The All Stars Project (ASP) held its national gala benefit entitled “Big Builders for Young People” on Monday, May 7 at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. Celebrating over 30 years of success of after-school programs for inner-city youth, the All Stars Project raised $2 million to benefit the All Stars’ innovative after-school youth development programs.
The All Stars Project Groundbreakers Awards were presented to Katori Hall, Broadway playwright, for her work in helping open doors for new voices in the American theater; and Woodie King Jr., founder and producing director, New Federal Theatre, for his pioneering efforts and outstanding accomplishments in Black theater.
Hall’s play “Children of Killers” will make its American premiere at the Castillo Theatre in September 2012. Groundbreaker awardees included David C. Banks, president and CEO, Eagle Academy Foundation; Valerie and William Bell, founders, Sean Elijah Bell Community Center; and Anderson J. Franklin, Ph.D., and David S. Nelson, Boston College.
Renowned dancer Desmond Richardson, co-founder and artistic director of Complexions Dance Company, choreographed a special dance piece featuring 11 inner-city youth performers from the All Stars Project.
The event also highlighted the newly formed partnership between the NYPD and the All Stars Project’s Operation Conversation: Cops and Kids, a community relations initiative that brings together New York City police officers and youth from the community. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was the special guest.
The event showcased the upcoming opening of the All Stars’ new facility in Newark, N.J., the Scott Flamm Center for After-school Development, a thriving hub of cultural activities giving young people from the poorest communities opportunities to work with the best professionals in theater, business and education.
The gala was hosted by Roscoe Orman, who plays Gordon on “Sesame Street,” and featured hip-hop, rap and dance performances by youth of the All Stars.