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Congratulations Howard Theatre Honorees!

Dionne Warwick, Valerie Simpson, Chaka Khan, and special tribute honorees, The International Sweethearts of Rhythm were honored at the 2nd Annual Gala and Benefit Concert held Friday, April 19, 2013 at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Chaka Khan, Valerie Simpson, Dionne Warwick

Howard Theatre Restoration welcomed powerhouse talents for the 2nd Annual Gala and Benefit Concert in support of the continued development of the iconic Howard Theatre and in celebration of remarkable women who have helped redefine the music industry. This year’s event was filled with heartfelt performances and headlined by Trailblazing awards presented to Dionne Warwick, Valerie Simpson and Chaka Khan. The gala and awards ceremony paid homage to the immeasurable impact these legendary women have had on the music industry and their continued support of the arts.

Special Thanks to our Sponsors and Donors: AARP, Amtrak, GEICO, Morgan Stanley, Pepco, Radio One/TV One, UnitedHealthcare, Wells Fargo, Fed Ex, Moet & Chandon, Giving Back Jones Foundation, The Reginald Van Lee Foundation, ReedSmith, Reliance Methods, General Motors Foundation, Pepsi, Patricia Howell, PRM Consulting Group, Fort Lincoln New Town Corporation, Sister Strength, LLC, Ambassador Namik Tan/Republic of Turkey, Ambassador Michael Moussa-Adamo/Gabonese Republic, and Marcella Jones.

Photo:Tim Cooper


In addition to recognizing Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan and Valerie Simpson, artists including Be Be Winans, Sheila E., Leela James, Nona Hendryx, Maysa, Marsha Ambrosius, Jaguar Wright, Athena Cage, and Howard Universities’ Afro Blue paid tribute to these living legends and Etta James and the International Sweethearts of Rhythm through performance. The gala also featured a special memorial tribute to “DC Men we Loved”, Chuck Brown and Dr. Donald Byrd. The gala's musical director was the renowned Dr. Terri Lyne Carrington, female drummer, producer, and clinician, who led an all-star band and orchestra. This year's gala was hosted by comedians D.L. Hughley and Kym Whitley.

Following the gala, UPTOWN luxury lifestyle magazine hosted an exclusive after-party featuring celebrity entertainment.

“We were thrilled to open the doors of the Howard Theatre for an exciting evening in recognition of such powerful, impactful women who have helped shape the world of music.” said Myla Moss, Chair of the Howard Theatre Restoration Board of Directors.

The Howard Theatre reemerged in 2012 with a grand re-opening gala and benefit concert hosted by Bill Cosby and Wanda Sykes. The highlight of the evening came as former "Miracles" founder and front man, Smokey Robinson, paid tribute to his friend and icon, Motown Records founder, Berry Gordy.

Hundreds of business, political and music industry leaders from across the country and throughout the DC region will come together to celebrate the Howard Theatre’s second benefit concert which will raise funds to support the building and endowment of an education and cultural center adjacent to the theatre. The cultural center will help educate the community about the historical contribution the Howard Theatre has made to the music world and Washington, and provide an avenue for youth to be introduced to the arts.

The Howard Theatre opened in 1910 at the corner of 7th and T Streets NW, in the area known as "Black Broadway,” and provided a place where color barriers blurred and music unified. It featured vaudeville, live theatre, talent shows and two performing companies, the Lafayette Players and the Howard University Players. The Washington Bee dubbed it the "Theatre for The People," as both dignitaries and everyday citizens gathered to see both beloved icons and rising stars. While The Howard Theatre inspired change, it felt the impact of a nation in flux following the 1968 riots. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, but the degradation of the neighborhood forced the theatre to close in 1980.

After a $29 million renovation and a 32-year hiatus, The Howard Theatre continues to be a hub of creativity and artistic expression in the modern world. The theatre re-opened in 2012, continuing a rich tradition of honoring and showcasing the industry’s hottest stars in music and entertainment such as Wale, Wanda Sykes, The Roots, Robert Randolph, Taj Mahal, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), Brandy, Faith Evans, Bad Brains, Chuck Brown, Chuck Berry, Sheila E., Esperanza Spalding. The theatre hosts a range of national and local talent for the DC community often, and continues to serve as a place for local entertainment and gatherings.

HOWARD THEATRE RESTORATION SPONSORS

Special Thanks to: Marcella Jones Gala Chair

His Excellency Michael Moussa-Adamo Ambassador of the Gabonese Republic Gala Co-Chair








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