CBCF to Honor Black Leaders in the Arts

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Artists Haki Madhubuti, Clarence Major, Peggy Cooper Cafritz and Frédéric Yonnet to be honored during the 19th Annual Celebration of Leadership in Fine Arts sponsored by the Walt Disney Company.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) will honor four leaders in American fine arts, during the CBC Spouses 19th Annual Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts, sponsored by The Walt Disney Company. This year’s honorees include poet Haki Madhubuti; artist, Clarence Major; Peggy Cooper Cafritz; and musician Frederic Yonnet. Celebration of Leadership takes place on Sept. 16th at Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street, NW in Washington D.C. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the program will begin at 8:00 p.m.

“The cultural achievements and contributions of African-American artists are an inextricable part the American story,” said A. Shuanise Washington, the president and CEO of the CBCF. “Through the Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts, the CBCF and the CBC Spouses recognize artists whose creativity and ingenuity reflect the African-American experience while contributing to our nation’s wider culture. It is also our opportunity to support the next generation of young artists who desire to pursue their artistic gifts scholastically.”

The Celebration of Leadership event raises scholarship funds for students pursuing visual and performing arts and serves as a kick-off event for 45th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC).

“The CBC Spouses are proud that proceeds from this event will go toward providing scholarships for young, emerging talent. They need our support to move the legacy of African-American art forward for generations to come,” said event chair Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings. “We are pleased to support the next generation of African-American artists as we celebrate this year’s stellar honorees.”

Poet Haki Madhubuti has published more than 20 books of poetry, nonfiction and critical essays. He is considered one of the leaders in the Black Arts Movement. Madhubuti created forums for black writers who were in need of resources to cultivate their work. He is the recipient of the American Book Award and the Broadside Press Outstanding Poet’s Award.

Artist Clarence Major is a world renowned poet and painter. Major was a finalist for the National Book Awards. He is the recipient of the National Council on the Arts, Fulbright and Western States Books Awards to name a few. Major is a contributor to periodicals and anthologies in the U.S., Europe, South America and Africa.

Peggy Cooper Cafritz is an active leader in the art world. After becoming involved in education and the arts in Washington, D.C., she founded the Duke Ellington School of the Arts for minority children. In 1974, the program was integrated into the D.C. public school system. From 1979 to 1987, she led the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and in 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed her to serve as vice chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Frédéric Yonnet is regarded as one of the most talented harmonica players in the world. Yonnet’s specialty is in Urban Jazz. His raw talent landed him recording deals, tours and performances on stage with some of music’s biggest icons, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Kenny G., John Legend and Erykah Badu. Rolling Stone magazine referred to Yonnet as “Prince’s killer harmonica player.”

To purchase tickets and register for the ALC, visit cbcfinc.org/alc. Media can register onsite at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

BET Networks, Viacom and Heineken are also sponsors for this year’s event.


The ALC is the leading policy conference on issues impacting African Americans and the global black community. Lawmakers, business and civic leaders, celebrities, and concerned citizens attend the conference to partake in more than 70 public policy forums on health, education, economic empowerment, the environment, civic engagement, and the Exhibit Showcase. Signature events include the National Town Hall, Celebration of Leadership in Fine Arts, Gospel Extravaganza, Black Party, Prayer Breakfast, and the culminating event, the Phoenix Awards Dinner.

To learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact the resource development team at 202.263.2800.

For regular updates about the ALC, visit cbcfinc.org/alc, sign up to receive the e-newsletter, and follow the CBCF on social media.

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Shrita Sterlin-Hernandez
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