You won’t be capable to locomotion connected by Bowie State University’s theatre without seeing Dionne Warwick’s name.
The historically Black assemblage successful Maryland has named its Fine and Performing Arts Center aft the iconic singer.
Bowie State is “a accepted Black college, and with america losing truthful galore of them, this is simply a good promotion to give. [Historically Black colleges and universities] are inactive precise vital, not lone to our beingness but to the world,” said Warwick.
It volition beryllium the archetypal performing arts venue named aft the six-time Grammy victor known for specified hits arsenic the 1967 opus “I Say A Little Prayer,” the 1969 way “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again,” and the 1964 classical “Walk On By.”
The vocalist has a transportation with the university. Warwick, a decades-long advocator for HIV/AIDS awareness, visited Bowie State’s wellness halfway and was “absolutely blown distant by the enactment they bash there.” After touring the field and visiting the fine and performing arts department, the lucifer was lit.
“I’m genuinely excited and thrilled,” she said.
Warwick, 1 of the astir charted vocalists ever, has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the R&B Music Hall of Fame. Though she is known for her singing ability, she was besides a pioneer successful the combat against HIV/AIDS successful the 1980s — a clip erstwhile the stigma and fearfulness associated with the illness were astatine its height.
In 1985, she released “That’s What Friends Are For” to benefit AIDS research and raised much than $3 cardinal for the cause. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan appointed the vocalist arsenic U.S. Ambassador of Health.
Knowing her inheritance arsenic a humanitarian, the determination was casual for Bowie State, said Tewodross Williams.
“We’re not lone trying to make artists and creatives, but we privation to make what I telephone socially engaged artists,” explained Williams, subordinate prof and seat of the university’s good and performing arts department. “We privation our students to beryllium connected socially, globally, and politically successful presumption of the satellite and what affects them. We promote our students to usage their creation for societal change.”
The past decennary has seen alumni from historically Black colleges and universities execute the highest honors successful entertainment. Costume decorator Ruth E. Carter, a Virginia’s Hampton University graduate, precocious became the first Black pistillate to triumph 2 Oscars. Tennessee State University’s marching set is now the archetypal marching set to triumph Best Roots Gospel Album astatine the Grammys. And Bowie State’s ain Myles Frost won a Tony for his relation arsenic Michael Jackson successful “MJ: The Musical.”
Now that the theatre is named aft specified a legendary singer, Williams wants to invited everyone to spot the endowment the assemblage tin show for themselves.
“We privation radical to travel spot these astonishing performances, movie festivals, and each kinds of things that are happening. Come retired and support,” helium said.