Whoopi Goldberg presents Tyler Perry the Impact Award at the Apollo Theater Spring Benefit. Photo: Shahar Azran Photography
Star-studded event organized by Kenan Thompsonhighlights Phylicia Rashad, Whoopi Goldberg, Samuel & LaTanya Jackson, Susan Kelechi Watson, Daymond John and more!
Musical performances by Roots with special appearances by Stephanie Mills, Anthony Hamilton, Ogi, D-Nice, Marching Cobras
LionTree receives the Business Award
The Apollo Theater had a huge night at their annual spring benefit, raising a record $3.7 million including a donation of $500,000 from Tyler Perry who made the surprise announcement during his Impact Award acceptance speech presented by the Academy Award® winner and co-host of The View Whoopi Goldberg. This is the largest number ever raised for this fundraising event.
Hosted by Emmy® winner and SNL cast member Kenan Thompson, who had the sold-out crowd laughing with snippets like his intro in which he appeared on video, seeming to forget the event was in person! He also recreated his popular “Black Jeopardy” skit featuring “This Is Us” star Susan Kelechi Watson.
With Tyler Perry, global investment and merchant banking firm LionTree, received the Corporate Award. After the presentations, the audience enjoyed performances by rising artist Ogi as well as Roots with special appearances by Stephanie Mills, Anthony Hamilton. Continuing their annual tradition, the running cobras led the crowd down 126th Street to the lively afterparty where International Celebrity DJ, Derrick “D-Nice” Jones returned with his signature sounds in the beautiful lounge created by famed event planner and Apollo board member Bronson van Wyck.
Additionally, at the event, Bulova Watches unveiled a first look at their Apollo timepiece commemorating the historic institution.
Prior to the event, the non-profit organization also announced that it will release a limited edition non-fungible token (NFT) commemorating the annual event. Approximately 400 NFTs will be issued by Ticketmaster. Special NFTs will be given to each person who has donated to Apollo’s Spring Benefit. The commemorative NFT will be a digital keepsake celebrating the world-renowned organization’s biggest annual fundraising event.
Apollo’s season theme, “The Renaissance is Now!”, and its presentations have expanded the nonprofit’s role as a partner, curator, and co-producer of programming that centers Black artists and the voices of the African Diaspora, while tackling social issues. that are important to Harlem, New York and the nation.
Proceeds from the Spring Benefit support the nonprofit’s world-class artistic, educational, and community programs and collaborations throughout the year, as well as its commitment to using arts and culture to articulate and project the African American narrative and create a 21st century performing arts canon.
About the Apollo Theater
The legendary Apollo Theater, the soul of American culture, plays a vital role in nurturing emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, New York City and the world.
With music at its heart, Apollo’s programming spans dance, theatre, spoken word and more. This includes special programs such as the hit concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo, the world premiere of the theatrical reading of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book Between the World and Me, 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella, the annual edition Africa Now! Festival and the recent New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved. The Apollo is a performing arts outreach organization that also produces festivals and large-scale dance and music works organized around a core set of initiatives that celebrate and extend Apollo’s legacy to through a contemporary lens. global festivals, including the Women of the World (WOW) festival and Breakin’ Convention; presentations by international and US-based artists focused on a specific theme; and special projects, multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.
Since the introduction of the first Amateur Night competitions in 1934, the Apollo Theater has served as a proving ground for new artists working in a variety of art forms and ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres, including the jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are Michael Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Billie Holiday, James Brown, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Dave Chappelle, Machine Gun Kelly, Miri Ben Ari, Sarah Vaughan , Gladys Chevalier and Luther Vandross; and Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy.