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Cicely Tyson, Ledisi, Angela Bassett + more attend ‘Ailey 60’ Opening Night Gala [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Last night, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre‘s 60th Anniversary holiday season at New York City Center kicked off with a star-studded Opening Night Gala Benefit performance and party led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, with iconic film stars Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson as honorary chairs.

Robert Battle with Cicely Tyson

Prudential Financial received the Ailey Legacy Honor for their generous support and commitment to Ailey, especially its education and community programs. The award was presented by Battle and Christopher Taylor, an alumnus of the inaugural Ailey Camp Newark (2011) and a current scholarship student at The Ailey School, and accepted by Lata Reddy, Senior Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Impact at Prudential Financial.

Hope Boykin + Angela Bassett

 The one-night-only program featured tributes to the Company’s legendary founder with a specially staged excerpt of Memoria, a work he choreographed as an elegy for a dear friend; a piece d’occasion entitled For Alvin by Robert Battle, set to Nina Simone’s Black is the Color; and culminated with Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece, Revelations, performed with live musicians and special guest singers Ledisi (12-time Grammy-nominated R&B artist), Kenny Lattimore (Grammy-nominated R&B singer), Erica Campbell (Grammy-winning gospel singer), and Brandie Sutton (critically-acclaimed Metropolitan Opera soprano).  Becoming Ailey, a multimedia piece that celebrates Ailey and brings his voice and presence back to the stage (created in collaboration with Bob Bonniol and Caryl Glabb of MODE Studios, Inc.), also premiered.

Robert Battle + Kenny Lattimore + Judith Jamison + Jussie Smollett

“Alvin Ailey said ‘I’m trying to hold up a mirror to society so that people can see how beautiful they are.’  In 1958, before the Civil Rights Movement, he “Made a Way Out of No Way” on a trailblazing journey to becoming one of the groundbreaking greats in African American history,” stated Robert Battle. “His celebration of the human spirit has lifted us up and brought us together, and his spirit still runs through the veins of this organization.”

Lucinda Martinez, Honorary Chairs Angela Bassett, Cicely Tyson , Artistic Director Robert Battle, Sidra Smith, B.Michael and guests

Special guests from the worlds of business, politics, entertainment, and philanthropy included Carmen de LavalladeSusan Fales-Hill, Jane Krakowski, Naturi Naughton, Soledad O’Brien, Amanda Seales, Bevy Smith, Jussie Smollett, Susan L. Taylor, Ben Vereen, Elaine Wynn, B. Michael, George Faison and many more. After the performance, the celebration continued at the New York Midtown Hilton’s Grand Ballroom where approximately 900 guests joined Battle, Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison, and the stars ofAlvin Ailey American Dance Theater for dinner and dancing with live music by the premier band Élan Artists.

Ailey Dancers performing “Revelations”

In addition, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill DeBlasio and the City of New York, and New York State Assembly member Linda Rosenthal joined in celebration by sending written proclamations recognizing Ailey’s many achievements over the last 60 years.

Throughout December, Ailey’s 32 remarkable dancers will unveil four premieres, two new productions, and a variety of returning favorites, classics, and special programs. The Company will continue to inspire audiences across North America with a 21-city tour beginning in January 2019. For more information, visit alvinailey.org.

See more pics below:

Carmen de Lavallade + George Faison + Sidra Smith +

Ailey II Artistic Director Emerita Sylvia Waters

Ailey Board Member Lucinda Martinez +

Amanda Seales + Bevy Smith + Beverly Bond

Jussie Smollett + Angela Bassett

Naturi Naughton

Gala Co-Chair and Ailey Board President Debra Lee + Artistic Director Robert Battle

Amanda Seales + Sidra Smith + Jacque Reid

Erica Campbell + Kenny Lattimore + Ledisi + Brandie Inez

The Legendary Cicely Tyson

Photo Credits: Christopher Duggan and Donna Ward

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LL Cool J to become Hip Hop’s first ‘Kennedy Center Honoree’ (VIDEO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

LL Cool J will make history tonight as the very first hip hop star to ever receive the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors. He will be recognized for his decades of influence and artistry as a pioneering rapper + entertainment icon.

“I believe that we are built to do anything we put our minds and proper actions to. You have all the tools inside you that are required for you to fulfill your GOD given purpose. This one is for those who came before me and those who followed me.

We were sent to this planet to love and inspire one another. Manifest our dreams and make them a reality. I hope you’re inspired by me because I’m absolutely Inspired by you. Mic check 1212 Let’s ride!! 🎤 #KCHonors#StateDepartmentDinner #hiphop” said the rapper on a recent Instagram post.

LL Cool J will be honored alongside Grammy winning singer and Motown star Lionel Richie, trailblazing dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, Cuban megastar Gloria Estefan and pioneering TV producer and writer Norman Lear.

The Kennedy Center Honors Gala will air on the CBS Network for the 40th consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special on Tues., December 26 at 9 p.m. ET.

Photo Credits: Instagram/LLCoolJ

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RC Exclusive - Ent

More stars added to ‘The Wiz’ + Photos from ‘The Wiz is 40’ NYC Show (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

And then there were three…

NBC’s “The Wiz” has added pop superstar Ne-Yo, The Butler’s Elijah Kelley and Oscar-winner, Common to the cast of its live production according to THR. Ne-Yo will slide into the role of the Tinman, Kelley will play the Scarecrow and Common will portray the royal gatekeeper.

The guys join an all-star cast that already includes Queen Latifah as the ‘Wizard’  Mary J. Blige as ‘Evillene The Wicked Witch of the West,’ David Alan Grier as the ‘Cowardly Lion,’ Uzo Aduba as ‘Glinda the Good Witch of the South,’ Amber Riley  as ‘Addaperle the Good Witch of the North,’ Stephanie Mills as ‘Aunt Em’ and newcomer Shanice Williams as ‘Dorothy.’ The show is directed by Kenny Leon and airs on NBC December 3.

In other related “WIZ” news, stars from the original 1975 Broadway show gathered last night for a special 40th anniversary performance at Summerstage in New York City’s Central Park. Andre’ De Shields and Dee Dee Bridgewater reprised their iconic roles as the ‘Wizard’ and ‘Glinda the Good Witch’ while Phylicia Rashad, who starred as a Munchkin and company member, served as the evenings’s host along with original choreographer, George Faison.

From the looks of several pics, De Shield wore his original costume from the show including his platform shoes and red & white cape. Also in attendance was dance legend, Carmen de Lavallade, who’s late husband Geoffrey Holder, served as the show’s original director and costume designer. He won a Tony Award for both positions.

Check out a video of De Shields performing “So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard” and photos below:

[youtube id=”44-s6oihvfY” width=”600″ height=”350″]

inside four

Ebony Jo-Ann, Andre’ De Shields, Dee Dee Bridgewater and George Faison

inside two

George Faison with Phylicia Rashad 

Inside one

The Friends – Dorothy, Tinman, Lion and Scarecrow

inside three

Andre’ De Shields with Carmen de Lavallade

inside five

Andre’ De Shield’s original costume from the show

inside six

The Wizard’s cape and platform shoes

Photo Credits: Lia Chang Photography

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RC Exclusive - Ent

Savion Glover to headline 2015 National Black Arts Festival + Full Schedule

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) is back for another round of exciting events and performances featuring the best in arts and culture throughout the African diaspora. This season’s festivities will put a spotlight on dance and its immeasurable contribute to the human spirit. Highlights include a masterclass and conversation with tap dance king, Savion Glover as well as the Ron K. Brown & Evidence Dance Company. There will also be a tribute to dance legends: Geoffrey Holder, Mary Hinkson and Carmen de Lavallade at this year’s NBAF Gala.

“NBAF has an extraordinary cultural legacy that we continue to build on,” said executive director Grace C. Stanislaus, who assumed the helm in October 2014.  “What’s new is that we’ve evolved over the 27 years from a three-day to a ten-day outdoor festival and now to a three-month season with incredible activities and programs taking place throughout the city.”

Check out a few more highlights below:

NBAF Gala, For the Love of Dance!

Saturday, July 11, 7 p.m. InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta

Master class with Savion Glover

Saturday, July 18, 12 p.m. High Museum of Art Atlanta

Spotlight Series Performance:

Performance and Conversation With Savion Glover – “SoLe Sanctuary”

Sunday, July 19, 6 p.m.  Rialto Center for the Arts at GA State

Spotlight Series Performance:  

Step Afrika! – “Symphony in Step”

Saturday, August 29, 6 p.m. Center Stage Atlanta

Spotlight Series Performance:  

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company and Pre-Performance Conversation

Sunday, September 13, 5 p.m. Ferst Center for the Arts at GA Tech

Spotlight Series Performance:

Malpaso Dance Company and Pre-Performance Conversation about the “State of Dance in Cuba Today”

Saturday, September 19, 8 p.m. Ferst Center for the Arts at  GA Tech

Film Program:

Film Screenings and Conversations: Representing Us: Black Dance in Film  

Screening of “Stormy Weather” (1943) Sunday, July 26, 3 p.m.

Screening of “School Daze” (1988) Thursday, August 27, 5 p.m.

Screening of “Rize” (2005) Thursday, September 10, 5:30 p.m.

Click here to see the full season of activities!

Photo Credit: NYTimes.com

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Respect

Broadway to dim the lights for Geoffrey Holder + touching letter from his son, Leo

 Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Broadway will dim its lights at exactly 7:45 p.m. on Friday in remembrance of Tony winning-director and costume designer, Geoffrey Holder. The dancer, painter, actor and TV/film legend died last Sunday, October 5 of pneumonia.

“No one who saw The Wiz will ever forget the memorable experience, in large part thanks to the direction and design brought to the Broadway stage by Geoffrey Holder,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. “An incredibly talented artist seen in many mediums, his visual creativity and influence was unforgettable.” [Broadway.com]

In addition to Broadway’s tribute, Holder’s son, Leo posted this beautiful letter on Facebook this week recounting his father’s last hours on earth. The piece is moving and is a testament to Holder’s grace and humanity.

Check it out below:

Geoffrey Holder 1930-2014

October 5th

A little more than a week after developing pneumonia, Geoffrey Holder made a decision. He was calling the shots as always. He was done. 2 attempts at removing the breathing tube didn’t show promising results. In his truest moment of clarity since being rolled into I.C.U. he said he was good. Mouthing the words “No, I am not afraid” without a trace of negativity, sadness or bitterness, he sincerely was good with it. He had lived the fullest life he could possibly live, a 70 + year career in multiple art forms, and was still creating. Still painting, a bag of gold (of course) fabric and embellishments in his room for a new dress for my mother, sculptures made out of rope, baseball caps and wire hangers. New ideas every second, always restlessly chasing his too fertile mind. A week of breathing tubes and restrained hands had forced him to communicate with only cryptic clues which I was fortunate enough to be able to decipher at best 40% of the time. The fact that we all struggled to understand him enraged him to the point that he could sometimes pull tantrums taking up to 4 people to restrain him from pulling out the wires. He was head strong (understatement), but he was also physically strong. Iron hand grip that no illness could weaken. 9 days of mouthing words that, because of the tubes, produced no sound forcing him to use his eyes to try to accentuate the point he was trying to make. But this didn’t mean he wasn’t still Geoffrey Holder. This didn’t mean an end to taking over. Holding court as he always did. Directing and ordering people around. Choreographing. Getting his way. We still understood that part, and the sight of his closest friends and extended family brought out the best in him. Broad smiles in spite of the tubes, nodding approval of anything that met his standard (which was very high), and exuding pride and joy in all those in whom he saw a spark of magic and encouraged to blossom. The week saw a parade of friends from all over the world checking in to see him, hold is hand, rub his head, and give him the latest gossip. But he was still trying to tell me something, and although I was still the best at deciphering what he was saying, I still wasn’t getting it.

Saturday night I had a break through. After a good day for him, including a visit by Rev. Dr. Forbes, Senior Minister Emeritus of Riverside Church who offered prayer and described Geoffrey’s choreography as prayer itself, which made him beam, I brought in some music. “Bill Evans with Symphony Orchestra”, one of his all time favorites. He had once choreographed a piece to one of the cuts on the album… a throwaway ballet to fill out the program, but the music inspired him. From his bed, he started to, at first sway with the music, then the arms went up, and Geoffrey started to dance again. In his bed. Purest of spirits. Still Geoffrey Holder. Then he summoned me to take his hands, and this most unique dancer / choreographer pulled himself up from his bed as if to reach the sky. It was then I broke the code: he was telling me he was going to dance his way out. Still a Geoffrey Holder production. If it had been up to him, this evening’s solo would have been it. The higher he pulled himself up, the higher he wanted to fly. I had to let him down. Not yet. There are friends and family coming in from out of town. He resignedly shrugged his shoulders, closed his eyes and went to sleep.

I got it. Really. I got it. I walked out of the hospital elated. Ate a full meal for the first time in days, slept like a baby after. The next day would be his last. I was not sad. It wasn’t stressful for me to deal with him in this state. It was an honor and a privilege to tend to anything he needed. This impromptu dance was his dress rehearsal.
Next morning, I show up early. Possible second thoughts? Should we wait? What if he changes his mind? Did he understand what we were talking about here? Thoroughly. Mind as clear as crystal. “You still game for our dance tonight?” A nod, a smile, and a wink, with tubes still down his throat.. We’re still on. But he still wants to do it NOW. NOT later. He’s cranky. Sulks a while. Sleeps a while. Eventually snaps out of it.

From noon on, a caravan of friends and family from all over the globe come through the ICU wing. Ages 1 to 80. Young designers and artists he nurtured and who inspired him. Younger dancers he encouraged to always play to the rear balcony with majesty. The now “elder statesmen” dancers on whom he built some of his signature ballets. His rat pack of buddies. Wayward saints he would offer food, drink, a shoulder to cry on, a couch to sleep it off, and lifetime’s worth of deep conversation and thought. Closest and oldest friends. Family.

They know they are here to say goodbye. He knows they are here to say goodbye. He greets them beaming with joy to see them. By this time I’m reading his lips better and am able to translate for him as much as I can. The last of them leave. It’s time for his one true love to have her time with him. His muse. Her champion. This is their time. 59 years distilled into 5 minutes of the gentlest looks and words as she caresses his noble brow one last time. She puts a note she wrote to him in is hand. She leaves.

Everyone is gone except me. My moment. I will be with him as he goes.
One more time: “you good?” Nod & faint smile. ‘you ready?” He is.

I have asked the doctors to not start the morphine drip right away, because I want him to have his solo on his own time. Knowing him, he might stop breathing right after his finale. For dramatic effect. He’s still Geoffrey Holder.
They remove the tube that has imprisoned him for the past 9 days and robbed this great communicator of the ability to speak. I remove the mittens that prevent his hands from moving freely.

I start the music, take his hands and start leading him, swaying them back and forth. And he lets go of me. He’s gonna wing it as he was prone to do when he was younger. Breathing on his own for the last time, Geoffrey Holder, eyes closed, performs his last solo to Bill Evans playing Faure’s Pavane. From his deathbed. The arms take flight, his beautiful hands articulate through the air, with grace. I whisper “shoulders” and they go into an undulating shimmy, rolling like waves. His Geoffrey Holder head gently rocks back and forth as he stretches out his right arm to deliver his trademark finger gesture, which once meant “you can’t afford this” and now is a subtle manifestation of pure human spirit and infinite wisdom. His musical timing still impeccable, bouncing off the notes, as if playing his own duet with Evan’s piano. Come the finale, he doesn’t lift himself of the bed as he planned; instead, one last gentle rock of the torso, crosses his arms and turns his head to the side in a pose worthy of Pavlova. All with a faint, gentile smile.

The orchestra finishes when he does. I loose it.

They administer the morphine drip and put an oxygen mask over his face and I watch him begin taking his last breaths.
I put on some different music. I sit and watch him sleep, and breathe… 20 minutes later, he’s still breathing albeit with this gurgling sound you can hear though the mask. Another several minutes go by, he’s still breathing. Weakly, but still breathing… then his right hand starts to move. It looks like he’s using my mother’s note like a pencil, scratching the surface of the bed as if he’s drawing. This stops a few minutes later, then the left hand begins tapping. Through the oxygen mask the gurgling starts creating it’s own rhythm. Not sure of what I’m hearing, I look up to see his mouth moving. I get closer to listen: “2, 3, 4….2, 3, 4… He’s counting! It gets stronger, and at it’s loudest sounds like the deep purr of a lion, then he says “Arms, 2, 3, 4, Turn, 2, 3, 4, Swing, 2, 3, 4, Down, 2, 3, 4….”

I called my mother at home, where she was having a reception in his honor. She picks up. There are friends and family telling Geoffrey stories simultaneously laughing and crying in the background.

“Hi, honey, Are you alright?”
“Yes actually… he hasn’t stopped breathing yet.” I tell her about his solo, which brings her to a smile and a lightening of mood. I continue:
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Sure Honey. What?
“Who the hell did you marry?”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re not gonna believe this. He’s got a morphine drip, going on over half an hour, an oxygen mask on, his eyes closed, AND HE’S CHOREOGRAPHING!”

This brings her to her first laugh of the day. She now knows we will be alright.
He continues on like this for quite a while, and a doctor comes in to take some meter readings of the machines. I ask the doctor if this is normal. As she begins to explain to me about the process, his closed eyes burst open focused straight on us like lasers and he roars with all his might: ”SHUT UUUUUUUUUUUUUP!!! YOU’RE BREAKING MY CONCENTRATION!!!!!!!”
We freeze with our mouths open. He stares us down. long and hard.
Then he closes his eyes again, “Arms, 2, 3, 4, Turn, 2, 3, 4, Swing, 2, 3, 4, Down, 2, 3, 4…”
He continued counting ’til it faded out, leaving only the sound of faint breathing, slowing down to his very last breath at 9:25 pm.

Still Geoffrey Holder.
The most incredible night of my life.
Thank you for indulging me.
Love & best,

L
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Respect

Tony-winning director and ‘7UPMan’, Geoffrey Holder dies at 84 [PHOTOS]

Geoffrey Holder/Photo Credit: GalleryHip.com

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Dancer, actor, painter, designer, photographer, fashion icon and all around “Renaissance Man,” Geoffrey Holder has died. According to the family spokesperson, Charles M. Mirotznik, Holder passed away on Sunday in Manhattan from complications of pneumonia. He was 84.

By all estimates, Holder was the epitome of Black art and culture with a career spanning over 50 years. His journey began in NYC in the 1950’s as a dancer and choreographer working with such notables as Katherine Dunham, Alvin Ailey, and the great Josephine Baker. During his down time, Holder was an avid painter with hundreds of colorful works showcasing his beloved homeland of Trinidad. In addition to dancing, he was an accomplished actor, appearing in a number of stage and film productions including House of Flowers, Doctor Dolittle, Annie, Boomerang, and his most famous role to date…Live and Let Die, where he played the voodoo Villain, Baron Samedi.

In 1975, Holder signed on to direct and costume design the all-black version of The Wizard of Oz  better known as The Wiz  featuring Stephanie Mills. He picked up a Tony Award for both efforts, becoming the first Black man to win in those categories. He would later go on to direct and choreograph the musical, Timbuktu, starring the legendary, Eartha Kitt.

Holder is probably best known for his role as the charismatic spokesperson for 7Up during the late 70’s and 80’s. Dressed in all white from head to toe, Holder’s “absolutely maaarvelous” would become a classic catchphrase throughout the decade.

He was survived by his wife and life dance partner, Carmen de Lavallade and their son, Leo.

Check out a few photos of Holder in his signature garb as well as a few videos of his works:

Geoffrey Holder 2

Dancer/Photo Credit: FashionBombDaily.com

Geoffrey Holder 4

Fashion Icon/Photo Credit: TheFamousPix.com

Geoffrey Holder 5

The Painter/Photo Credit: 1stdibs.com

Geoffrey Holder wiz.jpg 4

Tony winning-director of  The Wiz /Photo Credit: TheNewYorkTimes.com

Geoffrey Holder 1

Renaissance Man/Photo Credit: GalleryHip.com

Source

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Recap

Private Dancer: Biopic about Black Ballerina Misty Copeland in the works

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

The life of African-American dance star Misty Copeland may be the subject of a new biopic.

According to Deadline.com, Copeland’s rags-to-riches story is currently being developed by New Line Cinema. The film will chronicle her early years as a teen ballet prodigy who lived part-time with mother and siblings in a welfare motel and her sponsor family. However, as Copeland’s star began to rise, so did a custody battle between her mother and her host family.

The film is loosely based on Copeland’s NYT best-selling memoir, Life in Motion  and will focus on mostly on her teen years. She is probably best known for making history as the second African-American female soloist to dance with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. She is also the company’s first African-American ballerina to dance lead in Swan Lake.  Copeland has also served on President Obama’s fitness council and has performed alongside music icon, Prince.

carmen and geoffrey23In other related news, dance legends Geoffrey Holder and Carmen  De Lavallade are the subject of a new documentary available on Netflix titled, Carmen & Geoffrey.

According to Indie Wire, The film explores the couple’s professional and personal lives. Holder, is an award-winning dancer, painter, actor, music composer, book author and art collector. He is also the first black man to win a Tony Award for direction and costume design for his work in the 1974 Broadway classic, The Wiz.  He is also probably best-known for his role as the 7-Up man and in the 90’s romantic comedy, Boomerang.  His wife, Da Lavallade was the lead dancer for the Lester Horton Dance Theater and has performed alongside some of history’s greats including Duke Ellington, Alvin Ailey and Josephine Baker.

Click here to see the trailer!

Photo Credits: joelmuden.com and Pintrest.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent

NBAF honors Carmen de Lavallade, Pam Grier & others at Anniversary Gala + PHOTOS

Dr. Michael Lomax, Carmen de Lavallade, NBAF Chair Sonya Halpern and former chair, Evern Cooper Epps

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

The National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) held its 25th Anniversary Gala on Friday night in Atlanta.  The event served as the culminating celebration for what has been a three-month long tribute to arts and culture and was hosted by actress Ana Maria Horsford.

Held at Georgia State’s Rialto Center for the Arts, the event recognized the contributions of artists, historians, critics and politicians who have built important and enduring legacies in their fields. Awards were given in the categories of music, theater, dance, film, visual arts and literature.

The living legends included dancer Geoffrey Holder (who was unable to travel) and his wife Carmen de Lavallade, theater director Woodie King, Jr., film legend Pam Grier, Poet Amiri Baraka, visual Artist and writer Faith Ringgold and Reggae Ambassadors Third World. Current UNCF President and CEO and former Fulton County Commissioner Dr. Michael Lomax, was also recognized for his contributions as one of the Festival’s founding chairs.

The evening also featured special appearances by visual artist Carrie Mae Weems, Pan African Film Festival Executive Director Ayuko Babu, former NBAF director Stephanie Hughley and Third World’s Stephen “Cat” Coore. Grammy-winning jazz artist Russell Gunn served as the evening’s musical director.

Providing tributes to the honorees were vocalists Julie Dexter, Dionne Farris, Rhonda Thomas, and Kathleen Bertrand, who performed a rock-soul inspired version of Nina Simone’s “Four Women.” Poet extraordinaire Jessica Care Moore, The Axam Dance Theater Experience and Youth Ensemble Atlanta rounded out the rest of the evening’s tributes.

The NBAF 25th Anniversary Gala was sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company.

Check out photos below:

anna maria horsford

 Actress Anna Maria Horsford served as the host for this year’s 25th Anniversary gala

Axam dance

 The Axam Dance Theater Experience performed a tribute to Carmen De Lavallade & Goeffrey Holder

Carmen234

 Honoree Carmen de Lavallade receiving her award

Carrie Mae

 Photographer and visual artist Carrie Mae Weems presenting to honoree Faith Ringgold

Faith Ringgold

 Honoree Faith Ringgold receiving her award

Four Women

Kathleen Bertrand, Rhonda Thomas, Dionne Farris and Julie Dexter performing “Four Women”

Stephanie Hughley

 Former NBAF Director Stephanie Hughley presenting award to honoree Woodie King, Jr.

Woodie King

 Honoree Woodie King, Jr. receiving his award

Jessica Care Moore

 Poet and Spoken Word artist Jessica Care Moore performs

Pam Grier and Ayuko

 PAFF Executive Director Ayuko Babu presenting to film icon, Pam Grier

Amira Baraka

Honoree Amira Baraka receiving his award

YEA

Atlanta’s Youth Ensemble of Atlanta (YEA) saluting the honorees with a medley of Gospel classics

Carrie Mae WeemsPam Grier234

 RC with Mike Moss, Carrie Mae Weems and Pam Grier

RC with Carmen

 RC with Carmen de Lavallade

Ayuko Babu

 RC with Pan African Film Festival Executive Director, Ayuko Babu

 Photo Credit: Megan Alodie for RayCornelius.com