Monday, September 14, 2015

CAAPA Hosts Breakfast Reception for National Medal of Arts Awardee George Shirley

Alvy Powell (bass-baritone) greets guest of honor George Shirley, National Medal of Arts Awardee and CAAPA Board Member. Photo: Debra Johnson
CAAPA Hosts Breakfast Reception for National Medal of Arts Awardee George Shirley
Prominent Arts Leaders in the Nation’s Capitol’s Join Medal Winner at Intimate Gathering
(THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2015) Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts – CAAPA), a non-profit arts organization was honored to pay tribute to National Medal of Arts Awardee and CAAPA Board Member George Shirley at a special Breakfast Reception on Thursday, September 10, 2015. The breakfast preceded the official award ceremony held at The White House at 3:00 pm, hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
During the breakfast, Shirley shared words of wisdom and appreciation to an intimate gathering of close friends, colleagues, and fellow CAAPA Board Members. Guests also learned he will play Host on the first-ever "Arias at Sea: Blacks in Classical Music Cruise", which is scheduled to feature onboard performances by Black classical musicians, as well as recitals in Nassau and Freeport, Bahamas in November 2016.
Shirley has served on the CAAPA Board since 2013 and was instrumental in helping to "Bring Color to the Classics!" with the organization's national initiative, the MasterClass Series, which was launched in college and high school music departments throughout the nation during the 2014-2015 season. Angela Renee Simpson, the program's coordinator announced this season's MasterClass Series will begin in late winter through the spring of 2016. Shirley will also conduct a CAAPA MasterClass during that time in the Detroit area.
The tribute breakfast was attended by many of the district's arts leaders, musicians, and advocates including Jenny Bilfield, President of Washington Performing Arts, Alvy Powell, one of the nation's best known singers of the role Porgy in "Porgy and Bess", Kelvin Page, president of the Ben Holt Branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians - NANM, Steven M. Allen, composer, musician, teacher and others, as well CAAPA Board Members Patrick D. McCoy, Sistah Joy Alford, Ra Sylver, and Pamela Simonson Chair and Co-Founder, as well as CAAPA Executive Director Terri Allen. Shirley's family was also represented in the presence of his wife, daughter, son and cousins. They then departed for the White House with members of the medal's sponsoring agency, National Endowment of the Arts.

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