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ACT Announces Third Annual Juneteenth Fundraising Gala

ACT - A Contemporary Theatre and The Hansberry Project at ACT, a professional Black theatre company dedicated to the artistic exploration of African American life, history and culture, today announces the Third Annual Juneteenth Fundraising Gala, An Evening of Gifts and Talents, to be held at ACT Saturday June 14, 2008.

"The Hansberry Project's annual Juneteenth gala is an event that brings us together to celebrate inclusion, equity and excellence, things that we promote and strive for through the work we do at ACT Theatre," said Managing Producer for The Hansberry Project Vivian Phillips. "It is also a time where we can enjoy and honor the artists with whom we work and those we admire. Live music, great food and excellent art -all the ingredients for an amazing and elegant evening."

This year's black-tie gala event, An Evening of Gifts and Talents, features a reading from Lorraine Hansberry's To Be Young, Gifted and Black. The cast includes prominent members of Seattle's theatre scene, including Tracy Michelle Hughes (The Mojo and the Sayso), William Hall, Jr. (Fathers and Sons and Wine in the Wilderness) and Reginald Andre Jackson (Fathers and Sons), as well as Vivian Phillips and ACT Artistic Director Kurt Beattie. Local band Good Company will provide music for this festive evening, with catering by That Brown Girl. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., followed by the reading at 7:00 p.m. with music and celebrations kicking off at 8:30 p.m.

Established as an annual fundraising opportunity for the Hansberry Project, the annual Juneteenth Gala has developed into a primary fundraiser for both Hansberry and ACT. Funds raised support ongoing development of Hansberry projects and new works, plus ACT operations. This event is open to the public. Tickets are $125 ($50 is tax deductable) and are available by calling (206) 292-7660 ext. 1331 or online at

Juneteenth Gala committee members include: Mrs. Louise McKinney, Dorothy H. Mann, Carissa Hunt, Joan D. Houston, Evelyn Reingold, Lisa Youngblood-Hall and Sylvia M. Young.

Named after activist-playwright Lorraine Hansberry, the Hansberry Project at ACT is a professional Black theatre company dedicated to the artistic exploration of African American life, history and culture. Its mission is to make significant and long-lasting contributions to the vitality of Seattle's performing arts community by producing work that is stimulating, relevant, emotionally satisfying, culturally specific, multi-faceted, entertaining, and artistically excellent. To that end, The Hansberry Project is committed to producing the best plays of the Black theatre, classics and new works alike. In partnership with ACT, the Hansberry Project produces a mainstage show, workshops, and other community-related activities during ACT's season. The hope is that ACT will become a center where the entire community can be enriched by the voices of professional Black artists, reflecting autonomous concerns, investigations, dreams, and artistic expression.

For the past 43 seasons, ACT's mission has been to present a broad spectrum of the very best of Contemporary Theatre that speaks to audiences of all backgrounds. A significant part of ACT's mandate is to commission new works and to foster the development of those works in a supportive and inspiring workplace. Through The Central Heating Lab, ACT seeks to heat things up and create a conversation with its season that reaches for a deeper impact.

The Third annual Juneteenth Fundraising Gala is sponsored by The Boeing Company, That Brown Girl Catering, Graham & Dunn, Mrs. Louise J. McKinney, Eli Lilly and Company, Randi Sibonga and Louise J. McKinney of MCSB, Inc, Safeco Insurance, and media partner Colors NW.

ACT gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Season Sponsors ArtsFund, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, The Mayor's Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, PONCHO, and The Shubert Foundation, along with Producing Partners 4Culture, ACT Foundation, The Boeing Company, Getty Images, Microsoft Corporation, Nesholm Family Foundation, One Nation, and The Seattle Foundation.

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