Cedric The Entertainer to Host 12th Annual Benefit
Event Will Feature Musical Performances By
CeeLo Green, Sheila E., Charlie Wilson, and Wé McDonald of NBC’s The Voice
Verizon to Receive Corporate Award
For Leadership in Diversity, Community, and Innovation
Peabody Award Winning Director and Producer Stan Lathan
To Receive the Trailblazer Award
Monday, JUNE 12th AT 7PM
HARLEM, NY – May 10, 2017 – The Apollo Theater today announced details for its largest fundraising event – the 2017 Apollo Spring Gala, which will take place at the theater on Monday, June 12 at 7pm. The star-studded benefit concert will be hosted by award-winning actor and comedian Cedric The Entertainer and will feature performances by renowned artists, including CeeLo Green, Sheila E., Charlie Wilson, and Wé McDonald of NBC’s The Voice (who started her career winning Amateur Night at the Apollo). All proceeds from the celebration will support the non-profit organization’s year-round, world-class artistic, education, and community programming.
“Since its inception, The Apollo Theater has been home to legendary and up-and-coming artists alike, serving as an ever-changing driving force in popular music and culture not only in Harlem, but across the world,” stated Jonelle Procope, President & CEO of The Apollo Theater. “We are thrilled to announce this lineup of incredible talent for our upcoming Spring Gala that will help us to continue our legacy of cultivating talent by supporting the Theater’s year-round performing arts, education and community programming.”
Every year as part of the evening, the Apollo recognizes individuals and corporations for their outstanding contributions to the performing arts, community leadership and for their philanthropic support of initiatives in the African American community. This year, the Theater will present Peabody Award winning director and producer Stan Lathan with the Trailblazer Award for his substantial contributions to the performing arts. Lathan’s extensive credits include cultural classics ranging from “AMEN,” and “Sanford & Son” to “Def Comedy Jam” and “The Bernie Mac Show”, to Dave Chappelle’s recent comedy special, “Deep in the Heart of Texas.”
“If there’s anyone who deserves to be honored as a trailblazer, it’s Stan Lathan, and if there is any venue perfectly suited to showcase a great benefit concert it’s the Apollo Theater. I’m truly privileged to host this night celebrating the Apollo and Stan!” commented Cedric The Entertainer. “Regarding Stan, he really knows comedy, and he has produced & directed some of the most prolific comedians of all time across many iconic television shows. His talents have also stretched beyond comedy into other formats directing some of the most memorable dance performances on the small screen including Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Stan is the man! I’m especially proud to be a part of this year’s Apollo Spring Gala because it’s an important and celebratory evening at the legendary Theater where all of the music and comedic greats have launched their careers. It’s of utmost importance to continue this tradition, raising funds for the Apollo’s incredible arts and education programs that will launch the world’s next generation of talent. Add to that some great performances by our special musical guests – – It’s going to be a high-energy, star-powered evening!”
This year’s recipient of the Corporate Award is Verizon, for their exemplary leadership in diversity, community leadership and innovation. Rose Kirk, President of the Verizon Foundation will accept the award on behalf of the company.
“Fueling tomorrow’s tech innovators while leveling the playing field for minority and underserved students is not only a priority for Verizon, it is our responsibility,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer & President, Verizon Foundation. “We are honored to be recognized by the Apollo Theater for the work we are doing to provide free technology, access and hands-on learning to students in need across America. We are at a critical point when the world around us is shifting, with technology at its core. We need more kids to have access to quality education in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) so they are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.”
The Apollo Spring Gala begins with red carpet arrivals at 6:00 PM followed by the gala concert and awards ceremony at 7:00 PM with Music Director Ray Chew. The evening will also include a post-performance party with a lounge created by celebrity event planner and Apollo board member Bronson van Wyck.
Gala Chairs are: Robert K. Kraft, Laura and Richard D. Parsons, Ronald O. Perelman and Anna Chapman, and Karen and Charles Phillips
Gala Vice Chairs include: 21st Century Fox, Katherine Farley and Jerry I. Speyer, and Christine Taylor.
To purchase Gala tickets or to make a donation to the Apollo Theater, please call 212-531-5330. For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org. Proceeds from the Apollo Spring Gala support the Theater’s year-round performing arts programming, innovative education initiatives, and community programs.
Tickets for the 2017 Spring Gala are now on sale. Performance only tickets go on sale to Apollo A-List members this Friday, May 12th at 10a.m. Subscribe to Apollo A-List at www.apollotheater.org. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, May 15th at 10 a.m.
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About the Apollo Theater
The legendary Apollo Theater—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging talents and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.
With music at its core, the Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, performance art, spoken word initiatives, and more. This includes the October 2014 premiere and 2015 international tour of the dance celebration project James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, the annual Africa Now! Festival, Apollo Club Harlem, and the recent New York premiere of the opera Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD. The Apollo is a presenting organization that also produces festivals, large-scale dance and music works organized around a set of core initiatives: Apollo Music Signature Programs—Amateur Night, Salon Series, Apollo Music Café; Legacy Series— work that celebrates and extends the Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens; Global Festivals including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival and Breakin’ Convention, international and U.S.-based artist presentations focused on a specific theme; and Special Projects, multidisciplinary work with partner organizations.
Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms, and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, Miri Ben Ari, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder; and the Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy.
The Apollo Theater is a not-for-profit organization with the mission to extend the institution’s role in fostering artistic innovation and in building appreciation of American culture around the world. For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org