The Ivy & Roses Community Fund in partnership with the Pi Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority recently held its Signature Fundraiser honoring author and playwright Pearl Cleage.

The event, “Through the Years…Celebrating Atlanta’s Pearl: An Evening Honoring Pearl Cleage” was held at the Woodruff Arts Center on Oct. 11 and featured vignettes of Pearl Cleage’s renowned plays. The President & CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, Virginia Hepner, brought greetings on behalf of the Center.

The evening highlighted the contributions and program initiatives of the fund and sorority, both locally and internationally, through the creative lens of Pearl Cleage’s body of work. The program featured the following plays: “Flyin West,” “The Nacirema Society,” “Blues for An Alabama Sky,” “A Song for Coretta” and “What I Learned in Paris,” all which highlighted social issues of poverty, health, economic empowerment, voting and civil rights and domestic violence. Additionally, a special performance was given by actress Jasmine Guy, who performed a reading of Cleage’s “Mad at Miles.”

Additionally, extraordinary tributes were given to Pearl from her friends and colleagues including Crystal Fox of “The Have & Have Nots”; Andrea Frye, actress and director; Valerie Jackson, radio host and community leader; and Christopher Moses of the Alliance Theatre.

“With the support of our corporate sponsors UPS, Bank of America, Georgia –Pacific and Verizon Wireless, along with prominent Atlanta leaders, corporate executives, arts patrons and community supporters, we raised over $85,000, which will allow the IRCF to continue to accomplish the work of its mission to benefit both the arts and education,” said AKA member Marilyn Arrington.

In continuing its commitment to service, the fund awarded a grant of $5,000 to the Alliance Theatre Educational Department’s The Collision Project, a summer program for high school students led by Pearl Cleage, herself.

“That you chose to make such a significant contribution to our Collision Project was a gift beyond comprehension, said Collision Project Director Christopher Moses. “Pearl and I had long been discussing our shared desire to provide a stipend to these students who are forced to turn down summer employment to participate in this experience. Your donation will allow this dream to become a reality and will remove a real barrier for many of our students.”

“The Ivy & Roses Community Fund was honored to celebrate Pearl Cleage not only as a leader and voice in our community, but as an individual whose works directly reflect our mission and purpose,” Arrington said.

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