Dance Theatre of Harlem Honors Opera Singer Jessye Norman

Dance Theatre of Harlem Honors Opera Singer Jessye Norman

On February 24th, the Dance Theatre of Harlem held their annual Vision Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street to raise funds to support their arts education and community programs.

With an all-start list of attendees including actor Gbenga Akinnagbe, former Miss USA 2012 Nana Meriwether, author and activist Gloria Steinem and many more, the evening celebrated the great work that the Dance Theatre of Harlem is doing for the arts community and the many children who are being positively impacted by its efforts. The night honored lawyer and entrepreneur Mario L. Baeza and Under Amour, Inc. with the Virtuoso Award, posthumously honored Theodore Bartwink and Harkness Foundation for Dance with the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Family Foundation Medal and honored Grammy award-winning opera singer Jessye Norman with the Arthur Mitchell Vision Award.

[Related: American Ballet Theater Launches Project Plié to Attract Minorities to Ballet]

Taking the stage with the award-winning song Glory playing in the background, Steinem presented Norman with her award and touched on how the 69-year-old legendary opera singer created a lane for herself within the music industry.

“She did not grow up in a world that expected her to be an opera singer, but she became an opera singer,” said Steinem.

Norman thanked ballet dancer and Dance Theatre of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell for his contributions to the community and quoted Winston Churchill in explaining the importance of giving back.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give,” said Norman.

The gala raised $500,000 to benefit the Next Generation Fund, which provides scholarships and financial assistance to the Dance Theatre of Harlem.