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President Statements

Learn more about upcoming events and announcements from Apollo President & CEO, Jonelle Procope

Jonelle Procope Updated Headshot

February 2023

Dear Friends,

Happy Black History Month! As a beacon of Black culture, The Apollo is proud to present Black culture and artistry on its stages year-round. I have written to you before about how fulfilling it is to lead this great organization, but this year is even more special, from the opening of The Apollo’s Victoria Theater and the kicking-off of exciting new community initiatives to the renovation of our beloved Historic Theater. Throughout this change, we are embodying our season theme, The Next Movement, by honoring our past as it simultaneously propels us forward into our next chapter.

As The Apollo enters its 89th year, we are thrilled to present The Blues and Its People on February 18, an important, one-night-only concert commissioned by The Apollo celebrating the 60th anniversary of Amiri Baraka’s groundbreaking book Blues People: Negro Music in White America—which continues to shape our conversation about Black music today. The evening will feature renowned trumpeter Russell Gunn and his Royal Funk Jazz Orkestra, with special guests including Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Jazzmeia Horn, Grammy-award-winning vibraphonist Stefon Harris, poet jessica Care moore, and others. The evening will trace the lineage of Black music from work songs and gospel to jazz and beyond. Join us as we celebrate Black music throughout the decades. For more information and to buy tickets, please see here.

If you’re craving even more live music, The Apollo Music Café is back with performances spanning genres and featuring artists including soul musician Kenneth Whalum, America’s Got Talent’s country trio Chapel Hart, and R&B singer Gene Noble. For comedy fans, The Apollo Comedy Club offers some of the best up-and-coming talent in comedy today. This April, Sean Kuti & Egypt 80 will headline our Africa Now! Festival.

No year would be complete without our iconic Amateur Night, the original talent competition which begins a new cycle on February 22. I want to extend my congratulations and a round of that famous Apollo applause to last season’s winner, pianist Kofi Boakye, and 9-year-old singer Brianna Cameron, the Apollo Child Star of Tomorrow. I have no doubt we will be seeing them both back on The Apollo stage again. We cannot wait to see who is next in line to take home the 2023 title and join the ranks of H.E.R, Jazmine Sullivan, Machine Gun Kelly, and so many more. You can find The Apollo’s calendar of events, as well as ticket information, by visiting www.apollotheater.org.

Our education department has been hard at work developing new programs and ensuring that we engage our community and inspire the next generation of artists and changemakers. We are thrilled to welcome the newest class of participants for the Apollo Apprenticeship program, which provides college students with pre-professional experience in the arts and entertainment industries, offering a wide range of programs and resources. These young apprentices will be given the tools to explore their passion for the arts while also learning the ins and outs of the industry. Most recently the education team produced Apollo Young Changemakers inspired by the work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement. If you missed it, please see the replay here.

In closing, 2023 is going to be a year of incredible transformation. The Apollo is deepening our impact and adapting to the changing needs of Harlem and the greater cultural community—all in service of growing our work across artistic, educational, cultural, and civic realms.

We couldn’t do it without the support of generous gifts made with public dollars, like a recent award from the New York Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, under the leadership of Commissioner Laurie Cumbo, as well a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

It is also your generous, ongoing support that enables The Apollo to continue to innovate and expand, and it allows us to provide the experiences that audiences, students, and educators have come to expect. If you are able, please consider supporting The Apollo here.

Here’s to a wonderful year ahead. I look forward to seeing you at The Apollo soon.

Sincerely,

Jonelle Procope
President & CEO
Apollo Theater

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