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Arts and Entertainment

Annual holiday luncheon celebrates leaders in arts
Fundraiser benefits Gantt Center
Published Wednesday, November 21, 2012 7:38 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

The Jazzy Holiday Luncheon is an annual tradition that was started over 30 years ago by a group of women known as The Charlotte Friends of the Arts.

The support group organized the event to help raise money for the Afro-American Cultural Center, which is known today as the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture.

Today, the luncheon continues to remain the Gantt Center’s major annual fundraiser and provides critical support for the Center and its educational programming.

“At 32 years and counting, Jazzy is one of the longest running annual traditions in Charlotte,” said Gantt Center President & CEO David Taylor. “For many, it is a festive kick-off to the holiday season. We are excited to celebrate both established art patrons and community leaders.”

Traditionally the luncheon is held the first week of December. This year, it’s on Nov. 30 at the Westin Charlotte Hotel at 11:30 a.m.
The seated luncheon will be followed by an awards presentation.

Quentin “Q” Talley, founder of On Q Productions, is among the three recipients of the 2012 Gantt Center Award. Talley launched his theatre company in 2006 with a mission of producing classic, contemporary and original performance works that reflect the black experience.

On Q has produced works ranging from “For Colored Girls,” “Dutchman,” “Day of Absence,” and “In the Blood” to critical acclaim and is currently in its fourth season at NC Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

Also being honored this year is retired arts educator Jeanne Brayboy.

Over the years, Brayboy has been heavily involved in the community, serving on a number of boards including the N.C. School of the Arts, Central Piedmont Community College, The Mint Museum of the Arts and the Gantt Center to name a few.

In 2011, Brayboy received the Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Award from UNCF. She also received the Equality Day Award from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Women’s Commission and was inducted into the History Hall of Fame of the NANBPW Charlotte Club.

The third recipient is Belk Corporation. The Charlotte-based retailer is being honored for community involvement and philanthropy that dates back to its founding.

Since 2010, master wood turner Charles Farrar – whose work now appears in the White House art collection – has crafted the wooden vessels that honor Gantt Center Award recipients and are designed to reflect each recipient’s unique life story.

In addition to the awards presentation and live entertainment at the luncheon, Gantt Center leaders will review the year’s key accomplishments and share the institution’s impact on the Charlotte community.

Individual seats and table purchases are available online at www.ganttcenter.org, by phone at (704) 547-3700 or in person at the Gantt Center (551 S. Tryon St.)


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