The Town Hall inaugurated The Lena Horne Prize for Artists Creating Social Impact with a special presentation of the award to its first-ever recipient, GRAMMY Award-winning singer/songwriter and visual artist Solange Knowles. The prize, named after iconic artist and activist Lena Horne and the first major entertainment award to be named after a woman of color, was created to highlight individuals showing excellence at the intersection of arts and activism.
The following names were in attendance:
Solange Knowles (Lena Horne Prize Recipient), Gail Lumet Buckley (daughter of Lena Horne and journalist), Jenny Lumet (actress and Lena Horne’s granddaughter), Amber Ruffin (comedian), Bruce Cohen (Film Producer and Lena Horne Prize Advisory Board Member), Common (rapper, actor, and activist) Cristina Jones (SVP at Salesforce), Deesha Dyer (former Social Secretary for President Obama and Lena Horne Prize Advisory Board Member), Dolores Huerta (American labor leader, civil rights activist, and co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association), Eureka Gilkey (Executive Director of Project Row Houses), Jason King, (professor and director of global studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts; curator and host of podcasts and series on NPR and CNN), Imani Shanklin Roberts (visual artist), Jac Ross (musical artist), Martin Luther King III (activist), Nala Turner (ceramic artist), Ryan Dennis (Curator & Art Programs Director at Project Row Houses), Questlove (musician), Tamron Hall (Host and Executive Producer of “Tamron Hall”), Terri Lyne Carrington (Grammy-winning bandleader and director of Berklee’s Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice), Tina Knowles-Lawson (fashion designer), Toyin Ojih Odutola (visual artist), and Yance Ford (film producer).
Photo Credit: The Town Hall/Getty Images
Performances by: Alice Smith (singer and songwriter), Andra Day (Grammy-nominated R&B singer), Angelique Kidjo (musician), BJ The Chicago Kid (Grammy-nominated singer), Eve Ewing (noted poet), Ifetayo Ali-Landing (musician) Jon Batiste (Grammy-nominated musician), Leon Bridges (Grammy-winning singer), Maimouna Youssef aka Mumu Fresh (musician), Rapsody (Grammy-nominated recording artist), Talib Kweli (rapper and activist), and Urban Bush Women (dance company).
Photo Credit: The Town Hall/Getty Images
This year’s event was made possible by Salesforce, the global leader in CRM and a company which believes in the power of business as the greatest platform for change. Salesforce’s ‘Make Change’ series elevates action leaders who reflect the company’s core values and use their platform to spark change, from equality to digital transformation. Salesforce is proud to support the Lena Horne Prize and celebrate artists dedicated to creating social impact. For more information please visit https://www.salesforce.com/
Knowles revealed that the $100,000 Prize will be redirected to Project Row Houses, a Houston-based nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people and enriching communities through engagement, art and direct action. The organization, founded in 1993, is a catalyst for transforming community through the celebration of art and African-American history and culture.
The Lena Horne Prize Advisory Board, which consists of an esteemed list of artists, entertainers, philanthropists and community leaders including Harry Belafonte; Billy Porter; Judy Collins; Roxane Gay; and more, selected Knowles for using her platform to promote social change.
The Lena Horne Prize was created by Michael Matuza, Jeb Gutelius, and The Town Hall. The event will be produced by The Town Hall, Matuza (NAACP, Peabody and Emmy-nominated MBM Entertainment), Gutelius (Sailworks) and Marion Rosenfeld. The event will feature music, art, short films and spoken word from renowned artists, entertainers and activists.
Lyft will be the official rideshare partner for the event.
Sponsorship packages available now, including tickets to the award event, gala dinner, and ancillary events, at www.lenahorneprize.com.
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