Monday, October 22, 2012

Harlem School of the Arts Hosts Fall 2012 Benefit Gala Honoring Herb Alpert

Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) president Yvette L. Campbell (center) is joined by HSA Board Members Lydia Carlston and Janice Savin Williams at HSA's Fall 2012 Benefit.

Submitted by Akira Barclay, NY Contributor

NEW YORK – The Harlem School of the Arts (HSA), the community-based cultural and educational institution serving children and families of all backgrounds for nearly 50 years, hosted its Fall 2012 Benefit at Lincoln Center’s Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse on October 10th amidst a buzz-worthy atmosphere with leaders drawn from the philanthropic, civic, business, social, cultural, entertainment and media sectors. Hosted by FOX News Channel’s Arthel Neville, the Harlem School of the Arts Fall 2012 Benefit raised more than $200,000 to support HSA’s world-class arts training programs.

The event honored legendary musician, sculptor, painter, producer, recording industry executive and philanthropist Herb Alpert. Along with his wife, singer Lani Hall, Mr. Alpert recently gifted the Harlem School of the Arts with a landmark $5,050,00 donation, bringing their total giving to HSA to more than $6 million since 2010.

Through this unprecedented grant – the largest single gift to any cultural institution in Harlem – the Harlem School of the Arts will create an endowment providing scholarships for needy students, further enhance its programs and retire its inherited debt. To commemorate the occasion, the Harlem School of the Arts building will now be known as The Herb Alpert Center, home of the Harlem School of the Arts.

Herb Alpert accepts the inaugural HSA Leadership Award

Joining Harlem School of the Arts President and CEO Yvette L. Campbell, Board Chairman Charles J. Hamilton, Jr. and Vice Chair and Secretary Janice Savin Williams, were a host of notable individuals. These included: Anita Contini, Bloomberg Philanthropies; New York City Councilwoman Inez Dickens; New York City Councilman Robert Jackson; Dr. Henry Jarecki; Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts; Kate Levin, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; Reynold Levy, president, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Bill Moyers, veteran television news journalist who presented Herb Alpert with the inaugural Harlem School of the Arts Leadership Award; celebrated Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance Founder and musician Arturo O’Farrill, John Rhea, Commissioner of the New York City Housing Authority; Rona Sebastian, president of the Herb Alpert Foundation; Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer; Grammy-winning songwriter Valerie Simpson; stage and screen star Tamara Tunie and her husband Gregory Generet; filmmaker Melvin van Peebles; and, Assemblyman Keith Wright, among other notables.

Charles J. Hamilton stated, “This is a remarkable time for the Harlem School of the Arts as we commemorate an historic occasion in the near 50-year history of the School.”  Yvette L. Campbell commented, “Thank you, Herb Alpert. Because of you, the lives of the students at the Harlem School of the Arts will be forever transformed due to your generosity and the vision of the Herb Alpert Foundation.”

HSA students perform

The event featured live performances by the Harlem School of the Arts Advance Jazz Combo and song and dance excerpts from Disney’s The Lion King. Guests enjoyed the performances and atmosphere with views of Manhattan’s West Side skyline in the background while passed hors d’oeuvres were served amidst a lovely fall setting of dahlias and candlelight.

Tamara Tunie, Valerie Simpson and Gregory Generet

Pamela Carlton and HSA Board Chairman Charles J. Hamilton, Jr.

Rona Sebastian, president of the Herb Alpert Foundation added, “The gift from the Herb Alpert Foundation was designed to put the Harlem School of the Arts on a path to recovery and bring in other funders. We allowed them to own their building again and help establish a strong future. It was exciting to see the Harlem School of the Arts kids perform at the Lincoln Center benefit on Wednesday night.”

National Endowment of the Arts chairman Rocco Landesman with HSA Fall 2012 Benefit Honoree Herb Alpert

Event Co-Chairs were: Cahill Gordon & Reindell LLP and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Wealth Management. Sponsors included: Barnes & Noble; Michelle & Marc Goldfarb of Goldfarb Properties; Mac LaFollette and Dawn Davis; Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP; Janice S. Williams and Christopher J. Williams; Lawrence S. Zilavy.

Additional support was provided by: Pamela Carlton and Charles J. Hamilton, Jr.; Judith Gallant and Scott Metzner; Latham & Watkins LLP; MiYoung Lee and Neil Simpkins; Ann and Alton McDowell; Liz Moller and Robert Lemons; Hee-Jung and John Moon; Steven P. Henry; Dr. Henry Jarecki, Falconwood Foundation Inc.; Erin and Christopher Keogh; Celia and Henry McGee; Courtney Lee-Mitchell and Marcus Mitchell; Michelle Fizer Peterson and Julio Peterson; and, Reginald Van Lee.

The HSA Fall 2012 Benefit Committee: Councilman Robert Jackson; Wynton Marsalis; Phylicia Rashad; and, the Ford Foundation’s Darren Walker.

About the Harlem School of the Arts
Located in Harlem’s historic Hamilton Heights, the Harlem School of the Arts was founded in 1964 by pioneering concert soprano Dorothy Maynor. Since then, the Harlem School of the Arts has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of children from across the City and surrounding areas in an award-winning 37,000-square-foot facility. HSA's mission is to empower young people, ages 2-18, to find and develop the artists and citizen within themselves in an environment that teaches discipline, stimulates creativity, builds self-confidence without prejudice, and adds a dimension of beauty to their lives. HSA stands unique among the major cultural institutions in New York City as the sole provider of quality training in five disciplines without an audition.

Photos: Alex Lipowec; Source: Press release

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