Published on February 11th, 2020 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


Rapsody, Andra Day, Leon Bridges, BJ The Chicago Kid and More to Attend Lena Horne Prize Inaugural Event

The Town Hall today revealed the first group of names slated to perform at the inaugural Lena Horne Prize for Artists Creating Social Impact event in New York City on Friday, February 28, 2020. The line-up includes Grammy-winning singer Leon Bridges, Grammy-nominated recording artist Rapsody, Grammy-nominated R&B singer Andra Day, and Grammy-nominated rapper BJ The Chicago Kid. The Town Hall also announced that activist Martin Luther King III will take the stage to pay tribute to The Lena Horne Prize and its focus on the intersection of arts and activism. See full list of names announced to participate below. Tickets for the event are now on sale to the public and can be purchased at www.lenahorneprize.com.

Also participating in the event are Terri Lyne Carrington (Grammy-winning bandleader and director of Berklee’s Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice), who will serve as the evening’s musical director, Maimouna Youssef aka Mumu Fresh, Urban Bush Women (Brooklyn, New York-based non-profit dance company and the only professional African-American women’s dance company), Jon Batiste (Grammy-nominated musician), Eve Ewing (notes poet), Talib Kweli (rapper and activist), and Dolores Huerta (American labor leader, civil rights activist, and co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association). More performers and speakers will be announced in the lead up to the event.

This year’s event is made possible by Salesforce, the global leader in CRM and a company which believes in the power of business as the greatest platform for change. Salesforce’s ‘Make Change’ series elevates action leaders who reflect the company’s core values and use their platform to spark change, from equality to digital transformation. Salesforce is proud to support the Lena Horne Prize and celebrate artists dedicated to creating social impact. For more information please visit https://www.salesforce.com/campaign/makechange/work/.

The Town Hall will also host interactive workshops and panel discussions for New York City high school students and teachers to explore the history — and future — of music and social justice advocacy.  Jason King, cultural critic, professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and curator and host of NPR’s R&B stream, “I’ll Take You There”, and Deesha Dyer, former Social Secretary of the United States to President Obama and co-founder and Executive Director of BEGIRL.WORLD, will be leading the workshops, scheduled to take place throughout the day on Wednesday, February 26, 2020. The event will feature activists, very special guest musicians, and educators, with the goal of expanding upon how teachers can empower their students to communicate individual self-expression through music.

Solange Knowles, who was previously announced as the first-ever recipient of The Lena Horne Prize, will also be attending the event. Knowles revealed that the $100,000 Prize will be redirected to Project Row Houses, a Houston-based nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people and enriching communities through engagement, art and direct action. The organization, founded in 1993, is a catalyst for transforming community through the celebration of art and African-American history and culture.

The Lena Horne Prize Advisory Board, which consists of an esteemed list of artists, entertainers, philanthropists and community leaders including Harry Belafonte; Billy Porter; Judy Collins; Roxane Gay; and more, selected Knowles for using her platform to promote social change.

The Lena Horne Prize was created by Michael Matuza, Jeb Gutelius and The Town Hall. The event will be produced by The Town Hall, Matuza (NAACP, Peabody and Emmy-nominated MBM Entertainment), Gutelius (Sailworks) and Marion Rosenfeld. The event will feature music, art, short films and spoken word from renowned artists, entertainers and activists.

Lyft will be the official rideshare partner for the event.

Sponsorship packages available now, including tickets to the award event, gala dinner, and ancillary events, at www.lenahorneprize.com.

About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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