Memphis Black Arts Alliance to launch inaugural Black Arts Legacy Honors & Ball

What’s happening: It was 1982 when the Memphis Black Arts Alliance was founded and in their 40 years of working to preserve, celebrate, and advance Black arts and culture in Memphis and beyond, they’ve never thrown a party like this one. Preparations are underway for the inaugural Memphis Black Arts Legacy Honors & Ball, in what the Memphis Black Arts Alliance (MBAA) is calling its largest event in the nonprofit arts advocacy organization’s history.

What’s planned: The Memphis Black Arts Legacy Honors & Ball will be held on Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts. The evening begins with the Arts-A-F!RE Celebration Experience at 6 p.m. in the Grand Lobby with the Honors and Awards Ceremony to follow beginning at 7 p.m. In addition to the awards ceremony, there will be live music, dancing, food, silent auctions, and more.

Tickets for the Memphis Black Arts Legacy Honors & Ball are available online.

And the award goes to: The awards ceremony will be hosted by 88.5-FM radio personality Michael Adrian Davis and celebrity chef and host of WMC-TV’s “Bluff City Life” Gina Neely. Nearly 20 Memphians will be honored at the ceremony, a list that includes actress Elise Neal; recording artist and winner of “The Four” Evvie McKinney; Pulitzer Prize winner, writer, and producer Katori Hall; Grammy Award-winning producer Boo Mitchell; and Moziah Bridges, the young entrepreneur behind Mo’s Bows. MBAA founder Bennie Nelson West will also receive a special tribute.

Why it’s important: The event will not only honor and recognize many deserving Black artists and Memphians but also serve as a fundraiser for the Memphis Black Arts Alliance. The MBAA has established itself as a cultural institution over the years, employing, engaging, and educating thousands of artists, students, and guests from throughout the region.

[Related: Read “Memphis Black Arts Alliance serves as talent starting point” on High Ground News.]

What they’re saying: “We are excited to honor our 40-year history and the legacies of these extraordinary Memphians," says MBAA Executive Director Lar'Juanette Williams. “We are proud to celebrate each of them because of their major accomplishments and global artistic influence. Our honorees are artists of color who have set a standard of excellence throughout the world and the time has come for us to salute them for carrying the legacy of greatness. We look forward to heralding their work, sharing their stories, and showing our appreciation for their artistic genius.”