Apollo Theater Awarded $150,000 Grant as Part of
American Express Partners in Preservation Program
NEW YORK, June 14, 2012 –The Apollo Theater announced today that it is one of 16 historic New York City locations that received a preservation grant as part of the Partners in Preservation competition, organized and overseen by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Apollo was awarded $150,000, which it will use to restore specific decorative elements in the historic auditorium.
Since it opened in 1934, the Apollo Theater has been a cornerstone of the Harlem community and has launched and nurtured the careers of countless legendary performers, including Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, and Alicia Keys. Building on its longstanding role as a creative catalyst for Harlem, New York, and the nation, the Theater’s artistic and community programs continue to make the Apollo a vital cultural resource and an important platform for both emerging and established artists.
In addition to its signature talent show, Amateur Night, which has occurred virtually every Wednesday night since the Theater’s inception, the Apollo, a nonprofit arts institution, offers a wide variety of programming, including:
- Music Café: an intimate cabaret series showcasing emerging and underground artists
- Salon Series: a showcase that supports the development of new works including Queen Esther’s Billie Holiday Project and the family musical Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money
- Annual Harlem Jazz Shrines festival: a celebration of the neighborhood’s history as a jazz mecca and that showcases today’s top talents
- Community programs to enrich the neighborhood including Open House weekends during which patrons are invited to explore the Theater and its history, attend film screenings, performances, and a cultural fair
“We are honored and thrilled to be chosen for this grant, and are grateful to American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing the Apollo Theater’s importance as a beloved New York City landmark,” said Jonelle Procope, President and CEO of the Apollo Theater.
Forty sites from all five boroughs competed for public votes this spring for preservation funding from American Express. With today’s announcement, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation will have infused $3 million in funding to preserve historic buildings throughout New York.
“This program is designed to encourage community support for preservation and have the public rally behind their favorite historic places to help us determine where these funds are needed,” said Timothy J. McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation. “The sites’ dedication and persistence paid off and should prove to have a lasting effect on these historic places.”
“By spotlighting the benefits of historic preservation and the need for funding to keep historic sites vibrant, this program has galvanized New Yorkers to recognize the treasures in their communities,” said Stephanie Meeks, President, the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The long term benefits of the program are evident with the increased engagement of local preservationists by the historic sites through their web pages and social media channels, coupled with an increase in visitors to the sites themselves.”
About Partners in Preservation
Partners in Preservation is a program in which American Express, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, awards preservation grants to historic places across the country. American Express has committed more than $15 million to Partners in Preservation, helping historic sites in seven cities to date, which includes preservation projects in San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, Seattle, Saint Paul/Minneapolis and New York City and has engaged more than a million people.
Through this partnership, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation seek to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of historic preservation in the United
States and to preserve America’s historic and cultural places. The program also hopes to inspire long-term support from local citizens for the historic places at the heart of their communities.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Historic preservation has long been the hallmark of American Express’s involvement in the community, reflecting the company’s recognition of the importance of cultural sites and monuments as symbols of national and local identity, and the role that their preservation can play in attracting visitors and revitalizing neighborhoods. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us onfacebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress
About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places to enrich our future. http://www.preservationnation.
About the Apollo Theater
The Apollo is a national treasure that has had significant impact on the development of American culture and its popularity around the world. Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has played a major role in cultivating artists and in the emergence of innovative musical genres including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis, Jr., James Brown, Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, and countless others began their road to stardom on the Apollo’s stage. The Apollo Theater’s new artistic vision builds on its legacy. New Apollo programming has music as its core, driving large scale and more intimate music, dance and theater presentations. The Apollo will continue to present historically relevant presentations, as well as more forward-looking, contemporary work. Based on its cultural significance and architecture, the Apollo Theater received state and city landmark designation in 1983 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org.
The Apollo’s annual season is made possible by lead support from The Coca-Cola Company, The Parsons Family Foundation, the Ronald O. Perelman Family Foundation, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, Reginald Van Lee New Works Fund, the Ford Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Neuberger Berman Foundation.
Lead annual support is also provided by public funds from the City of New York Theater Subdistrict Council; with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and the New York State Council for the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Resnicow Schroeder Associates