When the world around her began to shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, community liaison and motivational speaker, Tisa Chalon Braddy, decided Springfield could use some of “the best medicine:” laughter.
While waiting for the world to return to reopen, Braddy used her time during the pandemic to begin coordinating A Night of Comedy presented by Chalk de Peace
Chalk de Peace – the literal meaning of Braddy’s full name – presented the first Night of Comedy at the Clark State Performing Arts Center
(PAC) in October of 2021. Since then, the comedy shows have become a welcome reprieve for audiences filling the room. A fifth Night of Comedy will be Saturday, March 12, and Braddy hopes to continue to add more events.
Originally from Miami, Florida, Braddy arrived in Springfield in 1997 – “long enough to call it home,” she says.
Braddy’s mother wanted her daughter to make a mark on the world in a peaceful manner, hence Braddy’s given name.
Braddy says she sees needs within communities, and sometimes those needs are reflections of what is needed in her “own community,” meaning her home and family.
When schools closed in 2020 – concerned for students – Braddy began tutoring. She also volunteered her time to teach a workshop at the library titled, “What do you know about money: financial literacy for youth.”
She took note of the effects of trauma around her and reached out to local professionals to establish and host a Trauma Informed Care workshop.
And as for comedy, she says, “Everybody needs to laugh.”
Comedy was a bit outside of Braddy’s comfort zone, but she was challenged by a friend to take on coordinating the “A Night of Comedy” shows. Though not a comedian herself, Braddy has a love for the craft.
“(I am) a community liaison and motivational speaker dedicated to building community, while being aligned to the mission of those partners and staying committed to ‘making a mark on the world in a peaceful manner,’” Braddy says in a past statement. “As a result of the Covid, (I) noticed the adverse effects of the shutdown and the isolation it caused.”
Braddy says she tells the comedians the PAC’s Turner Studio Theater space is not for her, but more so for them. Comedians and audiences are now reaching out to Braddy as she has established a following for a new and unique opportunity.
“I look at comedy as love,” she says. “It has become culture. It has become family. It equates to love and lightens up life whether it be for a temporary moment or thinking of or sharing that joke months from now. It’s spreading love and light and making life a little bit easier.”
Adele Adkins, executive director of the Clark State Performing Arts Center, says working with Braddy on the comedy shows has been a wonderful partnership.
“One of the priorities coming into this season was to bring programs that brought in a wider audience,” says Adkins. “Tisa is tapped into a market that we haven’t reached before. We are seeing a lot of new faces, which is always what we strive for.”
Braddy says the comedy shows have become part of the ongoing positive changes happening in Springfield.
“It flows nicely into the changes Springfield is bringing about: the economic change, the social change. You can see so much being birthed right now in this time in Springfield. We can see it being birthed and nurtured,” she says. “Hopefully the community will continue to be receptive of all the good change coming to Springfield. I’m honored to be a part of it.”
Braddy says she would like to continue to give local talent the opportunity to be on the comedic platform and also integrate some well-known comedians.
“As I look around our community, I see people understanding that moving on together is helping everyone reach success whatever their success may look like,” says Braddy. “Moving on together is being achieved.”
The March 12 "A Night of Comedy" show will feature:
- Marcus Combs - This stand-up comedian, actor and writer has appeared in films, such as Cut’n It Up: Chicago, Def Comedy Jam, BET ComicView, Jaime Fox’s Laffapalooza on Comedy Central and The Bad Boys of Comedy.
- Deandre Stringer - This young comic from Dayton began his comedic journey four years ago. He has hosted and opened for Leonard Outzs, Hank Denson and most recently for “We Ain’t Done Wildin’ Yet” with Lil JJ and Mope Williams from Wild N’Out.
- Kyle Kemper - This young comedian from Dayton started stand-up when he was sixteen years old. Kyle is best known for his self-deprecating humor and energetic crowd work. He has won multiple comedy competitions all over the Midwest and the country.
- Cap City Comics - This group represent the talent and diversity in the comedic scene of Columbus. Christian HB, Nef Johnson, and Samson Shete come from vastly different backgrounds, which culminates into one very unique perspective. Their riffs have kept crowds across the state engaged and laughing.
Tickets for the March 12 Chalk de Peace Night of Comedy are $30 plus fees and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com.
The Clark State PAC is located at 300 S. Fountain Avenue in Springfield. All patrons, staff and volunteers are required to wear masks at all times, regardless of vaccination status in all areas of the PAC venue.
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