LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) — Thursday, September 7, at the Robinson Center lobby, the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation (ABHOF) announced it will celebrate its silver anniversary with a black-tie variety show production at the Robinson Center Performance Hall in Little Rock on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m.
The show will take on a brand-new format for 2017. In the style of the Kennedy Center Honors, there will be performances and appearances from renowned past inductees such as jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, music producer Morris Hayes and poet Haki Madhubuti. Tollette native and 2015 ABHOF inductee, Luenell, known for her stand-up comedy and roles in films such as Think Like a Man and Borat, will serve as emcee. Also performing will be some of the best acts to grace the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame stage over the past 25 years.
Governor Asa Hutchinson and Clarence James (C.J.) Duvall, Jr., a philanthropist and former 25-year corporate executive, are honorary co-chairs. More than 60 previous inductees will return for this momentous celebration.
“This year’s Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation celebration is unlike any we’ve done before,” said Charles Stewart, Foundation chairman. “Although there are no new inductees this year, we will still celebrate our rich history through stirring performances at one of the most legendary venues in the state.”
The 25th year of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame marks the launch of Seeds of Genius: 25 Years of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, the organization’s first coffee table book. It will be available for sale at the anniversary celebration and on the ABHOF website arblackhalloffame.org.
“Education is key to the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation,” Stewart said. “Seeds of Genius will not only celebrate our inductees but will also educate Arkansas families on the achievements black Arkansans have made in science, the arts, sports, business and more.”
As in previous years since 2004, proceeds from the 25th anniversary celebration will benefit the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation, which has awarded more than $570,000 in grants to organizations that serve African-Americans and underserved communities throughout the state. The celebration event will also see the launch of a $2.5 million endowment campaign. The endowment is a part of the sustainability plans for the ABHOF and will enhance the work of the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation.
Along with honoring the creation and work of the foundation, the 25th anniversary show will celebrate the Hall of Fame exhibit housed in the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in downtown Little Rock. This year the ABHOF show will be presented by Steve Landers Chrysler Dodge Jeep, and the Duvall Family Charitable Endowment is the event’s legacy sponsor.
Tickets for the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary celebration range from $50 to $100 and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com. VIP and corporate packages are also available. For more information on the ABHOF and its 25th Anniversary, click here.