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Celebrate Brooklyn! announces Chaka Khan as season opener
(Published: February 18, 2015)

BRIC is pleased to announce that legendary soul singer Chaka Khan will open the 37th annual Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival, with a free concert June 3 at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Dubbed the "Queen of Funk," Chaka has stunned artists, audiences and critics alike over her 40-year career. She brings her unbridled talent to the Bandshell, continuing BRIC's longstanding tradition of presenting an eclectic mix of artists at the forefront of their field, all within the singular environs of Prospect Park. Previous Festival openers have included cultural luminary David Byrne, reggae icon Jimmy Cliff and pop sensation Janelle Monáe, among many others.

Prior to the free concert, BRIC will hold the Celebrate Brooklyn! Opening Night Gala, honoring David Berliner, COO of Forest City Ratner Companies, at 5:30 P.M. Gala tickets, starting at $500, can be purchased online at www.BRICartsmedia.org/cb or by contacting Kristina Beaudett at 718.683.5633 or kbeaudett@BRICartsmedia.org. The proceeds provide vital funds that help keep Celebrate Brooklyn! programming free and accessible to everyone.

Following the concert, at 10:00 P.M., gala guests and Friends of Celebrate Brooklyn! (i.e., members) are invited to the Opening Night After-Party featuring DJ Raydar Ellis.

Chaka Khan is a true Renaissance Woman. A singer, songwriter, producer, visual artist, author, actor, philanthropist, entrepreneur, activist and mother, Chaka is an international music icon who has influenced multiple generations of artists and continues to do so. From the moment she arrived on the music scene in the 1970s as the 18-year-old lead singer of the multiracial band Rufus, her powerful voice and show-stopping stage presence set her apart from any other singer, and during her 40-year career, she has developed a vast international fan base and performed on six continents.

Chaka is a ten-time GRAMMY® Award winner (with 22 GRAMMY® nominations) who has the rare ability to sing in eight music genres, including R&B, jazz, pop, rock, gospel, country, classical and dance music. She has released 22 albums and racked up ten #1 Billboard magazine charted songs, eight RIAA certified gold singles and eleven RIAA certified gold and platinum albums. She's been awarded the BET Lifetime Achievement Award, the Soul Train Legend Award, and the World Music Lifetime Achievement Award; inducted into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame; and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her influence continues to this day, when her hometown of Chicago honored her with a street naming, called "Chaka Khan Way," and designated July 28, 2013 "Chaka Khan Day."

Of Celebrate Brooklyn!, The New York Times writes, "Brooklyn's best festival only grows stronger over the years." Since it began in 1979 as a catalyst for a burgeoning Brooklyn performing arts scene, and to bring people back into Prospect Park after years of neglect, the Festival was an early anchor in Brooklyn's renaissance and has become one of the city's foremost summer cultural attractions. Winner of the Village Voice Readers' Poll and Critics' Picks for "Best Free Concert Series," Celebrate Brooklyn! is New York City's longest-running summer outdoor performance festival. Over its 36-year history, the Festival has presented more than 2,000 artists, drawing a diverse audience upwards of 200,000 each season. Gothamist named Celebrate Brooklyn! #1 on their list of "100 Reasons Why Brooklyn Lives up to the Hype." The New York Times says, "Prospect Park....truly comes alive in summer, when the tremendous Celebrate Brooklyn festival brings dozens of free and benefit shows to its bandshell."

Friends of Celebrate Brooklyn! season memberships are also available now, for as little as $50, and include perks all summer long. Benefits of membership include express entry, reserved seating, pre-concert receptions, and more. Gala tickets and Friends memberships can be purchased online at www.BRICartsmedia.org/cb or by contacting Kristina Beaudett at 718.683.5633 or kbeaudett@BRICartsmedia.org.

About BRIC and the Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival

Since its founding as a not-for-profit organization in 1979, BRIC has been the driving force behind a number of Brooklyn's most widely renowned and beloved arts and media programs. In the borough that is now this country's foremost creative hotbed, BRIC is unparalleled in its combination of artistic excellence, programmatic breadth and genuine accessibility.

BRIC presents performing arts (live music, dance and theater), contemporary art exhibitions and programs, and community media programs (Brooklyn Free Speech Television and Brooklyn Independent Media) that reflect Brooklyn's creativity and diversity. In 2013, BRIC inaugurated a new era of service to the borough when it opened BRIC House, a 40,000 square-foot arts and media facility located in the cultural hub of Downtown Brooklyn, featuring a flexible state-of-the-art performance space, a major contemporary art gallery, artist workspace, and multiple television and media production studios.

Emphasizing creative expression as varied and groundbreaking as the borough it serves, BRIC provides opportunities and platforms for Brooklyn artists and media makers to create and present new works. The organization champions the creativity of Brooklyn and work that expands the boundaries of artistic disciplines. BRIC's highly accessible exhibitions, performances, television programs and educational programs serve more than one million Brooklyn residents each year.

The Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival is BRIC's flagship performing arts program. Launched by BRIC in 1979 as a catalyst for a burgeoning Brooklyn performing arts scene, and to bring people back into Prospect Park after years of neglect, Celebrate Brooklyn! was an early anchor in the park's revitalization and has become Brooklyn's foremost summer cultural attraction. Over its history, the festival has presented over 2,000 artists, from emerging innovators to internationally established performers. Since 2011, BRIC has also produced a lively series of Celebrate Brooklyn! dance parties in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Celebrate Brooklyn's Executive Producer is Jack Walsh. The Festival's Artistic Director is Rachel Chanoff. Leslie Schultz is the President of BRIC.

More Information: http://bricartsmedia.org/performing-arts/celebrate-brooklyn


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