On Saturday, July 16, I was invited to celebrate the accomplishments of Antwan “Big Boi” Patton. He was celebrating five years of his nonprofit organization, Big Kidz Foundation. Patton, from Savannah, Ga., grew up in the projects. He told us in a press conference that, where he grew up, they didn’t have arts in his school. They didn’t have water in their community pools and, because of his experiences, he wants to make a difference in the lives of young people.
Started in 2006, Patton’s organization exposes kids to culture, music and literary expression. The “Champion of the Arts” award ceremony, dinner and live entertainment event was held at the atrium of Atlanta’s City Hall. This year, he honored five extraordinary people who support the arts. Honorees were actress Jasmine Guy, dancer Lauri Stallings, artist Gilbert Young, art director Susan Booth and Academy Award-winner Mo’Nique.
The atrium never looked so pretty at City Hall with decorations in purple, Grey Goose cocktails, catered food and “Big Kidz” cupcakes. Local TV anchor Jaquitta Williams was the host for the evening, and local dance troops performed. Later, each honoree came to the stage to accept his or her award and thank Big Boi. Mayor Kasim Reed was also in attendance and said a few uplifting words. I would like to thank executive director Jennifer Lester for inviting me out. It was a grand affair.
Congrats to Big Kidz and many more years of success! –tammie reed