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Howard Theatre to Honor Legendary Valerie Simpson, Dionne Warwick and Chaka Khan at Star-Studded 2nd Annual Gala and Benefit Concert
(Published: April 15, 2013)

Howard Theatre Restoration is announcing powerhouse additions to the 2nd Annual Gala and Benefit Concert on April 19th, 2013 in support of the continued development of the iconic Howard Theatre and in celebration of remarkable women who have helped redefine the music industry. This year's event will be filled with heartfelt performances and Trailblazer awards presented to Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan and Valerie Simpson. The gala and awards ceremony takes place at the iconic Howard Theatre and pays homage to the immeasurable impact these legendary women have had on the music industry and their continued support of the arts.

This year, the annual gala will be hosted by comedian and 2013 Dancing with the Stars contestant, D.L. Hughley and Kym Whitley, star of the upcoming OWN Network show Raising Whitley. In addition to recognizing Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan and Valerie Simpson, artists such as Marsha Ambrosius, Yolanda Adams, Be Be Winans, Sheila E., Leela James, Kenny Lattimore, Nona Hendryx, Maysa, Sugar Bear, Athena Cage, Marcus Canty, Jaguar Wright and Afro Blue will pay tribute to Etta James and the International Sweethearts of Rhythm through performance. Following the gala, UPTOWN luxury lifestyle magazine will host an exclusive after-party featuring celebrity entertainment.

"We are thrilled to open the doors of the Howard Theatre for this exciting evening in recognition of such powerful, trailblazing women who have helped shape the world of music." said Myla Moss, Chair of the Howard Theatre Restoration Board of Directors.

The Howard Theatre reemerged in 2012 with a grand re-opening gala and benefit concert hosted by Wanda Sykes. The highlight of the evening came as former "Miracles" founder and front man, Smokey Robinson, paid tribute to his friend and icon, Motown Records founder, Berry Gordy.

Hundreds of business, political and music industry leaders from across the country and throughout the DC region will come together to celebrate the Howard Theatre's second benefit concert which will
raise funds to support the building and endowment of an education and cultural center adjacent to the theatre.

The cultural center will help educate the community about the historical contribution the Howard Theatre has made to the music world and Washington, and provide an avenue for youth to be introduced to the arts.

The 2nd Annual Gala is generously sponsored by AARP, AMTRAK, Judith N. Batty, the Embassy of Gabon, Fed Ex, Geico, General Motors Foundation, Giving Back Jones Foundation, Patricia Howell, Morgan Stanley, National Cable & Television Association, Pepco, Pepsi, Radio One / TV One. Reed Smith, Reliance Methods, Sister Strength, LLC, The Reginald Van Lee Foundation, United Health Care and Wells Fargo.

The Howard Theatre opened in 1910 at the corner of 7th and T Streets NW, in the area known as "Black Broadway," and provided a place where color barriers blurred and music unified. It featured
vaudeville, live theatre, talent shows and two performing companies, the Lafayette Players and the Howard University Players.

The Washington Bee dubbed it the "Theatre for The People," as both dignitaries and everyday citizens gathered to see both beloved icons and rising stars. While The Howard Theatre inspired change, it felt the impact of a nation in flux following the 1968 riots. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, but the degradation of the neighborhood forced the theatre to close in 1980.

After a $29 million renovation and a 32-year hiatus, The Howard Theatre continues to be a hub of creativity and artistic expression in the modern world. The theatre re-opened in 2012, continuing a rich tradition of honoring and showcasing the industry's hottest stars in music and entertainment such as Wale, Wanda Sykes, The Roots, Robert Randolph, Taj Mahal, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), Brandy, Faith Evans, Bad Brains, Chuck Brown, Chuck Berry, Sheila E., Esperanza Spalding. The theatre hosts a range of national and local talent for the DC community often, and continues to serve as a place for local entertainment and gatherings.

More Information: http://www.howardtheatre.org/home.html


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