Solange Knowles is set to receive the first-ever Lena Horne Prize for Artists Creating Social Impact. The honor is named after the singer, and “Cabin in the Sky” actress Lena Horne, who was also a civil rights activist. She passed away in 2010 at age 92.
The 33-year-old singer and songwriter will receive the award during a special ceremony on February 28th, 2020 at New York City’s Town Hall. The event will feature music, art, short films, and spoken word presentations. In addition, Knowles will receive a $100,000 prize to be donated to Project Row Houses, a Houston based nonprofit organization founded in 1993 that hosts community enrichment initiatives, art programs and neighborhood development activities in the cities Third Ward.
In a statement, Knowles relished over receiving an award named after one of her childhood inspirations. “I will never forget being a young girl and the impact of hearing the great Lena Horne so radiantly and powerfully singing the words ‘believe in yourself’ from that remarkable moment in The Wiz,” said Knowles. “I have carried it with me closely my entire life. At the age of 12, I played this very role at the Ensemble Theatre in Houston, Texas and it was then I learned about Lena’s dedicated activism and fearless integrity as a woman and groundbreaking artist.”
The Lena Horne Prize Advisory Board, which consists of artists Harry Belafonte and Billy Porter, amongst others, selected Knowles for using her platform to promote social change. Knowles often speaks out against social injustices on her Instagram.
“We are thrilled for Solange as the inaugural recipient of the Lena Horne Prize, and are grateful for her continuous support of Project Row Houses and the Historic Third Ward community,” said Project Row Houses executive director Eureka Gilkey.
Sponsorship packages, including tickets to the award event, gala dinner, and ancillary events, are available now at LenaHornePrize.com