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Pasadena Playhouse's Wells Fargo Theatrical Diversity Project Honors Lena L. Kennedy

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The 4th Annual Wells Fargo Theatrical Diversity Project will be held on Friday, November 19, 2010 at Pasadena Playhouse (39 S. El Molino Avenue). The evening honors Lena L. Kennedy for her leadership and support of theatrical diversity at Pasadena Playhouse and the American Theatre with a special performance of UPTOWN DOWNTOWN starring Tony and Emmy Award-winner Leslie Uggams.

"The goals of the Theatrical Diversity Project have been central to the mission of the theatre for many years, and our success in the area of diversity onstage and off has been rightfully lauded and awarded. I am so very pleased that Well Fargo has chosen to endorse and sustain this effort both with their generous financial support and their endorsement of the fact that many of the project's objectives also meet their own corporate goals," said Sheldon Epps, Pasadena Playhouse Artistic Director. "I am extremely happy that this year's celebration will honor Lena Kennedy who has been of such great service to The Playhouse, and to so many noble and notable causes in our community. Lena has truly been a magnificent boon to the Diversity Project, to Pasadena Playhouse, and to the city of Pasadena in so many different ways. It is our joy and honor to honor her."

As a life-long resident of Pasadena, Lena L. Kennedy is passionate about the Pasadena community, and she works to ensure that everyone has an equal chance at opportunity. In pursuit of this goal, Lena has facilitated relationships and alliances that strengthen community from the grassroots up, and that effect social change.

Lena believes that people are inspired by excellence. Foremost on her agenda is thoughtful and creative planning that achieves the best result. Her enduring persistence and drive connects people, causes, and organizations, and facilitates the sharing of ideas. A hallmark of Lena's style is thinking big and accomplishing what may seem unreachable.

To achieve the community goals nearest to her heart, Lena understands that pulling together a group of people with a variety of gifts and talents-and getting them to work together-is integral to success. Her greatest satisfaction comes from seeing the enjoyment of others as they are exposed to new experiences and new ideas, and from connecting people who work in separate sectors to reaching the same goals.

Lena Kennedy's accomplishments include a 30-year career providing a comprehensive array of consulting services for political, civic, non-profit and corporate clients. As a member of the National Finance Committee/Obama for America, she helped organize three successful fundraising events in Pasadena. As co-chair of the National Women's Leadership Forum, Lena hosted a national conference in Chicago (October 2008), with Michelle Obama and then-Senator Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and many female elected officials from across the country. As a member of Women for Obama, she hosted a Unity Event at the home of Sherry Lansing for women who supported Hillary Clinton. She serves on the Majority Trust of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and in that capacity hosted a fundraiser with Senators John Kerry, Patrick Leahy and Chuck Schumer (September 2008). Currently, Lena serves as Director of Special Projects for State Senator Carol Liu.

Understanding that politics are both national and local, Ms. Kennedy is engaged in projects that she believes will make a difference in the community. She currently serves on the following boards: Pasadena Arts Council; Community Health Alliance of Pasadena (CHAP); First AME Church Pasadena Trustee Board, and the Pasadena Playhouse Diversity Board (founding member).

Civic work is Lena Kennedy's passion, and she is grateful for the enormous support she has received from the community and her friends and family. Understanding that her children are a gift from God, Lena believes that her dedicated investment to their lives has been her greatest accomplishment, and she is thankful for all that she has learned about life through them.

Pasadena Playhouse's Wells Fargo Theatrical Diversity Project was created in 2005 to support The Playhouse Artistic Director's vision to build a legacy of artistic and theatrical diversity at Pasadena Playhouse. This initiative will ensure eclectic and Dynamic Productions that might not otherwise be possible within the given resources of the theatre. Funds raised in support of the Diversity Project are designated to providing arts education opportunities for young people of diverse ethnicities, as well as cultivating writers, actors, directors and designers of all ethnic backgrounds through The Playhouse's Mainstage Season productions and outreach programs. Additionally, Diversity Project donations support production budgets of shows such as UPTOWN DOWNTOWN and make it possible to put celebrated plays with exceptionally talented actors on stage.

The annual Theatrical Diversity Project event has featured past performances by Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett in Fences, and has raised more than $200,000 to support The Playhouse's mission of theatrical diversity.

Tickets to the Wells Fargo Theatrical Diversity Project Opening Night Celebration honoring Lena L. Kennedy are a minimum donation of $100.00 per ticket. To purchase tickets or for more information call Beth Lewis at 626-921-1156 or email blewis@pasadenaplayhouse.org. Tickets are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Pasadena Star-News is a proud media sponsor of UPTOWN DOWNTOWN and will be hosting the Wells Fargo Theatrical Diversity Project Opening Night Celebration after-party on November 19.

Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director and Stephen Eich, Executive Director), in association with KPC Incorporated, presents Tony and Emmy Award-winner Leslie Uggams (Pasadena Playhouse's Stormy Weather and ABC's "Roots") in UPTOWN DOWNTOWN. Directed and conceived by Michael Bush (Pasadena Playhouse's Stormy Weather), Ms. Uggams returns to The Playhouse stage through December 12.

UPTOWN DOWNTOWN is a dazzling musical evening of stories and songs with the legendary Leslie Uggams. She recreates her extraordinary journey from stage and screen from Sing Along with Mitch to ABC's hit mini-series "Roots" to the Apollo Theater and Broadway. UPTOWN DOWNTOWN played earlier this year at New York City's Jazz at Lincoln Center. Tickets to UPTOWN DOWNTOWN at Pasadena Playhouse are available at www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org or 626-356-7529.

 


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