Academy Award-Winner Lupita Nyong’o And Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas To WOW Them At The Apollo

The Apollo Theater announced today details for its WOW – Women of the World Festival 2017 with Academy Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o and Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas.

The event includes One Book, One New York featuring a dramatic reading from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel, Americanah  by Academy Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o as well as a conversation with three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas, who will tackle the issue of cyber bullying.

Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o will perform a dramatic reading of selections from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah, which this spring was voted by New Yorkers as the winning book in the City’s first ever community-wide reading program, “One Book, One New York.” Ms. Nyong’o is expected to play a starring role in the upcoming film adaptation of Americanah. This program will be a part of the WOW Festival’s Big Ideas, Intimate Conversations on Sunday, the final day of the Festival.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will take part in an intimate conversation on cyber bullying, its impact on young people and her mission to end it through her new role as the Change Ambassador for Hack Harassment.  Hack Harassment, founded by Intel, Vox Media and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, is a coalition of organizations and individuals who share in the common goal of building a more inclusive and supportive online community. This conversation will also take place on Sunday the final day of the Festival.

Other highlights of the Apollo 2017 WOW Festival include: a tribute to civil rights activist and legendary songstress Abbey Lincoln in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, featuring powerhouse jazz vocalists Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves and Esperanza Spalding under the musical direction of GRAMMY Award-winning composer and producer Terri Lyne Carrington; WOW Teen Summit produced by the Apollo Theater’s Young Producer’s Club, which explores topics from self-esteem and body politics to teen activism, featuring a talk by Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe – presented in partnership with the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature ; a keynote conversation with the organizers of the Women’s March, Carmen Perez and Tamika Mallory; a WOW Bite talk by former WWE Wrestler, AJ Mendez Brooks; and special reading of speeches to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage  in New York State.  The Festival will also cover discussions on women in politics, immigration rights, islamophobia and what it means to be a feminist in the 21st Century.

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 In addition, the weekend will feature an evening of powerful storytelling with The Moth, an innovative arts organization dedicated to the art of storytelling and celebrating the diversity and commonality of the human experience through narrative. Each week, the Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour is heard on over 450 radio stations worldwide, while garnering 44 million podcast downloads yearly.

The Apollo will gather artists, activists, and leaders from around the globe for the return of the WOW – Women of the World Festival, a four-day festival presented in collaboration with the Southbank Centre London on May 4-7, 2017. Founded in 2010 by Southbank’s Artistic Director Jude Kelly and originating at Southbank Centre, London, the international festival celebrates women and girls and promotes gender equity.  The Festival made its New York premiere at the Apollo in 2015. This year will feature a unique mix of performances, discussions and workshops celebrating the work of women from diverse backgrounds and exploring a variety of issues across cultural, civic, and social boundaries with a focus on empowerment and activism. Part of the institution’s current artistic season, the WOW Festival extends the Apollo’s role as a cultural and civic anchor dedicated to providing forums for meaningful discussion and exchange. Since its premiere in 2011, WOW has grown into a global movement with 20 Festivals over five continents.

“We are so honored to unite these powerful voices for the second Women of the World Festival here at the Apollo, and celebrate women from all parts of the globe who impact the world through their groundbreaking achievements and dynamic leadership,” said Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer of the Apollo Theater. “Throughout our 83-year legacy, we continuously look for ways to celebrate and extend the Apollo Theater’s global influence on creativity. It’s important that we also provide platforms that nurture and advance women’s leadership through the arts, and provide a springboard here in Harlem for artists and leaders from the United States and internationally to discuss issues critical to our community in New York.”

Southbank Centre Artistic Director, and founder of WOW, Jude Kelly CBE, said “WOW is a unique global movement, the largest single community of women in the world, and we’re looking forward to bringing the WOW phenomenon to the Apollo Theater again. Women’s stories of triumph, tragedy, progress or setback are a crucial source of knowledge and by connecting women’s voices from all backgrounds, we can make new solutions together. In using all our creativity to support each other, we can find the courage to move beyond our own circles and learn how other women face challenges different from our own. WOW celebrates and learns from diversity of all kinds – and welcomes everyone to be part of this global movement for change.”

The Festival schedule will also include special presentations of Apollo Signature Programs (Live Wire, Apollo Comedy Club, Apollo Music Café, and Apollo Uptown Hall) among other sessions and workshops.

Ticket Information

Tickets for the Women of the World Festival can be purchased at the Apollo Theater Box Office beginning Friday, March 20, 2017 at 10am, online at , via Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, and at

For more information, visit .

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