D.C. Landmark Celebrates Rebirth With Week of Events
Distinguished guests, musical artists and local residents gathered at noon today in front of the newly renovated Howard Theater for its ground breaking ceremony in Washington, D.C.
The Howard Theater Restoration Inc. describes the landmark as “the crown jewel of African-American culture and achievement in Washington, D.C.” and “one of the most culturally significant institutions in American history.”
The ceremony consisted of a ribbon cutting and the installation of the “Jazz Man” sculpture on the building’s faÃ§ade. Special performances by artists provided entertainment for residents as they marveled at the finishing touches of the theater and mingled with each other in the crowd. The Community Day was free and open to the public to encouraging the support and participation of the masses.
Stockton Bon Black, 86, a tap dancer known as Brother Black who performed at the Howard Theater, praised the opening ceremony. “It was beautiful,” Black said “It was an excellent job that they did.”
Singers Smokey Robinson and Layla Hathaway, Howard University music group Afro Blue and tapper Savion Glover will perform at the Grand Opening Gala and Benefit Concert on April 12. The gala will also honor Motown founder Berry Gordy, celebrate the theater’s 101st anniversary and contribute to fundraising efforts for the Howard Theater Cultural and Education Center.
Originally built in 1910, the theater was built in a collaborative effort of the Howard Theater Restoration Inc., the District of Columbia, Ellis Development Group and other private entities.