Press Release

The Gordon Parks Foundation to Commemorate 20th Anniversary of A Great Day in Hip-Hop at Annual Awards Dinner & Auction on June 4

Event Date: 
4 June 2019
Pleasantville, NY
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2019 Event Honors Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chelsea Clinton, Carol Sutton Lewis and William M. Lewis, Jr., Raf Simons, and Kehinde Wiley, Continuing the Legacy of Artist and Humanitarian Gordon Parks

Tony Award Winner Sarah Jones to Host; The Roots to Perform 

The Gordon Parks Foundation today announced additional details of its 2019 Annual Awards Dinner and Auction, celebrating Gordon Parks’ legacy and honoring those who continue his vision for social change through their work in the arts and humanitarianism.  Taking place on June 4 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York, the event will commemorate the 20th anniversary of Gordon Parks’ iconic photograph A Great Day in Hip-Hop by bringing together many of its original subjects for a new photo. Hosted by comedienne and actress Sarah Jones, the gala will feature a performance by The Roots and remarks by Questlove.

Esteemed honorees at this year’s event include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chelsea Clinton, Raf Simons, and Kehinde Wiley. The Patron of the Arts Award will go to civic leaders and philanthropists Carol Sutton Lewis and William M. Lewis, Jr. The evening is co-chaired by Kenneth and Kathryn Chenault, Valerie Jarrett, Alicia Keys and Kasseem Dean, Judy and Leonard Lauder, Ronald O. Perelman, and Alexander Soros. As part of the gala celebration, a group of Gordon Parks photographs will be auctioned with all proceeds from the evening to support the Foundation’s year-round artistic and educational programs.  

“At the core of The Gordon Parks Foundation’s work is the support of current and emerging leaders who carry on Parks’ legacy,” said Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., Executive Director of The Gordon Parks Foundation. “Through initiatives such as our scholarship and fellowship programs, as well as these annual awards, we continue to empower the next generation of change-makers and those who are current forces for social justice and the arts.”

In addition to the conferral of the Foundation’s Annual Awards, figures from A Great Day in Hip-Hop, including Fab 5 Freddy, Slick Rick, DJ Kool Herc, among others, will come together to take a new photograph in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the iconic image. The original photo, taken for XXL in 1998, was modeled after an Art Kane photograph from 1958 of major jazz musicians of the era. Parks’ version came about as a modern reinterpretation of popular music—recontextualizing the genre as more than a rebellious pop culture and inaugurating the subjects as the vanguards of a new type of music. The 2019 version of the photo will be taken by 2018 Gordon Parks Foundation Honoree Jamel Shabazz whose exhibition, Jamel Shabazz: Honor and Dignity, is on view at The Gordon Parks Foundation through July 12, 2019.

The Gordon Parks Foundation Annual Awards Dinner and Auction supports the important and ongoing work of the Foundation in providing scholarships and fellowships to students and artists whose creative work reflects the mission and vision of Gordon Parks, in addition to the Foundation’s other year-round educational programming.

 

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