On Saturday, June 11, Oscar and Grammy-winning artist Common, the National Park Foundation, and the National Park Service celebrated the Park Exchange event in Chicago. Located in Washington Park, Lonnie Rashid ‘Common’ Lynn, Jr. hosted and served as honorary Grand Marshall for the event.
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Part of the #FindYourPark movement, the event was free to the public. It kicked-off with a traditional New Orleans second line through Washington Park led by the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, and the Black Men of Labor—a New Orleans club best known for its annual second line parades—with live musical accompaniment courtesy of South Side Chicago’s Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and New Orleans’ Treme Brass Band. Common participated in the opening remarks portion of the event, along with Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, and Peggy O’Dell, deputy director of the National Park Service.
Common is an American hip hop recording artist, actor, writer, and film producer born in Chicago, Illinois. He gained notable mainstream success through his work in the 90’s. In 2011, he launched Think Common Entertainment, his own record label imprint. In 2015, Common earned an Academy Award for Best Original Song for his work on “Glory,” the title track from Selma, co-written with John Legend.