On the “A” w/Souleo…
The Apollo Theater has transformed the lives of many singers that performed on its stage such as Stevie Wonder, James Brown and Lauryn Hill. But sometimes in a transcendent moment, the lives of audience members are forever changed as well. For Star Jones that is the promise and value of this legendary institution, which celebrated its 80th anniversary this past Tuesday during its annual spring gala.
“I remember seeing The Jackson 5 and classy women performing the Apollo and it changing my life. Tonight brings back a lot of memories for somebody like me from the housing projects in New Jersey,” she said.
Looking back and moving forward was the main theme of the night. The evening’s emcee, Wayne Brady presided over a lineup that took the audience on a journey from jazz (Natalie Cole and Gladys Knight) to Motown (Human Nature) to soul (Joss Stone and The Isley Brothers) to hip-hop (Doug E. Fresh) to gospel (Edwin Hawkins). Along the way, there was recognition of the role that comedy and dance played in the Apollo’s legacy.
In recognizing that none of this would continue without passionate leaders, the benefit honored former Citigroup and Time Warner chairman, Richard D. Parsons, with the Leadership Award. For Parsons, the credit is shared with numerous others on the Apollo’s board. “No one in today’s world accomplishes anything alone except if you’re a terrorist. But if you want to build something you need compatriots,” he said. “So the real credit goes to the members of the board who helped the Apollo rise like a phoenix from the ashes.”
Chashama gala attendees weigh-in on ‘Paying Artists’ campaign
Every visual artist needs funding and space to create and present work. For nearly 20 years, the non-profit organization Chashama has been providing the latter to New York City artists by turning over vacant real estate to artists. Their achievements were celebrated at their annual gala this past Monday where funds were also raised to further their mission. During the event, attention was also given to the Paying Artists campaign in the United Kingdom that aims to mandate that artists are financially compensated to exhibit in public-funded galleries.
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