Monday night, Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater held its largest fundraising event, their 10th annual Apollo Spring Gala 2015. Hosted by former 106 & Park co-host A. J. Calloway, the star-studded benefit concert featured diverse performances by Nile Rodgers (who headlined the event with his pioneering disco-funk group, Chic), Ne-Yo, Luke James, Kimberly Nichole and celebrated South African a cappella trio The Soil. Proceeds will support the organization’s artistic and community programming.
“The Apollo Theater has always been a place for opportunity and growth as well as the home for diverse musical styles from jazz and R&B to rock and hip-hop,” says Jonelle Procope, president and CEO of the Apollo Theater. “The Theater continues to be a constant in changing the face of popular music and culture here in Harlem and across the world. Many of the world’s most legendary artists have not only graced this stage but were nurtured and developed at the Apollo in the beginning of their careers. We continue to be an important springboard for up-and-coming artists through programs like Amateur Night and Apollo Music Café.”
Each year at the Spring Gala, the Apollo recognizes a corporation for its outstanding philanthropy and community leadership. This year’s recipient of the Corporate Award was the Madison Square Garden Company. Executive chairman James Dolan accepted the award on behalf of the organization.
The Theater also honored the Ford Foundation with the Percy C. Sutton Civic Leadership Award in honor of its many years of leadership and service to the Apollo. (Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, accepted the award on behalf of the Foundation.)
The Apollo Spring Gala started with red carpet arrivals including Fab 5 Freddy, Malik Yoba, Doug E. Fresh and more, followed by the gala concert and awards ceremony with music director Ray Chew (Dancing With the Stars). The evening included a post-performance party with DJ Clark Kent on the turntables in a lounge space created by celebrity event planner and Apollo board member Bronson van Wyck.