Thursday, December 29, 2011

Patrick D. McCoy on Terri Allen: 'Life, love and laughter: Arts advocate honored with a 60th birthday gala'

[Arts Advocate Terri Allen was honored with a holiday gala on the occasion of her 60th birthday.  Credits: Patrick D. McCoy]

DC Performing Arts Examiner

December 28, 2011
When your birthday is so close to Christmas, what exactly do you do? Will your friends and loved ones count all of your gifts as in the same. Do you celebrate at all? For Terri Allen, who serves as the Executive Director of the arts advocacy organization, Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts it never was a big deal. “I never really celebrated my birthday because it is so close to Christmas and didn’t want to inconvenience anybody.” she explained.

"Turning 60 is a big deal and a gala honoring this milestone made up for all the birthday celebrations she did not have. Allen’s daughter, the soprano Pamela Simonson, along with her brother, pianist Victor Simonson spearheaded a lavish evening gala celebration for their mother held on Friday, December 23, 2011 at the National Golf Club. The event was a mirror image reflection of the elegance that radiates from their mother. Guests arrived in their holiday festive formal attire, with bursts of red, gold and crème glistening throughout the room.

"Themed Terri Allen: 60 years of Life, Love and Laughter, the gala program celebrated the arts advocate through music, scripture and song. Mistress of Ceremonies for the occasion was her cousin, Benita Dallas. The program not only celebrated Allen for her birthday, but for the joy that she brings to others as a friend, sister, daughter, wife, community leader and mother. Entering the room to a musical fanfare, Allen was elegant in a black floor length gown, glamorously radiant in sparkling jewels. Later in the evening, she changed into a sassy, shimmering dress, with long flowing hair, channeling full diva. She was joined by her supportive husband, Dale Allen.”

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