The Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) today announced that its annual gala benefit-hosted to support the organization's year-round visual and performing arts programming and initiatives-will be transformed into a Masquerade Ball held on the evening of Halloween (Monday, October 31st) in the Grand Ballroom at The Plaza Hotel.
Guests in attendance for the formal event are encouraged to bring their masquerade masks. All proceeds from the evening will assist HSA in providing scholarships, funding pre-professional training programs, and reaching public school children through its arts-in-education partnerships.
The 2016 HSA Masquerade ball will recognize celebrated artists and community leaders that play a pivotal role in arts advocacy, philanthropy and community leadership. Honorees include renowned singer/songwriter and pianist, Michael Feinstein who will receive the Dorothy Maynor Award; actor Sanaa Lathan and her father, director/producer Stan Lathan who will each be presented with the Visionary Artist Award; and Sandra L. Richards, author and Executive Director at Morgan Stanley, who will receive the Betty Allen Lifetime Achievement Award.
The evening will also feature live performances by HSA students and alumni, including HSA student Douglas Baldeowho will perform "Electricity" from Billy Elliot and William Dawson's "Soon Ah Will Be Done" performed by Dorothy Maynor Singers and HSA Dance Ensemble. The evening will also feature a live auction hosted by auctioneer CK Swett.
"We're so excited for this year's gala and to share with our guests this inspiring evening celebrating these incredible honorees and talented students," said Eric G. Pryor, President of Harlem School of the Arts. "This event is a perfect illustration of what we strive to do-elevate those that are champions of the arts, encourage our young people as they continue to learn, grow and develop in the performing and visual arts, and engage members of our community to get involved with HSA."
HSA's 2016 Masquerade Ball begins with red carpet arrivals and a cocktail reception at 6:00 PM, followed by dinner and an entertaining program and awards ceremony hosted by NBC 4 New York News Anchor David Ushery at 7:00 PM. The evening continues with The Monster Mash from 9:00 PM until midnight with music by DJ D-Nice. The Monster Mash will be co-hosted by HSA friends and members of the HSA family, including: Kathleen Adams, Marcie Cleary, Janessa Cox, Ezra Ezzard, Lanaya Irvin, Yin Lin, Michelle Fizer-Peterson & Julio Peterson, Bryce Petty, Chavon T. Sutton and Virgilio Torres.
HSA annually serves nearly 4,000 young people from across the greater New York Metro area onsite at HSA's Herb Alpert Center in Harlem, and offsite through its arts education programs in the New York City's public and charter schools and community centers. Over the past three years, the School has experienced remarkable growth which includes the restoration of the School's financial endowment, an increase in enrollment, and a $6 million leadership gift from legendary musician and philanthropist Herb Alpert - for whom HSA renamed its iconic Harlem home in March 2013.
The honorary committee include: Honorary Chairs Alicia Keysand Terria Joseph; Chairs: Janice Savin Williams and Christopher J. Williams, Alexander Smalls, Rona Sebastian & the Herb Alpert Foundation; and Vice Chair, Rodney Williams.
For ticket information and pricing, or for information about sponsorship opportunities, visit hsanyc.org/gala2016.
For over a half century, the Harlem School of the Arts has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of young people through world-class training in the arts. HSA's mission empowers young people from under-served communities in Harlem and throughout the city to find and develop the artist and citizen within themselves. HSA's environment teaches discipline, stimulates creativity, builds self-confidence and adds a dimension of beauty to the lives of each student.
HSA stands apart among the premier arts institutions in New York City, as the sole provider of quality arts education in four distinct disciplines-music, dance, theatre and visual arts. HSA boasts an impressive alumni base of Tony-award winning actors, celebrated operatic voices and jazz musicians, visual artists, dancers, and inspired citizens who cite HSA as the platform from which they launched careers in law, business and other professionAl Fields. HSA believes that all children deserve access to a quality arts education, empowering them to become the creative thinkers and innovative leaders of tomorrow. For more information about Harlem School for the Arts, go to www.HSAnyc.org.