BLACK THEATRE COALITION ADDS AVA DuVERNAY TO LIST OF HONOREES AT INAUGURAL “BUILDING THE CHANGE” GALA ON FEBRUARY 12
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
BLACK THEATRE COALITION
THE POITIER-BELAFONTE AWARD FOR CULTURAL ACTIVISM
“BUILDING THE CHANGE” GALA
IN NEW YORK CITY
JOINS HONORARY HOST COMMITTEE MEMBERS
ANDRÉ DE SHIELDS, ALEX NEWELL, CORDEY LASH, IRENE GANDY, HUGH JACKMAN, NATURI NAUGHTON, TEMAH HIGGINS, YVONNE DURANT
ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2024
AT THE RAINBOW ROOM
TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW!
New York, NY (February 2, 2024) – Co-founders T. Oliver Reid, Warren Adams, and Reginald “Reggie” Van Lee, along with Board Members Aaliytha Stevensand Naila McKenzie, announced today that Black Theatre Coalition will honor Producer and Director Ava DuVernay with the first Poitier-Belafonte Award for Cultural Activism at its Inaugural “Building the Change” Gala on Monday, February 12, 2024 in New York City at the Rainbow Room (30 Rockefeller Plaza, 65thFloor).
Black Theatre Coalition is deeply honored, with permission of the Poitier and Belafonte families, to present the first Poitier-Belafonte Award at this year’s gala. This award was created in recognition of these two groundbreaking Black artists and activists in the entertainment industry and will be presented virtually to Ava DuVernay.
As previously announced, the evening will honor La La Anthony with the Lynn Nottage Bold Beacon Award, National Black Theatre with the Chadwick Boseman Change Maker Award and will include special performances by six-time Grammy-winning musician and producer BeBe Winans, Tony and Grammy Award winner Jennifer Holliday, and TIME’s 2023 Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Tony Award winner Alex Newell. BeBe Winans is known as an inspirational R&B Gospel vocalist and songwriter who along with his musical partner and sister, CeCe Winans, have nine successful Gold and Platinum recordings. Jennifer Holliday catapulted to Broadway fame with the lead role as the iconic Effie “Melody” White in the 1981 smash hit Dreamgirls. Alex Newell is known for roles on “Glee” and “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” as well as breakout performances on Broadway in Once on This Island and Shucked.
For photos of the honorees, click here.
This event, the Inaugural BTC Gala, is celebrating entertainment professionals working in theater, film, television, cultural institutions, and music and will be held at the Rainbow Room at 6:00 pm ET cocktails, followed by a 7:00 pm ET dinner and tribute.
Honorary Gala Host Committee members include Alicia Keys, André De Shields, Naturi Naughton, Hugh Jackman, Alex Newell, Irene Gandy, Temah Higgins, Yvonne Durant, and Cordey Lash. The gala is sponsored in part by AARP.
Tickets to the “Building the Change” Gala begin at $1,000. Visit the event page and purchase tickets at https://givebutter.com/ri2kaW.
ABOUT BLACK THEATRE COALITION
Black Theatre Coalition was founded by T. Oliver Reid, Warren Adams and Reggie Van Lee during the Summer of 2019. They identified the disparity between the growing inclusivity onstage, versus the almost non-existence of Black professionals off stage. Black Theatre Coalition officially filed as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in June of 2020.
Black Theatre Coalition’s mission is to remove the “illusion of inclusion” in the American Theatre by building a sustainable ethical roadmap that will increase employment opportunities for Black theatre professionals.
For more information about the Black Theatre Coalition, visit their website
Ava DuVernay (Honoree). As a writer, director and producer, Ava DuVernay’s feature work includes the film Origin, the Academy Award winning historical drama Selma, the Academy Award nominated criminal justice documentary 13th, the Sundance Best Director Award winner Middle of Nowhere and Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, which made her the highest grossing Black woman director in American box office history.
In 2019, her four-part television series “When They See Us” was honored with 16 Emmy nominations. DuVernay’s critically acclaimed TV series “Queen Sugar” is the longest-running Black family drama series by a Black woman creator in American television history.
She amplifies films by people of color and women of all kinds through her non-profit narrative change collective ARRAY, which is the winner of the Peabody Institutional Award. The filmmaker sits on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, representing the directors branch. She is a board member of the Directors Guild of America and an advisory board member of the American Film Institute. DuVernay has previously served on the juries of Cannes Film Festival and Mumbai Film Festival. She is based in Los Angeles, California.
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