( ENSPIRE Community ) Harlem School of the Arts Raises $1.25 Million at Fall Benefit Gala Honoring Mary J. Blige
The Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) transformed The Plaza Hotel into an unforgettable masquerade benefit gala where they raised an unprecedented $1.25 million in support of their world-class arts education facility.
The evening honored Mary J. Blige, Debra L. Lee, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Ray Chew with three
amazing performances by HSA students who paid tribute to Mary J. Blige by singing “Take Me As I Am” and Renée Elise Goldsberry by performing “My Shot” from Hamilton.
The gala which took place on Monday, October 23, 2017, at the iconic Plaza Hotel in New York City was hosted by Sunny Hostin of ABC’s The View. Guests participated in the festive masquerade theme with decorative and elaborate masks that accompanied their black tie ensemble.
Upon entrance, guests enjoyed a preliminary reception followed by a sit-down dinner, complete with musical performances and a live auction, offering one-of-a-kind items. The party continued after the gala with open bar, dessert, and music by D-Nice.
Proceeds from the Gala enable Harlem School of the Arts to provide over 2,000 students access to exceptional arts instruction and professional development, including financial aid to families from disadvantaged communities and merit scholarships to students pursuing careers in the arts.
Other notables in attendance included: Vashtie, MC Lyte, Lexie Lawson, Doug E. Fresh, Amanda Stephen, Angie Martinez, Alfre Woodard, Leon Robinson and Nicole Henry among others. Singer, songwriter, producer and actress Mary J. Blige, was awarded the Dorothy Maynor Award; American composer Ray Chew, who received the Inaugural Alumni Award; Tony Award Winner for Best Featured Actress, Renée Elise Goldsberry for the Visionary Artists Award; and Debra L. Lee, Chairman & CEO of BET Networks, who received the Betty Allen Corporate Award. The event was Co-Chaired by Janice Savin Williams, Rona Sebastian of the Herb Alpert Foundation, Alexander Smalls and Keisha Sutton-James.
Related Article: Flashback: Harlem School of the Arts 50th Anniversary Gala Raised Over $1 Million
Harlem School of the Arts enriches the lives of young people and their families through world-class training in and exposure to the arts across multiple disciplines in an environment that emphasizes rigorous training, stimulates creativity, builds self-confidence, and adds a dimension of beauty to their lives. HSA achieves its mission on-site at The Herb Alpert Center by offering high quality, affordable, arts training in dance, music, theatre, and visual art to ethnically and socio-economically diverse young people aged 2-18; by providing financial aid and merit scholarships to those who need it most; and by developing key partnerships with other cultural institutions, colleges/universities, and conservatories to prepare our aspiring pre-professional students at the highest possible level.