purposeful action step for racial belonging at the Coronado Theatre. 

In the grandest testimony, the project speaks to the extraordinary value our community places on the process of racial healing.

Project Objectives (Per Healing IL Grant Award) 
  1. Create a performance video is a visual statement of our commitment to support racial equity at the Coronado Performing Arts Center 
  2. Promote dialogue with the project development committee, theatre staff and inclusion training activities.  
  3. Encourage collaboration through artistic activities and organizational partnerships required for performance production and public viewing engagement.  
  4. Facilitate learning using the grandness and beauty of world-class architecture and the connection qualities of artistic expression for community healing.   
  5. Create an environment for the participants and viewers to promote racial equity, understanding and healing.  
  6. Inspire actions to ensure that day-to-day operations at the Coronado Performing Arts Center are inclusive.  
  7. Provide a platform for ongoing public viewing and engagement on the Friend’s website 
Our Healing IL Grant Funding Included: 
  1. DEIB Training - Project includes Racial EDI Training – FOC board members, committee and volunteers, Coronado staff, RAVE board members 
  2. Venue and film production costs 
  3. Performance and artist stipends 
  4. Editing Expenses

True Liberty Film Credits

Filmed on the stage of the historic Coronado Theatre in Rockford Illinois.

Director/Writer…. Tamir Bell

Executive Producer …. Friends of the Coronado and the True Liberty Project Committee 


  • African American Resource Center at Booker Washington (AARCBW) Youth Singers
  • Autumn Rhodes 
  • Pamela Sue Rhodes 
  • Malachi Goldsmith 
  • Stephanie Goldsmith 
  • Stephanie Arteaga 
  • Elias Soria 
  • Sulley Cadengo 
  • Melissa Santillan 
  • Brandon Gordon 
  • Ricardo Montoya Picazo 
  • Martesha Brown 
  • Armando Cardenas 
  • Ella Lakey
  • Maggie Arango

Director of Photography … Yash Musabji

Production Team…

  • Russell White  
  • George Davis 
  • Naqueesea Sharp 
  • Kandrice Jackson 
  • David Hightower 
  • Earnest Wingo 

Special Thanks … 

  • Coronado Theatre Stage Crew and Stage Management  
  • Sound Concepts – Bruce and Dave 

With extraordinary heart and honesty, our True Liberty film was made possible by the dedication of many Rockford community members who worked together over many months to produce this project.  True Liberty brought people together as a community through the connectivity of artistic expression to promote conversations, understanding, and racial healing.  

True Liberty Project Committee

  • Armando Cardenas 
  • Ricardo Montoya Picazo 
  • Martesha Brown 
  • Mary McNamara Bernsten 
  • Tamir Bell 
  • Kandrice Jackson 
  • Naqueesea Sharp 
  • Brandon Gordon 
  • George Davis 
  • Beth Howard 
  • Melissa Santillan 
Friends of the Coronado

Our mission is to champion the historic Coronado Theatre, a time-honored symbol of civic pride, as a performing arts center and community asset for all to use and share. Friends of the Coronado is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


324 N. Main Street
Rockford, IL 61101


Friends of the Coronado Foundation
P.O. Box 1976
Rockford, IL 61110



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