Honoree, singer/songwriter/actress Mary J. Blige (252102)
Credit: Contributed

The Harlem School of the Arts recently held its annual fundraiser at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The Masquerade Ball, attended by VIPs and celebrities, was a sellout. The HSA enriches the lives of young people and their families through world-class training and exposure to the arts. The HSA offers its students the freedom to find and develop the artist and citizen within themselves in an environment that emphasizes rigorous training, stimulates creativity, builds self-confidence and adds a dimension of beauty to their lives. The HSA stands apart among the premier arts institutions in New York City as the sole provider of quality arts education in four disciplines: music, dance, theatre and visual arts.

The evening was a blockbuster success and began with a cocktail hour before guests were led to their seats in the Grand Ballroom for dinner and the awards ceremonies. The evening included performances by HSA dance and music students and culminated with their tribute to Broadway’s “Hamilton” and a performance of “My Shot,” which brought the audience to its feet. But the evening continued as guests moved on to the after-party to dance the night away.

The gala helped to raise approximately $1.25 million, funds that will provide exceptional arts training to more 1,500 students within HSA’s underserved community providing scholarships to young people of all backgrounds. It will also help fund the HSA Prep Program, which provides pre-professional training in the arts for 50 talented children ages 12 to 18 with 100 percent accepted to college. The Harlem School of the Arts also partners with number of public schools to ensure that their students have access to the arts.