The Apollo Theater today announced details for its 2019 Apollo Spring Gala, the historic Theater’s largest annual fundraising event, taking place on Monday, June 10 at 7 p.m. In honor of the Theater’s 85th Anniversary, this year’s gala theme is “Icons Revisited,” which will explore iconic Apollo performers through the lens of contemporary artists. The celebratory benefit concert will feature performances by The Temptations, Estelle, Jose James, Liv Warfield, Morris Day and The Time and Black Violin, and others to be announced. All proceeds from the gala celebration will support the non-profit organization’s year-round, world-class artistic, education, and community programs and collaborations, as well as its commitment to articulating and projecting the African American narrative through arts and culture and creating a 21st-century performing arts canon.
“We are thrilled to once again celebrate the legacy of the Apollo Theater at our annual Spring Gala,” said Jonelle Procope, President & CEO of the Apollo Theater. “Each year we take this opportunity to bring together people from different communities – entertainment, philanthropic, business – to help support the Theater. And there’s not a more fitting way to do that than with a night of music and entertainment and celebrating our friends who do so much to give back to the arts.”
Each year at the gala, the Apollo recognizes a corporation for their outstanding contributions to the performing arts, community leadership, and philanthropic support of the African American community. This year, the Theater will present the Corporate Award to Vista Equity Partners and Robert F. Smith, to honor its exemplary leadership and commitment to innovation, diversity and the global community.
“I grew up on the sounds of musicians who performed at the Apollo Theater, so it’s an incredible honor to be recognized by an institution that has meant so much to me personally,” said Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Vista Equity Partners. “We hope our support can help the Apollo continue to be both a legendary venue for the performing arts and a cultural landmark that helps bind together the vibrant Harlem community.”
The Theater, which has always held artists’ voices at its core, also announced that it will induct the iconic group The Temptations (“My Girl” and “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”) into its Walk of Fame on Friday, June 7, ahead of the Gala. Otis Williams, founder, and the only surviving member will accept the honor. Celebrating and honoring the legendary performers who have helped to build the non-profit Theater’s legacy for 85 years, The Temptations join an iconic line up of inductees who have had an enormous influence on generations of musicians, fans, and culture-at-large, including Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Patti Labelle, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Little Richard, Ella Fitzgerald, and more. Inductees are honored with a plaque on the Apollo Walk of Fame, installed under the Theater’s iconic marquee on 125th Street.
“It is a real honor to take part in the prestigious Apollo Theater Walk of Fame and 85th gala celebration. I’m looking forward to sharing our music and reflecting on the wonderful and vivid memories that Paul, David, Eddie, Melvin and I spent at the Apollo Theater, a beloved national treasure,” said Williams in an interview with Billboard. “The Temptations and the Apollo have created inspiring and enduring legacies for generations to come, and to look back through the lens of our experiences at the Theater will be very special, and I’m happy that throughout the years we didn’t get the hook.”
The Apollo Spring Gala begins with red carpet arrivals at 6:00 PM followed by the gala concert and awards ceremony at 7:00 PM with Music Director Ray Chew. The evening will also include a post-performance party designed by celebrated event designer and Apollo board member Bronson van Wyck.
Following its 85th anniversary season, the Apollo will continue its first phase in creating the Apollo Performing Arts Center, with the theaters at the Victoria. Scheduled to open in 2020, the project marks the first physical expansion in the theater’s history. For more information about the theaters at the Victoria and the Apollo’s mission to work with and support a greater number of emerging and established artists of color across disciplines, click here.
Gala Chairs: Kimberley Hatchett and Karen H. Pavlin
Honorary Chairs: Laura and Richard D. Parsons, Anna Chapman and Ronald O. Perelman
To purchase Gala tickets or to make a donation to the Apollo Theater, please call 212-531-5347. For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org. Proceeds from the Apollo Spring Gala support the Theater’s year-round performing arts programming, innovative education initiatives, and community programs.
Tickets for the 2019 Spring Gala are now on sale. Please visit www.ticketmaster.com for performance only tickets or www.apollotheater.org/gala2019 to purchase Gala benefit tickets.