Solange Knowles Accepts First-Ever Lena Horne Prize at the Town Hall’s Star-Studded Event in New York

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Solange Knowles speaks onstage at the Lena Horne Prize Event Honoring Solange Knowles Presented by Salesforce at the Town Hall on February 28, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Mendez/Getty Images for The Town Hall)

This weekend, The Town Hall inaugurated The Lena Horne Prize for Artists Creating Social Impact with a special presentation of the award to its first-ever recipient, GRAMMY Award-winning singer/songwriter and visual artist Solange Knowles.

The prize, named after iconic artist and activist Lena Horne and the first major entertainment award to be named after a woman of color, was created to highlight individuals showing excellence at the intersection of arts and activism.

GRAMMY and Oscar winner Common made intro remarks to the crowd, speaking to Lena Horne’s legacy in consistently challenging power and herself and how it is important for all artists to do the same. He said, “Lena Horne was 100 percent that…Black woman — that mother, singer, actress, dancer and activist who got mad… who asked questions… who stood up… who never, ever stopped evolving…”

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Common performs onstage at the Lena Horne Prize Event Honoring Solange Knowles Presented by Salesforce at the Town Hall on February 28, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Mendez/Getty Images for The Town Hall)

The Houston-based organization, to which Solange is donating her $100,000 Prize money, had two representatives on stage, Eureka Gilkey (Executive Director of Project Row Houses) and Ryan Dennis (Curator & Art Programs Director at Project Row Houses). Both expressed their gratitude in Solange believing in their mission and how her project, When I Get Home, taught them to dream, do nothing without intention and stay flow.

The Lena Horne Prize Advisory Board, which consists of an esteemed list of artists, entertainers, philanthropists and community leaders including Harry Belafonte; Billy Porter; Judy Collins; Roxane Gay; and more, selected Knowles for using her platform to promote social change.

The Lena Horne Prize was created by Michael Matuza, Jeb Gutelius and The Town Hall. The event will be produced by The Town Hall, Matuza (NAACP, Peabody and Emmy-nominated MBM Entertainment), Gutelius (Sailworks) and Marion Rosenfeld. The event will feature music, art, short films and spoken word from renowned artists, entertainers and activists.

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Tony Bowles is one of the youngest sought out journalists in the media world. He focuses on lifestyle, travel, entertainment, food and more! Based out of NYC.

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