In Pictures: Highlights from Beats x Beers' 'Toast' event and awards ceremony

FLINT, Michigan — This year's 'Toast' event, put on by Beats x Beers, was hosted inside Michigan’s second largest art museum, the Flint Institute of Arts, on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The catered brunch featured music from DJ Handelz and special guest DC Young Fly as the host of the awards ceremony. 

Flint native Brandon Corder, founder of Beats x Beers, organized the event with the idea to celebrate the powerful and inspiring changes happening within the city and the people responsible for it. 

"It makes perfect sense to "toast" to a few individuals who have been doing the work throughout the community this year and in previous years,” said Corder. “Also, I think it encourages others to work hard throughout the year to receive these awards next year. It's like an extra incentive for people to go hard."

Brandon Corder, founder of Beats x Beers, poses for a portrait during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside) The categories for the 'Toast Awards' are; The Trailblazer Award, The Game Changer Award, The Leadership Award, and The Bryant Nolden Community Advocate Award.

Egypt Otis, owner of Comma Bookstore and Social Hub, was the recipient of the Bryant Nolden Community Advocate Award, in honor of BB Nolden, a pillar and leader in Flint who suddenly passed away earlier this month. 

Egypt Otis, owner of Comma Bookstore and Social Hub, gives a speech after receiving the Bryant Nolden Community Advocate Award during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside) “This is a huge honor,” said Otis. “I sit on the shoulders of so many people like BB Nolden who I knew personally and had several conversations with about creating a literacy hub. This means so much to me. This really signifies the work that we need to do to carry on the legacy of people who paved the way for us. I consider myself a culture worker, a person who preserves and protects Black history because we have so much of it that deserves to be heard and be accessible to our community.”

Gift bags for guests sit on display during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside) Asa Zuccaro, executive director of the Latinx Technology and Community Center, was the recipient of the Leadership Award. Zuccaro spoke with emotion and gratitude as he gave his speech.
 
“It's an honor and absolute privilege to accept this award and it is an honor and privilege to be able to serve in the capacity of a leader in this community. There is no other body or entity that I would rather receive this award from than Beats x Beers. For one thing Beats X Beers captures culture and captures community for what it really means,” said Zuccaro.

Asa Zuccaro, executive director of the Latinx Technology and Community Center, gives a speech after receiving the Leadership Award during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside) Isaiah Oliver received the Game Changer award for shattering ceilings for current and future leaders. Oliver has been a member of the Flint Board of Education, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, CEO of the Community Foundation, a trustee, and recently, a chairman of Central Michigan University.

Oliver, having a previous commitment at CMU’s graduation, delivered his recipient speech through a video recorded prior to 'Toast.'

The Trailblazer Award went to Mama Sol who was powerfully announced by listing her incredible accolades as an activist, poet, music artist, humanitarian, voice for the 2021 Detroit Pistons ‘We Hustle Different’ campaign, publisher, two-time breast cancer survivor, and last but not least, a mother. 

Mama Sol gives her speech after receiving the Trailblazer award during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside) The audience began to chant, “Mama Sol! Mama Sol! Mama Sol!” 

Mama Sol wiped the tears from her cheeks and made her way to receive her award as the audience rose to their feet. 

“I said it in one of my rhymes, 'I don't care about award shows or overpriced wardrobes unless God is the judge'…you know, because that’s a real image award,” said Sol. “There’s one thing I want to leave with you all. Keep doing the work. No matter who sees it or who you don’t think sees it.”

The evening ended with DC Young Fly’s parting words on his appreciation of witnessing his first 'Toast' awards. 

Actor and Comedian DC Young Fly hosted the awards ceremony during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside) “It’s amazing that you all can come together as a community and support each other and acknowledge the value that you see in others, you feel what I'm saying?” said DC Young Fly. “Y'all could do anything you wanted to, but y'all said, ‘Hey, let’s create a space where we can acknowledge community activists. We can acknowledge people that's really doing something for the hood.’ I'm from the south, so what they show us about Flint is only what we see. When I came here today, what I saw in y'all is a community that loves and supports each other. I want y’all to not stop doing this. Keep doing this. This is beautiful.”

Scroll below to see more pictures from the third annual Toast awards:

Awards sit on display during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside) Brandon Corder poses for pictures with a guest during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside)
Toast guests try foods from the buffet line provided by Chef K Smith, Chef Brandon Dewayne, and Chef Quay during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside)
Toast guests take food from the buffet line provided by Chef K Smith, Chef Brandon Dewayne, and Chef Quay during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside)
Toast guests pose for a picture in front of a large handing painting before the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside)
DJ Handelz mixes music for the evening during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside)
Natalie Kadie, co-owner of Eight Ten Nail Bar, dances with friends during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside)
Natalie Kadie greets a fellow guest during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside) Chef Brandon Dewayne laughs and spends time with guests during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside) Guests dance together to DJ Handelz mixed music during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside)
An attendant poses for a portrait during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside)
Actor and comedian DC Young Fly poses for a portrait with a guest during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside) Actor and Comedian DC Young Fly listens to award recipients give speeches during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside) Asa Zuccaro, executive director of the Latinx Technology and Community Center, is welcomed to the stage for his award during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside) Mama Sol listens as she is announced as the Trail Blazer award recipient during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside) Mama Sol listens and wipes a tear from her face as she is announced as the Trail Blazer award recipient during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside)
Guests hold their drinks up for a toast during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside) Jessica Hatter, photograher, and Alex Kadie, co-owner of Eight Ten Nail Bar, hold their drinks up for a toast during the third annual Toast Awards, hosted by Beats x Beers, at the Flint Institute of Arts on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (Jenifer Veloso | Flintside)

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Celebrity Comedian DC Young Fly to host Beats x Beers’ third annual ‘Toast’ event in Flint

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