Robin Robinson Rocked Media Training at Willis Tower

Chicago media legend Robin Robinson hangs out with True Star members Cierra Lemott and Taylor Anthony during a recent media training workshop at Willis Tower.

Award-winning news anchor Robin Robinson held a workshop at the Willis Tower with members of the XL Fest team to gather ideas behind the scenes. True Star had the privilege of being in attendance and meeting the legend herself.

The workshop consisted of a brainstorm session surrounding XL Fest and whether it was a Black or BIPOC festival. Each attendee was given a chance to speak about what they identified the festival as. We eventually concluded that this is indeed a Black festival because that’s the main demographic of participants. Despite this, one thing was made clear: anyone and everyone is welcome to attend.

Troy Pryor, founder and CEO of XL Fest and Creative Cypher, said that the workshop was a “great opportunity for me to sit back and listen to others and gain wisdom because this is a communal environment.”

He emphasized the importance of this gathering and everyone’s different perspectives which contributed to the future changes being made to the festival.

“No one person can do this, and this workshop really helped us clarify some of our talking points,” Pryor said. “What I liked most about this workshop was the opportunity to hear the perspectives of everyone else and to gain clarity on things that have been possibly a gray area for us. It was great for us to align.”

When speaking of the importance of the event and the media training that came with it, Robinson said it was like storytelling. “You can have the best thing in the world going,” she said, “but if nobody knows about it, then the world doesn’t get to benefit from it.”

Robinson’s hope for the next generation of storytellers is that “they can create content and it will not matter if they’re Black, brown, purple, polka-dot; that it will just be judged on the merits of the content.”

In regard to the future of XL Fest, things are still developing and improvements are being made to the festival.

“This is a process but I’m very grateful to say we have an amazing team helping build this and I’m very empowered and excited about the future,” Pryor said. “I’m just so happy that True Star is in the building and they’re going to be rocking with us at XL Fest and just very blessed and grateful for everyone that has taken time out of their day to be a part of this.”


By Cierra Lemott, Columbia College Chicago alumni

Instagram: @cece.kodak / @kodakscamera

X: @LemottCierra


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Written by Cierra Lemott

I'm a professional procrastinator and my hobbies include sleeping, eating, and Netflix binging.

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