*Washington – The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) and the Congressional Black Caucus Spouses will recognize the contributions of two outstanding individuals in the visual and performing arts, as well as students pursuing careers and opportunities in those areas from 8:00 -10:00 p.m., during the 14th Annual Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts on September 15 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
The Celebration of Leadership program will kick off the fundraising/scholarship activities as part of the CBCF’s 40th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC), at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. More than 12,000 people are expected to attend the four-day conference.
This year’s honorees are Alice Walker, poet, activist, and author of the iconic novel, “The Color Purple,” and Hollywood icon Robert Townsend.
Since her first major work, an essay, entitled “The Civil Rights Movement: What Good Was It,” Ms. Walker has been writing thought provoking works that push the envelope of conventional thinking. Many of those works have been recognized with awards, such as the O. Henry Award for her short story, “Kindred Spirits,” and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for “The Color Purple.” Robert Townsend a visionary and humanitarian, is a multi-talented acclaimed screenwriter, actor, and director known for his groundbreaking works in film and television with such favorites as; “Hollywood Shuffle” and “The Five Heartbeats.” Mr. Townsend’s latest projects are a web series entitled “Diary of a Single Mom,” which exposes the raw reality of being a single mom in this day and age and offers online assistance to single moms in need, he also gives back by teaching aspiring film students with the Robert Townsend Foundation programs. www.roberttownsend.com
The event will be hosted by Tony nominated actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, wife of State Senator Vincent Hughes (PA.) and founder of “Simply Singing Divas”, a foundation that has raised over 5 million for HIV awareness around the world. Lee was recently named one of Essence’s “40 Fierce and Fabulous.”
More than 350 performing and visual arts students applied for the CBCF national scholarship program – an increase of about 33 percent from last year. Twenty students will receive scholarships; 10 performing arts scholarships, and 10 visual arts scholarship. “The increase in scholarship applications indicates the importance of the arts programs in schools,” said CBCF Board Chairman and former teacher Rep. Donald M. Payne of New Jersey. “The Foundation and the Spouses recognize that students should have a full realm of academic challenges as well as opportunities to explore the fine arts.”
For more information about ALC10 or Celebration of Leadership in The Fine Arts ticket information, visit www.cbcfinc.org.