Bowie State College Names Its Performing Arts Theater After Dionne Warwick

Bowie State College Names Its Performing Arts Theater After Dionne Warwick

You received’t be capable of stroll on by Bowie State College’s theater with out seeing Dionne Warwick’s title.

The traditionally Black college in Maryland has named the theater inside its Nice and Performing Arts Heart after the long-lasting singer.

Bowie State is “a conventional Black faculty, and with us dropping so lots of them, it is a advantageous promotion to provide. [Historically Black colleges and universities] are nonetheless very important, not solely to our existence however to the world,” mentioned Warwick.

It will likely be the primary performing arts venue named after the six-time Grammy winner identified for such hits because the 1967 music “I Say A Little Prayer,” the 1969 monitor “I’ll By no means Fall In Love Once more,” and the 1964 basic “Stroll On By.”

The vocalist has a reference to the college. Warwick, a decades-long advocate for HIV/AIDS consciousness, visited Bowie State’s wellness heart and was “completely blown away by the work they do there.” After touring the campus and visiting the advantageous and performing arts division, the match was lit.

“I’m really excited and thrilled,” she mentioned.

Bowie State College Names Its Performing Arts Theater After Dionne Warwick
Dionne Warwick claps as her title is unveiled at Bowie State College’s performing arts venue.

Ryan Pelham/Bowie State College

Warwick, probably the most charted vocalists ever, has been inducted into the Grammy Corridor of Fame and the R&B Music Corridor of Fame. Although she is understood for her singing capacity, she was additionally a pioneer within the struggle towards HIV/AIDS within the Nineteen Eighties — a time when the stigma and worry related to the illness have been at its top.

In 1985, she launched “That’s What Pals Are For” to profit AIDS analysis and raised greater than $3 million for the trigger. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan appointed the singer as U.S. Ambassador of Well being.

Understanding her background as a humanitarian, the choice was simple for Bowie State, mentioned Tewodross Williams.

“We’re not solely making an attempt to create artists and creatives, however we need to create what I name socially engaged artists,” defined Williams, affiliate professor and chair of the college’s advantageous and performing arts division. “We wish our college students to be related socially, globally, and politically by way of the world and what impacts them. We encourage our college students to make use of their artwork for social change.”

The previous decade has seen alumni from traditionally Black faculties and universities obtain the best honors in leisure. Costume designer Ruth E. Carter, a Virginia’s Hampton College graduate, just lately turned the first Black lady to win two Oscars. Tennessee State College’s marching band is now the first marching band to win Best Roots Gospel Album at the Grammys. And Bowie State’s personal Myles Frost received a Tony for his function as Michael Jackson in “MJ: The Musical.”

Now that the theater is known as after such a legendary singer, Williams needs to welcome everybody to see the expertise the college can show for themselves.

“We wish folks to return see these wonderful performances, movie festivals, and all types of issues which might be taking place. Come out and assist,” he mentioned.

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