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BAM Gala 2021 Will Honor Sir Patrick Stewart, Shelby White & the Leon Levy Foundation, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

The gala will be hosted on June 10 at BAM's Peter Jay Sharp building with limited capacity.

BAM Gala 2021 Will Honor Sir Patrick Stewart, Shelby White & the Leon Levy Foundation, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) announces today its annual gala honorees: actor, Sir Patrick Stewart, longtime BAM supporter Shelby White & the Leon Levy Foundation, and choreographer and founder of Urban Bush Women (UBW) Jawole Willa Jo Zollar for their indelible contributions to the performing arts. The gala will be hosted on June 10 at BAM's Peter Jay Sharp building with limited capacity, safety protocols, and social distancing guidelines. Access to a uniquely-curated virtual experience is also available for BAM supporters. The main stage performances and awards will be live streamed for the public.

Benefit Committee Chairs are Mark Diker & Deborah Colson, Roberta Garza & Roberto Mendoza, and Adam Wolfensohn & Jennifer Small.

Each gala honoree distinctly embodies BAM's adventurous spirit and commitment to the arts. The prolific Sir Patrick Stewart first appeared on BAM's stage in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 1971 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. He was later lauded for his masterful turn as Macbeth at BAM in 2008. Shelby White & the Leon Levy Foundation tirelessly advocate for the preservation, understanding, and expansion of knowledge in the arts and humanities, ancient world, nature and gardens, neuroscience, human rights and Jewish culture. Jawole Willa Jo Zollar's BAM legacy began in 1988 when UBW were featured in DanceAfrica. She has since returned to BAM numerous times with UBW to present dynamic works that focus on women and the African Diaspora experience.

Grammy-nomintated, Brooklyn-based Afrobeat sensation Antibalas will perform their captivating signature mix of West African music, jazz, soul and funk. They previously appeared at BAM to a sold-out crowd as a headliner for the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival in 2015.

The evening is artistically directed and styled by award-winning theater and film director Maureen Towey along with Tony award-winning set designer Donyale Werle to conjure a fresh, and vibrant experience inspired by the natural world. Verdant dining pods will ensconce intimate groups and be placed strategically throughout the spacious Lepercq Space. Clearly marked "garden" paths will guide guests safely to each festivity throughout the night. The program will interweave treasures from Shelby White & the Leon Levy BAM Digital Archive including video clips, photos and other rare ephemera. Stage and video design will be done by Joshua Higgason, and Al Crawford will conceptualize the lighting design.

Those opting for the virtual experience will have access to a unique pre-show program, the livestream of this year's special performances and awards, and a deluxe catered gift basket.

The event also marks the opening of BAM's Annual Art Auction powered by Artsy, bringing together artists, community members, collectors, and patrons to support Brooklyn arts and culture.

The online art auction is led by BAM Trustee co-chairs Tony Bechara and Mark Diker, and features works by artists Cecily Brown, Marcel Dzama, Azikiwe Mohammed, Elizabeth Peyton, and Stanley Whitney, among many others.

Auction committee members are Helena Anrather, Stephanie Baptist, Jayne Baum, Derek Eller, Erin Goldberger, Emily Havens, Ebony L. Haynes, Patton Hindle, Ambre Kelly, Lauren Marinaro, Larry Ossei-Mensah, Chris Rawson, Julie Saul, Alissa Schoenfeld, and Hadley Vogel.

As BAM finds creative ways to bring artists and audiences together during these times, ripples from the pandemic remain, and have deeply affected many facets of the organization. Funds generated by this event help secure a future for BAM that is even more imaginative, expansive, and adventurous.

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