The Lincoln Theater will present a gala in support of local arts

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The Lincoln Theater will host its annual Lincoln Gala on Thursday to raise money for theater and promote the arts in Columbus. Credit: Michael Napolitano | Lantern Journalist

The Lincoln Theater will hold its annual Lincoln Gala on Thursday, bringing together musicians to fund the theater’s goal of promoting the arts in Columbus.

The event is expected to include performances by Grammy-nominated R&B singer Maysa Leak, as well as the Bobby Floyd Trio and the Ladies of the Lincoln, according to the Lincoln Theater website. Suzan Bradford, executive director of the Lincoln Theatre, said the gala was held annually to raise money for the theater and highlight various programming.

“We like to put a little twist and say how we recognize and shine a light on all the great programs we do at the Lincoln Theater, how strong the community outreach is in our partnerships, and also just thank our supporters, founders and businesses who support the Lincoln Theater’s mission,” Bradford said.

Leak performed with the Lincoln Theater virtually during the pandemic, but said she was excited to perform at the theater in person for the first time. She said she appreciates the history of theater and the work they do to help artists grow.

“It’s an important theater in Columbus, and historically speaking, we need history in every aspect of life,” Leak said. “I know the whole idea of ​​the Lincoln Theater is a good thing for Columbus, and I’m really excited to come.”

The gala has been held annually for 12 years, following the theater’s 2009 revival, Bradford said. Prior to 2009, the Lincoln Theater was closed for over 30 years and was scheduled for demolition before being added to the National Register of Historic Places and relaunched as the city’s only urban performing arts and education center, depending on the theater. website.

Bradford said one of the Lincoln Theater’s missions is to promote, develop and showcase local talent and artists such as Starlit Ways, Mary McClendon and DJ Jae Esquire by incorporating them into the theater’s signature programs. She said these programs are intended to contribute to the center’s goals of championing diversity and accessibility in the arts and include manufacturing workshops, conversations about the arts and Spotlight on Columbus Native Artists.

“Through their completion of our programs, we are able to continue to support, mentor, guide and mentor them in the endeavor of their art,” Bradford said. “We think it’s appropriate that when we invest in them, we also create opportunities for them to have an app, and so the gala is one of those events that we’re able to do that.”

Bradford said viewers who want to support the Lincoln Theater can do so any time of the year, not just during the annual gala.

“If you would like to support the gala, you can do so, but you can also continue to donate annually or when your heart is full to support local artists and Lincoln’s mission,” she said.

As executive director of the Lincoln Theatre, Bradford said she controls the gala programming and is thrilled to be able to present this concert on behalf of the theater.

“I’ve done a lot of different genres while I’ve been active over the past 12 years, but not a gig like this,” Bradford said. “I’m so excited to see our results and see how we’ve raised funds to support the Lincoln and its programming.”

Leak said she does her best to tailor each show to her city and connect with each audience, which she hopes to do throughout her performance at the Lincoln Theater.

“Connecting with the audience, I think is my favorite part of a show,” Leak said. “It’s not one-on-one, but sometimes it’s like having a strong connection with people and being able to look people in the eye and help them have fun and enjoy themselves. .”

The Lincoln Gala will take place at the Lincoln Theater, located at 769 E. Long St., beginning at 7 p.m. with a VIP reception at 6 p.m. Concert-only tickets start at $50 and can be purchased at the Lincoln Theater. website.

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