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Project1VOICE Announces Honorees For Juneteenth Celebration

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The honorees will include a Lifetime Achievement Award for George Faison, the renowned Tony Award winning choreographer.

Project1VOICE Announces Honorees For Juneteenth Celebration

Project1VOICE, an organization dedicated to supporting theatre and the performing arts by people of African descent, has announced the esteemed recipients for their upcoming Project1VOICE Honors.

The honorees will include a Lifetime Achievement Award for George Faison, the renowned Tony Award winning choreographer; Marcia Pendelton, founder of marketing firm Walk Tall Girl Productions; and The Howard Players, the oldest Black student acting group in the country.

The Regional Theatre Award will be awarded to The Ensemble Theatre in Houston, Texas. The Transformative Trailblazing Award will be given to The Black Seed foundation, and four-time Tony Award winner Ron Simons. The Black Theatre Network, National Black Theatre Festival, The International Association of Blacks in Dance and the Association of African-American Museums will all be honored for their Outstanding Service in the Arts.

The Project1VOICE Honors will be livestreamed on project1voice.org at 7pm EST on Sunday, June 20, the second day of the free Us Supporting Us Juneteenth events that correspond with the organizations commemorating its 10th anniversary.

As previously announced, Us Supporting Us begins June 19, 2021 with a 200th anniversary celebration of the African Grove Theatre, the first Black theatre company in the United States. The theatre was founded by William Alexander Brown, a free Black man from the West Indies, and was in operation at several locations in Lower Manhattan and Greenwich Village from 1821-1826, until it mysteriously burned down.

Us Supporting Us events will also include a staged reading of Autumn's Harvest by Dominique Morisseau.

All events will be hosted on Project1VOICE's new virtual performing arts center (VPAC), an online portal which will be renamed in honor of each event. For the three-day event Project1VOICE will rename the VPAC The African Grove. Subsequent gatherings will be renamed to pay homage to the countless shoulders on which we all stand. All Project1VOICE online events will have an ASL interpreter.

Erich McMillan-McCall, Founder and Director of Project1VOICE, has dedicated the past 10 years to uplifting other Black creatives and providing education on the contributions of Black artists throughout the history of the United States and beyond. With Project1VOICE's new virtual performance platform, programming and initiatives, Mr. McMillian-McCall hopes to continue this necessary work and draw additional support.

"I believe that the key to continuing our robust and rich history of Black theatre in this country will depend on four areas of action: Sustain, Endow, Access and Thrive." McMillan-McCall explains. "This is how we will endure and exceed. These three days are intended to connect us to our varied and robust past, present and future. During these three days we will be commemorating the 'emancipation' of our collective and individual voices, paving the way for the better future that is always ours to claim."

A recent recipient of a generous gift from The Black Seed/Mellon Foundation, Project1VOICE will use the funds as intended: to plant the seeds of growth for Black creatives and arts professionals by honoring Black theatre artists, actively engaging and hiring Black people and specifically Black women for the organization's initiatives, and using their platform to encourage support for Black creatives and performing arts organizations.


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